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A Familiar Melody

What is the definition of a "player?" I remember the line "players only love you when they're playing" from an old Fleetwood Mac song, but I never understood it.

Three years ago I met a man I thought was the most wonderful person in the world. He was 42. Until he was 37 he had a pattern of short relationships. Then, against his life pattern, he married and had a child. For him, it was a bad choice. She was a substance abuser.

When I met him, we were both divorced. I was never allowed to meet his friends. Everywhere we went I felt he was on the prowl for someone else. It's that instinct thing we're supposed to listen to. As time went by, he didn't want to help me with even little things. Then I learned he had been spending time with a woman down the street.

In retrospect, with all I went through, I now see the definition of a player. Why I was kept around so long is a mystery. Probably because we each had a child, a child who was crushed when we parted.

When a person denies their life pattern and leads others to disaster, it's hard to think about a fresh start. My question after this long story is how do you recognize a player earlier?


Marti, the answer is another question. Do you have to try to fit a square peg in a round hole before you realize it won't work? Or can you acknowledge what you see and skip the useless attempt?

The ability to recognize a player speedily depends on our self-deception level. Your intuition saw the signs. Your head recognized the pattern. Your want overruled what you knew and sensed.

Another part of the song says that your want and need are denied. "Said I loved you and you believed it was true. That's hilarious." Who are the players? Thieves. Shadows. They take what does not belong to them. They get what they want and leave you with nothing.

You were looking for love and lifetime marriage. His pattern was a series of short relationships. Most of the time the answer is right before our eyes, but we won't accept what we see. We try to force the square peg into the round hole. After, we wonder why.


Another Dimension

What is more important in marriage, love or companionship? I love a woman. I know she loves me with deep and loyal love. Still, we hurt each other with words. Often I feel we neither complement each other nor are we soul mates.


Derek, the Irish short story writer Frank O'Connor wrote a story called "The Impossible Marriage." In it a woman named Eileen and a man named Jim find each other. Though they lived in the same section of Cork, they never noticed each other until the time was ripe.

Neither is free to marry because of family obligations, but they marry anyway. Marriage is something of a joke to people around them because they can't share the same household. They are only free to be together a few evenings a week and for short vacations.

Despite this, they are extraordinarily happy. After a while, unexpectedly, Jim dies. At the funeral, Eileen tells Jim's aunt it won't be long before she and Jim are together again. When the aunt protests Eileen will find happiness again, Eileen says she could never find such happiness a second time.

By the end of the story, everyone realizes that this marriage, which seemed like a parody of the real thing, was so complete and so perfect that besides it, their own marriage appears hollow.

Most writers get this kind of story wrong. Their intuition tells them it's supposed to be like this, but they surrender to self-doubt and think no one will believe it.

Wayne & Tamara

Wayne & Tamara are also the authors of Cheating in a Nutshell, What Infidelity Does to the Victim, available from Amazon, Apple, and most booksellers.


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