2005-07-11

Back to Business

Today, 5M is back with no real details of her trials, but another of those "why am I with M" lists.
I'm struck by 2 and 3:

2. He understands/accepts/loves me (in his way).
3. I doubt I can meet someone else who 1. I could love, 2. who would understand/accept/love me.
Is that the problem? Is it that she can't love a person who would fully understand, accept and love her?

Peter Kramer has an interesting exploration in Against Depression. Early in the book he writes that he has encountered a significant number of otherwise mentally healthy men who have an almost pathological attraction to women prone to depression. Later in the book he notes that as melancholy and depression are more and more considered to be a "disease" and less and less a "noble state of mind", this attraction is diminishing, but it still seems to exist.

Which we can see every few days in the comments various men add to 5M's posts. Did you notice she had no 5th reason?

Later in the book, in looking for some possible upside to depression, Kramer speculates on whether there might be an evolutionary advantage for men to be attracted to depressed women. He puts forward one possible explanation.

Women are more likely to suffer from depression than men are. But once a person has suffered one bout of depression, men and women are equally likely to suffer subsequent bouts. One factor that appears to make women more likely to suffer an initial bout of depression is that they are generally emotionally attached to more people than men are. Losing a person one is emotionally attached to is a common trigger for a bout of depression.

So, someone who is depressed could be someone who forms strong emotional attachments. Which might be something a man would instinctively look for in a mate. [Kramer notes there are significant weaknesses with this theory. Like mothers who are too depressed to care for their children and cases of mothers killing their babies during post-partum depression.]

Going back to 5M. Perhaps she would see a man who understands, accepts and loves her as being a man who is attracted to her depression, her flaws and her weaknesses, and sees that as an abhorrent trait or a sickness.

4 comments:

Conch Shell said...

Interesting 4D. This goes hand in hand with traditional female wisdom that men prefer weak women to strong ones. (Or as the Former Chair once put it, most men like their woemn awkward and flirty).
So, weak women are more likely to be needy, therefore more loving to the emotionally starved male, who, apparently, spends most of his time in emotionally unattached states with people.
I hadn't put that all together before. I'd assumed it was because the (traditional) male likes to hold a solid position of superiority. Now I see that he just wants to be loved, and the weak are more likely to give that to him.

6th Apostle said...

All this talk of this M being a mass of blackened flesh and acrid smoke reminds me of St. Lucy of Syracuse, Patron Saint of the Blind (no coincidence , I’m sure, what with 5M’s eye troubles and all). She was martyred during Roman Emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians in 303 AD. Poor girl had her eyes plucked out, and they were miraculously restored. In another, the Romans tried to burn her at the stake but she would not die. Lucy never died, but she never dated much after all that eye plucking and stake burning. She ended up the spinster, and not a pretty site to look at I might add. But I digress.

I think 4th Dwarf has raised an important point. Does 5M suffer what I believe your contemporary of 2oth century humour, Groucho Marx, once said?

“I would never want to belong to a club that would take someone like me as a member.”

Indeed, an affliction we all probably suffer to some degree. As for her search for how love happens, well, I’m afraid that is the universal question for which there is no clear answer. Saint Valentine works in mysterious ways.

Agatha said...

Welcome, 6A. Thanks for sharing that lovely St.Lucy story. I think the Buddhists may be able to offer some help here. The Buddhist response to the 5M's question "How is it that love happens?", would simply be - By being love.

Conch Shell said...

Welcome Nathaniel,
A man of substance and honesty.