The Perfect Couple

"Come on in both of you; you know the way. Just make yourselves comfortable while I get the drinks... Simon! Thérèse and Guillaume have arrived... He'll be right down. He's just finishing some reports. He's pretty busy right now with everything to finish before the wedding and then this business about the mayor accusing him of being corrupt. And you now how he is when he gets stressed... Ah, here he is. Oh, I forgot the corkscrew. Will you get it for me please dear? Guillaume, would you prefer a guiness?

"A glass of wine will be fine thanks."

"I'm so glad we had this chance to get together before next Saturday. Simon and I have been reading this book you gave us and we've so many questions."

"To be quite honest, I almost didn't want this. We've so much to do, and each item is a reason not to find time for this. But Morgana insisted and I suppose she's right. This is far more important than all the other little things we need to finish, even if it wasn't planned weeks in advance."

"You mean to say, you didn't think you had any time for us?"

"Now if I thought you were being serious, I'd answer that with an insult," Simon smiled back.

"Now you, stop going on at each other. You'd think they were the world's biggest enemies. I have a sneaking suspicion that you'd carry a bit of a flame for Thérèse, if I wasn't around."

"Guillaume, you know full well, that in France, as in any civilised state, no man can be forced to admit to anything that might incriminate him."

"Actually, that's part of what we wanted to ask, Guillaume. Do you ever get jealous of Thérèse? You know, she's quite charming and very popular and she sees a lot of different men in her job, so do you wonder... Well, you know?"

"Well, in fact, I do. That's why it's important to be open to each other. I trust Thérèse implicity, and she me. But we take time to build on that trust, to tell each other what's going on in our life. I can't say we don't have any secrets, because there are things in our job we can't talk about. Besdies, everyone has a right to their own private sphere. But our principle is to be open about what is going on."

"Is that why you...?"

"Yes, Simon it is. But that's in the past. So you needn't let that bother you, any more."

"I was at a friend's wedding once, before I came to live in Gensdouce. The registrar gave his usual speech and he said, the secret of a good relationship is never having to say your sorry. I don't know why but it struck me as being odd. Anyway, it didn't work for my friend. She left her husband within months."

"Well, I can tell you that's certainly not our experience. I can't count the number of times, Guillaume has hurt me. And that's probably only about half the number of times, I've hurt him. In fact, it's quite ridiculous. None of us is perfect, and we all do things that hurt others. The hard part is admitting you're in the wrong. That's why saying sorry, or asking forgiveness is so important."

"Yes, the first time I was annoyed with Guillaume, we were married just seven days. We were in a hotel and I was scared because I saw a spider. I thought Guillaume would play the gallant knight and kill it. Instead, he just laughed at me."

"Well, I'll have you know, she's improved since then. She can kill some pretty big spiders now. But if I'm around, then it's still my job. But you know, that first time was the hardest of all. I thought it was so stupid. A rational woman like Thérèse and with her intellect, afraid of spiders! I just couldn't see what I'd done wrong. It took me hours to accept that I was at fault."

"So, do you always end up forgiving each other?"


"I take it that the silence means you don't."

"No Simon, the silence means there are some outstanding issues right now."

"You mean, you..."

"Yes, I don't want to go into it right now because it's got nothing to do with you, but I want Guillaume to know, that I'm really sorry."

"Now look at that, love. I guess our perfect couple really aren't that perfect after all."

"Perfect! Are you kidding? The only perfect thing about us is our ability to get on each other's nerves. That's why we need to forgive each other."

"So why don't you just break up? Thousands of people do."

"And what do they do afterwards, Morgana? Find a new partner? One that's a little more perfect? A relationship without tensions? That, I'm afraid is a myth that really won't stand up to scrutiny. It's not just Thérèse and I who hurt each other at times. We all do. Without exception."

"That's why the main thrust of the book is marriage being a permanent and inviolable alliance between two people who commit themselves to each other. Without that, there could be no trust, no forgiveness and no love."

"So you don't believe in divorce?"

"That's a more difficult question. We certainly don't see divorce as ever being a real solution. Usually, and my experience in social work bears this out, the personal problems that lead to a divorce keep coming back even afterwards. However, in some cases, divorce may be the best way forward, however unfortunate it is."

"You mean something like a necessary evil."

"If you like; particularly in cases where there is any kind of violence or where the breakdown is irremediable."

"Right, Guillaume my dear. But we've talked enough about the problems that can come. How about we talk about some of the things we've learnt which have helped us build up our relationship."

"Yes, you're right. But time is getting on and Simon looks like he could do with a good night's sleep. How about we put that off until another time."


She put off a talk about relationships? Hmmm? Another great installment.

19 November 2008 at 16:43  

Very interesting.

19 November 2008 at 19:54  

this is when you walk on broken glass...

19 November 2008 at 20:55  

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