Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Itch By: Karen Pilarski

Ball and chain, the old lady, old man, the other half. Marriage and committed relationships certainly have some creative nicknames for the betrothed. It implies something that has aged yet still attached despite circumstances weathered the relationship. It the circumstances that thrash and violently shake love's glue that holds couples together. Even the strongest union is tested at various points in the relationship.

The "Seven Year Itch" (1955)  staring the bombshell Marilyn Monroe proves my point. The movie was about a successful man who felt lonely and bored. His wife of seven years and child were away on vacation. The neighbor was a sexy blonde who was a symbol of excitement and newness he was seeking. All the feelings and fantasies were products of his mind. She wasn't interested in the man. It took feeling jealous about his wife and another man to snap him out of his day dream.

There are instances when the itch is a sign the relationship is not the right fit. Possibly something or someone else is needed to satisfy the needs of a person. It is human decency to discuss the upset before betrayal occurs. Could it be that maybe the the other half of the couple has lingering doubts too?

If we were completely honest with ourselves we would admit to having a slight itch from time to time. It could be in a form of a neighbor, a colleague, movie star or dental hygienist. Attraction happens whether acted on or not.

To get at the root of the dilemma there must be a closer inspection of what is going on. Notably if a person contemplates straying, it is because something is missing in the relationship. What is missing might be found in another person or self damaging behavior. The missing poster might include sex, time spent together, attention, stability. It is innate in humans to seek to satisfy a need. When hungry we eat, thirsty we drink and when sad we may drink, have sexual relationships or just cry. Each time a need is satisfied it may take something stronger to rid us of it. An itch comes on unexpected and seems to travel or jump once scratched. Suddenly fingernails are running on the face, leg and back. Skin once soft now aggravated and scratch marks up and down the body.  No matter how the arm is stretched, the satisfaction is out of reach.

*Greta was married for twelve years when she experienced an itch. Her husband was working different hours and spent all his free time drinking beer with his buddies. She was left cleaning the house and taking care of their four children. Repressed and lonely, Greta started to have an interest in their local car mechanic.

When he smiled at her, his blue eyes twinkled. He was knowledgeable about cars and knew what the car needed. Possibly it was mere case of transference. What was missing in the marriage was found in the mechanic. The mechanic wasn't overly attractive but the qualities he represented gave her sparks of passion. She spent dull moments thinking about the wild and hot the sex that would ensue. Also seductive details of how the forbidden romp would begin. The mechanic although at times flirty was attached as well. Greta may have crushed hard on him because it was safe and knew it could only go as far as fantasy. The mechanic would never risk his relationship or employment for a roll in the hay with a person he barely knew. Greta while infatuated, would never step over the boundary line into an affair. Despite the intense urge to scratch, she just couldn't bring herself to attempt it.

Compare Greta's situation to being on a diet and caving into a tempestuous fudge brownie. Of course it would bring moments of pleasure but a few pounds of guilt on the thighs would soon follow. Lets face it, guilt weighs more on the mind than an orgasm (no matter how intense it was). Hardly seems worth it in the long run.

If a relationship isn't working than there needs to be an honest introspective and airing of feelings. Otherwise satisfying the itch won't make the unpleasant emotions go away. It is just self destructing behavior filling a void that could have been avoided in the first place.