I + you

March 1, 2012 8:29 am

I like what Michał wrote. Just the day before I was talking to a friend who said that you have to realize that a married couple is two separate people. 1 and 1.

It’s obvious at the first glance that I and my husband are different and no one would take me for him – and the other way round. At the second glance, I see that „he” has entirely different habits, ideas for leisure, and his ways to react to events. When he puts away clothes, he does it in a manner so varying from mine. Let’s be honest: it’s sometimes annoying.

That’s when I need the third glance. And then I realize that „he” is someone other than „me”. And it’s not about the list of differences that could be listed endlessly. He is different in the absolute sense, „the other”, as God is – „the Other”. I have no rights over „the other”, and if I think otherwise, I’m a usurper. On his face God wrote a message for me: „Thou shall not kill”. And the face, even while speechless, expresses this message in its defenselessness.* How much respect and concern is necessary not to hurt this defenselessness – in my dictatorial inclinations.

Love in marriage is not a cavity that devours the other and digests him/her into the perfect copy of its own „perfect” self. Because the distance between „I” and „you” can only be challenged by dialogue, by opening myself to the otherness of „you”. It’s a journey into the unknown.


*You can read more in Emmanuel Lévinas’s Time and the Other.

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Categorised in: Margaret