Alicia Florrick, the wife of disgraced Cook county state’s attorney, Peter Florrick plays the main protagonist in the ‘the good wife’, as the titular character. I imagine part of the reason she’s labeled ‘the good wife’ is because she has been able to deal with her husband’s scandalous life with unimaginable grace. Everytime I watch her I just find it unbelievable that she deals with her husband’s alleged mistresses and sex scandals with so much-almost unrivalled-composure.
I’m always left wondering if it’s possible to play that cool when all else points to a sinking ship. After thirteen years of being a stay-at-home-mom, she goes back to work as a litigator when her husband is incarcerated on the count of abuse of office and a major public sex scandal. She further portrays her strength when she has to face the public and other professionals who had worked with Peter, while most of them insist that he really was guilty. It really does take so much will power to ride against the tide.
Plus there’s the other issue where she has to protect their two children, who are teens, from the scathing attacks against their dad on the media. I look at her and I see strength embodied. Not many women would be able to stay levelheaded and civil after so much ugliness. Still, she had the balls to take the stand in court to testify, in support of her husband’s release on bail, saying if he was released he still had a home to go back to. How many would still support their husbands/wives if they were in her situation?
I’m a Christian and I’ve been taught about forgiveness and all, but there’s still that part of me that acts out when I’m enraged. It’s only human nature. If I was in Alicia’s shoes, God-forbid, I’m imagining I wouldn’t be too forgiving. It’s painful enough to know that one’s husband was involved in some affair, but watching it? Hearing him make promises to another woman while in bed? I reckon it could take me years to get over it. But then again, maybe love or compassion would push me to forgive him.
I’m not married yet, and everytime I think about spending forever with one person-a stranger I haven’t met yet- I feel it requires strength; like Alicia’s or more. If you ask me, love is not enough to hold a marriage together. Once two people dedicate their lives to each other, it’s not just about love anymore; it’s about tolerance and understanding. Those qualities sought of weave into each other and provide a marriage with the firm base every union should be founded on in order for it to survive.
I look at mom and I see ‘the good wife’. It’s not like we’ve been made privy to dad’s shenanigans or anything, but it’s about how he carries himself around. In a previous post I mentioned how my younger sister always asked mom to find us another dad when she was still small. She would point out random strangers on the road who seemed happy. Years later, mom and dad are still together and I feel it’s a miracle.
The other day I bumped into mom on the hallway, taking dad breakfast in bed. I just gave her the ‘unbelievable!’ exasperated look and walked away without saying a word. I complain about my old man an awful lot and I reiterate that it’s not like he’s a villain, but it’s only that he’s way less than perfect; and while someone might argue that no one’s perfect, the main thing I fault him for is that he barely makes any effort to be a better man.
It’s easy to regard his union with mom as a miracle; however, I know no one sprinkled any pixie dust on them. Mom has made very many sacrifices to make it work; blood and sweat. She’s naturally a short-tempered woman; a side of her well known by her rare foes, but when it comes to dealing with dad, I see her-what I’d term-submissive side.
Based on what I’ve seen, it’s not easy being a good wife. It takes strength and so much effort to put up with someone you constantly wish you were not married to; someone who makes you madder than happy; someone who brings out a side of you, which you wished remained tamed and hidden because it’s not a role you enjoy playing. Who wants to be angry all the time really? Who wants to pretend they’re happy when every nerve in them is seeking an outlet to vent?
Mom has mastered the art; to remain outwardly calm, when the molten lava inside is threatening to spill over. She’s learnt to repay good for evil. Even though he doesn’t buy her gifts, she’s always buying him stuff. He wouldn’t cook her a meal when she’s lying in bed, sick; but still she doesn’t get tired of taking him meals in bed just for the heck of it, and the worst part is he doesn’t seem to appreciate it.
Constantly, I appraise the life dad lives and I always come to one conclusion; God loves him so much. He gave him a good wife; one who will point out his mistakes but still not hold them over him; one who easily forgets the wrongs done to her; one who chooses to overlook his inadequacies and focus on his sporadic goodness instead.