When a man loves a woman
The family is the basic unit of society. It ideally has the most stable relationship that builds the foundation of the community. The parents guide and nurture their children to be a good person. They are also the role model for their children, who look up to them and regard their actions as a right example. However, trials occur and relationships are shaken. During these hard moments, the strength or weakness of a family is noticeable. During these times, the family’s bond is being tested and it is up to their willingness to work things out.
In the movie “When a man loves a woman”, the family of Michael, a pilot, seemed perfect at first. His wife, Alice, was a guidance councilor in the school where her daughter studies. Their seemingly perfect family started to falter when Alice drank more alcohol than usual. Students go to her for counseling and even friends seek her advice. This added up on the pressure she felt inside due to her family conditions. She had to take care of everything in their house while her husband is away on a trip.
Alice felt insignificant during those times that her husband takes control of things in their house without even considering or even listening to her opinions since her husband doesn’t really listen to her, she didn’t have any outlet for her feelings, thus, she turned to alcohol. It became her best friend and comfort blanket. Whenever she feels anxious, sad, confused, and angry or pissed off she would seek for a glass of vodka until it became an addiction. She hid this from her family, especially from her husband.
She was aware that something is wrong with her but ironically, as a guidance councilor as she is; she doesn’t know what to do. When her husband became aware of her drinking, he was in denial that something is wrong with his wife. He just asked her if there is any problem then without really listening to her, he would suggest a solution to the problem. This irritated Alice more, thus her drinking continued. When things got so worse, it was the time that he had to face reality. He brought his wife to the treatment facility but it took him sometime to accept the situation of their family.
When he confronted Alice for the real reason of her addiction, it was too much for him to handle so he opted to have some space between them. Distance gave them the opportunity to sort their feelings and be aware of it thus they understood themselves better, which led to reconciliation. This moving story of an alcoholic and her family could be happening in real life. Alice’s main reason for drinking was to relieve the negative feelings that she had been keeping for a while already.
It had built up inside her due to the lack of outlet causing her addiction to become worse. Due to this hatred that she felt inside, she became insecure of her self worth and thus interpreted the care and concern that his husband was showing her as something that is demeaning to her. Her perception became shrouded by anger that caused her to become an alcoholic. Her substance of choice was suited for her because she is hiding her true feelings and her drinking thus her husband can’t smell her every time she has a glass of vodka.
Any type of alcohol is a sedative thus it gave her the feeling of calmness every time she feels angry. It was her way of controlling her feelings and be “rested”. However, her drinking became very impulsive to the point that she was hurting her children physically and emotionally. During her stay in the treatment facility, she was detoxicated from alcohol and she received some counseling. This enlightened her in many ways and this also gave her an opportunity to mingle with people who could relate to her. For the first time, she was able to express herself and be heard.
When her husband confronted her of their situation, due to her anger which she kept for so long, she blamed her husband of her misery. Alcoholism is usually found coexisting with another mood disorder, and in Alice’s case, it was depression. She became depressed due to her situation and her anger. Events in one’s life could be controlled to some extent if only that person knows how to deal with it. In the case of Alice and Michael, their family could have avoided experiencing such situation if only they took the time to really talk to each other.
Good communication skill is one of the foundations of a good relationship. Some people perceive a discussion of contrasted feelings as an argument thus they avoid having such conversations. For them, avoiding discussions about their treatment towards each other, which could trigger a fight, is better than really talking things over. In Alice’s case, her husband failed to listen to her opinions and he disregarded her decisions. This in turn made her feel insignificant for their family and she felt that her worth as a person was being neglected.
She then perceived her husband as a person who wants to control everything in their family and even her life as well. On the other hand, Michael did not notice that Alice was affected by the way that he treated her and their daughters. For him, he just wanted to fix things immediately and with the least hustle so that his wife won’t be more pressured as she was. He just wanted to help but in the process of helping without listening to the people that he wanted to help got them into misunderstanding which led to unfortunate events in their lives.
He learned to accept reality that he cannot solve every problem that came their way and he also learned to stop and just listen to the person. As for Alice, she learned that people are in control of themselves and that her actions are solely controlled by herself and no one else. Thus, she stopped blaming her husband for making her feel miserable because she was now enlightened that he loves him so much and it is just her perception of things that is making her feel angry.
By accepting the faults of oneself and by forgiving yourself first before asking for forgiveness to others made both, Alice and Michael, better partners and they vowed to make things better by talking to one another. Indeed, good communication can really go a long way and it is also the means to avoid the misconceptions of some situations that could lead to conflict. This is not just applicable to couples or family members, having an open communication with people can advance to a deeper and stronger relationship with one another.