I don’t like to watch TV. In fact, I haven’t even had television service for almost twenty years. I’m really not one to watch movies either. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around sitting in front of that box for two hours, spacing off at someone else’s pretend life. However, last night I rented The Lucky One.
The writer did not use the words abuse or domestic violence, but he/she nailed it in the portrayal of the main female character’s ex-husband.
The former husband is introduced as a bully cop, using his position as an officer and the son of a local bigwig to exert power over everyone he encounters and then have it all swept under the carpet. He verbally degrades his young son over even the smallest of matters, such as how to tie a necktie. His ideal of manhood is clear in his detestation of his son’s interest in music and his attempts to direct his son aggressively in physical sports.
This character is obviously jealous of his ex-wife and long after the divorce is still trying to control every aspect of her life, including who she dates. Though he grabs her arm and uses physical force, his weapon of choice is child custody. The constant threat is that if she doesn’t do it his way, he’ll take her son away from her.
It was a good movie, except for the sex scenes which I fast forwarded through, but I fought triggers so much that I had a hard time enjoying the love story.
In one scene this man uses his position as a police officer and breaks into the home of his ex-wife’s new love interest. He then uses what he steals from the house to convince her that her new beau is actually a weird stalker and that he is looking out for her welfare. It reminded me of Lundy Bancroft’s blog from Monday, August 27, 2012. Mr. Bancroft wrote, “Your partner may further feed the problem by encouraging you to think badly of others. He may tell you that people are lying to you or taking advantage of you; that your friends have hidden motives; that you are naïve in your dealings with people; that “everyone is just out for themselves.” He’s talking about himself, though he probably doesn’t know it.” In this film, the real stalker was the ex-husband.
How many times did I hear words similar to those Mr. Bancroft was talking about! One of my husband’s most common complaints about other people is that everyone is a user. His favored mantra was, “You’re either an asset or a liability in people’s lives.”
Funny now, looking back, I should have seen it. Around the time we got married he bragged that his dad had told him, “Stick with her, and you’ll have all the toys you want.” He was proud that his new bride was an asset. He stuck with me and beat me and drove me into debt and poverty for sixteen years. Then, suddenly he left. Yes, he left when the children and I stood together and I told him he could not treat them like that anymore. But, I was also deathly ill. I had become a liability.
Those words he used constantly by which to judge others were a mere reflection of his own judgmental and self-centered character. The truth is that he was the liability in my life all along.
In the movie, in someone’s pretend life, The Lucky One is the young man who survives war and returns home to find his soul mate. In my real life, I think I’m The Lucky One because I, too, survived a war and am returning home to find my soul.