I’m pretty sure it was Aristotle who proposed that nature abhors a vacuum. I’m also pretty sure there is an explanation of that statement that is far more succinct (and scientific) than the one I am about to offer but … here goes:
IF there is a big empty hole, SOMETHING will fill it. It’s a universal law (or something like that).
When I look at my own life I constantly see this concept in action. Whenever my wine glass is empty it magically gets refilled. See what I mean? Science is wonderful.
But I have also seen this theory take down what appeared to be a strong relationship. Of the romantic kind. And how does that work? Well, if the party of the first part isn’t feeling particularly full (as in gaping holes) and the party of the second part does nothing to fill said holes, guess what? The party of the first part seeks replenishment elsewhere. And for the most part I might submit that this does not bode well for the future of that union.
That’s not to say that we can expect our partners to show up with everything. It’s pretty impossible and probably also not even desirable. I have male friends who bring all kinds of talent to my table, be it musical, historical (as in old friends and even ex lovers), peripheral or literary. These are holes my partner may not be able to fill and there is no shame in my village taking over to do the job.
But what about those other holes? And please children, minds out of the gutter now, puhlease. I’m talking about those holes that speak to romance, passion, emotional discourse, and yes … even sex. What happens when one party is perfectly content with the slide and the other is not? Or maybe not even the slide but the status quo, born of years together, children, even grandchildren, jobs and hobbies? Is it okay for the party of the first part to expand his or her personal village to include someone who can satisfy?
Back in the 90s, when computers became household and the internet an absolute wonder, there was this little thing called IRC. Internet Relay Chat. It was new, it was exciting and damn was it fun! You never knew what dark stranger might show up to help you wile away your pockmarked hours. Flirting. Laughing. Sharing. All from the safety generated by that delightful monitor. Yeah, I’ll tell you right now I got into some trouble with IRC. And I won’t blame it all on my darling ex because as it turns out I am … I mean WAS … a bit of a thrill seeker and damn if that internet thing wasn’t rife with possibilities. I will however tender that had a few more of my holes been filled at home, I may not have been starving for fulfillment in the land of delirious technology.
But here’s the thing – if you are starving at home it probably behooves you to define the menu. In detail. Often. That is, the menu you crave. If the chef doesn’t know what you’re lacking, or hankering for or even requiring (kinda like water) how can the chef possibly whip up that gourmet feast you desire?
The problem is ALL of the above demands a whole lot of effort, a whole lot of honestly and a whole lot of disappointment … a whole lot of not fun things that truth be told may or may not propel you to that place of everlasting, hole-fully-filled fulfillment. It may all be for naught, all that enterprise, because your partner’s wheelhouse might simply be unavailable for realization. No matter how much you beg, cajole or demand, it just might not happen.
And that’s when Nature shows up. Abhorring that vacuum.
Apparently Nature is a bit of a devil. He enjoys tossing wrenches into your (perceived) contentment. He delights in reminding you that you really are just a sieve, springing leaks at every turn. He laughs at the idea that your holes are tiny and in no need of attention. Or he laughs when you attempt to rationalize your divine right to fill those holes. Because that is what we do. We rationalize.
My friend B was another “victim” of IRC. She too developed an inappropriate correspondence with a man who was not her husband, many miles away. They actually even met. That’s how Nature goes with this vacuum thing. Nature sucks you across the country to meet a man you’ve only ever chatted with online (well of course you’ve seen his picture) because that vacuum is bellowing. You and hubby have slipped into complacency. You’ve become Mom and Dad, maybe even Grandma and Grandpa, and that’s all fine. Until your inner teenager starts bellowing even louder, And that is when Nature shows up with options.
Yep. Nature has a job to do.
My other pal E also answered the call. She tried for years to explain to her better half what was missing. What she wanted. What she needed. But M just couldn’t rally. Or maybe didn’t want to. Who knows? All I know is their marriage ended because someone else (who wasn’t Nature) did rally and she moved on. M was crushed and Nature just laughed and applauded. Because as you know …
As for me, well, if you scroll back a hundred blogs you already know my marriage didn’t last. And you already know that Nature’s call … that glorious, sensual, mysterious, siren’s call … reeled me in. Hook, line and sinker. Apparently I am a fish. And a pretty damn easy catch.
The difference between then-me and now-me is awareness. I now know all of Nature’s crafty little moves. He can’t fool me anymore. Well okay maybe he can but I also know how to at least try to circumvent his eventual triumph.
I talk to the chef. I tell my truth. Sometimes I tell it so many times I feel like I will explode. But I really do try to identify my holes and then share them with my partner. At least then he has a choice. He can fill them, he can try to fill them or he can ignore them.
Of course, filling is optimum. Trying to fill is admirable (and scores big points). Ignoring them?
Well when that happens you know who is going to show up. It is a law of the universe. It is a given. A scientific certainty. A truth so concrete it endures no argument.
Okay maybe that’s not true either. I suppose you could just become complacent and let life slide. You could kick Nature in the ass and say no. Nothing to see here, pal. No vacuums for you. Move on, pal.
Maybe you could do that.
I however, tend to side with Aristotle.