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TS Eliot - Wayward ?

Justsomelady posted 4/6/2020 20:15 PM

Random but came across a piece in the Atlantic entitled “the secret cruelty of TS Eliot” - where he has a long term emotional affair while his wife is in a mental institution - and then discards the EA after his wife’s death. Found it really interesting, curious if others read it? Anyhow, for all his religion, he was apparently pretty Wayward and very fussy about having it brought to light.

Strangely, his affair began as friendship in 1912, he married his wife in 1915 (despite professing his love to EAP in 1914) and he kept up the affair until the 1930s. I wonder if his wife’s sanity was connected somehow to gaslighting and affair. Not particularly knowledgeable about their marriage - and I know she had mental illness struggles and it is just speculation. However, in those days how much easier it was to commit women to asylums and such. One has to wonder.

At any rate, it is so interesting that his limerence spell was broken after his wife died. But he also completely discarded her (AP) too and went on to marry his secretary - a person who had been obsessed with him since the age of 14. He gravitated to the idolization in true Wayward kibble-seeking fashion.

Anyway, makes me wonder about the dynamics at play in each relationship and the “real story”. Apparently Eliots final widow held the copyright to the first wife’s diaries until she (widow/wife 2) died in 2012. So those journals only came out in 2017 or so. I’ll have to read about her story next.

Anyway, random thoughts In Quarantine sort of related to Waywardness and thought I’d share.

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 8:20 PM, April 6th (Monday)]

oldtruck posted 4/6/2020 23:06 PM

read and then update. interesting.

Zugzwang posted 4/7/2020 08:12 AM

Probably having an affair with his secretary too.

survrus posted 4/7/2020 10:03 AM

JSL,

You wrote, I wonder if his wife’s sanity was connected somehow to gaslighting and affair. Not particularly knowledgeable about their marriage - and I know she had mental illness struggles and it is just speculation. However, in those days how much easier it was to commit women to asylums and such. One has to wonder.

From personal experience it does seem that many cheaters create mental struggles in their partners lives which push them over the edge.

Just last night I was talking to a distant relative who had her first break down when she was 15 or so when her Mother moved out to have an affair. She is in her 50s now and total mess.

thatbpguy posted 4/7/2020 17:27 PM

My recollection of reading about this years ago the EA stated well after his wife was institutionalized.

FWIW, I have told my wife that if I end up with Alzheimer's or total dementia... she's free to do what she wants. I don't want to me someone who can't so much as recognize her and be some sort of a millstone around her neck.

Brokenlifer posted 4/7/2020 19:52 PM

From personal experience it does seem that many cheaters create mental struggles in their partners lives which push them over the edge.


Yep! Cause cheating is abusive and more cheaters need to take real responsibility instead of absolving themselves of guilt. If they knew what it felt like they would want to die. Period.

Justsomelady posted 4/7/2020 19:53 PM

BP - No, he told EA partner he loved her in 1914 and married his wife in 1915. She wasn’t committed to an asylum until the mid thirties. TS Eliot Kept up the EA and extensive letters until the late 1930s. She had years of marriage his shenanigans before being institutionalized. There are quite a few interesting more recent articles, I’ve only just scratched the surface but he seems to have been a pretty crappy guy.

Zug -The secretary wasn’t an affair partner she cane along much later, but she was a sycophant which is just perfect for a Wayward to not address their issues

Updated comment for clarity Above

ETA I think a lot of this is coming to light now because he destroyed his letters with the OW and then as he has a much younger wife she held the copyright to anything his first wife had written. So her story was hidden until the widow finally passed away and the first wife’s diaries could be released. A very tormented woman and he stopped visiting her altogether. She told herself he had been kidnapped to cope w it. And then if course the original EA partner saved all of his letters and those came out recently too.

I also read later that his first wife was actually a Madhatter, as she cheated on him after they were married with Bertrand Russell, who was convinced doing so was marital therapy...strange stuff.

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 8:50 PM, April 7th (Tuesday)]

Justsomelady posted 4/7/2020 20:07 PM

Broken lifer didn’t see your post - I was responding to BP and although didn’t tag originally had an aside to zug regarding the secretary in the last line.

Definitely agree with your comments BL and survrus’ quote. I think many find it too painful to face their own abusiveness and cruelty - so they (we I should say) have to kind of ignore it and live in denial and read stuff like Liz Gilbert and embrace their “personal happiness” as the stand in for a higher power or personal value system...I certainly lapped such stuff up for a time, trying to quell the rumblings is my conscience, always searching for rationalizations - until I really looked at what kind of wife I would be, who my husband is and what he deserved in life, and what sort of mother I would be to my child if I had progressed my EA (or flirtation as much H calls it, he minimizes) to PA, and finally seeing the OMW and kids triggered my empathy somehow even more or as the final straw (along with SI). I am still a work in progress and sometimes selfish but I am so glad I found this place and learned how to do things differently.

[This message edited by Justsomelady at 8:18 PM, April 7th (Tuesday)]

thatbpguy posted 4/8/2020 10:36 AM

BP - No, he told EA partner he loved her in 1914 and married his wife in 1915. She wasn’t committed to an asylum until the mid thirties. TS Eliot Kept up the EA and extensive letters until the late 1930s. She had years of marriage his shenanigans before being institutionalized. There are quite a few interesting more recent articles, I’ve only just scratched the surface but he seems to have been a pretty crappy guy.

Really? Wow, that's crappy.

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