The movie “The Phantom Thread” starts with a woman being interviewed; “What did you give of yourself?” She answers “I gave him every part of me” I.e. She sacrificed herself to redeem him as we find out. This story depicts the greatest myth of our current social structure in terms of relationships. It is the Beauty and the Beast story. It’s the 50 shades of gray. It’s the foundation story for a large part of our culture. It is the myth of Love in the terms of sacrifice will redeem the Beloved. This is even the same story that depicts the foundation story of modern love itself. Romeo and Juliet. Through Juliet’s sacrifice she redeems Romeo and his family and ends their families feud. Romeo, as in all these other stories, is just another form of the beast. In every story the beast Betrays another woman first before the loving sacrifice of the Beauty Redeems him. In ‘The Phantom Thread’ the 19 or 20 ish year old new beauty redeems the 65 to 70’ish year old Beast man who previously shat all over his 30ish year old previous wife. Romeo dumps Rosaline before Juliet can sacrifice herself for him and Mr. Gray dumps his suicidal sex slave before Anastasia can redeem him.
Reality doesn’t function as in the Myth of redemption. In reality The Beast would just devour Beauty as one person can not redeem another. Love is not redemptive it is enabling. A person cannot change their behavior for another permanently. They can only change their behavior for themselves if they chose time and again to change their behavior. It takes conscious attention to change one’s behavior. One has to choose behavior constant and continuous over time.
Personality is defined by one’s consistent choices and behaviors over time. You can not change the personality of another human being no matter how much you love them. They have to, if they need changing, do the work themselves and it will take work, work, and more work over a very long time. The only thing known to have shown any success consistent over time in changing personality is a 12-step program. Medications have not been shown effective to change personality and certainly not love as in sacrifice. Support of a group or a village can help while a person chooses to work and work and more work in change but Support without the work is just pissing into the wind.
Unconditional love on someone who is not taking responsibility for themselves and their effect on others just maintains the status quo. It enables the beast to remain a beast.
Healthy support and healthy love for someone is conditional as it maintains that both partners needs are equally important and that the behaviors of each affect the other. If one partner takes without reinvesting the relationship can not last. It if goes on long enough the taker will bleed the enabler to the point of sacrifice as seen in the number one children’s book in America, The Giving Tree. The demise of the giving tree as sacrificed to the vampiric child is another example of how we keep telling the same myth over and over again brainwashing kids into this one-sided unhealthy and unrealistic relationship expectation.
Healthy love is conditional. Healthy love has the expectation of mutual intent, reciprocation, and reinvestment, back into the relationship and family.