Though marriages are decreasing and divorces are slightly increasing, many are still married today and with marriage comes many troubles and complications. The short story Eyes of Zapata by Sandra Cisneros shines the problem still relevant to today’s society. Loneliness and self destruction correlate with each other and these two in a romantic relationship is not only common but very hurtful to many. There are scenes in the story that go from the main character analyzing her husband sleeping, to her knowing he is cheating on her, yet still speaking of memories with him so fondly. Is this a perfect wife or is this a lonely woman self harming herself in an emotional somber concealed manner?
One definition of loneliness that is given by dictionary.com is isolation, but how many have heard the saying going something like, “lonely in a crowded room”? Taken from Guy Winch’s article Together but Still Lonely “62.5% of people who reported being lonely were married and living with their partner” (“Together but Still Lonely”). This means that having someone who you see, eat, sleep, and talk with everyday does not necessary mean you have someone. It is a emotion/feeling so it comes from within. It means not being comfortable being by themselves and loving oneself enough to be fulfilled by themselves. It is lacking self love and the opposite of self love is self neglect or self destruction. In Eyes of Zapata there’s a scene where Ines the main character and narrator explains in detail how she doesn’t sleep when her husband is home. What she does instead is just lays next to him and takes in his scent, analysis him, and is just amazed by him. She has her baby in the other room, she has her house which even though he helped with she ultimately made it hers, the only thing mentioned which
seems to give her is golden earrings and random gifts which even those were from the past (Cisneros 85-86). They don’t live the perfect life but she has everything necessary to be happy but she is not because there is no self love to encourage herself to leave him and no communication to keep the relationship healthy (Cisneros 99). There is no love in him towards her or in her towards herself. There’s a Huffington Post called Poor Communication Is The #1 Reason Couples Split Up: Survey. According to this, 65 percent were from the lack of communication (“Poor Communication Is the # 1 Reason…”). Clearly without communication it is like living with a ghost, which makes sense why she would feel lonely if she put all her time and effort in only him and not in friends of her own or even interest or passions.
Apart from loneliness come other serious hurtful complications that come with marriage. Sacrifices are often made for a loved one. Does this mean giving up one’s child, fathers respect or even happiness in remembering and not moving past memories are reasonable sacrifices or just simply self neglect? Ines lets Miliano keep their male and first child. She does it in a selfish manner admitting it was mostly so a small part of her stays with him. (Cisneros 105). The son later in Ines’s own words “brought grief and shame” to his father so it is ironic how it turned out (Cisneros 111-112). Ines is called a “perra” by her father (Cisneros 89) and loses respect from her father but it is okay because she goes to Milano and though it is not evident that he says similar comments to her he respects her less than her father did by his way of physically and emotionally displaying it. Miliano is the general and so when times are tough she hears that Miliano is sleeping around and has many women or “pastimes” (Cisneros 100) in Villa de Ayala and other places. He even has children with other women. After this it would without a doubt make since to leave, but she doesn’t. She even dreams of going to one of his other woman’s house and witnessing how he is sleeping the same way with her as he did with Ines (Cisneros 98). This is evidently self destruction. Most importantly comes the impactful scene of her describing her happiest memory which was coming to live with him and his happiest memory is the watermelon harvest that produced lots of money (Cisneros 95). She cares more about the memories of a man who doesn’t give her attention than she does about her own daughter and son. She even states in the story “And I took to eating black things-…blackest things to make me hard and strong”(Cisneros 106). People often change and become so dark and lonely yet deny stating their problems since it seems weak and their goal is to become strong. There are some sacrifices that often have to be made for a loved one but that does not mean forgetting oneself completely.
There is a stigma of being and doing things alone which helps produce the loneliness feeling. In the same book Woman Hollering Creek there is another short story called Bien Pretty. In this story the narrator and main character Lupe has gone through a lot. She fell in love with a man who ended up leaving her and she started watching telenovelas which is all about drama and typically brainwashes people into believing you need a man to be happy (Cisneros 161). The most important scene is in the end when she is a newer self. She has found herself after being alone and though she is alone she is not lonely. She states “Everywhere I go, it’s me and me” (Cisneros 163). She is by herself but she has herself so it’s okay. Ines was by herself but she thought she always had Miliano even if only in her memories and she didn’t focus on herself.
In conclusion, it is clear that Ines seems like the perfect wife but in actuality it is just harmful. Most Americans get married because of love and expect to marry someone loyal and to stay loyal to someone but first one has to be comfortable being by themselves and loving themselves. The reason is, if they don’t then they start loving someone else more and often neglect their own health and emotional state for their spouses. Instead of being like Ines get motivated and become like Lupe.
Website Title: The Huffington Post
Article Title: Poor Communication Is The #1 Reason Couples Split Up: Survey
Electronically Published: November 20, 2013
Date Accessed: April 11, 2017
Author: Brittany Wong
Website Title: Psychology Today
Article Title: Together but Still Lonely
Date Accessed: April 11, 2017
Authors: Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D., Peg Streep, Matt James Ph.D., Susan Newman Ph.D.
Title: Woman hollering creek and other stories
Published: Vintage Books New York 1992
Author: Sandra Cisneros