Many of us can probably relate to having been in a relationship and experienced a breakup or two. No relationship is the same as the next, some work and some don’t. Like in “Never Marry a Mexican” by Sandra Cisneros were introduced to a Mexican lady named Cleomencia. Cleomencia is involved in a causal relationship with a white married man named Drew. When the relationship doesn’t end how she may have wanted, were given a vision that Cleomencia is unbothered by the breakup from this married man, but acts in a way that proves to be untrue. She comes from a past of disappointment from people in her life, and having trust issues. Not realizing when our emotions get involved plus past experiences this can affect our views and actions causing us to act in ways we generally would not.
Seeing how Cleomencia doesn’t trust men, and says “not a man exists who hasn’t disappointed me, whom I could trust to love the way I’ve loved (Cisneros 69). Meaning she has given her all in relationships to only have her heart stepped on. Were lead to believe she has no true emotions attached to Drew, though years were spent being with him. Understand, Cleomencia comes from a background where her own mother taught her to never marry a Mexican even though she married a Mexican. To marry a Mexican in her opinion is not the best option; you want to marry higher up. Cleomencia also learned at a young age how not to trust from her mother. Right after Cleomencia father passed away her mom remarried a white guy who had two sons of his own, and it’s apparent the mother had already been involved with this man. Not only did the mother remarry right away she then took on the role as mom and wife to her new family, pushing Cleomencia and her sister Ximena to the side. This left both of the women feeling abandoned and having trust issues. Though Ximena was able to forgive her mother Cleomencia never quite was and said “like if I never had a mother. And I’m not ashamed to say it either” (Cisneros 73). This shows us where her feelings lied and she was harboring hurt feelings already from her own mom, not knowing how to express them.
The story never really shows Cleomencia being an open expressive person at all, except when she explains her own self as vindictive, cruel, and capable of anything (Cisneros 68). In the 1969 Boulby attachment theory it discusses three types of attachments we learn from childhood development and two of them relate strongly to Cleomencia situations. One of these being avoidant attachment which results from maternal rejection leading to an adult who attempts to be self- sufficient, avoids intimacy as a defense for feelings or vulnerability and requires little social support (rodecki-bush, 1993). The second attachment is anxious-ambivalent attachment- when primary caregiver can help in some situations but not in similar ones generating an inconsistent mode; leading to adult insecurity, separation anxiety, fears of abandonments, and difficulty establishing safe and trusting relationships- preoccupied, fearfully avoidant and dismissing attachment styles might represent jealousy since all are related to obsession, interpersonal sensitivity, fear of loss and low self- esteem(Marazziti et’al ). Cleomencia clearly felt abandoned and rejected from her mom, fighting to keep her own independence only worrying about herself and sister. The reasons stated in the attachment theory appear to be true. Maybe this is why Cleomencia chooses married men because she deals with insecurity, separation anxiety, fears of abandonment, and not being in a committed relationship is safer. People want to guard their hearts especially when they have already been exposed to pain.
But, this worked for Cleomencia and in her mind when she was ready to be with Drew he would be hers but this doesn’t happen. One day Cleomencia runs into Drew with his wife for the first time, and he introduces Cleomencia to his wife so casually as if he had been doing no wrong all these years. Literally, acting like it was nothing wrong with the whole thing. Well this didn’t sit well with Cleomencia and in that moment she was ashamed and in my opinion was jealous because Drew’s wife was so pretty and well put together. This is when they both knew the relationship was over for them. As Cleomencia leaves from meeting the wife thinking to herself “ A good sport. A young girl like me. Hadn’t I understood….responsibilities. Besides, he could never marry me. You did’t think…? Never marry a Mexican” (Cisneros 80). For someone who really didn’t exhibit many feelings, in this part of the story we see for ourselves the result of being taught never to marry a Mexican. Cleomencia didn’t know her own worth and didn’t believe she deserved this white man because she was Mexican and like her mom told her they were no good. Knowing the relationship was already over Drew and Cleomencia spend one last night together. On this last night together Cleomencia does the oddest thing, or was it? Cleomencia waits for Drew to be occupied and goes around his home placing gummy bears in random places only his wife would find. Placing gummy bears in her nail polishes, on top of her lipsticks putting the caps back on destroying them, leaving them inside a wooden babushka doll, and on the wife’s diaphragm. Cleomencia was starting to show her emotions. She wanted to make her presence known in the household. Almost as if taunting the wife letting her know she had something that was hers.
The events don’t stop there though. After the breakup Cleomencia shows how vindictive she can be and starts dating a student who happens to be Drew’s son. Most people wouldn’t date their ex’s son but being hurt will cause you to do unthinkable things sometimes. Cleomencia wanted to have some control over something and knew she was able to manipulate Drew’s son with sex and false expressions. There were no true emotions for the son just pleasure of knowing it was Drew’s son. Maybe for her she felt Drew controlled there past situation and that wouldn’t happen again.
In the end Cleomencia was just trying to deal with her emotions and clearly didn’t understand what she was feeling. She, like many women have insecurities and things within ourselves that need to be worked on. Many people don’t recognize issues from child hood that basically shapes who we become. Cleomencia didn’t have the best example in her mom to show her how to trust, love, and open herself to be vulnerable. Cleomencia may have been wrong for sleeping with a married man and loving one but, how can you do better if you don’t know better.
Cisneros, Sandra Woman Hollering Creek and other Stories” Never Marry a Mexican,” pp.68-83
Costa, Andrea Lorenada, “ Pathological jealousy; Romantic Relationship characteristics, emotional and personality aspects, and social adjustment.” Journal of Affective disorders 174(2015), pp. 38-46