A very sad supposition that we could make is that he will punish her for her choice. This may not be a rational and voluntary choice on his behalf, but only an instinctual, subconscious one. However the case, the situation does not change and the denouement of the story remains the same. She achieves success outside of the context which seems to have determined her value and her identity entirely (wife of & #8230; and mother of…). By doing this she demonstrates her independence, the trust in her own forces, etc. however, her fact is also perceived as causing a shift in the dynamics referring to the power relation within a couple. In other words she is perceived as becoming stronger than her partner. The consequence is that the partner will want to reacquire his previous status and punish her for her unexpectedly brave behaviour. In this manner what he hopes to do is to achieve a strong dominance upon her.
This is perhaps an exaggerated manner to look at things and some might accuse us of adopting a feministic view which defends women in an unbalanced manner. Facts speak for themselves and the break up of a family is painful for both partners. Can she be blamed for the breakup? Yes and no.
She can not be blamed for the break up because she did nothing wrong in accepting a work opportunity which shows only once in a life time. Being away from her family was of course painful. She was aware of the risks and one can not say that she did not do everything in her power in order to keep her family from breaking apart. It is also safe to say that it was her husband's moral duty to support her and her choice.
She can be blamed for the breaking up because it is an universally accepted fact the one that distances hurt relationships. We can be idealistic and think that in our case this will not happen, but unfortunately statistics is very powerful and rarely have couples succeeded in remaining together once one of the partners had to leave the other for work or other reasons. Tanya on the other hand had been married for a long time, she had three adolescent children and she was still in love with her partner. She had all the reasons to believe that, under the circumstances in which she had been offered a one life time opportunity to do something grandiose for herself, her partner would do nothing else but support her.
Ignoring all the male-female dynamics which are installed in the contemporary society it is safe to say that in any type of relationship, beyond being men and women we are all people, individuals with strengths and weaknesses. Let us analyze the story from this perspective. We have two partners who contribute equally to their relationship. Consequently they are both happy. All of a sudden one decides to contribute less to the relationship and more the their own development. The other partner decides to find a more suitable companion and the relationship ends.
These are the facts. But implications such as the emotional and moral ones are also to be taken into consideration. It is true that her departure risked hurting the family. It is nevertheless just as true that the partner ought to have supported her. Both of them were making a sacrifice.
The sad truth is that she ought to have sacrificed herself not taking the job in L.A. In order to avoid risking the break up of her family. But another sad truth is that if a relationship can be destroyed when encountering an obstacle like this, it is most likely that it will end sooner or later. A third truth which is just as sad refers to the fact that men and women are not equal. Women do have a harder time at getting the same things as men because men are in a dominant position in society and they will do everything in their power to maintain it. Facts (and the book under this discussion also) demonstrate how difficult it is to be a good mother and a successful career woman at the same time. It is often impossible to be both. And it is not the same situation with men. They can have successful careers and be good fathers as well. how is this possible then? Is it that they are actually stronger and more resourceful than women? Or is it that they women are given more responsibility within the family? The latter answer is most likely to be the suitable one.
Some might argue that the existence of the book is only a weak support for the fans of the feminist point-of-view. I believe that the existence of the book is a mere reflection of factual reality. The lack of equality between sexes will lead to conflict between them. yes Tanya Harris made a choice which led her to losing her family. But it is important to remember that her husband lost his family as well. In addition, one must also keep in mind the fact that she became very successfully from a professional point-of-view and that she started to lead a type of life which was imply different from the one she had before. All it can be stated that while males generally tend to impose their dominance upon women and cause a lot of emotional damage in the process, women can be successful on their own personal terms.
Eagly, a.H. Sex differences in social behaviour: a social role interpretation. Psychology Press, 1987
Bungalow 2 by Danielle Steel, Review by Publishers Weekly, retrieved February 23, 2010 from http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Bungalow-2/Danielle-Steel/e/9780385338318
Lindsey, L.L. Gender roles: a sociological perspective (5th edition). Prentice Hall
Valenzuela, Anna, Raghubir, P. Male -- Female dynamics in groups: a filed study of the weakest link, published in Sage Journals, Small Group research. 2010.