I was oddly moved by this heartfelt conversation from Masters of Sex (Season 3 Ep 2). When a woman cannot conceive, especially when an heir to the throne is needed, it’s a national tragedy. It’s even worse for the couple involved as the pressure is coming from all around them.
“The tubes have already been permanently damaged.”
“There is nothing more that can be done?”
“I’m so sorry.”
“Does my husband know?”
“He’s asked for you. Shall I, uh–”
“No. Please… I need a minute.”
“Of course. Take as much time as you need.”
“If I could, I would take forever. The second I leave here, everything will change. He will take another wife. And he will say, as you heard him, that it is merely a transaction, that it is a necessity.
“You don’t believe that?”
“I believe that he believes it. But that is different than it being true. My husband thinks that he can conceive a child with another woman and withhold a part of his heart because he’s saving it for me. I love him because he thinks he can.
And I love him knowing that he can’t.
Oh, we must seem so exotic to you, with our bloodlines and our harems.
These are not your problems.”
“American problems. ”
“You think people in this country don’t marry for reasons other than love?
There are marriages of convenience here. Sometimes they work. They can work.”
“But among three people, Doctor? It is an untenable number, isn’t it, three? Solid in architecture. Imagine a pyramid or a ziggurat. But in love, it is a triangle turned upside down, balancing on a single point for only a fraction of a second before it falls on its side, and the side that it falls on is the one weighted with the child. It is a bond that two people share stronger than anything. “
“Well, perhaps you imagine it in such a way because it’s something that you’ve tried so hard to make happen.”
I haven’t found, uh, parenting to be the connection that trumps all others.”
“What is, then?”
“Of course. You are a man.”
“And, uh, respect. A sense that your partner is truly your other half.”
“You have that?”
“Yes. But also children. Three of them. I asked Mrs. Johnson. So you see, it is you who cannot imagine it any different because you have it all. And I do not have enough, certainly not enough to stay.”
“So, y-you’re leaving him?”
“I have to… because I will see him loving a child that another woman gave him.
And I will know that it will never again be the same between us. If I never loved him, I could manage. But after knowing what it is to be loved so… completely by this man… I could never settle for anything less than everything.”