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Janie's advice in Janie Steps In
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Author:  Joyce [ 01 Sep 2016, 11:19 ]
Post subject:  Janie's advice in Janie Steps In

In Janie Steps In, Allegra breaks her engagement because her fiancee looks at other women and apparently speaks admiringly of them.

She goes to Janie for help who tells her that it's OK for men to look because, at the end of the day, 'it's me that he chose'. We are supposed to think that Allegra is overreacting in her jealousy and Janie's outlook is much more sane. For a beautiful girl, she's very insecure!

Of course, EBD is writing a children's book so she's not going to write that Allegra's worried the guy will cheat on her. But it is implied, right?

But would we offer the same advice today if a friend was worried about her partner doing the same thing? Or would we suggest she go through his phone?

Cheers,
Joyce

Author:  claire [ 01 Sep 2016, 17:38 ]
Post subject:  Re: Janie's advice in Janie Steps In

Nothing wrong with looking as long as you don't do anything about it - doesn't even sound like he's flirting with women just he notices if someone is pretty or not.

If I were giving Allegra the advice I'd be saying the same thing, and also pointing out that it's ok for her to thinking someone else is attractive as well

I'd finish the advice with though 'if you trust him, then you have to trust him but if you don't trust him, then end it now'

Author:  Joyce [ 02 Sep 2016, 06:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: Janie's advice in Janie Steps In

I think what rankles is that it is Allegra who is seen as being all in the wrong.

There is no thought of take the guy aside and say "yes, she's overreacting, but you should also be a bit more sensitive to her feelings and stop saying XXX is so pretty."

In other words, only Allegra needs to change her behaviour, but not the guy.

Cheers,
Joyce

Author:  claire [ 02 Sep 2016, 18:47 ]
Post subject:  Re: Janie's advice in Janie Steps In

but he's not the one asking for advice (and isn't particularly friends with Janie is he?)

Had he been asking the advice may have been different, because you can only change your own behaviour and reactions

Author:  abbeybufo [ 02 Sep 2016, 19:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: Janie's advice in Janie Steps In

So often I want to tell the person asking for advice - TALK to the person you're asking about - don't ask anyone else!!!

But then the plots of a large number of books and plays would drop away into nothing if people would only talk to each other!!

Author:  Matthew [ 03 Sep 2016, 00:58 ]
Post subject:  Re: Janie's advice in Janie Steps In

I'm with abbeybufo on this one. The best way to deal with this situation, no, any situation in a relationship is communication. Tell them how you feel, tell them how their behaviour makes you feel. The only chance any relationship has to work things out between yourselves. And if it you can't work it out then you break up and move on.

What I will say is that in a situation like this then no blame can lie with Allegra. If her fiance acting the way he does makes her feel uncomfortable, makes her feel insecure then that's what it does. Not all people in a relationship are comfortable with their partner giving other people that sort of attention. Especially as it's very clear that it's damaging her self esteem. That kind of relationship is harmful. If your partner's behaviour is affecting you in that way and they wont change then get out as soon as you can. All that lies ahead is misery. Of course, if he's willing to change and does change, even gradually, then the relationship does have a future and might end up working. Still might fail but at least it has a chance and, if you really do love your partner, is worth working on to make it work.

Author:  Joyce [ 03 Sep 2016, 02:39 ]
Post subject:  Re: Janie's advice in Janie Steps In

[quote]but he's not the one asking for advice (and isn't particularly friends with Janie is he?)[/quote]

But nor does Janie suggest, as many people have here, that Allegra just TALK to the guy about how she feels. It's all "you need to change your perspective" etc.

Basically I guess what bothers me is EBD's perspective is always that the guy is right no matter what they are doing.

Cheers,
Joyce

Author:  Noreen [ 03 Sep 2016, 08:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: Janie's advice in Janie Steps In

Joyce wrote:
Basically I guess what bothers me is EBD's perspective is always that the guy is right no matter what they are doing.
I'm not sure that it's so much that the guy is always right as that jealousy is a poisonous and misery-inducing emotion that's absolutely to be avoided. She implies much the same sorts of things about the friendship between Joey and Simone, where Simone is made miserable and Joey irritated by Simone's possessiveness in the early CS books.

I don't think we hear quite so much about jealousy these days, but I don't doubt it's still there. Perhaps this is another place where we have to remember that EMBD had a Victorian/ Edwardian upbringing, and some of the emphases, notably how much freedom you give your emotions, were very different...

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