Was there any way Natalie could justify her feelings for a married man?

Use this forum to discuss the April 2018 Book of the Month, "Ironbark Hill" by Jennie Linnane
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Jonida
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Re: Was there any way Natalie could justify her feelings for a married man?

Post by Jonida » 04 May 2018, 10:46

her actions are justified till to a point, yet she is a teenage, searcing for comfort, but find it at the wrong person...

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Post by Samantha333 » 05 May 2018, 11:51

I believe a better question is could a married man justify his own part in probing and justifying his own part in her developing feelings for him? After all, he is the one who is committed. Of course it would be nice if Natalie took initiative not to engage with a married man, however she is not breaking any lifelong vows/commitments unlike he.

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Post by Vg345 » 09 May 2018, 09:43

Nope.

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Post by josephineroses » 09 May 2018, 13:47

For me, Nathalie's intention to steal a married man is just part of her adolescence stage where others would find it unethical, weird and wrongful. But then, we cannot really blame her especially at young age she really needs guidance which she never had. She's still a minor anyway.
So it'll be unjustifiably wrong if the man who is on right age, right mindset and married would take advantage of her. That will be really a NO NO!

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Post by DrHyde_not_Jekyll » 10 May 2018, 04:31

Justify her feelings? Sure. We've all had "feelings" for people we should — married or otherwise.

Justify her actions? Now, that's a whole different question.

When you're 16, you don't have the necessary self control. I can't remember who I was at 16. I remember things from when I was 16, but I don't remember who I was. Would I have been able to resist, were I in Natalie's situation? I'd like to think so, but I just don't know. At 16, I was an outcast. I had been made fun of my whole life. My best friend was the "hot" one and stole all of the guys that I like — as if I'd had a chance anyway. At 18 I lost my virginity to an older man (after a recently ended 3 year relationship where we promised to save ourselves for marriage), one whom all the "cool girls" thought was "hot." Though I didn't tell anyone, it was my smug revenge. Had he been married then, would my actions have been any different? I don't know. I like to think that's true, but I had my own internal struggles that I "addressed" with my actions — and, like Natalie, there were consequences to my actions.

As the older, and married, party, it was Mr. Glover's responsibility to exercise self control and not put Natalie in a situation that she was practically doomed from the start to be unable to avoid. He manipulated her emotionally. He took advantage. Who knows? Maybe she even thought her job was at risk if she didn't comply, and she needed that money to help her mother, of whom she was very protective.

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Post by Kemunto lucy » 11 May 2018, 06:18

There is no way Natalie's actions could be justified. What is wrong is wrong. You don't need role models to teach you good from evil, it comes from within.

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Post by LeaNyathi » 11 May 2018, 06:42

I believe that people DO have control over their feeling and desires. It is when we give in to feelings that they start taking control. Hurt people can only hurt other people so of course it is to be expected that she would do something like this, but it certainly does not justify it in any way.

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Post by joshfee77 » 12 May 2018, 08:42

I believe it would have been particularly difficult for Natalie, as such a young woman, to deny her feelings for a married man. Unlike those of us who are older (wiser? :)), the intense emotions of the young often override reason, especially during adolescence. It would be almost impossible to make an "adult" (head over heart) decision as a teenager.

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Post by haleygerstenberg » 13 May 2018, 22:47

Teenagers in general aren't known for having fully developed impulse control, especially when it comes to the hormonally-charged romance aspects of life, and for someone coming from a dysfunctional background I'd think that would be exacerbated because healthy relationships and social support systems can make it easier to make moral decisions or at least get good feedback about the decisions you're making.

I have way more problem with a married adult man allowing himself to be "stolen" if someone has to carry the larger part of the blame.

Natalie still bears responsibility for her actions, of course. But I wouldn't say there's ever so little nuance in a situation like that, especially involving a minor, to pin all the fault on her.

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Post by perejay » 16 May 2018, 06:52

There is no justification for having an affair with a married in the case of Natalie she sees the opposite of what her mother has with her stepfather in the family of the Glover's. Hoping she could get that emotional comfort with Mr Glover that she never got from home. Like I said it is not justifiable, what is bad is bad.

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Post by dtb » 16 May 2018, 08:52

N_R wrote:
06 Apr 2018, 00:08
It is a very tricky subject and some people have some very fixed views on this. However, I think that love is really a collection of physical chemical reactions we have to someone and it fades over time (approx 2 yars), this is why a lot of relationships break up around this time. Real love is finding things to love about the person and continue to do so, which is why relationships undergo changes and phases. I think that we do need to think about what our intentions are and why we are doing things as hurting other people is not a good way to live or value.
I agree. It's chemistry. It is also complicated and evolving as you say. Without adding respect, loyalty and kindness to the mix, love is not likely to stay in a relationship even if the people do.

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Post by Nena_Morena » 19 May 2018, 01:09

It's normal to have lust at the age of 16, so I can understand her desire, but at the same time, she was old enough to understand what was going on. Mrs. Grover was good to her, and she taught her how to paint, but Natalie betrayed her, and she knew it. What makes it worse is that she made the conscious decision to continue the affair for 30 years and didn't care about hurting Mrs. Grover.

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Post by Roggyrus » 21 May 2018, 22:20

This question touches on the fundamental feeling of a human being -- to love and be loved. But could anyone direct the heart to tread in a particular direction? History is replete with instances of love dominating all else. Kings, paupers, scholars or clowns, all had vowed where love dictates. In true love, there is no justification required. But when love or the simulacrum of love is emanated by someone by design due to some ulterior motive, then that is not loving but torture. Leave it all to the pheromones.

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Post by Crysk2013 » 22 May 2018, 09:51

Given her upbringing and lack of good examples in her life, it's understandable that Natalie would fall for a married man because, in her eyes, he'd be "safe". He'd represent the stability and security she'd been lacking up to that point. So yes, her feelings are absolutely justifiable. However, ACTING upon your feelings is something we can all control, and knowingly pursuing a relationship with someone who's already in one is never justifiable. Even at the tender age of sixteen, we understand the idea of basic boundaries and how they (should) apply to relationships. Natalie was entitled to her feelings, but if she'd chosen NOT to act on them, they probably would've faded away. She knew she crossed a line (as did the husband) and kept going. At some point, you have to take accountability for your actions, no matter what your background.

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Post by Sefiros2211 » 22 May 2018, 13:58

Any way you slice it, she's still sixteen. She's inexperienced, and because she had no standard to compare an average teenager's development and exposure to romantic encounters, has only the condition of her rampaging hormones telling her the definition of a relationship. Glover, in effect, seduced an underage girl. It's wrong. That's the end of it.

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