Thomas Ramey Watson

It’s De-Lovely and marriage

I recently watched the film De-Lovely, a 2004 musical biopic of Cole Porter, from his first meeting with Linda Lee Thomas until his death. The Cole Porter songs throughout are a delight in themselves, and, because of the story, the ambiguity of many of the lyrics becomes clearer.

What I found most fascinating, from a counseling/coaching angle, is the lifelong love story between Thomas and Porter. By believing in him and accepting him for what he was, including his need to have sexual relations with males, she gave him himself and made him believe in himself and his talent. Creative people are a special breed with a deep need to explore various realms to foster nourish creativity. And Porter had heaps of that.

Because they had no secrets, Porter’s love for Thomas deepened and grew over time. Evidently her love for him was without strings and enduring from the start. He found that hard to believe, but she constantly proved it. (Of course she didn’t like everything he did and worried about his getting into a big scandal that would hurt both of them. But they weathered the storms and love lasted till the end.)

The importance of being open—and being able to have no secrets—with your spouse is essential. Not everyone can do that, and certainly depending upon the people involved, some aspects of character would rule out even trying. But people vary. What should destroy some relationships strengthens and deepens others and gives them themselves in much more profound ways that most might imagine.

While some people were not terribly enthusiastic about the film, Roger Ebert, I believe, grasped its significance. Read his review.

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