Edward and Bella #1

Re: Edward and Bella

Postby Knives » Fri May 08, 2009 2:06 pm

Except it wasn't nothing; someone had just made a serious attempt to turn Bella into a Happy Meal. Yes, that attempt was the result of said person falling off the undead wagon, but it was still a serious attempt. As I said before, Bella is the distant partner; she regularly engages in denial, distancing, or self-deprecation rather than actually deal with problems, and Edward only has her cues to go on. Yes, Edward chooses to make the decision for Bella, but at that point Bella had a track record for really bad decisions, not the least of which was the all-too-recent one to meet James by herself instead of, oh, I dunno, doing something that remotely involved intelligence or self-preservation (like involving the Cullens). If I were in a relationship with someone with that kind of record (which, thankfully, I am not - my fiancee is highly intelligent and greatly enjoys the privelage of living), I'd want to make her decisions for her too.
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Re: Edward and Bella

Postby ringswraith » Fri May 08, 2009 2:10 pm

So, by admitting that you'd want to make her decisions for her too, wouldn't that be an indication that you care for that person? At the very least, for her not to make those kinds of decisions that could really hurt her?
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Re: Edward and Bella

Postby Knives » Fri May 08, 2009 2:18 pm

Yes, it would be an indication, but my argument isn't that they don't care for each other, but that they have a severe lack of emotional intimacy. You can love someone like no one has ever loved another human being before, but if you can't share your feelings with them, then your relationship will still be dysfunctional and, in all likelihood, very painful.
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Re: Edward and Bella

Postby ringswraith » Fri May 08, 2009 2:19 pm

I guess I'm a little confused, or not understanding your earlier posts, then.

Would you mind taking one more shot at explaining your point of view? :)
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Re: Edward and Bella

Postby Knives » Fri May 08, 2009 2:33 pm

Can do! And I apologize if I'm being obstuse; it happens.

Okay, let's take the following idea at face value: Edward and Bella really do love each other. The problems with their relationship do not extend from one partner not caring from the other, but rather from both partners being unwilling or incapable of recognizing problems. Let's break it down by partner:

Edward is the one trying to create emotional intimacy. He attempt to discuss his problems and concerns (such as him constantly wanting to kill her) with Bella, to watch out for her safety, and to make her happy. Unfortunately for Edward, he's never been in a romantic relationship before, and Bella doesn't actually give him a lot of help. Faced with denial from her end and an unwillingness for Bella to bring her own problems forward, Edward is left with the only one logical conclusion: distance is healthy. This problem is magnified by the fact that he can't read Bella's mind, making her the only real unknown in his life. Edward becomes the dominant partner because Bella's behavior and attitude insist on it; she's barely able to think coherently in his presence, and when left alone (such as in the James incident), she shows a high likelihood of getting her fool Why are we talking about a donkey? killed. Edward reacts to all these stressors by becoming dominant, taking charge in the relationship in order to create the illusion of intimacy and in an attempt to ensure that Bella doesn't end up killing herself.

Bella is emotionally distant. She lacks self-esteem and suffers from very poor self-image, and she deals with these problems by retreating into denial. Did you notice how she acts in school? Her constant thoughts about Edward (how she's undeserving, her fears that Edward will leave her, et cetera et cetera)? Bella doesn't want problems in her relationship because she's terrified of it ending, so she pushes them away, ignores them, or denies their existence. What was never explained to her is that all relationships have problems, and thus that her behavior is unncessesary. In the meantime, her refusal to confront and solve the problems in her life leads to trouble both in her relationship and elsewhere (such as, again, the James incident, or when she was leaping off of the cliffs at La Push). She becomes the submissive partner from her fear that Edward will leave her, never once realizing that Edward has only become dominant in response to her distance.
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Re: Edward and Bella

Postby Jazz Girl » Fri May 08, 2009 2:39 pm

Knives wrote:
Jazz Girl wrote:Your assertion that Edward's leaving in New Moon is in reaction to his lack of connection to Bella is just, I hate to say it, but wrong. In fact, I would make the argument that actually leaves because he fears the growing connection between them. He knows that he brings danger into her life. He cannot have her blood on his hands, so he makes the assumption that by removing his influence, he removes the danger in her life. What he doesn't realize is that it is already too late. They are both already too emotionally connected to each other to be apart. So, Edward's choice not to live without her can be understood. When he says she is his life, he isn't using hyperbole or exagerating or being dramatic. He is telling the absolute truth. Their lives are too intertwined to be separated. And, again, this is the place where you cannot separate the fantastical elements of the story. In our world, his choice to die would be selfish and wrong. But, in his, where eternity is a very real concept, and the love that he has for his mate is so much more visceral and integral to his survival, where his insticts and feelings are so much more intense, and where his family is a family of vampires who, even though they would grieve his loss, would also completely understand the intensity of his grief, it is a different story. Edward's choice not to live in a world where Bella does not exist makes complete sense, in that world.


Sorry it's taken me so long to get back about this; I had something all prepared, and then real life came up, and I forgot, and then I remembered, and then real life came up. I swear, if it wasn't essential to my survival I'd tell things like eating and having a place to live to go screw themselves :P

The problem I find with your reasoning - aside from the aforementioned "I don't think the supernatural elements really affect the relationship" argument, above - is that Edward's action is not indicative of a real emotional connection. Yes, Edward is afraid of Bella getting hurt, and he's afraid of the consequences of his presence in her life, but instead of talking to her about the problem, Edward reacts by distancing himself. Why? Because Bella is already distant. The two never share their problems with each other - they don't discuss them, work them out, or even fight about them. Without any real experience to call upon and without the ability to get advice from any quarter, Edward reacts to this problem the way he's been reacting - by creating distance. This is not a healthy behavior, and whether one is human, vampire, werewolf, or freakin' Starfire from Teen Titans, this is indicative of serious dysfunction.


Knives~, yes, it would be so nice if we didn't always have to function responsibly and take care of the real life concerns before indulging our grown up guilty pleasures. :D

In response to your post, I can say only this. This will have to be a place where we agree to disagree. Again, I will never be convinced that the supernatural elements of the story do not effect and intensify every issue that we see them deal with. Yes, they are all human in some way shape of form and dealing with the very human issues of love and relationships and heartbreak and healing. But, the mythological aspects of each character are so essential to their make up that I personally see no way that you can separate those parts of their personalities from their feelings, actions and reactions.

But, onto the meat of the discussion. Where you see distance, I see a typical reaction to what could be viewed as a highly overwhelming situation, and the process of growth that all relationships go through. Both Bella & Edward are in their very first actual relationship. And, it just happens to be this very overwhleming and intensely emotional relationship where there are immediate implications of forever and high amounts of threat and danger. So, both being inexperienced in relationships as they are, rather than turn to each other and work as team, as they eventually do, their initial reaction is to act individually to protect the other. Bella runs off to confront James, instructing Edward not to avenge her. Edward turns around and removes himself from her life. Yes, they react in an extreme way, but to exceedingly extreme circumstances.

Eventually, if you look at the saga as a whole, as I see events unfolding, they do learn to turn to each other, talk things out, communicate and act as partners. For example, when Bella turns to Edward and explains her reasons for needing to see Jacob, explains that she has every intention of seeing him. In turn, Edward explains his side of things, that he cannot reconcile the risk to her safety in seeing Jacob. Now, the results of that discussion were not necessarily the best; Edward disabling Bella's truck and Bella running off to LaPush and putting herself in a dangerous situation. Just because they discuss the situation doesn't necessarily mean that the outcome is the best. But, it is a learning process. The next time they have a discussion about the same situation, both are mindful of the others fears and apprehensions and the situation evolves into Bella visiting Jacob essentially whenever she wants and Edward & Jacob working together to protect Bella and Charlie.

You can then look to Bella & Edward's discssion of the events surrounding the newborn battle; what would happen and who would be where and how Bella could help. All ongoing discussion and compromise. The engagement and wedding. Both explain their points of view, why they react the way they do and why each feels the way they do. They discuss and bargain and compromise about how they will arrange their future. Beyond their initial reactions to stressful situations, there is really only one moment where I see one of them making the decision for both, and ironically it is Bella making the decision. And, that is where Renesmee is concerned (and I honestly have feelings about why this is a moot issue but I won't go into that here). But, in the end, Edward completely understands and is on board with that decision.

In summation, the relationship and how they relate to each other, grows and progresses throughout the saga. So, to look at one single reactionary event, or even several events that all happen around the same time, is not really looking at the whole story. On the face of it, either one's reactions, particularly early on, may not reflect the healthiest of behaviors. And, yes, they might be reacting the way they always have previously, because they have never had anything that was important enough to lead to a change in the way they react to situations. But, to write off all of their behaviors as unhealthy without evaluating the whole process is just looking for the wrong, rather than a allowing a full and fair assessment.
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Re: Edward and Bella

Postby diane771 » Fri May 08, 2009 3:34 pm

The problem I find with your reasoning - aside from the aforementioned "I don't think the supernatural elements really affect the relationship" argument, above - is that Edward's action is not indicative of a real emotional connection. Yes, Edward is afraid of Bella getting hurt, and he's afraid of the consequences of his presence in her life, but instead of talking to her about the problem, Edward reacts by distancing himself. Why? Because Bella is already distant. The two never share their problems with each other - they don't discuss them, work them out, or even fight about them. Without any real experience to call upon and without the ability to get advice from any quarter, Edward reacts to this problem the way he's been reacting - by creating distance. This is not a healthy behavior, and whether one is human, vampire, werewolf, or freakin' Starfire from Teen Titans, this is indicative of serious dysfunction.[/quote]

Knives~, yes, it would be so nice if we didn't always have to function responsibly and take care of the real life concerns before indulging our grown up guilty pleasures. :D

In response to your post, I can say only this. This will have to be a place where we agree to disagree. Again, I will never be convinced that the supernatural elements of the story do not effect and intensify every issue that we see them deal with. Yes, they are all human in some way shape of form and dealing with the very human issues of love and relationships and heartbreak and healing. But, the mythological aspects of each character are so essential to their make up that I personally see no way that you can separate those parts of their personalities from their feelings, actions and reactions.

But, onto the meat of the discussion. Where you see distance, I see a typical reaction to what could be viewed as a highly overwhelming situation, and the process of growth that all relationships go through. Both Bella & Edward are in their very first actual relationship. And, it just happens to be this very overwhleming and intensely emotional relationship where there are immediate implications of forever and high amounts of threat and danger. So, both being inexperienced in relationships as they are, rather than turn to each other and work as team, as they eventually do, their initial reaction is to act individually to protect the other. Bella runs off to confront James, instructing Edward not to avenge her. Edward turns around and removes himself from her life. Yes, they react in an extreme way, but to exceedingly extreme circumstances.

Eventually, if you look at the saga as a whole, as I see events unfolding, they do learn to turn to each other, talk things out, communicate and act as partners. For example, when Bella turns to Edward and explains her reasons for needing to see Jacob, explains that she has every intention of seeing him. In turn, Edward explains his side of things, that he cannot reconcile the risk to her safety in seeing Jacob. Now, the results of that discussion were not necessarily the best; Edward disabling Bella's truck and Bella running off to LaPush and putting herself in a dangerous situation. Just because they discuss the situation doesn't necessarily mean that the outcome is the best. But, it is a learning process. The next time they have a discussion about the same situation, both are mindful of the others fears and apprehensions and the situation evolves into Bella visiting Jacob essentially whenever she wants and Edward & Jacob working together to protect Bella and Charlie.

You can then look to Bella & Edward's discssion of the events surrounding the newborn battle; what would happen and who would be where and how Bella could help. All ongoing discussion and compromise. The engagement and wedding. Both explain their points of view, why they react the way they do and why each feels the way they do. They discuss and bargain and compromise about how they will arrange their future. Beyond their initial reactions to stressful situations, there is really only one moment where I see one of them making the decision for both, and ironically it is Bella making the decision. And, that is where Renesmee is concerned (and I honestly have feelings about why this is a moot issue but I won't go into that here). But, in the end, Edward completely understands and is on board with that decision.

In summation, the relationship and how they relate to each other, grows and progresses throughout the saga. So, to look at one single reactionary event, or even several events that all happen around the same time, is not really looking at the whole story. On the face of it, either one's reactions, particularly early on, may not reflect the healthiest of behaviors. And, yes, they might be reacting the way they always have previously, because they have never had anything that was important enough to lead to a change in the way they react to situations. But, to write off all of their behaviors as unhealthy without evaluating the whole process is just looking for the wrong, rather than a allowing a full and fair assessment.
[/quote]

Jazz, you nailed it on how Bella's and Edward's relationship grows. Vey well said. I really can't think of anyone who opened up completely, had issues to be dealt with, or over come obstacles in the beginning of their relationship and handled it 100% correctly. If Knives has or had a relationship like that I commend her for that, but that is not how the real world works.
Knives, the part of Edward being dominate is just not true. Her personality was low self-esteem and poor self-image is not an uncommon occurrence in any teenage girl, and especially with their first love. It did not show up when Edward came into the picture it was there already. So she was attempt suicide when jumping? Not confronting problem, at that age most girls do not think about problems they just make more. Being unsure of yourself and letting someone dominate you are two different things. Edward did not dominate Bella. Bella had choices of her own and she made them. She becomes the submissive partner from her fear that Edward will leave her, never once realizing that Edward has only become dominant in response to her distance.
Bella insecurities does not make Edward dominate over her, it just says that Bella needs to believe in herself more. Edward
needs to be seen not as domineering, but someone who loves, protects and puts Bella's needs before his own.
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Re: Edward and Bella

Postby holdingoutforjacob » Fri May 08, 2009 11:11 pm

I actually happen to agree with Knives here, although I don't agree with her thesis that they don't love each other. I think they are very much in love, they just don't know how to handle themselves, and they will learn.

Jazz Girl, I think you have a tendency to really see only what you want to see. Where you see only growth between the first and second conversations about Bella's visiting rights, I see what went down in between. Things that were absolutely unacceptable IN MY OPINION. I also feel like if they didn't have these issues, the entire unfortunate incident wouldn't have happened.

Something that Knives brought up that I thought was VERY interesting was that Edward does try to talk to Bella more about things than she does with him. He is unafraid of making her uncomfortable or angry. But Bella is unwilling to talk about the things he needs to talk about, such as his self-loathing issues and his incredible fear of losing her. If this type of dialogue were open and flowing, they would have had an easier time of communicating about the Jacob issue.

Bella wants everyone to all be happy, but she wants it for her comfort. Remember her magnet thing in Eclipse?? How Jacob was one pole and Edward the other and they would never be able to be forced together? Well what did she do to try to make them get along?

She should have told BOTH of them that they BOTH needed to play nice or she wouldn't be around EITHER of them. She needed to tell Edward he had to apologize to Jacob and Jacob that he had to apologize to Edward. They were both being horrendous little snots to each other and needed to be called to task. And she was the only one with the power to do it. But because it would have caused her to have to be uncomfortable for a little bit, or maybe take the risk of being without them until they got it together, she wouldn't do it.

Really, Edward tries. Edward tries so hard. Bella, I think, was never taught how to try.
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Re: Edward and Bella

Postby Jazz Girl » Sat May 09, 2009 12:04 am

holdingoutforjacob wrote:Something that Knives brought up that I thought was VERY interesting was that Edward does try to talk to Bella more about things than she does with him. He is unafraid of making her uncomfortable or angry. But Bella is unwilling to talk about the things he needs to talk about, such as his self-loathing issues and his incredible fear of losing her. If this type of dialogue were open and flowing, they would have had an easier time of communicating about the Jacob issue.

Bella wants everyone to all be happy, but she wants it for her comfort. Remember her magnet thing in Eclipse?? How Jacob was one pole and Edward the other and they would never be able to be forced together? Well what did she do to try to make them get along?

She should have told BOTH of them that they BOTH needed to play nice or she wouldn't be around EITHER of them. She needed to tell Edward he had to apologize to Jacob and Jacob that he had to apologize to Edward. They were both being horrendous little snots to each other and needed to be called to task. And she was the only one with the power to do it. But because it would have caused her to have to be uncomfortable for a little bit, or maybe take the risk of being without them until they got it together, she wouldn't do it.

Really, Edward tries. Edward tries so hard. Bella, I think, was never taught how to try.


HoldingOutForJacob~ I try to see all sides of an argument rather than looking just for the negative. If that is seeing what I want to see, than so be it. As I read your post then, you are unhappy with Bella because she doesn't open up and discuss the issues you think she should, but instead focuses on what is most important to her. As I pointed out, there are plenty of examples from New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn where Bella opens discussion with Edward, tells him exactly what she wants, compromises with him, listens to his side of the situation, puts her foot down with him, and even demands and takes the dominant role in the relationship from him. As I said, their relationship is a progression. When it first starts out, there is a pretty big power differential, completely given by Bella, as she tries to find her footing in the mythical world. But, as she does, the power balance starts to shift until, by the end of Breaking Dawn, it's an even scale.

In those times where Bella refused to push an issue, I never saw it as her not wanting to be unhappy, but more as her not wanting others to be unhappy. Her confrontations with Jacob are a perfect example. Each time she realizes that Jake isn't seeing the boundary, or that she knows she's not being clear enough about it, she acknowledges that she needs to be more clear, more forceful about it, for both their sakes. But, in the end, she can't hurt him that way. Yes, in New Moon, she acknowledges that she doesn't want to endure the pain of losing another person that close to her. But, ultimately her motivation wherever Jake is concerned is sparing him pain. I greatly admire her for that, in fact. It drives me nuts because of the havoc it wreaks. But, I admire her for it. And, also, Bella is very good at picking her battles. She has a pretty good understanding of her own heart and mind, and in that, what issues she is willing to fight for and which ones just aren't worth the effort to her.

No, I am not saying at all that reconciling Edward and Jacob and making them both act like grown ups wasn't important to her. But, in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't as important as, say, having Edward transform her, or having a real wedding night with her husband. Bella chooses her battles, fighting only for what is most important to her. In the end, that is always going to be Edward.
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Re: Edward and Bella

Postby ringswraith » Sat May 09, 2009 12:18 am

holdingoutforjacob: Just a comment- you accuse Jazz Girl of seeing only what she wants to see, and I could say the same of you. But I haven't up until this point, because frankly it's quite rude. We're not here to throw daggers at each other, right?

Now, for the rest of your post.

Re: Bella not talking to Edward about his issues, such as his self-loathing and his fear of losing her:
TW paperback, p. 190: Bella and Edward in the car, driving home from Port Angeles, when Edward confirms that he is a vampire: "I told you, it doesn't matter what you are. It's too late."

Same, p. 472, in the hospital after the ballet studio: E: "...that I was the one putting you in danger... that I'm the reason that you're here." B: "...The reason I'm here- alive."

NM paperback, pp. 44-45: Bella argues with Edward over the incident at the party, telling him she'd rather "die than be with Mike Newton" and to not be "ridiculous."

Same, p. 500 on: Bella and Edward talking in the aftermath of Italy, where he tries to convince her that he had to lie to leave her, that he could not live without her, and asked if she felt the same way: "Of course I love you- and there's nothing you can do about it!"

So... Yes. They do talk about it. Maybe not as often (or as early) as they should have, but it did happen.

Re: Bella telling Edward and Jacob to play nice:
She did. Switzerland, remember? Werewolf, vampire, and Virgo. She's repeatedly told Edward that Jacob is a friend and safe, and likewise she's repeatedly told Jacob that she is truly in love with Edward and he should accept that. Now if I misunderstood your post, and you meant for Bella to actually threaten them by saying "...or I won't be around either of you," I can't see that happening in the context of the story. Bella just got Edward back- she wouldn't risk saying such a thing to him because it would hurt her more than it would hurt him. And telling that to Jacob would only make his distance worse- he already didn't answer her calls, it wasn't as if she was seeing him in the beginning.

To turn your last statement around- Bella tries, too. In her own way. She's only human, dealing with forces well beyond her power.
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