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Ian And Larissa - Disturbing Or Uplifting?


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There is a story that went viral among Christians about a year ago - that is today going viral through British tabloid press.

 

 

This is the story of Ian and Larissa.

 

 

In short: Ian and Larissa were dating for ten months and were contemplating marriage.  Ian was then in a serious car accident.  He became seriously brain damaged, and still requires 24 hour care.  Larissa became a primary carer.  Four years after the accident Larissa and Ian got married.  (Larissa had to get the permission of a judge.)

 

 

This has to be seen to be believed.

 

I searched around to see if this is a hoax, but it seems to be legit.

 

http://metro.co.uk/2013/10/30/a-love-story-against-all-odds-couple-get-married-despite-grooms-horrific-brain-injury-4166962/

 

Ian-and-Larissa.jpg

 

Larissa waxes lyrical about her Christian faith and how she stayed with Ian because she loved him.  But it seems to me to be clear that Ian is seriously mentally impaired.  It seems not unreasonable to suggest that the Ian that used to exist does not exist any more, such is the extent of the brain damage.  I'll grant that I don't know all the facts, but he certainly does not seem to be capable of complex communication.

 

But, frankly, I wonder if she is mentally sound herself.  Ignorant though I am in such matters.  Her behaviour seems not normal.  Beyond the usual psychosis of Christianity.

 

She must sincerely care for him.  But...

 

They seem more like a mother and disabled child than wife and husband.

 

There is something deeply unsettling about this situation.

 

I would like to make one thing very clear.  This is different from the situation in which a husband and wife, or an unmarried couple, have been together for a long time, and then one has a tragic accident and requires the permanent care of the other.  I would sympathise with the wife/ husband for staying in that relationship.  Albeit, the relationship would be fundamentally altered.

 

But she had been dating this young man for ten months; then he was injured; then four years later she married him.

 

Strange thing is that all the Christian media I read just bang on about how much of a godly marriage this is.  What hogwash!  This is not a marriage by any usual measure of the term.

 

Now that the story is breaking more widely, I am curious what the wider response will be.  I expect divided.

 

Have a read of the article, watch the Youtube video... and sound off below!  Really want to hear some views on this.

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Seems like shackling yourself to a life of unhappiness. It may seem like some honorable thing to do in the short term and Christianity has a perverted sense of how long suffering is something noble. Who would want to turn on the fake persona of wedded bliss with that everyday? She probably has a distorted sense of obligation due to Christianity.

 

Then again maybe he has a wickedly big penis :-)

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I would like to make one thing very clear. This is different from the situation in which a husband and wife, or an unmarried couple, have been together for a long time, and then one has a tragic accident and requires the permanent care of the other. I would sympathise with the wife/ husband for staying in that relationship. Albeit, the relationship would be fundamentally altered.

 

But she had been dating this young man for ten months; then he was injured; then four years later she married him.

Um . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I dunno. I really don't.

 

Generally I'm big on letting people decide for themselves what's going to make them happy and then do it. I think as long as what you're doing makes you happy and you're not interfering with anyone else's life, you shouldn't be called disturbed because there isn't a problem.

 

How long will she be happy? That's the real question. Because this could really blow up on her later if she loses her maternal instinct for him.

 

And maybe it's not rational, but there are other possible causes for that irrationality. For one, the trauma of losing him the way she did is made easier by still having what's left of him.

 

I disagree that being married already would hhave made it more sensible. The story kind of speaks against marriage in a way ... it's just a meaningless ceremony. She became this devoted to him without needing some overpriced party and their names on a piece of paper.

 

Is ten months enough to legitimately seal that bond? That's what the movies would have you think, but I don't know. We can run all kinds of speculation on what's making her do this, but we don't know her.

 

As for the Christian reaction on Facebook, probably most of them haven't considered the ramifications, and of course they don't have to, so it just makes them feel warm to praise this sort of thing as highly moral. Sadly some of it is probably an attack on marriages they don't like as much. Whatever.

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I've seen the story first of all I can see they have a love for each other but I don't think marriage is appropriate in this case.  The man isn't mentally "there" anymore, can't even give any real consent for marriage.  It's kind of like marrying a five year old.  This is the kind of thing the Christian world stupidly applauds based on emotionalism rather than considering what really would have been best for both of these people.  And I wonder if the applause and attention wasn't there, would this woman still choose the marriage? 

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I didn't read the full story (did it explain how they got around the consent issue?)

 

Ten months is long enough for them to have discussed marriage. For what it's worth.

 

I agree that "marriage" in its usual concept isn't what this is. But marrying a five year old would be taking advantage of him; I don't see that going on here.

 

And again, if she's happy ...

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Women also marry prison inmates. Who knows what they're thinking. As Sheldon Cooper said, "Bitches be crazy."

 

Please, no hate mail from the bitches.

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This is the kind of thing the Christian world stupidly applauds based on emotionalism rather than considering what really would have been best for both of these people.  

 

 

 

Not just the Christian world.

 

Go to the Daily Mail article for this, look at the comment section and you can see the gushing stupidity loud and clear.  Go to unpopular comments when people say "Hmm, gee, I'm worried for her" and see the fire tongued responses - one person got called a "waste of skin", I shit you not.

 

But yes.  Don't go to the Daily Mail comments section if you want to maintain your faith in humanity.

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I didn't read the full story (did it explain how they got around the consent issue?)

 

Ten months is long enough for them to have discussed marriage. For what it's worth.

 

I agree that "marriage" in its usual concept isn't what this is. But marrying a five year old would be taking advantage of him; I don't see that going on here.

 

And again, if she's happy ...

 

But is she happy?

 

After you get over the clear facade of the video that is quite obviously promoting a book, do you think she can really be happy?  Will she be in the future?  When she misses out on all the normal life experiences?

 

This is the problem with Chrisitanity - exemplified by the title of the book she's promoting, Momentary Marriage - they think that this life is just a place to wipe your feet before the real life begins, and so they throw away the one life they've got.

 

Anyway.  She's definitely going to bang someone else.

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Its strange, but I have seen something like this myself, although they were not spouses. Some people seem to have a need to be caretakers to an extent that doesn't seem normal. I don't know how much religion plays into this, but the people I have seen were Christians too.

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It does make me examine myself.  Would I be selfish for wanting to find a new partner if my wife or girlfriend became like this?  I mean - I can hardly stand being with a woman (or a man) who's just a bit dumb.

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Some people seem to have a need to be caretakers to an extent that doesn't seem normal.

 

That describes my father's widow. She took care of three dying husbands over the years. What are the odds? Yes, she is a wacko fundy Christian.

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I didn't read the full story (did it explain how they got around the consent issue?)

 

Ten months is long enough for them to have discussed marriage. For what it's worth.

 

I agree that "marriage" in its usual concept isn't what this is. But marrying a five year old would be taking advantage of him; I don't see that going on here.

 

And again, if she's happy ...

But is she happy?

 

After you get over the clear facade of the video that is quite obviously promoting a book, do you think she can really be happy? Will she be in the future? When she misses out on all the normal life experiences?

Funny, I didn't watch the video, so I wouldn't need to get past its facade.

 

All those things are plausible and I in fact would say that they're likely, but maybe it isn't so. I don't know her. I don't even think someone's family is guaranteed to know them that well. Do you know her that well?

 

I hope she had at least one person sit her down and ask if she really wanted this.

 

Who would be hurt if she gets bored and "cheats" on him? The vegetable wouldn't care. His free caretaker wouldn't be the angel she thought she was … so what?

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Funny, I didn't watch the video, so I wouldn't need to get past its facade.

All those things are plausible and I in fact would say that they're likely, but maybe it isn't so. I don't know her. I don't even think someone's family is guaranteed to know them that well. Do you know her that well?

 

I hope she had at least one person sit her down and ask if she really wanted this.

 

Who would be hurt if she gets bored and "cheats" on him? The vegetable wouldn't care. His free caretaker wouldn't be the angel she thought she was … so what?

 

 

Mmm well I would invite you to watch the video.  At least the bit where she's talking.

 

Well now I think he might care a bit if he found out.  He's not totally vegetative.  Seems pretty harsh.

 

But ultimately she can do what she wants.  I would however disapprove of her being two-faced and dishonest if it came to it.

 

Moreover though I am really just concerned for her.  Worried about the pressures of that ridiculous community known as Christians.  And it sounds like there was some pressure applied to her from his father before he died of cancer.  It's not mentioned what her own parents think.

 

Oh, but I do loathe the people that are using her for their marketing purposes.  Charlatan bastards.

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I doubt she would have married him if his accident left him as a physically violent and abusive butthead.

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Anyway.  She's definitely going to bang someone else.

 

 

You're right. Just give it time. :-)

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Just wait for the faithful way in which God speaks to her and tells her it's ok to divorce because he's created a loophole in the Bible just for her.

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I've seen vegetables.  That unfortunate man is NOT a vegetable.  I watched the video.  He is able to give meaningful responses and appropriate responses to situations, and he even asked her, "How are you?".  I'd imagine, that in that state, he merely has incomplete control over motor skills, including the small muscles of the face and hands.  It seems he is fully aware and cognizant of the outside world and his own circumstances.  It is entirely possible for someone to appear to have little control over their physical bodies and have their inner world completely intact even with a brain injury (heard of locked in syndrome? there is postulation that is much more common in a wide range of TBIs than previously thought).  It all depends on the areas of the brain damaged and to what extent.  Obviously, the portions of the brain that control motor function have been severely damaged in this guy, but not nearly as severely as I have seen.  Who's to tell how the rest of his brain is working?

 

I've had a few patients where I wondered why the parents or loved ones just didn't cut them off the vent while they were in ICU, but this guy wouldn't be one where I'd have that thought.  This guy seems like he'd be a joy to be around.  And honestly, I don't blame her for staying.  10 months is plenty time to fall completely and utterly in love.  Maybe she'll wander off in some way some day, maybe not.   I don't blame people for clinging to God in situations like that.  I wonder why they don't just let the injured person go to Heaven, but I don't blame them for turning to religion for comfort. 

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I didn't read the full story (did it explain how they got around the consent issue?)

 

Ten months is long enough for them to have discussed marriage. For what it's worth.

 

I agree that "marriage" in its usual concept isn't what this is. But marrying a five year old would be taking advantage of him; I don't see that going on here.

 

And again, if she's happy ...

She said they had to wait until he was able to speak well enough to give presumed consent.  Brain injury patients take years to rehabilitate.  If you watch the video, you can see he is very much in love with her still.

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He appears to be cognizant. It's admirable that she stuck with him. I noticed from their webpage that they do speaking engagements. If their hardships are used by churches to fill the offering plate then that would be despicable. 

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Then again maybe he has a wickedly big penis :-)

....

Or maybe she just really loves him. It's not my place to judge. If she is ready for that and they are both happy (who's to say either Larissa or Ian isn't?) then more power to her.

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It does make me examine myself. Would I be selfish for wanting to find a new partner if my wife or girlfriend became like this? I mean - I can hardly stand being with a woman (or a man) who's just a bit dumb.

Dumb? Obviously that's not how she sees him. To her, he is and always will be Ian. "Dumb" does not fit into that anywhere.

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I didn't read the full story (did it explain how they got around the consent issue?)

 

Ten months is long enough for them to have discussed marriage. For what it's worth.

 

I agree that "marriage" in its usual concept isn't what this is. But marrying a five year old would be taking advantage of him; I don't see that going on here.

 

And again, if she's happy ...

But is she happy?

 

After you get over the clear facade of the video that is quite obviously promoting a book, do you think she can really be happy?  Will she be in the future?  When she misses out on all the normal life experiences?

 

This is the problem with Chrisitanity - exemplified by the title of the book she's promoting, Momentary Marriage - they think that this life is just a place to wipe your feet before the real life begins, and so they throw away the one life they've got.

 

Anyway.  She's definitely going to bang someone else.

I don't know if she's happy and it's not anyone's job to say whether she is. And I understand your point, but that comment about infidelity was douchebaggy. Ian is still a person.

 

Sorry about the double-posting. I'm on my iPod.

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It does make me examine myself. Would I be selfish for wanting to find a new partner if my wife or girlfriend became like this? I mean - I can hardly stand being with a woman (or a man) who's just a bit dumb.

Dumb? Obviously that's not how she sees him. To her, he is and always will be Ian. "Dumb" does not fit into that anywhere.

 

 

Now now, I wasn't calling him dumb per se.  What I'm saying is one would seem to have a more difficult time having a meaningful conversation than someone who is dumb.

 

I don't know if she's happy and it's not anyone's job to say whether she is. And I understand your point, but that comment about infidelity was douchebaggy. Ian is still a person.

 

 

I'm not saying that he deserves it.

 

But people have sexual needs.

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I'm going to go with disturbing, but I am also fine with the idea that other people choose to do things that are disturbing to me and that's their prerogative. If she wants to live the life of a martyr or nursemaid, hey, it's her free will choice, right?

 

I don't have to think it's beautiful though.

 

I have already told my husband that if something awful happens to my brain, and I'm still alive (shudder) he can put me in a home and feel 100% free to remarry.

 

I'd rather just be dead, because I've seen what a stroke or traumatic brain injury can do to a person, and I'd rather not live through that. But... modern medicine being what it is...

 

I have a close friend whose father is going through Alzheimer's, and it's just as hard on her mom and her as it is on him. Maybe more on them.

 

I don't think my life is such a wonderful gorgeous gift that even if I were mentally and physically debilitated I'd want to keep on living it or wish my care-taking responsibilities on those close to me who I love. 

 

But if she wants to? Okay. I mean, it's her life. If that's what she wants to do with it. More power to her and all that. 

 

I do wonder if she thinks they'll both be in heaven some day and he'll thank her (with his mental faculties restored) and God will reward her and all that. If so, I think she's delusional of course, but how she lives her life right now and in the future is up to her. I hope she doesn't back herself into this corner for the rest of her life so that if she changes her mind (after all this publicity) she's shunned or judged in any way, but that will be for her to decide and face if she ever comes to that. 

 

The whole story makes me feel sad though, not inspired. 

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I'm voting with RaLeah above, with "disturbing" and "sad."  It's also Larissa and Ian's choice, nobody elses.  

 

I do think she has some sort of caregiving syndrome, whether brought about by xianity or not, I would have no clue.

 

I dated a guy with a pretty severe brain injury.  Super nice guy, some seriously endearing qualitities, sexuality was not affected at all, he was generally enjoyable to be wtih.  However . . . things would just hit a wall regarding being able to get into any deeper conversations or his ability to be able to grow and change mentally (not in regards to being able to grow or change from the brain injury, but he seemed "stuck" in the same place he was when the injury occurred which was his early 20's and we were early 40's at the time).  It wasn't easy or pleasant to end things with him, he was talking about marriage and he would love me forever (and he would have since he wasn't going to grow out of that any time either!).  But I couldn't imagine anything long-term with him, as sweet as he was, he was so unchanging that I would have been married to the exact same person until one of us died.  Life really is about growing and changing, learning new things and ideas, and growing inside from that.  That simply could not happen with him anymore.

 

Of course, all brain injuries are different.  If family and church put any pressure on her to marry him, then shame on them.  She's young and could easily be swayed by family and friends acting sympathetic  towards him and "expecting" her to stay with him and making her feel guilty and selfish for leaving.  When I was dating the guy with the brain injury, I had no family or church trying to guilt-trip me at all, and I still had to fight some of my own "niceness" to do what was best for me, but I was also in my early 40's, had been through a divorce, had kids to think about, and had lost a lot of that "need" to be "nice" to everybody but myself, which comes with age, and which Larissa doesn't have yet.

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