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Measure of Love: Book club post about Melissa Ford’s latest novel

Soooo, some of us are sitting around in a virtual coffee shop, talking about a book we signed up to read. Some have read the book, some are be in the process of reading it, and some are going “D’oh! I knew I was supposed to have something ready today!” Others are sitting within earshot of us, not participants in the book club but intrigued by what they’re hearing, and are saying to themselves, “Hmmm….sounds like a book I’d like to read.”

Measure of Love by Melissa FordThe first selection in this GRAB(ook) Club (Gonna Read Anyway Book) is Melissa Ford’s Measure of Love, the second in a three story arc (preceded by Life From Scratch and followed next year by Apart at the Seams.)

Each of us on the tour is posting one question, and the others will answer in the asker’s comment section.  My question happens to be one that you don’t have to have read the book to answer, so don’t click away just yet. I’d love for you to chime in below.

Can you remember a time when you’ve struggled with loyalty? When you’ve found it hard to be loyal to two people at odds with each other or when you’ve found your loyalty to a person to be at odds with what you yourself think or feel?

As Rachel remembers Arianna’s loyal-but-blah boyfriend Ben from college (Chapter 11), she recalls how she supported Arianna in breaking dates with him, how she rolled her eyes about him, how she steered Arianna away from stable and caring Ben in lieu of the edgier Pete. Now that Rachel’s brother Ethan is the caring and stable boyfriend in Arianna’s life, she reconsiders the value of loyalty. Rachel must figure out how to offer her loyalty to both her best friend and to her brother when loyalty to one appears to be at odds with loyalty to the other.

Have you ever found yourself in a bind when it comes to loyalty?

After you answer my question, please click over to read the rest of the book club questions for Measure of Love.  You can get your own copy of Measure of Love by Melissa Ford at bookstores including Amazon.

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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14 Responses

  1. I am totally Switzerland. Always neutral. My loyalty is absolute, so that when I think someone’s being a jerk, I feel obligated to tell them where I think they’re going wrong. Or I feel obligated to deliver no opinion when I know they are in a place where they won’t listen to me. Because I’m fairly outspoken with certain people, they know from my nodding and smiling that I don’t necessarily approve of their actions.

    But here’s a story for you: I am a HUGE opponent of cheating. I tell my husband that he’s free to do whatever he wants with whoever he wants…as long as he’s aware that he’ll never be able to touch me again*. But, at one point in time, 2 of my best friends and my cousin were all dating married men. In one case, I actively disapproved, because it seemed like more of a whim than anything. In the other 2 cases, the circumstances were unusual. In all 3 cases, the end result was marriages that have been going on for 9, 8, and 6 years. So my loyalty was in conflict with my values. Loyalty won.

    *I also tell my husband that no one gets out of this marriage alive. Take that as you will. 🙂

  2. Interesting question and discussion with a’s input already! What comes to mind immediately for me in terms of loyalty is when over the years loved ones have divorced. In many cases my husband and I were close to and care about both members of the couple. In certain situations one of the members of the couple was a family member or very close friend and in that case, it was easier/obvious who we would side with/be loyal to.

    However, in a handful of situations we have found ourselves trying to remain friends with/connected to both people after their marriage has been dissolved. It is bizarre and awkward at times to try to maintain relationships in those instances. Usually, over time, we tend to gravitate towards/maintain a stronger connection with one member of the couple, especially those who have remarried other people. It seems that in those cases we typically end up being loyal to the member of the couple we knew first (assuming we didn’t meet them after they were married).

    That said, I have heard of a situation (that I am distantly connected to) where an older couple’s adult son cheated on his wife, with her best friend. They absolutely adore their daughter-in-law and grandchildren and thus have tried to maintain a close relationship with her, that they might not have otherwise, if the circumstances had been different. I don’t know how I would feel in that situation, but I think it would likely be an instance where my loyalty to that family member would be at odds with what I think and feel.

  3. A long time ago, when I was young and without much experience I tried to be friends with a guy who was also best friend with my then boyfriend. It didn’t go down very well although there was nothing but friendship between us. Nothing lasted in the end and I lost touch with both of them.

    About those values that a brought up, I have a friend who has cheated and gotten back with her fiance… it’s tricky because you don’t agree but am loyal to your friend and have to let her make her own choices in life. BUT would it have been my brother/sister that got hurt I’m not so sure I would have fogiven the friend. *Sigh* complicated stuff.

    1. Am I still naive at 40 when I think it is good to try to be friends with your partners best friend? In our household that is how it works, and that best friend is now godfather to our baby, even named after him.
      It makes me a little sad that you almost apologise for trying..

  4. I have a very dear friend who is almost like a sister to me. She tends to attract (unknowingly she says) married men who she inevitably dates, sleeps with, finds out they are married, and then dumps them.

    She always asks me to support her and tells me all about these wonderful men that she’s meeting. When I ask her if they are married, she assures me each time that they are single. Each time, she wants me to stand by her side and meet these great guys who end up being not so great. It has tested our friendship and my loyalty to her because I’ve questioned many times if she isn’t actually trying to find and date married men so that she doesn’t have to worry about commitment.

  5. Thankfully, I don’t think I have ever been in a situation like that, but kinda on the opposite end. When my ex and I got divorced, it was the “splitting of the friends” as well. I know my sisters still have my ex as a friend on Facebook, which is fine. After we separated, it was almost like this is your friend, this is my friend. We did have some mutual friends that decided to go one way or the other, which also was fine with me!

  6. My husband has made it very clear that he expects me to be loyal to him, no matter what. Even if I disagree with what he is saying or an action he has taken, he expects me to back him 100% when we’re in front of other people. This has been hard to maintain when he makes jokes that I find offensive to our friends. In the end, I think being true to yourself is more important to loyalty to another.

  7. Due to a very recent family feud, I’ve had my loyalties tested. I want to remain neutral but when one family member is clearly wrong or not seeing how their behaviour is unacceptable, it’s hard to stay out of it. I also feel pulled when both “sides” are looking for my support & listening ear while also repeating, “I don’t want to put you in the middle”…ugh!

  8. Ohhh ya. Wow – what a question Lori!

    I am very much in agreement with Kathy – divorce has tested my loyaly to some very good friends of mine … choosing which partner you will remain closest with is not easy and neither is keeping private information about intimate relationship details – including real reasons why the divorce happened in the first place. I’ve felt conflicted over whether or not I should disclose certain information – which I’ve always managed to keep private, but it has actually destroyed some of my friendships … in one case, there was an undisclosed affair between a wife and her co-worker and they ended up buying a business together (the wife and the affair guy), while at the same time she remained married to our friend and went on to have 2 children. Very awkward – and I found it impossible to sustain that relationship.

  9. Over the years, dh has sometimes taken offense to certain things my mother has said & done — and puts me in a tough spot. For example — he is uber-punctual, and she is forever running late. It drives him absolutely bonkers, especially when we are travelling somewhere together, or when it’s time for us to leave for the airport after a visit with them, and he will vent to me and sometimes get me quite upset. He won’t tell her himself what’s bugging him — but he gets mad if I say anything directly to her too (?!). She drives ME nuts too — but hello, she’s my MOTHER — why do I have to take sides? I could never get away with speaking about his father the way he sometimes speaks about my mother. :p

  10. I have totally struggled with loyalty when it comes to friendship especially. Like when one friend invites me over but doesn’t invite the other friend – do I tell the other friend? I don’t want to upset her but I also don’t want to keep secrets. Sigh.
    When it comes to men and relationships, my first marriage was to one of my brother’s best friends. We’re divorced now and they’re no longer friends which makes me really sad for them both.

  11. I know my siblings must have had a fight at some point, and I don’t remember how I was able to remain loyal to both people, but I obviously did… even if I can’t remember them ever having a fight. Or parents — I remember my parents having a fight when I was a kid, and remaining impartial to it. I think it can be very difficult to do. I think we naturally want to take a side. Or not take any side. But I think it’s difficult (but important!) to take both sides.

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