I’ve seen on more than one comment that Ana and Christian need to address the Madrid Disaster (thanks for the name, Junie). So, I’m opening the floor to find out who still feels this way and why. I’m not saying that there will be another big discussion in the story. I’ll begin with my thoughts on the topic…
In chapter 41 of Raising Grey, they came to the painful realization that they were both wrong in the Madrid Disaster. Christian already knew; Ana didn’t like it. She was angry and she felt slighted and hurt and ran out of the room on a bad ankle, but they both accepted (though begrudgingly) that they were both wrong.
In chapter 42, she spills her guts to him, Taylor, and Gail about the feeling of impending doom and maybe never being able to get back to where they were again. He’s totally convinced that he has broken her and now he has to do everything that he can to fix her. They’re both disheartened but they still love each other.
In chapter 43, they face up to what they did to each other and realize that they have to make some changes:
“I’m saying that we have to grow,” she says. “We have to let go of what we were and we have to grow. We’ll never be who we were before because you can’t undo what’s been done. You can’t unhurt me and I can’t unhurt you. We can’t unlearn what we’ve learned. We can’t unlive the experiences and feelings of the last month. They’ll always be a part of us. So, we don’t have any other choice but to move on and grow from here, but this is like losing your virginity, Christian. We can’t go back… We can’t go back, and it’s not that we can’t go back to the love that was felt. We can’t go back to the naïveté that was our relationship. We just have to… move forward. There’s no going back.”
In chapter 44, he admits that he had his own Boogeyman, his own monsters, to Dr. Baker.
That unbearable sick feeling is coming over me again. The monsters are reaching their horrible talons out of the closet at me, and my monster slayer is the reason they’re advancing this time. I choke out the final words that I don’t want to admit.
“I feel like she wanted it, but she had to stop him because of me.”
That’s it. It’s out now. There’s nothing else for me to say about it. I’ve spilled my guts and the poison is all over the room, now—tainting the windows so the sun can’t shine in; coating the floor and threatening to pull me down into it; oozing from my hands, my arms, my mouth and burning every surface it touches.
Dr. Baker tells him:
“Then tell her how you feel, or you’ll never get past this!” she retorts. “Tell her everything, or you’re lying to yourself and to her. You don’t want to accept defeat. Fine—tell her that! You feel like her actions or lack of actions breached the understanding and trust that you two share—tell her that, too! Tell her everything that you’re feeling. Rip this open and lay it out there for her to see then tell her what you expect to happen from here—how you expect to recover and be whole again… or stay where you are and accept second-best.”
Later in that chapter, he tells Ana how he feels and she admits that she already knows. And for that entire chapter—after they had each talked to their shrinks—they had that painful crying session on the patio and then they talked about what they needed to do, about how they felt, about how they were going to get there.
Right before the viewing of the exposé in chapter 48, she had another attack of the Boogeyman, and he’s apologizing again.
For the next several chapters—and even now when they’re talking to their BDSM mentors—they’re talking to everybody about Madrid and its affects. They’re talking to each other, breaking the relationship down to its basest components. They’re talking to Jason. They’re talking to Gail. They’re talking to they’re respective shrinks. They’re talking to each other again and again. They’re talking to strangers on an Australian cruise that led to one of the biggest breakthroughs they every had. They talked about Madrid, its affects, their relationship from halfway through the last book and even chapters into the current book. And now, to help Marilyn and Gary, they’re sharing their experiences with it and what they learned. Exactly how many more times do they need to talk about Madrid?
I’m asking this question because I’ve seen that comment several different times on various different chapters, and I just need to know why there are so many readers who still like Madrid is “unfinished business.” Share with me why you feel that way.