If you’ve been following 7de Laan for the past year or so, you’ll know that Xander and Vanessa got divorced after temporarily losing their daughter, Karmen, and Xander had used his grief to get his sister-in-law, Bonita, pregnant. Now, in the world of soap operas having extra-marital affairs with family members isn’t exactly reason to never get back together again with your significant other. Ask the characters in the Bold and the Beautiful. Ridge and Brooke have married each other and others so many times, yet there are still some who think they belong together.
But back to the topic at hand – Xander and Vanessa. 7de Laan’s very own relationship that first started with deception. Remember how they got together? Well, if not, here it is: Xander and Felicity were in a serious relationship when Felicity got the opportunity to go on a design course in Spain. While she was there, and thinking she still had a boyfriend back home, Vanessa (they were apparently like sisters, if you can forget that Felicity had previously had a child with Vanessa’s now dead boyfriend) got close to Xander through a dance competition – back when 7de Laan had those competitions on a semi-annual basis. Vanessa and Xander won the competition and Felicity was all but forgotten. One of the most realistic storylines on 7d Laan through the years has been the one where Felicity and Vanessa never spoke to each other for a few years as a result of the betrayal.
Anyway, Vanessa and Xander did get married – a quickie, if I remember correctly. And from the start it seemed like Xander thought himself better than Vanessa. It was like he thought that because he was more educated and from a good middle-class Cape Town family he was somehow married to someone less than him. Remember, Vanessa’s father, Ivan Beukes, was in prison back in the day. And Vanessa was not educated and worked as a salesperson in T&T and later a salesperson at the Deli when she got married. Plus she was pretty much unrefined and unsophisticated until very recently.
For most of their marriage it looked like they couldn’t even stand each other and had nothing in common other than parents who were married to each other. And to be honest, Vanessa has only lately grown into herself. She always looked uncomfortable with her hair and her clothes and in her relationship with Xander.
Having said all that, Vanessa has grown, as a character. She’s now a business woman, mother, and for the most part, gets along with her mother. Although for some reason or another she doesn’t have close friendships. But she’s had a relationship (with Justin) that’s sort of normal for a grown, independent woman. She’s been looking more confident and acts more confident. But that has happened only since she and Xander were no longer together.
On the other hand we have Xander who was always confident in his job as a lawyer, as advisor and hero to pretty much anyone and everyone in Hillside. Occasionally, a good brother and overall, good father and a good son and son-in-law. As a husband he sucked though. He had a long-term crush on his brother’s wife. Had plenty of crushes on other women. And not to mention hiring Natalie because of the way she looked and her short dresses and allowing himself to be taken in by her against his wife’s advice. Of course, all the led his daughter’s eventual kidnapping which led him to sleep with Bonita, which led to his son, Daniel’s birth.
The one-time-only affair with Bonita has brought Xander down a peg while raising Vanessa, at the same time, so they’re about on the same level now.
The question is, though, should they get back together? Will they be able to have a successful relationship with all the water under that bridge and with Daniel (and Bonita) always going to be a factor? The real question is, why would Vanessa put up with all that drama when she doesn’t have to?
In the real world I would suggest that Xander and Vanessa date each other for at least six months and then decide – since they never really did that before getting married. But in the 7de Laan world, I would remind them that the world of relationships is never solid over the long-term in Hillside. I would also remind them that no marriage has lasted for long in Hillside. The only way they’ll stay married until death them do part is if one of them is actually killed/dies from a terminal illness. Alternately, they’ll have to leave and we never see them and their marriage again. Which wouldn’t be all that bad as far as I’m concerned.