Saturday, August 20, 2011
Relationships seem to be a mystery to most people. There is the quandary of finding someone who is equally crazy about you, which is, unbelievably, the easy part. The hard haul is making a relationship work. Young women focus on the wedding as opposed to the marriage and often wake up next to someone they do not even recognize.
Face it, almost 50% of the marriages in the US end in divorce. As for those other marrieds, few are happily married if you listen to them bash their significant others to friends and co-workers. I even had the opportunity to witness full-blown arguments between couples in retail stores and restaurants.
Why are we so surprised in a society that is dedicated to individualism that we would be any different in a relationship? We enter into relationships in name only. A recent article I read from Oprah.com, exemplifies this situation. The article entitled, “She’s Happily Married, Dreaming of a Divorce” by Ellen Tien details the various things her husband does that bugs her. Is he abusive? No, he steps out of his shoes every day when he gets home from work and leaves them in the living room. He does this dastardly deed to trip the author.
The author went onto explain how her husband is an early riser and is cheerful when she gets up. He should know better than to be happy in the mornings because she is not a morning person. Does this sound a bit off to you? A person is obligated to change their entire personality just because it isn’t the exact same as the SO. Get real. I am a morning person and haven’t encountered too many morning people including my children, but surprisingly we can all live together without me changing my routine or personality.
It is lucky I am a morning person so I can get everyone else going in the household. I pointed this out to my SO and he laughingly commented that women do expect men to change their personality to suit theirs. At least all the women he met up to me, he was quick to clarify.
Is this true? I hope not, it explains why there are so few really happy unions in the US, but back to the article. It went on to complain about how the much-beleaguered husband embarrassed the author by scratching his armpit during a parent/teacher conference. We all have done something to embarrass our families at one time. Luckily, they did not write us off. We are all-human and will have human failings. Did you notice his major failing was he embarrassed the author? My old boss would stand in front of us during staff meetings and rearrange his male equipment, I’d preferred armpit scratching. I bet the teacher never even noticed the armpit scratching considering what she dealt with every day.
I related the entire article to my significant other. He snorted and commented it must be her first marriage. He went onto add if she makes the mistakes of divorcing this perfectly normal guy she’ll find there won’t be any perfect men who measure up to her standards. Maybe she’ll get someone who is anal enough to always pick up his shoes, but he’ll gripe about every hair of hers he finds in the tub or sink.
In a relationship, you truly have to understand and think of the other person. If you are interested in what makes the other person tick then they will give you clues as to what they need. A good example of this is an older gentleman I know. He was raised in a harsh environment where he was never praised by his parents, but expected to put forth good work, laps up praise like water. The easy thing would be just to praise him. It such a little thing once you understand the reason, but often instead of praising him for his hard work his wife will withhold any recognition because he didn’t do it her way or do it quickly enough. In turn, she doesn’t get her needs met because he is holding back from her because he isn’t feeling loving or grateful. Either one could break the cycle if they weren’t so self-absorbed.
Think about it. Why did your last relationship fell apart? It may have been because you didn’t do much together. Maybe you felt like he was not invested in you. It could be you didn’t value him and what was important to him. There are a variety of reasons people break up, but the top two are infidelity and money. Infidelity screams self-absorption. No one, but me matters. Money issues usually center around at least one person not on board with the budget program—at least one person who is spending madly on what they want. Been there, done that, and yes that person will rationalize all their purchases too. Before you throw that perfectly good mate away, think carefully if there is anyone better out there? The answer might surprise you.
I will freely admit to being the lucky recipient of a man one woman carelessly threw away in her effort to chase down younger, taller model. Because of my experience and intelligence, I am very aware that I have an excellent man. As for the ungrateful ex-spouse, she now realizes what a tremendous mistake she made. Too bad, she became too smart too late. Of course, her bad fortune is entirely my gain…that makes me smile. It also makes me wonder about the writer of the “Happily Married and Dreaming of Divorce” article. If she shows her husband the contempt she displays in the article then they are far from happily married.