“If you think before you start, you
breath before you end.”
This online viewpoint stood out like a sore thumb to me one day.
Some couples are so deeply incompatible.
Their value systems, choice of free time activities, senses of humor, energy levels, sleep cycles, physical chemistry, interests and general demeanor all are on completely different planets.
You wonder how they ever got together. The obvious thing for them to do is break up.
They keep moving forward, move in, get married, have kids.
And get divorced 30 years later, 30 years too late.
They one day look in the mirror and realize that time is no longer their friend: they’ve lost to it and are lost in it.
Choose wisely, people. Or pave the long, bitter path of regret.
By and large, the narrator of this all so common predicament is right. Men and women are such different species and characters that, absent of the enjoyment of sex (yes, some women do enjoy sex with a small minority of men) and societal birth rate production system requirement, you could make a fair argument that the world would be a better place if a male and female landscape existed on entirely separate environments.
This may sound harsh, lacking in romance, and cynical to a large extent, however I will stand by this until my dying day. Do not get me wrong, a tiny and fortunate percentage of men and women are together, and last together, through sincere and uncontrollable love and compatibility, however these are the lucky, or more to the point extremely rare, people out there.
Why so different?
In truth, men and women have never been similar. Men like sport, women like shopping. Men like a stress free life, whilst women look for drama and problems. Men are financially responsible, whilst women hold a belief that their male partner can grow money from his conifer trees. Men have solid friendships, whilst women bad mouth people at will.
The list could go on and on, and this was explained in much greater detail shortly after the inception of this blog. In essence, it takes only the purest (and most likely, dishonest) advocators of love and relationships to lay down the argument that women and men genuinely need each other, outside of the two reasons I offered up top.
You could throw in another reason for a female and male bond, and this is to refrain from loneliness. A sense of loneliness, to many people, could be perceived as a risk to mental health and potential suicide, therefore even an unhappy relationship is a better option than loneliness. I would firmly disagree with this concept, because to me it is better to be alone and not lonely, than to be lonely but not alone. The lights are on but there is nobody at home, so to speak.
The biggest contributor to unhappiness and resentment…
Men and women inevitably come to resent each other, and I go along with what the narrator alludes to in so far that marriage compounds this resentment and unhappiness. Whilst the extremes of love and exhilaration with a member of the opposite sex on one side compared to distaste and bitterness on the other side is not a direct link to and consequence of marriage, the rigours of marriage (mainly financial oriented) allow an easier and quicker destination to the natural side of despair.
Nevertheless, and once more with marriage as the main fuel supplying the engine in this respect, I hold the firm opinion that the biggest contribution towards unhappiness and resentment to each other is as follows:
· A man resents his female partner not being as physically attractive as when he met her. Sometimes this resentment is a natural consequence of female ageing, to which he should hold greater compassion and understanding towards her, even if he still resents life for allowing it to happen. Other times though it is down to her lack of effort and inclination to stay thin and as attractive as plausibility allows, and when this is the case, as often it is, his resentment can be justified to a larger degree.
· A woman resents her male partner for not supplying her with the ‘Ken and Barbie’ fairy tale life that brings about a bigger house than they live in, much more disposable income than they attain, higher status cars than they own, and kids in better schools than they educate in. When she sees her friends and female acquaintances apparently living a more successful life in this manner, her resentment towards said male partner who is not providing this, escalates further still.
In a nutshell, everything else to the above explanation is a mere side show. Simply put, men desire their female partners to stay young, thin, and attractive for all of time, and women expect their male partners to supply things beyond their means in order to keep up a lifestyle that can be exploited to friends, family, colleagues, and on social media. Neither factor is feasible, but neither party (in particular, women) are understanding of this reality.
Are there any answers to prevent eventual unhappiness?
I would love nothing more than to be the writer of a story with a happy ending, but hand on heart I am struggling to find one for couples in the modern era. I think this applies even more so for couples who were born post 1990, where the materialistic and social media world has contributed heavily to a predicament that I do not wish to live in.
With this said, from a man’s perspective I can think of a couple of mitigations that would reduce eventual unhappiness and resentment of his better half.
First, he could be up front and honest with his female partner that the live beyond his means and keep up with the Jones lifestyle makes him want to vomit, and it is not a life he wishes to ever be led down. Whilst this approach is certainly not a bullet proof strategy, you will find more women than not will without hesitation depart from you if they hold desires for a man to provide her with this life. If she stays, and on sincere terms, then she loves you for who you are, and not what you are.
Second, he can abstain from marriage. A man cannot control a woman he is nailing getting pregnant, however to this day there is still no (western) law to state he must marry the woman he is with. With this in mind, I go back to the age old phrase someone once told me. That is, for as long as a woman is not married to a man, she still holds a motivation to be charming, and in association to stay as physically attractive as possible. Once the wedding cake has been sliced, the incentive on her part has been lost for ever.
A final thought
The ending the narrator documents is quite a sad one. He is effectively saying that time is nobody’s friend, and time waits for no man. If this is what he is saying, and I strongly suspect it is, then he is not half right about this.
It does not really make any difference if you got married or not, because there are very few (honest) people out there who can look at their life thirty years later and say that time did not go too fast. I know I cannot. You know when time is going too quick when a four year reoccurring event like the Olympics or World Cup comes around again, yet it only seems like two years since the last one, and not double this period as it is. In essence, time is moving at twice the speed you can take it all in.
What you can control however is the decisions within your power. Nobody forces you to get involved with the wrong woman in the first place. Nobody forces you to remain with her, even if your penis says so, stay concurrent to your mind saying get the hell out. Even if she does contrive a pregnancy, there is no law directing you have to stay with her especially if, deep down, you know she is not right for you. There is certainly no obligation to get married, irrespective of the social network, family or society pressures that will inevitably dive your way.
You have one shot at life, and unless technology one day finds an unlikely way, you do not encounter your final days knowing you have the reassurance of doing it all over again. Every day is a blessing, and the decisions you make decipher how blessed these days are. Use them wisely, and at the same time let me leave you with this phrase:
“Marriage is like a series of opposing reflections, inverse images getting ever smaller like nesting dolls, each one of you trying to squeeze yourself smaller to fit inside the hopes of the other, until one of you cracks or stops existing.”