“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." (Mark Twain)
It has been a while since I wrote a post on the topic of a movie. Having recently watched the 2022 released film of Deep Water, there seemed no better opportunity to capitalize on the storyline and characters in order to illustrate how some men can metaphorically, and sometimes literally (if suicide is the only option for some men), find themselves in an ocean of crap with women that weighs them down so much that they cannot find a way in swimming to safety.
A few months ago, I was lying in my hotel room in Stockholm at about 9pm local time. As I scanned through most channels which were in a language I could not understand, I came across a film starting in five minutes called Gone Girl. I had never seen it before, and maybe never even heard of it before, but it gripped me so much that, in spite of the film going on past midnight due to frequent commercial breaks, I was enthralled to watch it until ultimate conclusion.
Deep Water synopsis
Deep Water, in my opinion, has a similar but different enough backdrop and storyline to Gone Girl. As historic readers may have worked out, psychological thrillers (with an erotic nature) are my favourite movie genre. If you are thinking of watching either or both, maybe you should read this post at a later date. With that being said, this post will merely just emphasize the hole a man can dig for himself in life, rather than giving you a scene-by-scene explanation on the course of events.
In simple summary terms, Vic Van Allen (played by Ben Affleck) is the main male character in the film, and his screen wife is Melinda (Ana de Armas). They have a young daughter named Trixie. Without even looking at the real-life ages of Affleck and de Armas, there is a transparent visual age gap of about ten years where the former is older than the latter.
It does not take long into the film to highlight that the marriage is not a product of happiness, and to mitigate this sorrow, Melinda takes somewhat comfort in flirting and sexual fornications with other (and noticeably younger than her husband) men. What is worse than the already, in my view of life, cardinal sin of infidelity, is that Vic is aware of his wife’s misdemeanours. He chooses to never confront this, at least in the main, and just accept her for who she is.
Here is just one short scene to exemplify his ignorance of blatant humiliation, embarrassment, and obvious nauseas feeling:
A sickening thought
Granted, movies can be far-fetched and stretched from reality. I am not for a moment saying the vast majority of unhappy marriages or relationships go this far. Some might, but they will be isolated situations. Nevertheless, what this to me highlights is how a man can lose full grasp of control on his female partner’s poor behaviour if he does not attack this predicament as soon as the earliest light bulb moment has arisen.
For one, too many men for my liking allow their female partner to, without any remorse or resistance on her part, flirt with other men. If I ever saw a girlfriend of mine act in this way, she would be firmly told there and then that, at best if she ever does that again she will find herself looking for another boyfriend, or (dependant on how much I like her or not) just dumped there and then.
Second, there are more women out there, in comparison to men who have the balls to admit this is the case, who will cheat on their boyfriends, fiancés and husbands should they have a guarantee that he will never find out. Some women will do this even if they think he might, or will, find out. And I can guarantee you that for every woman who cheats in practical terms, there are umpteen women who are thinking of doing so. For every woman who is thinking of doing so, there are hundreds more who fantasize in doing so.
Q-tip 1: The biggest barrier to a woman acting out infidelity is in what she has to lose. This is why you will often find women most prominent to cheating between the ages of 16 to 23, and 33 or beyond. The reason why the in between age range (24 to early thirties) are less likely to cheat is because many women in this age bracket will be with men they are trying to lock down for a big day wedding and route to a nicer house and life.
Third, and like Vic in the film, far too many men are afraid to criticize women for how women generally act in their day to day lives. Perennial weak men come to mind. Whether this be flirting, bitchiness, lying, making up poor excuses for their below par behaviour, or just not being a competent, confidant and loyal girlfriend or wife, to my utter frustration (and sometimes amusement) so many men choose to instead idolize women and think that their female partner’s, or a woman he is interested in, butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.
What is the solution?
Whilst it is becoming harder and harder to keep a woman in check in respect to her lack of sincere conduct with her male partner, there are a number of actions you can take to give yourself the best opportunity to never become a Vic Van Allen symbol of a man. I list the following:
· From early in the dating phase, if the discussion moves in such a direction (or you discretely manufacture the discussion that way yourself) that touches on relationship behaviour and conduct, in no uncertain terms ensure she knows that you never have, and never will, stand for a woman who acts out of accordance with regards to the good girlfriend material traits you expect. This includes no flirting by her, no compassion given by you regarding too many of her mood swings, and most importantly, an immediate parting of ways if she ever cheated.
· Let your female partner aware from the start you think too many men in today’s world are lapdogs, “yes men”, puppets, and generally weak human beings both around women but also in life generally. This will set you apart and, whilst prickling her ego a little there and then (a woman's ego likes to think she has control of a man, concurrent to being resentful of him for allowing this to be the case), gain you longer term respect between her ears.
· Tell her you think cheating, under all circumstances, is the lowest of the low act that a person can carry out in a relationship.
· Whilst refraining from being argumentative and lacking self-control, never be afraid to disagree with her when you, ironically, disagree with her. Too many men never disagree with women, in fear of upsetting them and running the risk of not getting laid. The opposite in fact is true.
· Similar to the above, never be afraid to disagree with her friends (female of male) or family. This is all the more applicable if they instigate cunning words that try and put you down.
· Form a “what’s the worst that can happen” mentality in your mind. A man who never fears losing a woman is a man who gets the best out of his woman.
· Never worry if other women are flirting with you when your better half is present. Tread carefully to flirt too much back however, and instead just be the recipient of other women’s uncontrollable and instinctive sexual attraction and contact onto you. Your female partner will only be more sexually aroused and attracted to you, and she will acknowledge the good thing she has.
· Perhaps most of all, choose commitment very carefully. It happens to most men eventually, but the level of commitment can be seen in stages. Each stage has a more damaging effect than the previous on your ability to control her behaviour going off track. For example, a man should have the most control over her when the two of you are just dating or in the early stages of a committed relationship. He will lose a little of this control when they move in together, but it should be minimal in the whole scheme of things. He will then lose more control when having a child together. He ultimately loses a large chunk of control once married to her. All this is on an all else being equal analysis, of course.
An anecdote from the past
Over ten years ago there was this undeniably socially strange male Quantity Surveyor (Martin) I worked with in the construction industry. Even then he must have been in his early forties. He always appeared a step behind the conversation, and it seemingly took him much longer to absorb information and subsequently execute.
With all this said, he was a friendly chap, and his heart was in the right place. At that stage of knowing him, I would take someone like him a hundred times over the arrogant, pretentious, ego-driven and self-agenda idiots I have worked with on more occasions than I care to think about. Martin was a big cricket participant, and this took up most of his summer Saturdays (reasoning behind the cricket information further down).
Martin had worked there approximately a couple of years when the office rumours were getting around about his untrustworthy wife. Whilst she was not an oil painting from what I had seen of her, he was clearly boxing levels above his league with her on a physical attractiveness basis. They had two young children together (assuming both were in fact biologically his kids?).
One time I got in a conversation with another Quantity Surveyor who said he had been out in a Chesterfield nightclub during a then recent Saturday night. He said he saw Martin’s wife kissing another man in there. You can only imagine what went on with her and the other man later. In any case, the unhappy couple went on for another year or so before we noticed Martin never turned up to work for weeks on end.
Eventually, and as much as the stupid directors at this company tried to hide it, the truth got out to explain Martin’s disappearance. By all accounts (and this was backed up by local newspapers and down the line court hearings), one early evening Martin came back from his cricket session to see his wife with suitcases packed for both her and the two children. I guess her repulsiveness in being with him had finally tipped her over the edge. Evidently Martin lost the plot there and then, and he beat her up as hard as he could with his cricket bat. As much I hate women cheating on men, I only have one word for Martin to spotlight him as a man – COWARD!
He served, from my best memory, eighteen months in prison. One of the directors even gave him a character appraisal, which quite possibly aided his early release. They then took him back as a Quantity Surveyor.
A final thought
Martin, and men of his kind, will receive no sympathy from me. I am not so much referring to his cowardice act of hitting a woman with a cricket bat multiple times, as much as setting out the blueprint to expose him of how completely not to dive into deep water. Once you dive into this pool, and you have no knowledge or experience of how to swim, you are not doing anything but proverbially sinking further and further down. If you did not ask a lifeguard for advice, in analogy terms, there will be nobody there to save you. If you do somehow get out to open land, it may well be that you take your anger out on someone else, instead of taking a good look at yourself first and accepting how you have sunk in the first place.
What is the answer? Simply put, it is to nip any foreseeable predicament and potential despair in the bud before it even gets to stage B or C. Once you let it get beyond those stages, you have pretty much given your once loved one (who most likely never loved you) a free licence to carry on with her offences and transgression to level D and much beyond. It is like her resentful etiquette moves faster and stronger. This resentment is because you never controlled her from the start.
Q-tip 2: Women are easy to control when you never let them control you. Worst case - you move on when she does not abide by your control. Best case - she does what you expect of her.
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