aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Makes you go, Hmmm . . .

Over the course of a long week spent with teenagers, you wind up discussing a lot of things. Relationships are very big on their list, so that gets talked about a good deal. In the course of one evening bull session, I made the observation (not a very original one) that women tend to marry men expecting them to change (as in, go to church, pick up after themselves, quit the hard partying, etc.); when they don't change, the women find themselves stuck in the role of good-hearted woman in love with a good-timin' man.

A lot of grief in relationships comes from the disappointment women experience with men who stay the same after they're married as they were when they were single. But then, why would you expect them to change? If you're willing to take them as they are when dating, why should they expect you to want them to be different after the honeymoon is over?

Then, it struck me: there is a corollary to this, a complementary mistake. Men marry women expecting them NOT to change. Their great complaint is, Why can't you be like you were when we were dating (as in, sexy, fun, laughing at my lame jokes, tolerant of my selfishness, etc.). A lot of men feel cheated when midnight strikes and their princess turns into a pumpkin.

So, both sides have unrealistic expectations, and accommodating one's fantasies to real life is a major part of the challenge of settling into a long-term, successful marriage. A lot of the pain could be avoided if both parties were examining their prospects more carefully. But it also occurs to me that a large part of the problem -- from both sides -- is coming from the female's unrealistic expectations. Her fantasies condition his, in other words.

It's the gal who goes to such lengths to make herself attractive to guys -- especially one guy in particular. Guys usually do not make such an effort (maybe they should, but that's another onion to peel). The gal puts more effort into physical appearance, takes more interest in his interests than he does in hers, works harder at making the evening a success, and so on. And I'm not saying that she shouldn't make such an effort; I'm just saying that if she makes such an effort and doesn't see a corresponding effort on his part, then she's setting herself up for major disappointment, and should dump this bozo.

The moral of the story: If a girl is determined to audition only husband-quality material, then the users and losers won't be in the mix to give her heartburn later on.

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