Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Deuce and Women

There are many great mysteries in the world. What happens to us when we die? How did the universe come into existence out of nothingness? Did life on Earth really just happen when a lightening bolt struck a tidal pool that had just the special mix of primordial ooze required to form DNA? And perhaps the most baffling question of all. The one question that has mystified men since Adam and Eve. What do women want?

My first and only marriage lasted for almost 13 years before my wife decided that I was no longer wanted or needed and left me, taking our two kids with her. I'm still single. Of the four best friends I've ever had, one's first marriage lasted 14 years, she taking three kids. He's now on his second marriage. Another's lasted 12 years, she taking three kids. This marriage has not yet ended, but I'm afraid it's headed for divorce. Yet another's for eight, no kids. He's on his third marriage now. The last of the four's first marriage lasted only a year, but his second marriage lasted some 10 years, she taking two kids. He's on his third marriage now.

In four of the five cases, the divorce was initiated by the woman. The one divorce initiated by the man was due to physical abuse...she repeatedly attacked him whenever she was unhappy with him. Yeah, it does happen.

Why did the other four marriages fail? If you watch TV or movies, you would suspect adultry. You would think that the men cheated and were caught, causing the wives to divorce them. You would be wrong. Not one of the divorces was the result of adultry on the man's part. So, if not adultry, what was it that broke up all these four marriages?

Abuse? Not one. Addiction? Not one. Financial woes? Not one. So what was it?

It was the infamous woman's refrain, "I'm not happy."

So they weren't happy? They had homes, children, often a job, er, I mean career, and husbands that loved them. But it wasn't enough. Apparently, you have to love a woman in a very specific way in order for them to feel the love, or at least what they percieve as love.

You have to show PASSION: What women see as passion, men see as unecessary and destructive drama. Women are always looking for excuses to let their emotions run rampant, and when their screaming rants or crying jags don't illicit a similar response from their husbands, they feel a lack of passion, hence a lack of caring, a lack of love.

You have to SHARE THEIR MISERY: When a woman has a problem, they don't want help solving the problem...they want you to wallow in their emotions with them. My own ex-wife once told me, "I don't need your cold logic, I want you to hold me and tell me it will be all right." I responded, "Do you want to solve your problem or revel in it?" She didn't appreciate my contribution. I didn't appreciate her neurosis.

You have to CARE ABOUT WHAT THEY CARE ABOUT: If a women develops an interest in a particular charity, you better be on board and make it your number one charity, devoting your time and money to it, whether or not you actually give a damn. If gardening is her thing, by God you better be willing to go with her to the nursery and spend an afternoon picking out flowers and shrubs and lawn ornaments, and then spending countless hours helping her enjoy her hobby. And if your wife suddenly gets religion, well just get your best suit dry-cleaned because if she's going to church then you are too.

You have to bow to their methods of CHILD REARING: Nobody knows what's best for children like their mother, so men should just keep their mouths shut and let mom handle it. Endless "time outs" that do not correct behavior problems: shut up! Outright defiance coddled: shut up! Temper tantrums endured: shut up! Ceaseless begging after saying no: shut up! Gross disrespect ignored: shut up!

You have to recognize her SPENDING is necessary, yours is frivolous. She has 25 pairs of shoes, you have five. She has nothing to wear to the office party despite a walk-in closet chock full of clothes and buys a new outfit for $200. You buy a couple of new tires to put on her car and it's "Tires? You had to buy tires? You love that car more than me!" You notice while paying bills that she's charging lunch every work day, adding a cool $250 a month to the credit card bill. You suggest that might be a little excessive and recommend she brown bag lunch a few days a week to help keep the bills down so you can put more towards savings and you better be ready for hours of pouting, snide comments, yelling at the kids and total rejection in bed that night. And just to show you who's boss, look for the next months credit card bill to show $300 in lunch charges.

You have to admit her FRIENDS are terrific, loving companions that are 'always there for her, just like the gals on Sex In The City. Yours are boorish uncivilized louts not fit to step foot into her home. Never mind that one of her friends is having an affair, another likes to shoplift to alieviate her occasional boredom and another has had three DUIs. After all, what are those foibles compared to your friends who have been laid off ( financially unreliable ), or work 60 hours a week ( in love with the job, not the wife ) or would rather play golf on Sunday morning rather than go to his wife's Church of Perpetual Misery Because Men Are Assholes.

You have to swallow that her FAMILY is the perfect example of a loving family. Yours are escapees from Hillbilly Ville. Nevermind her mother is a bitter shrew who has brow beat her husband into a walking coma, or the welfare queen sister with three kids by three different boyfriends, or the brother on parole for some mysterious felony the family won't talk about. What are those when compared to your dad, the evil gun collector? Or your mom, who volunteered for that right-wing nazi politician. Or your brother the soldier who's just so busy killing babies in far off Stoneageistan.

So, what do women want?

Some men say, "I don't know, but I'm trying to figure it out."

Other men say, "Who cares? They're all nuts anyway."

What determines how a man answers appears to depend on how many times he's been divorced.


Mr. Quarter. said...

Sounds like you had a bad day. Need someone to talk to and tell you it will be all right? Sorry, just kidding. I've been there and done all that.

Deb J said...

Not all women are like that. But the ones who aren't are few and far between. I don't like or tolerate the drama from other women. Don't like shopping and only have just a little above the bare essentials in clothing. Understand if a man isn't interested in my interests (however, many of my interests include male-oriented pass-times) and don't expect anyone to participate in any activity if you've tried it and don't like it or it's against your own personal beliefs.

I agree kids today are too spoiled and coddled and time-outs just don't work on some children. Back in our day, we knew if we did something wrong and got caught, we'd pay twice....once from the one we got caught by and double when we got home. AND we took responsiblity for our actions. Now they think they can hide behind Mom and Dad and can't be touched.

And my dad was an avid gun collector.

Anonymous said...

Marriages fail because they are a house of cards held up by the weakest of foundations - human character. Only real committment and courage can maintain a marriage. As you point out, your friends marriages almost combusted spontaneously and instantly at the point where the wifes decided they were no longer happy. Lacking the character committment, and courage to stay they simply exited and the marriage collapsed - not withstanding any efforts by the husband to try and save it. Like an egg, easy to break and impossible to reassemble.

StayC said...

If you are describing your wife it doesn't sound like you liked her. I don't think I would but I'm just wondering, if not for your children, saying goodbye to her sounds like a good thing. Perhaps you could hang out with men who choose better women.

Apat said...

Most of us at the adult level, have been through a bad relationship and/or marriage. The pain and hurt can be overwhelming to the point of blinding us to the truth. I spent a few years in 'hate' mode, until the day I realized that what my example was teaching my children, was that marriage was bad, the opposite sex was bad, and that I shared NO responsibility in the faiure. That gave me pause, and was a shocking thought to me. Did I want my kids to grow up with that attitude? That example? That was when I looked back with my eyes open to the possibility that I - here's the shock - might have been blinded by bitterness. A moment that made me realize that no matter how bad my spouse was, I TOO was at fault. I could never please the X, tried to be what I thought was expected, did all the RIGHT stuff, or so I thought. But when I looked back, I realized that I had never been honest about who I was. What I wanted. I realized that it takes honesty and REAL communication to make a marriage work. I had never considered my partner an equal, never considered that being equals was more interesting then allowing one of us to always make the decisions, always take the lead. And hopefully, while painful, my moment of clarity will help my kids in their marriages. Go figure.