Friday, August 3, 2012

Marriage as a career ladder?

With the arrival of married woman Jacquie at The Sanctuary, my thoughts turn to marriage :-)
Jacquie and also her partner-in-crime Stingray have some exquisitely beautiful things to say about relationships/marriage.

NC showed his displeasure at the fact that not many people ahd bothered to tackle Danny's question in Bellita's brilliant post 'Manhaters': 'why should a man bother get married nowadays'?
Some of us took the bait and tried to appease NC. I think NC was satisfied with our efforts :-)

JV stole the show as usual (um, is there no end to JV's talents? lol).
I post here her comment in its entirety because it would seem a travesty to leave something out:
But Belita's Rocky analagy puts words into something that I couldn't put my finger on. You grow as a person. But you also grow as a soul.
There is a range of experience that comes from marriage. And not all of it is sunshine and rainbows. A lot of that growth comes from sacrifice. Not a popular concept in this day and age. But, there's a depth and range that comes from feeling, experiencing,examining and asking the big questions. And living through it.

You can experience love and intimacy without commitment. But there's an added dimension, a quality that requires you to think and feel outside of the box when you can't just walk away when things are difficult. And there's a wonderful dimension to being someones ideal, and being with your ideal.

There's no better feeling in the world than being in love and the two of you being on the same page, growing, and both trying to be the best possible people that you can be.

I know I am not the only one who felt the power of these words.


To me, marriage is still an abstract concept. And it will remain so until I say 'I do'.
I have no expertise in this subject. So anything I say about it is theoretical.
Bellita's response to JV's words is exactly the right attitude to have to such powerful words:
 It takes one who has lived it to describe it properly. While I still see it "through a glass darkly," you have seen it "face to face."

This is precisely why I think JV's words are so powerful. She has lived it. No guesswork here...




I don't usually get to spend time with my married friends. It is usually because they are too busy. And much as I would like to get closer to them and learn stuff from them, it would seem churlish (not to talk of selfish) to add to their list of priorities (their marriage commitment to each other, kids, work, running a household, etc.) by imposing myself on them.

But occasionally, I get a 'free gift' as they say. (By the way, I find this term highly amusing as a gift is supposed to be free anyway...)

But I digress...
One of my friends has been married. For ten whole years.

She is a wonderful woman. As Red Pill as it gets. Very feminine (inside and out), she is a hard worker and definitely what I would call a 'masculine woman' of the type we describe here.
I vaguely knew she is divorced. But I was never curious about that.

Then one day, out of the blue, she told me more about herself than I expected.
In one unforgettable sitting I learned so much I am still reeling from the lesson.

She married young. For ten years she had a blissful marriage, according to her own estimation. Then after one catastrophic event in her marriage she divorced her husband in what she thought would be a swift and painless end to her pain.
But no. Instead, it took her close to ten years to finally get over this episode in her life.

This woman had plenty to be bitter about. But she is not.
From what she told me, I tried to work out why not.
Knowing her character, I think I know why now.

She says she prefers now to see her ex-husband as he once was before that catastrophic event in their life together.
She prays for him everyday.
She wishes him well.
She didn't say this, but I got the sense that she wishes she could turn back the clock. (Even though she is now with a great guy she adores).

I KNOW that she would have done things differently if all that stuff happened now.

I think (guesswork from me) that one realisation makes her the epitome of human strength that she is:
Horrendous as things were with her ex-husband, I think she realises that she was lured into the divorce-court by the hype built up by the divorce industry.

Crucial to understanding my logic here is that she is very Catholic (yes, Capital C) and never actually wanted the divorce she instigated. But quite apart from the fact that she wanted to punish her ex-husband to some degree, (which is entirely normal given what happened), she did not take the allocated 'cool-down' period she so desperately needed and which was freely available to her.
She (much to her chagrin now) accepted the 'low-hanging fruit' that divorce has become for a lot of women.

Unfortunately, the unintended consequences of that is that all of a sudden, she had become the 'bad guy' when it was her ex-husband who deserved to be labelled as such.
She told me that despite what he had done, he blamed her for the divorce (simply because she had irreversibly set it in motion).

If for one second, I step into his shoes, I imagine this is what he might have thought at the time:
"So....when I was a good boy for 10 years, it was all good with the missus. The minute I put a foot wrong I was rather unceremoniously and unbelievably harshly dealt with..."

Gentlemen, is any of this familiar to you?

What's weird is that I could 'see' all of this by simply studying her face when she was telling me her story. So I know that she too could see his point of view now, after many years of reflection.

Some women, I think, never arrive at the point of introspection that my friend achieved in regaining her life after her divorce.
This I find is a major difference between women like her and those who are bitter.

My friend achieved the impossible. I take my hat off to her. And I know that whatever happens in her life from now on, she will be OK.


In the course of one evening I suddenly realised that bad things really do happen to good people...
But what else did I learn from her?

Because the laws governing divorce and child custody are the way they are, indivuduals who want a lifelong marriage really do need their own system of maintaing the high standards they have set up in life.
How?
I found a nice analogy with 'careers'.

Some careers are a lifelong commitment, just like marriage.

A dentist friend of mine once did a brilliant 'compare and contrast' between doctors and dentists. Apparently, dentists, on qualifying are 'good to go'. They can set themselves up in private practice almost immediately.
Apparently not so for doctors. A newly qualified doctor is like a fish out of water. He or she would need years more of specialisation to get to the point where they are 'independent'.
I think the same applies to lawyers, accountants, nurses, engineers and teachers, to name a few professisons.

All of these careers are conspicuous by their requirement for ongoing training.
In some of these, 'qualification' is simply an 'entry level' milestone. It takes years to get your 'exit level' landmark that can get you established in that profession.
No-one sees you as 'fully cooked' in that profession until you have got your 'exit level' qualification.


How does this pertain to marriage?

Amy helped me by saying something to the tune of 'you don't have to be 'fully fledged' as a wife on your wedding day. The marriage itself helps you to become a good wife'.

This helped me because I realise now that this is rephrasing exactly what The Catholic Church has been saying all along (but I wasn't paying attention lol until Bellita and Amy pointed it out like I am a 6 year old), which is ... marriage is one of the seven sacraments. It is a channel of grace.

I am acutely aware that my friend's marriage even though it failed, was very much a channel of grace for her. I know she knows this too.

And even though I feel I should be an expert before marriage to be attractive enough as a marriage partner in this day and age where the rule-book got thrown into the river, I also realise that I should perhaps chill out a little :-)

Where marriage is concerned, I really am a newly-qualified doctor as opposed to a newly-qualified dentist.

It helps me to see myself this way, because then I can see marriage as a way to grow and develop...

If the end-goal is the wedding day, then the marriage is in trouble.

Part of the problem why many marriages fail may be that (again this is a guess from someone who hasn't even achieved 'rookie' status!!) too many people see marriage as the 'exit' qualification and not the 'entry' qulaification.

The whole wedding industry is geared towards making brides see the big day as the former and not the latter.

It is time for potential brides to develop a new 'frame' for one of the most important days of their lives.

Because the old 'frame' is a dangerous one.
A really bad trap that even good women can fall into - like my friend did.


I really like how The Queen's jubilee celebrations get bigger and bigger every time...I can bet that the recent diamond jubilee celebrations were much bigger than the golden, which were much bigger than the silver...

Maybe young brides today will do well to look forward to 'bigger and bigger' celebrations of their marriage timelines. If they thought this way, they wouldn't pour all their efforts (and money!) into the wedding day, which is actually nothing but 'Time zero'.
Because they would be so keen to be saving up (emotionally, finacially, psychologically, etc) for Time 5, Time 10, Time 20 and so on...
If everything one has is given to Time zero, there is nothing left, physically and figuratively for Time 20...

Does this make sense?
If there are any runners among us, perhaps a switch to this as an analogy might help?
If a person thinks they are in a sprint, they will give their all for 100m or so and then stop.
But if they are 'psyched up' for a marathon then they are more likely to 'pace themselves', no?

So marriage should be thought of as a marathon, not a sprint.
It's not a 72 day affair, it's a lifetime affair.





Any excuse to post this man's picture...
And I still maintain I am NOT VISUAL!!!
:-)
(OK, who am I kidding lol)
:P





Well, it IS the Olympics afterall... :-)

55 comments:

Jacquie said...

I don’t even know where to begin. This is a good post. First, thank you for the mention.

You hit so many different key elements and explain them well. I like the career analogy you used and would like to take it in a little bit of a different direction. A man and a woman build a marriage much like building a business. They are partners but each has their distinctive individual roles to which they are qualified to fill that role. They each need to respect the other for the contribution to what they are building while working diligently on what they contribute themselves. No business begins big; each starts out as nothing growing in proportion to the work put in by the people who are building it. This is where I think the current teaching of relationships and such (feminism) destroys the most. The duties of each business partner have been blurred to confusion of who is responsible for what and there is no longer an order to the building plan of the business. Women are told they need to carry part of the men’s responsibility to have significance and satisfaction in the partnership, while men most times are made to feel they have no significance in the partnership. Therefore some aspects of the responsibilities are handled improperly because the partner trying to do a certain job is not qualified while other aspects they are qualified to do are left undone because they were told it was beneath them, or they just didn’t have the time or strength left to get to it because they were doing the work that would have been better handled by the other partner.

Religion aside, men and women are biologically wired to handle certain roles. When the lines of those roles blur into one another, and what you are told you should be doing conflicts with what you innately feel you are qualified to do, there will be major frustration. Confusion abounds in many relationships and just as what happens with a business, the marriage fails to grow. Some may hold on barely making the payroll, while others need to close their doors altogether.

ST mentioned a timeline with the beginning being ‘Time Zero’. Respect that you are each beginning at that same place. Realize that you are each going to make mistakes; some are going to be big while most are simply a blip on the radar. Working through them builds strength and character and through each process a deeper trust. Accept the abilities, skills and talents that each brings to the relationship. Don’t try to tell the other how to do the work that you yourself are not qualified to do, concentrate on your own position and what is required of you. With this mindset you each bring your best to the progression of the relationship/business and keep moving forward growing more prosperous with each step.

Marellus said...

... ultimately a marriage should give one shelter from the storm ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8TayMIEUaM

Marellus said...

From this blog

There are some comforts to be found in self-employment, and one is that no one can sack you. So it is with being a plankton, at least no one can be unfaithful to you.

Seems there’s a lot of infidelity about, all over the bloody shop; seemingly more now than ever before. Everywhere you look. Every day I hear of new stories of friends or friends of friends or not even friends (stories in the papers, and I don’t even read the tabloids). I am currently haunted by one beautiful, perfect, brilliant young woman (not a celebrity) who is only one degree of separation from me and who was with her boyfriend for ten years. Got married very recently. Fairytale wedding and all that. Only to discover, just months later, that he is fucking someone else. I see the photograph of Someone Else, smiling and smug and self-righteous, and the evil part of me wishes her considerable ill. As well as him.

I can’t help it.


Why oh why ...

Stingray said...

Excellent, excellent post.

I always have to shake my head at the stories one hears about women wanting a wedding. The only important things, truly important things, about that day are the vows and the blessing of the rings. The rest is simply fun. I had an average size wedding and it was beautiful. However, the only reason we did it this way was for my family. Both of us would rather have eloped. We wanted to be married. It is so much more than a wedding ceremony yet, that seems to be where everyone's attention is.

I think JV's comment is spot and and your post expands everything very nicely.

Thanks for link!

Grasshopper said...

@ST… “… Gentlemen, is any of this familiar to you?...”

Yes when you said “… she wanted to punish her ex-husband to some degree, (which is entirely normal given what happened)…”

No, that is not normal. That is vindictive and childish. And yes unfortunately that is very familiar behavior among women – not just in divorces but in break ups as well.

You are conspicuously tip toeing around describing what actually happened that caused the divorce. Maybe divorce was the best option for her I don’t know. A mature adult might make that choice in some circumstances. A spoiled child might make that choice simply to punish an ex.

It was her marriage too. Does she take no responsibility for its failure? I don’t see it in your narrative. I cannot believe she was the perfect angel of a wife and a totally innocent victim here.

I am not absolving the husband either he should share the blame for the divorce. It was his marriage too.

Of course again I do not know what happened. And even if the husband was the ‘bad guy’ she picked him and made her bed with him for 10 years. She had no indications that he might do whatever the heck he did?

If nothing else she has to take responsibility for picking a ‘bad guy’. Then get to work tuning up her good man finding radar.

Grasshopper

Bellita said...

Well, of course marriage is a career . . . in the original sense of the word!

Funnily enough, I, too, have been thinking of the idea of a race. St. Paul used it to describe "going the distance" as a Christian, and it is also a great metaphor for "going the distance" as a spouse. Dropping out of the race should not be an option.

Spacetraveller said...

Jacquie,
Thank you!
I really like your 'starting a business' analogy! It is even better than the 'career' one that I gave.

"The duties of each business partner have been blurred to confusion of who is responsible for what and there is no longer an order to the building plan of the business."

I think this ties in very nicely with the video that Marellus provides (thanks Marellus).
In his example, the woman cannot say to the man, 'Come in from the storm, I'll give you shelter' if she is herself in the storm. Feminism ensured that women were out in the storm with men. So now everyone's cold and wet...

Stingray,

Thank you too.
"We wanted to be married."
And so it was. One gets what one wishes for. If one wants a fancy wedding and nothing else, one gets a fancy wedding and nothing else!

Spacetraveller said...

Grasshopper,

Yes, I did not wish to elaborate on my friend's story. It was very specific and very cruel what happened. That she is the way she is (i.e. a happy, loving and thoroughly sane indivudual) is a blessing in itself.
I just wanted to make a point with her story: which is, that she DID accept that despite what happened, it was still her action to end her marriage. You are preaching to the choir, Grasshopper. She is one example of a woman who really took a long hard look at herself and refused to blame anyone else for her actions. Sure, it came too late to save that particular marriage (which I find a shame) but she is not playing the victim at all.
I am sorry if I did not make it clear enough in the OP.

About wanting to punish the husband, I do think it was a normal human reaction (yes I admit that without saying what he did you are left in the dark) but where she went wrong was to dwell on it to the point that she opted to cut off her nose to spite her face. She amazingly went through with a divorce she actually never wanted! She was definitely doing it to punish him. She admitted as much (not in so many words). She must have been pretty hurt. To expect her not to have reacted at all would have been to expect too much of her in my opinion. But I do agree she went too far. Divorce is pretty final. (Sure, one can always remarry, but often it is a near-impossibility if one or both have 'moved on', as in this case).

She lost sight of her marriage vows because she 'saw red'. All of us 'see red' from time to time, no? And we react badly. But what happens afterwards? Those who you describe as the vindictive and childish ones are the ones who do not progress and continue to 'see red' forever. This woman has done so much work on herself that she sees her ex-husband as a good guy again. To me, that's heroics right there...In light of all the above, do you still think I am being 'lenient' with her?
If she weren't with someone else now, I am pretty sure if her husband came looking for her, she would take him back. Surely that is a great place she has ended up, far from her "I want to kill him" days.
The point of this post is this: There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, we all agree on that. If my friend had had difficulties in her marriage early on, maybe she would have got the 'training' that most people get along the way. But she had bliss for 10 years, and then bam! one big thing happens, and it's over. She was ill-equipped to deal with the disturbance...maybe she was complacent? Maybe she had her eye off the ball? I dunno. But she learned the lesson in the end. Some never do, and blame others and get bitter.
Yes there are people for whom divorce is indeed the best option. But my friend is not even arguing that divorce was necessarily the best thing for her. She accepts that she acted in haste at a time when she should definitely not have been taking decisions. Since than, she really has gone down the route of 'mea culpa' and has been totally honest with herself. I really respect that.
Too little too late? Maybe. But still, better late than never...

"If nothing else she has to take responsibility for picking a ‘bad guy’."

The funny thing now is that she believes he was a good guy all along who did one bad thing. And she should have been able to see that before cutting him loose so swiftly.

Bell,

"Well, of course marriage is a career . . . in the original sense of the word!"

I am patiently waiting for the etymology masterclass...
;)

Bellita said...

I was just referring to the Latin "curro, currere" . . . the verb which means "to run" and from which we get course, current, and yes, career. :)

Spacetraveller said...

Ah, now I get it Bell.

Very nice :-)
It makes perfect sense.
Thank you!

just visiting said...

@ ST

Thank you for the quote. I'm honored!

I think that in wanting to punish a spouse through divorce, a person can end up hurting themselves even more. There is a sense of unfinished business that haunts both people. A lot of "What if's".......
And of course, feelings that don't just go away. And negative ones added to the mix. Divorce should be the last option, not the first. If only to satisfy your sense of knowing that you did everything humanly possible. Because even the hamster knows when you didn't, and it will haunt you in a thousand different ways.

I got a sense of that in my twenties. We'd seperated for a few months, and the insights of "unfinished business" haunted me.

I never forgot that. People ask me why, in the last couple of years in my marriage, that I didn't leave sooner. In part, because I believe in life long marriage. In part because I remembered the lessons from years ago. I had to know deep in myself that I had done everything that I could. And I paid a big price for that. But I sleep at night. And I have no bitterness.

You also bring up another very good point. it's easy to judge a marriage on a few bad things and forget about the good. This dishonors your spouse, yourself, and each others lives. It invalidates love. And since God IS love....

The destruction of society, the family and the individual is so immense with divorce that it's hard for me to understand why our culture treats it so cavalierly.

Grasshopper said...

ST - I appreciate your discretion regarding the cause for the divorce but I am having a hard time imagining how things could be bliss for 10 years and then bam.

It was your friend’s behavior that had me seeing red not your being lenient with her.

I have met a lot of divorced women, mostly in my church where many come to make a fresh start. Those that have shared about their divorce always spin themselves as the perfect wife who was victimized by an evil husband. Every time.

And ironically, just like your example today, it’s often unclear to me just exactly what the ex-hubby did that was so evil.

If one of these divorcees actually admitted that she could have been a better wife, or whatever verbiage to the effect would say to me that she accepted her share of responsibility for the failure of the marriage, I think I would find that….well…

Attractive. (yes - with a capitol A).

I would imagine, despite her circumstances, that is why your friend has snagged a new beau.

Or maybe she is just a really good cook ; - )

Grasshopper

Bellita said...

@JV
I'm (obviously) very anti-divorce, but the "unfinished business" angle didn't occur to me until you brought it up.

But it actually complements the "course" imagery quite well! Anyone who drops out of the running, for whatever reason, will be haunted by the thought of what would have happened if they had made the opposite decision. What if what seemed like such a huge obstacle was really just a tiny crack in the ground?

I remember reading about a couple that decided to split up because they were so unhappy together, but also to be as civil as possible, for the sake of their children. So although the husband moved out of the family home, it was only to move into another townhouse in the very same street! Many years later, when they were both involved with other people, they admitted that they had had no idea they could ever get along as well as they had learned to, and both agreed that if they had known that during the divorce, they would never have gone through with it!

I'm also reminded of Will Smith saying in an interview that he knew exactly where he had gone wrong in his first marriage and that he would have done things differently, if he had only known then what he knows now. (I believe that his ex-wife is on very friendly terms with both him and his new wife.)

I love the maturity evident in these stories, but at the same time, I always wonder what the current significant other thinks of such realizations! Because these people are basically saying, "If I had the chance to do things over again, I'd take the path that wouldn't lead to you!" :P

Incidentally, this is why I could never date a divorced man, even if the Church didn't recognize his first marriage. I don't want to be the path I know he shouldn't have taken.

Yes, there are exceptions, of course. If I find such a man and realize I want to be with him, then I hope that he, like you, is one who can sleep at night! ;)

Spacetraveller said...

@ JV,

"Thank you for the quote. I'm honored!"

Prego/bitte ;-)

"I think that in wanting to punish a spouse through divorce, a person can end up hurting themselves even more."

Oh yes. The reason I felt I had learned so much from my friend (and I know she was being gracious in sharing her story with me) is that she had reacted almost in a 'knee-jerk' fashion, but she really had been 'aided and abetted' by the divorce industry. To add to the mix, her parents had never liked her ex either, so guess who were goading her on to cut him loose...
And...she was young...
I wouldn't say she is racked with guilt or anything, no, but I can see that she has great insight into her part in all this.
And yes, I really do believe that if she had seen divorce as the very last resort, and not as the first as she saw it at the time, she would probably still be with him.
Anyway, perhaps it was never meant to be...but as they say, you make your own luck, and I am so sorry that for her, her 'luck' eluded her for reasons that could have been prevented if only she had just taken the time she needed to properly think things through.

@ Grasshopper,

You and your cooking fixation lol.
I think in many ways she is horrified at her own behaviour, but crucially, she is not letting the past destroy her.
So she is indeed very different from the women you describe in your comment.
Now I am sure the ex has been doing some reflection of his own.
If he is still angry with her for the divorce I think that would be unfair, even though he would be technically right to be. Maybe he could have intervened more to prevent the dissoultion of his marriage? I of course don't have the technical details of their divorce...

Bell,

You raise some points I too hadn't quite thought of!
Interesting... I need to ruminate on them for a while...

just visiting said...

@ Bellita

In a lot of ways, the unfinished business between an ex and a spouse is worth considering before getting involved. I don't blame you one bit. For one, if there are children involved, that person will always be there, even when the children are grown.

Your story about the divorced couple who were surprised about being able to get along so well hits home. My parents ended up going into business together after the divorce. As you can imagine, this did not go over well with their romantic partners. And for good reason. Unfinished business.

The day before my father died, he telephoned my mother. In the course of that phone call, he admitted that he still loved her. She admitted that she still loved him. 20 years after the divorce.
To understand the significance of such admissions would be to know the personalities involved. It floored me.

Bellita said...

@JV
Oh, it already went without saying that men who've had children with other women are out of the question! (Unless, of course, they are widowers.) The hypothetical divorced man I was wary of doesn't have any such ties to his ex . . . and yet he might still have that "unfinished business."

I can't believe that people who have given their hearts as fully as we do when we are in love, can ever erase the past. There will always be something that remains . . . another version of that "unseen thread" that Father Brown says can draw a sinner back to the Church when he least expects it.

dannyfrom504 said...

marriage should be as permanent as the grass- not perrinial as a shrub.

very good post as usual ST.

Leap of a Beta said...

Don't know if wordpress sends links to you on blogspot, but got a whole long post as a response to a lot of ideas here and at Stingrays that I think you'll be interested in. A large dose of the male perspective, from my perspective, of it.

just visiting said...

@ Grasshopper

I think that there are times when a marriage breaker comes out of the blue. This is because the other person went to great lengths to hide the activity. Two such cases would be adultery or addiction.

Addiction is what ended my marriage. And I was so convinced that my marriage was rock solid, that when my husband wanted one last baby, I agreed. I don't doubt that he wanted a child, but unfortunately, I also think that he wanted to use this child as a form of marriage insurance. I think that he wanted to hedge his bets. Because addiction had played havoc with our marriage a few years before, he knew that It would be a deal breaker.

That said, you have a point Grasshopper. Most problems in a marriage don't come out of the blue. You can see the evidence, the trail leading up to bigger issues.

Another problem could be hamstering. A woman really wants to believe her husband. A lot of security is derived from the stability of her marriage. There will be times where something will make her go, hmmmmmmn. She'll confront it, but not really. If she gets the answer she wants, she'll latch onto it. Until something else makes her go hmmmmn. And by then, things could be a mess.

Bellita said...

@ST
Believe it or not, JV's last comment about "unfinished business" and her parents admitting they still loved each other in the end reminded me of . . . Bryan McFadden and Kerry Katona! I've been looking up old press footage of them for the past hour.

Grasshopper said...

@JV… I thought it might be adultery but there are too many pieces that do not fit. I do have an idea that does fit all the known pieces but since ST does not want to mention it neither will I.

I am sorry to hear of your divorce. That must have been a very difficult thing for you to go through.

When I was a younger man I wanted my own family so much it hurt. That led me to making some really bad choices like the one I mentioned to you in the other thread. I am as guilty as anyone at rationalizing away bad behavior in the women I’ve been with.

So I understand you rationalizing away the warning signs in your marriage as you described. I get that people do that. I suspect the woman ST described in the OP was doing that too.

I would take it a step further and suggest that maybe ST’s friend was also rationalizing away her own bad behavior toward her husband? So she could have been oblivious to what she was doing to mess up the marriage?

Maybe that is why whatever it was came as such a shock to her.

Grasshopper

Ceer said...

@ Spacetraveller

Good post. I agree with Grasshopper. It's common for a man to see a woman who got a divorce act like she was entirely innocent, even when her instigation started it. Any man speaking with a woman about a moral topic should see this as a red flag. Either they don't properly diagnose their issues (either through self diagnosis or get help from a friend or priest), or they have no problem lying out their asses about inconvenient truths.

It's striking that you describe a woman who would ax her marriage of 10 years during an emotional state, thinking it would end her problems as a good catholic... Granted, I don't know the specific issue. That trips my BS meter.

Your other points are fairly solid. I like your description about growth within marriage being about the application of grace...and likening it to an entry level qualification.

Any time two people live together, you can't necessarily have everything all your own way all the time. It's part of how interpersonal relationships work. I think the attitude of total personal autonomy is taught at the expense of learning this skill. So you have major roomie conflicts when you get into college living arrangements. Particularly the freshmen.

Add onto this the fact that a marriage really is a single financial entity where you have to take into consideration the values and training of the two people...and stay together over the course of a lifetime. With all that, I think the "complete self-reliance or you're being walked all over" line is inappropriate in anyone remotely considering marriage.

Bob Wallace said...

"It's common for a man to see a woman who got a divorce act like she was entirely innocent, even when her instigation started it"

The first defense people engage in is to blame their problems on other people. You can call it projection or you can call it scapegoating.

The corollary of "It's your fault" is "I am innocent."

Both sexes do it, just in different ways. Guys who abuse women always say "You made me do this." In divorce women often deny their culpability and try to blame the breakup on the man.

just visiting said...

@ Bob and Ceer

Yes. I'd get suspicious too. But sometimes, life happens. That would be a good place to start asking some pointed questions about the marriage. There may have been an event or two in a marriage that was beyond their control, but if you start seeing a pattern of this in the stories, run. No marriage has one person blameless all of the time. At the very least, judgement would have to be questioned.

Like wise if the person that they married was "the most horrible person on earth". Though this is getting harder to decipher. So many men and women are walking around on psych meds now, that it could be within reason for some one to become erratic several years in. But the whole marriage?

At that point, I'd be digging for details about what each other did to save the marriage before resorting to divorce. And anyone who is avoidant about talking about the details of their marriage and divorce is throwing up a red flag. In this day and age, discretion is not the better part of valor when it comes to a potential marriage partner. What you don't know can hurt you.

just visiting said...

@ Grasshopper

Your comment moved me. It seems to be a common theme in the sphere. Men who very deeply wanted marriage and a family when they were younger, or men who were hurt by divorce. It can cause so much pain.

For myself, I would choose to seek out marriage again. Being on the same page and in love is worth the risk to me. And armed with wisdom, I may be in a better place to sustain that. But, it's also possible that it might not be meant to be.

As for ST's friend, there could be rationalization. But it's hard to tell without details.

Spacetraveller said...

@ JV and Bell,

"In a lot of ways, the unfinished business between an ex and a spouse is worth considering before getting involved. I don't blame you one bit".

You know, JV, I find this incredibly generous of you. Dare I say it, I shared Bellita's thoughts on this, but unlike her, I was loathe to voice it out. The reason for this is, that 'traditional Catholics' on some Catholic forums are now 'shaming' never-married people for avoiding divorced people. Now, don't get me wrong, I happen to believe that you can be 'wrong' about someone until you get to know them properly. A divorced man could indeed be the best match for me. But the point of this particular shaming tactic is that it is being metered out by catholics against other catholics. I have been 'muzzled' over this issue ever since because I was made to feel like it was akin to breaking some sort of law if I did not seek out a divorced man.
It felt very much like the 'man up' meme from churches directed at men who are refusing to marry. After months of that sort of thing I stopped listening...
But when you gave your carefully considered comment on this, all of a sudden I wanted to hear more of what you had to say on this matter...

@ Danny,

Thanks!
You are right of course. It should be lifelong, or at least longer than 72 days...

@ Leap,

Yes, Leap, you can send links! Or if you prefer, you could email it?
You've got me all curious now...!

@ Bell,

". . . Bryan McFadden and Kerry Katona!"

Do you mean that these two still love each other? If so, they have an unusual way of showing it, for sure!

@ Grasshopper and JV,

"I am sorry to hear of your divorce. That must have been a very difficult thing for you to go through."

+1.

Re my friend, I don't know the details of her marriage at all, other than what she mentioned. But she asserts that it was bliss for 10 years. Maybe she was looking back with rose-tinted glasses? Quite possibly. It does seem a bit surprising for a blissful ten-year marriage to end in one month, I must say. Yes she filed for divorce within 4 weeks of her husband's misdeeds.


@ Ceer,

Thanks!

"It's striking that you describe a woman who would ax her marriage of 10 years during an emotional state, thinking it would end her problems as a good catholic..."

She is a staunch Catholic, at least now. But I agree with you that what she did was not very 'Catholic'. I must admit, I am 'bigging her up' a bit because I find her introspection and insight into her marriage and divorce very unusual. Like Grasshopper, I don't know (m)any divorced women who would look at themselves in this manner. I always get the 'it was his fault' thing, even if it was she who started proceedings, yes.
So I was suitably impressed by her!
Especially as in her case even The Church would have granted her a divorce or annulment (but of course would have insisted on a long period of reflection first).

@ Bob,

Yes, this is common, isn't it? It takes great strength of character to avoid doing this...

@ Grasshopper,

I am also sorry to hear that you wanted a family so bad it hurt when you were younger. I agree with JV - it is indeed common to hear stories like yours in the Manosphere.

Bellita said...

@ST
Do you mean that these two still love each other? If so, they have an unusual way of showing it, for sure!

I think Kerry still loves Brian. (Remember that "knight in shining armor" comment she made years after their divorce, when he visited her for a short while?) As for Brian . . .

Honestly, I've been looking all over for video footage from their marriage and courtship, and I confess that whenever I find a new one, I can see from the body language why they didn't work out as a couple. But all the energy they've put into being divorced is amazing. I think most couples snipe at each other for a few years and then move on, but these two have been at it for a decade and are still going strong! Despite the fact that Brian moved to Australia and could easily ignore Kerry if he wished. :P

There is a short story by Nick Joaquin about a superstition that if you look in the mirror at midnight on May Day Eve, holding only a candle, then you will see either your future spouse . . . or the devil! (I mentioned this to a friend who said, "Sometimes the two are the same!" Hahahaha--but so true!) If you don't mind me spoiling a bit of the ending . . . I think the couple in the story truly falls in love at the beginning; but because of character faults from both of them, the marriage hits the rocks and each ends up blaming the other . . . until the very end, when each realizes that "the devil" was not the other person, but his/her own self.

Leap of a Beta said...

You should be able to click on my name at the top of the posts (I think?), but the website for the post I wrote was http://stagedreality.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/the-stones-of-masculinity/

Ceer said...

Because of how our society organizes marriage, a requirement for a lifelong spouse is that they must not ax their marriage over an issue in the heat of emotion. Any woman who can stay mad for days is a potential risk for divorce...that adds to the cost of marriage on the front end.

Spacetraveller said...

Bellita,

Yes, how sad for Kerry...
In fact I am beginning to see similarities between her and my friend. In both cases, the woman leaves a marriage without really wanting to, but at the same time is being goaded to do so by external forces which unknown to her are actually working against her...and years later, she is still stuck on the man who has long moved on...

Leap's brilliant post on men as 'stones' rams this point home. A man does not really need any one particular woman. But it's nice for him if he wants one he finds adorable. But she MUST be able to see that their union benefits her more than it does him.
Society has the nasty habit of encouraging women to 'cut him loose!' as soon as a woman encounters some hardship with a man. She takes that advice at her peril. And bizarrely this advice often comes from her 'herd', made up of ...other women, who perhaps already know that this advice is wrong, because they have gone down that path and regretted it themselves...
Oh the cruelty...

@ Leap,

I enjoyed your post, and learned something from it. Thank you!

@ Ceer,

"Because of how our society organizes marriage, a requirement for a lifelong spouse is that they must not ax their marriage over an issue in the heat of emotion."

Exactly. My friend learned this the hard way. But at least she learned it. Others simply move onto the next relationship without first learning the lesson and are surprised if it ends the same way.

"Any woman who can stay mad for days is a potential risk for divorce..."

Um, can we agree on weeks rather than days?
Some of us take longer than others to get over our emotional drama (not mentioning any names lol).
The longer the time we take as our 'time out' the better for you guys :-)
If the time is too short we can't get back to that 'celestial creature' state of mind. We are still in the 'devil' state that Bellita describes :-)
One thing I like, no, love, about my 'quiet men' is that they really know how to make themselves scarce when a woman is about to blow up. They can do a disappearing act like it's an Olympic sport. I find it useful because if someone is 'in my face' when I am already boiling over, it only serves to aggravate the situation. A cool-off time really helps - the longer the better :-)

Do the guys here agree? What about you? What do you prefer when it comes to dealing with your personal/emotional issues? I imagine you would like to be 'left alone' too, to stew over your issues. Out of interest - do you all have 'caves' as John Gray describes in his book 'Men are from Mars, women are fom Venus'?
Speaking from the female perspective, I don't think women have 'caves' as such, but I think a man giving her 'space' has a calming effect on her. A woman doesn't need someone who is full of drama too :-) She and her female friends (and her male gay friends if she has any) have enough doses of this lol.

dannyfrom504 said...

i don't tend to disappear as much i tend to get calmer the more upset i see her getting. if i know she's getting emotional over something I DID, i'll try and understand what i did or WHY she's upset. but for some odd reason i tend to not get involved with women whose emotions "boil over" easily (remember my rule of three's- easily upset is a MAJOR red flag for me).

my house IS my man cave.

the sad thing about what happened to your friend is that usually women tend to WANT relationships more in their later years. but it's much harder for them to find them since the men can (and usually DO) go after younger women.

Bob Wallace said...

"do you all have 'caves'"

All men have caves and women should stay out of them. This includes men's clubs, the locker room, taverns, etc.

I hang out with guys in a cigar store and play cards. Women who walk in start coughing and then walk out.

just visiting said...

@ Bellita and ST

Ok, now I'm surprised. The Catholic church pressuring others to marry divorced people sounds .....not very Catholic? Is this directed at divorced people marrying other divorced people? Or does this apply to never marrieds as well?

Bellita said...

@JV
ST told me about that some time ago and I was as baffled then as I am now. It makes no sense, does it? I'm guessing that the divorcees in question were married outside the Church, giving them a legal loophole. I'm also guessing that the forum in which ST encountered this argument is the only one making it so vehemently.

Spacetraveller said...

@ JV and Bell,

Yes it was a surprise to me too. It started out as single men reporting that at their (Catholic) church, they were being hounded by divorced women with or without children (and others who were in their corner) to 'man up and marry them'. They were of course baffled that this was coming from Catholic circles. And then a prominent Catholic writer responded with an article about how never-marrieds were leaving out a huge portion of the dating market and that they were being too fussy. My view (and this was mainly the view of the guys who started this debate) if I say 'I do' I want to say it to someone who has never said that to someone else before. It's about being at the same stage of life together...
And yes I agree that the older one gets, the smaller the pool of people who have never been married...
I see no problem in two divorced people remarrying for the second time (yes the Church has a problem with this too but that's irrelevant to my point right now) or for that matter a never-married person who finds no issue with marrying a divorced person. The problem was more about never-marrieds being made to feel that they were denying divorcees their 'second chance'...I really didn't like the tone of the article. Interestingly, there were not as many never-married women being pressured into considering divorced men. Perhaps women in general (even Catholic women) do not have a problem with this, whereas (never-married) men are less inclined to date divorced women, especially those with kids??
Are Bell and I outliers even in the Catholic world?
One thing's for sure: the Church can be quite harsh when it comes to this. I know a woman who was not allowed to marry her divorced husband in The Catholic Church. Years later she is quite torn by this. She is Polish, and a lifelong Catholic, as is her husband who is Italian Catholic. She felt deserted by her own Church. She had expected to receive all her sacraments in The Church - baptism, First Communion, Confirmation...but the most important one to her, marriage, was unavailable to her in her own Church.
I really wouldn't want to undergo that. So I found it easy to sympathise with those men, as I do with this woman. Because I know how attached some people can get to The Church. It's a weird (Catholic) thing but it's real. I would have expected fellow Catholics to be the first to understand this delicate issue. So it was quite a shock to see that I was very wrong on this. Perhaps that was my Catholic Red Pill :-)
I see that this sort of thing is what gets Dalrock's goat too :-)
Though what he talks about is more common in the other Christian churches. But it does exist in the Catholic Church too (astonishingly).

@ Bob,

:-)

OK. Got it. That was emphatic!
:P

Bellita said...

@ST
It started out as single men reporting that at their (Catholic) church, they were being hounded by divorced women with or without children (and others who were in their corner) to 'man up and marry them'.

Ah, I get it now!

When you first told me the story, I imagined that all the divorcees wanting to remarry were men . . . which made no sense!

A Catholic friend of mine read my post on Heidi Klum as Aphrodite and told me he wished that some some women in his parish had read it years ago. I wasn't sure what he meant then, but I do now! :P

The problem was more about never-marrieds being made to feel that they were denying divorcees their 'second chance'

You were right to find it ridiculous. It's a perversion of the idea that "Everyone deserves a second chance." If the people arguing with you really believed it, they would be telling the divorcees to give their ex-husbands (and their marriages) a second chance--because that is what it really means.

I know a woman who was not allowed to marry her divorced husband in The Catholic Church. Years later she is quite torn by this.

Now I'm going to seem really cold-hearted, but I think that if being married in the Church was really important to her, then she should have treated him as if he were still with his wife, and not encouraged the relationship. In fact, according to canon law, he still is with his wife! That means she is essentially committing adultery with him now.

It's a terrible position to be in, and I do feel for her, but she knew the rules and chose to break them. This is the price.

just visiting said...

I'm not even Catholic, and the whole thing makes me feel uneasy. Adults choosing to follow a religion know the rules. It's about having a standard. And I've always seen the Catholic tradition as the gold standard when it comes to marriage.

Spacetraveller said...

@ Bellita,

"If the people arguing with you really believed it, they would be telling the divorcees to give their ex-husbands (and their marriages) a second chance--because that is what it really means."

Yes, true. Can't argue with your logic there, Bell!

"Now I'm going to seem really cold-hearted, but I think that if being married in the Church was really important to her, then she should have treated him as if he were still with his wife, and not encouraged the relationship."

Ooooh, tough one...
Technically, this is exactly what one is doing when one avoids dating a divorced person in the first place. But I guess there comes a point when one decides (when one is emotinally involved) that the other person's divorce has to be struck off one's list of 'non-negotiables' because there are 2 other things on that list (I am referring to your proposal here Bell :-) and perhaps this is what led an otherwise strict Catholic to marry a divorced man. In her case also, age is a factor. She was already in her mid-forties when they met, so I guess there was also the thought at the back of her mind that she was running out of options. All curveballs one gets dished out by life. (Can you imagine, if she was really as strict a Catholic as she might have been, it could also mean that given that she had never married, that she could perhaps also have been a virgin?...um, maybe this could have been an important factor??? I am not saying that this is the case with her (I actually only know of her through a friend) but it is quite possible, no? So many factors come into play to make someone decide on marriage, or not, as the case may be.
In this case, knowing that she was forbidden to marry in The Church if she went ahead with this man would have made it a very difficult decision for her.
But she seems to be happy enough in her marriage. She only mentioned her situation as a way of caution when the topic of 'strict Catholic rules' came up bizarrely enough at a dinner party where all except one was a Catholic. Guess who started this conversation? Yes, the only non-Catholic at the table! lol (who happened to be disgruntled with the Church for her own reasons - she had had to convert to Catholicism in order to marry into a strictly catholic Italian family. She did that. But hasn't stepped into a Catholic Church ever since her wedding 15 years ago! Hahahahaha!). Mind you, she was 'aided and abetted in this by her husband who was actually a lukewarm catholic - all the pressure had come from his family and not from him...

Oh the perils of negotiating the family of one's beloved...
So many pitfalls to fall into...
:-(

@ JV,

"Adults choosing to follow a religion know the rules."

Yes, I agree...
But sometimes perhaps the religion seems extra harsh, doesn't it?
And it is at points like this in one's life that acceptance of low-hanging fruit becomes ever so tempting...!
But of course...one must stay strong.
As Danny always says, 'Stay up'.

Marellus said...

ST

My most bodacious delicious frivolous glorious victorious smilin little siren ... I am going to give you a few quotes, which might throw some light on your article :



“… At some point very early in my life I had unconsciously promised my mother never to masturbate if she would love me in the way I had always wanted her to love me. How did I grasp the seriousness of what it meant to her, this business of touching myself?

Was it the pained look on her face, the grimace, the turning away, the sharp intake of breath that I would come to associate with her anxiety? I easily gave it up. After all, I was dependent on her for everything, for life itself.”

When we grow up and fall in love, we make bargains with men based on the one we made with mother. Our adult expectations of the loved one grow out of and are in reaction to that first, most important love experience. We don’t like to think our mature, sexual lives have anything to do with the nursery, but there is no other way to explain or understand the deals men and women make.

Lovers’ contracts, like the one with her, are too crucial to the love experience to speak out loud. The terms in the small print below the beautifully spoken vows of love aren’t even conscious:

“Promise that you will take care of me, love me unconditionally, and never arouse in me any fear of abandonment, jealousy, loss of face, or suspicion that any of the many sacrifices I’ve made for you have been in vain. In return, I am giving myself to you. We will be as one. If you break this deal, I’ll die (or I will kill you).”

How can you say something like that? The meanness of the spoken bargain would break the romantic bubble. Besides, the words show our dependency, infantile omnipotence, lack of trust, the hint of reprisals we would extract if our beloved broke the deal.

Better never to say the terms, never even make them conscious to ourselves. Until he looks at another woman in that special way reserved for us alone.

Then our reaction is out of all proportion, our anger has a suicidal killing edge, not just because of the other woman – indeed she is inconsequential – but because of what has been re-aroused, a tidal wave of old anger and disappointment that began in that first deal with mother, which he has inherited.

Men don’t command women to fall in love in that peculiarly female I’ll die- if-you-leave-me way which is antithetical to sex, being how a baby experiences neediness and not how a grown person experiences love.

No, we give up sex and lose ourselves in dependency because that is the love experience we know best, what we were raised on and for. The kind of love we had with mother abhors sex.

But we could never be angry at her, in fact don’t even know the real source of our rage. We can however be angry at men. Oh my, do they ever get the rage we dare never express at mother/women.



... food for thought isn't it ? ... and yes, I posted these same quotes on Stingray's site too ... yes, I did it first on her site ... now why are you so upset with me ?! ... oh all right ... next week-end I'll come and mow your lawn ... and I'll wear nothing but a pink g-string ... so that you may paddle my luscious white buttocks to yer heart's content ... if my workmanship is shoddy ... but not in the late afternoon me deary ... for then I wanna watch some rugby on the telly ... and there had better be some beer in the fridge ... toodeloo !!!

Leap of a Beta said...

"Interestingly, there were not as many never-married women being pressured into considering divorced men. Perhaps women in general (even Catholic women) do not have a problem with this, whereas (never-married) men are less inclined to date divorced women, especially those with kids??"

This is true for a couple of very important factors.

First is that almost every church will reflexively stand behind the woman's choice of not being haaaaaaapy. She didn't do wrong when divorcing most of the time - he was 'obviously emotionally abusive and not fulfilling her needs, so God must want her to divorce. For the kids, obviously'

Second is that most of these divorced women have hit the wall and/or have kids. Both of which are not anything an average single, never married man wants to get involved with. Less of an issue with divorced men because the woman usually gets the custody, or at least primary if not full. But if a single man wants kids of his own, how many divorced women will want to have another kid or two if she's already single and run down by the ones she already has? Or feels like that would be disruptive to the kids she already has to have another kid with another man. Whole boatloads of issues there.

Third is that never married men can still date younger women. In fact, a 35 year old, successful, single man can be very appealing towards a 25 year old single woman. Probably everyone knows this but the man himself, so the church pressures him into marrying the divorced woman 'to give her a second chance at love' or 'do it for the kids.'

Last is that, if you look around, there's a very large shortage of men in most Christian churches with a larger percentage of congregations being made up of women. Harks back to the other point of the men being a catch, but a divorced woman isn't.

I don't think women know this. Or they're blind to it. I was talking to my mother about a close, younger, divorced friend of hers that's 31. She has kept in good shape, but leads a stressful life of a home owner, career girl, and owns a dog. Probably an 8 or 9 on looks. My mom instantly rated her as a 10 in terms of a catch, until I rationally pointed out some of her issues in being marriage material. Any divorce, for any reason, is an instant drop of some marriage market value. That she's 31 and already visually having to work through the wall is another. I put her as a nice rating of a 7 to my mom instead of the 6 I think she deserves, just as she was a friend.

But most women don't see this. They see someone who they emotionally connect to that they think "deserves happiness." And the person that needs to give it to them is the men of a congregation. Instead, what they need to do is earn that happiness. But it's hard to do that when pastors, the woman herself, the woman's friends, and the congregation as a whole is telling you just to hand it to her rather than giving her a chance to actually earn it.

Spacetraveller said...

Marellus,

I almost dismissed your last comment in the manner of 'The King of Weird strikes again'.

But on closer inspection, I see these quotes as something I have never and will never experience personally, and which is why they seem strange to me. They are uniquely masculine. Not many men readily share these thoughts. Occasionally, a psychologist will throw a morsel out for a female who wants to know :-)
Out of interest, where do these come from?
And now you will tell me.... a psychologist!
:P

So thank you.
I am beginning to see that there might be 'method in your weirdness'.
Is this a 'strategy' or is this your natural state?
Odd question, I know :-)
Just wondered...


@ Leap,

Thanks for your good comment. You are right, there are lots of issues in the SMP that a man can easily see, but a woman is quite blind to. I am quite astonished by how blind we can be, to be honest!This is why a woman needs a man to 'guide' her, to avoid pitfalls. If the 31 year old woman you mention has you in her corner, she will do very well...

Leap of a Beta said...

@ Space Traveler

Eh. Sadly for her I'm living in Chicago now and not Denver, CO. So I won't be able to do much. Not sure if I would anyways, people never seem to appreciate honest and blunt advice/help. Messengers getting shot and all that.

Spacetraveller said...

@ Leap,

"Messengers getting shot and all that."

I know what you mean. As they say, 'the truth hurts' so messengers do indeed come into the line of fire all the time, and it is sadly not always 'friendly fire' either...

Leap of a Beta said...

@ Space Traveler
"As they say, 'the truth hurts' so messengers do indeed come into the line of fire all the time, and it is sadly not always 'friendly fire' either..."

Haha, yep. Which is why I'll post stuff alluding to red pill thoughts and ideas on Facebook. Pictures, news articles, etc. Occasionally one of the 'tamer' blog posts by someone.

Then I've been slowly learning how to 'playfully' talk about the ideas in person. Teasing about it so that it doesn't set someone up on the defensive, but rather giving her hamster room to roam and fattening it up before going for the kill. I mean, the lay. Err.....

Marellus said...

I am beginning to see that there might be 'method in your weirdness'.
Is this a 'strategy' or is this your natural state?
Odd question, I know :-)
Just wondered...


... it all started when I was 14 years old : I had to give a speech in my English class.

ST-deary, I REALLY DON'T LIKE GIVING SPEECHES IN FRONT OF A CLASS.

So what did I do ? My speech-strategy was very simple :

Make it short and hit them with terminology ... oh yes ma'am ... I was gonna get top marks by hitting the whole class with terminology ...

... and there I stood in front of the class and started talking about Abdul Ibn Telmuk Yastermagwar ( ... and yes my darling ... I dreamt that name up ... I read A LOT of Spy Novels at the time ...) and his noble desire for a roadmap ... and then I concluded it all, by saying that all the world's problems could be solved, if a system of Marxistically Orientated Capitalism was adopted ...

And yes my darling, I dreamt that one up as well, and it was full of terminology as well ... I was SO pleased with myself ...

And the teacher was very impressed as well ... I had to deliver that bloody speech another THREE TIMES to the class ...

I have NEVER been the same after that ...

Oh well.

just visiting. said...

Lol. If you can't baffle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your......

Marellus said...

@JV

... My God, I've been negged by a woman ...

just visting said...

Lol.

Anonymous said...

Spacetraveler said...

"Do the guys here agree? What about you? What do you prefer when it comes to dealing with your personal/emotional issues? I imagine you would like to be 'left alone' too, to stew over your issues. Out of interest - do you all have 'caves' as John Gray describes in his book 'Men are from Mars, women are fom Venus'?"


Firstly, men are from Earth, and women are from Earth. Get over it. Just because men and women think differently in the most basic ways, is not a good reason to make an 'alien intelligence' analogy. We're the same damned species and for every single thing my wife does that makes me scratch my head in wonderment, there are at least two things I do that make her confused.

'Twas ever thus....

If you go around thinking that men are from Mars, you'll probably end up thinking men are a write-off, just like millions of women who picked the low hanging fruit. If men were to assume that they can never effectively communicate with a Venusian woman, the entire concept of 'Game' would be worthless on it's face... and for some women, it IS worthless. Back in my day, we called it the Dance, and considered it a prerequisite for serious relationships. And as much as the PUA websites talk about men leading, if they're honest, they also would confirm that women have their own leading parts in any 'Game'.

(By the way, the reason I always put 'Game' in quotes is that I really dislike the term... makes it sound as if a guy is playing a video game, where he has to complete a complex quest in order to receive a special gift. Women aren't video games, and treating the whole mutual attraction thing as a game is setting yourself up for a fail, sometimes an epic fail.)

As for a cave, anywhere I am, is my cave. There are places where my wife rarely goes, such as my shop, but there is no place where she dares not tread. I just now asked her if there was ANY time in the past 20+ years where she wanted me to disappear, because I had made her so angry. She replied, "You've made me angry, but never that angry."

I have no idea if that is my virtue, or hers. I'm not about to ask. She asked me the same question, and honestly, there have been times when I was angry at her, but never so angry that I wanted to get away from her. There have been times when I needed to be alone, but those times had nothing to do with our marriage, but external issues that affected me, and thereby by default, affected our marriage. I needed time to grasp something, and she has always allowed me that time. I'm not as smart as her, therefore I need to sometimes wrestle with myself over issues.


Lastly, marriage, for me, is not a career... a vocation, as it were. It's an avocation, something I love to do, not a hobby, not a job. That's just me, career is not a bad word for marriage, just not my cup of tea. I am stupendously, irrevocably, utterly and completely in love with my wife. She isn't one in a million, she's my One.

When I had my accident, I woke up in the hospital to see her in the chair next to my bed. Three nurses and a doctor were all bustling around the room, doing this or that... and I made a sort of squawk and everything stopped.

"What happened to me?", I managed to croak. She explained swiftly. I asked for some water, and after wetting my throat, I said, "Well, I always told you I would die for you. Now, I guess, it's time to live for you."

I doubt that any man ever got better care from those three nurses. One of them asked my wife if I had an unmarried brother.

The Navy Corpsman

Spacetraveller said...

@ Marellus and JV,

Hahahahaha!


@ NC,

Beautiful story!

Jacquie said...

@ NC
I always love to read your comments. You help me see so many things and where I sometimes have difficulty with finding people who have a marriage like what my husband and I have, I always feel as though you are describing us in your posts. I love marriage and my husband and it saddens my heart to see what is going on currently. I want my children to have what we share and yet reality around me tells me that it may not happen for all of them. Thank you for writing once again. I hope that you will continue to do so as you give me hope each time you do.

@ ST
I got your message over at my blog. I am sorry I have not posted much, I have been busy writing. I hope to catch up more. I love what you write and I do read I just don't always get to visit as often.

Grasshopper said...

@JV and ST… I have been out on a trip for the last week on and just now saw your comments from last weekend…

One of the consolations to being single is that I can take such a trip on short notice and with minimal coordination and planning.

I spent the week at a library in another state immersed researching a subject of great interest to me. This subject is my “cave” you might say.

I don’t go into the cave though to escape dealing with personal issues. I go because I like the cave a whole lot.

When it comes to dealing with interpersonal issues I prefer to get all the cards on the table and deal with it and get it behind us and move on kind of approach. Although, sometimes as you mentioned ST time away can be the best thing.

JV to summarize your comment in mathematical terms ...

In love + same page = worth the risk for JV.

For me the equation is more like this… In love + same page – cave (=?) the risk.

Grasshopper

just visiting. said...

@ grasshopper

Good point. A persons lifestyle has to come into the "equation".

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Jacquie. I've enjoyed your posts both here and your own space on the net.

I also confess to no small amount of confusion in today's world. Guess I was too focused on my family to notice that the Cold War combined with the Gender War to become the Cold Day in Hell War. Frankly, what astonishes me the most, is the absolutist viewpoints at both ends of the spectrum. Women who choose the traditional marriage route are sneered at by many other women, and men who choose the newer non-traditional non-leadership role are sneered at by many other men.

None can tell me, however, why anyone has to defend these personal choices. I commented a couple months ago, on this blog, that if my wife died suddenly tomorrow, I'd never remarry. That hasn't changed, I have no wish to re-enter combat at my somewhat advanced age. But, I won't condemn any human for wanting to give it a try. I just hope somehow, someone will step forward and cry, "Enough!".

The Navy Corpsman

Spacetraveller said...

@ Jacquie,

No need to apologise!
:-)

@ Grasshopper,

"One of the consolations to being single is that I can take such a trip on short notice and with minimal coordination and planning."

And now the married people here are seething with jealousy, lol.
You are right of course, there are some distinct advantages to being single that one tends to forget. As a good friend of mine always says to me, 'you always moan how you would like to get married - don't come moaning to me one day that you are no longer free to do what you want!'
I think she has a point there...

I think the cave is important for men. I have no choice but to accept it anyway, because men I know are very proective of ther 'caves' and won't tolerate me violating it. But even if I weren't excluded from it, I would hope that I would have come to respect it in the same manner as just giving someone their 'space'. I know to do it for some of my female friends too. Although not many of them seem to need this so much.
Alone time is crucial to personal development. Those who can't do this, I notice, really struggle. In this, I reckon the introverts (i.e. perhaps all of us here lol) have a distinct advantage. We suffer in other ways, but just not in THIS way.