Archive for couples

Why Do We Do This?

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , on November 22, 2009 by AF

Why do people who clearly are unsuited to each other (and are usually well aware of the fact) stay together?

I can understand the thing about staying together for the sake of the kids, although I’d dispute that it’s frequently the right answer – even for the children themselves.

But why oh why do people who should obviously part and have no serious reason not to do so, still cling so desperately to the idea that it will somehow work out for them, when the last thing they have any desire left to do is even to cling to each other? So, what’s the point? What’s wrong with admitting defeat and going your separate ways and trying to be more discerning next time around?

There is something that many empowerment courses for women teach and that is that it’s fine to say, “No!” If necessary, say, “NO!!!” if it seems that the other person is unable to hear you. I think that, like many problems that women face, men often suffer from this same shortcoming too – they’re just brought up not to show their feelings as easily, so they tend to hide the fact better. I’ve said before that I don’t like “strident” women, but that’s not the whole truth because I don’t like strident people of any gender. It’s just that I normally like women more and I’m therefore more offended by such females. That said, the fact is though that standing up for what you want is pretty darned important and none of the above stops it being absolutely fine to discover that, in spite of what you once thought, even setting up home together, let alone staying together, is not a good idea after all. If that’s so, just say, calmly and as gently but firmly as you can, “No, I’ve changed my mind. I think it’s a bad idea and I don’t want to do it after all.”

I mean, you might feel a bit of a heel because you once told her/him you were in love with them, but that could well have seemed like the truth at the time – until you sobered up, or the happy pills wore off and you suddenly realised that another ten minutes with that person was not going to be your idea of fun, so the next fifty years had got to be a really bad idea! But there are a lot of people out there who know what they’ve said and simply gulp with fear, mentally kick themselves and then carry on – even to the extent of going through with marriage knowing full well they really don’t want to do it and should never have said whatever they did at the start!

My only claim to any sort of wisdom on this subject is a fairly long lifetime of experience and that keeps on proving to me that I should be bolder and more prepared to hurt someone I care about and perhaps once loved. I’ve rarely followed my own advice, but I have known in my heart in more than one relationship that it would have been better for both of us if we had faced reality much sooner instead of dragging out something that wasn’t right and then having to face exactly the same result in the end. I don’t mean that to be selfish or unkind, but more in the “cruel to be kind” category. If you are aware that you’re no longer in love and you want to end a relationship, whether you’re male or female, isn’t it better to just do it and face the consequences, whatever they may be? Sure that may be hurtful, especially if your partner at the time is still pretty stuck on you, but isn’t it preferable to get it over with and allow the healing process to begin, rather than waste the next ten, twenty, or more years being unhappy and almost certainly making your partner and even any offspring constantly unhappy too?

To me, it’s one heck of a lot better to have the courage (more courage than I’ve sometimes had) to hurt someone briefly once and allow you both to move on, instead of being cowardly and (even unintentionally) hurting them time and time again over years, however hard you try not to.

I Know This Sounds Stupid

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2009 by AF

I also know this isn’t necessarily practical and there certainly are exceptions to the rule, but I’ve thought for years that, in a ideal world, a couple that wants to stay together probably shouldn’t live together. There’s one other thing I know about this, or can at least guess: I’m probably going to get quite a lot of flack over it, but I still think the principle behind it is worth exploring.

I’ve come to this conclusion partly because of experience – well, mostly because of experience – but through observation of lots of other couples too. I understand of course that it can’t be applied all that easily when raising a family, but even then some people (such as armed forces personnel) are forced into that situation and it’s not always a disaster by any means. Male or female, you might well be in a deeply loving relationship with your partner, but if you want to keep it that way, I’d suggest you consider not living together – not all the time at least.

I’ve never been a particular advocate of the “warts and all” school of thought. Realistically, I know perfectly well that my partner will not always look like Marylyn Monroe, Kylie, or Julia Roberts (oh how I adored Julia Roberts in Pretty woman!). I’m equally only too well aware that I’m no Richard Gere, either. But when you’re not together 24/7, you do have a better chance of at least presenting your “best” self for much of the time. More importantly, it’s so very much easier to be excited about the time you do have together, to plan and execute surprises (nice surprises that is) and things to do and to generally continue to “chase” each other – pretty much as you did when you were courting. There’s one heck of a lot more to talk to each other about too, when you don’t see each other every day.

I’m not suggesting here that you will be any more in love, but I’ve always thought that a man or woman might well love his/her partner dearly after twenty or thirty years and the kids and all the other myriad ravages of time, but that doesn’t really guarantee them being a “turn on”, does it? And sex never entirely stops having at least some importance for most people. In fact – and I apologise for this to those of you who are a little more challenged in the immodesty department, but to put it more succinctly: “I love you to bits honey, but I don’t really want to f*ck you!” And before you get all huffy about it – that’s not just a male thing either! Men are as we all know more susceptible to visual stimuli, but women quite understandably feel that way at times too – some of them pretty much all the time and who can often blame them!

Nor am I saying here that a woman should somehow miraculously remain looking exactly like the film star she was when they first met (Lassie??), or that the guy can keep on being the total hunk he once was (Shrek perhaps?), but they can still look the best they can for each other a whole lot easier if they don’t have to do it all the goddam time and it’s a great deal more fun too!

Go on then… tell me what a jerk I’m being – but please try to explain why too… 😉