We are animated bits of carbon on a ball of rock and mud whipping around a contained explosion that keeps us warm.
And yet many of us think that marriage is supposed to be forever and that people don’t change, as if those were somehow bedrock certainties in the universe.
Those are the myths that lead to articles like this. People change, even married people, and years or decades later can discover that they need to take a different path than the one they started out on.
If you love and respect them, you will let them walk that new path, encourage them even, recognizing that it could have just as easily been you that felt the need to break away. There’s something twisted about a person that would keep another bound to something that was essentially dead. It’s deep, deep insecurity and fear that drives one partner to demand that the other partner remain even with the knowledge that they no longer want to be involved.
This woman reeks of that kind of insecurity. It’s all of her average friends on Facebook and Instagram that are the root cause of her husband judging her looks – not the multi-billion dollar advertising that surrounds him with images of impossible to obtain glamor, beauty, luxury, and sex.
Screw her for the chauvinist that she is for these lines: “Because our men are much less emotional and are much more visual. And as quickly as I can forget your picture, it is filed away in his mind, ready to be pulled back out whenever he so chooses.” Yes, yes, all of the problems with marriages, unfaithfulness, and divorce are because men are such simple, base creatures. Keep pushing the myth that women never cheat and that men only cheat because they are men.
The other repeating theme the writer harps on is ownership. He is hers and she is his. They own each other. That’s disturbing to me. One person can’t own another, even if there are vows exchanged. At best, through honest and open communication we can have an understanding of the other person and what they need and want to continue to stay involved with us.
A good, functioning relationship takes ongoing, persistent effort. The minute assumption creeps in and one party starts taking the situation for granted the off ramps on the highway suddenly start looking more appealing, promising new and exciting experiences. If instead, one practices letting go on a daily basis, acknowledging and accepting that things must and will change, then perhaps more effort and care is put into understanding, cherishing, and supporting the person you are involved with and appreciating what exists in the moment.
The writer strikes me as someone who has in her mind the ideal, successful marriage. A certain number of kids, the eventual grandkids, the large family celebration on their 50th wedding anniversary. Extremely judgmental of me, especially based on just one article, but it sure does seem like she has a larger goal in mind and anything that might threaten that must be fended off.
But fended off by others; her friends and her husband.
FTA: “After Memorial Day, I noticed so much skin on social media that I half-yelled a warning to him as I ran out the door one morning. It’s summertime, honey! Beware the beach pics and half nude girls on Instagram! And like that, he was in solitary confinement from all virtual community for the next two days.
Protecting his eyes, protecting his heart.
I know you don’t mean anything by it. But I need to share one more thing with you.
When your bare shoulders and stretchmark-less bellies and tanned legs pop up, I not only worry if my husband will linger over your picture. I worry how he will compare me to you.
As I wrap myself into his arms at night, I wonder if he is seeing you there instead of my mess of a body left over from pregnancy. I wonder if he thinks I’m lazy and that I don’t take good care of myself. I wonder if he wishes I looked more like you than who I really am.
And then the insecurity monster comes back to bite at our relationship again…me, begging for affirmation, and him tiring from saying the same thing over and over.”
What if she is lazy? What if she isn’t taking good care of her body? What if he just wishes she looked more like what she used to look like? Does that make him terrible? As she runs out the door each morning to tend to her hectic life, does she ponder if her ambition is causing more damage to her marriage than social media? Why did she marry a man so shallow that he only cares about her physical appearance and thus all of her toned and bikini-clad friends are threats to her marriage?
That insecurity monster didn’t come back, it never left, because inherently she knows she doesn’t actually own her husband, he is there because he chooses to be there. Maybe because of his vows, maybe because when he knows wearing a pink Oxford with a brown blazer is admitting he doesn’t really have a lot of other options in the dating pool.
But likely, it’s because he really loves her and because being with her makes his life better.
And on some days, watching Kate Upton in zero gravity also makes his life better, while not in any way undermining his marriage, turning him into a sex-crazed, objectifying animal, or damaging his heart.
Well, that’s a lot of words! I clearly had a reaction to that article.