Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Unrealistic Expectations in Marriage

The discussion thread following the post is better than the post itself:

Unrealistic Expectations - Martin (By Common Consent)

13 comments:

SilverRain said...

One of the first few comments: "I think a lot of women underestimate how HUGE of deal it is to most men for their significant others to not be overweight. Sounds harsh and shallow, but that’s how we men are wired."

And I ask again: then who needs men?

I'm not asking this question to be rude, I really want to know. If men put their value in women on something that is GUARANTEED to fail with time, than what is in it for us? It is better not to count on men at all.

Papa D said...

I agree, SR - and I thought it was a . . . stupid . . . comment when I first read it. (Tried to find a softer word, but it really is a stupid comment.) It iss generalized and stereotypical - and, even to the degree that it accruately describes many men, it also accurately describes many women.

Rich Alger said...

There is so much of pain, personal and raw in those comments. And of quarreling and fighting and nastiness in the comments of that post.

My heart aches for the time when we can have no disputations among us as Jesus pleaded with the Nephites on his first appearance.

That said, I am sorry SilverRain for the discouragement and futility the post brought you. There is a physicality to every marriage. But it need not override it. What is it that I love about my wife? She is loyal and persistent and hard working and flirty and fun and so many other things.

I loved the comment about the wind and the sun. It reminds me of D&C 121. We all can take so many cues from it. We are to be gentle and loving and work to increase our influence by persuasion and long suffering.

SilverRain said...

To be honest, I pity the theoretical male who would try to fall in love with me at this point. I have WAY too much baggage now on any scale. ;) This I know.

But I know a few people . . . like you and your wife, Ray . . . who give me hope in something better.

Papa D said...

That's one of the reasons the thread itself (not just the post) made an impression on me, Rich. I like uplifting discussions, but I also like multi-faceted, "real" discussions in which differing perspectives (even painful ones) are expressed. I don't think our understanding can be "made perfect" without exposure to experiences and ideas and viewpoints that differ from ours - even if we end up disagreeing fundamentally with most of what we read or hear.

Maybe that's just me, but I learn SO much from those type of discussion threads - even as some of the comments in them frustrate me as I read them.

Thank you, SR, for your kind words. I hope you never lose hope that you will be loved unconditionally by some man at some time the way you are loved now by the Savior and your Father in Heaven.

SilverRain said...

Thanks, Ray. I'm much more worried right now about MY capacity to do that!

jen said...

The whole article seemed to miss the point.

The love I believe in accepts ME for ME. I have some amazing friends who don't expect me to change my hair, my weight, my appearance, my emotions, or any part of me... They love me THIS way. And I feel the same for them.

Even with all my "baggage" I am a perfect me. I love me, and I expect others to love me like that. My friends are all each perfect thems. I don't want them to be any different than they are.

And... I also know that I will walk away from a friendship that is no longer mutually beneficial. I also expect my friends to do the same.

I think the ideal marriage relationship would work the same as my closest friends. We will completely accept each other as we are... love without expectations... (But also knowing that if the relationship is no longer mutually beneficial, we can end it.)

Not sure if I'm making sense... just thinking "out loud".

Anonymous said...

If my darling husband were to have to spend ten years down the mines in an effort to provide for us,and emerge an different shape than when he went down,I don't imagine that anyone would have much time for me were i to leave him because he was no longer the man I married.It's a pity that when a woman spends ten years and more bearing their children and being marked by the process,that this is seen as evidence of her really not trying hard enough to keep her man,or worse as an excuse to seek out a woman who is more to the husband's taste.What a pitiful waste of a life's work.Love the one you're with.

Silverrain,when you meet him,and there are many good men,you will know him because he will work to help you feel safe.

Papa D said...

Jen, you made perfect sense. Very well said.

That's the main reason I valued the thread over the post. It was fascinating for me to read everyone's comments - even though I disagreed with some of them.

Anonymous, that is a WONDERFUL example. Thank you!

Rich Alger said...

"But also knowing that if the relationship is no longer mutually beneficial, we can end it" -Jen

"No Longer mutually beneficial" is a low threshold to pass to end a marriage. I am glad that my wife holds me to high standards in our marriage. It really isn't her. It is part of the temple marriage covenant coupled with the endowment.

If my marriage becomes no longer beneficial to us, I would hope that one or both of us would take a serious look at why. And make the necessary changes to make it become beneficial again.

I think I understand where you are coming from when you want to be accepted for who you are. That has been one of the greatest epiphany for me. That my wife loves me in spite of knowing me intimately.

As we become more and more like Jesus, we necessarily must change, for the better. Perhaps that is not the change you were talking about.

jen said...

Rich-
You're right. "Mutually beneficial" sounds like a very low threshold... The phrase doesn't effectively explain what I want to say.

The place I come from is one where I have been in relationships that are very harmful to me. (Physically and/or emotionally). I always used the excuse that all relationships have their ups and downs.

The downs I experienced were abusive. The ups were never really good. I have little experience with what a healthy and happy relationship can feel like. Because of that, I NEED the freedom to walk out on a relationship that is not beneficial... But beneficial in my world is not the same as beneficial in most people's worlds. Most people have a hard time fathoming staying in a relationship where they were being beaten, but I stayed for years.

As for being accepted (and accepting others) for who they are, it feels amazing!

This prompted a conversation with a friend of mine... We defined love as "seeing the beauty".
This kind of love has no expectations. It accepts things as they are without trying to change them. Beauty is all around us. (I can see beauty in people, horses, trees, mountains, relationships, buildings, everything. The beauty in each of those things is unique.) This kind of love is not limited.

Rich Alger said...

That does make your previous comment much more clear. I am so sorry that you have had to suffer through abusive relationships. I have never had to do so.

"Seeing the beauty" turns my mind to a phrase from Cherie Call's song Believe, "Sometimes you see what Jesus sees when you look in the mirror". Jesus sees the beauty, also the potential for life and fullness of joy.

It sounds like you are in a much better place than where you were. I am so happy for that.

Papa D said...

Jen, thanks for the clarification. You might have said something similar (or, at least, hinted at it) previously, because I read that sort of meaning in your comment.

I don't know if this applies directly or not, but I thought of a post I wrote two months ago when I read your comment:

http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2011/02/seeing-god-in-mirror-his-image-in-our.html

That post is focused on our own view of ourselves, but the principle applies to how we see others, as well - with eyes of love.