Changing Each Other

Women marry men thinking they can change them.
Men marry women hoping they won’t change.

Change is the common denominator in these statements. There of course will always be change, growth and evolution of our beliefs, thinking and beings. However, the above statements speak to a different type of change. They are more clearly about the “play-acting,” the roles taken-on pretending to be something we are not. It is also about the desires we have for the actions of others, the script we expect them to abide by. Funny thing is, neither statement has anything to do with the other party, these bit players in our life’s dramas.

Let’s look at the first statement. It says that many women don’t appreciate, want or accept men for who they are. These women believe they are smarter and consider men something akin to clay to be molded to their desires and beliefs of what their man should be. They also, arrogantly I might add, think they know what’s best for him and he is an unfinished product needing to be changed so he can fulfill his part in her play. Naturally, both partners in a relationship will have some adapting to do with each other. But unquestionably entering a relationship with this unspoken agenda will not only be dissatisfying, but will generate resentment.

She won’t feel satisfied because he cannot be anything but what he is, and she will resent his lack of cooperation in performing the scripted role she has laid out. She may withhold herself from him out of hurt, resentment or vengeance. This will just hasten their demise.

He won’t be satisfied either as he will become painfully aware that she is not who she pretended to be and is not with him for who he inherently is. He will resent this, rebel, or may find someone who does want him. Later in life he may give up on this possibility and settle for another distraction to keep him company, especially if she panders to his ego. Many men can shift so easily from macho hero to wounded little boy and back again, but that is another story for another time.

He may also have been pretending to be her macho hero, protector, provider and will attempt to hide the fact that he is just a human with al the foibles of a human. By training he will feel shamed at this and hide it at all cost. Her trying to mold him will further increase his shame. Now, what happens if both parties are acting? Why their relationship will be an act, and fall on its face.

The second statement speaks to feminine thespian-ism (no, not lesbianism) and how men buy into it, because it feeds their egos. This is the actress who is strutting her hours upon our stage, luring men in and when they have taken the bait stops her act and is seen no more. “I don’t know what happened,” he says, “she used to be so wonderful, supportive and loving. Now, it is all about her, I am number thirty-one on her priority list and I better like it!”

Luring-in under false pretenses is an act some women portray, and then the hammer falls. It may be the act of the she-wolf in sheep’s clothing that just wants to eat you all up dear-and then spit out the bones. Or just simply a different person with different desires then agreed to. She may not have been aware of these desires from lack of maturity, or did not felt worthy of them, so she acquiesced to his. Then she realized these were not in alignment with her soul’s needs.

If she does change, he will be left feeling dumbfounded, clueless. It was clear to him; maybe his clarity was also an illusion? He may come to believe it is his fault; he may feel he is lacking, or he may blame her, or both. Of course, he has responsibility to recognize his own part in this fairytale he took part in. He expected her to be the perfect princess, whatever that is. He chose to perceive what he wanted to see. And she had wanted him, or at least what he had, including security, position, etc. She was willing during the “hunt,” to do what was necessary to get it. Who was hunting whom? He’s chasing her he thinks, while she covers the bear traps with sweets. An interesting dynamic, don’t you think? It can of course be the other way around. This is different then taking the initiative to form a relationship and being honestly open and responsive.

Both statements clearly are about the illusions most live under. The ones we want to see, not who we really are. Either way, they are deceptions, lies told to others and ourselves. Looking at relationship from this angle, is their really any wonder why there is such an upheaval in relationship? We are living lies and expecting true fulfillment.

Upheaval is good. It means something is festering and needs to be cleaned out. It is actually much simpler then most believe. All that is needed is to simply wake-up from the dreams we created, become aware and live with integrity. The most difficult aspect is usually admitting to ourselves our truth, especially the darker aspects. Step one in problem resolution is full awareness of the problem. The problem is always within, not with others. They are just bit players in our dramas. Heal your need for them and you can create real love based partnerships.

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  1. LC

    While it’s not fair for a woman to want to drastically change a man (because they pretty much NEVER change due to ego), it’s not realistic to think that a woman will NEVER change. Having a family changes you. How can a woman not change if she has a child to take care of, a household to run, and a husband to look after? How can a man not want to change and become a better person? The truth is that we both need support to continuously strive to become better, more loving people as we grow older. Being stuck in perpetual childhood is ridiculous, and we see a lot of men and women trying to do this.

  2. Kellye

    Wow, women casting spells over men? I did not live in an illusion of a fairy tale, nor did I dupe my poor, unsuspecting husband. I entered into a marriage and subsequently created a family in full and total agreement with my husband about our expectations, beliefs and convictions, it simply became inconvenient for him. He took all the financial resources and left, no support of any kind, we have 3 children. No warning, no explanation, no communication after the day he walked out. He makes 6 figures, he lives 2 miles away, yet he offers no support and rarely sees his children. I believe he simply did not want to continue in an adult role, he wanted to be free and unencumbered and the children and I were simply in the way, inconveient, as I said. The “why” here is selfishness. He wanted what he wanted and it didn’t matter what he had to do to get it or whp got hurt in the process. What would you tell a man if these situations were reversed? But that doesn’t happen nearly as often does it? My point exactly.

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