Musings from a liberally conserative, extroverted introvert, optimistic pessimist, idealistic realist
What is YOUR Perspective?
Published on June 24, 2008 By SH80 In Marriage

A fellow JU offered the following comment on a previous blog I’d written:

 

“Men get married expecting their wives not to change and are usually disappointed. Women get married expecting to change their husbands and are always disappointed.”

 

This led to an engaging conversation between my wife and I. We agreed that this statement was a generalization, but with any generalized statement, there lies a lot of truth. We explored this remark from a male and female perspective.

 

What is YOUR perspective on this statement?


Comments
on Jun 24, 2008

Both my husband and I have changed.  We have pretty much both changed in the same direction.  I don't know if it is possible for people not to change as they experience different things in their lives.  Now, that doesn't mean that the other person will always be happy with the change, however. 


I didn't marry my husband wanting him to change.  I married him because he is who he is.  I think people set themselves up for disappointment if they expect people to be anything different than what they are.



on Jun 24, 2008

I didn't think I would change my husband when I married him but he has definately changed.  I have changed too.   I wouldn't want to be with someone who was frozen at the age, maturity and experience they were when I married them.  I want them to keep growing and improving as I am trying to grow and improve myself too. 

on Jun 24, 2008
Well, there are two important (I believe) universal truths that apply here:

1. Everyone changes. Not necessarily intentionally in order to grow or please someone else, but life changes and shapes us with or without our consent.

2. You can't change another person. You can demand, beg, manipulate, sweet talk, model change, and anything else you can come up with, but you can't make or convince someone to change if they don't wish it so.

Marriage makes you vulnerable because you make a commitment to someone without any guarantee that they will always be the person you feel is so compatible and admirable to you. You have no control over their actions or who they are...maybe the illusion of control, or maybe influence, but really you only have as much influence as they WANT you to have.

I think the cliche about men wanting wives not to change and women wanting their husbands to change is cynical and based on negative (and not all that valid) stereotypes of men and women. Not very progressive or positive thinking.
on Jun 24, 2008

1. Everyone changes. Not necessarily intentionally in order to grow or please someone else, but life changes and shapes us with or without our consent. 2. You can't change another person. You can demand, beg, manipulate, sweet talk, model change, and anything else you can come up with, but you can't make or convince someone to change if they don't wish it so.

These two universal truths changed my life. Thank you for articulating them so well . . .

 

on Jun 24, 2008

LOL, I figured I was going out on a limb calling them universal, but I do believe them to be true. 


The sooner people realize they can't make anyone do, feel, or believe ANYTHING they don't want to, the happier and more harmonious everything will be.


Some habits or beliefs or whatever are unacceptable and cannot be condoned.  Most, though, are just things you have to learn to accept as part of who the person we love is, even if it doesn't fit our desires for that person.

I don't want my mate on my case all the time and constantly reminding me of my flaws, so I try not to do it him.  We gotta be who we are, after all.

on Jun 24, 2008
I am guilty! I was the commenter. And yes it is a generalization. I know I have changed in my marriage, and I dont think that is bad. And my wife has as well. As we married later in life, it became apparent that we were use to living alone, and had to change. So change is not always bad, and in my case needed and neccessary.

For the most part, the changes my wife has wanted me to make were for the better. IN areas that I dont tend to think about (and by extension, I dont think men as a rule dwell upon). And my wife has changed to accomodate my idiocyncracies as well.

I know in some cases the cliche I wrote earlier will lead to conflict and struggle in a marriage. But not always. In many cases it is neccessary for 2 individuals to bond into a family. The latter is my case. But even when good and neccessary, change is often hard on anyone. My marriage has not always been a bed of roses, but at least there were not too many thorns.
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