This is a particularly odd entry for the marriage blog that I have in mind today and I ask that you bear with me as I explore a difficult topic. Why do women stay with men they want to behave differently? Why do women marry men who really don’t have a lot going for them and who really don’t treat them well?
It really doesn’t make much sense and when you watch someone you care about doing that to him or herself; you may find yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place. Do you know someone like this? Have you watched them jump through hoops? Have you heard them constantly excuse their significant other’s shortcomings? Have you ever heard one of them say that it would all work out when they were married?
I have. The first time I heard someone say that, I was appalled. If she really didn’t like the man now and desperately wanted him to change, why were they even contemplating marriage? When he encouraged unrecognizable changes in the woman he was engaged to and discouraged her from any remnants of her previous life because they weren’t suitable or positive in his opinion, what the heck was going on?
How could they be involved in a committed, caring relationship when it boiled down to the fact that they really didn’t like who the other person was.
The answer is frighteningly simple.
The Power of Attraction
Many men and women do not base their choices in a significant other on how decent, caring or good someone is to them or in general; they do it because of the primal attraction they feel for them.
These men and women will put up with their unsuitable choice for months and sometimes even years. Their friends and family will stare, shake their heads and wonder what is going on. There can even be disputes as friends and family try to discourage what seems so obvious to them and yet the couple persists.
Why do people do that?
Because they confuse attraction with connection and they are often convinced if they can compensate for what they feel the other is lacking – it will work out. You see this a great deal in relationships between immature partners. Not young, mind you, but emotionally immature partners.
The Idea of Love
Unfortunately, for the people who find themselves in these types of relationships. The problem is that the men or women they are with may have all the potential in the world. They may have within them the capability to be great and be all the things that others can see in them. But they are usually not at a place in their lives where they are interested or even capable of forming and developing a committed and deep relationship with anyone.
You cannot force someone to be something else. Marriage is not a stock investment that will hopefully mature in time to provide you with a significant return. Sadly, marriages such as this take place all the time and many of them are doomed to failure.
I’ve been in those relationships. I have been on the receiving end of the affection when I was nowhere near ready for that kind of commitment. I have experienced the deep emotion that I thought was love for a man who was nowhere near ready for that kind of a relationship either. Falling in love with an idea is dangerous. Because ideas do not feel, they do experience pain and they rarely are able to commit and return those feelings.