Saturday, March 27, 2010

Girl Talk


Overheard at the salon:

Pete's 35 and he's never been married. Wonder what's up with him?

Just because he's not married, doesn't make him gay. My husband was 36 when we married.

Isn't it hard when they're older when they get married? I mean...don't they have habits that they don't want to give up?

Yes, it's harder. But shouldn't you want to love the person just the way they are and not try to change them?

(Group Chorus)

OH, GOD, NO! That just doesn't even make sense!

**********************************************

I admit I've tried to change the Wonder Husband. My success rate is not high. If it were, he would never again wear white crew socks with Birkenstock sandals. Or wear his baseball cap 24/7. Or leave the Boraxo hand cleaner on the counter by the sink every time he works on his cars. Or think that the floor is where you leave your dirty clothes. Or continue on with other habits I want to fix . It's not that I don't' try to change him, it's more like I can't.

He tells me that if he were too perfect, other women would just want to steal him away from me. But, I disagree. If what I overheard at the salon is correct, no matter how perfect the man, there's extensive remodeling to be done. I think men decide what they will and will not allow their mate to change. Which is probably one of the biggest rubs in a relationship.


How do you feel about loving the other person just the way they are and not trying to make them change?


34 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i agree for the most part...unless they are making unhealthy life choices, then i think you gotta step in...

Nessa said...

Both my husband and I were in our early 40's when we married. Neither of us had been married before. Regardless of your age though if you feel you are entitled to change the other person you are doomed. Because you love and care for each other, you encourage the person to make changes they want to make.

TechnoBabe said...

The lengthy manic episode in 2008 did a lot to make me see my hubby just for who he is. He has bipolar, he does not want to have manic episodes, he tries his best. I am so grateful he is here and healthy as he can be, and all the little stuff that would have bothered me are just not significant, it is like I don't see them. If I notice the crumbs on the counter or little stuff, I let it go. Because when I want to hold his hand while we sit on the couch and read, he likes to hold my hand. Out of the blue I find a little note or a heart painted on a mirror or on my coffee cup. I don't think there is such a thing as a perfect husband, just as there not a perfect wife. I like this post, Ronda. It is a good thing to really think of the good things about our spouses and not zero on the nit picky things and work them till they look like big things.

Gemel said...

Maybe this is why I now have three cats and no man? If little things need to be changed I think that is okay, but if there are bigger issues lurking then maybe we are with the wrong person and should move on not change them?

Although I finally feel that I am ready for that perfect mate now (Universe are you listening) one who will be as close to perfect as a man can be.....

Marisa Birns said...

Trying to change a person is mostly an exercise in futility.

I suppose the only thing one CAN change is one's attitude. After all, those things were there during dating and didn't cause a brouhaha in the first place, right?

Wait. Did your husband-to-be wear white crew socks with Birkenstock sandals while you dated him?

See? It was love. Which always trumps everything!

Megan said...

My habits are pretty unbreakable at this point.

I remember some friends of my parents, they didn't get married until their mid-40's, and they agreed not to have the ceremony until they finished building a whole second wing onto her house. That way he'd have a place to keep his old habits in, and so would she.

Still happily married. They meet in the middle. :)

jiturajgor said...

When you truly love the person,you will never try to change him/her except for the essential things. In your case when you suggest for a dress sense or a good home-manner it is OK.Those are parameters of a good living and spouse has to take it positively. If one puts things in proper way at proper place, it is good for both.Happiness,many a times lies in comfort and punctuality.
But you know Ronda, how we men are!

DUTA said...

It's kind of naive to think one could change an adult person; trivial, little changes perhaps, but not significant ones. So if you happen to date a man that behaves like a miser, run away from him, he's not gonna change and your life will be Hell.

Ronda Laveen said...

Brian: in the case of unhealthy life choices, we have to speak up.

Nessa: Very well said.

Wow! This has turned into a great discussion.

TechnoBabe: Yes, a lot of things we think we need to change are so very superficial. They don't always have to do with just loving that person.

Baino said...

It's impossible. No matter how old they are. Even my son does annoying things that I haven't been able to 'train' out of him and I've had 23 years trying. He still makes a mess when he cooks, his room is a pig sty and he can't straighten a towel on the towel rack to save his life. But I focus on the good things, he mows, takes out the garbage, is good to his mother . . . if you need to change them, well, then I don't think you really love them. "For Better or for Worse" remember!

otin said...

I think that you have to go with what brought you together in the first place. If you mess with that too much, then you change the chemistry.

Ronda Laveen said...

Gemel: I'm sure that your near perfect man IS on the hori7on. Until then, your cats make a fine, unconditional love substitute.

Marisa: You are too funny. It was a like time ago that we were dating. I can't remember if he wore those darn socks with his sandals or not. Maybe I was in denail.

Megan: That was a brilliant solution! I wonder if the husband would be willing to do a little remodel.

Ronda Laveen said...

Jituragor: I keep hoping for you men to join us...But yes, I know how you are. Thanks for your wit.

DUTA: you are straight to the point as usual. Yes, run from the main who has major flaws that are not of good service to yours.

Baino: You are right, of course, focusing just on the negative is so narrow minded. There is both good and bad in any given person.

Otin: I agree. And, you are certainly experiencing a lot of chemistry yourself these days:-)

Eternally Distracted said...

I love the salon conversations, I go there just to listen ;0)

I agree with Brian... no point changing anyone unless their choices are unhealthy or harmful.

Elisabeth said...

Hi Ronda. This hair salon conversation is fascinating and worth considering.

When I was a child at a convent school some forty years ago now, I remember a visiting priest, Father Flynn telling us that we must not approach marriage with a view to changing our future husband.

'Remember the word "altar", girls' Father Flynn said. He urged us not to enter marriage with the notion 'I'll alter him.'

Normally the advice of my religious teachers stays in my mind as quaint advice from those who did not themselves have a clue. Priests and nuns do not themselves marry. How could they know. But this piece of advice holds some water. At least it did and still does for me.

If you approach a relationship with the aim of extracting change from that person, you are probably headed for disaster. Relationships need to change to grow but they do so in an evolutionary way.

It's probably best if we can get together at least in the first instance with the somewhat illusory idea that we are exactly as the other wants.

Lord knows it's hard enough when things change, as they inevitably must and do. It's probably best to start with some degree of confidence in what we are from the onset, to withstand the pounding of those crashing tides of change.

Mrsupole said...

I always tell people that when my hubby said his vows of I do, he was actually saying I do change. And he did, he changed from the person I was dating to a total stranger that I did not know. But what really happens is the old saying that you truly do not know a person until you live with them. I have spent almost 36 years trying to change him and he just refuses to change and since he has also spent 36 years trying to change me and I refuse to change, I figure we are even. As with everyone we have things we like about each other and things we cannot stand. But I figure as long as he gives me his paycheck every two weeks then I can put up with the things I do not like.

You cannot change a person, only that person can change theirselves. We can only nudge them in the right direction and pray they do not get lost.

I have heard that it truly is what are you willing to put up with and what is he willing to put up with. Good times are easy and it is how well you can handle the bad times that make or break a marriage. I am a bitch and he is a butthole and so sometimes I am a beauty and sometimes he is a prince. I am good, I am bad, he is good, he is bad. It all evens out. As long as you love each other that is what truly matters. Kinda like your kids, you love them no matter what. They can be stinkers and they can be angels.

Isn't love grand?

God bless.

lettuce said...

well i think relationships inevitably change both people involved, don't they? in some ways...

but setting out to deliberately change people - seems dodgy and probably doomed...

Dorraine said...

After 25 years of marriage, my husband and I have both changed. I gave up trying to transform him years and years ago and he's let me be me also. It does go both ways.

I can only change myself, so I keep plenty busy with that!

joanny said...

Ditto to Brian Millers comment -- I figure if I cannot change or easily change my own habits how can I change someone else? It takes a lot of disciple to correct or change one's habits. A dear old friend, who has seen life -- recently broke up with a mutual lady friend of ours -- and I asked what went wrong? he said plain and simple "she brought out the worse in me - sad but true"-- After reflecting on his words -- I thought in my own relationships I will strive to do better and bring out the "best" in myself and hopefully others.

JGH said...

My husband does have one fairly easily-changable physical (ahem)..characteristic that used to bug me. A few times before we were married I very gently hinted that I'd prefer it otherwise, but he ignored me. After a few years of letting it bug me, I decided to let it go. Much happier overall. People who expect perfection have a very hard time finding it, right?

Christina said...

I don't think I'd want to change DH anymore. The only one I'd really, really like to change radically is MIL. Do you think I can?
Please say yes! :D

Subby said...

I am, at 42, the family bachelor...at least I think I still am. Dunno if my brother ever did marry the...nevermind.

Would I ever change for anyone tho'? Quite possibly...

Ronda Laveen said...

ED: I learn so much listening to idle converstaion like this.

Elisabeth: What a great way for your priest to get you to remember, all these years later, his sage advice. I like your idea of starting from the point that we are already what each other needs.

Sherry: HA!you gave me a whole new meaning of B & B:-) May your husband always give you his paycheck every two weeks and may you be in love for ever!

Lettuce: Yes, I think the relationship itself changes the people involved to a degree. Sometimes many.

Dorraine: Oh, yes, just changing oneself is a full time job, let alone working on another.

Joanny: Wow! That is truly some story of your friend. Too look at your relationship and realize your mate brings out the worst in you. Definitely a lesson for us all to look at what we inspire, good or bad, in all of our relationships.

JGH: Yes, I think we find more joy when we can let go of our idea of what is the perfection of another. When we keep wishing they were something else, it keeps us in a negative state of emotion.

Christina: YES! May I suggest a nine-iron for the job?

Subby: Hmm...very interesting. Begs the question, what would you be willing to change for a mate.

Subby said...

Ronda, not sure I'll ever know the answer meself...

...and you're linked up on the new bloggo ;)

Jai Joshi said...

I agree with the general principal. If I loved someone I'd never want to change who that person was as a person, their character or their personality. Besides, people only change if they want to.

However, there are always itty bitty habits people have which can do with improvement - like the things you mentioned. When it comes to things like that then I think strong efforts of communication can help but don't always work.

Jai

Ronda Laveen said...

Subby: Thanks. I 'll check it out.

Jai: All I can say is, people get set in their ways. True that!

Dave King said...

When we got married the minister based his address on:-
Aisle
Altar
Hymn

(I've never asked if it helped.)

Christina said...

A nine iron!!! That'd do! :D

Christina said...

On another quick note: this one's for you, Ronda:

http://christinasride.blogspot.com/2010/03/kindness-of-strangers.html

Ronda Laveen said...

Dave: The minister at our wedding kept making analogies to cars. Like: the wedding ring was like a piston ring,etc. He didn't even know the husband was a car nut. No wonder our union has been blessed with many autos.

Christina: Why, THANK you! You are so worth ever bit of help you can get.

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm no expert - after all I'm single and have been most of my life, but it seems to me that people fall in love with each other as is, so it's funny that later on they begin to think about transforming each other. What did they fall in love with? It's interesting to think about.

With my ex husband, I thought it was kind of cool that he smoked, since he was a jazz musician - until we married that is. Then I wanted him to quit ASAP.

But he never did until we divorced.

Go figure.

Ronda Laveen said...

Reya: That is truly interesting. Really, you didn't want him to quit until you were married and wouldn't quit until you were divorced.

Begs the question, why did you want him to quit. ie, you don't like smoking, it kept him here on the Earth plane, it affected his karma.

Ronda Laveen said...

That should read "he" wouldn't quit until...

Barbara Martin said...

I don't feel making a partner change is necessary to even attempt unless it would safe their life. Most mens' quirks are what make them lovable.