You’re Just Not The Man I Married, Part 1 of 2

“You’re just not the man I married.”

“It’s like you’re a different person than the person I dated.”

“All those things about you I used to find quirky or interesting… they annoy me now.”

“I’m just not attracted to you anymore.”

“You used to be [interesting/funny/attractive/smart/open-minded/confident/place compliment here] but now you’re [the opposite of that quality].”

“I just don’t know you anymore.”

Are you tired of this yet? These are the many things a woman carries around in her quill of venomous arrows, waiting for the exact moment to let fly and pierce your heart with her criticisms. You see, the reason these criticisms are particularly vicious and hurtful is because, for the most part, there is absolutely nothing you can do about them.

Women always feel free to criticize men in a way that men can never criticize women. If you ever even hinted that you thought any part of your woman was becoming… er… larger than it used to be, or if you ever dared hint there was anything about her appearance, her behavior, her demeanor, her dress, or anything directly or indirectly related to her sense of being, why, you’d be the biggest son of a bitch walking. She’d be hurt, she’d be offended, she’d cry, she’d tell you that you clearly don’t accept her as she is and therefore you do not really love her, and then she’d proceed to make your life a living hell and never, ever let it go.

Any time thereafter that you ever got into an argument, she’d bring up the fact that you’re an asshole who doesn’t accept her as she is. You’d be called hyper-critical and demanding and probably a hypocrite, too, because of course you are not yourself perfect. And then she’d start in criticizing you… and we’re back where we started.

Women, on the other hand, feel they have free reign to say to you anything they want. It doesn’t matter that they’re being hypocritical or that, in the case of marriage, the marriage is supposed to be for richer, for poorer, in sickness, in health, and all that bullshit. No, as a man in a relationship, you’re a Hollywood executive. You’re only as good as your most recent accomplishment, and if you haven’t done anything lately, why, your career is presumed to be over. That brings me to an aside.

A woman won’t stand by you when times get tough. I have a friend who supported his girlfriend while she was out of work. Then he got sick, and she eventually found another job — while he lost his. Suddenly the shoe was on the other foot. When she got mad at him, she’d start ragging on him about being out of work. She’d call him a loser and basically shit all over him. She’d treat him in ways that, if he had acted that way while she was out of work, why, she’d have told him he was the most abusive bastard who ever lived, the kind of guy who isn’t fit to be raped by child molesters in Federal Pound-You-In-The-Ass-Prison.

Not only did she not stand by him when things got tough for him, though; she went out of her way to shit all over him when they broke up, demanding that he agree to “repay” her all kinds of money to the tune of figures she just magically dreamed up through selective math. (She conveniently forgot all the things he paid for, especially when he was the primary wage earner.)

I’ve said before that women have a built-in time period during which they’ll support you if you show vulnerability as a man, and that once this time period (which differs from woman to woman) elapses, they hold you in contempt for daring to show weakness. When it comes to suffering privation from, say, a lack of money between you, or financial problems on the part of the man in the relationship, your woman will never forgive you for failing to provide for her. Your only worth to a woman (no matter what she says) is your earning power. If you’re not capable of providing her with money, she may or may not actually tolerate you (depending on her own means), but she’ll always resent you on some level for not being the wage-earner in the relationship.

I used to work with a guy who was divorced. He lived alone with his dog, whom he had named “princess.” He seemed happy enough. He used to go on about this book by Richard Dawkins called The Selfish Gene. I’ve never read it, but the guy said that the book said that, among other things, men choose a mate based on attractiveness, while women choose a mate based on earning power, even if this selection is made (I’m guessing here) based on some subconscious assessment of that mate’s earning power, his ability to provide for the woman.

I used to think my coworker was rude and presumptuous as hell to blather on about this to married men, basically telling them their wives were, at least at the genetic level, ungrateful gold-diggers. I watched with amusement as he pissed off our supervisor by telling him as much. “You don’t know my wife,” the supervisor said indignantly, “and you don’t know the relationship, so don’t tell me things like that.”

In retrospect, the poor bastard, with his minivan and his dog Princess and his otherwise empty house, was completely correct. I’ve seen it time and time again, since then, since I started actually looking at the world with open eyes. It may not actually be the case that a woman gets wet for a fancy, expensive car or for fur coats and diamond jewelry, but she’s sure as hell going to leave your ass if she got used to these things and you suddenly can’t provide any more of them. If you’re a simple middle-class married couple and you, the husband, lose your job, be prepared for her to be completely supportive.  (Continued in Part 2).