12/1/12

Unhappy Marriage . . .

A friend Tweeted this piece about a woman who had a miserable marriage where she was expected to change her husband, failed, and got changed in the process. Seems this guy was a total bore. Worked hard. Made money. Did manual chores and tasks around the house. Was diligent and dutiful to his wife. Provided for her. Allowed her to live her own life, her own way. Real asshole type, right?

One problem - he was not able to change out of the rigidity of his life to be a free spirit who understood sitting on a dock and daydreaming about a short story. He loved but was not in love. He tried. He failed.

She tried to change him. He was the man the day she met him he was the day they got divorced. He was exactly the same, by her own account. Changed not one little bit in that time. 

This woman, nor her ex-husband, are alone in the world. My heart truly goes out to both of them (and I should clarify, I was essentially the husband in my marriage that this husband was in his). Here's the thing . . . people don't change. This woman can claim she tried hard to change her husband. He might allege he worked hard to change for her. They would both be right, they would both be running fool's errands. But here's the other thing that has to be true - when this marriage failed neither of them were changed. What is the author, so permanently altered for having endured her husband all those years (filled with antiquing), doing today? Writing for a living. Exactly what she was doing (or trying to do) when he met her. And what is he doing? Going to work every day. Being dutiful to a new wife. Living on a farm on the Hudson.

I'm not saying I AM that man and Joy certain is NOT that woman. Our dynamic was very similar. Our challenges throughout our marriage were certainly similar. My irritation at the one sided retelling of the tale (much like I probably feel when Joy tells people what happened to our marriage and what she would certainly feel when I tell people "the" story) is obvious.

The author does not crap on her ex. Quite the opposite. She ends it saying she's glad he's happy with a new wife and happy that he's found a way to break through and be comfortable in love. I believe that she's pleased for him and wishes him all good things. I'm presuming he would be happy for her. Want the best for her, etc. 

The only real takeaway from her piece or from their marriage is simple - People. Do. Not. Change. We are who we are. That is why addicts (no matter how many decades in to recovery) are still addicts. Homosexuals can't be talked out of it. Artists see beauty in the world. Overeaters are never satisfied. Sexual deviants are fun at parties. Etc. etc. etc. 

STOP trying to think you can change. STOP trying to change people. STOP trying to imply that you investing time and energy in to another person means they owe you change. We are who we are who we are who we are. Pier-e-it (as Ava pronounces the world).