Why Is It So Difficult For Men and Women To Live Together And Remain Together?
Is it really possible for a man and a woman to be attracted to one another upon first sight? Is it, then, feasible for them to remain together long enough to move in, marry, raise a family and remain together until “death do us part”?
We begin with the basics of how men and women, generally, feel about one another. Here are some phrases that come to mind:
Man: “You know how women are.”
Woman: “You know how men are.”
Man: “I’d love it if she would stop talking.”
Woman: “I’d love it if he would open his mouth and say something, anything!”
Man: “She never wants sex anymore.”
Woman: “All he’s interested in is sex and that’s it.”
Man “I wish she was still like when we first met.”
Woman: “I wish he was the way he used to be.”
From caveman times the premise has been, ‘Men do what they want, women do as they are told.’ Until fairly recently, that has held true in most cultures and countries, even the ever progressive United States. Let’s put it this way, as my mother use to say, “Women don’t put up with that shit anymore.” And most women today, at whatever age, agree. A majority of young women, today, are absolutely unwilling to even consider living those old tenants.
I’ve been canvassing men and women for over thirty years, from all over the world, with this simple question, “Do you think men and women can live together?” Most men say, “Of course they can.” Every woman says, “Hmmmmmm, Not really.” Future couples stand on a precipice of a cultural shift that has been progressing for decades. Let’s make this simple. When a couple comes in for the first marital counseling session, I ask the woman, “When did you first start thinking about being a bride?” If a response is immediate, she will say, “Since I was four watching Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Snow White.” When I ask the man, “So, (tongue in cheek) when did you first think about becoming a groom?” The answer comes less quickly, but comes none the less. “About a month before the wedding.”
So, what does that mean for the future of marriage? How could a couple venture into this commitment as companions and partners rather than the stranger’s husbands and wives appear to be to one another? What happened to men and women being able to live together and remain together without separation considered soon after the wedding vows and almost immediately after the first child is born?
Women don’t put up with what they use to and men have not been encouraged, given permission or guided by previous generations of men to join in on any part of the life they are demanded by today’s women to participate in. This includes children, house work, and (aghast!) feelings. If there is no one to blame here, and there is not, how can men and women go on pretending that every thing is okay? It is not.
Men in general, but white men in particular, have not gone through any adversity that a minority has experienced. If a human being hasn’t ever gone through the hell of finding equality and balance with others, there will not be an opportunity for any growth beyond the original thinking. When I speak to men about this issue, the answer to any of this is, “That’s because we are already there.”
So, that leaves us with the amazing acceptance, more and more each day, of equality of women and gay men. Oddly enough, men don’t seem to have a problem with the lesbian culture. But gay men have been persecuted and vilified through the ages. Somewhere in ‘religious’ teachings people point to as ‘proof’ that gay men are living in sin, to be abhorred. Women are to obey and be submissive to their husbands. This is what I am told by most women of my generation.
A bible the verse from Ephesians is often quoted:
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, ..”
Isn’t it interesting that this last part of the much-quoted verse is left out of any debate. If a husband adored his wife as Christ loved the church my guess is the words obey and submit would have no true meaning, or at least not the meaning it has today. If that type of respect to one another had EVER been practiced, there might be relationships today that resembled a balanced partnership.