Missed the first part? Find it here: The Secret Lives of Boys – Part 1
So, basically, I had these unrealistic and completely unreasonable expectations for the men in my life.
And then I got married.
Obviously, I didn’t carry all of these unreasonable expectations into marriage with me (because, let’s be honest… if I had, there would have been a blood bath after the first month), but male behavior still bewildered and baffled me. It didn’t help matters that my husband hadn’t grown up with any sisters, but instead 4 overgrown babies of brothers who couldn’t handle much social interaction outside of scratching, farting, burping and making poop jokes. Basically, my in laws were the cast of “Alaskan Bush People” (and that’s only a slight exaggeration). This did not bode well for a girly girl who thought men were already weird in the first place.
Despite this, I never tried to all-out change my husband. (Note to all women everywhere: You cannot, should not and will not ever change your husband/boyfriend/fiance. Stop trying.) Sure, I rolled my eyes at his gross jokes, and showed my disdain when he’d fart in public, and I tried to get him to dress more nicely… but, I never tried to change him. Polish him up a little bit, sure. But change him? Not so much.
At least I didn’t think so…
The funny thing was, when I was around my brother and he would show these same “male” traits, I would just laugh, and then roll my eyes at his wife when she would get mad at him. With my brother, it was funny. With my husband, it was unacceptable. I realized the disconnect there, but I could never pinpoint the reason for it, nor change it. Why were the same “boy” things okay for my brother to do, but not okay for my husband to do?
In recent years (and especially in the months after my divorce), my brother and I have become quite close. So, it bothered me when I began to notice that the weirdo freak of a brother I had grown up with was turning into a brow-beaten stump of a husband who was supposed to behave properly at all times. In a word, he was whipped. Suddenly the things that my sister-in-law and I would commiserate over (why can’t men pick up after themselves, what’s with their obsession over cars, why do they think it’s funny to tell dirty jokes in mixed company, WHY CAN’T THEY JUST BE NORMAL?!) became reasons to suck the life and personality out of the men in our lives. Suddenly, as a single woman, I wasn’t okay with that. In an attempt to be “normal” and more “acceptable”, my brother was losing the personality that had made him so funny and awesome in the first place.
Had I done the same thing to my husband? Were women doing the same things to their husbands? How long had we been doing this? “Where have all the cowboys gone?” I DON’T KNOW… MAYBE WE “POLISHED” THEM TO DEATH?!
As a single woman, I was suddenly seeing things from a new perspective. And I didn’t like what I was seeing…