Sunday, December 21, 2008

A marriage paradox

I was speaking with my daughter’s boy-friend last evening. He and my daughter have been close for several years. They have considered marriage, but not yet taken the plunge. “It wouldn’t change anything,” he told me. “We care about each other, care for each other, enjoy our time together, but still live independent lives. How could that change? My experience in two marriages, both more than twenty years in duration, had been different, I told him. Marriage is a serious commitment that does change a relationship, ‘for better or worse.’

He then recalled a conversation with a friend, about how guys and girls view marriage, that confirmed my view. “Guys and girls view their relationships differently,” he said. “A girl marries a guy, loving some things about him and disliking others. She figures that after marriage, she can change him to be the way she wants him to be. A guy, on the other hand, will often marry a girl because he loves her exactly the way she is. He doesn’t want anything to change. The paradox is this. After marriage, the girl changes. she can become a very different person. The guy, on the other hand, stays pretty much the same as he was.’

My daughter joined the conversation and said, “When a girl friend tells me she has fallen in love with a guy ‘who has potential’ and wants to marry him, I know there is trouble ahead.”

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