In a society where many of both sexes are avoiding marriage; where a sizeable minority of 30 year olds are still living with their parents and refusing to 'settle down' (ie: get married); where divorce is as high as 50% in many places and 70% of divorces are initiated by women, many men in particular are well aware of the old saw that Marriage needs work and Love is spelled W.O.R.K.
From the conversations of the chaps often quietly held in the darker corners of the bars, many men have no idea why women seem so angry or what it is they are angry about. From my observations, most women have no idea either.
I, of course, know full well. Not that I am going to say right out loud, of course, and simply invite even nice folk to blow their tops. No. I shall keep my counsel and pull some pints, just as I did during the conversation. To most people marriage is all too often 'Hard Work'. One needs to ask just why this is.
It came up between a wife and husband, and the lady who calls herself Mockarena was telling about it. It caused a bit of a stir which brought another lady in to give another point of view. Let's have the light ale lady first.
I AM ABOUT TO SAY SOMETHING HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL.
This past Friday, Daisy and I took a day off from radio, which gave us some extra hours in the day to do whatever we wanted! Mr. Mock works from home, and I convinced him to take an hour off to go have lunch with me at my favorite breakfast spot (which, by the way, he doesn’t even like, which becomes important in a moment.) I LOVE breakfast at any time of day.
Anyway, we were at breakfast/lunch, and he started telling me about a Porsche forum he peruses from time to time (he’s a huge Porsche freak). One of the guys on the forum wrote a post to alert his fellow forum participants that his wife had decided to end their marriage after 21 years.
She’s a pilot, and had gone off to another state for a 60 day training program, and on her way back home, realized she was happier without him, and told him as much when she returned.
I couldn't make out just why he was amazed. It was a Porche forum with men being the larger proportion of members.What struck my husband about that story wasn’t so much the story itself, but the responses to it. To his amazement, nearly every response was either someone commiserating with a similar tale, or someone sympathizing, and remarking that “marriage is hard work.”
And that’s when Mr. Mock and I had a conversation we’ve had numerous times throughout our almost 16-year marriage. He said, “How come we’re the only ones who don’t think marriage is hard work?” And I said, “OMG I HAVE NO IDEA, but it does seem like we totally are.”
It’s gotten to the point where that statement – the “marriage is hard work” statement – is accepted universally as an undeniable given. As something that’s not even worth debating.
So-called marriage experts agree – marriage is tough. It’s work. It’s hard. It requires effort. And because I feel so categorically differently about it, and am often looked at like an alien when I DO attempt to debate it, I’ve pretty much stopped debating it altogether.
Daisy, for example, will completely disagree with me on this, as will our executive producer and pretty much every single other person I know. I’ve heard that statement come out of both of their mouths on numerous occasions as we talk about various relationship-related topics during our show-prep meetings. And I just don’t say anything, because I know I’m so completely outnumbered on this.
Hmmmmm. There is a hint in there, somewhere. Perhaps she is noticing that her husband hardly ever disagrees with her. Why might that be?I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone else EVER who agrees with me about it, except Mr. Mock.
Not that I am criticising her nor the main points she was raising.
Anyway, Mr. Mock and I discussed at length why it is that we don’t see marriage as hard work. We don’t even really see it as work at all. It’s always been easy. Arguments are rare, and when they do occur, they’re resolved easily. We can irritate each other, but those mild irritations are never anything to get really truly irritable over.
There’s no one I’d rather hang out with than him, and there’s no one he’d rather hang out with than me. It’s just easy.
I told Mr. Mock I was going to google, “marriage isn’t hard work” when we got home, to see if we were complete freaks of nature or whether there are others out there who agree with us. And to my delight, I found this article.
I am happy for Mrs Mock and her husband. Really I am. And I would be very hard pressed to find any objection to her view. It is hers and it is based on her experience. I wonder what experiences the pilot -lady's husband has had though. He just did not 'see it coming'. Does anyone?I feel like either one of us could have written it ourselves. Here are some key excerpts.
Both of us think that our 31-year-long marriage has been pretty easy. And yes, friends have jokingly called us “the Cleavers,” but I actually don’t think we are an anomaly. I think plenty of people have marriages that are not hard work.
Because why should marriage be a lot of work? With synonyms like labor, toil, slog, drudgery, exertion, effort … why would anyone want to spend decades doing that? Shouldn’t it just kind of flow instead?YES, I thought when I read that. I like to think that there are lots of other couples out there who have marriages that are not hard work. Marriages that “just kind of flow.”It used to be, when Mr. Mock and I had been married only a couple years, and then for 5 years, and then even for 10 years, that I thought, “Well, maybe it just hasn’t gotten hard YET. Maybe we’re still too newly wedded to know what the work part is all about.” But after almost 16 years of marriage, I feel like I can safely and legitimately say that we’re experienced enough at it to disagree, emphatically, with the “marriage is hard work” statement.
I have more than a simple sneaking suspicion that there is a deep, underlying thought process and set of deeply inbued attitudes that underpin a happy marriage. I suspect also that the quality and form of those attitudes and deep, almost unattended thoughts that go on in a continual loop beneath our consciousness, has a very large part to play. And the same can be said for all our behaviours, private and public.
Here’s more from the sourcelink:
I brought the subject up with friends of ours who have been married even longer than we have. We talked about what makes a great marriage: a true partnership, respect, compassion, patience, understanding, compromise, empathy, and lots and lots and lots of laughter. To that, I might add never dissing your spouse in public (notice how Mike always ends up smelling like roses in my writing) and an active sex life (sorry kids).
We all went for a walk, and my friend and I found ourselves quite a bit ahead of the men, and we waited for them to catch up
“See how you have to walk a little slower because Mike broke his pinky toe?” she asked.“That’s compassion,” I answered. “Not work. Plus, I get a great deal of satisfaction by being right about his needing to wear shoes on the boat. That was a great ‘I told you so’ moment. How often do you get one of those? Pure pleasure.”“Do you notice how you often watch what he wants to watch on TV?” she asked.“That’s compromise,” I answered, not work. Plus, we try to find things we both like.That goes back to the restaurant Mr. Mock and I sat in when we talked about this. The one thing he liked on the entire menu? They were out of it. There was a moment that I thought he was acting like kind of a brat about that to the waiter, who was positively DELIGHTFUL, and I rolled my eyes. And Mr. Mock saw me.
You might have noted by now that such a conversation in the bar could not have been by a man ! But I digress.He said, in our conversation about marriage, “I know we irritate each other from time to time – I could see when you rolled your eyes at me a few minutes ago,” and grinned at me with that impossibly irresistible grin he has. And we both laughed. He’d compromised by joining me at my favorite breakfast spot that he hates. Was it work for him to do that? No. It was compromise. Just like when I eat at his favorite BBQ spot that I’m not particularly a fan of. We do that, because even if it means we’re not getting our favorite food, we’re still together. And we like that. He’d irritated me when he was bratty to the waiter, but knows precisely how to defuse my irritation. Is that work? Nope. He’d tell you it’s fun to get me to giggle again.
As the Tavern Keeper, one of my main duties is to keep the peace, if for no other reason than the thought of the carpet-cleaning bills. So I leave it to others to answer Mrs Mockarena's question.The article goes on:
“But don’t you see how you are always thinking about him — what his needs are, what he likes? What would make him happy?”
“That’s being his partner,” I explained, “and wanting him to be happy, and not being a total narcissist. It may be love, but it’s not ‘work’.”“Maybe we just need to re-define what ‘work’ means,” she conceded. And I agreed.I am not saying that everything is always perfect, that Mike doesn’t sometimes disappoint me, that I don’t get angry at him. I am not saying that there are not hard times, hard issues, hard problems. But I must say that he overwhelmingly makes it easier to handle these things.YES and AMEN to all of that.The article concludes:So is our marriage work? It can’t be. Because I never feel like I need a vacation.I’m curious to know if any of our clever and competent readers agree with that author and me. Is it just about redefining what “work” means?
The official definition of work is “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.”
That’s simply not marriage to me.
Mrs Mock and her hubby seem well used to one another and 'agree', especially with what she says. It is very possible and likely that Mrs M is a very nice lady; sane, agreeable, kind and affectionate. She was sitting in my Tavern after all. But what if she had not been nice? Not everyone is, as we all know. Some people are impossible to live with.I’m not married to Mr. Mock to achieve a result of any sort, unless you count contentment and satisfaction and happiness as a result, I suppose. But none of those things requires my mental or physical effort.
What do you think? Are there any other folks out there who reject the premise that marriage is hard work?
Not that they started out that way, of course. It is a rare child at one year old who is a terror. Yet by the time they are grown up something has happened. Most people when considering marriage to someone do not expect to get divorced. They usually do hold their chosen one in high regard. They usually try to play nicely. But some do not.
A psychologist lady of my knowledge, Dr. Tara, was also in the bar with a class of darker ale and put just that side to the conversation. Mrs Mock may well be 'normal' but the abnormal are catching up in number. One can talk with Mrs Mock and expect a pleasant time.
10 Reasons You Can’t Communicate with a Narcissistic or Borderline Woman
Emotionally abusive narcissistic and/or borderline women are masters of spin control and pile driving their “reality” home through brute verbal force and emotional reasoning. If you’re involved with a NPD and/or BPD woman, you know these invective communication strategies first hand.
This kind of woman clings to her belief system no matter how many times she’s confronted with incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. In fact, the more wrong she is, the greater the outrage and histrionics she displays.
The next time you challenge your BPD/NPD partner’s points of view, lies, distortions, unilateral pronouncements or unfounded accusations, notice how she responds. Your discussion probably turns into a one-sided argument replete with vitriolic theatrics and threats very quickly.
Here are some common communication control tactics of emotionally abusive narcissistic and/or borderline woman:
1. The Big Bamboozle. Here’s how it works: Emotionally abusive woman begin a conversation/attack with one topic. When you present facts that contradict her beliefs, she bamboozles you by going on off-topic tangents, changing the subject or making a brand new accusation. While you’re still defending your original point and why it’s valid, she blows you off (because you’re making sense) and distracts you by jumping to another topic that’s completely out of left field.
Again, a reminder. These tactics are becoming so common in public discourse - not just 'personal relationships' - that you may well have a valid concern that our society's leadership, media and entertainment industries are simply full of these sort of people. And not just women. Politics, media and entertainment as a sheltered workshop for the mentally unsound.2. SHUT UP! When you try to explain your feelings or point of view, this kind of woman may explicitly tell you to, “Shut up!” Narcissists, borderlines and bullies not only “can’t handle the truth,” they go to great lengths to deny and obliterate it.
Your wife or girlfriend probably uses other tactics when you challenge her like walking out of the room, giving you the silent treatment or simply refusing to listen to you. In both cases, this is the adult control freak’s version of, “La, la, la, la, la, I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you!” They believe if they ignore or stop you from speaking the truth that it doesn’t exist like a small child who closes their eyes to “make you go away.”
3. Name-Calling. This is the last resort of bullies, such as NPD/BPD women. Because they can’t intelligently defend their position or their behaviors, they resort to emotionally-based personal attacks. It’s another distraction technique that sidetracks you from the original point of contention by disorienting you and putting you on the defensive.
Calling your boyfriend or husband names doesn’t prove your point; it’s merely an ad hominem attack. Here’s the logic: “Okay! Fine! Maybe the world is round, but you’re a bleeping, bleepity, bleep bleep! So there! That’s why I don’t have to listen to you. The world is flat!” You have two choices when presented with this kind of “logic;” sink to their level or walk away with dignity and sanity.
4. Projection. NPD/BPD women accuse their targets of things that they themselves are actually guilty of. This is a primitive defense mechanism. It’s the grown up version of the maddening childhood taunt, “I know you are, but what am I?” “But you’re the one who just…” “I know you are, but what am I?“5. Splitting. This is another very primitive defense mechanism. NPD/BPD women see people and the world in all-or-nothing, good vs. evil, black-and-white terms. They have no capacity for context or nuance. Either you see things her way or you must be crushed into the ground.
You can’t respectfully agree to disagree with this kind of woman.
Any criticism, difference of opinion or challenge to her “authority” is seen as a threat and will be treated as such in that you will be devalued and demonized.
6. Smear Campaigns. First, they split, then they smear. It’s not enough for NPD/BPD women to disagree with and despise you. Everyone else is the world, including your own family and friends, must hate you and see how wrong you are, too. These women go after you by attacking your ethics, integrity, sexuality and manufacture the most ridiculous nonsense in order to destroy your reputation. Unfortunately, the bigger the lie, the more gullible people tend to believe it.
7. Gaslighting. Women with these issues both deny things they’ve said and done and accuse you of the very same transgressions they committed. They also twist a grain of truth into a huge distortion until you begin to doubt your own sanity and look like the crazy person when you try to defend yourself.
8. Increasing the Volume; Not the Logic. The more wrong an emotionally abusive NPD/BPD woman is, the louder and/or more resolute she gets. Her level of fake outrage, vindictiveness or emotional withdrawal is in direct proportion to how accurate you are. She will either talk over and shout at you, repeating the same simplistic, emotionally-charged statements over and over until she drowns out all reason or give you the silent treatment until you submit and apologize for your “offense.”9. Blame and Shame. NPD/BPD women blame others for everything that is wrong and never consider how they contribute to and often cause the issues and their own unhappiness. They shift responsibility to make you seem bad and crazy in an effort to shame you into submission.10. Playing the Victim. When NPD/BPD women are called out for their bad behaviors and dishonesty, they then play the victim. They claim they’re being unfairly attacked for “standing up for the truth” and having the “courage” to speak out. This kind of woman frequently defends her indefensible behaviors by saying she was swept away by her emotions or passion and offers such chestnuts as, “I did what my heart told me to do.”
Nonsense. These women are known to have temper tantrums when their bad behaviors are exposed and lash out with a verbal attack or pout in cold silence.
At heart, an emotionally abusive woman is a bully who will try to steamroll anyone who disagrees with her. It’s not just about controlling her reality, but controlling everyone else’s reality, too.
Often it is hard to just walk away from someone you love. And there's the bind.When you allow a narcissistic and/or borderline woman to determine reality, you’re letting one of the inmates control the asylum. So the next time you’re on the verge of being sucked in by one of the above tactics, calmly look your wife or girlfriend in the eye, quietly say “No” and walk away.
It is even harder to walk away from a Nation which allows, permits and enables this sort of behaviour, this sort of mental defectiveness to be let loose on the streets as 'political action'. We see it all around.
We are confronted with hard choices.
Why can't we just be nice? We can. But to be able to do so we need to get at that unconscious loop of bad attitude and thought process and change it. So much of Dr Tara's work is to do with just that, as I am well acquainted with m'self. Mrs Mock provides a hint. One might start by reflecting upon respect, compassion, patience, understanding, compromise, empathy.
Drink deep of Grace.