quote of the day
““Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.”
― Albert Einstein
In the current film “Le weekend“…A sixty something, English middle class couple go to Paris to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary and bicker with each other, whilst reflecting on their relationship, against a backdrop of quintessential Parisian scenery.
In a rare escape from the ravages of chemotherapy, Michael and I went to see this film last week. I felt the film was entertaining for the glimpse of Paris that I so miss, but really needed a bit of humour and irony. How different it would have been if Woody Allen had been the director. but of course he did it so much better in Midnight in Paris.
However, as often happens, the film made me reflect on something else., namely relationships, and specifically the “success” or not, of my own long term relationship.
I put success in inverted commas, because I have no idea if our relationship is any more successful than anybody else’s. Other than the fact we are still together after around twenty five years…(I can’t actually remember when it started.) and maybe it is more a triumph of hope over experience, as we had both had failed relationships before. Especially me ,as I had two failed marriages under my belt and frankly had given up trying to find a life partner.
Or maybe it was that I didn’t want a “relationship” just a bit of “fun in the afternoons,” ( sorry children, but you are grown up now!) with a man who seemed “safe” because he was so far from my Mr Right that I would never fall for him! HA!
Recently when massaging his sore back, after giving him an injection, I laughingly said, “I didn’t sign up for this , I just wanted some fun” and he said “I wish you had told me that at the time!
A recent study from The British psychological society showed ( surprise, surprise, ) that women find a man and then try to mould him to what they see as their “perfect man”…. usually by changing the way they dress, style their hair etc. Apparently more that a third of women were “embarrassed and ashamed ” to be seen in public with their partner at he start of their relationship.
The most popular icons that women try to turn their men into are
1) David Beckham.
and 3) Dermot O’Leary
As Michael has very little hair at the moment, it would be difficult for me to attempt to persuade him to adopt the gelled up styles that these men sport…and designer stubble doesn’t look very good when it is grey!
But being no different than any other woman, there are of course some irritating traits and habits that have driven me mad and over the years and I have tried to change. His propensity for bright orange corduroy trousers, for example, which have mysetriously disappeared…. and I will confess that I have “accidentally” thrown away “perfectly good” off white baggy vests……all to no avail!
Some of the traits and habits that have driven me mad include
1) He will never make plans. The eternal optimist always thinks ” everything will turn out aright in the end” and “most problems will resolve themselves if left alone”
2) A soon as the commercial break comes on, remote in hand he surfs the channels. I will just get interested in a snippet of another programme when ! he flicks again! Like many men he is permanently attached to the remote control and feels insecure without it, even taking it to answer the phone and the bathroom.
3) The only bit of space he “owns” in the house, his dressing table is permanently in a mess, dusty and dirty. Any attempt by me to clean it up or tidy results in accusations of “moving things”.
4) He will attempt to watch the racing channel at every opportunity at any time of day. As soon as I walk out the room, to answer the phone or bathroom and the monotonous repetitive commentary really gets on my nerves!….but he denies he is obsessed!
Strangely, the eternally optimistic trait has now become his saving grace. because, consciously not allowing ANY negative talk, and changing my thinking, has really helped us get through this recent rough patch, and I have been converted to a born again optimist. It has taken effort, but I am beginning to think in positive terms all the time.
and suddenly, denying him the pleasure of surfing the TV channels and the racing channel seem petty in the grand scheme of things, just let him do as he wishes.
Maybe the secret of contentment in a long relationship is accepting each other, irritating habit and all.
After all they never change anyway!
A year ago I was reflecting on lifes dreams.