SHINING KNIGHT OR MARTIAN?

 Fairy Tales

Fairy tales and kid’s stories help children learn the difference between fact and fantasy.  Still, as much as children adore the fable of Santa Claus, they let go – some earlier than others.

But there’s one fantasy that seems to persist into adulthood: The idea of “A Knight in Shining Armor.”
Dresden-Zwinger-Armoury-Armor_02  This fantasy perpetuates the feeling in women that we need/want to be taken care of. That feeling wreaks havoc with our growing sense of self-worth and our need to be independent. Many of us conduct wars within ourselves on a daily, if not moment-by-moment, basis.

And then there’s how we, as women, view our men. And the kind of men we have relationships with, or marry. According to many women, our men are either wusses or control freaks. They push us around (not physically, I hope) or we resent that they let us push them around.

It was somewhere around the time that I truly recognized this external battle (between men and women, and about what women want and expect of the men in their lives) and internal battle (within myself, wanting to be cared for and simultaneously independent) that I stopped blaming my husband Nate and started looking at him, observing him.

 “Drool Cool”

Nate definitely isn’t  the vibrant, vital, virile man from the Dos XX (beer) ad. That guy is so cool, he’s “drool cool.”

Well, actually, if we dressed Nathan and coiffed him “perfectly,” he COULD look  like the Dos XX man in a picture – but not in a video. Though he can sometimes look cool, he rarely ACTS it.  Instead, he either acts gruff, loving, disinterested,  caring, thoughtless, thoughtful… A lot of things – a bunch of them very lovable – but not one of them necessarily “cool.”

Hey, what am I asking of my man? After all, even the Dos XX man gets body odor, and farts. A fart (the louder the better) is the true evidence of a happy, self-satisfied living man – definitely not one of the fantasy qualities of a knight in shining armor.

 John Gray

 In real life, most men DO try their darnedest to make their women happy.

 Yes, I believe that.

 It’s true, men are awkward, misinformed, and clumsy.

 And we women are sometimes picky and mean in our demands. We want men’s armor polished to a high shine. We want them perfect.

 It’s not just that men are not perfect (neither are we, ladies), it’s that men are men – an entirely different species. (Well, not really… But it can seem like they are.)

 Men are Martians; not knights. That’s why John Gray, PhD,  wrote “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” http://home.marsvenus.com/

 Mimi Donaldson
mimi_d  Another person I learned about these differences from is Mimi Donaldson http://www.mimidonaldson.com/ 

I heard Mimi speak  a couple of times, more than 15 years ago. She had a different last name then. She’s the first speaker that I ever bought an”information product” from – tapes (yes, cassette tapes) of her speeches, which she was selling from the back of the presentation room.

 Mimi talks about how men and women behave differently in the workplace. When I heard her speak, the truer her words were, the funnier she was, and she was hilarious. She took stuff I knew and reorganized it into new information. Her information is more than hilarious, it’s very helpful. Hire her as a speaker, buy her information products, listen to her speak… get her information any way that you can.

 Defending the Caveman

 One other person that’s had a great impact on my understanding and being able to talk about the differences between men and women is Rob Becker in his comedy show “Defending the Caveman” http://www.cavemania.com/ (He’s appearing in Las Vegas right now.)

Rob’s show had Nathan and I rolling on the floor – partially from embarrassment, because we saw ourselves in his stories.

Although I suspect that Rob considers himself an actor and not a comedian, he gave me the idea to pay attention to comedians as a source of information about relationships. I don’t agree with everything comics say, of course, and I probably wouldn’t repeat a great deal that most comedians say on the subject, but many times they get it right on. Watching comedians is definitely a fun way to do research on relationships.

 Merle at the Improv

In fact, if you haven’t already done so, check out my own attempt at stand-up comedy at the Hollywood Improv. You can find it in the comedy section on YouTube, titled  Merle at the Improv   I highly recommend it. I’m funny – mostly.

  Summary

 It took me a while, but I learned that Nate has never been stupid or mean, as I was absolutely sure he must be. (Well, I still have to check that out from time to time…) He’s always just been male.

 And we are living happily ever after, but definitely not perfectly.  Ahhh….

 How do you handle the male/female differences in YOUR relationship? Let me know your thoughts.

 Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ImperfectSpouse?Find me on Facebook: http://Facebook.com Search: Merle Singer

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