“A man marries a woman hoping she won’t change but a woman marries a man expecting he will.” — Author Unknown
We often hear the cliché, “men are visual creatures” and while men who say it understand, I’m not sure that women do. I am not a man, nor will I claim to understand everything about them, but I believe that I am growing to understand more about them and some of my best teachers are my six and four year old sons.
As a single mother of four, I am frequently tired although I have found more ways to take care of myself including losing 60 pounds in the last 18 months. During this time, I have noticed that my boys react to me in different ways depending upon how I look. Initially, I brushed it off, but eventually I had to investigate further. What I have realized is that many, if not most, men quite literally interpret everything in their world through their visual cortex. I highlight this in comparison to a woman’s tendency to process her world through her relationships with others. What I am realizing, a bit late mind you, is the effect that a woman’s changing look can have on her relationships with the men in her life, specifically the one with whom she is romantically involved.
I am considering the point of a reasonable man who is intelligent enough to understand that a woman’s body will change if she has carried and birthed children. Also, a man who would understand if his lady has a chronic illness or there are circumstances beyond her control that has changed the way that she looks. Aside from these natural changes or unpreventable circumstances, many women simply give up or fail to recognize what their 30+ pound weight gain can do to their relationship. To draw a parallel that almost anyone can understand, I will compare it to a man who has given up on his attempts to further his career or provide for his family and who slowly allows his job performance to slip and eventually gets fired or laid off. I have personally dealt with such a man in a relationship and it is no less than a complete let down and can easily be a deal breaker. If my premise is correct, a man who must watch his girlfriend or wife gain weight for no other reason than pure apathy, why is it not the same?
Why is a woman who leaves a shiftless man applauded as being strong, but if a man leaves his woman because she stopped making an effort and gained weight for no clinical reason, he’s an asshole?
I would assert that he is not, and it is for this reason that I now view the chocolate brownies, doughnuts and cupcakes, and fried things that seem to hover in my world constantly through a completely different lens. While I would encourage that people live their lives and have the occasional treat (1-2 times per month), I would say that it is time for people living in this age of entitlement to grow up and look the truth in the face. Can and should are completely different things; just because you can eat something does not mean that you should. When I am faced with a decision about what to eat or whether or not I should wake up at 5:45am to exercise, I remember what my goals are. Yes, I want to be healthy and feel good and all of those great things. However, what I have to admit to myself is that at the end of all of this exercise and clean eating, I want one thing. I want to make the man who I select to be in a long-term, sexually-active relationship with absolutely crazy when I stand before him naked. 😉