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burger_eater
Mar. 13th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
Traditionally, men chase women. Not every guy chases the ideal 19-year-old supermodel with a PhD, but they do go after the women they think they can get. That's the male equivalent of "settling."

As for talking about relationship problems, I know friends who have done it, but it has to be *very* serious to go there. We talk about problems, but if it's a problem with our spouse, it'd be a betrayal of our relationship.

That's what annoyed me about Gottlieb, honestly. She treated her friends, who just needed to vent about the usual everyday annoyances that come from living with someone for years, as if they'd "settled." Has she never had a relationship? Even the best of them, between Mr. and Ms. Right For Each Other, have stresses and points of conflict. Sometimes people need to vent safely to their friends.

But Gottlieb reacted with "Send him to me if you don't want him!" and didn't seem to understand why her married friends were giving her That Look.

Clueless.

Edited at 2008-03-13 05:57 pm (UTC)
msagara
Mar. 13th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
As for talking about relationship problems, I know friends who have done it, but it has to be *very* serious to go there. We talk about problems, but if it's a problem with our spouse, it'd be a betrayal of our relationship.

This I definitely have seen, and now that you mention it, I do think it skews slightly by gender. There are other factors as well -- but there's less reticence, I think, among my female friends over the small details (i.e. My Husband who Forgot to take out the Garbage.)

That's what annoyed me about Gottlieb, honestly. She treated her friends, who just needed to vent about the usual everyday annoyances that come from living with someone for years, as if they'd "settled." Has she never had a relationship? Even the best of them, between Mr. and Ms. Right For Each Other, have stresses and points of conflict. Sometimes people need to vent safely to their friends.

I have to think a little bit about this, because you're absolutely right, but that's not what I took out of the article.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 17th, 2008 07:13 am (UTC)
Troubled Relationships
My experiance has been that when my wife or women in general complain about something in the relationship, she feels that she is sharing something. She is sharing how she feels. She wants to talk about it and let me know how she is feeling. And while she would like to have whatever it is worked on, the main point of the whole thing isn't necessarily about fixing the problem. Whatever that problem may be. Its about sharing and understanding. Although fixing it isn't something to be spurned and is neccessary at times, its not the be all ending of the conversation.

For me, and most men I know, if I had a problem with our relationship so grating that I had to openly complain to others and big enough that I had to put an emotional stress on my wife and also demanded immediate time and attention towards the problem. Then the problem would have to be a big one. I wouldn't be mainly looking to share and understand all the issues involved. Although I'd accept that, as a potentially necessary step, in order to get what I was mainly wanting. Which is in short the problem fixed and co-jointly important, not revisted. Ideally not ever again but likely I'd settle for a year or more without revisitation.

Now my wife gets very mad at me sometimes, because she will raise to my attention a problem or complaint and I'll do my best to fix that problem. Then move on, saying its fixed to the best of our abilities (assuing it really is as far as I can tell). And she honestly doesn't understand my frustration with going over the same issue again and again.


To me if there is a problem and its not fixed, and we keep revisiting it again and To her she is sharing and undersanding and working on the problem and in her mind that's important because it means things aren't getting worse and are most likely getting better.
again it then becomes a real danger. Meaning we have a bigger problem than I thought and a potentially unsolvable one. Which to my way of thinking and feeling is a bigger threat to my future harmony and continuing relationship than several complaints all of which occured in a row, one after the other, but which have all been successfully resolved.



I think in a general sense women want to share and understand and work through a relationship problem and men want to fix and resolve and end a relationship problem. If the man is unwilling to put some time and effort into understanding the problem then the women isn't going to be happy, despite all the fixing in the world. But by the same token if the woman is unwilling to eventually seek closure and drop an issue, then the man will be unhappy, no matter how well he understand the problem and all the improvments that have been made on the issue.

In short the way I see it, is that men have an. If its not broke don't fix it way of looking at things. Meaning unless its a threat to the relationship its not a big problem and doesn't need to be truely stressed on. However if there is a problem then it needs fixing or else its a big problem and a threat to the relationship.

But hey that's just me and what I've seen. I could very well be all wrong and way off regarding things in general. Always keeping in mind that each and every individual is a special and unique butterfly, unable to be neatly categorized and boxed into a blanket generalization.


The Deposed King
khixan
Apr. 5th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
I just stumbled across your journal after putting up a post referring someone to your work for her research paper on female characters in scifi/fantasy literature. She's doing a piece on gender roles. Now I gotta go back and refer her to this too. :)

I did 5 years of psych research with Dr. F. L. Geis on gender/role/status theory at U of DE. In her memory, I just conducted some quick "research" using my brothers/sisters and some of their friends as subjects. My siblings and I span over 25 years in age ranges. Not very scientific, but fun.

I made 28 people sit and read this whole thread using my cooking as a bribe (never ceases to amaze me what I can get folks to do for my chile and guacamole). In a nutshell, here's what I learned by age group:

30's - Women and men both understood the topics discussed, and related on some personal level to the posts contributed. Several women felt the need to emphasize that the whole "settling" concept had been overcome/broken. It was a lively discussion.

20's - Men and women framed their discussion in terms of "things they learned about in school" (i.e. history/social studies classes). It was mainly a discussion about "the past". Men were able to relate on a more current and personal level to the posts, especially the "zero-sum" communication. The only topic the women touched on at a personal level was the ticking baby time clock, and that almost immediately turned into a discussion about medical technology/health, and the differences between now and way back THEN (LOL - I so felt like a dinosaur serving food and drinks at the ripe age of 37 by the end of that night!).

11 to 18 - Let me sum it up with few quotes, "What are these people talking about?", "Why is this relevant NOW?", "Do they really still believe this stuff?", "Why does a man have to do the proposing; why can't I propose to someone?" (11 year old girl - from the mouth of babes comes wisdom as always...), and "I don't understand why people used to think these things." I sat back, smiled, and found this the most GLORIOUS evening of all!

Cheers to progress all :)
msagara
Apr. 6th, 2008 02:52 am (UTC)
I sat back, smiled, and found this the most GLORIOUS evening of all!

Cheers to progress all :)


Thank you so much for sharing this! I think it is a snapshot concept, in that my mother's generation didn't have it so codified, either.
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