We've met the world's most reasonable woman. Today we meet David, who may well be the world's most reasonable man, along with Cherry, who worries about the state of manhood.
David: My wife left me for a family friend. Yes, it would have looked cleaner if she had told me she wanted out before she started dating him. Yes, she could have saved herself a lot of judgment from underinformed outsiders if she had waited for the ink to dry on our divorce and the wounds to heal before getting engaged. Yes, there is a chance that we might be on better terms if she had given me the opportunity to adjust to the new reality before moving herself and some not-yet-unwrapped wedding gifts into his place.
None of this means that our marriage would have survived, or that they should have waited for an appropriate time. They wanted children, and they wanted to be together when the spark was fresh and the fire was hot. I see no signs of strife in their relationship after almost a year of marriage and over three years together. Her due date was shortly after her wedding date, so they faced a few storms together.
As much as I support people who keep their vows and expect their partners to do the same, I wonder sometimes if either my ex or I would have had the strength to end our marriage — as bad as it was — if there hadn't been someone outside the relationship to look forward to. I wasn't happy about being forced to be single, but I know there were irreconcilable differences well beyond her affair.
Sometimes the affair is the result of a failed marriage more than the cause of the marriage's failure. I'd rather avoid a bad match than be cheated on, but I'll take this over a premature pine box or a life of bickering. Until I saw how far apart we'd grown, I was unwilling to see that this great person was not the right person for me. I'm thankful she left. I never could have done it.
Cherry: I find that little boys are preoccupied with their mothers. My friend has a 5-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl. Every few minutes, he says, "Mom, Mom." Her daughter plays independently. Another mom who has a younger son and an older daughter remarked that she was surprised at the amount of attention the boy needs compared to the daughter. Little boys need tutors to get through school, whereas little girls are inner-directed and significantly more independent.
Apparently, this continues into adulthood. Women entering college have made career decisions and plans to reach their goals. Boys often change their majors, unsure of their direction. Girls contact their prospective colleges to arrange an appointment and take the necessary tests. On the other hand, in most cases, boys' mothers contact the college to arrange the interview.
Today, the majority of bachelor's and masters degrees are awarded to women. Nearly half of babies are born to unwed mothers. Women are able to accept responsibility for their child but feel unable to take on added responsibility for the father as well. Men have chosen to be dependent but bossy, and the number of women who are tolerant of this attitude is in decline. #timesup for any kind of abuse.
Send your tale, along with your questions and problems to [email protected] And check out my e-books, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front" and "I'll Call You. Not.