These women are composites. They represent some recent conversations I’ve had with different groups of women and the men they have in their lives. Rather than spend days writing their stories, I’ve decided to break it down this way to illustrate the difference…
Mrs. Love And Be Loved
Mrs. L has been married for a few years now. No longer in the honeymoon stage, Mrs. L can go on at length about the habits and peculiar ways of Mr. L. his extensive comic collection that she’ll “never understand, let alone touch”; his goofy best friend who still wants to “bro it up” on a Saturday night, or his addiction to stinky ass cheese…
But there’s another side of Mr. L that we see and hear about regularly. We can never do brunch with Mrs. L on Sunday, because that’s the day they take the kids to grandma’s house and go out and do stuff together. It usually starts with lunch at grandma’s, followed by a trip to home hardware/Costco/Walmart, a movie/dinner/concert/walk around the city, then some grocery shopping and home with the kids.
To this single girl, this sounded all sorts of boring, but Mrs. L explained it to me this way:
“It sounds like chores, but it’s really more like a Sunday Funday. We don’t JUST grocery shop. We try to find new things to cook. He pulls out epicurious.com on the iPhone and it’s on. We tried going vegan for a month; the first one to cheat had to handle dinner for a week. We ate PIZZA for a week, but he took his loss like a man.
Have you ever done “The People at Walmart” live? Go to different parts of the store and text pics?
Oh and yes, there’s sex!”
This is how Mrs. L explained their dynamic. They were always the “fun” couple in their group of friends; the ones who genuinely enjoyed hanging out with each other. Granted, he can’t stand some of her friends and vice versa, so they keep those relationships on neutral territory.
Also, Mrs. L seems to spend a LOT of quality time with her girlfriends. She goes on vacation with them…hangs out on Saturday nights with them (while Mr. L “bro’s out” with his boys)…long conversations…impromptu dinners…
I was at an impromptu dinner with Mrs. L once; she took me out to cheer me up. Halfway through, Mr. L called wondering where she was. “Oooops! Out with HLBB, be home soon. Love you!”
She explained how this time “apart” (as I perceived it) was necessary. She wouldn’t dare spend all her free time with Mr. L for a variety of reasons:
1 – she believes that absence makes the heart grow fonder. If he’s always around, she gets annoyed with him.
2 – she appreciates the time with him more and still looks forward to it.
3 – when they are apart, they are connected. Texts, emails, and even sticky notes (the sticky notes are usually attached to a bill with the words “PAY ME” written on them)
Mrs. L explained to me that just because you’re a couple, it doesn’t mean that you spend all your time together, or that you have to share a credit card, bank account, or friends. She was very clear on the friends part – she does not hang out with his friends at all. She doesn’t dislike them (well, maybe a couple…), but she is a firm believer in keeping your friends and your money separate.
When I said Mrs. L was married for a few years, I really meant 10…10 years and she has no problem saying that she loves her husband and knows that he loves her in return. They have a life together, and a life apart. Oh, no secrets either. When Mr. L is out with HIS friends? She gets texts. She’s NEVER expected them, she’s never asked. He texts her openly and freely. Sometimes, it’s an update to when he’ll be home, other times it’s a random complaint, and her favourite is when he texted her and said, “______ is trying to pick up this girl with the biggest camel toe EVER. You’re the greatest.”
(yup, she still laughs at his drunk texts)
Mrs. L has never expected her husband to give up his ways (the cheese has to stay in mini fridge in the basement) , and she has not given up a single thing that she does for him. They are accepting of each other.
“Unconditionally?” I asked.
“Acceptance is acceptance. No conditions. There’s shit I WON’T accept and he knows that. There’s also shit HE won’t accept…and I…give it consideration! I really try!”
Mrs. L (all of them) have kind of steered my mind in a different direction when it comes to committment/marriage. I had always assumed that one had to compromise, give up, alter, adjust… things I’m not good at.
Now, it would seem like Mrs. L has this “perfect” relationship. She does NOT *(remember, she is a composite). When she complains about his latest “idiot” move, I try to defend him (because I think he’s a great guy). I’ll remind her of all the great things he does/has done for her and the kids…the Sunday Fundays…that giant rock he put on her finger and managed to surprise her with after 5 years of dating…the fact that he tried being a vegan even though he’s the kind of guy to BBQ in January…
She says “yes yes yes. But right now? He’s a fucking idiot!”
Tomorrow. He goes back to being Mr. L…
Mrs. B puts me off being in a relationship. Mrs. B has also been with her husband for quite some time, and I honestly don’t know if she LIKES him. I know she loves him because she says so. But when I talk to her, she re-states over and over that life would be so much better without him.
“Leave the kids, leave me the house, and just leave.”
They don’t DO anything unless it involves the kids, but HE gets to go out with his friends all the time. She takes care of the house, the kids, the cat, etc. while he plays video games for hours on end. He doesn’t contribute anything to their lives unless it’s a paycheque and sometimes, that isn’t even enough.
Movies? Can’t remember the last one she saw outside of her living room. On a 60″ flatscreen that she barely watches because she’s too tired to at the end of each day. Besides, her mother in law is over so often, that all she ends up seeing on the screen are soap operas and Dora. She doesn’t even know WHY they waste their money on cable.
His friends? Or as she likes to call them, “the fuck off freeloaders”) Yeah, it was one thing when they were dating and “the man dem” would conveniently show up around dinner time. It was cool, they thought she was an amazing cook. They still do. But WHY are they the ones hosting every dinner, BBQ, and get together? She’s gotta feed their kids, their wives, and the randoms that tag along? Oh great. They brought beer. Which she can’t drink because she’s breastfeeding.
Mrs. B would love it if just ONCE, Mr. B would realize that he has to grow up and be a man. No more stupid video games. No more stumbling home drunk at 4 in the morning. Give up the weed (she HAD to). Stop buying expensive sneakers and then complaining that she spent too much money on groceries. Cook a meal every once in a while.
Sex? Pffft. They haven’t had sex (with each other) since the baby was born. Three. Years. Ago.
She thinks she rushed into things with Mr. B…that she might’ve put all her eggs in one basket. When I ask what’s the best thing he’s ever done for her, she replies, “my two boys, that’s it. But I could’ve had two boys without him.”
Ouch. When I explain that some of those chromosomes belonged to Mr. B she said, “yeah. Well. Whatever. “
Mrs. B sounds like she is alone. That’s what I drew from those conversations. Which confused me. How could you live with someone, share a child (children), a pet, a life (as one set of vows stated) and still feel like you’re alone? Mrs. B (all of them) felt unappreciated, undervalued, and unloved…it was downright depressing to hear.
Mrs. B and Mrs. L don’t know each other, so I thought I’d pass on some of the things I had heard from Mrs. L. I suggested a Sunday Funday to one, but she doesn’t want to spend any time with Mr. B because they don’t have shared interests. The time alone that they’ve had always ends with an argument because he does something “stupid”.
I asked why Mrs. B didn’t talk to Mr. B and she said that she couldn’t be bothered to anymore. She had tried. He called it nagging. One Mr. B said that she should be lucky he comes home (apparently other Mr. B’s don’t always do)…
What’s shocking about these Mrs. B’s is that I was there at the beginning of almost all those relationships. They were all in LOVE. Happy. Life was a “dream come true”. They pushed for me to find MY Mr. Right.
Now, they all tell me that I shouldn’t be bothered.
Guys. Think about the woman if your life… is she loved, or is she better off without you?