If you’re reading this, I hope you’re curious why your friend (or girls in general) would marry a loser and this isn’t something you’ve had to endure yourself. Being married to a loser isn’t something I’d wish on… well, even a moderate loser. I define a loser as someone who is very selfish and incredibly inconsiderate. We’re all a little selfish and inconsiderate from time to time, but losers are particularly good at it. This is the kind of person who plays hockey three times a week leaving his wife to take care of the kids and he does nothing to compensate for being away so much. It can also be the guy whose wife works as much as he does, but then he expects her to do all the cooking and cleaning while he plays video games (video game addiction is one of the most damaging addictions in our culture). Meanwhile, a loving partner (what we should all strive to be) is someone who is patient and kind to a point and someone with great self control. As I say in every wedding I do: Saying I love you is a lot like saying I’ll be nice to you.
I should point out that a woman starting to date a loser makes sense because even a loser can put on a good show at the beginning of the relationship. The big difference between a normal guy and a loser is the normal guy will still be a decent person after being together for more than a year. It’s normal for a person to be their best self when they first start dating, but a person’s real character comes out after the honeymoon phase is over. How self controlled and loving a person actually is becomes more apparent when there has been misunderstandings and hurt between the couple. When people are a victim in some way, the question becomes will they act with resentment or will they do their best to have restraint? Guess what a loser does.
I once read a book that said girls marry someone like their dad in order to try to fix what she wanted with that relationship. I thought that made sense at the time, but now that I have more experience, it was a pretty dumb thing to claim. That’s way too complicated. People are simpler than that. Instead, here are the patterns I’ve found:
Why a girl with a great dad can marry a jerk: The sad reality is girls with amazing dads sometimes end up marrying the biggest jerks. The main reason for this is having an amazing dad can make the girl grow up thinking that all men are amazing. When her friends or family tell her the guy she’s dating is actually a jerk, she shrugs it off as “You don’t understand him the way I do.” What this translates to is “I’m blind to how much of a jerk he is because of hormones and my assumption that all men are great.” This situation means the guy puts on a good enough show to get the girl hooked and then his true jerkiness will be revealed later when the honeymoon phase is over and he shirks off responsibility and has no sense of self control like she was warned would happen. This is very disillusioning for the woman who thought men are great. It’ll leave her feeling a bit crazy and stupid for not realizing this sooner.
Why a girl with a terrible dad can marry a jerk: If girls with a great dad are blind to how terrible men can be then it would make sense that girls with terrible dads would recognize the jerks. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the girl with the terrible dad puts up with the terrible partner because that’s all she’s known or there’s a twisted comfort in the familiarity of the situation. This is a very sad situation because there’s even a chance she dumped the nice guy because his niceness made her feel uncomfortable. Instead, she feels more comfortable with the drama and pain.
(Bonus) Reasons why anyone might stay with a terrible partner: Sometimes a girl (or guy) stays with a terrible partner because they feel like they don’t deserve anything better, they assume they can fix it if they work harder, or they figure they can put up with it. When my back went on me and I was stuck on the floor, my wife asked when I was going to see a chiropractor and I responded, “I can do that?” Not my best moment, but I needed to be told I could address it rather than just put up with it. Many people put up with a bad situation because they don’t realize or feel like they can do something about it. Unfortunately, it takes two people to make a relationship work, and sometimes you end up with a loser who refuses to accept any responsibility for the relationship issues or they refuse that there are even any issues when there clearly are.
A potential missed truth: Sometimes the woman thinks her husband is terrible, but the truth is she isn’t the innocent victim she thinks she is. Sometimes a guy only seems terrible to her because he’s terrified of his wife and he’s acting in fear of her. I have met women who have been very adamant that their husbands were very controlling and mean when the controlling and mean person was them and they were projecting their own feelings onto the guy. That’s a fun situation… for no one. Unfortunately, the only women who will wonder if they’re the problem are the ones who are likely the innocent victim. People who are quick to blame themselves for the problems in a relationship are more likely to marry a terrible person.
The most common case: The most common problem in relationships I find is both parties fuel each other’s problems, and this is great news! It’s rare that a good person marries a really terrible person. In most cases, both people are acting poorly and their behaviors equally fuel the relationship problems. For instance, a common problem is the woman has way too high a standard for herself and gets overwhelmed, which causes her to be less nice to her husband who continually gets more distant, mopey, and neglectful thereby adding to her overwhelmed feelings. Both sides feel lonely and act out of this, which only makes matters worse.
No matter your situation, if there are problems in your relationship, it can be really wise to see a couple’s therapist. As someone who has seen therapy make a world of difference for couples, I know the value or it.
This week may you consider what you need to do to help your relationships.
Rev. Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people (like me)