View Single Post
Old 07-18-2013, 10:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Brooklyn, Boston, other.
Posts: 880
Originally Posted by BrianAlt View Post
I was often at the table with five other women. I feel like I got a pretty steady dose of the female perspective. My aunt was a very outspoken woman and very funny. (Side note: she died a year ago after having Alzheimers for many years. Very sad seeing this vivacious woman turn into nothing. In many ways death was a blessing. She was in her early 60s.)
I am sorry to hear about that. Glad she isn't suffering anymore, but sorry she had to suffer as much as she did. And you. (But also glad you had the time you did with her.)

So I've always related to women more than men. In fact, throughout my life I've only had a handful of close male friends. To this day I'm very comfortable sitting around with my wife's friends.
I felt that way as well for a lot of my life, and still do somewhat though now I don't differentiate as much. Growing up, I had mostly close female friends, and very few male ones. Now I have a lot of friends of all genders. I think being a comedian, I've been lucky to get to meet the type of guy who is obviously comfortable talking about lots of things that many people wouldn't. Women are certainly socialized to be more open, I would say, but it doesn't have to only be that way. There are certainly a lot of men out there like yourself, and myself, and some good friends, who are also happy being open and emotive and sharing and things that men "aren't supposed to do," according to whatever dumb societal thing put that into effect. (You brought up the fact that the men in your life weren't around as much, but even if they were, they might not have had as large an effect, if they were conditioned not to share as much. Who knows!)

When I got engaged a guy in my office congratulated me and said, "welcome to the club!" A coworker of mine said to me, "there is no club." And he was right. Men don't really talk about being married. Sure, they jokingly complain about their wives. But no one discusses what it feels like, the emotions, the pains, the struggles of being married. Women may discuss it with other women, but men don't discuss it with other men. And sexuality becomes more secretive. It's just between your wife and you. Talking about it outside of that feels a little like cheating, emotionally cheating.
This is very interesting. I understand what you're saying, and it certainly makes sense on a level, but let me ask you this... do you think that it actually IS emotionally cheating? Is it a betrayal of your relationship's privacy to discuss your issues with, say, one trusted good friend who is not a part of the relationship?

I've been married, not for as long as you certainly, and I've cohabitated and had long-term relationships (again not mega-long-term), but I've always been comfortable sharing the ups and downs with a good friend or two. Or three. Usually just not all at once. Not like at the bar or a diner or after a show when it's the whole gang, and I'm like "here's a sincere relationship issue to discuss," or "what do you think about this sexual thing with my wife?" But certainly on an individual level, I've found that being able to talk about private things with people who will keep them private, supremely helpful.

It doesn't really make sense to me that if you have a problem in your relationship, you are required to only deal with it and discuss it and solve it within the confines of that relationship. I understand the desire to do so, but sometimes the outside perspective of a caring, trusted friend can be super valuable. True? (Not saying that you don't have this... you allude to something like it later in your post, I think.)

Several years later, after my daughter was born, that same coworker was adopting a baby. I told him he was right, there was no marriage club. But there is a parents club! People don't talk about their marriages. That's why others are often so surprised when people get divorced. They didn't see it coming. But people do talk about their children. All parents want to know that their kid is at least on track. "Is it okay that my child isn't walking yet at one?" "My baby hasn't rolled over yet, is that okay?" "Oh, your child throws everything all over the room too? Whew, good to know!" I wrote down and counted my daughter's first 100 words! Did she have a 100 word vocabulary before others her age? I wanted to know.

As for all questions being answered, is that ever possible?
That makes a lot of sense as well. You make a lot of sense, Brian!

Back to divorce. It's remarkable how much I hear about their marriage after they get divorced!

So it's not that I'm unwilling to have these conversations after I got married. In fact I found certain outlets to have these conversations. It's just not as readily accessible, or comfortable, or to a certain degree acceptable.

Thanks for giving me an outlet to express these things.
Of course. You're welcome to share any and all of your private matters here. Your secret is safe with the internet.

Sincerely, really interested to hear this stuff, and any more that you want to share.
(Offline)   Reply With Quote