Wrestling the morning rush-hour traffic at Jalan Semantan, I tuned in to Light and Easy FM hoping to acquire some measure of relief from the stress having to do battle with well-heeled but selfish half-wits driving big, fancy cars – people to whom queue-jumping is a badge of honour. But what came over the speakers was equally (if not more) stressful: a female radio personality was taking calls as to whether it is reasonable to expect a man to change after marriage.
This should be amusing.
As I listened to a female caller droning on about how selfish men are by not wanting to change, I had an “Aha!’ moment. Women, it would seem, are not really mad about men not being able to change. No, men change all the time; all living things change. But what’s really getting all these women’s knickers into a twist is that their men do seem not change in the way that they want them to. It’s that simple!
Somehow, women (or at least the caller) just can’t seem to tell the difference between us not being able to change and us not changing in the specific way that you want us to. This is how the logic goes: you don’t want to change (in the way that I want you to). Therefore, you are selfish. And by extension, since you are a man (who doesn’t want to change in the way I want you to), all men are selfish.
Huh? Who is really the selfish one here?
This is the tragedy that most women conveniently overlook; a tragedy that men simply cannot be bothered to point out. What I can’t, for the life of me, understand is why women make it their mission in life to change their men after marriage? If he were defective ab initio, why did you marry him in the first place? If he were a compulsive wife-beater, a serial rapist, an incorrigible drunkard or gambler, I can understand. Change (or castrate him) him all you want. But when he’s the ordinary Joe who is none of the things, why insist on changing him into someone else?
I can hear cries of “But all we want to change them so that they will be better.” Bollocks! You knew he was a work-in-progress in the first place. Why didn’t you just marry a finished product instead? Surely there must be plenty of men out there who are finished products, i.e. ones that do not need to be improved. Oh? What’s that I hear you say? There’s no such thing as the perfect man? Well then, why is it that you keep insisting that your man live up to such impossible standards – and squander precious emotional capital (both yours and his) in your efforts to change him?
Sometimes, I doubt if women marry for love; or even that they marry for money, for that matter. It would seem that they marry the poor sod so that they can change him, and in the process, satisfying some perverse ego-trip instigated by that latent control-freak deep within the female psyche.
And this is the bit that hurts: how can you say you truly love someone when all you want is for him to change?
But let me set the scales right. Men are equally guilty of a similar delusion. While women make the mistake of thinking that their men will change after marriage, men, too, commit a similar blunder: they somehow think that their women will remain the same even after they are married.
This, I believe, is what they call a double-whammy.