today while lounging on the beach I spotted you. You, a beautiful redhead and your muscular partner walking side by side along the water. It could have been a beautiful photo. Both of you were dressed for a date, he in a neatly buttoned shirt and three quarter pants, you in a gorgeous flowing white dress. Except, you were clearly in the midst of a heated argument. You were gesticulating wildly as you walked, he would just nod and stare into the distance. You walked out of sight, a good few metres and a while later returned to my view. By this time his shoulders were stooped. I saw him try to counter, but you immediately interjected and gesticulated again and marched on. My husband calls this raging. It neatly describes when a woman goes off ranting about the inadequacies of her man. She is raging him. She is raging him up and down the length of the beach.
(As a side note: according to my husband men shut down when they are raged. They enter a selective hearing mode, pretending to listen, but only picking up the necessary bits to make you believe they are listening and intent on being what you want them to be.)
It made me think back to my younger self, the one who did not know that you can never change someone fundamentally. The one who naively believed love could transform him into what you want him to be, believe he should be. He may fake it for you for a while, but it is a mask that will always wear off. Best to focus on his good traits and decide if you can live with the rest. He might not be as romantic as you like, but he may be a good provider, have a great sense of humour, be fun to be with, great in bed. The second thing I wish I had learned sooner: pick your battles. You may feel like winning every battle, the one where he doesn’t take out the bin, always lies on the couch watching series, never remembers to unlock the gate for the garden service, etc, etc, etc, but you will lose the war. I myself often rage in circles, believing if I repeat the same raging from different angles, I was winning on all fronts! The harsh reality is that either you will destroy his sense of manhood to such a degree that he just becomes completely complacent in your relationship, and one day you will leave, blaming him for no longer having any backbone or purpose. Or the blonde secretary at work who wears a mini just above the acceptable office threshold, has fake nails, boobs and extensions down to her knees, who thinks he is the best accountant in the office, will have him enamoured and soon falling for her charms. Or some psycho will notice you in the gym and you will fall for his offer of friendship, buy a new Lorna Jane exercise wardrobe, become a regular 6 am gym bunny, only to become a lapdog to his compliments and believe you have found your soul mate. The second option is particularly foolish.
So dear redhead on the beach, if he is not offering enough for your liking, and every battle is a war, set him free and move on. You will save him and yourself a lot of heartache and regret.
You both deserve to walk hand in hand on the beach with the waves lapping at your ankles and the wind platting your hair.
Copyright Hiraeth 2015