Monday, November 16, 2009

Change his ways?

One morning a week or two ago, I woke up with a song from the musical Guys and Dolls rolling around in my head.  Scott and I were both in the chorus for this musical our Junior year in high school.

I don't really remember if when I married Scott I thought I could change anything about him.  I really did love him the way he was.  I do remember after we got married, though, that I discovered a few things about Scott that I wondered if I could encourage him to change.  But mostly, I think our marriage became a melding, each of us changing at least a few of the other's ideas and traditions. We each came from our own families and upbringings, and together we had to determine what would be the same and different for our own growing family. Over the years, we have established our family's own way of doing things (and even those traditions have mutated over time and experience), and have come to accept the things that we cannot change about each other.

Anyway, I've heard stories of young men with same-sex attraction being told by their bishops or other church leaders that if they married a woman, eventually their feelings and attractions would change.  Many marriages have then subsequently failed when after many years, the feelings did not change as expected. The heartache of the situation then affects not only the man, but also the wife and children. What a sad reality.

Does everyone enter into marriage expecting that, like this song, they will be able to somehow change the one they marry to be the perfect companion for them?  Is that why divorce rates are so high, because at some point they realize change will not happen and they cannot live with it?  How can we help future generations understand these fallacies, and thereby better preserve future marriages and families?

And how much truth is there to this song?  Could an additional baby in the family make a big difference for good? Maybe I should make more pot roast as a preemptive move. :)

"Marry the Man Today"
At Wanamaker's and Saks and Klein's
A lesson I've been taught
You can't get alterations on a dress you haven't bought.

At any vegetable market from Borneo to Nome
You mustn't squeeze a melon till you get the melon home.

You've simply got to gamble

You get no guarantee

Now doesn't that kind of apply to you and I?

You and me.

Why not?

Why not what?

Marry the man today.
Trouble though he may be
Much as he likes to play
Crazy and wild and free
Marry the man today
Rather than sigh in sorrow
Marry the man today
And change his ways tomorrow.
Marry the man today.
Marry the man today
Maybe he's leaving town
Don't let him get away
Hurry and track him down
Counterattack him and
Marry the man today
Give him the girlish laughter
Give him your hand today
And save the fist for after.
Slowly introduce him to the better things
Respectable, conservative, and clean
Readers Digest
Guy Lombardo
Rogers Peet
But marry the man today
Handle it meek and gently
Marry the man today and train him subsequently

Carefully expose him to domestic life
And if he ever tries to stray from you
Have a pot roast.
Have a headache
Have a baby
have two!
But Marry the Man today
Rather than sigh and sorrow
Marry the man today
And change his ways - change his ways - his ways


BigRedHammer said...

It's true that so many enter relationships with the idea of changing his or her spouse. It in fact is a very selfish way of thinking, but one we're all prone to.

Someone told me once that you know you're in love when you want to be a better person for the other. I've found that to be true. I try to be my best for Aaron. I make changes so life can be better or easier for him and us.

A variation on the "no smoking" commercials on TV right now: You're the only person that can make you a better person. Other people can be motivation. Our spouses are the only ones who can make themselves better. But we (and they) can be the motivation.

It's very sad if people enter relationships only thinking of me, rather than we.

Frank Lee Scarlet said...
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