Consider Rejection to be the Kiss of Freedom

An apt representation of highly insecure men in marriage.

An apt representation of highly insecure men in marriage.

Did you ever have those conversations with someone which suddenly makes you look at something under a totally new light?
I was talking to a friend this past week who’s been married 20 years to her high-school sweetheart and the past 4 years have been rocky but there’s a kid involved as well as investments so she compromised and gets by…barely. She was describing something which I have also noticed and heard about in other relationships, how her partner doesn’t like it if she’s out of the house for too long, if she wants a few days to herself, he causes a stink. Or even if she wants to spend the afternoon with a girlfriend at a coffee shop, how he starts calling or texting her within an hour wanting to know when she’s coming home. How he basically, literally just wants her physically in the house all the time or when he’s there.

Um...why do men get scared by something as simple as this?

Um…why do men get scared by something as simple as this?

This blew my mind. Both are highly educated professionals yet dude is still acting like a caveman in terms of her personal time and space? Why are men still hung up on this sort of power-trip? Moreover why do men use their partners like some sort of security blanket like Linus in the Peanuts gang did?

Are you serious?

Are you serious?

She then told me to cherish my freedom, develop my other interests and to never rush into anything and how she wished she had waited longer before getting seriously involved with someone and that marriage before the age of 30 should be outlawed.

I want to learn how to take old unwanted industrial items like pallets and repurpose them into practical, beautiful things. From

I want to learn how to take old unwanted industrial items like pallets and repurpose them into practical, beautiful things. From

I thought long and hard after our exchange mostly because the timing of it coincided with my elderly father, a widower, taking a nasty fall this week at a subway station. Luckily a very kind nurse who was on her way home, saw what happened and helped him stay propped up and immediately called the ambulance and then called my brother and I using his cell phone. He’s fine now but it got me thinking about who would have been there to fill in the important details to the doctors and stay with him in the hospital if he didn’t marry and have children and take the time to build those relationships. How do you weigh building community and meaningful relationships while not disrespecting and dishonoring your own freedom? Is that even possible within the context of a marriage anymore?

Having said that, FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter and Google have got the be the best things ever to hit regret.
I guess like all girls out there, you’re always curious about some people in your past, wondering what happened to them, old boyfriends, girls who were mean to you in high school, your best friend from the second grade. Now it’s easy as pie to look up anyone on the face of this Earth. I come from probably the last generation of teens and young adults to have experienced the world before the Internet and social media. In fact, I used to write letters by hand and send greeting cards in the mail (remember those?).

Back in the day...

Back in the day…

I came across a YouTube clip of an old boyfriend, probably my first serious one. I remember being devastated when it ended, how the sky was falling, how I wasn’t hungry and barely ate for weeks, listening to silly love songs over and over again on my Sony Walkman, how I didn’t think I would ever meet anyone or love anyone as beautiful as he was. All the usual high-drama stuff we put ourselves through especially at the ripe old age of 18.

Been there, done that. Bought the stupid T-shirt too.

Been there, done that. Bought the stupid T-shirt too. It doesn’t fit anymore.

Well, he looked awful.
Long-gone was the stunning, lean, mean rockabilly badboy with the black hair, flashing green eyes and diabolical smile. Instead, there was some guy with the beginnings of a double-chin, a major gut, ugly tattoos all over his forearms, and from what I understand, is now the father of five. I also saw a whole bunch of irritating mannerisms which my 18 year old brain failed to pick up at the time which now I see as fairly obvious. I felt happy to be free.

Yeah, I wish. But no.

Yeah, I wish. But no.

This then led to a John-Cusack-in-“High-Fidelity”-moment where I decided to check up on every guy I ever crushed on or lusted after, out of curiosity. (I have to admit, I’m not a nostalgic person about past relationships. If it’s gone, it’s gone and deader than a doorknob. However, I can be an incorrigible and inquisitive snoop and gatherer of gossip just for the fun of it.)

High Fidelity

I won’t give a low-down of every single bit of information I found but suffice to say I really think I have been spared in some way. Most are slightly overweight suburban dads with bloated faces and beer guts. Half are now bald or with rapidly receding hairlines. One is a very well-known documentary film maker who is still alone at the age of 58, the eternal bachelor. One battled alcoholism and it really shows. I guess the married ones must be happy or else why would they stay married? But given what my friend said, and the many similar relationships I’ve noticed over the years, you really have to wonder who is the happy one here, the guy or the gal?

How I feel now.

How I feel now.

I used to think rejection was some kind of judgement against me. Now I’m beginning to see that when things don’t work out, consider it a slight shove from the Universe in pushing you out of the way of an oncoming train wreck, that it wants you to wait and is giving you the gift of time to develop other gifts as well as your own ability to discern with maturity. We don’t always hear that message in a youth and speed-obsessed culture like ours but it’s one, I think, we’d all be better off heeding.

Here’s a lyric from New Order’s song, “Regret”  which sort of encapsulates what I mean. (MRB, this one is for you)

Maybe I’ve forgotten the name and the address
Of everyone I’ve ever known
It’s nothing I regret
Save it for another day
It’s the school exam and the kids have run away

I would like a place I could call my own
Have a conversation on the telephone
Wake up every day that would be a start
I would not complain of my wounded heart

I was upset you see
Almost all the time
You used to be a stranger
Now you are mine

Categories: Ascension, Ch-ch-ch-changes, Pop culture, Raise your EQ | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Consider Rejection to be the Kiss of Freedom

  1. kezalu

    A friend told me recently that most men need a woman in their lives, but most women don’t need a man. As women we are taught to compromise and so we make the necessary sacrifices even when things aren’t going right. My ex got upset when I wanted to do a university course (it was by correspondence so I could still take care of the house and kids) – he said that he was the one who should be doing the course and that I should be offering him support. There is a fear, perhaps, that the man might not feel as powerful if his wife improves herself, perhaps even exceeds his own position in the world. Your friend whose husband is possessive, wanting her to be at home, hating her going out even for coffee, can probably feel the pull of her independence. There is a fear she might see how well she gets by without him. It’s a very familiar story to my own except my ex would turn up at these coffee meetings, even followed me into the ladies loo one time. Being on my own now is a relief. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a romantic heart, but I also realise that there comes a time when you need to travel the path on your own. Completely on your own. The freedom of it is wonderful.

    • I don’t understand why such men need to have such a detrimental attitude. It doesn’t help anyone and in fact ends up hurting him down the line by alienating and isolating the woman. It’s like when you take your dog out for a walk and try pulling him in a certain direction. The dog’s first reaction is to pull in the opposite direction.
      Any man that is controlling and resentful of his wife’s freedom or abilities is someone who is probably insecure, afraid and not terribly brave or comfortable about himself in some way. Run for the hills.

  2. THIS: “Marriage before the age of 30 should be outlawed.”

    I don’t understand why anyone (man or woman) would want to control/know every movement of their significant other. Not only does it demonstrate a lack of trust, but it’s also smacks of an unhealthy neediness and dependency that makes me wonder if people have the opportunity to set goals for themselves and work towards them. I find there’s so much more comfort and opportunity in having a life that’s separate from any committed relationship I may have and giving my partner that same space. Yes, there’s always the possibility that they may find me boring, find something else they want to work towards on their own or someone else who piques their interest more, but hell…that can happen even if I’m calling them every hour, breathing down their necks and demanding them to be at home every night at 18:00 on the dot. I love having time to myself, travelling by myself and being able to do things outside of the relationship. Admittedly, it took me a while to grow into this person and to truly appreciate it spending time on my own and to stand up for what this woman wanted. I now feel that if any man were to get in the way of me being my authentic self, he wouldn’t be my man for much longer.

    I mean the last one who did was left dumbstruck at a European airport while I clutched a one way ticket to Africa in my hands. I never looked back. Best. Decision. EVER.

    • I think a lot of men, too many, seem to think that women are there to serve them and their needs and immediately drop anything she may be doing on the spot and run off to him and revolve around him and his needs like some kind of satellite.

      I think it was Audrey Hepburn who said that men and women should live in an apartment building and live down the hall from one another and visit each other when they feel like it.

  3. Pingback: Merci beaucoup à vous tous! | The Shift Has Hit The Fan

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