Mr. Right vs. Ms. Right now!

Pedestal marriage

There is a theory that men and women get married for different reasons and it goes something like this: Women get married for love and men get married at the “right time”. This translates to women searching for the love of their lives while men marry miss right now, because they are “ready”.

Informally polling my friends throughout the decades has proven this theory mostly correct, and gender specific. However I am far more interested in the repercussions of this on marriage.

Let me say firstly, marrying based on Mr. Right may be the culmination of a savior complex or choosing based on biological and emotional compatibility.

However, marrying Ms. Right now is based on being ready for marriage- readiness identified as having enough financial stability, being tired of the single scene, staving off loneliness, and finding the great caregiver or believing it to be time for them to get married based on age. Sounds cynical but honestly, based on the high divorce rates- mostly initiated by women, marrying based on Ms. Right now may not be a good strategy.

Why?

1. High incidence of infidelity in Marriage- in Jamaica this is excused as a ‘cultural norm’ however it exists and may even begin shortly after becoming engaged. Marrying your mate based on it being the ‘thing to do’ rather than commitment to an intimate relationship may doom a marriage from the “I Do”. Your desire for new and exciting women will not be sated in a marriage. It is also not emotionally suitable for women nor any children that may be involved. Having ‘Nuff gyal’ in a marriage or committed relationship may even be a form of mental illness.

2. Ms. Right now may be a reflection of an underdeveloped idea of relationships. This is especially so if you tend to chose the same type of woman despite consistent breakdowns of those relationships. Each relationship we enter into is a chance of interpersonal growth, however if we keep making the same mistake we must investigate our choices through detailed forensics in order to choose more appropriately. If we insist on choosing based on Ms. Right now we may be sabotaging our opportunity for growth. I recall a good male friend, who was deeply unhappy n his 15 year relationship but had proposed to her nevertheless. When I asked why, he replied that she knew him best of all and if he moved to another relationship he would have to start all over again. WOW! He added BTW, because she knew all of his B.S. and so expected it, he never had to explain himself.

3. Those cases of Ms. Right now being a “beard”- a cover for down- low homosexuality and homosexual relationships. This deception inherently exposes the wife to emotional and physiological dis-ease. It also sets up a perpetual lie, which is very stressful on the liar. As the saying goes- to be a good liar you have to have an excellent memory.

4. The above can also be compared to the man who gets married out of political expediency marrying based on who the woman is (real or perceived) or family relationships and who have no intention of remaining faithful. Again setting the scene for years of marital discord, a horrible substitute for honesty.

To be fair, marrying Mr. Right now also sets oneself up for imagination winning over intelligence. Wanting a man to be Mr. Right may preclude insight and foster oversight of behaviors incompatible with commitment and intimacy. Blinding you to the reality of the mate-to-be.

I can think of the scores of women who have married men who they would not chose as a friend. I ask, how can one share a bed, intimate details, much less genitalia for an extended period of time with someone you do not share a friendship with? and how deep is the level of that commitment?

In essence, sharing your life or part of your life with someone else is high risk and should be treated with careful consideration of the person you are with. Neither of these strategies for finding a mate may be effective but the effectiveness is based on the motivations of the people involved.

Relationships offer an opportunity for reflection and growth in an intimate detailed setting. Your mate will know you and your personal habits better than anyone else so make sure they are trustworthy and honest as well as accepting and loving, not to mention, Fun. Marrying your friend is not as far fetched as some would believe.

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21 thoughts on “Mr. Right vs. Ms. Right now!

  1. We do not agree with the belief that cheating by Jamaican men is the norm and accepted in Jamaica. In developed societies women generally demand their mates remain honest. Of course when a woman is financially dependent on the earnings of her mate she may not as quickly walk out on him if she discovers he is cheating. But she will get even. This belief of getting even and not necessarily getting mad may get some support from a recent survey in Jamaica which concluded, 30% of the children when verification of DNA was done were the children of other men and not the believed father. This suggest that Jamaican women may appear accepting to their spouses cheating but nothing could be further from the truth.

    http://www.jamaica50anniversary.com

    • Hi Jamaica50anniversary.com! thanks for spending a little time on my blog. Cheating exists, however in Jamaica it has almost become an art form. We may not like it but its true. This does not negate the men and women who are faithful, but your statistic invariably agrees the position that there is a lot of infidelity going on. Additionally, motivation by way of seeking and maintaining financial security speaks to the point of political expediency in relationships. Question is, how much is your soul and sanity worth?

  2. very very very well-put. On that basis, I think the only way I could marry a Jamaican man is as the second wife, after he’s mature enough to find the balance between “Right” and “Right Now”.

    No relationship lasts forever, at some point we MUST all be separated. I think chemistry gets your foot in the door, compatibility, communication, compromise and commitment (don’t you LOVE the alliteration? 🙂 ) are what will keep people in the room together. THAT is the balance that is key, I believe

    • She Who Weaves Words… you are right, I love the Alliteration! 🙂
      Also we are all on our way to somewhere else but while on the journey, if we could find it within ourselves to be kind to each other, including being honest about ourselves, we could save ourselves many moons of suffering.

  3. Tammy, I’m very sceptical of the notion that infidelity might be a form of mental illness, though I would acknowledge that the risk of infidelity occurring is likely to be higher if marrying Ms Right Now is done because it’s the “right thing to do”. In your reference to infidelity above, are considering mainly infidelity by men?

    I largely agree with your analysis. One of the things that boggles my mind is that nowhere in the education system is there anything for teaching/educating folks about relationships. It’s taken for granted that we have some innate understanding and/or we should simply repeat the mistakes of our forebears.

    • O Hilaire, your discourse is always welcome! I have been on both ends of infidelity in my lifetime and I can tell you lies, deceit and malcontent for any length of time constitutes mental discord. Now the severity of its consequences and the length of time that the discord continues determines when it breaches the boundaries of mental disorder. Mental disorders specifically refers to the severity and length of time of maladaptive behavior as well as how it impacts your ability to function in work and society.
      Now, cheating to the point of mental illness may not be the case in all cases of infidelity but i believe addiction to sex is a mental illness that can be the root cause of infidelity.
      Secondly, I was referring mostly to men cheating but women cheating I believe is also a sign of mental discord. Why? any opportunity you have to repair a mistake (whether cheating or refraining from telling the truth) should be taken. When you don’t what you are saying is, I want to keep this facade going regardless of who it hurts in the end.
      I believe that being unfaithful is a symptom of deeper issues basically, but continuing the deceit speaks to character and possible personality problems.

      • Tammy, have to agree with you about the mental discord that infidelity causes. Based on your explanation about maladaptive behaviour, I am slightly more less sceptical! I too have been on both ends, so I can relate to what you say.

        However, on the subject of deceit, isn’t deceit part and parcel of how we relate to each other, whether we’re involved in a sexual/romantic relationship or not? My point is that we present different masks to different people. Sometimes, lying to someone is more humane than telling them truth. I’m certainly not going to tell a child that I think their drawing looks hideous, even if that’s my most honest instinct! Similarly, if a woman asks me if she looks ‘fat’ in a particular outfit, no way Jose am I going to say, yes mi luv, you really look like you packing it on in dat deh frock.

        One nex ting, what are the boundaries of infidelity? The reason I ask is that while there’s almost universal acceptance that having sex with someone other than your spouse/partner is cheating, there is less agreement on whether things like flirting or looking at dirty mags constitutes infidelity. What’s your view Doctor? 🙂

  4. On another issue, is it not arguable that we are hard-wired to be polygamous rather than monogamous? I sometimes wonder, because I’ve known of some relationships where even where the parties appear to be head over heels, committed, etc, at some point, infidelity has crept in – sometimes for no other reason than the desire for variety…

    • This issue is highly debatable! Let me put my argument to you in the form of a story: A husband and wife agree to have an open relationship with open communication to quiet the hounds of lust and desire ( i love a likkle drama). However, deception crept in because as the husband said, the openness re-introduced boring and monotony into the marriage. It was the excitement of cheating that he liked. He also resented the fact that is wife was getting more play than him.
      Polygamy seems to work ostensibly but when you ask the parties involved more detailed questions, you find mistrust, deceit, instability and resentment. And practical/ logistic difficulties- who will look after the kids?
      Polygamy also brings up sex: is it that some men and women want to have sex with multiple partners or full on relationships with multiple partners?
      Sex is one thing but full relationships with many people is unsustainable, IMHO.

      • Hmm, fair enough. But let me ask you this, where does the “Big Love” scenario fit in your theory of polygamy/monogamy. In that setting, one hombre, three “sister” wives, and they all organized themselves, and their children in accordance with a polygamous paradigm. Not my cup of tea, but objectively, isn’t it just as workable as monogamy if the parties honestly and openly negotiate the terms of the relationship?

        Btw, I do agree that full relationships with many people is unsustainable. Frankly, I still don’t get the mentality of some of my fellow hombres who maintain not only separate women, but families. So many times I heard in Jamaica where children of the primary family discover their half-siblings at their father’s funeral…

  5. Excellent summation. I too agree that many women marry for the wrong reasons and not men who they like. The flip side though, for many of my friends anyway, is that when the biological clock is ticking, sometimes they just have to compromise and “settle” and I guess learn to like and love their partner. I’ve seen several women do just that for the sake of baby, family and security. Not sure it will make their marriages last less longer because in many cases, the woman had more going and they settled with men who were content and had no energy to cheat.

    Perhaps that is the solution. Don’t marry the philandering playboy who has more options, but learn to like less? I don’t know. Easy for me to say since I married my best friend who I still like and love (even though he grates my nerves sometimes and I, his. 😉

    And also, I also am not sure we, as animals, are made for monogamy. I think we are like some other mating animals, but at the end of the day, we cannot succumb to our savage tendencies bc we have this thing called jealousy (and/or possessiveness) which messes it up. (hence the example of the polygamous husband and wife you mention in your comments).

    A conundrum in truth!

    • Hilaire,
      Many issues to answer! I love this discussion. I believe looking at magazines, checking out the girl on the train or flirting to be fine actually but i guess it depends on the couple. Too many restrictions in a relationship kills it.
      The deceit I am referring to has to do with ongoing day after day lie after lie and then there is the entire family that you are the last to know about until you buck them up at pre-school. You have the opportunity to let the wife have a choice on whether to go or stay but you rob her of the decision because you are afraid of the consequences.
      Regarding Big Love- do you know that even in that movie the husband “cheated” with the first wife for several episodes. And the jealousy and resentment didn’t go anywhere. I would really like to hear polygamy explained in more detail by a polygamist to shed some light on how they manage with the normal human emotions of jealousy.
      There is also the swingers – i would love to hear how they were able to get to the point of being comfortable in that relationship.

      • Tammy, sometimes I don’t think it’s so much fear of the consequences, but a recognition of the consequences. Let me explain. My completely unscientific survey of some of my men friends/associates tell me that that they want to have their cake and eat it too. It’s part and parcel of human nature. So they will withhold the truth of their infidelity so as to have the best of both worlds, so to speak. The fear, if anything, has to do with NOT having both worlds… Having said that, I would concede that it is tremendously unfair to the wife who indeed is victimized.

        Re Big Love, I’d beg to differ on the resentment/jealousy. My reading of the characters is that while there may have been some initial resentment, etc, that gave way to a consensus on a polygamous family order. By way of comparison, in a regular monogamous union, one party may do something that creates a measure of resentment in the early stages of a relationship that may recede as each party gets to know and accept the other as they are. Give you an example. Wife resents the platonic friendships that hubby has. But once wife realizes that platonic friendships are no threat to her or to marriage, she accepts them without resentment. Mek sense?

  6. Srot of Hilaire, Big-Love has some glaring inequalities, take for example one wife having an “affair” with another man outside is a biiiig deal. Its not done regardless of how unhappy and unfulfilled she is in her polygamous marriage. I believe this parallel exists in the real world but then again jackass seh worl nuh level.
    but the having your cake and eating it too plan- dastardly!

  7. There have been some questions asked by male friends of mine about why it’s so difficult for good, strong, supportive women to find an equally strong man for life partner … I was wondering what your perspective is on this … especially as it relates to the Jamaican society …

    • I guess u pretty much answered it … men settle n women have expectations that are too high both of the men and the relationship …am I correct ?

    • Hi Wunder Woman, thanks for subscribing! I really appreciate it. The funny thing about your first reply is men stating there are no men. Interesting, as it says alot about parenting of boys and hat men learn about relationships through their lifetime in Jamaica.

      • Tammy and Wunder Woman, if I might jump into this discussion, I have a few comments:

        1.The lament about the absence of strong/suitable men is one I’ve heard not only in Jamaica, but elsewhere – certainly here in the US, and other larger countries where the pool of men is presumably larger. I think a significant factor contributing to this status quo is the rapid changes in ‘traditional’ gender roles/responsibilities, and indeed power.

        2. I don’t think it’s simply a matter of men settling and women having unreasonably high expectations. This is not to suggest that men don’t settle or that women never have unreasonably high expectations. In my experience, I’ve found that women often embark on a relationship with preconceived notions of what the relationship OUGHT to be, rather than carefully assess what it actually IS. I’ve seen many women come to relationships with a reformist agenda, thinking that no matter how dysfunctional the man is, they will be the one to reform him. In fairness, I’ve seen some men (me included) fall into the same trap. I’ve seen both men and women “settle” for different reasons. Women, for example, may “settle” if they consider that (a) they want to get married and (b) have children in wedlock, and before the biological clock runs out. Social expectations may play a large part in determining whether either gender settles. For men, I know they may “settle” on a socially acceptable partner, but then maintain the sweetheart on the side.

        Tammy, re “stepping up to the plate”, that’s a difficult question to answer. It’s difficult partially because of the patriarchal culture that still prevails in Jamaica and indeed the rest of the world. There is a still a strong sense that men are “entitled” and women are, well, expected to fit in to that world of entitlement. At a macro level, I think this culture needs to be (further) overhauled so as provide more social spaces in which men and women can engage more as equals. We’ve come a long way over the past 50 plus years, but still have a ways to go. At an individual level, I think that men and women need to be more analytical and more honest with themselves and each other, and to define/communicate their expectations accordingly.

  8. Hilaire, you have once again raised some very good points! the world women live in is uneven in may respects. Having overheard a conversation on the ward Yesterday where the father of the sick child threatened to kill the mother because she did not answer her phone when she stepped out to get some lunch. The mother said nothing but later on threated bodily harm to her 3 month old for crying. The cycle is complete and violence begets more violence. But that is for another blog.
    I agree that women and men need to have a more specific as well as realistic idea of what they would need in a mate ( note I said need as opposed to want or like- I would like a Mazzerati but it would be destroyed by these roads or stolen in a heartbeat in Jamaica).

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