Now That You’ve Found The Man Of Your Dreams, How Do You Keep Him?
Recently everyone’s favorite ultra-conservative Christian fundamentalist preacher with a nationally syndicated television show, Pat Robertson, made headlines with a bit of advice he gave a caller on his show. The woman was upset that her husband was cheating on her and in response Robertson essentially said that she should simply accept it. He provides a home for her, he provides food and clothes, he’s nice to the children. This is as much as she should expect from her husband since, according to him, men have a tendency to wander and if he does then it’s her fault since she’s let herself look “slatternly”.
She should ignore the cheating and continue on in the marriage since men will inevitably cheat and it’s better to live in a sham of a marriage so long as her creature comforts are provided for. While this type of marriage might be fine for Rev. Pat, for most of us a husband cheating in a marriage would be devastating and a sure sign that the relationship is in serious trouble.
Let’s say that you have finally met Mr. Right-In-Every-Way and you know that you’d be happy if you could spend the rest of eternity with him by your side. All of a sudden the fear sets in and it occurs to you that he could always leave or it turns out that he’s actually an acolyte of Pat Robertson’s and he explains to you that it’s the “tendency of man” to cheat and that you should just accept it. The fact is, relationships are complicated things, and even if you feel like the luckiest woman in the world for the fact that you found the perfect guy, relationships end all of the time and you have to work to maintain them (and I don’t mean not looking “slatternly”!).
Don’t Try To Change Him
Now I don’t mean that you have to accept your guy for all of his faults all of the time. You might have some legitimate gripes that you might want to take up with him and that’s perfectly acceptable. The danger is if you go through in your mind, “He would be perfect if he could only change X, Y, and Z. Time to get on his case.” It doesn’t hurt to sometimes ask your guy to hit the gym a little more often if he’s gaining a little too much weight or try not to swear so much around you if you hate it. However doing too much of that might intrude on what he might consider some core part of his persona.
Too much nagging will make it seem like you don’t really like him (even if you do) and might scare him away. You’ll be free of all of those traits that you didn’t like, burt along with it, everything about him that you found so wonderful. If whatever it is about him that kind of annoys you isn’t a total dealbraker, and you’ve gently asked him to fix it and nothing seems to have changed, see if you can live with it. As good of a match you guys seem to be, nothing is 1000% perfect and sometimes a little adapting is necessary.
This is sort of like the inverse of the above point. It may have seemed like you only got that perfect guy to date you because you put on an act, that you were playing a version of yourself that’s so fabulous that no man could have resisted you and if you let that face down he’ll see who you really are and he’ll drop you the first chance he gets. The truth is that most likely the real you is probably the best part about you.
If you can imagine spending the rest of your life with this guy, could you actually imagine spending the rest of your life playing a part like an actor and secretly fearful that if he found out the truth about you then everything would come crashing down? That sounds like a terrible way to live your life. Frankly, if he doesn’t like the real you, then he’s probably not that great to begin with. If that’s the case, you should look at the hard truth and drop him before things get too serious. There’s a better guy out there.
Try Not To Be Too Possessive Or Jealous
No I don’t mean let him cheat on you. You’re lucky that you have such a great guy. You might even feel like you want to have him around you all of the time and to never leave your sight. You may think that other women will feel the same way that you feel about him and do their best to whisk him away from you. You’ll probably want to do whatever you can to make sure he has as little contact with anyone else to minimize the chances of this happening. This is practically the definition of an unhealthy relationship. Even if he seems okay with the possessiveness for awhile, he’ll feel so trapped in a box every time he’s around you that he’ll resent it and resent you for being so clingy and jealous. If he was really in danger of cheating on you, then he’s not the perfect guy, even if you thought he was at first. If you can let him be himself, then he’ll be happier and the whole relationship will be better.