Bad Girl's Guide

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Who Is More Accepting?

One of my darling readers emailed me this question that struck a few chords with me.

Do you think that women seem to be more accepting of the physical appearance of a loved one, as opposed to men? Take the story of Beauty and the Beast for example. It always seems society overlooks that most times men leave women (I am not making an absolute statement here) that have become disfigured or physically disabled. Some say it is because they just can't handle it. I wonder if you reverse the roles if it would be the same. I think women see more beyond the outside appearance like the country song "Stand by your man".

Interesting line of thought. I think that it's not really a generalization of the sexes as it is a character flaw. For every example of a man leaving his wife when she falls ill there are also apt examples of the guys actually sticking through thick and thin what many a woman has been known to flee. At the same time, there are also scenarios where it's the woman that bails as soon as her man gets into a spot of trouble or difficulty.

I myself have an acute illness that has sent many a guy hightailing in the opposite direction. Sure, they didn't outrightly come out and say that they were afraid of dealing with my sickle cell, but eventually a few came back to tell me this was the case.

My uncle told me that there are usually 3 reasons why a guy would break up with someone that he 'loved' in times of illness:
  1. He's a coward: He only wants to be with you when everything is going hunky dory. You falling sick doesn't make the situation any more beneficial to him, he might see you as needy and a burden to him. He doesn't want to deal with hospitals and doctors. He has a fear of blood. He has something in his past (death of a parent), that your ill state will bring to mind and he can't deal with this.
  2. He loves you too much: Surprisingly this has the possibility of being true. He loves you so much that your pain becomes his pain. He can't bear to see you hurting or dealing with illness because it hurts him. He cannot be strong for you, be your rock because he's too emphathetic to your situation and ends up being more of a hindrance. He might feel that leaving/breaking up with you will be better in the long run.
  3. He doesn't love you enough: And mayhap this is the cruelest sword of all. He has it in his mind that Miss Perfect be perfectly healthy, and you therefore not being so doesn't hold up your end of the agreement. He feels that you broke the bargain by falling sick and so he doesn't have to uphold the whole "Death do you part" side of the marriage vows or even the "Stand by your girl" side of relationships. Seriously though---during times of life crises it's better to have support and care from those that love you unequivocally, than to have the simper of a guy that only wants you when you are perfect.
People have in their mind the kind of person they want to end up with. I mean really, who has ever though of Mr. Right to have a trach or live in a wheelchair? Who fantasizes about Ms. Right missing a limb or two? It's not in human make-up to want to deal with disease, disfigurement and possible death. However that is life, shit happens.

It takes a special kind of person, a strong, loyal & loving person to be able to help you enough to help you through difficult times. Isn't that what we really want anyway?

Oh and to answer your question....yes, women can be more accepting, but men are also capable of dealing with the curveballs that life throws our way. Perhaps if society stopped making excuses for men, they would be more guys out there that stepped up to the plate.

Your thoughts?

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