Square Pegs in Round Holes

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Square Pegs in Round Holes
3
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 12:47am
Q: My boyfriend and I are thinking of getting engaged, but from our discussions of the future, we increasingly seem to be mismatched. I am pretty ambitious and want to work hard to create a good life, including condos, cars, etc. My boyfriend, however, wants a simple life and is satisfied without material rewards. My friends tell me how lucky I am to get such a down-to-earth guy, but I find myself wishing he had more drive in life and ambitions that match mine. I'm tired of being the leader in this relationship. I know we both love each other dearly, but is there really any future for two people with such different outlooks on life?

A: Two people can love each other dearly, respect and admire each other and yet not be suited for a marriage. The most important aspect of a good, long-standing marriage is having mutual goals, values and directions. That ensures that the two of you will be moving in the same direction and will be able to offer each other companionship and support (not opposition) along the way.

Many people decide to marry hoping that they will change the person, or that in time, because the person loves them so much, they will decide to change themselves. This seldom happens. Sometimes a person does grow or change, but never because someone else wants them to. Personal growth and development only arise from an individual's experiences and can take many years to unfold.

To enter marriage -- or any long-term relationship -- with the hope of changing your partner is a great mistake that can cause friction, conflict, and frustration within the relationship and feelings of low self-worth for your partner. When you feel your mate is not the kind of person you want to be with, the other person feels that nothing they do can ever make you happy. But there may be nothing basically wrong with your mate -- just with this particular match. In fact, your mate could very well make someone else quite happy, and you could be satisfied as well with someone who had more of the qualities that you want in a relationship.

What you need and want in a marriage is not there in your present situation. If you realize this now, you will save the both of you a lot of grief and struggle later on. Make sure you let your partner know that this has nothing to do with your love for him but that your life forces are pointed in different directions. There is a beautiful saying that goes, "Love is wanting for the other what he wants for himself, even though you may not be the one able to give it to him."








"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 10:33am
(History: Been together 3 yrs, he's 27 and I'm 24)

Hopefully, you'll see this since your post didn't really warrant a response and I may post this as a new topic later so please excuse the redundancy. Your "square peg, round hole" describes my relationship EXACTLY, except that I embrace our differences rather than hope that he will change. Am I being naive? Others, (usually parental figures)tell me that I should find someone who is my ambitious equal and that I will become resentful at being the breadwinner. Maybe this is true but love him dearly and we have come a long way in learning to accept our emotional differences: I understand that he is introverted and less interested in over-analyzing everything about our relationship and he understands that sometimes I need him to open up more when I'm feeling needy. In addition, his "down to earth" attitude serves to cool my heated emotions and I help him to assert himself.

All of this is a bit premature since we are not looking to get married anytime soon, however, we both feel that marriage is the natural progression. I'm still in undergraduate school so it will be a while before I have to think about being the provider and at this point we are equal in that respect. Do you think his idealistic attitude will wear me down? I probably shouldn't be so concerned with what others think as long as I am happy but I've burned a lot of bridges and made a lot of mistakes in the past as a result of not listening to wiser people.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-27-2003 - 11:53am
Hey there -

I think there are two reasons you haven't received any responses to this. The first is that you posted in the Off Topic folder, a place for articles, etc. Posts containing problems and questions to be answered are posted in the upper folder "General Conversation". It's most likely that most don't realize you've posted a question here. I haven't responded to your post because you indicated you were going to respost your question in the General Topic folder. I planned to wait and respond in one place rather than have two conversations going about the same topic. It becomes quite confusing and doesn't get your post responded to as effectively as posting in one place (and in the right place!) does.

FYI - if you liked the article, check the Off-Topic folder from time to time, I generally post articles that pertain to specific problems that are currently on the board there.

If you plan to repost in the proper folder, please do, it's all I'm waiting for to respond!

cl-2nd_life








"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2003
Wed, 12-31-2003 - 8:48pm
This is SO true! I see my friends doing this all the time, trying to make the wrong guy turn into the guy they want. DUH!