Recently I was in a situation where it was impossible not to overhear a conversation going on within earshot. There were three women, all different ages, each waxing lyrical about the deficiencies and general ineptitude of the men they had dated, divorced, and spent time with. The mood was was negative from start to finish, yet it wasn't that which I picked up on. With me it's the subtext I'm listening out for, some underlying principle or theme.
What I sensed, and what may annoy my female readers, was a consistent failure to acknowledge, or even mention, that each women may have played a part in why their relationships had not endured. Now let's be brutal here, if relationship after relationship continually goes wrong there's a reasonable chance that it isn't just the other partners fault. It seems to me sensible to take just a bit of personal ownership and to ask a few searching questions. Why do my relationships fail? What are the recurring themes? What can I do differently next time? Am I trying BE the right partner as much as I'm trying to FIND the right partner. This conversation I was overhearing made plain just how easy it is to project our angst and frustrations without having the bravery to take ownership of the issues at hand. It's often nightmarish when we have to be brutally honest with ourselves, but it can also be restorative, illuminating, and open up rich veins of personal insight. Don't waste time blaming the rest of the world for your woes, even if you have been hurt or deceived or damaged.
Ultimately, this three way bitch-fest was a near perfect example of why these particular women failed in their efforts. I felt that each had an underlying dislike of men, a suspicion and a lack of trust. I'm not denying that men can be appalling creatures, but I'm also going to fly the flag for those of us who think about the world, who work hard at relationships, and who confront our own deficiencies. I'm sorry ladies, I'm not perfect but I'm not prepared to carry the can for your failure to look closely at yourself. Perhaps instead of projecting your anger you might want to look a bit deeper and take ownership of your own life situation. See how far that gets you?