Repairing Relationships

Building intimacy and joy into your relationships

Why Do Men Want To Escape From Their Wives?

How do couples go from inseparable newlyweds to prickly porcupines?

"Now that we love

Now that the lonely nights are over

How do we make love stay?"

-Dan Fogelberg

Today,  many husbands delight in the times they can escape from  their wives. You see it in their sparkling eyes and improved posture as they prepare for their Wednesday night softball game. You hear it in their conversations safely out of the earshot of other women. You see it confirmed on television, in male-oriented situation comedies like "Two and a Half Men", "Seinfeld" and "Everyone Loves Raymond", and in beer and hot wings commercials that feature men escaping their wives' clutches to spend some stolen moments of joy with their drinking buddies in the Land of Party. In the private places men gather, the athletic club locker rooms, the all-male tables at the Lions and Rotary clubs, the office lounges and the local taverns, you hear a familiar refrain. The banter and jokes reveal a deep-seated resentment of their wives, perhaps even a dislike of them personally, no matter how well they perform their spousal role.

It is easy to understand how such festering resentment poisons relationships. But it is  ironic that these same males once publicly professed before hundreds of witnesses their undying love to the women they can now barely tolerate as human beings. Sadly, these women have reached a low point in the modern form of heterosexual love.. Many wives will eventually realize that their husbands not only do not like them as a person, but they also make no effort to hide their contempt. Other women will suffer from husbands who hide their true feelings of resentment through slavish obedience to the letter of their wedding commitment. But in either case their hearts are no longer in the marriage.

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To understand why men want to escape, you need to understand where the resentment comes from. Twitterpated men are committing themselves to women they don't even know. Once the passion cools, many men  discover they are stuck with a person they don't even like much less love. They then have to make their peace with the mistake they have made and their unsuspecting partner suffers the consequences. The good news is there is a better way to date and mate. We are not all predestined to becoming porcupines.

J.R. Bruns, M.D., is co-author of The Tiger Woods Syndrome, a book about repairing relationships.

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