I've had a comment made to me time and time again and it's both confusing and frustrating and often leaves me thinking for a time after. While I was sleeping this morning, Marilyn was on the phone with one of her girlfriends and apparently I came up in discussion. As happens often apparently, the comment or comments were made that I'm 'special' for my willingness to stand by Marilyn as we face all her health issues. For me it seems obvious but apparently I'm alone in this as many others find it astounding. I guess my question is why?
It's a serious question that I have never received a proper answer too. Am I so different from other men because I'm willing to stand by the woman I love? I guess I'm just having trouble processing the idea. My grandparents have been married for 50+ years so for me standing by her is a no brainer. Is it really that different for other men? Is it just men in our society that have this issue? Or is it simply a perception that woman have of men? Believe me, I'm not trying to be an ass I'm asking a serious question. I can't imagine my grandfather leaving my grandmother, not after I saw him there through her treatments for breast cancer. Not when she was pregnant with my mother at a very young age and they struggled mightily as so many people of that generation did. Or maybe it wasn't witnessing the strength of their marriage; perhaps it was witnessing the struggles my own parents had and the fact that they're still together despite issues that arose during their marriage.
Now I realize that our society has become one of instant gratification and people tend to try and get what they want when they want it. Nowadays that mentality is often introduced in childhood, continues though the teen years, and sought after by young adults until they realize that it's not possible when other people are no longer paying your bills. But does that same attitude bleed into our personal lives as well? Is that the reason people seem to think that I'm somehow a better person than I am? Believe me, I'm as guilty as anyone of putting the necessary things aside to get things I want immediately. I've made some big mistakes in my life. Mistakes that have hurt others and mistakes that didn't uphold that values that I've tried to carry myself with. But, for me at least, those mistakes became learning tools as I think they're supposed to. With age comes wisdom at least so I've been told. Is it that people aren't learning from their mistakes? Are they not listening when people tell them about their own mistakes?
For me, there's nothing remarkable about what I'm doing which is nothing more than standing with the person I love and will soon be vowing to spend the rest of my life with. Rather than think myself somehow extraordinary or better than others, if it's true that I'm somehow outside the norm doesn't that say something negative about the society we've become rather than something stellar about myself? Are we no longer developing the kind of men that stand up for what's right? For love? For family? Perhaps it's not I and others who help and care for their loved ones that are outside natures norm but everyone who would be unwilling to make the same sacrifice.