Friday, September 19, 2014

The Happiest Man In America

BoBo's column is pretty trippy, but I did enjoy this comment that someone made.
One reason middle-aged people, especially men, have a tough time making friends because, like an old truck driver acquaintance once told me, "I can't afford any friends". Friends are expensive, because there is no such thing as an unselfish friend--they are all seeking something out of the relationship, else they wouldn't enter it. Brooks is a naive fool if he thinks otherwise.

And for married men, the difficulty in making friends is compounded by their wives, who jealously seek to eliminate any source of happiness that might be afforded their husbands outside of the marriage. A wife is never happy if she thinks her husband might be happy without her. As male friends provide happiness outside of the marriage for husbands, wives rarely willingly accommodate them.

The same thing is not true in reverse--wives cultivate scores of friends and husbands happily go along, else they be considered an impediment to the wives' happiness, which would violate the whole premise behind the marital compact--that women agree to marriage on the condition that their husbands will put their happiness above their own.

Husbands and wives can be friends, and should be, but carefully so, as the marital relationship is a dialectic. Each party is constantly striving to have their own will expressed. Being too friendly with an antagonist like a spouse can lead to being taken advantage of.