6 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

-         T.S. Dickey, In-House Author & Commentary

All of us had lives before we met our significant other and a summation of that life makes us who we are today.  Our habits, the way in which we communicate (or not) and the tendencies we have in our approaches to problem-solving are a direct result of the daily practice we learn when we maneuver our way through life’s experiences.

As individuals we will have disagreements and as couples we will have disagreements – that is a given.  It could be something as small as taking a job that uproots the family’s comfort zone to who cleans up after the dog (or cat).  It could also be something as serious as patterns of behavior that have always gotten you what you wanted in the past but have no way of working in the present.

Recently I was censured for acting like and treating my younger man reminiscent of his mother.  Oddly, I perceived this as an off-the-cuff compliment since not only is the closest most trusted woman in a man’s life his mother but also a man’s mother is the only one who can bring his unpleasant behavior to the forefront for scrutiny without causing an all out war.

Didn’t happen – especially since I am not his mother - and the result of my unsolicited analysis proved it.  Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.

The war was over the decision not to accept a certain kind of behavior and my option tipped his aversion to change (with the ensuing wakeboarding) into a Mexican standoff, of course, as the result. 

Since I believe we both truly love each other, I imagine we will come to our senses and stop the madness before something as little as an ant mound grows into something as big as Mount Everest.  Anyway….. here’s looking at you, Babe.

Imagine, all of this brouhaha[1] because I reminded him of his mother when she said ‘no’ to something he wanted to do.  [In all honesty, my sons are the same way but that is a different reaction all together.]

First of all, I don’t want and would certainly not prefer to be visualized as the mother of the man from whom I crawl (naked) out of bed each morning and secondly, his mother (and mine) would be completely scandalized by what I wear and do with her son so very often.

But again (and yes there is always a but[t] – pardon the pun), if I am perceived in a way that reminds him of Mother when it comes to my expectations regarding unacceptable behavior(s) then more power to me, Ms. Daisy.  I really believe Mother-Knows-Best when it comes to her sons and daughters.

I am far too mature in my own skin to cater to the unacceptable wishes of others, be it family or friend, that cause my life to be dictated by the whims of another.  I have a daughter who is uncomfortable with my life’s choice, a ‘fan’ who is upset with my preference not to write a sequel to a sequel, and a man who is sometimes uncomfortable when my staunch refusal to lessen the values I earned - before he was ten - cannot be breached.

This is not to say, however, that their feelings hold no value in my life; they most certainly do.  But the same people who would have another live their life a certain way do not hesitate to ignore other advice when it conflicts with what they want to do in their own.  The awkward part for people such as these in my experience with family members, friends, and associates is in with regards to the reality that I accept the choices made for their own lives but not for mine. 

This is called r-e-s-p-e-c-t, something Aretha immortalized in the sixties.  If the changes you want me to make in order for you-to-do-you means a lowering of the respect I hold for me – then I reverence your right to feel the way you do and my right not to comply.  What I would not do to you – you cannot do to me.

 How much fairer can that be?  This is not a rhetorical question so feel free to comment below

During a conversation with an associate with a background in social psychology, I asked why so many women place their emotional needs on a backburner in order to accommodate another – be it partner or friend.  I also wanted to gain an appreciative (for myself) on how to respond to questions I receive from women - both older and younger - who want to change this odd habit and regain a voice within their relationship.

My first gut reaction is to advise them not to lose it in the first place.  How you begin your relationship is how you live your relationship.  If you fail to speak out regarding your honest  feelings on a subject you find unacceptable simply because you do not want to rock the boat you find yourself floating in, then you cannot blame your young man for throwing tantrums in order to get his way. 

It worked with many women before you because if it didn’t he would not be trying it out on you.  And, if you permit it to work with you the first time, expect your emotional needs to be seriously ignored because you just gave him the keys to your car and he will be off and running every red light you put up because you did not halt him at the yellow light.

I am appalled by what women will do to please men; especially when it is not in their best interest.  Likewise, I am appalled by what men will do to please women; especially when it is not in their best interest.  See?  Fair.

Over the years, during my research with life experiences and preparations for my novel, The Making of a Prime Cougar, I saw a pattern of protocol emerge within the younger man’s expectation and interactions with the ardent females in his life. 

I make the statement in this fashion simply because men do not make commitments towards women with whom they engage for a zealous tryst; therefore these women make no impact on his behavior.  Actually, they strengthen ‘indigent behavior’ because they are accepting less than what they are worth.

On the other hand, interactions with a woman with whom his passionate and committed emotions are engaged cause him to feel a ‘threat’ of behavioral change when disagreement rears its very ugly head. 

And, as you may know, people really do hate change, in spite of whether it is a good or bad transformation.  Why?  Change implies that something is wrong with them and not you.

Younger older Prime Cougars do not, and I repeat, do not accept selfish and unbalanced behavior from their younger men.  We have lived long enough to recognize detriment and we don’t do detriment.  I believe we are incapable of it. 

I chose not to use the term younger older men here because these men are much more mature in their emotional dealings and do not need to throw temper tantrums in order to get what they want.  They negotiate with their significant other on a balanced level surface; so, I am not referring to these wonderful men in this article.

There is no intention to point the finger with my next statements because they are generational observations. 

Young women of our time have the greatest opportunities to succeed since the dawning of the late 20th Century.  Their easier access to freedom of choice, education and employment are a direct result of efforts made by their mothers and grandmothers. 

So why then are they so ‘desperate’ and anxious to accept less than respect from the men they allow into their lives?  Too many young women are supporting men in order to keep them tied to their apron string (who’s the Sugar Mama here?) 

Efforts include having children without the possibility of marriage, offering money to keep him happy, supporting habits (smoking, drinking, gas money for her car since she is at work and he needs to keep her car in order for her to keep him), accepting even less than courtesy within their relationship – and the big one – keeping quiet about the way she ‘truly’ feels so that he will not get angry and possibly leave her. 

What the f*ck?

Now, let me clarify these words so as not to be misconstrued, not all young women are in relationships like my portrayal above.  Be that as it may, there are enough of these young women who are within this scenario that is has become somewhat common place.  Just pay attention to some of the couples in your grocery store, she is buying everything while he is picking it out.  Just look at the couple at the gas station – she is paying for the gas while he is in the driver’s seat.

Now, again, let me clarify my remark, not all older women are with younger men who are working, taking care of his own business, etc.  Some of them actually look like (activity wise anyway) the young woman paying for the gas.  Why?  Because she is standing in the line right beside her.

Somehow these women have lost their way, and if you are the older woman, it could have started with that insignificant decision to lessen the values earned before your younger man was even born. 

I am not advocating having a nose as hard as diamonds when you are in a relationship, but it serves its purpose if you are a Sand Prime Cougar (you gotta read the book!)

Flexibility between partners is a requirement in order to keep the union strong.  I am an advocate of maintaining balance in a chauffeured relationship to keep it healthy.  Driving Ms. Daisy down  a two-way street requires staying within the yellow lines so as not to crash into the ‘car’ coming in the other direction. 

There is no doubt your younger man has enough fuel so he is more than likely doing the driving towards change in your life.  So, if he chooses to pass when the signs say ‘no’ or if he attempts to turn left on a double yellow line in the street , it is up to you to either issue him a warning or give him a good-bye ticket for ignoring the red light. 

Should he tell you it’s his way or the highway – then you might want to consider turning left on the double line yourself - red light or green - before life gives you a ticket with a big fine. 

Being each other’s favorite travel companion and/or recreational activity fuses two desires into one.  Should the preference be to leave you behind in order to drive alone then you need to take the car back and get a new driver. 

If things  don’t feel right in your gut – don’t accept it or ignore it.   Ms. Daisy needs to get a new chauffeur.   I’m just sayin……….

[1] a broil over a minor or ridiculous cause

More from parenting

by Christopher Luu | 2 hours ago
by Sarah Bradley | 4 hours ago
by Lisa Hirsch Lozano | 2 days ago
by Marquita Harris | 3 days ago
by Marquita Harris | 3 days ago
by Rosie Luik | 3 days ago
by Allison Hope | 4 days ago
by Christopher Luu | 4 days ago
by Marquita Harris | 5 days ago
by Claire Gillespie | 5 days ago
by Sarah Caron | 6 days ago
by Allison Hope | 6 days ago