Why Men Have No Backbone: A Scientific Analysis and Cross-section of the Species

Published March 30, 2012 by insufficient mums

I have realised that my life has become embarassingly small since I became a mother. Especially since I became a single mother.

There are no outside causes, no ‘Save the Rhino’, no women’s group rituals.

There is parenting. Parenting is important. Parenting is the most important.

But it does come at a cost. I can no longer stomach the TV News. Politically, I’m unable to even watch a documentary on the Soviet Story, as I descend into a depression for days. I’m unable to show up emotionally for my children (necessary) and also show up politically for my world (desireable).

And as I look back on this dharma, I do notice a pattern.

Regardless of my politics and worldview, I live at the shallow end.

This life has been dominated by struggle. With and against money. With and against men. Unfortunately, the struggle with money is linked to the struggle with men.

Don’t get me wrong. I am a pretender to a higher purpose. But when I look back on the evidence, on what has changed my life and effected me, it has been my relationships with men. Goddess forbid. This is simply the truth.

I need to examine the lesson. Examine what it is I keep missing. I am fucked if I want to repeat these lessons next dharma. I’m fucked if I want to let my daughters repeat these lessons uneducated. I’m fucked if I’ll let my beautiful son grow into one of the men that I would have chosen for me.

Lets look at the characters in this melodrama. I classify it as a melodrama because I’m embarassed that love interests have over-ridden other issues in my life. This was never my intention. Growing up I always thought a partner would share isssues with me, not overtake other issues in their own right. The only issue that has been able to outweigh this, in truth, is parenting. I can see why women lose focus, whether they want to or not. The human instinct to bond is powerful.

The Cast

1.     The Sleaze aka Little Bogan Car-Thief                                broke my innocence and naivety
2.     The Demon aka Nasty Fucking Bastard                             broke my head and my house
3.     Old Yeller aka Idiot Husband                                                broke my tolerance and compassion
4.     Chicken Man: short term, high-impact. Ran away.      narcissist and idiot

Also, myself: The Serial Monogomist

I haven’t included the school boys, as I really had no feelings for them (aside from experimentation), and a cast of boys of varying degrees of idiocy between husbands, as I experimented with open-mindedness and contempt.

I have to admit, there was also a man in the middle. The Welder. A good friend. Really lovely. But when I wanted to escalate the situation physically (as I’m quite fond of a bit of escalation) he wasn’t up for it. Don’t know why. But I did need a bit more immediate fulfilment. Because I’m me. And I like that.

The point is, none of these men were alike. Not remotely. But all were fatally flawed.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m far from perfect. But I do mean well. And I do work hard. And I am honest.

I have no illusions that life should be smooth sailing. No illusions that partnerships don’t have ups and downs. I have a ‘work hard/mean well’ ethic.

As I’ve aged and grown, I’ve determinedly only shared my life with those I saw as my equal. Those I had respect for. But I end up repeatedly and constantly let down. Is expecting a partner I can respect to much to ask for?

I think it is. Whether I like it or not.

And I won’t settle for less, as I have a fully-functioning life as a solo woman. I like to do what I like to do.

The dilemma for me is, is the fault with the selection, or with the selector?

If the selection is fatally flawed, then why? What is wrong? What’s the point, and why do women put up with this for more than five minutes?

If the selector is flawed, in what way? Are my standards too high? Have they been too low?

Why is this even important to me? I’d like to deny it, but the evidence shows otherwise. Might as well confess (though it does make me cringe).

Can I live the life I wan’t to live? Am I still vulnerable to the same old human desires, despite constant, repeated and painful disappointment?

What I’d really like to know… my women friends who live long term with partners, love them, and are happy… Are they for real?!? Big connotations if they are. Big connotations if they aren’t.

I feel the need to wrap my ramblings up in a final sentence. My usual practise is to write until solutions appear. Tonight I have discovered none.

Except to continue creating my life, enjoying the good bits, and refusing to take any brass pennies.

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6 comments on “Why Men Have No Backbone: A Scientific Analysis and Cross-section of the Species

  • I’ve also had my fair share of arseholes – players, cheats and narcissists. Over time I became less tolerant and less patient. I think that helps to rid yourself of that negative shit pretty quickly. And no, you’re not asking for too much when you want to be treated with love and respect at ALL times in a relationship. Anything less than that is unhealthy. xx

    • Exactly. I did date for 2 or 3 years after my last divorce. But I’ve decided having a partner is not for me now.
      Hovered around the edges of it for a few years, but it always makes my life worse.
      Not saying it’s that way for anybody else. But it is for me.

      • Traditional partnerships don’t work for me either. I’ve done the marriage thing, and I have discovered I need something different. I have been in a relationship now for two years, where we both have our own homes, and we see each other as little or as often as we like. I just need my own space, and so does he, but we are committed to each other. For me, independence is so important, and I never want to give that up again. But it is possible to combine it with a loving relationship. It’s just so hard to find the right man for it, and that took me ages 😉

  • It looks to me like partnerships are an issue for you.

    Duh! You say.

    What I mean is, I believe we choose our lives to learn stuff. And we all have different stuff to learn. I’m lucky with partnerships, but there are other areas of my life that are true head-bangers.

    Do/did your parents have a good partnership? Were you lucky enough to have good relationship skills modeled for you? If not, you began your “grown-up” life with a huge handicap.Watch how your women friends in successful, long-term relationships deal with their partners. You might find some clues there. Or not.

    Another thing I’ve noticed in my partnerships: You can never change someone. Don’t even think you can. You gotta deal with what you get. So if you’re not totally contented with someone and willing to accept them as is, keep the as an acquaintance, perhaps, but not a partner.

    I’m flinging lots of fairy dust at you–the expensive kind–and wishing you tons of insights. Good partnerships make life easier, bad ones make it suck.

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