For Better or Worse

Interesting, ahem, article at CNN about how radical personal changes by one partner can dramatically change a relationship. That's such a "duh" concept that I figured there had to be more to it—and so there was! Immediately after hearing about a woman who overcame her reluctance to go nudist with her husband (yay!), we are treated to an anecdote about the "vice president of a high-tech company on Wall Street with a significant salary, plenty of options and an adoring fiancée" who "lived a few doors down from Jackie O's old place on Fifth Avenue." When he decided to quit his 6-figure job to start his own company, his fiancée gave him an ultimatum (boo!).
She "saw my wish to leave such a safe job, to start my own venture, as a weakness. I was delivered an ultimatum: 'Leave the job, lose me.' On the day I quit, she ended our relationship."
What was the venture? Was it a business to which she had an ethical objection? Was it something that required a risk she found unacceptable, like putting up a shared home as collateral? Was it something that was going to require too much of his time away from home, lots of travel?

Who knows. We are just informed that she found his willingness to go from "six figures to zero" a "weakness," and then get this bit of information:
Psychotherapist and relationship expert Gilda Carle, Ph.D., contends that it's common for women to intertwine their respect for the man they love with his wealth. Right or wrong, Carle says, "money is often tied into how a woman perceives her man as powerful, and sometimes, when he loses his power, he loses his appeal."

So, now that we've dealt with a woman who supposedly left her partner because he loses his power/appeal, surely we're going to deal with men who leave their partners because they got old/fat/ugly, err, lost their beauty/appeal, right? Surely we're going to hear about how it's common for men to intertwine their respect for the women they love with their looks, right or wrong, aren't we? I mean, that's the obvious flipside of this heteronormative horseshit, right, so that's where we going, yeah?

Especially since CNN so thoughtfully shared with us previously the story of Sharon Twitchell, whose husband not only lost his attraction for his wife of three decades, but also checked out on her emotionally, became ashamed of her, and refused to recognize her personhood until she lost 110 pounds—which is a brutally familiar story, to anyone who, you know, knows other humans or reads "Dear Abby" for three consecutive days. So we're going to hear about how common people leaving partners who fail to stay for eternity exactly the way they looked on their wedding days is, right?

Of course not.
However, even with a lot of effort, experts say, some relationships just can't be saved. Carle describes a situation where a client's husband came home and announced he had become a cross-dresser.
Meaning a guy with a dressing fetish, which loads of couples navigate without much problem at all, or someone who's coming out as transgender, which is more difficult (although some couples weather that rather fine, too)? Who knows. Who cares. The main thing we should know is that this "cross-dressing" situation made for an even more irreparable break in the relationship than even "a psychotic break or a depressive or manic illness that needs to be addressed" can cause.

So, if you're keeping score, that's one "cross-dressing" man who ruined his marriage, one gold-digging woman who ruined her engagement, and one woman who "reluctantly agreed to give [nudism] a try" at her husband's urging and ended up loving it, thereby saving her marriage.


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