Friday, July 26, 2013

Is The Claim "Men Won't Commit" Projection?

Bear with me here. This is something my mind has been chewing on.

Being almost 40, most of my life I've heard the claim "Men won't commit" or "men are afraid of commitment". I never gave it any critical thought. I just assumed it was true based on girls I knew who were trying to get their boyfriends to marry them. Then of course it's a common theme in movies and TV shows and all that other stuff I now largely disregard.

But as I look around today, especially in the midst of my own divorce, which my soon to be ex-wife initiated, I'm wondering if this isn't merely women projecting.

Projection is a psychological technique where one person takes their own feelings and insecurities and projects them back upon another person. When you hear terms like "hate speech", this is usually projection. If you take a contrary position to one of the many culturally popular parroted positions, you're often accused of hate, even though all you're doing is disagreeing and you don't personally feel anything like hate toward those you disagree with.

My conclusion in that case is, the people you are disagreeing with interpret the feeling you give them as hate, and project it back onto you, assuming you feel the same way.

I'm finding this to be common among people who are largely ruled by feelings, such as women. I discovered recently that many of the things my ex accused me of over the years were her own fears and insecurities being projected back onto me. A tame example of this is the many times she accused me of being angry, when all I was doing was trying to think through something, although the constant distraction of her accusing me of anger often became a self-fulfilling prophesy.

My point is, I'm starting to wonder if the whole "men won't commit" thing I've accepted as conventional wisdom all my life is another form of projection. I'm basing this partly on my own experience, but when I look around the culture, I see quite a few women tho divorce their husbands, or back their husbands into a corner where he must divorce her. This to me is the true lack of commitment. I'm absolutely convinced my ex has been trying to goad (manipulate) me into divorcing her for years, so I could be the bad guy and her the innocent victim "Oh, poor me, my husband wants a divorce!" I wouldn't play along, even though it was tempting.

So do women like my ex-wife have a commitment problem, yet project it back onto men? I don't have the answer yet. I'm just starting to wonder.

Note to women nagging your men who "won't commit": this is a really bad way to start a long term relationship or marriage. "You won't commit to me!" Keep the nagging up, and see if it changes anything.
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