A Man or Woman? Or, in the case of a same sex union what determines whether someone thrives in a marriage?
This thought was prompted by observations in real life and in reading our local newspaper. Often I see anniversary announcements where there is a photo of the couple on their wedding day next to a photo of the couple today. Almost always the male of the couple is completely recognizable. His hair may be grayer or whiter and there may be less of it but I can recognize that he is an older version of the guy who married that gal. But, often the female is unrecognizable. She is most often heavier and if not heavier she appears to have aged more than her male counterpart. I’ve even observed this in my own marriage. Twenty two years later and my husband is the same size and is recognizable. Yes, he has less hair and what he has is whiter. He has a few more wrinkles, but he looks more distinguished and you know it is him. Me? I’m at least 50 pounds heavier (probably more, I don’t remember my weight back then) with a second chin and in a lot of photos I have a defeated look on my face as if to say, yes I’m older, and I know I look it. I can’t explain what happened to me. In photos of us together I am appalled at the amount of change that has occurred in my appearance compared to the amount of change to his. He is 13 years older than me, by the way.
So, what is the reason behind this trend? Is it genetics? Is it hormones? Is it because the female in the couple exhausts herself so much taking care of and catering to the male that she ages faster? Does the female stop caring about herself? Does the male thrive because he has made fewer sacrifices in the partnership? Does this happen in same sex marriages? Does one partner become an unrecognizable version of themselves while the other partner thrives?
I have no answers, only questions. I wanted to research this a bit and maybe I will at some point, but more than anything I wanted to get back to this blog before I was absent from it for almost a year! Hopefully, I am back.