My experience with them, at least. The piece I posted a couple of days ago was written under the influence of booze and a certain amount of pissed-off, and I think it needs expanding on. No, I don't disavow a word of it; just expanding.
I don't hold #2 solely responsible for the mess; the way I put it to a friend was "I made one big mistake, I married her", which pretty much covers it. We went together for a little over two years before we married, and the warning signs were there, which is where my big mistake came in. She lied about having worked it out about #1 wife, and I let- or made- myself believe it.
Ever wanted something to work so bad that you didn't listen to that little voice in the back of your head? Not the one telling you to stay home and clean the guns, the other one. Said voice said to me the day before the wedding(and a time or two before) "This is not the best idea you ever had, and you shouldn't oughta do it", and I told it to shut up and ignored it. I really, really cared for her; I wanted her to have worked her jealousy out, I wanted it to work so bad I let her lie to me about it, I wanted it so badly I ignored my own knowledge of where this was liable to go. I never said I was all that smart.
And I ignored hints she'd thrown out before about my smithing and hunting. Mind you, being female she probably thought she was making blunt statements where all I heard was some vague mentions of the possibility of a problem somewhere down the line. This is where the 'do ALL women do this crap?' came in. I know all women don't; I've known of too many cases of it to think it's rare. In comments was brought up the saying "Men marry women hoping they never change; women marry men hoping they will", though in some cases it seems to be "planning" they will.
This whole mess led to me giving the kids a lecture that boils down to Don't expect someone to change from what they are. Barring something on the order of a religeous experience, it won't happen, and hoping it will is a path to big troubles.
Hell with it. I don't hold a grudge against Beth(#2), though occasionally a spark of pissed-off still flares up; I hope she's well. I just wish I had listened to the voice.
While back I ran across a site by a guy named John Ross, which has some real interesting columns. Some of which I wish I'd been able to read back when I was younger and single, the ones dealing with women, dating and marriage. I think he's got a lot of truth in them, which brings up a big problem for me so far as dating goes: I ain't gonna do it. Play the games.
Speaking of games, a while back there was a lady I dated who stopped answering the phone. I figured it was a case of not having the integrity or manners to say "I've changed my mind, I don't want to go out with you again". About three months after that a friend ran into a friend of the lady and asked what the hell happened; she said she didn't know, that the lady had been through a messy divorce and wasn't real stable(my word, can't remember exactly what he reported) about dating. Then about three months after that he ran into both of them, and the lady told him she'd lost her phone and didn't have my number anywhere else, and would he ask me to call her?
This was in town- he was here for a small fair and crashing at my house- so he decided to help things along and got the four of us together for a drink after the fair Saturday. It took her about half an hour to mention something along the lines of "I didn't want you to think I just stopped answering you", but really nothing beyond that. And implied she wouldn't mind me calling again. By the time it was over I was pretty sure this was a game; she didn't want to be the Bad Guy in this and it was her way of showing how really Caring and Nice she was.
Mind you, I'd liked her, and I almost called her four times. Twice I had picked up the phone and then put it down. If she'd actually given a crap about going out again she'd have been happier to see me, and would have said "Call me". Or so I think. In any case, it boils down to one reason I'm not doing too well on the dating front; I'm not going to play the damn games. Ross mentions a number of things to do to keep a woman off balance and interested, and looking back I can see how they'd work quite well. But I'm not going to do them. If I have to play games constantly to keep a woman interested, if I have to keep her off-balance to get her to go out again, Ain't Gonna Happen. All of which makes me wonder, how many women out there are demanding guys play these games, and spending nights alone because only the guys who care about screwing her and nothing else will play them? And bitching about how there are no good guys out there?
Yeah, I DO have a jaundiced view of this. Please prove me wrong.