"You are always such a bulldog. You know what? I'm not going to do it, because my presence will only cause dissent."
My mother gave my father a quizzical look, "You're ridiculous. I am not bulldog, you just can't get it through your head that these things are necessary. You're so old and outdated, you dinosaur."
I could see through the argument like a windex-polished glass window. It was so utterly simplistic (and silly, at that). My father needn't have brought the subject up. It was completely irrelevant to his objective: to get a meaningful, heartfelt response from my mother. Needless to say, his ploy failed; my mother was too short-sighted to see the underlying motive of his behaviour. I smiled a cunning smile, taking pride in my ability to see the argument for what it was.
That's what all we men strive for, isn't it? We want our women to understand us, comfort us, reassure us, support us, love us, be faithful to us. The sad thing is, most men don't have the courage to ask for it, and most women lack the ability to sense when their spouse is in need of these things.
My parents have two very different personalities, but that is not the problem. The problem is how they handle the differences between their personalities. They do not completely understand these differences, and therefore they are continuously stuck at odds with each other. It's not that they don't want to work around these differences, they just don't know how to.
I know my father senses this, and I see that it bothers him more and more as time wears on. My mother, unfortunately, only sees the arguments as arguments. She does not see the underlying problems behind the arguments. Unfortunately, it is in her personality to only see things on such a surface level. She takes things as they are, and has done so for as long as I can remember. She does not recognize that her personality is in conflict with my father's (and, to an extent, the rest of the family's).
My mother is not a bad person by any means, nor is anyone else in my family. They are good people, and my parents work quite well together on practical matters (i.e. politics, finances, material decisions, etc.); it is only in the emotional and personal realm that they have their problems. Nonetheless, it is something considerable I have noticed throughout my childhood and teenage life. I have not acquired the proper knowledge to analyze it until now.
I do indeed pride myself in my ability to catch the flaws in their relationship. I take note of them and promise myself to eliminate them in my own future relationships. I hope to find a wonderful woman who shares my views and thoughts on this. Too many of them are just blindly searching for someone without a care about these sort of things. And when their relationships don't work out, they are stuck wondering "Why?"
"Can't you see that you're wrong? You can never get it through your thick head. Well that's fine, I'll go by myself."
I promise myself: I will not have an unhappy marriage.