Does the perfect husband exist?

Does the Perfect Husband Exist?

English Gentlemen & Husbands

What is it that we want as women? Why do so many of us feel that our men (and our husbands) have failed so miserably to deliver the goods? One of the reasons I think I personally never got married – in addition to the fact that I am so incredibly adept at falling in love with Mr. Wrongs – is because subconsciously, I think I’ve been waiting around for a “perfect” man who will meet all my ridiculous and great expectations. (I guess I am searching for someone who will counteract my own imperfections, I don’t know. But chances are I will be living with my cats for a long time to come!) 
Many women seem to go into marriage with Great Expectations, even though when they were dating the man, they knew he was lacking, they still expected that by marrying him, that somehow he would be transformed into this perfect prince (and Savior). When that fails to happen, they grow miserable and start to “nag” the poor sod to death. The same is true in relationships that don’t necessarily end in marriage.
Is it fair to expect a husband (a man) to be all things to us? To be “perfect”? Is it rational? Women look to their men (and husbands) for protection, support, love, consortium, as a father figure for their children (even ones from another relationship) and financial stability. At the same time, we expect our men to be loyal, fit, healthy, hard-bodied, tall, smart and powerful. Then we expect our big GET to be the envy of all our friends and their “deficient” husbands (and boyfriends).
But OUR MAN can’t have frailties, addictions, “dysfunction,” (including physical ones) or ineptitude LIKE THEIRS. Realizing we are wrong on this score, we soon grow bitter and resentful towards our husbands or men for not measuring up. We routinely refer to them all as “the Species,” as if all of them are from a sub-genus of Tyrannosaurus Rex, or something.  (Tell the truth: Don’t you do this? I know I do. I’m guilty.)
In a real way, I feel like we, as women, have set an impossible standard for men to meet, and as husbands, they can’t ever live up to the hype. When that grand failure becomes evident, if we went ahead and married him, we trade him in, hopefully to find our “perfect match” somewhere out there in the clouds. But is this a mistake? What a thing for a divorce attorney to ask, huh?
I mean to say, does he exist? Does this perfect husband exist? Or is he one of our greatest myths? And if so, exactly how much should we negotiate on in order to be rational and reasonable? At what point is his imperfection a deal breaker? If it ever should be? Should you divorce your husband just because he’s not perfect? Aren’t you just going to trade him in for yet another of the “species” of imperfect beings?
And if so, does this divorce you’re contemplating make sense?
You tell me.
Originally published 12/17/08
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