Men don't change as much as women.(?)

I keep hearing this, in various connections.Mostly from divorced men, like dave Barry. But, in all your experinces, consider men and women, age 20-60. Do women change in personality etc. more than men?

Sorry to go off on a tangent, sunbear, but I’m curious. What did Dave Barry have to say about his divorce from Beth? I always had the impression that they had a good marriage - until I read that he had divorced and remarried.

“I wept because I had no shoes, then I met a man with no feet. So I took his shoes” - Dave Barry

Much as I hate to promote stereotypes, I’d have to say that in my experience, women do change more than men. In my age group (let’s say 20-35) my male acquaintances seem hell-bent on avoiding change & upheaval, while my female acquaintances are more concerned with self-growth and improvement. This has been a factor in my last two relationships, and my rate of change vs. my partners’ rates of change were definitely one of the reasons why the relationships ended.

Maybe it has something to do with stubborness? I’ve noticed men seem to be more stubborn than women. They also have a decided paranoia about women wanting to change them.

I think it may generally be true that men change less than women, but it’s not because of stubbornness. I think it can be attributed to contentment. I’ve noticed that many women in the 20-35 age group have set themselves a “schedule” that they are quite loath to alter. I think men resent it when their female partners insist that they change to accomodate this schedule. Men are more likely to go with the flow and neither force change nor resist unexpected change. Woman like change as long as it sticks to their plan. Gross generalizations, I know!

I think PapaBear got it right. Women DO seem to change more, but honestly, old men and women seem to end up largely at the same place. A lot of that place has to do with contentment and a self awareness.

Wait, wait. I can be more offensive than that ;). How about:

Women mature earlier than men. It screws them up for the rest of their lives. In childhood, girls are much quicker to catch on to how others view them, what their peers and parents expect of them, and how society thinks they “should” behave. Men are childishly selfish longer. Then in high school…the trend continues. Both sexes are overly concerned for awhile with peer acceptance, but men come out of it quicker. You can interpret this as a continuation of childhood’s self-centeredness if you want, but there seems to be an element of self-awareness in it, too. Girls are more likely to ask themselves throughout adulthood “what should I be doing in this situation?” by which they mean what would their support network approve of. Men are much more inclined to ask “what do I WANT out of this situation?”

It takes maturation on both gender’s parts to reach the happy medium. But by the time the socialization of adolescence is over, most men have learned not to behave so selfishly as to cause problems for those around them. In this way, society encourages men in this part of their maturation. Women, in contrast, have to OVERCOME the inhibitions that they have been praised for all the time they were growing up. Society often DIScourages this. It takes women a while to figure out where the lines are - how to go after what they want without stepping on toes. Men have bounced off this wall so often, it’s become part of their instincts while women are still feeling it out.

Over time, both sexes climb the learning curve the other has already climbed; there is little difference in maturity at age 60 (or even 45, IMO). I suggest that women seem to change more in this process, for the reasons above.

See guys, if you’re going to make sweeping generalizations, you should just go the whole hog!

About Dave Barry: I have no information about Beth. He just writes about guys in his exaggerated way. Guys don’t much care about their appearance, they settle with what they have. Of course that doesn’t explain for body builders and fitness nuts.

My favorite novel about an immature guy is High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. The character is in his 30s and is getting some slight idea that there is more to life than his record collection. He has a relationship and she is way too understanding.

Old people: yes, they are all the same, you see them at buffet trestaurants and they have much different needs than people under 60.

Business associates had my wife sign a paper promising that she would not change after we got married. Now we can tease her.

There is a biological component: men do not necessarily lose fertility even in their dotage.

BTW, I never thought of buffet restaurants as a sort of petting zoo for the aged; I imagine that last sentence was sarcastic.

I swear, just when you think sexism is on the wane…

Perhaps, just perhaps it goes something like this:
It’s a man’s world.
In our youth, we learn to submit. We are promised rewards for this.
As we reach middle age, it occurs to us that maybe the reward was a big lie to get us to submit. So we take for ourselves instead of waiting around. And this is considered some hormonal thing, because we can not admit that women might be intelligent enough to change for themselves.
Men of course do not have to change. It was their world to begin with.

So, a man marries the “girl” of his dreams, gets her pregnant, and then is astonished that the Little Woman has Changed!

Yes women change more - largely due to becoming mothers. She not only goes through the psychological adjustment of becoming a parent, she goes through a whole raft of physical changes, too. Her focus usually changes from the spouse to the child. And if hubby is one of those who refuse to grow up, she has to shoulder even more of the responsibility for the baby. Haven’t men figured this out by now?

And then there’s also the theory that we change more just because we can.

well well…Just what defines change eh?

But more to the point, women marry men hoping that the men are going to change & men marry women hoping they don’t change. Usually usually.

Thanks for all the comments, but there isn’t much debate here. Someone needs to argue how guys can indeed change. I have no data.

I just licked the screen after the last few posts and it tastes very bitter.

I don’t think marraige is the cause of change. I think it may be a symptom. By the time a guy decides to get married, he’s already lost that single guy’s edge. The wolf gets tired of scrounging for food and therefore is willing to become domesticated so he has a steady source of food and a warm place to sleep.

Then again, I may have been reading too much Jack London. Which is probably why I’m licking the screen, too.


Mark Twain said “A woman marries a man hoping he will change. A man marries a woman hoping she will not. Both are inevitably disappointed.”

aseymayo wrote

I’d like to expand on this. It’s not just the physical part of being pregnant. Consider the hormones: For the great majority of a woman’s life, her chemical balance is on a roller coaster, each day a little different than the previous day, with highs and lows occuring as various intervals. In contrast, men are pretty much the same from when they’re done maturing (assuming they do reach maturity ;)) until they die, except for the occasional adrenaline rush and/or beer belly. :slight_smile:

Sunbear: I initially misread your topic. I thought it said “Men don’t charge as much as women”, which would have opened up rather different possibilities… :slight_smile:

Puh-leeze? Alphagene-are you crazy? What do you have a problem with? The idea that women are supposed to be submissive? The idea that we are encouraged through promises of rewards? What do you think big weddings are all about? If you are a good girl and let other people have their way, someone will love you and take care of you all your life. I hope that you don’t seriously think that this message is not out there.

I don’t believe this question can really be answered. In my case, I was married at age 20, my wife was 17. We’ve been married 17 years. While she stayed home with the kids, etc. I finished college, became a professional. After that I turned my attention to another interest of mine… umpiring. I love it! In other words I’ve grown and changed SO much in the last 17 years. My wife, however has changed very little. On the other hand, there are some things that haven’t change a bit about me. For example, my morning bathroom routine is almost exactly the same every morning. I hang up my towel in a certain way. If I don’t follow certain routines, I usually end up forgetting something! The same goes with restaurants. I can’t stand going to new restaurants. I love going to the ones that I’ve been to a million times and where people get to know who I am, and often say things like “You gonna have the Margarita Grilled Chicken today Bob?” (Chili’s Restaurant mmmmmmm)Nice and comfortable. My wife wife on the other hand loves to try out new restaurants, and new dishes. She’s a fabulous cook too. Which is too bad, because I would be happy with the same 6 or 7 things every week. So we both have changed, in certain areas, and we have both remained the same, in certain areas.


“Consider the hormones: For the great majority of a woman’s life, her chemical balance is on a roller coaster, each day a little different than the previous day,
with highs and lows occuring as various intervals. In contrast, men are pretty
much the same from when they’re done maturing (assuming they do reach maturity ) until they die, except for the occasional adrenaline rush and/or beer belly.”

Not true. Men go through major hormonal fluctuations too, only theirs take place every 24 HOURS. You don’t hear much about them, because when a man is angry or upset, the world assumes he has a legitimate reason to feel that way. If it’s a woman, it’s always her biology …

Enrighr3: If we’re talking about routines, then we definitely have to change some. Some guys aren’t willing to change one bit.They’re called bachelors.

I presume you disagree with me.

You’re loading that question. Do some men expect submission from women? Sure. Does mass media include images of submissive women who appear to be happy? Sadly, yes. But “supposed to” has nothing to do with it.

I might see your argument as more valid if you said that in some ways women are taught to submit. The scenario you described happens often, to be sure. But it’s insulting to females everywhere if you imply that submisssion is something that all little girls accept and then ultimately must un-learn after decades of being treated like crap. I know women in their teens who don’t submit to anything or anyone regardless of any promised “reward”. Strength of character and self-sufficiency aren’t always attributes that are learned too late.

Then how come I never “learned” to exploit women by promising them trinkets in exchange for their indentured servitude?

Sure it’s out there. So is “I am woman hear me roar.” And I’ll admit that most of the time the former message is louder than the latter.

In general, is the world male-oriented? Absolutely. And I agree that many aspects of the “lesson” you describe do exist in various forms and that much of it subtle. I find it revolting, too.

But to say that pride in oneself and independence is a lesson that women don’t figure out until they’re 45 and twice-divorced is absurd.

If I had a vagina, I’d be offended.