Saturday, June 17, 2017

Nice vs. Good

I once knew a lovely couple from Illinois. They bonded when they were young over their ambitions as rockers, and they were in a band. Then they settled down, started a family and went into the corporate world. As they left behind their rock-and-roll past, their relationship went stale. The woman became unhappy and started looking in other places, one of which places was me.

The way the man handled the situation has inspired me for life. He was very determined to stay with the woman, and he went to great lengths to win her back. He again began playing guitar. When she said that she wanted to go to Sedona, he said that he would take her there. She made another connection; he temporarily kicked her out of the house; but then he continued to be kind to her and to love her. He regained that way her love and respect. Eventually she came back, and they moved to Savannah, where she has become an editor of a magazine and they continue to live happily.

His example has been instructive to me in my own marital situation. After my relationship with my former wife broke down, there were any number of women – including two with social work training - who made a determined effort to alienate me against her, and her ex attempted to enlist me in his crusade against her that has been ongoing since 2006. I however chose a different path. I maintained a good friendship with her, and when she married another man I was there at the wedding ceremony to lead her down the aisle. She and I remain on good terms, and I continue to love her. And my daughter has the attention of two loving parents.

Now there are some people who see her ex as a loser; but I do not see him that way. He has discipline, patience and keen understanding of people. Unfortunately he uses these things for wrongful ends.

He is someone who acts as a “nice guy.” I've been with three women whose previous partners were “nice guys,” and none of them was all that nice. The first kept viciously excoriating his girlfriend while leeching off of her economically. The second bankrupted his wife. As for this person, he was economically, physically and socially abusive, and he has succeeded in getting full custody of their son and has denied him contact with his mother.

The mistake that many women make is mistaking social front for goodness of character. Any salesman and any player who knows what he is doing knows how to put on a front. That does not mean that he is a good person. These people were seen as nice guys, but they were not good to their partners. Whereas I have been maligned by many people, yet I have been much better to my partners than either of these men.

Some people are better salesmen, and others have a better product. In many cases the people fall for the front of the salesmen and buy the inferior product, such as in 1990s when Microsoft became a global superpower and Apple became a footnote. All of these women were highly attractive, both physically and personally, and they could get any man that they wanted. Yet they fell for people who had the superior marketing but the inferior product. Both the first woman and my former wife have since then married men who were older than they were and who both appear to be good to them. Maybe these men make better partners than I did; and I wish them well.

As for the goodness of character, that is something that can be built. The gentleman from Illinois has shown me what it means to have goodness of character in relationships. Coming from Russia, where men tend not to be all that good to their women, I've had to learn better habits from elsewhere. I thank the gentleman from Illinois for his role. I am sure that my former wife does as well.

The distinction needs to be made between nice and good. The first is a mask; the second is a genuine quality. The first is a sales act, and the second is the quality product. Do not fall for the false front of salesmen and players. Look for someone who actually is willing to treat you well.


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