Many men are truly odd creatures, who start showing signs of their oddness when they’re rather quite young and just get odder as they get older. We all know they’re strictly mono-taskers, unlike any woman on the planet. A man can’t play with the kids while he’s balancing the checkbook; he can’t cook for a dinner party, do the laundry and go to the drug store at the same time. And he can’t be a great husband and boyfriend unless all the other “compartments” in his life is in order.
One young man just broke up with his girlfriend because he was distressed about not passing the bar exam, the broken-hearted young woman told me. Granted, he’s uncertain about his future, but what does that have to do with cutting off someone who cares about him and would emotionally support him while he’s studying to take the exam again? Apparently, he can’t study and be a boyfriend simultaneously.
An older man, determined to move south when he retired, refused to spend at least part of the year up north, near his daughter and grandchildren. He couldn’t be retired and a grandfather at the same time. So his wife decided to let him move alone and she shuttles back and forth between him and their family.
I assume there are some men who don’t separate their lives into a multitude of compartments and have the ability to overlap compartments and look at the big picture. I just don’t happen to know them.