Friday, March 30, 2007

The Effect of Women's Anger on Men

After posting on this study yesterday finding that women have more anger than men and are more passive aggressive in showing their feelings, I started wondering how this relational passive aggressiveness or sometimes just plain aggressiveness plays itself out with men. When people talk about women's relational aggression, they often mean, "How are women mean to one another?" But what happens when women are mean to men? I see that Vox Day has weighed in on this issue and given this advice to his male readers:

Anger isn't often righteous, it's usually stupid, petty and irrational. If one feels angry all the time, or bordering on being angry all the time, then one is teetering on the edge of constant irrationality. If that's not enough to give you pause about giving into anger at every opportunity or even glorying in it, well, there's not much point in attempting to speak reason to you, is there, since you're nothing but an irrational creature capable of nothing but being emotionally manipulated.

And living in fear of such a one is rather like being a well-trained dog. Face the fear, let the anger come and then note how little effect it has on you once the shouting is done. And once the angry realize how little effect their anger has on you, they'll either cut it out or their passive hatred for you will go active. Either way, you'll be much better off.


I understand Vox's disgust with anger and irrationality and his subsequent advice for men--just face the anger, which is certainly better than being afraid of it. I have certainly seen men who are so afraid of a woman's anger that they will "Yes, dear" her to death. Bad move--it teaches the woman nothing about how to control or constructively use her anger--and reinforces her anger which, in turn, will ensure that she will do it again. What an unpleasant dynamic.

But I don't agree with much of what Vox says. Anger is not always stupid, petty and irrational; sometimes it is a legitimate response, a way to tell us that something is wrong or that we need to become more aware of what we are feeling and why. Women are not irrational creatures, but actually very rational at times and their angry behavior, even in a passive aggressive form, is not always about being emotionally manipulated.

It is often about not understanding how to display anger in a constructive way--instead they often react by being passive aggressive, which is a tool of emotional manipulation against others, not necessarily against oneself. In passive aggressiveness, a woman can get back at her object of anger, yet psychologically avoid responsibility. It is not an irrational strategy, only a sometimes ineffective and psychologically helpless one. Also, does women's anger really have no effect on men? To say it does not seems to me to be a cop-out. One that makes sense, of course, but a cop-out nonetheless.

Which brings up my next question; the real point of this post is just kind of wondering aloud to myself and my readers: what is the effect of women's anger, both directly and indirectly on men and their later emotional well-being? We ask so many times how anger is felt by women or how women are affected by men's anger or the anger of other women, but I would really like to know how angry women affect men. It's always funny in our culture to see women lash out angrily at men, hit them, call them names and act in passive aggressive forms towards kids, husbands and male colleagues, and many men take the abuse, but at what cost? Does the anger of women toward the male sex and males in general effect the male psyche and in what way?

If you are male and have had an experience with women and anger, either with family members, female colleagues, or others, what was the emotional toll on you or was there one? I would love to hear from you, either in the comments or by email.

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181 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is the effect of women's anger, both directly and indirectly on men and their later emotional well-being?

Speaking on behalf of men, If we're sleeping with the angry woman, it turns us on.

If we'd like to sleep with the angry woman, her anger turns us on.

If the woman is sexy, it turns us on.

If she's none of the above, we generally tune her out and think about guy stuff.

Look at it this way, the first reaction (almost) every male has regarding stories such female serial killers or female teacher/male student is "Ohthat'satragedyisshehot?'

Thankfully we have other redeeming qualities, ones that generally involve home repair.

10:03 AM, March 30, 2007  
Blogger dadvocate said...

Anon. 10:03

You certainly don't speak on my behalf. Where do these ridiculous myths such as the one you espouse come from? I've never heard a male friend express what you say is speaking for all men.

I like funny women.

If she can't smile, laugh and tell a joke or funny story, then never mind her. When I hear of a female serial killer, I always think, "Thank God I didn't have a date with her!"

And I'm still quite handy around the house.

10:30 AM, March 30, 2007  
Blogger MikeT said...

It's no different for either sex. If a woman is with a man who is constantly angry toward her, their children, colleagues, etc., it will harm their relationship tremendously. To me, it's a common sense sort of thing. How can there be any question that it's bad for men to be with a woman who is constantly on edge? How can there be any doubt that it's bad for a woman to be with a man who is constantly on edge?

10:31 AM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My buddy once said on the difference between men and women:

When a man's mad at you to the point of vengeance, he'll kick your ass.

When a woman's mad at you to the point of vengeance, she'll boil your rabbit.

-SayUncle

11:20 AM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being married to a woman who is constantly on edge, and a not so passive aggresive, I can say that the effect is corrosive.

On the other hand, both my grandfathers and my father married women like that. So did my fathers brother, my mothers brother and my brothers in law. Oh, so did my brother.

In my experience, women are always angry, the man may do right - but that never gets in the way of him doing wrong.

If you do not drink (to excess), voluntarily give up smoking, dump 90% of your library and do not have a decent place in the house to read, no room is "yours" and you are busy rebuilding the house while working - well, you are not pulling your weight if you take more than 30 minutes to do the dishes.

The point, as you know, is control.

The women are always angry at the men. If they drink and sleep around and gamble away the paycheck, they are mad about that.

If they are home on time, and help the kids with homework and do household chores, they are mad because the chores are not done right and they spend too much or not enough or the wrong king of time with the kids and so on.

If she overworks herself trying to be supermom, it is my fault that I am not trying to be superdad.

Whatever that is....

It is about control and lack of it. It is about trying to be something that is possible, setting impossible goals, so that you are always on the verge of failure. It is about being driven by fear, living in fear, and it is about being human.

I am with her, knowing she was like this. I stay with her, out of love and the knowledge that she is learning to deal better.

Still, it hurts and there are times when I wonder why.

Since every other man I have ever known is in the same boat, I figure that is how it is.

Oh, the only women I ever dated who were NOT like this were doormates who let the man beat them. Indeed, most of them sought that ought because that way "they knew what to expect"

11:47 AM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous datarat said...

I remember an argument with my ex-wife where she was being very emotional and I was simply trying to find the common ground. Trying to find a compromise and giving her my reasons for thinking the way I did.

I made the mistake of asking her for the reasons behind her position, and it immediately became my fault and an inquisition. Finally, she told me that she'd never been happy a single night in our 4 year relationship.

Later, after things had calmed down, she told me that she didn't mean what she'd said. As if that made it better.

What I took away from that is that the woman I thought I loved would rather hurt me than be wrong. Would rather invalidate our entire relationship just to get back at me over a petty squabble.

We lasted 3 more years after that, and only once did I ever allow myself to get angry. In that time there was always a low level of blame, and it was such that I eventually stopped trying to please her.

Men ARE affected by women's anger, just as anyone can be affected by another. When you think you're in a safe emotional place and that you can trust someone, only to have that trust betrayed, it becomes reasonable to not trust.

Because it's not just the person who betrayed you, it's the entire notion of being able to let your guard down with the one you love.

12:01 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know that passive-aggressiveness is so much a way to psychologically avoid responisbility as it is to get revenge "accidentally" so nothing can be proved. Not to mention avoid physical confrontation.

Boys punch each other and are done with it. Girls scheme and plot and smile and apologize for your inconvenience while they "boil your rabbit."*

Personally, I reserve my anger for the cable company.

*generalization alert

12:01 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for me, i have become hypersensitive to passive aggression. my mother did it to my father all the time, and i have only recently (after more than 30 years) been able to see that it was wrong. i thought it was normal.

it may be that passive aggression allows the person to avoid responsibility, but for me on the receiving end, it puts me in the bind of having to try to live up to social expectations of civility while under attack. worse, the attacker gets to appear to be living up to her social expectations!

so there i am, in front of an audience, getting slapped around verbally by a woman, and i can't fight back without looking worse than i already do. i either have to stand there and look like someone's bitch in public, or i fight back and look like an ass. no practitioner of passive aggression will ever start up on you when you have the option to retreat gracefully. manipulators know their targets and they know their ground. for all that they act helpless, they are vicious calculators.

my solution has become attack back. my reasoning is that if i am mean and brutal (verbally, i don't like to hit people) towards someone manipulating me, they will go and find an easier target. it's the same as locking your car. if you make your car harder to steal than the one next to it, the criminal will steal the easy one.

there are some drawbacks to my solution. i have been amazed at some of the nasty things i have said. so have my friends. you do get a bit of a reputation, but you can use that to keep others from bothering you. think of it as general deterrence.

i just try to remember, when i feel bad about being mean, that the person i did it to was attempting to manipulate me. there isn't any real difference between that kind of manipulation and a con artist. both try to steal something from you. money, time, emotional commitment.

i hate them, not only for their actions, but for the things they ask me to do simply to defend myself. thank God for my wife. she just asks nicely. if she had a sister, i could make a mint auctioning off her phone number.

i have long wondered about the distinction people draw between women's and men's conflict resolution. women, they say, have better verbal skills, so they resolve their differences with words. men, lacking the verbal skills simply punch it out. i wonder if that is exactly backward. men don't need 17 different ways to say nasty things about each other. men, under verbal attack will just fight about it. that settles the issue. women, on the other hand, are secure in the knowlege that they will never get punched out, so they have the freedom to develop lots of different ways to be vicious to each other. i think that women develop better verbal skills BECAUSE no one will punch them in the mouth.

12:03 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The effects of women's anger are simple:
Unfettered and unmitigated divorce
alienated and stunted children
A judicial system infiltrated by the Trojan horse of 'equality' and 'victim-hood' that bases all decisions on a preset pattern of adjudication; that is what is best for the female. Why? Because strong men of conviction are the one thing that the state and most women abhor thus, the state who is the new 'husband' and new 'daddy' to the child represses the men. But the fog is now lifting and when the Sun shines, who will be able to withstand the intensity of the heat? Neither the state or the women.

12:21 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted to share a little bit of sunshine here. My last girlfriend (for various reasons, things didn't work out) was pretty much as prone to anger as most people. But I can't remember a single time when she used it as a weapon to hurt me. When something pushed her over the edge into anger, she would take a deep breath, and with obvious effort to contain her rage, explain that she was *really* angry, and *try* to explain why.

This was an effective tactic for her because I actually cared that she was angry. It told me *something* was quite wrong. Frequently I could do something direct about it (modify some behavior in a reasonable way for example). Sometimes all I could do was do something about it indirectly (acknowledge the anger and commiserate). But in all cases I remember the anger was about dealing with *her* emotional need, not causing harm to me.

And I think that's kind of the point. Anger is a legitimate emotion. What isn't legitimate is using it as an instrument of harm against people you love.

One of the other useful things we worked out between us that *greatly* helped with all sorts of emotional upset was to carefully establish the distinction between a boy conversation and a girl conversation. Men have a tremendous tendency when faced with a problem to seek to work out a solution. Women have a strong tendency when faced with a problem to seek emotional support. (Please note, these are stereotypes, and not universal). So on more than one occasion, when she was upset, and I was lapsing into problem solving she would gently, usually with a bit of laughter, point out that this was not a boy conversation, it was a girl conversation. This gentle reminder allowed me to *shift* how I was dealing with the conversation.

What was rather interesting to me about the 'boy/girl' conversation signalling was that quite frequently, after she felt sufficiently emotionally supported, she'd *ask* to move on to a 'boy' conversation about how to deal with the problem.

12:30 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my marriage, I do all the cooking, I put away the dishes, I feed the cats and clean their litter boxes, I take out the trash and recycleables, I pay 3/4ths of our expenses even though I only make 2/3rds of our money, I clean up our dishes and put away the leftovers, I deal with all the phone calls and shopping necessary to keep the house running, I pay when we go out to eat, I pay when we order in.

My wife does the dishes 3-4 times a week and cleans the counters occasionally.

My wife got mad at me because I wasn't talking to her enough about the TV show we were watching. She's laughed at me because of my weight (BMI 26) and hair (thinning).

The emotional toll is that I feel that I get no credit for what I do, and for what I do right. Our balance of responsibility seems skewed and I don't like bringing it up because it's just something for her to get mad about. It's exhausting and frustrating and I really can't talk to anyone about it. She would be mortified if I talked to my friends, and she got upset the one time I talked to my parents.

12:45 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous TMink said...

Great topic and question. I appreciate the responses as well.

My mom was so angry so often, it was very frightening for me as a child and I was her favorite! Dad went to work and came home, but mom was always there and someone I had to deal with. I always wanted dad to stand up to her, but he was not particularly good at that. I love and miss them both, but our home revolved around mom's shame and anger. So I tried my best to keep her happy but she did not know too much of the real me.

In my first marriage, my wife was bipolar and would get angry and resentful for the strangest of reasons. I stayed in that marriage for 17 years, largely because I thought I could manage her like I did mom. Didn't work, we had an ugly divorce and we are part of Tennessee case law. A part used for father's rights I am happy to say.

But along the way in that marriage I got more healthy with my own anger, learning to accept it and use it constructively. I remember getting to use it toward my mother after I remarried my current wife and partner.

At one point in time, Mom turned on my wife, was openly hostile and aggressive, it was sad and ugly. But I took care of it, stood up to mom, told her how angry I was with her, told her that she would not be allowed to mistreat my wife and that she would not see much of us if that behavior continued.

I cussed for only one of two times (in front of her)in that conversation, telling her I was damn tired of her trying to use her anger to push people around and I would no longer tolerate it. "I cannot believe that you are speaking to me in this way" she said. "I should have done it sooner" was my response.

It worked out over the next few months, and my wife got to see me protecting and devoted to her, it cemented our love and trust.

From the big picture, my mother's anger left me afraid of women's anger for years, until my 30s. I would seek to manage or manipulate them when I thought they were being unreasonable. It kept me from a lot, and was not fair to the women I knew and worked with either. I capitulated or remained silent when a good friend or coworker would have disagreed. But I just did not trust them, or myself.

Anger is not the problem, it is how we use and express the anger that directs it toward good or ill.

Trey

12:56 PM, March 30, 2007  
Blogger dadvocate said...

Anon. 11:47 and datarat pretty much sum up my experiences.

the woman I thought I loved would rather hurt me than be wrong. Would rather invalidate our entire relationship just to get back at me over a petty squabble. (datarat)

I found this particulary true.

I had always cooked, cleaned, etc. plus done 90% of the outside work. As I've stated in the past, I decided I'd rather do all the work than put up with the crap. Plus, I can truly enjoy my time with my kids rather than be "coached" as to how I "should" interact with them.

1:10 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous ceramic said...

Trey, your recounting of your relationship with your mother reminds me much of the relationship I had with mine when I was younger.:)

But, I'd rather speak about my Ex-wife. I was never really afraid of her anger, but was definately confused by it. It was something that was never really resolved, despite many attempts, and ultimately led to our divorce -- between my confusion, and the obvious increased agitation.

1:11 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Bruised said...

I see bits a pieces of me in several earlier posts.

I'm presently married to an alcoholic/drug(prescription) addict that has been angry from the time we married.

I believe her anger led her to try to escape in addiction, (she blamed me), and she is currently in a local Knoxville treatment facility undergoing her 6th 'rehab'.

We have been seperated for 6 years and it has been the most peaceful 6 years of our 24 year marriage.

I and both our children have been physically and emotionally abused from her. (She once told our then 11 year old daughter that if we seperated, she would be the one responsible for the marriage breakup.

My daughter presently has an order of protection against her. My son is trying to focus enough to attend college but can't stay comitted long enough to get a full semister under him. He works part time at night and 'gets by'.

She has always been 'like that', and I used to overlook her behavior but after attending some co-dependent and al-anon meetings, I realized that I needed to do something and asked her to leave.

The divorce proceedings were initiated but everytime we get close to 'final' court hearing, she ended up back in treatment, and I won't divorce her while she is in treatment.....

She is have great difficulty with this last treatment because they are not releasing her so quick (repeat relapser) and are trying all they can to 'reach her'.

1:49 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of the posts above look familiar. Growing up it took me a long time (until about 14-15, shortly before I went to college) to learn how to handle my mom's anger (yelling, a bit of light cusisng, etc, any time I didn't do stuff right away, or at any other slight provocation). Ignore it, let her get out of breath, and then react calmly.

She's gotten better over time... but I have promised myself that I will NOT marry a woman with an anger problem. I don't want my children growing up in that sort of environment.

2:17 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Trackback said...

http://mensnewsdaily.com/2007/03/30/on-womens-anger-towards-men/#comment-36217

2:21 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm married to a woman who is very rarely angry. Unfortunately, she's also very rarely horny.

2:54 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous datarat said...

I think that the volume and type of responses is interesting.

While many of them feature generalizations, for the most part they don't seem to be "woman bashing" to the extent that "all women are rotten and evil" but rather seem to relate personal experiences that continue to shape lives years after the fact.

It also may help to answer where the stereotypical male "commitment issues" come from.

And thanks for the nod Dadvocate.

4:22 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My ex wife's default emotion was anger. Usually below the surface, but not always.

She was mad, I think, at her father; mad at him for leaving his family for another woman when she was a child. Trouble was, her father was dead, so the anger was directed at the world in general, and her husband in particular.

5:02 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Jack said...

it also may help to answer where the stereotypical male "commitment issues" come from.

A lot of the single guys that I know, and myself included, basically have a 1 strike policy when it comes to women. That is, you end things at the first sign of volatile a/o vindictive behavior.

I think that this attitude stems from the assumption that most women resent men to a significant degree, that this resentment is incurable, and that it's not worth your time trying to fix whatever issue had inspired her anger.

6:16 PM, March 30, 2007  
Blogger knoxwhirled said...

I am with her, knowing she was like this. I stay with her, out of love and the knowledge that she is learning to deal better...

Since every other man I have ever known is in the same boat, I figure that is how it is.

Oh, the only women I ever dated who were NOT like this were doormates
(sic)

Not to be unsympathetic, but ... Every woman you've dated? Every man you know? You stay with your wife despite the fact that she is, by your account, a total bitch to you? Your own behavior, as you describe it, is classic "doormat."

I would never try to invalidate any of the men's experiences catalogued here, and I'd even agree that a lot of women handle their anger in an unhealthy and/or passive-aggressive way and their husbands suffer for it.

But if the *only* women you date or have relationships with have serious problems, I'd submit that you have a serious problem. Again, not to be unsympathetic--but my sympathy for female doormats is limited, so I can't have much more for male doormats either.

FWIW, I am female, married to a great guy and I know it and appreciate it every day.

6:49 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that this attitude stems from the assumption that most women resent men to a significant degree, that this resentment is incurable, and that it's not worth your time trying to fix whatever issue had inspired her anger.

Jack, it is very sad reading your comment. While that may be true in your experience, it is not true in general. Perhaps you need to stay at bat for strike two and three, then, if you strike out, come up to bat again later.

There are women who resent men and are incurable. But there are plenty who are not. ya gotta give life a chance.

7:30 PM, March 30, 2007  
Blogger sirena said...

Okay, I know I'm a female posting on this topic
--but come on??????
There are plenty of men AND women who are passive aggressive and angry.
If you did a survey research project on all the variables of "anger components" going female to male and male to female I really doubt there would be many quantifiable differences in expressions of anger among humans.
A common thread of all of your responses has to do with your parents --so in my humble female opinion your all giving Freud way too much credit. And just because your Mom was angry doesn't mean all women are the same as your mother.

8:22 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous SaltedSlug said...

Anger, like love, is the result of conscious or subconscious evaluation. Of what or whom is one question, and by what standard of measure is the other.

So what is thought of people who express frequent or constant anger toward those they profess to love? They either actually think that that target is overwhelmingly bad, or their standards of value are completely out of whack. In either case, the professions of love or affection are immediately suspect. And since the anger is frequently acted upon passive-aggressively, there's little opportunity to confront the basis for the evaluation.

If a man has actually married such a critter, a man with low self esteem (or who fell for the "self-esteem comes from other people" poison) will probably conclude that they are a bad person. A man with good self esteem will conclude: "oops, and there's no way I can divorce her in this country" and will, himself, grow angry at the situation.

Children are just out of luck, but that's probably one thing that keeps Helen employed.

Unfortunately, it's far more likely that a person frequently expressing anger was either sold a bill of goods about what reality was actually like ("of course you can have your cake and eat it too"), or they dislike themselves ("but Dr. Phil says this is what should make me happy, why doesn't it?"), or they actually live in a pervasively unjust society.

But that's all abstract and specific, and women will want to know how their anger concretely and generally impacts them. Their anger makes men respect them less ... their values, their judgement, their worth, and their ability to enhance others' businesses and others' lives.

8:30 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous anon for obvious reasons said...

Being married to a woman who is constantly on edge, and a not so passive aggressive, I can say that the effect is corrosive.

Yep. I wonder about the cliche that says "most girls marry their fathers," especially when it surfaces later that they hated their fathers...

I don't want to get into who was wrong or right. All that I know was that I did my damnedest to make her happy. Over time, I found that it was not happiness that I wanted for her--it was some sort of magic, impossible key that would keep her from teeing off on me whenever something pissed her off. A good day was when she didn't vent at me for something that went wrong somewhere else.

If they are home on time, and help the kids with homework and do household chores, they are mad because the chores are not done right and they spend too much or not enough or the wrong kind of time with the kids and so on.

Oh yeah! Exactly.

It's something that my background included 4 years undergrad psych with 2 years graduate counseling training and experience, followed by a lot of public interaction in retail and service technician positions. None of this broad-based interaction with the human race helped me defend against the cringe reaction that her anger provoked. ("please, let me know what made you angry! make it stop! don't go after me again! i'll do anything!") I cannot begin to describe the hell that you get stuck in when you're pinned in between the narrow range of your significant other's ever-moving boundaries of acceptable behaviors. One second it's all right, next second the same action provokes screaming.

I didn't know it at the time, but the divorce was a godsend. She found someone else, and I was history.

However, it has taken most of a decade to stop flinching, and I'm pretty sure that there is no way in hell I'm ever going to enter another relationship as a result. I know I can depend on myself. I can't be sure about someone else.

9:31 PM, March 30, 2007  
Blogger Simon Kenton said...

Bruised, your wife may never respond to treatment. Chances are slim. But it is certain she will never do so as long as you are giving her a pass by letting her know that any bad conduct gets a reprieve if she just gets to a facility. She has an automatic stay-in-marriage-free card as long as you continue to foster this behavior.

10:29 PM, March 30, 2007  
Blogger dadvocate said...

I think that this attitude stems from the assumption that most women resent men to a significant degree, that this resentment is incurable, and that it's not worth your time trying to fix whatever issue had inspired her anger.

Anon. 7:30 - The only part of this I would disagree with is the word "most." "Most" means a majority. I have yet to believe that "most" women are like this, a lot but not most.

11:26 PM, March 30, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

sirena --

Perhaps you missed that this started with a study -- "Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), used interviews of more than 20,000 people born in 1958 and 1970, tracking responses through adulthood"

This was not some hip shot. Women use p/a more often than men, and yes, there's a distinctive difference in the way the sexes generally express anger.

Men and women are different. So what?

11:31 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous leishman said...

Wow--some great comments so far.

I grew up in a family (two parents, two sons) whose continuous collective operational orientation was, "Don't make mom mad." Despite a sincere desire to avoid a recapitulation of this in my marriage(s), somehow an angry spouse would bring back my old, familiar feeling of, "I don't know what I did, but you must be right and I must be (selfish, inconsiderate, etc.)."

Finally acknowledged that she did the best she could, sincerely forgave her, and moved on. At least my current ladyfriend of five years never sulks, never manipulates, knows herself pretty well, and will actually accept an apology and let it go. Yes, there are a few such women out there.

11:32 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom was so angry so often, it was very frightening for me as a child and I was her favorite! Dad went to work and came home, but mom was always there and someone I had to deal with. I always wanted dad to stand up to her, but he was not particularly good at that. I love and miss them both, but our home revolved around mom's shame and anger. So I tried my best to keep her happy but she did not know too much of the real me.

My mother has mellowed considerably as she has gotten older. Plus, I finally called her on her behavior about ten years ago, and that helped considerably. I think she knew there was a problem, but she couldn't see it objectively and really had no idea how out-of-control batshit crazy she was while I was growing up. She loved me very much but just could not control her anger issues and made life a stroll through a landmine field.

My point is if one of your children is being abused by your spouse (this was never physical abuse, just verbal and emotional) then for God's sake protect them. My father just didn't know how to handle my mother. He tried to placate her and expected me as the oldest to placate her, thereby putting on me the responsibility for my mother's outbursts. News flash. Don't do that.

She's gotten better over time... but I have promised myself that I will NOT marry a woman with an anger problem. I don't want my children growing up in that sort of environment.

Amen.

A common thread of all of your responses has to do with your parents --so in my humble female opinion your all giving Freud way too much credit. And just because your Mom was angry doesn't mean all women are the same as your mother.

Except that the experiences related here are mostly men who are dealing with wives who are exactly like their angry mothers. So they're not extrapolating out of thin air. I agree that there are many women who are perfectly agreeable people who make wonderful loving wives and companions. But that doesn't negate the fact that there is a large segment of females in this country who are as described above and don't feel any need to justify their actions, because as far as they are concerned they are not the problem. And that's the problem.

Amy K.

11:42 PM, March 30, 2007  
Anonymous Acksiom said...

Sirena, I think you would be a lot better off defining yourself more in terms of your personal human individuality than in terms of your membership in a particular gender, as demonstrated by your behaviorally primitive tribal allegiance to it.

Perhaps then you wouldn't be providing us with a textbook example of precisely the kind of femelitist-programmed passive-aggressive psychological Ad Hominem personal attack against men, for the purpose of maintaining the acceptance of everyone in general of the application of a lower-class submissive status quo to them, which so many here are documenting and criticizing -- if, admittedly, not explicitly as such.

12:49 AM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emotional toll from SO's angry outbursts and displays vs me, the male? I think I probably felt somewhat like the classic "Battered Woman" who must tolerate the attacks at risk of not being able to protect her children and then possibly also [as a male] becoming an economic slave to the gender feminist legal system if divorced.

The profound helplessness and confusion I experienced in the face and spectre of the individual attacks involved:

1] They were often totally irrational in the sense that I couldn't figure out what the problem was, and there really didn't seem to be one to begin with. These were simply pure attacks for their own sake - or sometimes for purposes of diffuse control, as noted in a post above.

2] When a problem was alleged it was either some false/disparaging accusation, or actually involved someone else's acts which I had no part in.

3] The attacks were temporally random, spaced with normal behavior, and I never knew when one was going to be coming out of nowhere, though sometimes I got to where I could predict some of them. But that only made it worse because there was still no way to prevent them.

4] There was literally no effective defense against any of the attacks. I tried talk, silence, waiting it out, locking her out of the room, then the very same m.o. of the attack back at her - that didn't work either.

Well, all that is over and successfully, but it was touch and go for a while, took some luck, help, and a couple of very dramatic moves on my part.

Everyone is doing well except my "ex", who cant' be stopped from what seems to be a progressively worse outcome.

Except that our two children do still want a passable mother, and that absence bothers me.

And I don't "need to talk about it" except to provide some data, and for political purposes involving the anti-male sexism which is the dominant sexism in fact pervading our society.

2:08 AM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helplessness #5] Our children were nearly always conveniently present as witnesses and otherwise also recipients of the attacks.

2:24 AM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger jw said...

I do close to all of the housework, shopping, etc.. Yet, I get nothing positive from her, only complaints about me being unfair by doing everything: She doesn't have the time! If I didn't do almost everything it wouldn't get done.

Ya can't win and that is DEEPLY frustrating and annoying.

There's another problem which is close to universal in first world raised women: I know a LOT about male survivors of female offender sex crimes: I work HARD at knowing a lot.

There is no possibility of talking about that with a first world raised woman. She just freaks out. It doesn't matter how it is handled, how it is talked about ... angry is the overwhelming majority response add in "you're wrong" and that is all the responses.

I've tried and have long since stopped trying to talk about men hurt by women: There's no sense. I'm only accused of wanting violence against women, or of being a sex pervert or not knowing anything about the topic or ... There are no "normal" responses, at least, I've seen none. I just state the problem / facts and leave it alone: Talking is foolish.

Hah! Now I'm going to be accused of sexism! Which is my point! There's simply no way of talking about these issues. I'm a man and therefore wrong, regardless of how I handle the topic.

4:10 AM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

JW,

So why give in to people who want to silence you? When people accuse others of being sexist, racist, you name it, it generally means you hit a nerve and they are trying to shut you down. Don't listen. If men in this country sit back in silence and allow unfair laws and societal norms that favor one sex (women) over the other (men), what will happen to our next generation of young boys who won't know any differently? How will their lives be affected?

6:51 AM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Purple Avenger said...

Does the anger of women toward the male sex and males in general effect the male psyche and in what way?

I just walk away. Its a big world with lots of people and lots of opportunities (job and relationship). No need to burden yourself with trying to deal with defective units or situations ;->

7:38 AM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous CaptDMO said...

"..what is the effect of women's anger, both directly and indirectly on men and their later emotional well-being?

Start with threshhold moments where
women. as a distinct group, were afforded venues for "excused" manifestations of their anger-
Code of Chivalry
White feather
Sufferage
Prohibition
The UN
"No fault" divorce
Automatic "protective" orders
"Shield" laws
Title IX
VAWA

Off set that time line by ten years.What's the trend in-
Male suicide
Imprisioned population
Economic collapse
A "middle" class
welfare strangulation
Taxation
Military invasion
Health crisis
Stagnation

Pick a historic culture, ANY culture!
No need to reinvent the wheel.

7:40 AM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

I don't get it. If you find yourself involved with an angry individual, male or female, why do you hang around? Nobody says you have to stay married, or even in the same room. Get away, go away, be away. Life is too short to interact with angry people.

9:55 AM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

Cham -

While that sounds good, one has to take into account the way everything you have/know/believe is entwined with the relationship.

At some point it may become more desirable to walk away from everything, but sometimes that's pretty much everything you own.

Very hard thing to do, start over on the sidewalk, and I would point out that most women (and men) in divorces aren't willing to take that road.

10:02 AM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband was raised by a bitter and manipulative mother. She controlled her husband and sons by guilt tripping and always expected to be the center of attention. (Seriously, there was even a fake suicide attempt once when she wasn't getting her way about something. That was 25 years ago, and as recently as two or three years ago she referred to, "The time [her husband] made me try to kill myself." )

I can't speak to the emotional toll, at least as my husband might see it. But I will say that it affected our marriage for a long time. He was overly sensitive to any input from me on decisions that should be jointly made because he was NOT going to allow himself to be "p***y whipped like my dad." We fought it out, and eventually learned to deal with each other better.

After my FIL died, she gave each of her sons a children's book called, "I'll love you forever." (Look at the book to see what a creepy gift this was for a couple of men in their 40s.) She also kept a copy on her coffee table. It was kind of like the final straw for my husband, and evidently his brother because they disengaged even more. I think, as well, that there was some grieving over their father combined with resentment for how she treated him.

When she started to decline cognitively and physically (alzheimer's and Parkinson's) her sons had a great difficulty separating true need from her tendency to pull some stunt for attention. All the work of her care fell on me, which put me in a difficult position because I couldn't (as the in-law) make important decisions for her and she wasn't capable to make reasonable ones. It got ugly for a while, truly.

My husband ended up getting counseling (I literally begged him) in order to get a better handle on his resentment of his mother so that he could help me. But also so that his anger at her wasn't taken out on me when his life was disrupted by my care of her. He felt guilty that such a burden was put on me, but that tended to translate to him being grumpy with ME. (Psychologist thought that the book was a creepy gift as well, by the way.)

His brother never did get any counseling, and only makes obligatory visits about once or twice a year. He rarely calls her, or calls us to check on her welfare. He does, however, support US when we need some decision or action done by both of them relative to her.

I can remember my husband saying once, when her alzheimer's had reached a point where it was literally taking over our lives, "She's got what she always wanted: full control of our lives. And the sad thing is that she isn't even with it enough to enjoy it."

10:50 AM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Mindsteps said...

Here is an interesting finding regarding the identification of affect in men and women. A recently published study indicated that people find it easier to see men as angry and women as happy. (see Becker,D.V. et.al., 2007 'The Confounded Nature of Angry Men and Happy Women.' Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol.92(2), 179-190.)

These researchers found that cognitive processes that distinguish male and female may be co-mingled with those that distinguish anger from happiness. Here is a link to the abstract:
http://content.apa.org/journals/psp/92/2/179

11:27 AM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Mindsteps,

I read that study recently and wondered if perhaps part of the problem is that if women indeed feel angrier than men, yet are perceived by others as being happier, the disparity between how one feels and how one is perceived may lead to even more anger--that their feelings are so misread. Thanks for pointing out the study.

11:38 AM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Howard said...

Freud tells us that self-esteem is a residue of the love we had when we were children. He also tells us that the most important source of that love, when we were infants, was mother. Winnicott observes that mother’s love enables the child to act spontaneously, with confidence, to “go on being.”

In saying this, we are not speaking only of history. Mother’s love remains the fulcrum of our sense of our own worth.

For men, the connection with mother is the root of emotional involvement with women, who represent her. Women’s hate shatters the self, and makes self-confident action impossible. Men become passive and dependent, capable of acting only in a way that will not threaten the loss of what remains of women’s’ love. When women’s hatred of men becomes categorical and endemic, the life of men becomes, at best, meaningless and mechanical. At worst, it becomes suicidal.

If you are looking for a way to explain the incapacity of Western civilization to defend itself in the face of barbarism, these reflections may help. Western civilization has been, after all, the work of men. Taking away their sense of self-worth means also taking away their idea that their work has had worth. So how could they defend it? But women cannot defend it either, since the meaning of their lives these days consists in attacking it.

Quite a mess.

Further reading http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0765805375/

12:35 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Mindsteps said...

Howard wrote:
If you are looking for a way to explain the incapacity of Western civilization to defend itself in the face of barbarism, these reflections may help.

Interesting stuff. Could you elaborate some on your above comment?

12:44 PM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that the comments re reality vs. perception are spot on. We women tend to express anger differently than men do, so may be perceived as less angry than we are.

Culturally, even among women, it isn't perceived as proper for a woman to be direct and assertive. Part of this may have evolved from the instinct for self-preservation. Among other things, since we tend to be smaller and physically weaker, we've had to adapt and find other methods of achieving our desires. This includes whining, nagging, manipulation, etc.

So, we get angry but permit it to simmer instead of just venting our spleens about it and moving on.

I've noticed that the men are starting to adopt the more feminine tactics, especially in the workplace. While I suppose that this results in fewer bloody noses, it probably results in more stress, anger, and physical symptoms such as digestive problems, high blood pressure, migraine, etc.

1:06 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Howard said...

Mindsteps said...

Howard wrote:
If you are looking for a way to explain the incapacity of Western civilization to defend itself in the face of barbarism, these reflections may help.

Interesting stuff. Could you elaborate some on your above comment?


Sure. What’s going on these days is best understood in terms of the psychological basis of feminism. This is women’s identification with the “primordial mother,” the infantile image of mother that we all carry with us in the most primitive, and therefore most powerful, level of the psyche. This image is one of omnipotence and perfect goodness. Her very presence will make everything perfect. The premise behind the demand for female power is that, if women were in control, they would make life perfect in just that way. We would all be able to live our lives like children at play.

Her perfect goodness destroys the sense of proportion. Proportion is only possible through the comparison of finite quantities. If one of the quantities is infinite, no finite quantity can register as significant. Compared to her, therefore, father is categorically inferior. The world he has brought us is degraded; the goodness we once had, when we were the focus of mother’s love, has been taken away from us. Hating him is natural, legitimate, and justified. Under the circumstances, compared to what mother would have wrought, his accomplishments can only be seen in terms of their flaws; at best they are puny and at worst they are part of the strategy he has used to take mother away from us. His claims about the value of Western civilization are just propaganda he has used to justify his depredations.

The thing to catch about all of this is that women are not just making these claims by themselves. Men are as enthralled by the primordial mother as women are, and perhaps more so. The basis of hope in their lives is to return to the closeness with her that, in fantasy, was their original condition in life. They cannot dispute claims made on her behalf, since the premise of their lives is rooted in those claims. This is the root of the power of political correctness.

Of course, if women could separate from this primitive fantasy of themselves, there would be a possibility of a return to rationality and the sense of proportion, but aside from a few, such as Dr. Helen, I see little sign of that.

1:32 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger sirena said...

Look, you all should really read up on feminism --I know your defining it as you see it but I can't even begin to address the misconceptions going on here.
Feminism is DEAD anyway.
Women migrated into the paid workforce it was a natural progression now we have to deal with it.
--Talk about "wimpy" men why are you guys so whiny and victim based don't you critique women for doing than?
Get over it!
And Aksiom, if you perceive women to be in "tribal allegiances". Sweetie, you have some issues. Individuals are assholes not tribal allegiances.
You should all go get laid!!

1:52 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

Sirena, you are a case in point of this entire thread. You can't even consider that men have a valid critisism about the women they have known and lived with all of their lives.

Everything discussed here and the self admitted flaws of the men in their relationships with their flawed women is dismissed out of hand and the men are called "wimps".

I'm going to speak in French now and I apologise to tender ears in advance.

Sirena, fuck off and grow up. Your attitude is everything wrong with women today; the inability to accept their own flawed human nature and the insistence that men or some Other is the source of the problem.

2:09 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

sirena:

"...I can't even begin to address the misconceptions going on here."

Well, that at least makes it easy to condemn doesn't it? I mean, not having to actually provide the target of our percieved misconceptions and an intelligent rebuttal thereto.

2:24 PM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

helen-

When people accuse others of being sexist, racist, you name it, it generally means you hit a nerve and they are trying to shut you down.

Well sometimes it does mean you are being sexist, racist, you name it, etc....

2:28 PM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jw-

There's another problem which is close to universal in first world raised women: I know a LOT about male survivors of female offender sex crimes: I work HARD at knowing a lot.

Can you please share some of your best sources of information on this topic, both on-line and not?

2:30 PM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sirena-

Feminism is DEAD anyway.

No it isn't. The good feminism, equity feminism, is still around and has accomplished many of its original goals. The bad feminism, gender feminism, and its effects greatly overshadow equity feminism and all its accomplishments. Of course there is a lot of opportunism, greed, and viciousness thrown in too - when there is an opportunity to abuse or steal from people a certain percentage of miscreants in any group will take advantage of it.

--Talk about "wimpy" men why are you guys so whiny and victim based don't you critique women for doing than? Get over it!

No, one group of people is taking advantage of and abusing another group of people. The group being taken advantage of is trying to change this.

I'm not whining, I'll let you know when I do. Don't hold your breath.

2:40 PM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when there is an opportunity to abuse or steal from people a certain percentage of miscreants in any group will take advantage of it

Forgot to mention that when this kind of behavior is accepted, encouraged, or at least ignored by the rest of the opportunistic group and much of the public the number of these miscreants tends to increase.

2:52 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Mindsteps said...

Howard said:

Of course, if women could separate from this primitive fantasy of themselves, there would be a possibility of a return to rationality and the sense of proportion, but aside from a few, such as Dr. Helen, I see little sign of that.

How do you know that Dr. Helen (or anyone) has achieved a sense of rational proportionality?

3:21 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger sirena said...

Okay, I have to address one comment:

"Sirena, fuck off and grow up. Your attitude is everything wrong with women today; the inability to accept their own flawed human nature and the insistence that men or some Other is the source of the problem."

The "inability to accept my flawed human nature" part of this comment is projected without really reading what I wrote. My whole point is that males AND females are flawed as individuals not just because we are male or female. When I said "individuals are assholes" that is what I meant.
I NEVER would say that the Other is the source of the problem; I would say the self (whatever self you happen to be)and the perceptions the self hold is the source of the problem.
So, I believe it to be immature say things like "what is wrong with women today" as well as using strong profanity to attack someone a name calling type of debate obviously shows that your not using sound critical thinking in your argument.
One more thing, women's rights could be conceptually different than feminism --from reading all this it seems like a lot of folks are stuck on "second wave radical feminism" which was a short lived movement that coincided with the civil rights movement. I would argue most women associate with wanting equal rights and not "feminism". So that civil rights radical feminism is dead, but it certainly imprinted the public mind on what it means to be a "feminist" and very few women want to be associated with feminism.
I think this topic and responses are interesting. I deal with my anger in exercise class, most of my anger is not directed towards men I do have anger towards stuff and if men perceive my anger to be toward them that is there problem --I'm probably mad at a situation at work.
Before I posted my previous comment I had written a much nicer piece and lost it so the one ya'll saw was of the top of my head
Didn't mean to offend you by calling you wimpy it was a reference to an earlier post about Christian men being wimpy. I'm not negating your feelings.

3:39 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Howard said...

Mindsteps said...
Howard said:

Of course, if women could separate from this primitive fantasy of themselves, there would be a possibility of a return to rationality and the sense of proportion, but aside from a few, such as Dr. Helen, I see little sign of that.

How do you know that Dr. Helen (or anyone) has achieved a sense of rational proportionality?


Good question. Of course, it is never easy to say what a proper sense of proportionality would be, and these matters are always subject to dispute. One can only make one’s best judgments and these should always be tentative. But we are speaking here, not of one idea of proper balance against another, but rather of some idea of proper balance versus an apparent lack of any sense of balance at all. For example, to equate Guantanamo Bay with the Gulag Archipelago, or George Bush with Adolph Hitler, it seems to me cannot be accomplished when a sense of proportionality is in operation.

For the sake of argument, I suggest that one index of the absence or presence of a sense of proportionality is the emotional accompaniment. I think one can have anger with a sense of proportion, but rage represents a failure of the sense of proportion.

When we talk about women's anger at men, I think we really mean their rage against men.

3:55 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

"One more thing, women's rights could be conceptually different than feminism --from reading all this it seems like a lot of folks are stuck on "second wave radical feminism" which was a short lived movement that coincided with the civil rights movement."

I disagree. One can find this deeply ensconsed in our University system with Womens Studies programs and the reaction to Larry Summers comments by campus feminists about the possible physiological differences between men and women that forced him to resign. Their inability to consider a contrary thought cost him his job. That is the modern feminism which hold real power and uses it in one sided ways in order to silence dissent.

I notice you didn't address my first paragraph. I maintain that there is now an ingrained cultural attitude of women that results in you making such statements as

"--Talk about "wimpy" men why are you guys so whiny and victim based don't you critique women for doing than?
Get over it!"

in response to the experiences of men related to in this thread with no further introspection. That and the patronising attitude of this:

"Look, you all should really read up on feminism --I know your defining it as you see it but I can't even begin to address the misconceptions going on here."

like we here have no clue and are just uneducated morons who are incapable of seeing what your brilliant insight is.

Which tells me that you think you have the final word on what modern feminism as a movement *is*, while what we are discussing here in part is what the results have been. In other words, what modern feminism *does*.

Which patronising tone I addressed in the coarse terms that I think it deserves.

3:58 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Purple Avenger said...

Look, you all should really read up on feminism

Why? I simply don't care about people who care about feminism. They have their thing, and I leave them alone to do it.

If I catch static over it, they can fix/build/program/engineer whatever it was I was working on at the time for them themselves cuz I'm walking out the door and not looking back. Period.

4:32 PM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sirena,"
I wondered how long it was going to take some woman to show up and take everything that was previously said personally. Never takes long, does it? It's always all about you, isn't it? But nothing's ever your fault, is it? And you'll keep dishing out the personal attacks until we talk about nothing but you, right?

Distinctly unimpressive. Don't feed the trolls, y'all.

4:36 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Mindsteps said...

Howard wrote:

For the sake of argument, I suggest that one index of the absence or presence of a sense of proportionality is the emotional accompaniment. I think one can have anger with a sense of proportion, but rage represents a failure of the sense of proportion.


It is the loss of proportionality with respect to political discourse in the media (i.e. radio, tv, internet) that has both fascinated and distressed me. When I listen to the rageful right (e.g. Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter) and the furious left (e.g. Rosie, Moore) one senses the presence of some primitive psychological processes operating (e.g. splitting). This may have always been the case in our culture, however, communication technology has permitted this rage driven, destructive, and polarizing communication appear ubiquitious.

5:03 PM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Helen: Very interesting comments. I am a guy who never had "issues" with my mother. She and my father were decent, kind people, who did everything they could for their children. I'm sure they had arguments, but not in front of us kids. My mother (who made us work and study hard), although not a saint, never tried to control my father or her children.

My wife isn't quite so easygoing. Certainly I didn't marry someone like my mother. It took my best friend to point out that my wife is insecure -- she get's angry whenever I talk to or see my siblings (which occurs rarely) or friends (again, rarley). As a result, I usually talk to them without her knowledge, rather than deal with her anger.

Also, only you can make yourself happy. Based upon my observations, and talks with friends and family, women tend to think their husbands, boyfriends, etc. should "make" them happy. That just won't happen -- it took me a long time to learn that no matter what I did (stop seeing friends, stop playing golf, do more around the house, pay more attention to her, and on and on) she will never be "happy."

Finally, I agree with some comments that its all about control. I have no desire to control anything she does, but she seeks control of everything I do. (And yes, my son thinks I'm p***y whipped.)

I acknowledge I'm not the greatest husband in the world, but I have been absoultely faihful to her, have supported her in a fairly good style, and helped her raise two fine children (and she is a very good maother). It is primarily because of my kids that I have remained married.

What is the effect of her anger? Yes, it is corrosive. I used to cringe and apologize and ask for forgiveness when she would explode (and there were times when I desrved her anger). But, after all these years, and needless or unfounded anger, I no longer react. Now that the kids are grown, if things deteriorate again, divorce will be the only option. At my age, life is too short.

anonymous

5:31 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Howard said...

Mindsteps said...


It is the loss of proportionality with respect to political discourse in the media (i.e. radio, tv, internet) that has both fascinated and distressed me. When I listen to the rageful right (e.g. Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter) and the furious left (e.g. Rosie, Moore) one senses the presence of some primitive psychological processes operating (e.g. splitting). This may have always been the case in our culture, however, communication technology has permitted this rage driven, destructive, and polarizing communication appear ubiquitious.


I agree that it is primitive stuff, but I think there is a difference between the left and the right. In general, the right doesn’t take what it says as seriously, or literally, and lets others know they shouldn’t either. Somebody like Limbaugh will tell you he is in the entertainment business; hyperbole is his shtick, the way he makes his living. I don’t think you’ll find the same distancing in somebody like O’Donnell or Moore. They mean themselves to be taken very seriously, and they are. The right is neurotic, but the left is borderline. Anyway, this primitive stuff has entered politics in raw form. I don’t think that was there before.

5:57 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Kat said...

I think it is baloney that men are less passive aggressive or that women's anger is more corrosive.

If everyone is insistent on sharing their anecdotal evidence from a "personal point of view" (in other words, most of the comments I've noted here are from the position of "I am right, she was wrong and she yelled, thus she is really wrong").

I recall a recent argument with my brother. We don't argue much, but when we do, it gets pretty loud. And what does he do during the argument? He brought up three things from the past that he knew would hurt my feelings and had nothing to do with our current argument (over politics no less) in order to "win".

ON an anecdotal basis, I can easily conclude that men in general are equally if not more so passive agressive than women.

I would agree with another poster that, in general, continuing and constant anger from any gender in a relationship is corrosive.

The entire tenor of family living is brought down, everybody walks around tense and watchful and it leads to everyone pretending at trying to keep the anger and arguments at bay while simultaneously acting out in a passive aggressive manor, mumbling between themselves, other family members and friends while they try to get all of these entities to "pick a side".

Interesting, this whole conversation brings up something my grandmother once told me about how she and my grandfather were able to maintain their marriage for almost 40 years (my grandfather died relatively young). She said, when they would argue and she was still mad, she would go write down all the things that she wanted to say to my grandfather and lock them in a little box she had.

She said she felt better for getting it off her chest.

Then, a few days later, she would read what she wrote, laugh a bit and toss it in the trash.

Just a coping mechanism.

But, I suppose in our current frenzy for psychoanalyzing everything, it could be termed "passive aggressive" too.

6:38 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Mindsteps said...

Howard said:

I agree that it is primitive stuff, but I think there is a difference between the left and the right. In general, the right doesn’t take what it says as seriously, or literally, and lets others know they shouldn’t either. Somebody like Limbaugh will tell you he is in the entertainment business; hyperbole is his shtick, the way he makes his living.

I disagree. As an independent, I do not see how you can quantify a difference in functioning between these two extreme elements. Limbaugh says he is in the entertainment business,however I believe that is a dodge. Moreover, he and Hannity have had private conferences with President Bush in an attempt to shore up their base. I don't think Bush met with them for entertainment purposes. These folks serve to communicate to the citizens the public definition of conservatism (see the following report of Bush's meeting with a group of conservative radio hosts here http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/17/us/politics/17radio.html?ei=5090&en=a961ba66ef087429&ex=1318737600&partner=&pagewanted=print.). Coulter is a headliner at NPR festivities year in and year out. These polarizing and rage evoking figures, on both the right and left, have become accepted parts of our political process, and, personally, I do not think it has led to improved political discourse or more effective government.

If you can show me how the rageful right is a psychologically higher functioning group than the livid left I will listen. Personally, I think it is a mistake to suggest that one side is psychologically more evolved or mature than the other.

7:37 PM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous Viola Jaynes said...

These comments are truly an eye opener. I had no idea this is so wide spread.

Because I grew up in an orphanage, I never had a "mother" that I grew up with. I have heard stories though that are really sad. My brother was adopted by an elderly couple who lost their baby during WWII. When she adopted my brother, she was still so bitter that she let her anger out on him. It was sad the amount of bitterness and anger tha t woman displayed. I met her once and she could not even shake my hand or look me in the eyes. Her anger was truly frightening.

I like what you said Dr. Helen, when you simply look anger in the eyes and realize that it will back down if it realizes it cannot intimitate. Love is still the greater power.

7:51 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Howard said...

Mindsteps said...

I disagree. As an independent, I do not see how you can quantify a difference in functioning between these two extreme elements.


It’s not a quantitative matter, but qualitative. The distinction I am making comes from Nancy McWilliams, Psychoanalytic Diagnosis. It has to do with the way people are related to their projections, whether they have a sense of them as projections or are certain of their veracity. Can they stand away from them or not? I’m not saying at all that Limbaugh does not take himself seriously, nor that he will not try to advance his politics. The question is whether he can recognize the difference between himself and the role that he plays.

I think that as good an illustration of this as one is likely to see is in the different reactions that the right had toward the revelation of Mrs. Edwards’ cancer and that the left had toward Tony Snow’s. Could people differentiate themselves from their political views and see their opponents as human beings who happened to have different political views?

Of course, one saw sympathetic and hateful responses on both side, but my impression was that, on balance, the right was far more sympathetic. Some of the responses, such as Dean Barnett’s, were positively lyric. I did not see any expressions of hope that she would die. My impression was that the response of the left in the Snow case was rather different. This actually is a quantitative matter that would be susceptible to empirical demonstration. I might actually even do it.

I’ve got to get out of here right now, Mindsteps, but I’ve enjoyed our conversation. I’d love to continue tomorrow.

8:27 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Mindsteps said...

Howard,

While I understand that you are making a qualitative observation, I think one should be very cautious when generalizing from self-selected anecdotal observations, to an entire body politic. When you do make a generalization that the Right is neurotic and the Left functions at a borderline level, you are leaving the realm of the qualitative and making a claim about an entire group of individuals that requires more than anecdotal support (I was not aware, for example, that individuals on the left expressed death wishes to Tony Snow after his diagnosis of cancer. Also, I was not cognizant of any high ranking republican contacting Elizabeth Edwards and providing her with support. However, I was informed that Mrs. Edward's reached out to Mr. Snow very quickly in an extremely warm and supportive fashion. Nonetheless, I think, because of my anecdotal experience it would be a mistake for me to make a claim that the left holds higher psychological ground than the right). How can I be sure that your survey (or mine) of the respective reactions that the Left had to Tony Snow or that the Right had to Elizabeth Edwards was not informed by some bias on your (or my) part?

I have recently become somewhat familiar with Nancy McWilliams work through her involvement with the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual. What makes the PDM impressive to me is the effort to coordinate qualitative analytic methods of observation and theorizing with more quantitative-scientific approaches.

9:05 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Purple Avenger said...

When I listen to the rageful right (e.g. Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter) and the furious left (e.g. Rosie, Moore) one senses the presence of some primitive psychological processes operating (e.g. splitting).

I "sense" showmanship & ratings.

9:55 PM, March 31, 2007  
Blogger Mindsteps said...

Purple Avenger wrote:

I "sense" showmanship & ratings.

No doubt!

10:03 PM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous leishman said...

After reading all these comments, I'm concluding that, whichever parent (or spouse) caused us great pain, it certainly becomes easy to generalize responsive anger toward a gender group, as in, "I had a bad dad so I hate (all) men", "I had a bad mom so I hate (all) women".

I think it makes us feel (a) our anger becomes more powerful to be directed at an entire group, and (b) it reassures us that it wasn't our "fault", because what do you expect from a member of "that" group?

11:16 PM, March 31, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

viola jaynes-

I like what you said Dr. Helen, when you simply look anger in the eyes and realize that it will back down if it realizes it cannot intimitate.

I disagree. Anger from vanity or neurosis might back down. But I assure you that if you commit serious crimes and atrocities against someone that they will not back down. After all, in that kind of situation their anger is justified and you are in the wrong.

12:15 AM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

howard-

For example, to equate Guantanamo Bay with the Gulag Archipelago, or George Bush with Adolph Hitler, it seems to me cannot be accomplished when a sense of proportionality is in operation.

Possibly. But remember that one does not have to engage in the whole Nazi script for a comparison to the Nazis to be apt. Look at some of the crimes and abuses the Nazis took part in:

- Torture

- Slave labor

- Forced prostitution (really organized/systemized rape)

- Non-consensual, harmful human experimentation

- Genocidal policies (note that modern definitions of genocide include things like sexual violence/mutilation, long term seperation of the sexes, etc.)

- Property confiscation/theft - theft of the land, property, businesses, etc. of the target groups

- Economic sabotage - kicked the targeted groups out of the professions, government jobs, certain businesses, etc.

- Arbitrary imprisonment of targeted groups

This isn't an exhaustive list, but you get the point. The Nazis committed a wide variety of crimes. Any group that commits several of these, and certainly any group that commits all of these, is rightly compared to the Nazis.

I'm not commenting on the current administration here, I'm just saying that you don't have to be loading people into cattle cars to be rightly compared to the Nazis.

12:36 AM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous JKB said...

Well in a futile attempt at getting back to the question at hand, my experience has been that women behave passive-aggressively by demonstrating disapproval. For all our bluster, boys and men seek the approval of women. It begins sometime in middle school. I would venture that few men had girls falling at their feet but rather were consigned to trying to gain some girl's attention from amongst the multitudes of admires. This awareness of women's approval or disapproval becomes a primal force. Many women I've experienced understand this and use it as a weapon. It is usually worse when the man is not meeting some unspoken expectation of the woman. Not keeping her in the manner she feels she should or not having the job she feels is more socially appropriate. I know several men who found themselves divorced these very "failures." Not all women are like this mind you, a fortunate situation for us men.

The longterm effect of this is that many men just stop seeking the company of women. At least, company not financially contracted. This generally leads to a vicious circle as women become "unhappy" at not getting the attention they desire from men at least on their terms.

I experience this often in ballroom dancing, it seems many women can't suppress their displeasure at men who are learning and thus unable to produce the dance experience they desire. For some reason, they just can't comprehend that this attitude causes men to stop taking lessons and thus their are fewer men for them to dance with. I believe it stems from the habit learned in their teenage years that men exist to please them and by being petulant they get their way. They seem to not understand men adapt to this strategy by avoidance.

1:19 AM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Viola Jaynes said...

Anony 12:15am

I agree with your thinking here. I was coming from the standpoint of what so many of the commenters are sharing...angry women, angry mothers in general. Not if someone wrongs you and you get angry in return.

If someone commits a SERIOUS crime against you or atrocity, the police needs to be involved anyway. We are talking about two different things here Anony 12:15.

5:58 AM, April 01, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

AC 12:36

"The Nazis committed a wide variety of crimes. Any group that commits several of these, and certainly any group that commits all of these, is rightly compared to the Nazis."

If you state that as the basis for your comparison, I might agree. Unfortunately, that's not what's done. What's done is to compare to the Nazis and let unspoken connections to phylosophy take effect.

It's the sense of proportion that is missing. That, and an unspoken venue.

9:26 AM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are we talking about an emotion or a tactic?

Because a tactic based around deceit will always make people (rightly) more distrustful of you than a tactic not based on deceit.

Then you have to resolve a conflict with someone who has every reason to distrust you.

12:03 PM, April 01, 2007  
Blogger Howard said...

Mindsteps said...
Howard,

While I understand that you are making a qualitative observation, I think one should be very cautious when generalizing from self-selected anecdotal observations, to an entire body politic. When you do make a generalization that the Right is neurotic and the Left functions at a borderline level, you are leaving the realm of the qualitative and making a claim about an entire group of individuals that requires more than anecdotal support (I was not aware, for example, that individuals on the left expressed death wishes to Tony Snow after his diagnosis of cancer. Also, I was not cognizant of any high ranking republican contacting Elizabeth Edwards and providing her with support. However, I was informed that Mrs. Edward's reached out to Mr. Snow very quickly in an extremely warm and supportive fashion. Nonetheless, I think, because of my anecdotal experience it would be a mistake for me to make a claim that the left holds higher psychological ground than the right). How can I be sure that your survey (or mine) of the respective reactions that the Left had to Tony Snow or that the Right had to Elizabeth Edwards was not informed by some bias on your (or my) part?


I take your point. I agree that making overall differentiations between the left and the right requires more than anecdotal evidence. I think it would be possible to do such work, though, and that would go some way to resolving the matter. For example, I recall an article a few years ago that rated the political positions of television news programs by observing the number of references to various think tanks and generating an ADA score based on the scores of congressmen who made similar references. I would think it would be possible to calculate the political positions of various high-traffic blogs, say, and then compare the percentage of abusive comments, defined in some content-neutral way. I’m not planning on doing it, but I think it could be done. If it were, how do you think it would turn out?

2:30 PM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Graham Strouse said...

Rage comes from somewhere. Don't doubt it. But part of the problem with being a man these days is that we have little recourse when we're abused physically, emotionally, financially or sexually by women.

Too many of them have figured out they can get away with it without consequence.

I'm not applying this as a universal case, but I've experienced it.

It's like what happens when animals become man-eaters: we're an easy outlet because, at least where I come from, we're not aloud to fight back overtly or even within the confines of society and the law.

And that friends, is partly the fault of those who serve and protect--and the mass media. Cops, at least Yankee cops, tend to pim the blame on the boy donkey. And even reasonably (ahem) fair & balanced news sources tend towards tales of heroic females and dastardly males.

TV & movies are worse, because it's a passive medium with deep penetrative powers into the human psyche. Hitler figured this out. So have the feministas.

And their male lackeys.

Men are very often enables of violence against men by either encouraging, ignoring, or manipulating into overt and covert violence against men. Certainly in the middle-class, certainly in WASP-land & certainly in the early chunk of the Boomer generation.

So we have to learn to out-bitch women.

Hate that.

I think Rhett had the right approach, all the way down the line:

"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."

(Note: When was the last time a decent screwball romance/comedy/drama came out that had something like a balance of power between the male and female leads? Tracy & Hepburn? O'Toole & Hepburn? David & Maddie? Sigh...)

2:50 PM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous armchair activist said...

sirena, the idea thats touted about feminism in the press is COMPLETELY different to the personal feminism espoused by feminists.

a lot of men, and women, are being punished for not being the ideal feminist female, which experience tells men and a few women, is really what they are all saying on this board.

now if i said to you "You should all go get laid!! " i would be called sexist, or a pig, or.. whatever the current word for male is.
Womens rights, always makes me smile, before the suffragettes, men had all the rights, the right to fight and die, to right to work 80 hours a week to provide a house and a home for the woman (and the children if any).

but what people forget is about 20 odd years before all women got the vote, guess what all men got the vote, before then it was only landholders had the vote.

men and women anger differently, women generally let it build and then strike continually for months or years, as can be seen in school, the girls have cliques, but they are snipy and back biting, they brood on the problem over and over and over until anger is all they have, whether its physical, mental or emotiona.

generally women have more of an affect, as its a sustained type of anger.

men on the other hand let it build and its a sudden aggressive act, and its over and done.

3:34 PM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jkb-

Well in a futile attempt at getting back to the question at hand, my experience has been that women behave passive-aggressively by demonstrating disapproval. For all our bluster, boys and men seek the approval of women. It begins sometime in middle school. I would venture that few men had girls falling at their feet but rather were consigned to trying to gain some girl's attention from amongst the multitudes of admires. This awareness of women's approval or disapproval becomes a primal force. Many women I've experienced understand this and use it as a weapon. It is usually worse when the man is not meeting some unspoken expectation of the woman. Not keeping her in the manner she feels she should or not having the job she feels is more socially appropriate. I know several men who found themselves divorced these very "failures." Not all women are like this mind you, a fortunate situation for us men.

This dynamic definitely exists. And many men realize that its not worth the effort to attract women we don't think are worth attracting. A lot of women don't seem to realize this. They seem to assume that all men should be out to prove themselves to them, when many men could care less about "proving" themselves to these women. Because to them, they're not worth the effort.

The longterm effect of this is that many men just stop seeking the company of women. At least, company not financially contracted. This generally leads to a vicious circle as women become "unhappy" at not getting the attention they desire from men at least on their terms.

Well this arises from the conflict mentioned above. For a man to give a woman the kind of attention she wants she has to be the kind of woman he wants to give this attention to in the first place.

And note that you imply prostitution above, that isn't necessarily the case. They just may seek out women with the attributes they are looking for. Take the movement towards foreign personal ads, for instance. And that doesn't mean those men are necessarily seeking out submissive women. They may just be seeking out a situation with some equity, where someone isn't trying to dominate, manipulate, badger, swindle, control, etc. them.

I believe it stems from the habit learned in their teenage years that men exist to please them and by being petulant they get their way.

Bingo. And I don't think it started in their teenage years, I think it started earlier and it continues into adulthood. And often when the petulance doesn't work they get aggressive, passive aggressive, vindictive, and even violent. Their feelings become (in their minds) law. So consensual sex becomes something else if they can benefit from lying about it, for example.

3:39 PM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

viola jaynes-

If someone commits a SERIOUS crime against you or atrocity, the police needs to be involved anyway. We are talking about two different things here Anony 12:15.

Not necessarily. Many of these women who are angry in general do not have a problem with acting on it and committing serious crimes. Unfortunately sometimes they are good at it and due to biases in society and the legal system are able to get away with it for a while. Or they belong to certain groups that help them get away with it.

3:43 PM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oligonicella-

It's the sense of proportion that is missing. That, and an unspoken venue.

In some cases. In others it is pretty clear when torture, theft, rape, slavery, etc. have occurred.

3:54 PM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 12:03-

Because a tactic based around deceit will always make people (rightly) more distrustful of you than a tactic not based on deceit...Then you have to resolve a conflict with someone who has every reason to distrust you.

Correct. Especially people that set up situations with false claims, smear campaigns, committing crimes to bait other people into a reaction you can use dishonestly, etc.

3:57 PM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

graham strouse-

I think Rhett had the right approach, all the way down the line:

"Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."


Unfortunately a little more action is called for when "Scarlet" won't listen and is coming after you to mutilate, rob, torture, etc. you.

4:08 PM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oligonicella-

What do you mean by "unspoken venue"?

4:29 PM, April 01, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

AC 3:54

No. Proportion is still needed.

Anyone saying current US is like 1941 Germany is being disingenuous at the very best.

They have an agenda which is by no means trying to point out the US's faults, which are plenty. Otherwise, they would simply enumerate instead of using hyperbole.

Their false comparison is for other reasons that they don't elucidate -- hence unspoken venu.

Clear enough?

5:01 PM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Viola Jaynes said...

Anon 3:43

I see your point here but I would think that women or anyone for that matter that has that kind of anger and rage going on will not be able to consistently cover it up or get away with it just because she is a woman. People with that amount of rage which you describe, would surley already have a long history of out of control behaviou patterns.

8:27 PM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

viola jaynes-

I see your point here but I would think that women or anyone for that matter that has that kind of anger and rage going on will not be able to consistently cover it up or get away with it just because she is a woman. People with that amount of rage which you describe, would surley already have a long history of out of control behaviou patterns.

Not necessarily. All it takes is making up a sufficiently serious false claim about someone and there might be groups that can be persuaded to do the dirty work. Possibly even the government. Think of false rape claims.

8:41 PM, April 01, 2007  
Blogger Purple Avenger said...

a little more action is called for when "Scarlet" won't listen and is coming after you to mutilate, rob, torture, etc

Indeed. You need to seriously ask yourself why you get involved with defective units that do such things in the first place rather than promptly pulling the eject handle at the first sign they're whacked in the head.

8:49 PM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oligonicella-

No. Proportion is still needed.

No, some of these things are determined by definition. If you do something that fits the legal definitions for torture, it's torture. If you take someone's property it is theft. If you have sex with someone without their consent it is rape. If you experiment on human subjects without their informed consent it is illegal human experimentation. Etc, etc, etc...

When a group does several of these things comparisons to the Nazis become quite appropriate.

Anyone saying current US is like 1941 Germany is being disingenuous at the very best.

I said that I wasn't referring to the current administration. But if the administration were doing the types of things mentioned comparisons to the Nazis would be quite appropriate. I don't know if they are.

They have an agenda which is by no means trying to point out the US's faults, which are plenty. Otherwise, they would simply enumerate instead of using hyperbole.

As stated, if a group engages in several of the defined acts mentioned comparisons to the Nazis become quite appropriate. So it isn't hyperbole if the group in question is committing the same acts.

Their false comparison is for other reasons that they don't elucidate -- hence unspoken venu...
Clear enough?


Well you stated what you meant. But behaviors similar to the Nazis can be defined. A group that engages in several of those behaviors can be rightfully compared to the Nazis, correct?

8:54 PM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Viola Jaynes said...

Anony 8:41

I can understand where you are coming from, and yes you are right...if you start going down that road, there certainly would be examples to draw from. I think though, the threat here is more about the daily kind of anger that men find so corosive and exhausting. Many suffer silent pain because they don't know how to deal with their wives or partners any longer. My husband and I had a long talk about the many comments posted here. I think blogs are a great way for people to open up without being identified and it really gives one a better undestanding what really is out there. I think that is good!

8:54 PM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

purple avenger-

Indeed. You need to seriously ask yourself why you get involved with defective units that do such things in the first place rather than promptly pulling the eject handle at the first sign they're whacked in the head.

That's the thing, some wackos don't take rejection for an answer.

8:57 PM, April 01, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

AC 8:54

You're condescension is unwarranted. I understand that murder is murder. I also understand we are not talking about individuals, but countries. Therefore, proportions are required. If not, all nations are equal as long as one murder happens, which is obviously not so.

"When a group does several of these things comparisons to the Nazis become quite appropriate."

Not unless they are commonplace, as they were in Nazi Germany. See? Proportion.

Even then, they would have to be perpetrated by a superior class against another and not indescriminate raping, looting, burning and murdering as took place in various riots in various countries at various times.

"I said that I wasn't referring to the current administration."

Fine. Which administration qualifies?

"But if..."

Oh, that clears it up. I was under the misassumption we weren't talking in hypotheticals. Sorry. I agree, if some group were acting in the manner Nazi Germany did, one could draw the comparison.

Unfortunately, those who do draw the comparison between the US and Nazi Germany are blowing smoke out their posterior invaginations and that smoke is there to confuse the listener as to their actual agenda.

Proportions are required, a murder doth not the Third Reich make, nor a torture, a rape, a ....

"Well you stated what you meant."

That's what one does when asked "What do you mean by...?"

11:50 PM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're condescension is unwarranted.

Hey sparky - you must be the same anonymous that I was just chatting with on the other thread.
Becky

12:21 AM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that when the American woman's anger has run its course and those American men who are left (not having committed suicide or having been incarcerated) will be no more than the wimps of wage-slavery, perhaps then we can invite(?) the 20 million Chinese men over to America who do not have the prospect of marriage since their once future wives were all aborted and then they can teach the American women the real meaning of anger---needless to say, if that day comes (and God I hope it does) the American woman will wish that she was aborted. Talk about pro-choice (death) heh?

2:51 AM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yipes! Maybe your life would be more fun if you wished for a million dollars or something a bit more fun.

3:26 AM, April 02, 2007  
Blogger Mercurior said...

Oligonicella, you are mistaking 1941 nazi germany from 1933 germany, thats what a lot of people forget, the nazi power base was developed over years.

it didnt exist suddenly, and everything was evil. it slowly grew into the power base, and the debasement of people. now this should be seen as a cautionary example.

when my great aunt escaped from germany with her father and brother, they walked along the main road, and there was german soldiers, on guard checking papers, my aunt had a doll about the size of a 3/4 year old, they actually shot the fingers off the doll because they thought it was a real child. this was pre 1939. but no one said anything. night of the crystal knives 1938.

30,000 Jewish men were taken to concentration camps; and 1,668 synagogues ransacked with 267 set on fire.

so it developed into the nazi state over time, from early 20's when it was a minor party, to 1933 when they were voted into power.

there was devaluation of the currency, massive unemployment, and this was blamed on a specific group of people.

so as soon as one group, is penalised, blamed for the problems of a state, then thats one of the many steps to a facist state. now that all the steps will be taken, but it should be seen as a cautionary example.

the road to hell, is paved with good intentions. and its not just america its the UK as well. surveillance, people reporting others for no following the rules in their own private homes.

technically its not called nazism, its called facism, but the paralells are there

3:51 AM, April 02, 2007  
Blogger jw said...

Dr. Helen: Speaking of the vast majority: If we men continue to sit back there will be negative effects on all people. AND If women keep on behaving in the way they are there will be negative effects on all people.

My problem, when it comes to it, is that I have not found a method of talking, writing, communicating which reaches through the social stuff, which allows open communication. It always comes down to some version of 'I'm behaving badly.' How can you or I or the people around talk through that? I do not know of a way.

Even within this thread you see the dynamic. A thread wherein women complain about men is acceptable, a thread where men complain about women is not acceptable (for any number of reasons). This applies to all first world conversations as they exist in the now. How do you, I or anyone reach through that? I don't know.

Even within my own marriage I am unable to get the point across. I have no problem with her choosing from a) I do almost everything and she accepts that b) we split it 50/50 knowing that she cannot do her 50%. I have no problem with either, but how could any person get that idea across?

We've caused too much damage to the gender dynamic within the first world culture. For many things, as I see it, communication has been completely shut down. How does anyone restart it?

AHHH ... Deep down I know that I am so frustrated with the whole dynamic that I'm missing something. What though?

4:27 AM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

people reporting others for no following the rules in their own private homes.

Are we have a Bush blaming party? That is so yesterday. I know it still pulls a crowd - but it's only the old, wacky people that show up anymore. Che! Che! Che!

4:28 AM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My apologies for my above comment. I'm tired and I was being silly.

4:35 AM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JW - I've been thinking about your comment as it touches a few guilt strings with me. You said:

I have no problem with her choosing from a) I do almost everything and she accepts that b) we split it 50/50 knowing that she cannot do her 50%. I have no problem with either, but how could any person get that idea across?

I'm curious what you mean by that. On one had it seems as if you are saying that you want to let her know you'd be glad to do all of the work. But on the other hand it seems you are frustrated with her not doing her share - and when she gets confronted by that fact or feels guilty about it, she blames you instead of taking responsibility.

You say that: We've caused too much damage to the gender dynamic within the first world culture. For many things, as I see it, communication has been completely shut down.
But in the past, communication only went only one way- with men in charge and women accepting. You seem to be wanting real two way communication.

I know my husband pulls more weight in our relationship than I do and I feel guilty about it. When I'm feeling really bad, with PMS, sometimes I defend myself by reminding him that too many moves made it hard for me. But we are stable now, and I am still having a tough time getting settled and I know that frustrates him. But since I just can't seem to get it together from this last move, I get very defensive whenever he (ever so gently) shows frustration with my inaction.

5:10 AM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mercurior,

"and 1,668 synagogues ransacked with 267 set on fire"

Just an interesting aside, do you know that during the 'Russian' revolution that not one synagogue was destroyed or set afire but history has lost the number of Russian Orthodox Churches and monasteries destroyed and set afire.

5:29 AM, April 02, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:29 AM, April 02, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

Oops, I deleted myself! Well, now I know what the little trash can means.
Such an insightful posting, too. Rats.

6:35 AM, April 02, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

mercurior -- I just picked a year during the war.

Becky -- if that post was aimed at me, I don't post AC. If at the AC I'm tatting with, you've a better 'ear' for the nuance. I can't tell them apart mostly.

7:50 AM, April 02, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

I couldn't jump in here over the weekend, busy climbing mountains and such. I still don't get it. According to this site, women need to be nicer, less angry, provide more sex to their SOs and a number of other things. But nowhere is there a reason given for why. All we have on this thread is a bunch of men complaining about their mothers, bosses and wives. If women (or anyone else) saw a payoff from making massive changes in their MOs and personality more than likely they would do so. But obviously angry ladies are getting something from being angry, so they are angry. My own mother enjoys being angry 24/7, she loves the adrenaline rush and exerting control over everyone in her path. I say good for her she knows she's angry and I don't have to live with her,I can hang up the phone or walk out the door. If you don't like the way someone treats you either deal with it or leave. The woman in your life who has no sex drive, is angry, doesn't treat you well, beats you or berates you is who she is. If you don't like her, find another and, trust me, it isn't worth whatever pile of cash you feel so obligated to protect to stick around. Life becomes so much simpler when one realizes you have no control over other people, one's wife or husband most likely won't change her/his personality .

8:06 AM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oligonicella - no it was not aimed at you, it was aimed at another anonymous poster who I was chatting with around the same time on the thread re: children who kill. If it was the same poster, I had also just accused him/her of unwarranted condescension. Poor fella can't read - but he sure can condescend.

9:12 AM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't like the way someone treats you either deal with it or leave.

Cham - I agree with you to a point. But if you just give up everytime you hit difficulties and don't make an honest effort to work it out, you are going to have lots of relationships and be a very lonely person. Some of the happiest older people I know are the ones who made it through the trials with a shared experience, shared family and time on their side.

I'm wondering how corrosive the ME mentality is. It doesn't work out, throw it away and move on. And I'm not saying that was your point, Cham because I don't think it was. It's my point. While sometimes it is necessary to move on, if you have been married for any length of time and have a family - just because it isn't perfect doesn't mean it is not good or better than the alternative. As my mother used to always say, you get what you give in this world.
Becky

9:35 AM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking some more about this topic and I think that fear and anger are very closely related.

Insecurity, defensiveness, fear of failure, fear of loss of control. In almost every situation of anger I can think of, it has it's roots in some sort of fear. I know when I am most like to get angry is when I feel defensive. Often it is myself I am angry with, but I don't want to face up to my own shortcomings and hope that they are the responsiblity of something other than just my own shortcomings.

9:45 AM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but then, one other thing, not fear based, that makes me angry is passive-aggressive behavior. It really annoys me and sometimes really sets me off.

I think that is because the person doing it is being dishonest. They think they are sneaky and clever - but they rarely are. They are just being rude and have cloaked their rudeness in a manner so as to dodge responsiblity if called on it. If you respond to their rudeness they sqeal like a stuck pig. If you don't respond to their rudeness/insult then you are left with being insulted.

Dealing with passive-aggressive behavior is like having a meaningful discussion with a liar. It's just a lot of extra work and in the end, usually pointless.
Becky

10:02 AM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous TMink said...

Fear and anger are closely related. One view of anger is that it is secondary to hurt or fear or a sense of something unfair happening. The anger provides the energy to make the situation that is causing the fear, hurt, or unfair treatment stop.

The key is in decoding the anger and finding the appropriate action. Old psychic injuries can lead to chronic over-reactions as the emotional response of anger is appropriate to the old psychic injury, not the current stressor or situation.

My job as a therapist is to process and work through the older material so that it is integrated and not causing pressure in current reactions.

Of course, this is not the way to treat neurological malfunction in which the anger thermostat is set wrong and goes to "11" whenever a slight occurs. That is a different matter entirely. There I look for increasing knowledge and awareness of the situation along with relazation and practice, practice, practice to tame the thermostat or ignore the rage when making choices. Tough work for the patient, but they can make progress. And many have.

Trey

10:25 AM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous SaltedSlug said...

Cham:

"According to this site, women need to be nicer, less angry, provide more sex to their SOs and a number of other things."

Do a search on the thread and show me the comment saying women need to provide more sex to their SOs. Aren't you running out of straw yet? Perhaps you need to rework your template.

"But nowhere is there a reason given for why."

This is disingenuous, at best. Not only have many reasons been given, but the effects of anger on health have been well publicized, the disparity between responding to anger (on both personal and social levels) in each gender has been noted, and the anecdotal evidence (that you stated was mere male whining, but which were direct responses to Helen's question) of the harm done by angry women in relationships in which consideration for the well being of the other party is supposed to be important should all be pretty good reasons.

"But obviously angry ladies are getting something from being angry, so they are angry."

I'm sure they think they are. Many people with an inability to project the mid- and long-term consequences of their behavior think they are getting something out of that behavior. I call it "Girls Gone Single", but you can call it "Mothers with children who would rather hang up or walk out the door than put up with them, and won't that make for a lovely dotage" if you prefer.

10:53 AM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm just saying that you don't have to be loading people into cattle cars to be rightly compared to the Nazis."

The Nazis wore shirts.
The Nazis wore pants.
The Nazis wore socks.
The Nazis wore shoes.

So therefore, any group that does most of these things can rightly be compared to the Nazis.

Or not.

The Nazis are primarily known for one thing. Genocide. If you don't believe that a group is engaging in ( or likely to engage in ) genocide then they cannot rightly be compared to the Nazis.

12:46 PM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The night of the crystal knives? KNIVES? I tried to convince myself that is a simple typo, but there's no way. Crystal knives. Doesn't that make you want to look it up and see how in the world that makes sense?

Kristallnacht, literally translated, means "Crystal Night". It refers to all the broken glass.

1:26 PM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 12:46-

The Nazis wore shirts.
The Nazis wore pants.
The Nazis wore socks.
The Nazis wore shoes.

So therefore, any group that does most of these things can rightly be compared to the Nazis.

Or not.

The Nazis are primarily known for one thing. Genocide. If you don't believe that a group is engaging in ( or likely to engage in ) genocide then they cannot rightly be compared to the Nazis.


No, the Nazis did lots of things. Slave labor. Torture. Nonconsensual and harmful human experimentation. Property theft. Forced prostitution - really organized rape. Various other forms of racist, etc. social engineering. Etc, etc, etc...

When a group of people commits any of these things a comparison to the Nazis becomes appropriate, and certainly when a group engages in several of these things at once the comparison becomes even more appropriate.

2:33 PM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oligonicella-

You're condescension is unwarranted. I understand that murder is murder. I also understand we are not talking about individuals, but countries. Therefore, proportions are required. If not, all nations are equal as long as one murder happens, which is obviously not so....Not unless they are commonplace, as they were in Nazi Germany. See? Proportion.

Perhaps you can add "repeated" or "systematic" somewhere if it makes you feel better, but groups smaller than countries can rightfully be compared to the Nazis if they engage in the same acts.

Even then, they would have to be perpetrated by a superior class against another and not indescriminate raping, looting, burning and murdering as took place in various riots in various countries at various times.

Not necessarily. But a group seeing themselves as superior, or at least demonizing or dehumanizing the target group definitely strengthens the case.

Proportions are required, a murder doth not the Third Reich make, nor a torture, a rape, a ....

Not necessarily. A group torturing, raping, and illegally experimenting on the same person with some racist overtones is enough for an apt comparison. Remember that some groups try to make examples out of people to cow whole populations. (The Nazis did this too.)

3:07 PM, April 02, 2007  
Blogger Mercurior said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:26 PM, April 02, 2007  
Blogger Mercurior said...

Mercurior said...
anon 4.28, problem is i am english, and live in england, so how can i blame bush..

sorry i got jumbled up, i was thinking night of the long knives, and crystal night


The Night of the Long Knives (Saturday June 30 and Sunday July 1, 1934) and Reichskristallnacht November 9–10, 1938. i apologise for that error

3:33 PM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 4.28, problem is i am english, and live in england, so how can i blame bush..

That is a really funny comment. I hope you meant for it to be that way.

4:24 PM, April 02, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

AC 3:07

Here's the comment you responded to that started this:
"For example, to equate Guantanamo Bay with the Gulag Archipelago, or George Bush with Adolph Hitler, it seems to me cannot be accomplished when a sense of proportionality is in operation."

Though you said we weren't talking about the current admin?

Your rabbit trailing away from that into abstract and unnamed 'groups' is smoke, m'thinks.

Even so, we disagree.

A small group of deranged people kidnapping, torturing, yada yada one person is not comparable to The Third Riech except on an absurdly shallow level.

Ta ta. EOD.

4:40 PM, April 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My experience is that men don't necessasarily fear women's anger. Men understand anger very well, and would probably be suspicious of any woman who didn't express it occasionally. Men express anger, like we use all communication, directly - either to solve a problem or achieve an objective. What men fear about women's anger is that more often than not it doesn't have a resolution, or necessarily an ending. For you women readers, it is a common male experience that a woman's anger is seemingly (to us) unrelated to the provocation, and can continue long after the provocation ends, and can rise up again unexpectedly even in the absence of any direct provocation. Which is the reason why, in my opinion anyway, men so often will "yes, dear" their wives. It isn' that we agree with you - we just lack the energy to trigger a prolonged argument/discussion about a (to us) insignificant point, which can never be fully resolved. Listen to men speaking with other men ("That's good, isn't it?" "Yep"), and men speaking to women.

Just one (married) man's opinion.

6:41 PM, April 02, 2007  
Blogger David said...

My current boss is a man. His predecessor was a woman. I was discussing with a co-worker one time why I liked the new boss over the old one. I said, "When something goes wrong, he waves his arm, yells for a couple minutes, and then it's over. We fix the problem together and go on from there. But the old boss would glower and grump and use it as an excuse to put someone down for WEEKS."

On hearing of this conversation, my wife said, "Women are like that. That's why they shouldn't be in charge."

I did not agree with her out loud.

I'd have heard about it for weeks.

11:25 PM, April 02, 2007  
Blogger jw said...

anonymous 5:10 I'm not frustrated at her per se or her not doing her share: She's working 10 hour days 6 days a week and she's not all that healthy. I KNOW she cannot do half the house work and keep that schedule. I'm retired due to disability. I cannot do the heavy cleaning, but I CAN do all the rest of the work.

My frustration is the same one I've had for decades now: The inability to get across a point; as shown in your response. The point is no matter which choice I make I am the male and therefore at fault / guilty / wrong. I HATE THAT! I DESPISE THAT! Yet, with women born and raised in the first world countries I see no way around it.

We've got neighbours here born and raised in rural Mexico. THEY get the point. They get it without explanation. The lady who runs the corner store too, born in rural Iraq she gets the point without explanation.

BAH! FRUSTRATION GALORE!

You make an error in logic here in assuming that in the past the male was automatically in charge. Usually in charge? Yes. Always? NO! Not even close. There have always been matriarchal families, many of them. Such families have been with us from as far back as historians can go. Plus, add in the law as it was and as it is today ... The simple 'man is in charge and tells the woman' just does not match reality.

Trying to get the idea across that the left-feminist-political explanation of gender is NOT the only valid explanation is so VERY frustrating. Worse, the other explanations of gender have more science and more logic than the 'the man was always in charge' explanation.

The whole dynamic is so very very frustrating. How can any person talk to another when he is automatcially at fault in any discussion? There can be no talk ... There can be no communication. There's only noise.

So, I very much doubt you can understand what I say here. You wouldn't have phrased things as you did if you could understand. Some of the others may see the point.

3:38 AM, April 03, 2007  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

Very good point JW. It is illustrated in the following joke:

If a man says something alone in a forest without a woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?

10:28 AM, April 03, 2007  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

And that attitude from women is age old. My dad, very much the mans man in his eighties who grew up on a ranch told me when I got married that I needed to know two phrases for a successful marriage:

1. Yes Dear.

2. I'm sorry dear. It will never happen again.

10:30 AM, April 03, 2007  
Blogger TMink said...

A thoughtful anon wrote: "My experience is that men don't necessasarily fear women's anger."

Well, my personal and therapeutic experience is different. But then considering my sample, you may certainly have the more representative attitude.

My belief is that the unconscious attitudes toward women's anger has a lot to do with how well the man's mom and the man as a boy worked through their power/anger issues. Early learning runs deep, and fear based learning runs strong! So early fear of an important woman's (if it was mom it was the MOST important woman)anger runs deep and strong until you figure it out and work it through.

Trey

11:06 AM, April 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My belief is that the unconscious attitudes toward women's anger has a lot to do with how well the man's mom and the man as a boy worked through their power/anger issues

It would also be interesting to explore how well a woman's mom and the woman as a girl worked through their power/anger issues when exploring women's anger issues.

I think too often we look at the male/female dynamic when what we really should be looking at power issues. Who had the power, male or female is really the crux of it. Often, in abusive/neglect issues, it is the child him/herself that is the one who holds the power, or a sibling.

I think if you look at it as who held the power in that persons life as a child and how those issues were resolved, it allows you to get past the mommy/daddy prism and focus on what is the real issue - power.
Becky

12:55 PM, April 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am one of the angry women whose husband wants a divorce. I acknowlege that anger is my main problem. What no one here (and especially my stbx husband) seems to understand is that if you are an emotionally cold, distant, detached man who walks away from all conflict you will end up with a chronically angry and resentful wife who feels invalidated, disrespected and unheard. My husband grew up in a family where "peace at any price" was the motto. His mother pays that price by manipulating,lying and kowtowing to his father. My children and I will now be paying that price for the rest of our lives while my husband finds peace without us.

1:01 PM, April 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon - I think you make a great point- often there is good reason behind the anger. It's great that you recognize it so you can address how the corrosive the anger is to you and your children and you can do what you need to do to forgive him and get your life back.

I woke up one day and suddenly realized that I was very angry at my family and that it was consuming far too many of my thoughts on a daily basis. I didn't even really realize it because I love my family and we enjoy each other's company. We just have significant diffences in ideas that, trust me, are impossible to overcome.

I desperately want to let go of the anger, but it is there, ever present, under the surface - still creeping into my thoughts in fantasy conversations where I give witty, biting, imaginary retorts that will show them the fallacy of their ideas. Seeing as how I only see any of them maybe once or twice a year - it also makes me angry that I allow it to consume me for the other 360 days.

You don't need for you and your children to pay the price for the rest of your lives if you can forgive him and acknowledge that you can't change him or make him see the error of his ways. Good luck with it though, I haven't accomplished that yet.
Becky

2:00 PM, April 03, 2007  
Blogger TMink said...

Becky wrote: "It would also be interesting to explore how well a woman's mom and the woman as a girl worked through their power/anger issues when exploring women's anger issues."

I agree. In this thread the context was women's anger and how it may affect men, but gender roles, parents, and how emotions are expressed and modulated in the family of origin is all big, important stuff.

I tend to shy away from just looking at this through the lens of power though. I think that can limit the exploration. In power terms it is easy to acknowledge the obvious while missing the subtle. And what about the power of love, of fear on the part of the parents, of depression and withdrawal. I worry that those important factors are overlooked or oversimplified if the discussion is held in terms of power.

And gender is important as well. My relationship with my father is equally important in terms of my relationships with my self, men, and women. I think that relationship is different in some ways because he and I are men, and that has implications on our relationship that are different from the relationship with my mom.

Well, a lot of blather on my part, but I appreciate that this is certainly not just a mom/son issue, or a man/woman issue. That is just the aspect that we were discussing right now.

Trey

2:18 PM, April 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a woman who had a VERY angry mother from the time I was a child, I think I have a different take on all of this. Those of you men who married angry women, try to pity them (I know, it's hard) but that is likely their only tool for coping. The first few years of my marriage I WAS my mother... angry, easily see off (especially when I didn't get my way), and constantly keeping score. When I finally realized I was miserable I decided that just because I had no other models I didn't have to be a raving lunatic also. My point is, women are just as affected by having angry mothers, but will unfortunately use the same coping mechanisms if we do not learn any better.

3:53 PM, April 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trey - you make a good point. I suddenly realized there is a similarity between anon angry mom (above) and myself. And probably also between a male who could never please daddy, a male who could never resolve power issues with mommy, a terribly abused child still loving mommy - a child of an alcoholic, etc.

To explain, I'll share my own situation. The source of my anger I described above comes primarily from an older sibling. In hindsight I realized that she held great resentment towards me. The moment this became clear to me as an adult was when one time, she was baiting and egging on my niece in the same manner she had always, always, done to me.

Now, I knew exactly how she felt about my niece, she could do no right in her aunt's eyes and she really didn't like her. It suddenly occurred to me, she really didn't like me either.

Now what was at play here is a power issue. In both the case of myself and my niece, she had for a good portion of our lives been the "elder", the wise one but then as we grew up and no longer accepted her superiority unquestioningly - she would punish us anytime that relationship was tested. If she thought it was black, and we thought it was white, there could be no compromise, no rest, no twisting of rationality so outlandish as to reject our point of view.

I knew that nothing my niece could ever say or do could be right and I suddenly realized, nor could I.

But all is complicated in love.

So to get to my point (if you are still here) the similarity I see in each of these situations is that we can not please a person whom we love and want to please. And we fear the realizaton that in order to stop it the madness - we have to let them go. I suspect it less about our needing their love and support than it is that we know that they need ours.

So we think about ways you can make it right. Things we might say or do. In my case, clever retorts to her provocations.

Ever time I let go and just think to hell with it, it makes me so sad. It is such a loss. So you keep hoping there is something you can say or do resolve those issues - but there is nothing. Round and round it goes.

Well - writing this has been helpful to me because I just realized 99% of this bull$%%$. And I guess I can just do what men often do in a marriage. Just say "yes dear", "you are right, dear". But that is very sad to me as there is something so cold, uncaring, and dismissive about that. It is like I have lost a friend.

Anyway - thanks for the healing bandwith - sorry for the long personal post.

4:38 PM, April 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me see, I've had female co-workers:

*reduce other co-workers to tears while on the job for something that happened totally outside of anyone's control, culminating in a closed door counseling session between the injured party and the CEO

*destroy departments [two times - by which I've literally witnessed the complete turnover of staff with the exception of the angry people involved and [unfortunately] myself.

*Bully the staff into totally closing down lines of communication, for fear that something might be misunderstood or misinterpreted.

*Destroy morale by deciding to micromanage every aspect of a task, for fear that something might go wrong.

The book of Proverbs has two warnings for 'contentious women' -

It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. [Proverbs 21:19]

A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one's right hand. [Proverbs 27:15-16]

I find both of them to be quite true.

7:07 PM, April 03, 2007  
Blogger TMink said...

"But all is complicated in love."

Ain't that the truth! Great post. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

Trey

12:55 AM, April 04, 2007  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

"I am one of the angry women whose husband wants a divorce. I acknowlege that anger is my main problem. What no one here (and especially my stbx husband) seems to understand is that if you are an emotionally cold, distant, detached man who walks away from all conflict you will end up with a chronically angry and resentful wife who feels invalidated, disrespected and unheard."

So, it's his fault you are pissed off all the time? Did you know he was that way when you married him? If so, well, you get what you paid for.

If not, well, do you think that by being pissed off at him he will change and then become the man you *expect* him to be?

How come you can't allow him to be himself? Does he expect you to alter some fundamental part of your being in order for him to "be happy"?

Why is your anger sacrosanct and why should he cater to it? How come it's ok for you to be pissed off to the point of driving him away, yet his lack of emotion is the "real" problem?

Are you the type who picks a fight over bullshit in the expectation that he will react in a cowed, yes-dear-lets-make-up fashion and then get even more pissed off when he doesn't respond in the manner you desire?

Maybe you don't understand that being an angry bitch didn't help the situation and in fact drove him away?

11:23 AM, April 04, 2007  
Blogger SarahW said...

Sgt Ted, read your own letter as if you were a woman complaining about men. Formulate your response, and you will find you don't like yourself much.

Men and women should both alter themselves for the sake of love and lasting, happy marriages.

Validate, respect, and hear your partner in life, even if you would rather hide, pout, avoid, walk away, or discipline with dissapproval. You are not the most important person in your life anymore. The entity that is your marriage is the most important, and your mate should be as important to you as you are to yourself.

(And please, bitter ones, please stop assuming I think men should do all the work and change and women none.)

If your wife is angry and resentful, examine your own conduct and do better. That doesn't mean the lady can't do anything differently or better. It means YOU can do better and should.

2:29 PM, April 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Sgt. Ted--

Just some thoughts about your post:

"So, it's his fault you are pissed off all the time? Did you know he was that way when you married him? If so, well, you get what you paid for."

Why don't you ask if he knew I was that way when he married me? He also gets what he paid for.

"If not, well, do you think that by being pissed off at him he will change and then become the man you *expect* him to be?"

Most people can't change themselves but need the help of God and/or a therapist. I do expect that husbands give their wives (and vice versa)the courtesy of listening instead of walking off whenever something they don't want to talk about is brought up. That's what adults do.

"How come you can't allow him to be himself? Does he expect you to alter some fundamental part of your being in order for him to "be happy"?"

Yes, he does expect me to alter some fundamental part of my being in order for him to "be happy". He expects me to pretend I'm never sad, never angry, never in disagreement with someone else's view, never disappointed. How come he can't allow me to be myself?

"Why is your anger sacrosanct and why should he cater to it?"

Why is his lack of emotional expression sacrosanct and why should I cater to it?

"How come it's ok for you to be pissed off to the point of driving him away, yet his lack of emotion is the "real" problem?"

How come he doesn't have the commitment to stick around and try to solve the "real" problem, which is that we don't know how to communicate with each other?

"Are you the type who picks a fight over bullshit in the expectation that he will react in a cowed, yes-dear-lets-make-up fashion and then get even more pissed off when he doesn't respond in the manner you desire?"

No. I'd rather he be engaged enough in the relationship to stick up for his point of view about whatever it is instead of ignoring me.

"Maybe you don't understand that being an angry bitch didn't help the situation and in fact drove him away?"

How come angry women are always bitches but angry men are just powerful?

You sound pretty angry to me, Sgt. Ted. Hope you can learn to cope with that.

2:58 PM, April 04, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Anonymous 2:58:

"How come angry women are always bitches but angry men are just powerful?"

I just want to point out that no one thinks angry men are powerful, especially those who are angry at home. Our society has a taboo against men who are angry at their families. Apparently, you have no insight or desire for insight into your husband's mindset. Instead of asking what is wrong--you choose to place the blame on him. Good luck with that approach.

7:07 PM, April 04, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Helen, we don't know the details of what is issue with the relationship between angry anonymous and her husband. If these two want to fix their marriage and get to the bottom of why they are angry or why they are avoiders the best advice is to suggest some time spent at the marriage counselor for both of them and probably some individual counseling for both of them. Otherwise, all we can do as third party blog posters is speculate.

9:35 PM, April 04, 2007  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

anonymous 2:58

Good points. I am not a very angry guy actually.

I just saw in your post all these arrows pointing away from yourself and pointed it out.

9:42 PM, April 04, 2007  
Blogger TM Lutas said...

Cham - You deserve an honest answer to your direct complaint "But nowhere is there a reason given for why." as in why should women bother to change their passive-aggressive anger behaviors. Here's why: the angry women who do such a number on guys will tend end up alone, neglected and disproportionately dying miserable deaths in their own filth because the loved ones who should have been there to clean and care for them in the twilight years of their lives will mostly have been driven away or otherwise been rendered useless for the task. They will have had unsatisfying lives and have a great deal more personal emotional misery along the way than was strictly necessary. If there's a spark of decency and altruism in your soul, you'll also care that a lot of guys along the way will be emotionally and mentally scarred unjustly. Does this answer your question?

There are foul-ups on the male side which yield similar results but that's a topic for another thread. I hope this was of service.

12:59 AM, April 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angry mom - You are angry at the unfairness of your situation. There is nothing worse than being ignored. If you have a fault it is that you can't see that you are flogging a dead horse. Just because you love that horse, you can't flog it back to life.

He might as well not be there. For the sake of your children and yourself, forgive him and move on. He doesn't have what you need. Wanting it won't make it so.

There is no point at being angry at a blind man because he can't see. Accept he is blind and if you can't live with that, feel sorry for him and move on. Being angry about it won't make him see. It's not your fault. Move on.

As long as you are blaming him - you are in a bad space. Do what you need to do to get out of that space and move one so you can be happy in life.

Others will never see and neither will he. As long as you are blaming him, you can never heal.

1:12 AM, April 05, 2007  
Anonymous Philalethes said...

Does the anger of women toward the male sex and males in general effect the male psyche and in what way?

At age 50 I more-or-less spontaneously relived, as a kind of PTS flashback, a severely traumatic experience I suffered at birth. As I became aware of the profound, pervasive effects of this experience in my life, one thing that immediately became clear was that I've been terrified of women all my life. The second, related observation was that the few men I know who were not subjected to this trauma relate to women very differently than I do.

The difference is subtle, not immediately apparent unless/until you're sensitized to it, but once I became aware, I found I've often been able to guess whether or not a man (or boy) was circumcised at birth. Those who were not, whatever their other varied personality types and attributes, remain whole on a fundamental level, and can at least meet females on something like a "level playing field" (as close as can be, anyway, between a creature and his Creator), and respond to female anger, etc., with male strength rather than weakness.

Of course, the vast majority of us (the generic "white" American male, everyone's favorite two-minute-hate) in this country were so traumatized, so the resulting emotional condition has become nearly universal, and thus normal in this culture. American men, by and large, simply don't know how to calmly but firmly say "No" to a woman. We respond to female anger, aggression and controlling behavior either (mostly) with a cringing, weary "Yes, dear" or, when finally pushed too far, with irrational, counterproductive violence. As Vox Day writes, "living in fear of such a one is rather like being a well-trained dog"; these are the behaviors of any brutalized animal: abject submission or, when cornered, vicious attack.

A newborn human is not a rational, thinking creature, but, like any animal, entirely physical and emotional. He is also totally open to sensory experience, and given that Mother has been his entire universe during the whole of the subjective eternity since his existence began, he must necessarily interpret anything done to him as done by Her. And he is correct in this interpretation, pre-rational though it may be; regardless of who does the dirty work, Mother is the Decider.

And at the pre-rational, unconscious, instinctive level of the psyche, the infant-circumcised male will be in a state of fear and tension for the rest of his life, always wondering if or when She may, without warning and certainly without reason, do something like this to him again. What sort of behavior will result from such a psychological state?

Is it any wonder that feminism finally triumphed and took over American culture in the 1960s, precisely when the first universally-circumcised generation of American males came of age? I don't think so. There are no accidents.

Of course, I realize that anyone who might happen to read these comments on this page is almost certain to find my thoughts preposterous, ridiculous, and so on -- the usual reaction to something you'd rather not think about. Well, before you blowtorch me, I'll ask you to do just one thing: Watch this video. All of it. Don't turn off the sound, that's cheating. You might also check out the full 15-minute version, listed on this page, as well as the "Nurses of St. Vincent" video.

I'm sorry, there's no avoiding it: Whatever men may be, we are mostly what our mothers have made us. "Women rule the world. No man ever did anything unless a woman allowed or encouraged him to do it." (Bob Dylan said that, Rolling Stone interview, ca. 1988.)

4:40 AM, April 05, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Cham,

Actually marriage counseling tends to make many couples worse and tends to break them up. Not always, as it depends on the couple. However, a person in an intimate relationship has to be willing to hear where the other person is coming from, if they do not, there is a greater chance that the marriage will suffer.

7:37 AM, April 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, BOTH of the people in an intimate relationship have to be willing to hear the other person's point of view,ACCEPT it, and be willing to meet halfway on some things or nothing good will happen and resentment will continue to build. Based on my own experience, I would say individual counseling would probably have been the better way to go.

3:49 PM, April 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen said:

"Our society has a taboo against men who are angry at their families."

Really? Fascinating.

I'm sorry, but I must ask: From whose ass did you pull this factoid?

4:42 PM, April 05, 2007  
Anonymous Jim said...

"Really? Fascinating.
I'm sorry, but I must ask: From whose ass did you pull this factoid?

One word for ya, Anon:

VAWA - huge funding for local prosecution of male on female DVC, none for female-on-male DV.

You not really uniformed, just dishonest.

I don't know what part of American culture and this society you are familiar with, but if you live in the Northeast among people with "surnames ending in vowels", you probably don't have much direct contact. But in America little boys are generally taught never ever to hit girls, that it makes them less than masculine, and this prohibition gets more cutting for adult males. When I was growing up it was considersd abut equivalent to child molestation.

6:30 PM, April 05, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

The man woman thing pops up in its various forms on this blog a lot. I have participated in some of the forums, but have learned it is better I read than write. I learn much more that way.

One thing that puzzles me, is the fact that no matter what the spouses go through, love of their children is a constant, provided the reason for divorce is the parents merely realized they no longer wish to stay together. If one of the two is wacko, that's another story.

Although I honestly hope that I never see my ex again, my love for my kids is stronger today than yesterday. It never stops growing.

Obviously, it is a different kind of love. Hey, never said I was the brightest crayon in the box.

7:54 PM, April 05, 2007  
Anonymous anonymom said...

"Our society has a taboo against men who are angry at their families."

And on this blog, we see plenty who don't think women should be angry at their families, either. If we are talking about a generalized anger, then yes. Neither women nor men should be angry with their families in a daily, corrosive way.

I would guess that if a man had posted "if you are an emotionally cold, distant, detached (wo)man who walks away from all conflict you will end up with a chronically angry and resentful (husband) who feels invalidated, disrespected and unheard" the commenters on this blog would have been much more understanding than they have been for the woman who posted the original.

9:12 PM, April 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the commenters on this blog would have been much more understanding than they have been for the woman who posted the original.

Maybe, maybe not. But that doesn't negate that she got the right advice. It's not the husband's fault she's got a self-admitted anger problem. She didn't say that she gets angry sometimes. She said she's "an angry woman." That's not anything anyone but she can fix. As the child of "an angry woman," she's fooling herself is she thinks only she and her husband are suffering her anger. My advice would be the same to a man.

Amy K.

10:29 PM, April 05, 2007  
Blogger Mindsteps said...

Dr. Helen wrote:
Actually marriage counseling tends to make many couples worse and tends to break them up. Not always, as it depends on the couple.

Marital therapy is definitely challenging and hard work. Jacobson and Addis found that almost 50% of couples are not responsive to couples therapy. In 'Research on couples and couple therapy: What do we know? Where are we going?
By Jacobson, Neil S.; Addis, Michael E.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 61(1), Feb 1993, 85-93.)'

However, other studies are less gloomy with respect to outcomes. It probably depends upon the studies you review: See for example -

'Couple and Individual Adjustment for 2 Years Following a Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Traditional Versus Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy.
By Christensen, Andrew; Atkins, David C.; Yi, Jean; Baucom, Donald H.; George, William H.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 2006 Dec Vol 74(6) 1180-1191'

'Effects of Behavioral Marital Therapy: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.
By Shadish, William R.; Baldwin, Scott A.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 73(1), Feb 2005, 6-14.'

and

'Toward a scientifically based marital therapy.
By Gottman, John M.; Ryan, Kimberly D.; Carrère, Sybil; Erley, Annette M.
In Liddle, Howard A. (Ed); Santisteban, Daniel A. (Ed); Levant, Ronald F. (Ed); Bray, James H. (Ed). (2002). Family psychology: Science-based interventions. (pp. 147-174).'

8:26 AM, April 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice red herring you got there, jim. This post, and the comment you were responding had nothing to do with violence. It was about anger.

Nice try though.

8:29 PM, April 06, 2007  
Anonymous Jim said...

After 31 years of a great marriage, I am still not sure why women get angry but they do get angry over all sorts of things. Once early in our marriage I was able to sense that my wife was angry about something and it was directed against me. She was silent but her sulking and her looks told me that she was angry about something I did. Not being able to read minds I decided to ask her if something was wrong. "Nothing!" she snapped. "It just seems that you are angry at me for something." "I'M NOT ANGRY!" she yelled. "Then why are you yelling?" I asked. "I'M NOT YELLING!" she screamed at the top of her lungs. Then we both started laughing. To this day we still laugh about it. I just can't remember what she was angry about. I was thinking of asking her if she remembers what she was angry about over 30 years ago. But if I did that, she might get angry all over again and start yelling. Maybe I should count my blessings and let sleeping dogs lie.

8:50 AM, April 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is anyone going to mention Codependency? Characterised on one side by 'indecision, passivity, barely suppressed rage, and chronic low self esteem' (typically but not exclusively female) and on the other by 'achievement driven, needless, wantless, I can cope, feelings are for wimps, I don't need anyone' (typically but not exclusively male, with all the "female" stuff shoved so far down its not even registering)????

All of this discussion is about codependency and how we human beings mistake intensity for 'love' - and where we don't feel love we create intensity. Its about not knowing what our needs and wants are, or if we do being too scared to say, its feeling overly responsible for the feelings and actions of others, and its punishing others when we feel like a victim or they fail to read our minds and meet our needs without us having to say. As they like to say in Al Anon, once you are an adult, there are no victims, only volunteers.

I find Anger hard to handle (my own and other people's) but these days I do know what its about. If there is low level anger in a relationship all the time, then there is something going on ON BOTH SIDES.

Personally, I've decided to stop volunteering to get hurt. Setting boundaries is scary, but quietly, gently and firmly telling people what behaviour I will and won't tolerate works wonders. I really have stopped trying to figure out why other people do what they do, its totally irrelvant to me, the only thing that's relevant is how I feel about it and what I am and am not prepared to accept.

Anonymous, London, England.

1:01 PM, April 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear London--

I wish someone had told me that 10 years ago, or at least 6 months ago. I will certainly keep that in mind in the highly unlikely event that I'm ever in a relationship again. Thanks for your insight.

2:49 PM, April 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's always funny in our culture to see women lash out angrily at men, hit them, call them names and act in passive aggressive forms towards kids, husbands and male colleagues,..."

I fail to see the humor in your statement. Perhaps if you rephrased it, instead, to read: "It's always funny in our culture to see men lash out angrily at women, hit them, call them names and act in passive aggressive forms towards kids, wives and female colleagues" you might consider abuse, in any form, exercised by either gender, is NOT funny.

9:34 PM, April 14, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really enjoying the dialogue here... Quite interesting, I must say.

I recently broke up with a women who I believe possesses an EXTREME amount of anger inside her stemming from the fact that her father never married her mother when they got pregnant. The huge amount of information available on how a woman becomes angry (angry b/c they take abondonment as the ultimate insult to their self-worth etc etc) with her missing father and is unable to direct it toward him (therefore internalizes it and redirects it to me) seems to be validated in my particualr case.

She seems to swing from passive-aggressive behavior (marked my sarcastic commentary, misreading normal everyday behavior on my part, turning it into some sort of attack on her) to OUTRIGHT agressive behavior (vindictive, manipulative, verbally abusive, threatening (nothing physical however)), and when I show or tell her that I WILL NOT respond to the passive agg type is when she resorts to name calling, degrading and insulting remarks that absolutly enrage me and hurt me.

I love her, still do, and I've fallen in love with her b/c i see a scared, misguided and confused women in search of love, successful and smart and fun when she's not focused on her anger. I think she knows that the anger is there, but is too proud to admit and deal with the situation. I believe the anger insider herself will continue to prevent her from every really finding an emotionally bonded and fulfilling relationship and life UNTIL she comes to terms with it. I tried soooo many ways to begin to show her, but she balks at EVERY turn. Gentle encouragement, stern correction, returning the behavior to her in hopes that she may see what effect she's having on me and lastly open hearted communication which she sees as me trying to control her (?!?!?!?). Somehow everything is my fault and the way she sees the world is ABSOLUTE, there is no possibility that she often misreads my intent (she did constantly). She says she wants to be loved unconditionally but fails to understand that one of the conditions CAN NOT BE verbal abuse and a target for her to release her unresolved anger.

Though I love her still, I am beginning to let it fade with time apart. Maybe she will see one day and deal with it, but I fear (I do care about her well being) she may never.

12:42 PM, April 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at it this way, the first reaction (almost) every male has regarding stories such female serial killers or female teacher/male student is Ohthat'satragedyisshehot?'

LOL, anonymous,

Almost any story I read where a woman is involved, the first thing I do is cut and past into Google images and see what she looks like. I hardly think I'm the singular male that does this.

And this is supposed to be be bad?

Right. Just if you want to use it that way.

10:02 PM, April 20, 2007  
Anonymous David said...

You know I am 29 going on 30 years old. I am always told how nice I am. I am just simply polite. I have manners and was raised by a great mother.

Here is the problem with women... its simple. They are spoiled. They feel they are entitled to having a nice home, a Chorvette and they always need attention. I suppose too much self hatred to spend one minute by themselves.

I mean they are some good women / people in this world. But lets face it as a person who does believe in the Gospels... this world is a fallen world. Alot of the women / people in this world are sold out to satan and they are hopeless. Avoid them and follow God. CAnt go wrong there. God wont try to destroy your self confidence or try to hurt you in anyway shape or form.

Why put yourself through it. My mom was abused when I was growing up and I see my horrible father in alot of women today. The women who many of you speak of... are simply evil.

I only date women who have true pure and simple values. I dont need a moron like my father... who only values money and tries to control people.

Good men and women alike need to band together... however few of us there might be... and try to take back our world. Lets face it the wrong people are reproducing... the wrong people are leading the world... if they were the right people there wouldnt be any wars... famine... starvation... poverty. The wrong people are teaching... their having sex with kids. The wrong people are in the clergy same thing. All this started AFTER the sexual / feminist movement. It will ultimately destroy the world and particularly western civilization. Its too selfish and destructive. God didnt intend for us to live this way. We are to help each other out... not hurt one another. Life is too short and I plan on enjoying my life. And frankly I dont need a woman to have an enjoyable life. Thats a myth.

David

1:06 PM, May 26, 2007  
Blogger Darel said...

My wife is an angry person, and this makes her awful to live with. (I don't understand why God has made such people.) She covered this up before we were married, and I have suffered her for 24 years for sake of the kids. I usually think she is best described as an Ogre. "No-way" would I have married her if I had known.

12:50 AM, September 09, 2007  
Blogger Susan said...

It's interesting reading all these comments on anger and women. I just did a search on "anger towards men" because I'm really struggling with it right now. I was raised by an abusive man, lived with a passive-aggressive man for 17 years (lots of "crazy making behavior" which took me years to recover from) and raised 6children by him.

I'm considered an attractive and intelligent woman, but since my separation, I've stayed single. I've stayed back from relationships, waiting to find out if I can trust the man and in waiting, have had my heart broken by several men who lie and cheat.

Just in the last week, I found out about a man I trusted who'd lied to me only three months ago, had a close friend tell me a male buddy of hers who is living with a woman asked her to make out with him (she was shocked and hurt), have been asked for sex by a married man, have heard a man congratulate another man about "working three women at the same time"...

I'm sorry, but I would like some proof that men in general are trustworthy, open and honest. It's very difficult to manuever in this type of world. I'm tired and frustrated. And to boot, 5 of my children are sons. My oldest is 20 and, though he is an amazing, intelligent and good person to the rest of the world, he really is terrible toward me. Yes... I DO find myself becoming very angry.

And yes, I do believe it has something to do with control and power. I suppose I have struggled with feeling out of control and without power. I do not know the solution.

7:12 PM, March 20, 2008  
Blogger beentheredonethat said...

As a man who was married to a woman with severe PMS for 9 years and is currently in a 10 year relationship with another woman with PMS, I can certainly tell you that your blog is very pertinent in today's society. Both genders today know much more about equality than our parents ever knew and this is both a good and a bad thing.

I have noticed how many (good) men over the past 50 years are much more sensitive to a woman's needs compared to our fathers & grandfathers but has this turned us into pussies? I love to pamper, and spoil my partner who I consider my soul mate. Over the years I have learned the Mars & Venus way to listen & not fix the problems. I read many articles relating to PMS and women’s philosophies. I have had complements from many other women on how much they wish their man was more like me and how much they enjoy talking to me but in my sweetheart’s eyes I am still a bully and a good for nothing man. My life has been filled with, “Come here, come here. I love you; I need you (CLICK) What did you say? You bastard! Let me tell you something…. Followed by endless verbal and emotional abuse and the evil eyes and cold shoulders for days until (CLICK) I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. Come here, come here. I love you; I need you (CLICK)…

I’ve been to couple counseling with her where we spent most of the time analyzing “my issues” but have never touched on the real problem.…dare I say her issues? Any time a significant “her issue” topic was touched on, avoidance by crying or yelling seemed to be her escape from dealing with it. So much for me honestly opening up and trying to solve my issues, her issues remain safely tucked inside. The counseling was not all bad; I learned a very good skill. “Do not run and hide, calmly discuss issues to solve problems before they become bigger problems.” Yeah, right! Men are not equipped to stand toe to toe to try to match communication skills with the wild female beast. A verbal flailing ensues and no matter how careful the man is to the inane rationalizations from the other side, it just leads to silence and more resentment, followed by male passive aggressive behavior (a physical response is not tolerable for anyone). P.S. During the argument, never suggest that it may be the dreaded PMS time of the month and that the discussion should be delayed…you will soon learn that run & hide is not a good enough option. P.S.S. I will soon be going back for more couples counseling because I love her so much.

Dr Helen’s statement that, “It’s always funny in our culture to see women lash out angrily at men, hit them, call them names and act in passive aggressive forms towards kids, husbands and male colleagues, and many men take the abuse, but at what cost?" has hit the nail on the head. This idea is one that many men take offense to. It is NOT funny to be bombarded by commercials and television shows that believe it is okay to abuse men. How far would these situations get if the genders were switched? Where is the male hero, hunk, he man? He is now a passive sensitive pussy, not daring to stand up for himself as he would with his male counterparts in a verbally abusive situation.

On 30 March 2007, Anonymous said,” Men don't need 17 different ways to say nasty things about each other. Men, under verbal attack will just fight about it. That settles the issue. Women, on the other hand, are secure in the knowledge that they will never get punched out, so they have the freedom to develop lots of different ways to be vicious to each other. I think that women develop better verbal skills BECAUSE no one will punch them in the mouth.”

This statement is in my experience is a very true observation. I have had 25 years in the Military, working in many dangerous situations with large groups of men. Business was taken care of swiftly, leaders were picked and problems were solved much like the alpha wolf in a pack of wolves. Step out of line one and you get nipped, problem solved. Now throw one female into the mix and the rules are all changed.

Why is it when you ask a woman if she would rather work for a man or a woman, they will most often automatically say, “A Man.”?

Back to the original questions –

Q -What is the effect of women's anger, both directly and indirectly on men and their later emotional well-being?

A - Frustration, helplessness, resentment, silence, divorce and more angrier women on the earth. If we could harness the energy wasted by this anger we could probably do away with fossil fuels. After a few experiences with angry women why would a man want to stick his head in the proverbial bear cage again? Solution, love them and leave them before the anger sets in! Ha!

Q -Does the anger of women toward the male sex and males in general effect the male psyche and in what way?

A- You bet the maleness of men is affected but it would take a long time to find out how because most men realize that exposing your true feelings may only lead to more ammunition for the angry women out there.

The better question would be, “Why are women so angry with the very person that they are so much in love with? If you come up with the magic solution to this male mystery please send it to me ASAP!

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2:25 AM, June 08, 2009  
Blogger rick said...

Society allows girls and women to give verbal, silent abuse and hollow kindness with impunity. Men have grown up with this and have much experience with this protection for women to vent and act out in various ways with protection from retaliation. I am afraid now that women are surging ahead of men in many areas; the media is also jumping on the bandwagon to hurt men; places of employment becoming more Female dominated; and Males not only suffering minimal if not almost depleted levels of self-worth, those words from women from the media, employment, and society are beginning to do real harm to men's egos and patience. I am afraid men will begin to feel this pain in collective ways to a point they may begin to collectively accept more retribution toward women in more major ways. I feel this point is rapidly approaching.

9:36 PM, September 29, 2009  
Blogger Team Rollins said...

I am recovering from an angry ex girlfriend. Her recourse mostly rested in "Flight or fight". I endured this pattern throughout the off/on 2.5 year relationship. I fell in love with her giving heart, but loathed the outbursts of anger, her flight patterns (getting her duffle and leaving my place: we lived a couple hours from each other), and the verbal/emotional attacks. At 6 months, i impulsively broke up with her when her irrational anger unleashed on me over something very petty, something that should have been an easy resolve. Within 30 minutes, i realized i didnt want us to break up, called her w/o an answer and by mid day, a box of my belongings was already in the mail. Over the next week I convinced her to remain in the relationship. First mistake. Over the next two years I endured periodic harsh criticisms, angered outbursts, flights from the relationship via email, phone call, in person, and being kicked out her apartment. Mostly, the attacks were one-sided, never initiated or provoked by anger or abuse from me, always escalated by her. Yet, I continued to try to "fix" the relationship, talk about the issues with the hopes it would get better. It never did, it only got worse, culminating in an all-day verbal assault while on a day canoe trip that continued in the car drive home which left me shaken, literally and emotionally. At this point I had just moved to her town and in with her. 100th mistake.I finally decided to leave the relationship, but the emotional toll had already done its damage. I was no longer a strong confident man/person, but a emotionally weak, confused semblance of who i used to be. Leaving a woman I truly loved, turned my world upside down, but the proposition of staying was truly scarier, i feared losing myself forever if I stayed and never recovering. 1.5 years later, I continue to work towards getting back to pre relationship man, but the relationship has changed me and my perspective on woman in the U.S. I no longer have the free-spirited open-minded approach to them, instead I am apprehensive that women have any idea how to respect, love, and care for a man unconditionally, to the point that I would rather be alone than find out again.

12:17 AM, April 07, 2013  

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