Tuesday, February 08, 2011

"Overwhelmed by female anger, men fold."

My post on the decline of male space seems to have hit a nerve with over 150 comments and counting. The discussion appears to have drifted into how hard it is to find a woman that understands that a man might have his own needs, including the need for his own space and actually has respect for men, and hence, her partner. One important question that commenter dunkelzahn4prez asked me, "How does a man go about calling out behavior from a woman that is, at best, unacceptable? And what does one do when the woman's response is to escalate?"

That is a great question for so many men out there lack the resources and psychological tools needed to deal with women who do not respect them, both prior to marriage and afterwards. Acquiring these tools is a process, one that takes practice and patience with oneself, especially for the men out there who have been keeping quiet to keep the peace.

My friend Richard Driscoll, a psychologist, wrote a terrific book on the different communication styles of men and women entitled You Still Don't Understand in which he highlights the difficulties that men have in relating their concerns to women. Men are more easily overwhelmed by emotional conflict than women and react more strongly to less provocation. Driscoll states:

Contrary to popular expectations, men are markedly more intimidated by angry women than women are by angry men. Men tend to become confused during such confrontations, more so than women, losing track of what is said and where the argument is going....Overwhelmed by female anger, men fold."

How do men explain why they often withdraw from their wives rather than arguing hard for a win? A man might say that he wants to "do what's right," or he does not want to "get his wife upset." He might say, "It is no use arguing with her because it just makes her mad".....

Men typically appear calmer than their wives, who are more visibly upset, so it is easy to be fooled. Remember that the appearance is merely a masquerade.....

The silence is known as "stonewalling" and it does lower stress for men and thwart their wives. Yet crouching behind a stone wall remains a tactic of those who have no voice and lack the will to confront the argument head on.


At best, you will end up bitter and removed, at worse, wanting a divorce and being so cowed by conflict that you give her everything you own. Learn to tolerate conflict. So, my basic advice to men who want to know what to do to gain respect in their relationship is to practice and learn to be more comfortable in male/female arguments. First, start with something that is not too intimidating like giving your opinion on an internet chat board--start with this one because few here will judge you too harshly for having non-pc opinions on gender. Branch out to boards where people are critical. Learn to deal with it, even if it means being called a jerk. See how it makes you feel. Bad? Learn to live with it because if you are male in this society and stand up for your needs or wants, you will be called a jerk and worse.

Second, move onto a real world relationship, your mother, sister or female friend say something derogatory about men. Call them on it. Don't withdraw or let it go. For example, your mother says all men suck and never do any housework. Say, "I'm a guy and that makes me wonder if you like me much." Watch the startled look as mom realizes that she might be acting like a bad mom.

Finally, once you are comfortable with this level of criticism, look to your interpersonal relationship with your girlfriend or wife (though this one will be harder if you have been letting her get away with put-downs and disrespect). Next time your significant other shows what you feel to be disrespect or is dismissive of your feelings, speak up. Say, "I feel that you are not being respectful when you say X. Please don't do that." If she does it again, drop the please and say, "do not talk like that to me again." If she continues, if a girlfriend, think about whether she is the right one for you.

John Gottman, who studies marriage, points out in his book, The Marriage Clinic: A Scientifically Based Marital Therapy that it is not so much the conflict that causes ill will--"What matters most is the ability to repair things when they go wrong." If your girlfriend or even wife refuses to even try to address your grievances, is this really such a great partner for life?

If you have any more advice on how to deal with girlfriends or wives who do not respect their boyfriend or husband, drop it in the comments.

Labels: ,

74 Comments:

Blogger dr.alistair said...

firstly helen, thanks for digging deep into the mechanics of communication between two adults.

there is a myth that men and women communicate differently, and this leads to the belief that we (as men) have to somehow adapt to the other person when we are speaking clearly and voicing our displeasure in being not validated in a relationship.

the simple truth is that many women don`t actually listen at all to a man because they don`t need to. it`s as simple as that, and if that continues, as you pointed out clearly, then you have to re-consider the relationship.

in my training in nlp, i was taught that people do two basic things when spoken to; they show themselves pictures and hear voices as a response to what is said to them.

what my teachers didn`t say was that men and women do this differently.

men and women do this exact same thing.

you say the word "lemon" to members of either sex they see a waxy yellow fruit filled with juice that, if ingested, will taste bitter and will induce salivation in all likelyhood.

so if you say to a person of any sex that you want something, that person begins a visual and verbal dialogue with themselves while you are talking and decides to co-operate...or not, depending on what their internal dialogue serves up.

women and men act on pre-existing beliefs they hold on a variety of subjects.

part of what i teach is that a person who meets a potential partner should be first seeing if certain pre-suppositions exist about who a man or a woman is first, before the nice stuff begins and we lose all sense of reason.

if "all men are" so-and-so then you are likely to run into problems if you know you aren`t like that and she may be difficult to convince otherwise as a potential relationship emerges.

and, of course, this is true of a woman meeting a man for the first time also.

this is no consolation for the man or woman trying after many years to get a different response from a man or woman with strong negative beliefs about relationships, gender issues, household duties etc.

4:39 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger CSPB said...

It is interesting how certain topics and themes appear at different places around the same time.

Men and women think differently and this has been demonstrated with modern science. The Female Brain by Dr. Louanne Brizendine, M.D. is worth reading.

Here is another blog post for consideration.

www.antifeministtech.info/2011/02/women-are-locked-into-their-own-subjectivity

4:57 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

helen,
It's been a while since I've visited here, and after reading this I honestly ask: Are you for real? Where do you come up with this advice?

It was funny to a point, but then I realized you are honestly counseling men to try these things. Oh my goodness. The men who need this advice are like the boys who need a book on how to play outside.

It's sad really, once I realized you are not trying to be funny. And then, I remembered to thank my stars that I live in a place where Christian men are a critical mass, who simply don't encounter these daily troubles of their own creations.

God bless your career though, and the men who come to you in need of that type of help.

6:00 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

The only thing left to men is to simply leave women. Not even reasonable talking is on the table if the woman is going to simply escalate.

You have to really leave them. And smiling all the way; she has all the cards in her hand. She can get chivalrous males to do her bidding, and that beats your reasonableness and logic by a longshot.

If you don't have the courage, get it.

6:08 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger MarkD said...

You will be treated as badly as you allow yourself to be. That is about as close to a universal truth as I know.

Fixing it after the fact is about as likely as a snake crawling backward.

Choose wisely. I am a happily married guy, going on thirty-five years with my first, and only, wife. I have never disrespected her or been shown disrespect by her. She left her friends, family, language and country to build a family and a life with me. I'm still in awe.

There are miracles. Find yours.

6:40 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

This is probably the best post Helen has put up. I knew eventually she'd get around to it, giving her readers solid tools to improve a relationship rather than dissecting over and over again what is wrong with American women.

6:42 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger randian said...

Men are taught aggression of any kind, even reciprocal aggression (let's never forget that a woman who is acting as described is indeed being aggressive), towards women is unacceptable. We have feminists seriously pushing for making raising your voice to a woman count as "domestic violence". Is it any surprise men withdraw rather than fight?

6:45 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

"For example, your mother says all men suck and never do any housework. Say, "I'm a guy and that makes me wonder if you like me much." Watch the startled look as mom realizes that she might be acting like a bad mom. ""

Respectfully helen,
you're not the mother of one son, nevermind several. Your Mom here is not going to startle, and suddenly realize you are a man, just because you assertively point that out.

She is going to laugh at you, and toss you a dishrag. (Or show you how to work the vacuum, clean a toilet after yourself, or do a load of laundry.)

"It's not that I don't like you, hon. I'm your mother, I love ya. It's that you're not pulling your own weight around here. Now be a good dear and either clean up after yourself, or go find a place of your own."

If these men ever realize they indeed have two legs and can take care of their own needs, look out! Sadly though, that's not the advice being given here.

I think you really have to start with all the men falling for the bitches. If you teach them --early! -- it's not about the boobs or the sex, chances are they will choose wiser. And then not be locked into a poor relationship, or be asking the State or taxpayers to support their offspring.

Look to the happy men, on their first wives decades of years later. "Do Unto Others" works for marraiges and relationships too.

If you choose to bed a bitch, you get what you choose. Sorry boys, but them's life in the real world. And the sooner you learn to take care of yourself, it's amazing how quickly the freedom comes...

Plus, you don't even need a female of your own to procreate these days: the only things standing in your way of happiness fellas really is your own choices and mindsets! Choose wisely and you won't be turning to a professional woman with your woes!

6:55 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

ps about the title:

Isn't it usually vaginas that fold, and penises that stick it out?

6:56 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger Michael K said...

I think you make some good points. My first wife seemed to be in competition with me from the time I settled on what I wanted to do and gained confidence from success. Unfortunately, we were already married by that time. We married at 21 (me) and 20 (her). That, of course, was before the Pill.

She did not argue but just got quiet and would not speak to me. I found myself apologizing for things that I hadn't done, just to make peace. By that time, I was a busy surgeon and just wanted peace and quiet at home. I suspect that is a common theme.

We finally divorced after 18 years and she thinks it was another woman. In a way, it was as I had met a nurse who seemed to know what my life was like. After we were married, she told me that she had no idea how many times the phone would ring every night I was on call. She was an ICU nurse but had no idea. She was actually a better wife to me in terms of what I needed to do, like entertaining friends and social contacts. My first wife had alienated people.

The second wife had a crazy streak, which began as jealousy and went on to near psychosis. She was going to two therapists, a psychiatrist and a PSW, at the same time. The psychiatrist got her on Xanax, for which I would cheerfully wring his neck. That lasted nine years.

Then I was in a weird relationship with another nurse for 23 years until recently. I finally sold the house and moved, leaving her a bit in the lurch, but she is now coming to visit me on weekends.

My dog and I get along fine. I did get five great kids from the relationships and that made it worthwhile. My two sons have little use for their mother, all of this since adulthood and long after the divorce. She just has a hard time with males, including her grandson. We are on friendly terms and have even taken a couple of trips together.

The second wife remarried to a well-off guy. She told him I thought she was crazy and he told her that his ex-wife was even crazier. We also get along fine and she is convinced that we will be together in the next life (reincarnation).

I have decided that dogs are easier to understand.

7:01 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger Tether said...

Sorry, Michael K, but you sound like alimony central. You probably don't even care about the money you forked over to these women - bizarre.

7:07 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger namae nanka said...

Mother Mary

"I think you really have to start with all the men falling for the bitches. "

Indeed, bitches abound.

"Do Unto Others" works for marraiges and relationships too."

yeah right. how's that working out for ya?

"Isn't it usually vaginas that fold, and penises that stick it out?"

Your selection seems to be a bit off, boobs stick out always, as do asses; of course when penises do they make a stronger statement. not much unlike a man flaring up once in a while after mostly retreating from a perpetual nag.

7:07 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:13 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

If you have a woman whose tactic is to escalate - or just go directly to slapping you in the face - YOU may well go to jail someday.

Huh, you don't get it? SHE attacks and YOU go to jail?

The neighbors - or your lovely wife - may simply call the cops. Once the cops come out on a "domestic", your only hope is that they are rational.

There is a case recently (on YouTube, by the way) in which the cops themselves recorded audio of the encounter. The man was talking to them reasonably, but made the mistake of asserting his rights. The cops can be heard discussing whether to "jump him". And they decided they would for the fun of it.

If your wife beats you up or even escalates, you could well go to jail.

7:15 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

And to a far lesser extent, you could also get beaten up by the cops. I agree that is relatively rare, but it also happens. The mechanism is that cops would be shamed by society for beating up women, but they are encouraged by society for beating up men accused of something against women.

I have to believe that most law enforcement officers are correct in their behavior and want to see injustices righted. But a small minority that is in the job for the wrong reasons will always filter through, and they could be the ones showing up in response to the 911 call of your lovely wife.

7:20 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

But if you're a man, go for it.

Real men pay alimony until they are destitute, real men escalate with women and then get their skulls caved in with a police baton, and real men have no control over their actions.

7:22 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

Dr. Helen,

thanks for posting this. It's interesting to see how people react and what they say about these things.

Mary, I'm having difficulty figuring out where you're coming from. For example, you said the following:

It was funny to a point, but then I realized you are honestly counseling men to try these things. Oh my goodness. The men who need this advice are like the boys who need a book on how to play outside.

It's sad really, once I realized you are not trying to be funny. And then, I remembered to thank my stars that I live in a place where Christian men are a critical mass, who simply don't encounter these daily troubles of their own creations.

Would you mind explaining what you mean by these two paragraphs?

7:55 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

dunkelzahn4prez,

I would characterize Mary as "insulting but guarded".

She is not going to expand to give you a handle to counter her with. She is simply going to shame men in general and make it sound like she is surrounded by real men. Meaning men who do exactly as she commands.

Don't spin your wheels.

8:00 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

JG and randian have also highlighted the structural and systemic problem men face if they are trying to resolve difficult situations in their relationships. Men have no leverage in these situations, and the risks that attend standing up for yourself (or even protecting yourself) as a man are extremely high, as they both pointed out. All it takes is one phone call to the police and your life can be ruined, whether you deserve it or not.

8:08 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

JG

You could be right, but I usually try to give people at least one opportunity to explain themselves. Maybe that's not always warranted.

8:11 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

dunkel, good of you to try. We have just been here longer and seen this ad nauseum. Watch!

And good posts pal.

Trey

10:32 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger Michael K said...

Tether, no alimony although I did walk away from everything I owned twice. I actually have been friends with both of them since but I decided I had done that once too often. What has cost me is educating five kids. It's only money. I have enough for me. And kids are worth it.

10:47 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger Michael K said...

Actually, I've had a couple of women tell me they couldn't decide to marry me or ask me to adopt them. It's been mostly fun.

10:49 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:56 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:57 PM, February 08, 2011  
Blogger pdwalker said...

*cracks knuckles*

Good advice. Let's see how it goes.

7:07 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

Thanks, Trey, much appreciated.

8:19 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger David said...

Throughout most of history and prehistory, escalating anger directed at a man meant the threat of imminent violence. Hence, it seems likely that being on the receiving end of verbal assaults leads to a surge of adrenaline feeding the fight-or-flight response. Verbal conflicts among women are less likely to lead to violence; hence, the phenomenon is probably less marked in their case.

10:29 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

How do men explain why they often withdraw from their wives rather than arguing hard for a win? A man might say that he wants to "do what's right," or he does not want to "get his wife upset." He might say, "It is no use arguing with her because it just makes her mad"

Let's rewrite this paragraph so that it exposes the true nature of the author and Helen's own blindness:

How do abused women explain why they often accept being abused rather than standing up for themselves and leaving? A woman might say that she wants to "do what's right," or she does not want to "get her husband upset." She might say, "it is no use arguing with him because it just makes him mad."

If a woman made these comments every psychologist, social worker, police officer, and judge worth his or her salt would be telling her - and would be correct in doing so - that she is in an abusive relationship (whether there's physical violence or not) and that she ought to get out of it as those are textbook excuses that abused people make. Such comments clearly indicate that the woman is afraid of her husband - which is an obvious sign that abuse is taking place.

However, if a man made those comments, at least two psychologists would not only not tell him that he is being abused but would actually tell him that he's just not trying hard-enough to change her behavior. Comments that were indicators of abuse when a woman made them become reasons for why a man should try to change his wife's (or girlfriend's or sister's or mother's and so on) behavior.

Telling men that they ought to try to change their abuser's behavior using passive-aggressive responses is complete bullshit. If a man is in a relationship with a woman who is abusing him emotionally, it probably won't be too long before she starts to abuse him physically - and you know it.

MarkD put it best when he said that "you will be treated as badly as you allow yourself to be." He is absolutely correct. The difference between a person who is being abused and one who isn't is their response to the abuse. People in abusive relationships let themselves be abused. They make every excuse in the book to try to justify why they haven't left their abuser (the best ones involve justifying their acceptance of the abuse on the grounds that it's better for the kids to be in a household where abuse is taking place and that they're afraid of being killed if they leave (the irony is that someone who will kill you if you leave will probably end up killing you eventually anyways)). People who aren't in abusive relationships (aside from those who've been lucky-enough to have never been in one) aren't in abusive relationships because they refused to make excuses for other people's behaviors. They realize that the only behavior that they're responsible for is their own; that they are in control of their own lives.

As for me, I deal with this problem by turning girlfriends who think they can abuse me into ex-girlfriends who thought they could abuse me. I have a zero tolerance policy for bullshit of any kind. You either are or aren't being abused; there's no middle ground (you can't be "kind of" abused). Of course, if you're deathly afraid of having to actually spend time with your own thoughts and instead need to get into any relationship as fast as you can so that you can use it as a convenient excuse for not dealing with your own problems then my method is definitely not for you.

10:30 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

i will reiterate for those who still think that women`s brains operate that differently....women are not stupid, they are capable of holding executive level jobs like men, are capable of thinking sharply in business, finance and law, and they are capable of manipulating others for personal gain...also like men.

where this all breaks down is where a man fails to notice the hostile bitch under the lacy dress and bright green eyes who is really interested in him...and he`s had a drink or two, and loses all sense of reason.

he forgets to do the psych test first by asking things like "how come a pretty girl like you is single?" and waiting for the answer.

and she will tell you.

it will emerge in subtle things like the twisting of the mouth and the tightening of her little delicate fists when she demonstrates how she`d like to pound her ex into the dirt if she could.

and you could be next!

people who like themselves and have dealt with conflict will answer differently than that, i assure you, and if you think that paying that much attention to facial expressions and body language in a person when you ask them a difficult question is too much work, or not the thing you do while talking to women socially, then you are asking for what you get.

the song sung to me as a child went something like; snakes and snails and puppy-dog tails, that`s what little boys are made of...and sugar and spice and all things nice, that`s what little girls are made of.

i grew up eventually.

11:05 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

Tmink: I find it fascinating the regular posters of Mary, JG, Tether and JBowen are showing up in force on a post outlining a way for men to effectively change behavior in order to achieve positive results in their relationships with women.

11:14 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

"Would you mind explaining what you mean by these two paragraphs?"

Sure. I mean, it's very sad to me as a person, not just a woman, to see so many men struggling to ... walk away. Don't try to change others: change yourself.

Or better yet, don't get yourself into those types of situations.

The advice to the nagging mother, "Mom. Do you mean me? Please, that hurts my feelings" is sad. How about counseling men not to get themselves into such DEPENDENT situations in the first place?

ie/ If you NEED a woman to cook and clean for you, then you can't walk away from such verbal abuse. How about changing yourself -- choosing the right woman, waiting until you know whom you are marrying and impregnating -- to become a more independent fella, so that it is possible to get yourself out and away from such types, without having to play the woman-victim yourself. "Stop. Respect me. Now. Now more hurting my feelings!"

How about "Walk away, or better yet don't involve yourselves with such types to begin with?"


CHAM: Sorry, but in no way am I a "regular poster" here. Nor a regular reader even. Just caught this "advice" and found it wanting. Back here to explain my comments since someone upthread asked. No need to continue discussing me though -- I'm sorry if this was a "boys only" safe space though, and you didn't want women to offer up their thoughts.

Remember: it's a big world out there guys. Walk away and find something better. You don't need to read a book, or see a professional counselor generally, to understand that instintually.

11:25 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

"Men have no leverage in these situations, and the risks that attend standing up for yourself (or even protecting yourself) as a man are extremely high, as they both pointed out. All it takes is one phone call to the police and your life can be ruined, whether you deserve it or not."

Above = recipe for continuing victimhood. Once you start throwing the pity parties for yourself, doesn't matter whether you are man or woman, you're stuck in the victimhood rut if you think you've nothing to gain by protecting your own intersts and self.

11:26 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

"People who aren't in abusive relationships (aside from those who've been lucky-enough to have never been in one) ..."

Replace "smart" for "lucky" above, and you'll begin to see the difference between accepting responsibility and thereby being in a position to make changes in your OWN life, and just passively accepting what "luck" has tossed into your marital or pre-marital bed...

Remember: they can't tear down the castle if you refuse to let the destructive ones in. Good luck, guys. Nobody ever said life would be easy, for either sex.

11:30 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

"She is simply going to shame men in general and make it sound like she is surrounded by real men. Meaning men who do exactly as she commands."

Um, if you feel "shamed" by me, that's 100% on you, friend. I don't even know you, so my comments weren't meant to touch a delicate nerve.

LOL @ "men who do exactly as she commands". Um, I think you have me mixed up with the leather domme down the hall??? Lol.

11:31 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger Helen said...

J. Bowen,

I am telling men to stand up for themselves, rather then letting a woman walk all over him. Why is this a problem? A confrontation with a spouse or girlfriend is not necessarily abuse. It may just be a conflict. Couples have them all the time. I am telling men to address the conflict rather than walking away. Walking away and pretending nothing happened insures that the crummy behavior may happen again and it might escalate. Telling the woman to think about what she is saying/doing is reasonable--and giving a chance for change, just as a woman should give a man a chance for change. If she doesn't stop, I think one has to re-evaluate whether they even want to be with such a person--and leave is necessary. Your mistake is thinking that every argument is "abuse." It is not. It should be addressed. I would give the same advice to women.

11:34 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

Mary,

I appreciate you taking the time to respond and clarify your comments, although I don't agree with everything you said. I don't have time at the moment to fully respond but likely will later.

11:42 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger randian said...

Your mistake is thinking that every argument is "abuse." It is not.

Whether it is abuse is irrelevant. What matters is what she tells others it is. Men don't win he said, she said conflicts with women, especially if the legal system gets involved.

11:47 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger randian said...

Your mistake is thinking that every argument is "abuse." It is not.

Whether it is abuse is irrelevant. What matters is what she tells others it is. Men don't win he said, she said conflicts with women, especially if the legal system gets involved.

11:47 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger CSPB said...

The key for men is to maintain the “frame” (not get sucked into a defensive posture to her drama) and to not REACT. He should still "be present."

A female blogger that I respect put it this way, "Oh, yeah. I’ll try to create some serious drama, and he’ll be like, “Excuse me. When will dinner be ready? Can we discuss your impending torrid love affair later? I’m very hungry, and it’s so hard to concentrate with an empty stomach.” Then I’ll laugh and go finish cooking dinner, and that is that. Then I’ll think, “My, wasn’t I being silly?” He has nerves of steel!"

Notice how he didn't enter her framing of the issue and didn't REACT. Of course if it is something REAL, they will later have a conversation, but if the situation was due to being momentarily emotionally overwhelmed, then a potential major blowup has been avoided.

He also used a bit of "Agree and Amplify" (absurdity) in his response to her, which tends to make people laugh, which reduces tension and de-escalates.

Relationship maintenance is an artform.

11:59 AM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger Southern Man said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:19 PM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger Southern Man said...

GUYS: You need to understand that women MUST HAVE unconditional love from their men and men MUST HAVE unconditional respect from their women. See Ephesians 5:22-33 and Eggerichs' book "Love and Respect." I didn't really understand this for a long, long time (in spite of knowing that verse since childhood) and believe it was a central factor in the end of my 16-year marriage.

And read Chateau Renegade (formerly Roissy in DC), including the archives and comments. It may open your eyes.

One interesting result of finally understanding and applying these ideas is that, like Michael K above, our three children gravitate to me and have little use for their mother (who is remarried to a man she says she loves but doesn't respect...)

[previous comment deleted due to bad formatting, hopefully fixed here]

12:21 PM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger LPF said...

"For example, your mother says all men suck and never do any housework."

My mother said basically that to me once about my father. I looked her right in the eye and asked: "when's the last time you mowed the lawn?"
She hasn't mentioned it since.

12:27 PM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger Helen said...

LPF,

Great comeback and you haven't had to deal with her hostility about men since. That's great.

randian,

I understand that a woman can tell others a man is abusive. However, how is staying silent going to help? She can say that he was abusive for not doing anything or make something up. I do think that from the start of a relationship, if the man lets a woman know that he will not put up with negative behavior, she will not do it as much. You can't spend your life being afraid that you will irritate a woman and end up in jail. That is a jail sentence in itself. I have seen men stand up for themselves and win--whether that be in a verbal confrontation or in divorce court. You cannot let fear make you a hostage,either to a woman or to the government.

1:18 PM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

Southern Man --

"GUYS: You need to understand that women MUST HAVE unconditional love from their men and men MUST HAVE unconditional respect from their women."

Sorry, nothing is unconditional.

2:07 PM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger Josh said...

Southern Man said...
GUYS: You need to understand that women MUST HAVE unconditional love from their men and men MUST HAVE unconditional respect from their women.

. . .
Preach on! I agree with you, but there is a necessary precondition to reaching the level of exchanging love and respect. That prior level is what we are talking about now.

I would describe it is the ability to get along day to day treating each other as more or less equals. This requires both parties to be able give and take in discussions and arguments in order to reconcile issues.
It is pointless and frustrating to try to work on a higher level of functioning before building this basic level. When either party escalates, it is impossible.
The only major difference is that in addition to resorting to verbal or physical escalation, women can attack legally and financially without recourse.

Think of the basic level as two countries negotiating over trade, borders, fishing rights. When they both send diplomats to talk it out over lunch, things get solved.
If one country starts threatening to invade or use nuclear bombs (when the other country doesn't have any), not so much. That's the rub.

2:21 PM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger MB said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:59 PM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger Helen said...

MB,

I have no idea what you are talking about. Are your posts not showing? If so, that is a blogger problem.

6:26 PM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger Goober said...

Oginicella stated:

Sorry, nothing is unconditional

I wonder, then, what condition you could imagine that would make me stop loving my infant daughter.

In other words: I beg to differ

8:04 PM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger Goober said...

As for the discussion on escalating anger and men folding, I’ve seen it first hand – I had a college roommate who was horribly abused, both physically and psychologically, by his girlfriend. People jeered him for being a pussy because he couldn’t stand up to her. He was told that a real man wouldn’t let his girl be so unhappy. In short, he was told that it was all his fault.

Women today are fed a line of bull about the way things work. Their fathers, teachers, mothers, and pastors are all complicit, and it does them as much a disservice as it does the men in their lives. They are given the “princess syndrome” by doting fathers and fairy-tales that tell them that their man will be a knight in shining armor come to protect them from all of life’s ills, while at the same time, they resent him for that because that makes him too much of a father-figure and the modern feminist movement has indoctrinated them to believe that this is wrong, too. In short, the poor men in their lives can’t win – they are either contemptible, lamentable half-men who can’t support her way of life, or they are overbearing a-holes who stifle them too much. There is no middle ground.

What I found is that even my lovely wife had a bit of this in her when we first started off, but I wouldn’t accept it, didn’t fold, and refused to let her walk away thinking that what she’d done was right. I explained to her the unfairness of what she was demanding, and forced her to put herself in my shoes and consider the lose/lose situation that she was forcing on me. It didn’t take long for her to realize that she had been deceived without even knowing it, and she changed. 13 years later, we rarely ever argue, and she looks at all the women who haven’t realized that they’ve been duped with pity. The modern woman is raised to be an unhappy harpy, and it takes someone to point that out to them in whatever manner that they can understand to remedy that. You can hate them all you want. I simply pity them, because they were deceived into a life of misery by nearly every influence in their development.

8:17 PM, February 09, 2011  
Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

Here are a few thoughts as the comments on this post start to wrap up:

Mary - When you said: "Oh my goodness. The men who need this advice are like the boys who need a book on how to play outside" there are lot of things that struck me as wrong about this. Imagine a man who's told all his life that if he can't cut down a tree and bring it 50 miles out of the woods, then he's not a man. He's told this essentially every day for decades, but not taught a single thing about lumberjacking. One day the people who have been saying this to him drop him into the midde of a forest with no axe, no vehicle, no means of communication, nothing but the clothes on his back. The last thing said to him as he's left in the forest is that if he can't cut down a tree and bring it 50 miles out of the woods, then he's not a man.

Do you expect this man to cut down a tree and drag it 50 miles? Do you believe that he's pathetic because he can't? Do you believe that he's not a man because he can't?

It might not be a perfect analogy, but I hope the point is clear enough.

8:04 AM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

MB - there was a problem with Blogger off and on all day yesterday. If you cleared your cache and/or restarted your browser it should have cleared up.

8:05 AM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

Mary and Southern Man -

As to your respective statements about being surrounded by Christian men, and citing the verse from Ephesians, a couple of things occurred to me. The first is that some of the absolute worst relationships I've observed, marital and otherwise, in terms of a bullying woman and a broken man, were among practicing Christians.

The second comment, which perhaps is why I've observed the first, is that the Ephesians passage has been very badly distorted and misused. The common modern reading stops immediately after the "husbands love your wives part," with the "wives submit yourselves to your husbands" part dismissed as some kind of misogynistic artifact. It's a gross misinterpretation, but there it is.

If the second part isn't read out entirely, the love part gets read as "men, submit yourselves to your wives, do whatever they want, and don't ever do anything that makes her mad or upset or unhappy." The corollary to that is if the woman doesn't hold up her end of that verse, then it's entirely the man's fault for not showing enough love, or being enough of a man, or whatever the reason is, so the woman is neither responsible nor accountable for her actions.

Again, it's a gross misinterpretation, but it's also not uncommon in Christian circles. There are entire books and men's groups based on this premise, either wittingly or unwittingly. It's a terrible disservice to men, in my view, but it's definitely out there and people get sucked into it.

8:25 AM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

Whew! My fingers are getting tired...

Goober - great comment. +1 all the way. I'm happy for you that you could set the right stage early in your marriage and that things have worked out since. You're fortunate that your wife had enough insight and empathy to understand and act on what you were saying. That isn't always the case.

Didn't mean to hog the comments, folks. Carry on...

8:33 AM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

dZ:

To me, you forgot the most important part (which is why I indeed prefer to live where practicing Christians are a critical mass): the fearing, bowing down to GOD part. See that has to come first. The FAMILY respects God's ways. The man who puts God above himself -- presumably acting in God's ways according to this scripture -- then indeed is one to be "obeyed", as his practices within his family are following God's way -- the humble kind route. That Father is the New Testament version -- loving, forgiving. If a man models his behavior in this way, then the woman/man love/respect/cherish/obedience part naturally falls into play.

So many forget the God part there though, and thin the Scriptures are just commanding us to follow he with a penis, as opposed to the Man acting himself in God's image. Get the distinction?

----------------

Re. your lumbering analogy.

That's specialized knowledge. Any man or young man who really is ignorant in ways of woman, how to treat them, how to be treated by them, whom to model his behavior after... must not have attended schools, or any churches in his area, nor can he find one role model to observe in his daily life?

That is, indeed it might be hard for a city man thrown into the wolves to find the resources and practical knowledge to uproot a tree and bring it 50 miles.

Luckily, learning how to be a good person and partner is not so difficult today. The resources are there: community help, political taxpayer financed programs for How to Be a Dad, How to Have a Good Family, How to Escape Abusive Relationships.

There are churches on pretty much every corner in so many towns today, going unused by so many of these who need remedial human relationship help. There are classes, and so much has been injected into our taxpayer-financed public school system about where to find help for any personal relationship problem from bullying on down...

I simply don't believe that the young man in our society today looking to find a healthy relationship and a trustworthy partner is in the same situation as the young man abandoned in the woods with no practical knowledge.

"God helps those who help themselves". Funny how that works, how you suddenly find the help you need the day you decide to stop being a victim, and refusing to accept that you are in a "picked on" class (here: men) that has no hope of succeeding.

Heck, even Dr. helen, who makes her career money off of such situations it seems, doesn't counsel passivity and continuing acceptance with no hope out there.

9:48 AM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

I think Mary resides in the town of Lake Woebegone, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.

What else can explain her attitude?

9:50 AM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

Most of the time I don't agree with Mary but if you read closely her latest post, the one immediately above this one, I can agree with her point. If you think of yourself as a perpetual victim then you become one. Dr. Helen makes some very valid points to and give good advice. Why are some people so threatened about the idea of politely and clearly standing up for themselves within a romantic relationship? Do they think holding discomfort within oneself is a better path or perhaps passive aggressive torment is a more productive tactic?

10:45 AM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger E. Steven Berkimer said...

Mary,

You make some good points, but the way the legal system is currently set up, women don't have to modify thier behavior, and can pull the trigger at any time with a well placed DV call to 911, and the man is screwed. Doesn't matter if he did anything at all. Women currently hold all the cards in what is currently called marriage (or any kind of relationship).

Even those fine updstanding Christians your keep rambling on about.

12:31 PM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger Goober said...

Dunkelzahn stated:

You're fortunate that your wife had enough insight and empathy to understand and act on what you were saying. That isn't always the case.

Were it not the case, then she would never have become my wife. I don't see it as being fortunate, so much as being careful. Yes, it would have been a little unfortunate if she'd been unable to see the error of her ways and change them because we would have split up, but it would have been even more unfortunate if I'd decided to ignore those issues and marry her anyway.

When someone tells you who they are, you must listen. A woman who has been deceived into unhappiness who chooses to listen to someone who points that out to them is an intelligent, adaptive person, and is marriage material. A woman who chooses to bullheadedly ignore this and continue down the road to this unhappiness that she has created for herself is quite simply not.

This isn't limited to discussions about women, either. Men can go down self-destructive paths just as easily, and it is the measure of that man's character if he chooses to fix it or not when it is pointed out to him.

As it stands, I would risk everything I have for my wife, and I love her deeply, and a great part of that love comes from the admiration I feel for her having been strong enough to understand and adapt when her choices were making her and me unhappy.

That being said, i would also like to point out that I was almost certainly not perfect at the beginning of our relationship, and had taken similar selfish pathways. It was a give and take and we are both happier for having left behind the self-destructive ways in which we were headed./

12:53 PM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

SGT Ted:
Close! ;-) But I'm in northern Wisconsin, not Minnesota. There still are plenty of good places left in the US, if you're not satisfied with what you've got where you're at, you know.

CHAM: Thank you.

E. Steven: With that self-defeating attitude, I predict you are exactly right. The women will always win in court if men like you continue to believe it's absolutely impossible for men to get a fair shot, so why bother trying? Self-fullfilling expectations, and all that...

1:46 PM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger Mary said...

"Even those fine updstanding Christians your keep rambling on about."

Did you want me to apologize for introducing God and the concepts of religious duties into a discussion of what makes family life, and an equal division of labor and sharing between the sexes, possible? Not going to happen. If you stick to your secular ways -- no God noplace notime nowhere -- then you'll indeed have to rely on secular justice alone to help you.

Good luck with that.

1:48 PM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger LPF said...

@Helen "Great comeback and you haven't had to deal with her hostility about men since. That's great."

I wouldn't say it was 'hostility' towards men, or really even my father. She had complained many times over the years that he doesn't help with the 'housework'. And I had gotten used to it, but since I helped my father with a lot of the work around the house up until I left for college - I knew he wasn't some feckless couch potato. So I mostly just ignored her. I'm not even sure what made me pick that day (it was years ago) to stand up for him. I guess I just realized that she took it for granted that the lawn looked nice, the mulch was laid, the hedges were trimmed, the house was painted, the garage and driveway were swept, the leaves were raked, the cars were always washed and waxed, the fluids and filters changed, the tires rotated, the snow tires on for winter, the sidewalk shoveled, the woodbox stocked... all the stuff dad did to keep the house & cars together after he had put in his 40+ hours... she never noticed. All she noticed was that he didn't help with the laundry or the cooking and cleaning. All it took was my little inspired flash of passive aggression to wake her up to the fact that he had been doing those things without complaint (or hired help) for 35+ years... and if he sat his arse down on the couch Sat & Sun to watch football after all that was done, maybe that wasn't too much for him to ask.

3:27 PM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

the word of god vs. secular justice...and man walks in between.

thanks for making the distinction mary. that clarifies a lot for me.

living with a moral and ethical code has challenged me on more than one occasion, but my father`s stubborn "yeah i walk through the valley of death" trip pulled me through every time.

i`m grateful every day that i found a woman who feels like i do about the important things.

4:26 PM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger Michael K said...

One reaction with men in unsatisfactory relationships is to spend more time at work. There was a book written a long time ago that was pretty good. It was called "Why men are the way they are ." It talked about how boys are rewarded for achievement by girls and how the psychology of women looking for providers and men showing that they are, works. I tried to get my wife to read it.

My second wife gave me another book called "Women who love too much." I read it and knew she hadn't because it described her exactly. Those were both pretty good books. They are also the only ones I ever read about relationships so maybe I'm not a judge.

9:22 PM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger E. Steven Berkimer said...

If you stick to your secular ways -- no God noplace notime nowhere -- then you'll indeed have to rely on secular justice alone to help you.

Good luck with that
.



I love self righteous people, who think they have all the answers.

At no point, did I ever say I did or didn't believe in god. You have absolutely no clue what I believe.


http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm


Might be worth reading, Mary, before you swallow your foot, not just put it in your mouth.

11:00 PM, February 10, 2011  
Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

Looks like I have a few things to add to my reading list.

I agree that we have to take responsibility for ourselves, no question. However, I disagree with Mary's apparent premise that men have all the responsibility and women have none. I also question her premise that dealing with women, especially difficult ones, is an innate, instinctive, and easily-developed ability. If it were, there wouldn't be so many men without it. There also wouldn't be so many sources to get help in developing this ability, as she points out in apparent contradiction of her own premise.

Cham - I don't think that acknowledging a real and significant risk to men who assert themselves equates to assuming the mantle of perpetual victimhood. Saying that glibly disregards the existence of a genuine problem.

Regarding your statement "Why are some people so threatened about the idea of politely and clearly standing up for themselves within a romantic relationship?" I don't think the threat is from the idea, the threat is from what can and does happen when they do stand up for themselves. This is not to say that a) people shouldn't stand up for themselves or that b) they should continue to tolerate being treated badly. However, like most creatures, people tend to withdraw from or avoid painful or negative stimuli.

8:56 AM, February 11, 2011  
Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

LPF - Good for you. If I'd said something like that, it would have been Armageddon...

8:58 AM, February 11, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

Cham wrote: "I find it fascinating the regular posters of Mary, JG, Tether and JBowen are showing up in force"

Do you think one or more of them is a sock puppet?

I read JG and Jbowen every time they post, Tether too although I read his more for giggles.

Mary's posts I avoid. Life is short and I try to avoid certain things.

Trey

10:03 AM, February 11, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

I don't think any of them are sock puppets. However, I do think there is a tiny vocal group of people (in this specific case on this comment section: a few men) that get very very upset when a suggestion of behavioral change of any member of their demographic(in this case: Any potential man) might be beneficial to them, as opposed to a more pleasing idea that everyone else in society should change to accommodate their demographic.

In this case, Helen suggests men verbally confront their romantic partners when their feelings are hurt. Some of these posters(excluding Mary) want nothing to do with verbal discussions about feelings, urge men to avoid romantic relationships, avoid any difficult discussions about feelings or want men to take a hard-line controlling approach to their relationship. When Helen starts talking about inward changes in men, these posters tend to appear.

1:57 PM, February 11, 2011  
Blogger Bill said...

YOU WANT THE REAL ANSWERS??

==========================

I appreciate your insight and honesty on this topic but I'm afraid there is a fundamental misconception about men who love their wives or girlfriends.

Men have a very basic fight or flight instinct. All of today's cultural PC indoctrination will not erase it even though it may "dull" it some. When you combine that with a man's natural instinct to protect his wife or girlfriend (in spite of the "angry man" propaganda) there is generally only one answer. Leave the conflict.

A PHYSIOLOGICAL REACTION TO CONFLICT

Here is a physiological truth. In a conflict men's blood pressure rises quickly. That is part of the fight or flight response. It is a medical fact and creates a situation where automatic responses can overwhelm how to act. So, when a man is caught up in a conflict with the woman he loves he will not fight back unless the relationship has become highly toxic. He only sees one response --, flee.

In spite of the lying domestic violence propaganda men will flee from the conflict because the alternative is to fight. It creates a MASSIVE internal problem to fight with the person you are supposed to protect.

Over time however the dis-respect, arguments, badgering, cold shoulder, and other tactics begin to break down BOTH of those natural responses. Once that happens the relationship moves from dysfunctional to toxic to ended, or worse, violence.

Dr. Martin Fiebert's study from the University of California proves that it is often women who instigate the violence. Apparently in our society when a man refuses to fight with them they now start throwing the punches.

======================

http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

SUMMARY: This bibliography examines 275 scholarly investigations: 214 empirical studies and 61 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 365,000.

6:34 PM, February 11, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

Cham, I had not noticed that before.

Trey

7:06 PM, February 12, 2011  
Blogger Malcolm said...

"It's not that I don't like you, hon. I'm your mother, I love ya. It's that you're not pulling your own weight around here. Now be a good dear and either clean up after yourself, or go find a place of your own."
(snip)
I think you really have to start with all the men falling for the bitches.


And it looks like you're one of those bitches.

Your "standards" of so-called cleanliness may very well be OCD and are your own damn problem. Clean it yourself, and stick that dishrag where the sun don't shione, honey. Your overblown sense of entitlement is showing.

8:55 AM, February 14, 2011  
Blogger Society, Culture and Relationships said...

This is a bold article, as it's certainly not culturally acceptable to discuss it on most days. We instead like to ignore the fact that women are human and entirely capable of the same boorish, controlling, dehumanizing behavior as men.

It's true, men do disconnect after a while, doing cost-benefit analysis and realizing the cost in most cases is always long-term punishment.

A man can be railed against all day long and it's "he must have deserved it"" and it's just a woman being a woman.

A man brings up an indiscretion, even calmly and courteously, and you hurt her so bad that you get punished for being a jerk, maybe even retaliated against for some inaccurate perception of the encounter.

Divesting yourself of the situation, relationally (leaving her), in an argumentative way or any other manner will help you remain sane and not shredded.

Not all women are like this but enough are and the world coddles them. Read the book Bad Girls and The Men that Love Them. Details a lot of the mental/behavioral issues.

Michael Toebe
http://www.behaviorandrelationships.com

12:30 AM, February 15, 2011  
Blogger ken in sc said...

I used to teach middle school and high school social studies. Some times boy/girl relationships would come up in class. When it did, I pointed out that respect is more important than love in a relationship. If you want to be happy, I told them, find someone you admire and respect. It does not matter how hot or cool you think they are. I believe I truly loved my first two wives; but I could not trust them around the corner out of my sight. I was right. It is very difficult to respect someone you can't trust. I just thought I could not do any better—and they were both hot. I have now been married for over 25 years to a woman I admire, respect, and love. we sometimes argue, but we get over it.

12:29 PM, February 15, 2011  

Post a Comment

<< Home