Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ellen Tien: Wife of the Year!

Okay, I've had a number of readers email me and commenter papabear linked to this article originating in the Oprah magazine and now brought to you by entitled, "She's happily married, dreaming of divorce." Wife of the year Ellen Tien writes:

I contemplate divorce every day. It tugs on my sleeve each morning when my husband, Will, greets me in his chipper, smug morning-person voice, because after 16 years of waking up together, he still hasn't quite pieced out that I'm not viable before 10 a.m.

It puts two hands on my forehead and mercilessly presses when he blurts out the exact wrong thing ("Are you excited for your surprise party next Tuesday?"); when he lies to avoid the fight ("What do you mean I left our apartment door open? I never even knew our apartment had a door!"); when he buttons his shirt and jacket into the wrong buttonholes, collars and seams unaligned like a vertical game of dominoes, with possibly a scrap of shirttail zippered into his fly....

Don't misunderstand: I would not, could not disparage my marriage (not on a train, not in the rain, not in a house, not with a mouse). After 192 months, Will and I remain if not happily married, then steadily so. Our marital state is Indiana, say, or Connecticut -- some red areas, more blue. Less than bliss, better than disaster. We are arguably, to my wide-ish range of reference, Everycouple.

Nor is Will the Very Bad Man that I've made him out to be. Rather, like every other male I know, he is merely a Moderately Bad Man, the kind of man who will leave his longboat-sized shoes directly in the flow of our home's traffic so that one day I'll trip over them, break my neck, and die, after which he'll walk home from the morgue, grief-stricken, take off his shoes with a heavy heart, and leave them in the center of the room until they kill the housekeeper. Everyman.

Tien's husband may not be Very Bad Man but Tien is a Very Bad Woman or Wife. She says she would not disparage her husband for anything, but she has aired her dirty laundry in front of everyone and disparages her husband in every word she writes. She has called him bad, messy, oblivious and worst of all, announced to the world that she wants to divorce him everyday. Does he know this? Does he care? Does she give a damn about his feelings?

I hope one day that Will is strong enough to file for divorce from a woman who does not love him, for if she did, she would not write this narcissistic diatribe against him and his gender. If I were him, I would take a copy of this article to divorce court as proof of her lack of loyalty and her dishonest feelings toward him. His only crime seems to be smiling too much, being a bit clumsy, and poor choices in women. I would fight for custody of their son and hope that I could have this woman put out of the home, for she is not worthy to be there.



Blogger wolfboy69 said...

Everyman...Funny, I tend to be the one to pick up my wife's shoes from the middle of the floor. I think I want to divorce my wife /sarcasm.

Honestly, she deserves to be divorced. Of course, she won't realize it until it's too late, but the grass isn't always greener. Of course, that will also be his fault.

What a nasty woman. she obviously understands that marriage is a team effort, and I would be willing to bet, she doesn't talk to her husband, as command and berate him.

Watch out everyone, here comes a future cat lady.

3:45 PM, August 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Preventing making a woman's character at issue is precisely why no-fault divorce exists. I doubt he could bring the article as evidence in court.

3:48 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Heather said...

I hope he could bring the article up when he tries to get custody of his son. That woman has no business raising kids.

4:04 PM, August 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


She threw her husband and their marriage under the bus without breaking a sweat.

Just glad I'm not married to her.

4:06 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I posted on this yesterday. Tien is a rather pathetically self-centered person who is only interested in what she gets and not what she gives.

The "every other male I know, he is merely a Moderately Bad Man," is rich. Does she expect to find a good man if she divorces her husband? In her world none exist.

Maybe her husband really was trying to run over her that one time.

4:08 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger flambeaux said...

I read that article the other day and it made me want to vomit. The fact that there is apparently a whole clique of women who are so narcissistic and who hold their marriage vows in such contempt is repulsive. Of course there are men who are no better, but I doubt they are ever so calculating about it.

4:09 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Freeman Hunt said...

This woman's problem is that she's immature. Her immaturity begins with "he still hasn't quite pieced out that I'm not viable before 10 a.m." (Give me a break. Grow up.) and then goes into a teenage-style diatribe over universally petty matters.

This poor man is married to a spoiled ever-child. God help him.

4:29 PM, August 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course there are men who are no better, but I doubt they are ever so calculating about it.

Given the state of child support and divorce courts, most men know they can't afford to be so calculating about it. Given that women's culture appears to approve of this attitude, she'll receive little pushback from those she's likely to listen to.

Btw, am I the only person who objects to use of the word "male" in place of "man"?

4:41 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Jason said...

If she were in my home, she'd be out on the street with a suitcase before the ink was dry.

Although, on the bright side, she DID get a pretty prestigious byline in OPRAH! :D

5:22 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Jason said...

As national magazine writing goes, this article is atrocious. Not because the syntax is bad, but because it's arrogant, self-referential and full-of-itself. Like a sharp high school kid showing off to an English teacher. Common mistake among immature writers.

In this case, though, the congruence between the immaturity of the writer and the writing is astounding.

Writers like that obsessively Google themselves in vanity searches (Hi, mom!). I hope that the comments and reaction in the blogosphere here and elsewhere turn on the lightbulb in her head and save her marriage and her future before she blows it for herself and her family.

Ellen, there is nothing to do now but go to Will, get down on your knees, (redacted), (redacted), (redacted) and (redacted). But more important than that, apologize profusely, repent, and go back to serving and leading the family you have been so richly blessed spite of your own best efforts. Time to recognize that you've hit bottom and ask for help in recovering. From your husband, church, synagogue, higher power, whatever.

Oh. And ditch the so-called "friends" that you've been hanging around with enabling the kind of thinking that justifies you sticking a knife into your husband's ribs.

Those people are poison. So are you. But YOU have the power to change.

So what are you gonna do about it?

5:40 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Derek said...

"Wife of the year"? I didn't vote for her. Did anyone else get a ballot and mine just didn't get delivered?

6:07 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Fingolfen said...

I read this one as well - what a self-absorbed, arrogant, misandric individual.

6:15 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Oprah Magazine ran this piece.

THAT my friends (as McCain would say) is pretty telling.

Oprah Magazine clearly thought this would appeal to it's readers, and I am sure it did. They usually have a good feel for this.

We live in a single motherhood world. This is proof of it. Women, by and large, desire this. I can understand why.

The woman wants absolute freedom, no compromises, does not want/need emotional intimacy, merely sex/stimulation as a consumer good.

That is the way it is, we'll just have to deal with it.

6:57 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Adrian said...

Are we sure Michelle Obama isn't using a pseudonym?

7:09 PM, August 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you people still talk like divorce law is in the 1950's?

Are you not aware that under today's 'no-fault' guidelines that nothing like this article would even remotely interest the court in a dissolution proceeding and/or child custody hearing?

Where have you all been the last 40 years?

7:43 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger PunditJoe said...

She will reap what she sows... unhappiness. Perhaps it is just desserts, but her selfishness and ingratitude can only lead to unhappiness. She will find no comfort or joy regardless of whether she stays or leaves.

I honestly don't know why people choose to make themselves miserable.

7:44 PM, August 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I caught this tagged on the Microsoft Hotmail homepage and read it. What a catchy title: Deeply in love and dreaming about divorce. How could I resist reading it?

Forget the unapoligetically bad writing. I recall one of Dr. H's connected posts from Rachel's blog about why men should never watch HGTV or they'd never get married. What a piece of horrifically anti-marriage drivel! She's "madly" in love with her husband...whom she considers a piece of "male" trash.

If there were a reason for a man to never marry a woman, this is it!

She clearly and shamelessly finds "males" disgusting and sub-human, and yet she hasn't the ovarian fortitude to divorce the craphead.

Please kill me. Now.

And when you're done, kill Oprah for publishing this snivelling tripe.

8:12 PM, August 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wonder if she has one single solitary clue as to what he really thinks of her. It must be cheaper to keep her.

9:14 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

@br549 said... "I just wonder if she has one single solitary clue as to what he really thinks of her. It must be cheaper to keep her."

He probably fantasizes more about divorce and has thoughts worse than her words, but unlike her, he probably doesn't want to hurt her or embarrass her. She should take lessons. After all, the "Moderately Bad Man" as she puts it looks like a saint next to her.

9:30 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger observer said...

Is this woman for real??

Geez, if half of what she says about his behavior is true? A couple of ideas.

1.) She should take him(or convince him to go) to a medical professional and have him evaluated:

A lot of the behaviorial "oddities" she describes would be, in another context, warning signs of mental illness. Or, alternatively, some other functional brain impairment, such as early-onset Alzheimer's disease.


2.) He's "pushing her buttons" as a form of "passive aggression". Also read as: An attempt by him to save his sanity in the face of the proddings and pokings to his psyche by the "woman" (note the quotes) worthy of an Internet "troll".

Or the Wicked Witch of the West.

9:59 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Robin said...

Ms. Tien is the sand in her own vagina. Pure and simple.

1:17 AM, August 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is always surprising to me is that there are a whole lot of men out there who would seem to think this kind of woman is great. And this specific woman even works a bit - there are also plenty of men who pay for their fat-assed wife to just sit at home while she cuts him down. Maybe her husband is one of these types of men. Yoo-hoo for chivalry.

Otherwise, this is just the chip on the shoulder that all too many American women have to one degree or another. I don't find the woman to be unusual; it's just hard to fathom the huge number of men who would marry a pig like that.

2:17 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger JL said...

"I don't find the woman to be unusual; it's just hard to fathom the huge number of men who would marry a pig like that." -jg

Most people do not think in any great depth before they act. Just as this woman is not thinking just how juvenile she comes across or that her husband would be "grief-stricken" if she killed herself on his shoes, men who marry and stay with women like this do not think anything is wrong with it. They just accept "well that's how women are" and that they have to "be the man" according to her wishes.

You're looking at people as having an intellect in relative parity to your own. Imagine cutting out half your brain and the actions of most others will make much more sense.

4:23 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Webutante said...

I'm with you on this one Helen. This is simply the worst.

7:40 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Webutante said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:40 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

In fairness to Tien's husband, I would imagine she put on a much more pleasant show until she had him married. Contrary to popular stereotypes about men being less committed to their marriages, men tend to see love more as a commitment than a feeling, and as a result they suck it up and try to get a long in the face of nonsense like hers. Just because he is trying to honor his vows doesn't mean he doesn't wish he hadn't married her.

8:07 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Larry J said...

There’s a old joke that says men die earlier than women because they want to. Being married to a woman like that would likely cause longing for an early death.

Suppose she does get her cherished divorce - do you think her son will want to live with a misandric man-hater like her? Hope she likes living with a bunch of cats - that’ll likely be the only companionship she’ll have in the future. If I were her husband and read what she wrote about me, well, she wouldn’t have to dream about getting a divorce. It’d be a reality very soon.

Fortunately, I’ve been married to a wonderful woman for 25 years now. We joke with each other a lot but never put each other down, especially in public.

9:08 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger cdh said...

this article is so brutal and over the top toward someone that clearly doesn't deserve it and if read by that person would certainly achieve the goal of a divorce. that being said, i wonder if she's actually married. i'm begining to think it's all made up.

9:40 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Sparks said...

Robin, you managed to sum this up perfectly, with the fewest number of words, and you did it by making me roar with laughter at the same time. Congratulations. Gold medal performance!

As a divorced dad who tried to do whatever he could to keep it together, I agree with you. Some woman, like Tien and my ex, are the source of their own misery and the failure in marriage. By focusing on themselves, they manage to overlook the good qualities in their mate as they bitch about the little things that irk them.

My wife (before she became my ex) and I would have a disagreement over something. It might have been about buying new furniture, or over whether the kids should be grounded for a day vs a full week. Or she'd want to pick a fight about something that my parents did that she didn't think was "appropriate". After recognizing that she was not willing to compromise or give up her viewpoint there were times that I just said, "Well have to agree to disagree." Her response on a few occasions was to suggest that maybe we should just get a divorce. At the time I would just respond with, "What a ridiculous thing to say!! Is that how you feel? Christ!" And then I let it slide.

After what I've been though over the past 9 years, I think I should have handled this much differently.

On the first occasion that she threatened or suggested divorce, I should have silently turned around, packed my bags, and left.

In hindsight, it would have saved me nine years of grief and misery and I can almost guarantee that I'd be in a much happier and healthier place today.

Or... it's even possible that such an action on my part could have "saved" my marriage if it provided enough of a shock to her system that she realized what she had and then fought to make the changes to herself that would get me to come back. A 3-6 month vacation might have done that. I don't know.

Either way, I can attest to the fact that ignoring a mate that is thinking like that is the wrong thing to do. I hope that Tien's husband reads these comments and takes our collective advice. Walk out that door and do not come back, unless you are 110% convinced that your wife's groveling is absolutely sincere.

9:40 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


It sounds like you have a lot of wisdom for other men on how to deal with wives who make their lives miserable. When someone brings up divorce numerous times and makes threats instead of trying to work things out, it's time to realize they are serious or if not, are so poor at communication skills and oblivous to their mates's feelings that it is time to go. It is never a good idea to let threats of divorce slide to keep the peace, for there probably wasn't any to begin with. Men will often put up with anything to avoid a confrontation, this is a mistake, for it leads the partner who is doing the threatening to think they can get away with anything, and their mistreatment will escalate.

10:34 AM, August 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Men will often put up with anything to avoid a confrontation ..."


If they have a childish partner (and I guess you can assume that if she's constantly nagging and using the specter of a divorce as leverage), the only leverage men have is to leave. Attempts at communication may be met with escalation or they may be used to further manipulate him.

If men have a "confrontation" with a [childish] woman, the woman is going to win. Period. Really stupid men are going to go along with her escalation - I think we know what is going to happen to them.

10:46 AM, August 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of women also have a behavior quirk involving "testing" - they will test men to see where the boundaries of their behavior lie.

I don't quite understand why women do that so frequently, but they do.

They are going to act like a spoiled brat to see how you react to it.

10:50 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


"Attempts at communication may be met with escalation or they may be used to further manipulate him."

I think that a question such as "why would you say something so hurtful to me?" in response to I want a divorce etc. would be reasonable. This question may result in a sincere answer such as "I am frustrated, I am sorry, I feel hurt too and this is why."

Decent people are capable of saying things in the heat of the moment that they do not mean. However, if the response is blaming the husband only, talking about his faults, etc., then leaving at that point might make sense. Or if the wife makes these threats constantly and has been told they are hurtful and does not stop, then perhaps leaving is an option. If the person who is supposed to love you has so litle consideration for your feelings that she responds to your hurt with more pain and accusastions, how much trust could you really put in her?

10:55 AM, August 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think that a question such as "why would you say something so hurtful to me?" in response to I want a divorce etc. would be reasonable."


Sure it would be reasonable.

I think a lot of women would counter it with: "Grow up and quit being such a sensitive wimp" or the like. And I especially think that is true if we're talking about childish women who are into nagging and constantly saying they want a divorce without doing anything about it.

If you think about it, mature women wouldn't be acting like the woman who wrote this article anyway.

Once again, I simply can't understand why so many men want to be with childish women, but they do. Maybe it's playing the hero role or something.

11:01 AM, August 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And ... if men en masse simply rejected childish women, you wouldn't see as many as you do. Women would slowly have to change.

But I see men with childish women to the left and to the right of me, and they seem to want that. "That's just how women are".

11:03 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Quasimodo said...

I actually don't believe a word of what she wrote is true. I think it is written for the "humor" ... kinda like Erma Bombeck with an nasty attitude.

That doesn't make it OK though. That she would find this kind of thing funny is indicative of the kind of person she has become. That the magazine would publish it as humor is telling of the kind of people they are. That they thought their audience would find it humorous shows what they think of their audience.

Those people are living in a horrible dark cold world - but they have become so comfortable with it, they don't even know it. Sad.

11:09 AM, August 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that Internet anecdotes are worthless and most are made up, but I've just got to throw this one in, sorry:

I lived with a woman for a brief period around 15 years ago. I told her "you've got to stop the nagging and insults" and her response was that her previous boyfriend was able to take a lot more than I could, so I was a wimp. And she meant it. I couldn't get across the fact that for me, home was supposed to be a place to relax and recharge, not a place to be subjected to constant nagging and insults. It just didn't even register with her.

As an experiment, I kept track of the insults and nagging over a day along with the frequencies and intensities etc. My idea was to work out an approximate plan of nagging and insults towards her that would roughly correspond to the ones towards me - to see if I really was being too sensitive.

The result was: After the very first moderate insult, she exploded to the extent that I thought she was going to have an aneurism. Absolutely screaming at me that I better not dare talk to her again like that; I also thought that she was going to physically attack me.

The experiment was then prematurely aborted.

I was nice to her until I was able to separate and that's what I did. Cute girl, though.

11:20 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


People who throw insults at others and can rarely take even one insult or negative word uttered back to them without going ballistic often have some type of personality disorder. Sounds like a good idea that you got away from this woman.

11:32 AM, August 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just a side note:

There was a case in California around 1990 in which the woman nagged and nagged until the husband moved out and started an affair with his secretary (not sure about which came first).

His name was Dan Broderick and it is interesting that he was both a physician and a lawyer - he made good money suing doctors for malpractice.

Despite being given a house, a car and $20,000 per month in alimony, she was bent on getting him back - and she did by creeping into his house one night and shooting him and his new wife to death.

The bizarre thing is that feminist groups were on HER side, they even protested for her outside of the court house at her trial. They thought that he was the heel for leaving her - but was he supposed to just put up with her nagging and insults for the rest of his life? He certainly provided for her financially, and I just don't understand the feminist notion that he HAS TO also stay with her.

11:40 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Mike said...

Stories like this remind me of the writings a bitter old gentleman hidden in one corner of the internet who describes, with startling accuracy, the borderline personality disorder we see in great numbers in the US today.

I'm not a psychologist, forensic or otherwise, but that guy is, and he seems to have women like this nailed to a 'T' (and the accompanying male behavoir as well).

Unfortunately, his writing is necessarily verbose, but if you've got some spare time, it's worth a look.

I wish I could offer a good quote to get you started, but I shouldn't be taking the time to surf these comments, let alone comment, let alone dig enough to find a good quote.

12:21 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Mike said...

What the heck, I wasted enough time anyway:

The problem is also in concomitant intractable levels of egocentricism and self-gratification. Within this egocentricism recent generation members are maiming each other under the unnatural and inconsistent demands they are making upon one another in their interpersonal relationships. They are making equally unreasonable and inconsistent demands upon the government and social system. The efficacy and importance of personal morality and honesty have been culturally expunged to be replaced with a climate of unreasoned self-indulgence regardless of destructiveness.

12:30 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger pst314 said...

Dan Broderick? A quick google search revealed that Oprah did a sympathetic interview of his murderer, Betty Broderick.

1:16 PM, August 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of feminist groups and general women's groups were sympathetic of Betty Broderick.

She was unquestionably a passive-aggressive nag that never shut her mouth.

He had every right to leave her, naturally, and he had every right to get married again after his divorce. I don't understand how these women think.

1:21 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Personally, I thought the most disgusting part of the article was the attitude that she was somehow brave to voice her atrocious daydreams, and that women in times past thought these things without saying them. Um, no. Maybe people in times past -- men and women -- realized that there's no such thing as a perfect life, and that a good marriage takes effort on the part of both partners.

I also have to wonder why on earth she thinks another man would want her if she left her husband. If I were a man, I'd stay far, far away from a woman like her, even if she looked like Helen of Troy. (And I doubt she does.)

I also have to wonder how someone could be so deliberately cruel as to publish an article like that about their spouse. No matter how you feel about someone, cruelty is never okay.

1:43 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

Elizabeth, the bitch crazy!

Nuff said.


2:38 PM, August 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a lot of women would counter it with: "Grow up and quit being such a sensitive wimp" or the like.

Which happens only because of a rarely spoken of cultural artifact: women are women no matter what they do, but men are men only upon a woman's approval. Alternatively, one might say that being a woman is inherent, but being a man is entirely a social construct. Women wield that knife in a ruthless and often indiscriminate manner in order to shame, ridicule, and otherwise coerce men into doing their bidding. It is effective because men's culture is individualist, but women's culture is collectivist, so men who are subject to this shaming ritual are rarely defended by other men, and never by women.

3:01 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger lovemelikeareptile said...


Feminist groups and women in general think killing a man is a political act, akin to flying a plane into the Twin Towers-- terrorism/evil is justified in the face of oppression. Its not even evil.

Women almost always defend any woman who kills a man-- mo matter what.
Its a political act to them. He deserved it-- he had to. he must have-- or else she would not have killed him. Thats the way 90% of women think.
Just ask them.

3:44 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger lovemelikeareptile said...


Nice job

Women shame men into doing what they want them to by questioning their "manhood" -- and they do it constantly... and to complain about this abusive tactic.. is itself .. unmanly !
Women love to employ " sex role stereotypes" against men, even as they demand that they be liberated from their own.

SO there are a million slurs for men who are "unmanly"-- p****y, wimp, whining, etc and even "uncool" like nerd, geek


calling a woman a "bitch"... is usually traumatic for women, deeply insulting... not as good a manipulation as implying aman is manly.... but a good one nonetheless that puts women on the defensive.

There are a million words for a "loose" woman-- slut, ho, whore, tart etc ... but thats another topic

3:59 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

I've said it before, I'll say it again: and my momma wonders why I'm still a single dude at 45?


4:40 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Peter Dane said...

It's simple gents - don't put up with it. And I mean ZERO tolerance.

Works very well for me. Nobody can treat you like crap unless you allow them to.

5:07 PM, August 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Makes you want to live well, just for the revenge angle if nothing else.

Seems the ones who bitch the most can't get anywhere on their own, eh?

5:23 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

To all,

Did anyone watch Two and a Half Men last night? It was hilarious. Charlie Sheen had a girlfriend, Nina, who tried to change him into a healthy nonsmoking vegetarian. If you know Charlie on the show, you know that he doesn't put up with much crap from women but on this occassion, he did. He started sneaking around smoking and smuggling cheese burgers behind the girlfriend's back. Finally, he couldn't take it anymore and in a vegetarian restaurant told her that he was not going to take it anymore after she became angry that he was not doing as she told him. She told him to be quiet as he was embarrassing her and that was it for Charlie. "YOU SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED," he yelled, "You are trying to change me. She got up and left and Charlie tells the other guys in the restaruant to grow a pair basically when only one older guy was brave enough to applaud. It was brilliant.

Okay, it's just a show, but the point is, that men should stick up for themselves when they feel they are being insulted or trying to be changed into something they are not. So many men hold it in or say nothing and that does not work--unless masochism makes one happy.

5:31 PM, August 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ditched Charlie Sheen from my radar after he came out as a 9/11 "Inside Job" nitwit, but I'll give him credit: he does have a good sense of sarcasm.

I haven't watched TV in 30 years, so I have no idea about this show, but the scenario seems plausible.

Perhaps that's another Dr. Helen topic: "Why do so many women make science projects out of their boyfriends/husbands?" Do women have a Dr. Frankenstein gene?

5:55 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

I haven't seen the show in a fair while (though I do like it enough to have sees it filmed, once), but that reminds me of why I liked it to begin with.

Why do guys put up with this? Because it's easier. That's all. Fighting takes effort, and fighting with someone who is not the person you loved any more is just depressing. Been mulling this for a couple years now, and it's the only common thread that works in a majority of cases. Your mileage may vary.

Becoming who you should be requires paying attention to others' views now and then; but that's not the same as being a toady, puppy dog, or doormat. Will is a doormat. So long as Ellen holds his leash and goes unpunished for her horrifying, hateful behavior, he will remain one.

And on the other side of things, this makes me value my wonderful, thoughtful woman all the more - someone who inspires me to be what I'm supposed to be by her love and devotion.

6:04 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

Kevin M,

Yes, I realize that Charlie Sheen in real life is a 9/11 nutjob, however, he does a good job in this role though and I am surprised at how very non-PC the show is. For example, a recent re-run showed Charlie telling his mother, a mean and narcissistic woman, why he was so angry with her. She was mean, drove their father to an early grave, and showed them no love, he stated. It didn't do much good, of course, but rather than see their mother with rose-colored glasses, the two characters saw her exactly for who she was.

6:45 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Whiskey said...

Men put up with this because women are in short supply.

Particularly in the Coastal Urban areas, professional type women chase after the hot-guy Alpha male until they hit the mid-late thirties, get married, and find among other things not much of a bond to merely the latest in a long line of sex partners, one whom both know well and good was "well, you'll do."

Men put up with this (for now) because of the woman shortage -- decreasing birth rates and the both sex preference for a man 6-7 years older than his mate means men fish in ever smaller pools, and women defacto will share Alpha type guys.

This is just the way it is. The flip side to the woman's complaint (which amounts to the husband is not a "Hot" celebrity) is the casual misogyny which can be shocking first time you hear it, among the nerd class of guys who don't even get married.

I don't blame this woman, her article and that Oprah Magazine found it appealing to the readers is what I find telling. A total lack of any mediating institutions to instruct men and women in the ways of love and marriage, and arrange for them to meet and court in safe, controlled environments.

Gone, gone, gone are the days of the Church social, neighborhood dances, the like. Killed by urban anonymity and highly mobile lifestyles, along with declining religious attendance.

8:46 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger lovemelikeareptile said...

Everybody looking for women needs to move to the South.

You never hear any of this crap from women down here.

Everything I write about is from what I read-- nothing anti-male ever happens down here-- damn it ! People who have too many negative things to say about the opposite sex-- are thought to have personal problems-- and they usually do .

Heck, growing up down South in the 70s -- I never heard any rancor at all between the genders.ZERO. None in colleges in Mississippi ...or Alabama and Texas in the 80s .. . ( the Women's Studies program at Alabama was in historic Manley Hall !! Ha Ha-- now that was an anomalous major at Alabama in the 80s. A feminist was a very odd duck on that campus-- what a joy it was ! I don't think a feminist has ever been sighted at Ole Miss.)

Texas, Louisiania, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee are all great for the babes--

9:18 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger bb said...

On which planet are women in short supply? I live and date in a metropolitan area and frequent several others. Single women in their 20's and 30's aren't in short supply. Very attractive women are, but that's a separate issue. Sane attractive women are in very short supply among thirty-somethings.

Here's something that I've come to realize - and it makes dealing w/ women in romantic situations much easier. You have to dominate them physically and intellectually. I don't mean that you should be controlling or manipulative, or even aggressive. But you can't let them think that they're dominant. This is when they'll become overly critical, controlling and often cruel. Once this starts, the relationship is over.

9:37 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

Helen said... "I think that a question such as "why would you say something so hurtful to me?" in response to I want a divorce etc. would be reasonable."

As jg said, this kind of response is usually met with the "your too sensitive" or "a real man could take it" response. But you're right, it is reasonable.

I've seen many wives (ocassionally, my own) use that strategy. If the wife is hurt by something the husband says then he's a cruel jerk, but if he's hurt but something she says he's not a real man and/or a wimp).

It's not fair, but its how it is. Just one of many double standards (on both sides).

11:06 PM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Hired Geek said...

This article is obviously written in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Often it can be the little irritating things that endear us to our partners, oddly enough. I think if gender were removed or reversed it would make little difference to the tone of the piece. I know I leave my shoes right where they're in the way, and if my husband wrote an article entitled: "Why I Should Divorce That Horrible Woman" because I left my shoes in the middle of the floor I know he'd be joking. Lighten up.

1:26 AM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger Micha Elyi said...

At 4:41 PM, Randian asked, "Btw, am I the only person who objects to use of the word 'male' in place of 'man'"?


Doubly irritating is the person who refers to men in the dehumanizing way Randian points out while scrupulously referring to females as women. Done intentionally or unwittingly, the asymmetry is a mark of a misandrous bigot. I frequently encounter this sort of bigotry in newspaper articles, opinion columns, on-line posts, and even in college lectures and textbooks.

1:40 AM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger Micha Elyi said...

I read Ms. Tien's article supposing that her main point was that making a marriage work requires a physical and emotional effort, that is work. Foolish me. Ms. Tien griped and sniped and closed with a celebration of being a home-wrecker wannabee. Sheesh!

Her main point turned out to be that expecting today's modern Oprah-obeying woman to work at making a marriage -- as she expects her man to do -- is super-unreasonable and an unfair burder to the woman. I doubt that Ms. Tien and her editor at O, The Oprah Magazine would be satisfied to see the turnabout, sex-role reversal of her story in print. (He's dreaming of ditching Ms. Middle-Aged for a trophy wife, perhaps? Oh wait, the anger of women over that very thought inspired polemical books; at least one Hollywood man-bashing flick, The First Wives' Club; and Bidenesque man-slamming legislation of all sorts. I'm still waiting for the pop-culture mongers to make the equivalent flick for men. No, I won't hold my breath waiting for equal consideration.)

2:05 AM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger lovemelikeareptile said...

Hired geek

Riding in to let us all iknow that-
its a joke !
Obviously "tongue in cheek"-- not to be taken literally or seriously.?
She is actually a loving wife, speaking lovingly of her husband endearing foibles !
I , too thought it was Erma Bombeck at first !

No article written by a man about his wife like this would ever be published in a major medium. Only women are allowed to write and utter such abusive rubbish about men and boys.

I wonder if Ms Tien and "O" are in on the Aprils Fools in August.

Stop insulting our intelligence.

3:14 AM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger Magson said...

Sane attractive women are in very short supply among thirty-somethings.

Sadly this seems to be true everywhere.

3:19 AM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger JL said...

"This article is obviously written in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Often it can be the little irritating things that endear us to our partners, oddly enough. I think if gender were removed or reversed it would make little difference to the tone of the piece. I know I leave my shoes right where they're in the way, and if my husband wrote an article entitled: "Why I Should Divorce That Horrible Woman" because I left my shoes in the middle of the floor I know he'd be joking. Lighten up." - hired geek

No, you would be embarassed and angered had your particular flaws been brought to light in a national publication read by millions of members of the opposite sex.

Say your husband wrote about how he can't stand the fact you parade around with your 40-something cottage cheese cellulite-laden ass in the morning, knowing that it spoils his breakfast. Or that you leave your crusty undergarments spread about the bedroom. Or that your new haircut makes you look like an unattractive bull dyke. Or that your cooking could kill a goat...etc. Bear in mind, these insults will be read by millions, and everyone will know exactly who you are with a bit of Google.

And on top of all these insults, from your life partner, he dreams daily of leaving you for these things.

Not so funny now, is it? Don't worry, someone will tell you "lighten up" to make it ok.

4:49 AM, August 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what Hired Geek is trying to say is that any man who says anything negative about this article is too sensitive and not a Real Man (TM).

I for one don't want to take the risk of a woman saying that I am not a Real Man, so I sure as hell am not going to say anything else bad about this article.

5:48 AM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger Sparks said...

Hired Geek, I think that Ellen Tien thinks she's being clever and tongue-in-cheek. But she's not. What's she's doing is not new and original. It's really very funny either. It's typical. If it was a man writing about his own foibles and how he drives his wife crazy by leaving his shoes around so that she trips over them or how he always manages to annoy his wife in the morning, that would be another thing. But Ellen Tien's routine isn't self-deprecating at all, is it? It's done totally at the expense of her husband and she doesn't convince us in the least that she actually appreciates the poor shmuck. We're left with the notion that he should be so lucky that she doesn't follow her dream and leave him. Like she's doing him some kind of favor. Gack!

9:22 AM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Unless I mis-read this, she also claims that he accidentally ran into her.

Now I was also put off by her self centered-ness, but isn't it possible that some of the resentment of her husband stems from the accident? Of course why she doesn't seem to have sought marriage counseling would be a good question.

9:41 AM, August 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that her picture? If so, she looks like she writes. She does not appear to be a happy person, and I would not want to be in the same county as her.

10:17 AM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger Hired Geek said...

Now, I should say - I didn't like this article. I don't think it was well done. But, I think there is a big difference between pointing out some mildly annoying things your spouse does and the hateful things you were saying, jl. She didn't say her husband's physical appearance made her sick. She was complaining that he is a morning person - she's not. She said he leaves things lying around. Who doesn't?

Even if my husband wrote something to the effect of what you wrote, jl (with the exception of the fact that it is my 25-year-old ass that must put him off his breakfast) I think I would have to concede that they are accurate observations. It is accurate to say that there are times when he most likely wonders why he married me and if he wouldn't be better off without me, especially when my body disgusts him, my cooking has poisoned him or when I've run him terribly late (because there are mornings when you couldn't wake me up with a cattle prod). That's human nature. Men do it, women do it - we all do it.

11:09 AM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Unless I mis-read this, she also claims that he accidentally ran into her.

As I said before, considering who he's married to, I'm not sure this was an accident.

2:13 PM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger Sparks said...

OK... here is another wife who's "threatening divorce".

Actually, that's a sad relationship all the way around. Nobody wants to take responsibility... It's Katrina's fault. Actually, what shocks me the most is that they're not going all way up the chain to blame Bush for the breakup of the marriage. :-)

3:03 PM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dr. Helen, you should know that we are all eager to hear your take on Alaska governor Sarah Palin's attempt to abuse the apparatus of state in order to persecute and punish her sister's ex husband.

Your thoughts?

4:50 PM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger JL said...

"Now, I should say - I didn't like this article. I don't think it was well done. But, I think there is a big difference between pointing out some mildly annoying things your spouse does and the hateful things you were saying, jl." - hired geek

Of course you think there is a big difference, things that bother you would be "hateful", things that would bother a man are funny.

Things like being unable to dress yourself, scratching yourself and smelling yourself like some type of primate, being so airheaded that you run people over while driving, being a "moderately bad" person because of your gender. A man does not want to be considered a child, least of all from the person he chose to spend his life with. It is incredibly insulting.

Oh, and lighten up. The stuff I wrote in my last post is not hateful, it's "tongue-in-cheek".

5:22 PM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger MarkyMark said...


I tore up this POS article on my blog. For those interested, they can read my thoughts in their entirety there. Before closing, I will say this: THANK GOD I AM SINGLE!!! This is the paradigm for modern women today, and this is the paradigm for modern marriage today. Any guy who still wants to get married after reading THIS crap deserves whatever happens to him.


6:45 PM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...


"Your thoughts?"

Now we know what it takes to get Democrats interested in men's rights--a woman Republican candidate!

6:50 PM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger Julie said...

I contemplate divorce every day. It tugs on my sleeve each morning when my wife, Ellen, glares at me with her supremely condescending look, because after 16 years of waking up together, she still hasn't quite pieced out that only surly teenagers have the right to be non-communicative until 10:00 am.

10:16 PM, August 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a whiner. Obviously has some strange ideas about what people in general are really like. Bitch. Who needs her?

11:34 PM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger lovemelikeareptile said...


Great stuff, great stuff !

12:02 PM, August 30, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Why do guys put up with it? Kids, that's why. If you want to see your kids every day, you put up with most anything. My brother did for a loooong time, until then he just gave up.

4:37 PM, August 30, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

What a miserable way to live! And worse, what a miserable life to inflict on what sounds like a good man! 'Course, he did choose wonders why.

9:00 PM, August 30, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

Trex -- I'd be eager to hear your thoughts on the matter, given (

[Alaska] Troopers eventually investigated 13 issues and found four in which [Michael] Wooten violated policy or broke the law or both:

- Wooten used a Taser on his stepson.

- He illegally shot a moose.

- He drank beer in his patrol car on one occasion.

- He told others his father-in-law would “eat a f’ing lead bullet” if he helped his daughter get an attorney for the divorce.

As Ed Morrissey ( points out:

Excuse me, but any of these four should have been a firing offense, let alone having done all four. He Tased his stepson? He threatened to shoot Palin’s father? No wonder the Palins hired their own investigator and pressed the issue so hard.

As Dr. H's husband would say, "indeed."

9:10 PM, August 30, 2008  
Blogger kentuckyliz said...

She better be a super hottie, for being such a giant bitch. I can't imagine any man choosing this unless distracted by beauty.

What's her husband's email address? After reading that venom, I am strongly moved to "console" him. Does he like redheads?

11:48 PM, September 03, 2008  
Blogger Tony said...

When I read this article, I couldn't believe how shallow the writer was and how frivolously she treated her marriage. I got very angry and researched a little more. I found another article written by her that makes this one even more ugly and unbelievable - she writes that her husband nurtured her through cancer therapy and other various maladies without complaint or reward.

1:29 PM, September 09, 2008  
Blogger TeamPooPun said...

Ellen Tien who hurt you?

I am all for women having choice and if you choose to divorce your husband then by all means do so. There is a fine line though, between doing so and doing it without martyring yourself for the world to see.

If everyone in the world had your publicist then all the world could read about each others self pity story.

By the way, our mothers stayed married because of an oath they made, maybe you don't remember that oath you took...but thats because your from gen X. Marriage is about the good and the bad and working through it all, not because you don't feel like it.

Sounds like you made a bad call and hung your man out to dry.

Ellen Tien who hurt you?

1:14 PM, September 17, 2008  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have to be cautious as not wanting to anger Ms. Tien, as she may wish to castrate me for either not nodding in zombie like agreement, or simply because I posess them.

I do not feel compassion for either Ms. Tien, or her husband. Her husband (if he exists, as her hatred of men in general leads readers to believe that she may live an alternative lifestyle) enables this bipolar witch to have some sort of foundation. Her husband must completely demasculated and without any self worth to stay in a houshold where this kind of denegation is commonplace. Imagine what this monster's children are learning? If her partner takes any responsiblity for the family as a whole in the future, he should get a great divorce lawyer, or take the gentlemans way out. Either way, this gutless domestic partner will stop supporting this bipolar monsters ramages against those close to her. Or perhaps she just needs to come out of the closet?

Ms. Tien we don't care who hurt you or why you have to be this way. Recognize the humanity of those around you for all of their beauties and faults. If you cannot do that, please put us out of your misery.

3:31 PM, September 17, 2008  
Blogger Marriage Drained said...

Walk a day in the life of a wife and mother and employee outside of the home. Three jobs would stress even the best of us. I dream of divorce daily not because I am an unappreciative witch, but because the disappointment that I call "Husband" is just that, a COLOSSAL disappointment who is so unmotivated and clueless that the site of him on a daily basis is something that I dream that I could rid myself of. Guess what though, when I ratioally express that Life is beautiful and that we would best enjoy it apart after four miserable years of marriage, he will not leave. I can not afford to buy him out...of ANTHING. I'm stuck with a loser idiot who is holding me captive. I am the bread winner and I purchased our home alone before we were married. Thanks, I needed to vent. I TRULY crave divorce on a daily basis. WILL FLY TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC!

2:54 PM, September 18, 2008  
Blogger Quality_Swims_Upstream said...

Ellen Tien didn't have brain enough to think of the obvious.

I am never-married.
And childfree too.

Ha ha!

9:35 PM, October 09, 2008  
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