How to Tell if He Hates Your F–ing Guts

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by Paul Elam on January 15, 2010

There is an incalculable amount of advice in the world for women on relationships with men. Scarcely an issue of COSMO or any other women’s magazine has been printed that doesn’t contain articles by some woman or another claiming to give you all the “how’s” on the man in your life. How to snag and keep a man, how to get him to pop the question, how to drive him wild with desire, how to catch him in a lie, how to get him to treat you like a queen or how tell if he is cheating.

And it is not just women’s rags, it’s almost everywhere. You can’t even check your email any more without some headline grabbing your eye that is also pitching the now ubiquitous “how to get what you want from a man” advice. Almost all of it written by and for women.

The fact that so many of you are still reading this stuff might point to the idea that whatever you are reading isn‘t doing a lot of good.

Sarcasm aside, I thought I would offer up some self-help magic for the ladies about men, from a man’s point of view.

Let’s call it “How to Tell if He Hates Your Fucking Guts”

Catchy, eh?

I know, I’m just a man, and as such not as sympathetic to the need for both constant approval and unconditional tolerance for bullshit that has likely left you batting squat in the man department. But I do know that love, at least as far as emotions go, is more conducive to a healthy romantic life than, say, loathing. And I happen to be an expert on how to prevent that hate monster from eating up your dreams of the future.

I won’t leave you hanging by just pointing at the problem, either. For each sign of infectious hate that I identify, there will be a clear cut plan of action to ensure you will ameliorate the problem and move forward with a more loving relationship. You can trust Dr. Paul to cover all the bases.

Your advantage here, ladies, resides in the fact that men are quite simple. You won’t need to buy a study guide or hire a relationship coach to ferret out the truth about how that hombre in your life feels. You just need to be willing to observe and digest what is right in front of you. Your man isn’t prone to subtlety. He doesn‘t hint at hating, he radiates it if you are just paying attention.

That being said, let’s get to work. Here are the most common signs that your man spits upon the ground on which you walk, and what you can do about it.

Sign number one:

He quits fucking you and/or starts fucking someone else.

If your man isn’t fucking you there is definitely something wrong, and there are only a three possible explanations for it. One, he’s gay and has been hiding it. Two, he has a physical problem that needs medical intervention. Or three, the thought of touching you makes his dick wilt like a boutonnière in a blast furnace.

Since number three is the only one that can possibly apply to you, my solution will be confined to that problem. First, you may need to consider that four hours of bitching is not foreplay. Now, some guys are so sex driven that they will actually fuck you while you’re bitching, but you should also know they’re imagining you’re someone else while they’re doing it. Maybe your younger sister.

There are, however, a lot of other guys that lose the amorous mood by the time you have reached bitch #17 on your much longer list of complaints. To them, there is a big difference between whispering sweet nothings in his ear and yelling “You’re nothing,” at him, from across the room.

What you can do about this is simple, assuming you can’t shut up. Organize! Take a minute or two out of each day to make a list of the things about him that dissatisfy you, and then heap them on him all at once. You will find the list reusable because it will only contain things you have been repeating since three months into the relationship. As he continues to reveal his imperfections you can just add to the list.

Oh, and try to get it all out in 7 minutes or less. Brevity is bliss, in the bedroom and out.

Timing is also important. Give him an hour or so to unwind after coming home from work. Then, after you decide where he is taking you for dinner, you can use the car ride to get in your digs. It is a great place for you to say what needs to be said. He is trapped with you next to him, you can keep the nagging out of the home, and, if you finish your tirade before you get to the restaurant, you can set about taking the evening in a more pleasant direction.

Additionally, you may have to skip a day of berating him here and there. Also, and this is the hard part, you will need to occasionally point out some things he does right. You know, just to make things look balanced.

Sign number two:

He does anything, anything he can, not to come home.

If you met your man at a Sierra Club convention and he suddenly takes an interest in hunting wild hog with a crossbow, 300 days a year, well, that is one of those not so subtle signs I was talking about.

As you have surely heard from some of the women writers, men like to retreat into their caves. Whatever your man likes to do for an outside interest, his favorite spot in his home is something sacred to him. So if he finds all manner of reasons not to be there, then there is a problem. And most likely the problem, at least for him, is you.

Ostensibly, you can just refer to the solutions to problem number one. After all, being present is one of the few hard prerequisites to having sex. If you can modify your behavior enough that it will induce him to walk in the door in the first place, it will solve problem number two and go a long way toward helping problem number one as well.

So, the next time you find yourself wanting to ask your man why he doesn’t want to spend more time at home, first take a quiet moment and ask yourself “Why should he?”

Oh, and answering yourself honestly would be a plus.

And by the way, here is a link to some more support. It’s some more detailed advice on how not to nag. There is some good stuff there, but I encourage you to skip over the parts that of course blame him for everything you do and just focus on being less of a pain in the ass.

Sign number three:

He hauls off and smacks the living shit out of you.

This far from subtle sign that your man hates your fucking guts comes generally one of two places. One, he is an abusive asshole and hates everyone, most of all himself. Or two, you are an abusive asshole and he got one too many rounds of your mouth and snapped.

Now if your situation is the former, and you are really sure of that, then your solution is a better man.

But if your situation is the latter, then your only solution is to be alone. Why? Because you are either physically, verbally or emotionally such a complete ass wipe that anyone around you will eventually turn mean. His main mistake was that he didn’t wise up and dump you before things went too far. He was likely just trying to do the right thing, but with the wrong person. And your treatment of him and of the other men in your life leaves you in a position that self help articles sandwiched between lipstick ads aren’t going to help.

The premise is simple. If you want respect, be respectful. If you want to be treated well, treat him well. If you want love, then give it. The only relationship tools that are worth anything are the ones found in the mirror, and ten thousand issues of COSMO ain’t getting anyone around that.

Ever.

And you should drop the COSMO anyway. Articles on how to get what you want from relationships aren’t what anyone needs. In fact, running around trying to scheme and manipulate ways to get what you want from someone else is the problem. It is the chosen, narrow minded path of the selfish and undeserving.

It’s all about what you have to give, baby, and what you’re willing to. Take it from Dr. Paul.

Dr. Paul is a pseudonym only.  The author of this article, Paul Elam, is not a qualified medical or psychiatric professional and does not purport to offer counseling, psychiatric services, or expert psychological advice.

A Voice for Men

{ 98 comments… read them below or add one }

jimbo January 15, 2010 at 03:31

And remember my fellow man, there is NOTHING better than a HateFuck.

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200 Grande January 15, 2010 at 03:36

Only 3 points? Considering most women, isn’t that too much? At least the most important one is first.

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djc January 15, 2010 at 04:15

It’s very simple. Keep his stomach full, and his balls empty. And then shut up.

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Parasite instructions January 15, 2010 at 04:55

Popular feminist magazines tell parasites that they deserve money and resources from society because they have a vagina. Popular women’s magazines offer parasites (poor) advice on how to keep their walking wallet interested. popular Fashion magazines offer page after page of fabulous bags and shoes for parasites to lust. Baby magazines offer reams of paper on being a modern mother but very little on fathering.
Tells you all you need to know.

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Krauser January 15, 2010 at 05:07

You could add in a point about the scales: if you weigh +30lbs more than when he first started fucking you, then he certainly does hate you even if it hasn’t expressed itself outwardly yet.

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AfOR January 15, 2010 at 05:10

Too complex.

Only one piece of advice / one rule needed.

“Shut your mouth, unless you’re blowing him.”

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z.g. January 15, 2010 at 05:23

Pure gold.

Of all the men I know who are/were in a releationship, 95% would fully agree with the text.

“The premise is simple. If you want respect, be respectful. If you want to be treated well, treat him well. If you want love, then give it.”

All they need to know, actually.

One of my exes wanted respect, so she thought she can get it by being a challenging woman bitch, she wanted to be treated well, so her way of making that clear was treating me like shit, she wanted to be loved, and the way was to pull back on sex to see how much I loved her.

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Miley January 15, 2010 at 06:21

This site puts out a lot of good articles, such as yesterdays story about feminists wanting to deny disaster relief to men.

And sometimes it puts out shit like this.

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Snark January 15, 2010 at 07:01

What, exactly, is the problem with this?

It’s basically the truth.

And it’s a truth which rarely makes it to the surface.

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Black&German January 15, 2010 at 07:36

This article is roll-my-eyes worthy.

The official rule is: If I’m not horny, make me a sandwich.

I disagree about not talking, though. Most guys date and marry (as opposed to merely shagging) women they genuinely like and enjoy spending time with. Their girlfriends/wives are often their best friends and they like talking to them. They just don’t want to be overwhelmed with verbiage or ranting.

So I think the rule about talking is: It’s okay to talk, just don’t talk his ear off or nag at him.

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JDApostasy January 15, 2010 at 08:02

The official rule is not “if I’m not horny, make me a sandwich.” The official rule more very nearly approximates “stop being a complete bitch all the time;” the article is written from the presupposition that such advice is impossible – thus, all the humor and sarcasm.

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Kave January 15, 2010 at 08:44

I certainly wished my ex wife would just shut up.

My wife of ten years is also my best friend. No better evening for me then sitting back with a bottle of wine and her and discussing, debating and just going over our weeks together. Over the years though we are in very different industries we’ve found a way to converge the two, to date four of my workers and their families are living in homes the she has rehabbed.

Humor and sarcasm aside, if you truly believe women should shut up and blow you then you’re the ones who are not relationship worthy. Any women who would enter into a relationship on those terms would be a women who I would not care to get to know.

More to the point if you want women to be mindless creatures whose only job is to serve you don’t complain when they bite the hand that feeds them.

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Zammo January 15, 2010 at 08:48

The nag definition guidelines:

First time is notification
Second time is a reminder
Third time is a nag

If the issue is not addressed after the second time, then it likely won’t be addressed at all. Deal with it maturely and gracefully.

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Roland3337 January 15, 2010 at 08:51

Great article, Paul. As always.

This one reminds me of something Tom Leykis used to say about how to keep a man:

1. Sex anytime
2. Stay thin
3. Long hair
4. Shut up

Eight words to live by, and if any girl can manage that long term, then there’s a good chance the guy will stay. So damned simple, yet so damned hard for women that read COSMO.

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Snark January 15, 2010 at 09:00

The nag definition guidelines:

First time is notification
Second time is a reminder
Third time is a nag

If the issue is not addressed after the second time, then it likely won’t be addressed at all. Deal with it maturely and gracefully.

Second time is a nag.

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Zammo January 15, 2010 at 09:02

Second time is a nag.

Snark, you are merciless!

But to thine own self be true.

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Firepower January 15, 2010 at 09:07

Paul Elam on January 15, 2010

Let’s call it “How to Tell if He Hates Your Fucking Guts”

What’s your reaction when a certain “Lady Drizzle” takes issue with this article and storms the ramparts with one thousand screaming, credentialed, Feminasties? ;)

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Black&German January 15, 2010 at 09:15

The editor has exchanged the em tag for a undefined tag, Welmer.

So damned simple, yet so damned hard for women that read COSMO.

Why would you marry a woman who reads Cosmo? If she’s that vapid, then you can have her. Enjoy.

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gargod January 15, 2010 at 09:32

Paul great article and I sincerly appreciate your sarcasm. My ex is a very sold 9 moving into a 10, not by my standards but everyones. She was a complete nag, incapable of appreciation and never could ever resolve or move past her issues whatever they may be. My new girl is a 7, but she is wonderful and I have never been happier. We talk about issues (rarely) and then move on. nuff said!

So basically, the I’ve come to this conclusion on happiness, “In the end, it’s how you are treated.” It’s not about looks, it’s about compatiblity/chemistry. Pretty simple, just upset I wasted so many productive years in an unproductive relationship, trying to make that fake ideal marriage work.

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Welmer January 15, 2010 at 09:39

The editor has exchanged the em tag for a undefined tag, Welmer.

B&G

Some upgrade on that plugin… Grrrr

This kind of crap has had me wasting my time for the last couple of days. Now I probably have to enter the tags manually in the PHP code.

[Admin: fixed it]

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Snark January 15, 2010 at 09:44

Snark, you are merciless!

But to thine own self be true.

If I need to be told something twice, it wasn’t important enough for me to remember after the first time.

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Paul Elam January 15, 2010 at 10:01

@ Firepower

“What’s your reaction when a certain “Lady Drizzle” takes issue with this article and storms the ramparts with one thousand screaming, credentialed, Feminasties? ”

The same as it has been many time before. Yawn. :)

Firepower January 15, 2010 at 10:35

see roissy
stat

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criolle johnny January 15, 2010 at 10:38

Next article:
“How to tell when he’s tired of your shit”!

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David Brandt January 15, 2010 at 10:42

Paul
Excellent–I couldn’t help but LMAO because it’s so true. I must add something to it however. I don’t know how other men feel on this, but I do not care for gossipy attacks or news of celebrities that go on, and on……it makes me ignore, walk away and have a very strong desire not to engage in any conversation.

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Black&German January 15, 2010 at 10:57

See, my husband is the reverse.

I’m a bit, uh… deep and analytical. I think when he comes home from a long day at work the last thing he wants to do is have heavy conversation. He just wants to chill, relax, and have a beer while discussing the philosophy of The Simpsons. :-) So I have to choke back the urge to jump him with my latest book review or dissertation on the downfall of civilization. As soon as I head his way with the day’s newspaper he’s groaning in uh… anticipation. I just don’t do chit-chat very well (surprise, surprise), so if he doesn’t want to talk about anything “heavy”, I tend to fall completely silent. We can usually compromise by discussing the cute stuff the kids did that day. :-)

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Globalman January 15, 2010 at 11:09

Bravo Paul for taking the time to say what needs to be said!!!

I doubt any wimmin will listen but now at least we have one more link to put in front of the ‘wimmin’ who claim to be ‘good wimmin’.

Keeping a man happy is so easy. It’s just that wives won’t do it. Not can’t, won’t.

In my case? I asked my wife to make love with me about every 2 weeks and have sex with me 2 or 3 times a week….when I was home. Given that I travelled for as much of 10 months of the year that was not a ‘big ask’. Nope. Too much.

It is no exaggeration I would have made a monk look like a sex maniac when I was married. For some reason, even though it is HER body and HER choice I am somehow to ‘blame’ for not getting the sex and lovemaking I needed by women. LOL!! Women are so lacking in intelligence.

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Paul Elam January 15, 2010 at 11:14

@ David Brandt, criolle johnny

Indeed, there is a lot more to say in this area. I have been thinking that I might make Dr. Paul an alternate persona here at The Spearhead, and focus my occasional contributions to “masculized” self help.

It isn’t stuff I can run on MND or that is even appropriate for my website (different mission) But it would give me a place to say some things that I think need to be said, in an unbridled voice, as long as I don’t cause any revenue problems for Welmer and crew.

Thanks for the support.

Snark January 15, 2010 at 11:19

Dr. Paul is a great persona.

A doctor without any bedside manner, who patronisingly and frankly tells his patients why they’re fucked up and how it’s all their fault.

The fact that you’re not actually a doctor just makes it even funnier – a slap in the face to those who flaunt their credentials (real or imagined) all over the internet in an attempt to impress, since your advice is actually better.

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Paul Elam January 15, 2010 at 11:28

That settles it for me. Dr. Paul it is. You, Snark, were the one who inspired this to begin with. And trust me, I can come up with a ton of similar material.

I wonder if Welmer can change my name on the contributors list to Dr. Paul? LMAO but dead serious.

Welmer January 15, 2010 at 11:30

That settles it for me. Dr. Paul it is. You, Snark, were the one who inspired this to begin with. And trust me, I can come up with a ton of similar material.

I wonder if Welmer can change my name on the contributors list to Dr. Paul? LMAO but dead serious.

Sure, but I have to re-register you in that case. Usernames can’t be changed. Fortunately, you only have one post up, so this would be pretty simple.

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Paul Elam January 15, 2010 at 11:40

@ Welmer

If it is not too much trouble, please do so. Many thanks.

Joseph January 15, 2010 at 11:44

Firepower:

What’s your reaction when a certain “Lady Drizzle” takes issue with this article and storms the ramparts with one thousand screaming, credentialed, Feminasties? ;)

We shoot them and head out for a celebration!

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Dr. Paul January 15, 2010 at 12:02

@ Firepower

See Roissy?

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by_the_sword January 15, 2010 at 14:15

@ Paul Elam,

Are you still going to write the article on archetypes?

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Dr. Paul January 15, 2010 at 14:47

@ by_the_sword

Already did. We had a miscue on running it here, but here is a link to it. I hope you enjoy. Thanks

http://mensnewsdaily.com/2010/01/10/on-killing-the-alpha-male/

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Cannon's Canon January 15, 2010 at 16:51

not for nothing, but there is already a “Dr. Paul” Dobranski who produces “relationship advice” that applies to both women and the pickup community. he’s not full of shit either; he’s a pro shrink that sort of fell into the industry. obviously not for everyone, like any “relationship consultant”. despite the PC bent, he keeps it real: check out kwml.com for kicks.

i almost dropped a nut when i thought he’d started posting here. you may consider a tweak before falling in love with this handle.

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Snark January 15, 2010 at 16:54

Prof Paul ?

Even more credentials …

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Dr. Paul January 15, 2010 at 17:25

I think I will just stick with Dr. Paul. Most of my work us done under my full real name. I have no desire or intent to try to market myself as “Dr. Paul” outside of Spearhead. So in that it really doesn’t put me in conflict any more than I would be with Ron Paul, who is also Dr. Paul

Plus I like having an alter persona where I can come to write in a style I don’t elsewhere. Thanks to all for the suggestions and comments.

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Dr. Paul January 15, 2010 at 17:26

After thinking a moment I lay this in Welmers hands. I don’t care much one way or the other.

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Sarah January 15, 2010 at 21:18

I’m sorry, did I miss something? Since when is it acceptable to start hitting women again? Am I in an episode of Mad Men?

I’m terribly disgusted with this article, in which you insinuates that women should be subserviant to their man, and promotes very limiting generalizations about women and how they act.

Face it, sometimes people get pissed off at the actions of the other person in the relationship, and sometimes women like to talk about these instances. Hey, I think it’s a much better way of doing things than “snapping” and smacking someone who trusts you enough to talk about their feelings with you.

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David January 15, 2010 at 21:43

Sarah

Are you trying to be a parody of a humorless feminist?

Note the spelling: subservient.

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Suigintou January 15, 2010 at 23:04

While it isn’t very polite, and it’s sure to get a lot of feminists riled up because of that, pretty much everything is true. So many people in the world have completely fucked up personalities, and everything that ever goes wrong for them is anyone’s fault but their own.

I applaud you.

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Dr. Paul January 16, 2010 at 00:01

@ Sarah

I’m sorry, did I miss something?

Ah, yes. Pretty much everything.

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Snark January 16, 2010 at 05:20

Face it, sometimes people get pissed off at the actions of the other person in the relationship, and sometimes women like to talk about these instances.

Or as we call it, ‘nagging’.

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Firepower January 16, 2010 at 13:09

Dr. Paul January 15, 2010 at 12:02

@ Firepower

See Roissy?

Now that there’s a doctor in the house, why not.

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jon January 16, 2010 at 13:38

@Sarah

You make no attempt to argue with what was said. Instead, you use the most common manipulation technique (lying) in an attempt to shame the author by saying he said something that he didn’t.

You start by saying he says it’s ok to hit women. He doesn’t. Then you say he says women should be subservient. He doesn’t. Then you say this. “and promotes very limiting generalizations about women and how they act.”
I have no idea what that means or how to respond to it. Then in your final paragraph, you make a very general statement that is true but doesn’t accomplish anything in this context. Obviously, the amount of bitching is the key. If a woman wants to bitch from time to time that’s normal. If she does it almost all the time the guy’s gonna lose his marbles and be tempted to smack her. Both of these amounts of bitching fall under the “sometimes” category.

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Black&German January 16, 2010 at 14:45

@Snark

Or as we call it, ‘nagging’.

No, jon has it right. It’s only nagging/bitching if she goes on and on about it, or is rude and disrespectful. If she says, “Honey, can you please remember to take out the trash tomorrow?” or “Can we discuss our plans for next weekend? I’m not sure if I really want to go to that party.” then it’s a discussion. If she says, “You bumbling idiot, you forgot to take out the trash again. Can’t you do anything right!” or “I can’t believe I have to spend next weekend hanging out with your stupid friends again!” then it’s bitching.

A woman who never complains is a doormat. One who constantly complains is a nag. A happy medium is best.

Interestingly, most men tire of doormats really quickly and are prone to abandon her at some point from sheer disinterest, or take on a more exciting mistress. Nags can usually keep men around a bit longer (the confrontation is exciting) and keep them from straying (Why would he want a second woman if the first one is already so much trouble?), but if she goes too far, he’ll eventually snap and either retreat into himself, act out violently, or leave. So complaining is an art. It seems the ultimate goal is to be high-maintenance but pleasant. That’s a hard line to walk.

I’m reading a fascinating book right now called You Still Don’t Understand and they make the point that nagging has been selected for because women who nag are more reproductively successful than those who don’t, because their men are less likely to stray (polygamy is generally bad for children). And that is why the societies where women are the most confrontational (aka, nag the most) are the most successful ones (think Asian, Europe, North America), whereas the ones where women are generally pleasant and accommodating (such as in sub-Saharan Africa or South America), the men tend to be more promiscuous, run a bit wild, and neglect their children. Interesting hypothesis. It would also explain why average IQs are higher in those successful countries, as IQ tends to rise with paternal involvement.

They note that the problem is not the nagging itself, but that the nagging has become so prevalent and intense that it is ruining marriages, which has a negative effect on reproductive success.

Anyway, it’s an interesting theory. Now start throwing eggs. :-)

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Snark January 16, 2010 at 14:52

Interestingly, most men tire of doormats really quickly and are prone to abandon her at some point from sheer disinterest, or take on a more exciting mistress. Nags can usually keep men around a bit longer (the confrontation is exciting)

I disagree, and no offence, but this is a womanly way of looking at relationships, not a manly one.

God damn, the excitement I want out of my relationship does not consist of being complained at.

I do have certain standards.

You find your ‘happy medium’ in between ‘no complaining’ and ‘always complaining’, as if ‘some complaining’ is optimum. Really? There are ways to communicate without complaining. Being complained at whatsoever is an annoyance. It doesn’t make me ‘excited’. It doesn’t make me ‘want more’. It just plain pisses me off. You seem to subscribe to the ‘men choose bitches’ school of thought. Well, you’re wrong.

Perhaps the woman who doesn’t complain is not a doormat, but manages to communicate like a grown adult.

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Snark January 16, 2010 at 14:54

It seems the ultimate goal is to be high-maintenance but pleasant.

The goal is no maintenance at all.

Unless you think women need to be ‘maintained’ by men.

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Black&German January 16, 2010 at 14:54

For “complaining” read: communicate wants and desires, Snark.

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Snark January 16, 2010 at 14:56

Well, that’s not how I would define “complaining”.

You know how they say men and women speak different languages? ;)

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Gunslingergregi January 16, 2010 at 15:12

”””””Snark
Perhaps the woman who doesn’t complain is not a doormat, but manages to communicate like a grown adult.”””””””’

Hes on fire

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Black&German January 16, 2010 at 15:26

Well, a complaint is essentially a statement of what you would like changed. That’s why we complain: because we are unhappy with a situation and think we have a reasonable expectation of it being altered, if we bring our unhappiness to attention.

So if I’m carrying a heavy box and exclaim, “Wow, this is heavy!” my husband will rush over and take it from me (it never fails, and usually he doesn’t even give me the opportunity to carry anything even moderately heavy and will act angry with me if I attempt to pick it up). If I’m a doormat, I just continue to schlep the box and suffer in silence. I actually know a few women who act like doormats and treat their husbands like emperors and their husbands have absolutely no respect for them and don’t like them very much. Some Asian women act like doormats when company is around but turn into little tyrants as soon as everybody leaves. They’re not doormats, they just don’t want to embarrass their husbands, so they put on a good show. This dichotomy is something I see in many traditional families: deferring in public, but more dominant at home.

I was reminded of this last weekend when we watched that old movie “Lassie”. In every family-at-home scene the wife is outspoken and even a bit bossy, but as soon as a third party enters, she retreats into the background and plays the “seen but not heard” card. As soon as the third party leaves, she’s jabbering on again.

What feminists get wrong is the idea that women need to be rude and overbearing. Happily married women complain quite often, if you listen closely to what they say: “Man, does it seem cold in here to you guys? I’m freezing!” (cue husband to go adjust the thermostat or bring a blanket), “There’s so much snow out there now. It’s going to be so difficult to dig the car out when I go to work tomorrow.” (the snow is magically shoveled before she goes outside the next morning), “The kids shoes are getting a bit small I think.” (the husband suggests they go to the mall on the weekend and get some new ones). The combination of the wife complaining and the husband offering up solutions, seems to be a pretty universal modus operandi.

They’re just not rude about it, and they are grateful and thankful if their wishes are fulfilled. Most men (who love their wives) enjoy doing things their wives want, they just want a bit of appreciate and affection in return. It’s the women who are ungrateful, rude, and mean or never give their husbands any peace who ruin the gig for the rest of us. We’ve got a good thing going and they’re messing it all up. ;-)

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Black&German January 16, 2010 at 15:35

An example of a doormat would be my German grandmother. Her husband drank away half of his paycheck before he even came home in the evening and the children went without jackets in the winter. There was always tobacco and alcohol in abundance but sometimes no food in the house which stunted her children’s growth (my mother and her siblings are all unusually short). She never complained, she never stood up for her children, and if he even raised his voice at her, she’d cower. Doormat. See how that could hurt reproductive success? Women should be assertive, they just shouldn’t nag.

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Gunslingergregi January 16, 2010 at 15:50

”””’Some Asian women act like doormats when company is around but turn into little tyrants as soon as everybody leaves.”””””’

Oh yea because you were their after everyone left. What the fuck is a doormat? Do you mean gosh they brought drinks to the man and maybe hand fed him at the table in front of everyone.

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jon January 16, 2010 at 16:00

@B&G

why on earth would you expect your husband to get you a blanket or adjust the thermostat when you’re cold? I’ve heard women say this sort of thing through the years and I’ve never been able to relate to it. I never trouble people to do things for me if I could do them myself just as easily. I’ve come to believe that this sort of thing is simply a demonstration of dominance or power or maybe just a way to get attention. Whatever the reason it certainly appears to me to be selfish and inconsiderate behavior.

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Welmer January 16, 2010 at 16:04

An example of a doormat would be my German grandmother. Her husband drank away half of his paycheck before he even came home in the evening and the children went without jackets in the winter. There was always tobacco and alcohol in abundance but sometimes no food in the house which stunted her children’s growth (my mother and her siblings are all unusually short). She never complained, she never stood up for her children, and if he even raised his voice at her, she’d cower. Doormat. See how that could hurt reproductive success? Women should be assertive, they just shouldn’t nag.

-B&G

According to Game theory, your grandfather may simply have been the thug alpha that many women instinctively love. Your grandmother may have actually liked the dominance and devil may care attitude he displayed. My experience has been that when I have accommodated women, they have grown contemptuous and haughty, and have lost all respect for me. This is why I’d rather not have them in my life anymore; I prefer treating people decently and letting them do as they please. When women see a man doing that, they hate him for what they perceive as weakness, and do their best to destroy him.

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piercedhead January 16, 2010 at 16:57

My experience has been that when I have accommodated women, they have grown contemptuous and haughty, and have lost all respect for me. This is why I’d rather not have them in my life anymore; I prefer treating people decently and letting them do as they please. When women see a man doing that, they hate him for what they perceive as weakness, and do their best to destroy him.
-Welmer

That’s been my experience as well, and my reaction to it.

I find it ridiculous that nagging and complaining could be construed as a positive evolutionary adaptation. One could just as easily argue that it is nothing more than basic, selfish human behavior – down there with greed and violence – and that it thrives only because the perpetrators are protected from the consequences.

Evolutionary arguments can be conjured out of thin air to support any personal interest, and they don’t take much art.

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Dr. Paul January 16, 2010 at 17:41

@ Black and German

“Well, a complaint is essentially a statement of what you would like changed. ”

98% of complaints in relationships are just one person not accepting what they married in to. They are the selfish controlling manipulations of people who want their own way. It goes for both sexes, but women are by far the worst at it.

“So if I’m carrying a heavy box and exclaim, “Wow, this is heavy!” my husband will rush over and take it from me”

Manipulation. Pure and simple. Are you incapable of asking for help directly? You didn’t know the box was heavy when you picked it up, or does it make you feel powerful to see him step and fetch the moment you whine because you are too weak to finish what you started?

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Black&German January 16, 2010 at 18:50

Oh, jon. You’re so hopelessly unromantic.

Of course I could do it myself. I could also scrape the ice off the car and mow the lawn, and if he’s not around, I do so. He could bake his own cookies, fetch his own newspaper, and get his own coffee. The point is that it’s attention. Doing things for someone else that they can do for themselves is about showing that you love them by offering them free and completely superfluous attention. It’s not a selfish endeavor as long as it’s reciprocated. He does things for me, I do things for him, everybody gets attention, and everybody’s happy.

I know that there are marriages where the roles are more traditionally split than in mine, where the husband would never lift his hand to help his wife with the housework, for example. But you must remember that both the privileges and the responsibilities are more equally split in egalitarian marriages. I may not wait on him hand and foot, but he’s also not expected to be the sole provider forever. The split is still mostly traditional, but less rigidly so.

The fact is that this sort of “I help you, you help me” behavior is completely pointless and inefficient. As you say, it would be simpler for me to just go and get my own darn blanket, or for him to just get his rear up off the couch and get himself a beer. So why do we do this? There must be some advantage to it that’s not obvious at first.

And that’s where I think the book makes a brilliant point: sexual selection. Women marry beta guys who take them out on dates, buy them flowers, and write them love poems because these guys are giving them attention. This attention is costly (as any Gamer can tell you), so it must be used as a way to signal some aspect of fitness. And it is this: men who invest so heavily in their mates are more likely to invest heavily in their children. The same guys who write cheesy love songs and open doors for their wife are likely to earn a steady income, carry their infants around, play soccer with their sons, read their children a bed-time story, etc.

Guys like my Opa (yes, Welmer: good looking, intelligent, charming, alpha assholes) are bad husbands and bad fathers and their children suffer accordingly. They treat their wives like garbage and they treat their children like garbage. There is the rare alpha who manages to be a bad husband but a good father, or even a good husband and father, but they are rare.

Men’s involvement with their children tends to mimic their involvement with their wives. Men who dote on their wives tend to dote on their children, men who are protective of their wives tend to protect their children, men who provide for their wives tend to provide for their children. The fact is that most women make decent mothers so the biggest reproductive advantage they can offer their children is in their choice of father. The better and more involved the father, the better the children do (numerous studies have proven that, as you all well know).

And here’s where I think the book got really good: they point out that the problem with marriages today is one of overshoot. It used to be that men were powerful outside of the home (important for acquiring resources and proving status), but women were more powerful inside of the home (important for their childrens’ well-being). In order to maintain this dichotomy, society maintained a system in which women pretend to be socially weak and innocent and men pretend to be socially strong and dominating, and the laws reflected that masquerade. It is actually the case that women have always been dominant, for the simple reason that they select their mate, so men have to behave in a manner that women find appealing so that they will be chosen. It worked very well for quite a while and everyone was happy.

But then women got greedy. They were dominant inside of the home, but that wasn’t enough. It was boring and limiting. They wanted to be dominant everywhere. They saw that men gained status through their employment, so they went out and got employment, too. They saw that men gained status through their education, so they went out and got educated as well. They saw that men gained status through their sexual exploits, so the women started sleeping around, too.

But this status gain for women created a status imbalance on the male side. The man had to be that much higher in status to get the same quality of woman. Now that women have reached the highest status of all, men are starting to simply give up the game and go home. What’s the point of being married if you don’t have status inside or outside of the home? So now the women are scrabbling to rank the man according to some other measure of status… enter Game.

Your case, Welmer, is a good example of this selection. You see, your ex-wife did an excellent job in selecting you. Complaining women tend to attract helpful and attentive men, thus offering their children a natural advantage. But that advantage only holds as long as marriage is permanent.

The permanent nature of marriage created a pressure for both parties to invest heavily in their relationship. After all, if you think you are going to be stuck living with someone until death do you part, you have a strong incentive to get along, modify your behavior to suit your spouse, and make your life together bearable. If marriage is easily dissolvable, you will be less inclined to make that effort. What’s the point? If you are unhappy, you can just leave.

So now things are out of balance. The beta men are still following the old script but the game has changed. The same complaining wives who, through their superior mate selection, offered an evolutionary advantage, have become a evolutionary burden. They do complain a lot and are difficult to please. They’re picky and have an inflated sense of their own worth. Before that got them a good husband, now it just makes them permanently unsatisfied and fickle.

There are some complainers (such as myself) that have merely erected our own solution, for the benefit of our children: religious conviction in the permanence of marriage. It’s like putting on ideological blinders and simply pretending that the exit door isn’t there. And that’s why religious people are out-breeding secularists: we’re better at creating our own reality in which divorce doesn’t exist, and our marriages benefit from this self-deception, both in stability and quality. The problem is that the blinders aren’t as effective as laws, so even we slip up more than would be expected. But as long as we put the blinders on and manage to keep them on long enough to bear and raise children, we win the reproductive race.

So we have two choices: reinstate the old laws, or throw out the rules and start from scratch with something else. The problem is that there has yet to be a proposal that works as well as the old system.

Wow. That was long.

Just saw Paul’s comment.
Of course it’s manipulative. There’s nothing wrong with a wife being manipulative, as long as she’s doing it to attract her husband. It’s the female version of Game. The same as acting coy and then giggling suggestively. Or gushing over how strong and helpful he is when he finishes the gardening. It’s about keeping the attraction alive. If everyone acted like self-sufficient automatons, it would eventually get… zzzzzzzzzzz.

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Black&German January 16, 2010 at 19:17

I just thought of something else:

Natural selection offered a distinct advantage for heavy-investing fathers (typical beta males). Feminists broke up their marriages and thought it wouldn’t have much impact, and that the men would be content to become mere check writers. But they’re now being hit with the flip-side of betas: you can’t get rid of them. These ueber-Daddies are dragging their wives to court, suing for custody, hanging around their house, flying across the world to be with their kids, and making a general nuisance of themselves. Why don’t these men just go home and leave them alone?!

They picked the ultimate Dads and now they can’t shake them off. Sort of ironic. :-)

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David January 16, 2010 at 19:46

My experience has been that when I have accommodated women, they have grown contemptuous and haughty, and have lost all respect for me … I prefer treating people decently and letting them do as they please. When women see a man doing that, they hate him for what they perceive as weakness, and do their best to destroy him.

David: Yes, I would agree with that. I like to be accomodating too, but there is no end to it (see the fairytale of The Fisherman and His Wife!) A wife will end up running you ragged. I earn most of the money around here. Anything else I do is iceing on the cake.

The best husbandly approach is alpha/beta. Alpha to make sure she respects you, is erotically excited by you, and that they are your kids. Beta to look after the whole family. I have been both alpha and beta; and I mix and match. I was very alpha when I was courting my wife; have been more beta for many years; and am entering a more alpha phase of late, since I am tired of some of the disrespect that being beta engenders.

Women differ. I have come to see that my wife needs a bit more alpha. It makes us both happier. So I have accentuated the alpha and downplayed the beta.

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jon January 16, 2010 at 19:49

@B&G

way too long. Too many unsupported claims and just way too long for me to bother attempting a significant reply.

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Dr. Paul January 16, 2010 at 21:32

@ B & G

“Of course it’s manipulative. There’s nothing wrong with a wife being manipulative, as long as she’s doing it to attract her husband. It’s the female version of Game. The same as acting coy and then giggling suggestively. Or gushing over how strong and helpful he is when he finishes the gardening. It’s about keeping the attraction alive. If everyone acted like self-sufficient automatons, it would eventually get… zzzzzzzzzzz.”

That is something! LOL! So what you are saying is that the way to keep him attracted to you is to play him for his labors and toss him a treat of approval when he is done, telling him how manly he is or helpful he is, sort of like praising a puppy who shits in the yard instead of your hallway.

And I have no trouble believing it. Lot’s of men are unconscious enough to accept that kind of deal. My experience with women who want men that respond to that stuff are the ones that love their men more or less as they would a pet. And pets are fine and loved till the become a problem, like doing what they want to do instead of playing step and fetch for a manipulative woman.

I think that is what I love about being free from relationships. I can get all the sex I want without doing a thing for someone. And it’s kind of fun ignoring the attempts to manipulate my labor.

To each his own, but I am pretty sure that model of game is what is producing more and more men that see women less as people and more as marks in a carnival side show.

Kind of a pity.

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Kathy Farrelly January 16, 2010 at 22:26

I think maybe you misunderstand B&G Paul. I am quite sure that her husband is no fool and knows that she is playing games and responds accordingly.
She basically says as much here.
“The point is that it’s attention. Doing things for someone else that they can do for themselves is about showing that you love them by offering them free and completely superfluous attention. It’s not a selfish endeavor as long as it’s reciprocated. He does things for me, I do things for him, everybody gets attention, and everybody’s happy.”

See, it is not one sided. They love one another, and care enough about their marriage to keep it fresh. They are a committed couple with kids that appear to work together as a team. Well, that’s my impression, anyway.

David uses game on his wife, and it appears to work for him. That kind of game wouldn’t work on me, though… As David said “women differ”

I am a touchy feely affectionate person. I love to cuddle my hubby and give him a backrub when he comes home from work, while he is having a cold beer. I cook him a nice meal and love to see him enjoying it. And he tells me so, too. Later on when I am doing the dishes he will often come into the kitchen and grab me from behind and give me a cuddle or…..;)

I love to please him and he loves to please me.

It’s been working well for us these past fourteen years. :)

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David January 16, 2010 at 22:39

Yes, Kathy, you are probably right. My wife is a bit of a handful at times, and I need to be a bit cooler with her because she can be very volatile.

My wife is a good wife. She is just not that cuddly sometimes.

We are having our 24th wedding anniversary tomorrow. So we are going OK.

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Kathy Farrelly January 16, 2010 at 23:00

Congratulations David . (though some may say commiserations. lol!!)
I’ll have a celebratory drink in your honour this evening :)

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Black&German January 17, 2010 at 07:14

Congratulations, David!
I understand the dynamic at your house because my parents are the same. My mom’s really high-strung and volatile. My dad is usually really nice and “beta” with her, but every once in a while he has to put his foot down to keep her in line. It’s like she craves both positive and negative attention. Bring her flowers today, silent treatment the next. Maybe she just needs the excitement and variety. I don’t know.
Anyway, they’re a really weird couple, but they had their 30th last summer, and the passion is going strong, so they must be doing something right. :-)

I only very rarely nag or “act up”, so my husband very rarely has to do such a show. But it does happen occasionally, maybe once a month.

Kathy, you totally get me. Yeah, the idea that my husband doesn’t understand what’s going on and is an oblivious fool shows you that these guys just don’t get it. Of course he understands the dynamic, just as I understand the dynamic when he buys me flowers, or I cook his favorite food, or give him a back rub. It’s courting. The idea is to never stop courting each other.

Of course it’s manipulative. Courting is always manipulative, that’s the whole point. You’re trying to manipulative someone to find you more attractive.

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jon January 17, 2010 at 07:57

@B&G

I would contend that if both parties know what is being done and why then it’s just a ritual rather than manipulation. If, however, one side pretends it’s just a fun ritual and is actually on a power trip it’s back to being manipulation again. If it’s something you enjoy telling your lady friends about, or going on the internet and telling people about, you’re probably not being honest with your hubby or yourself concerning the reasons behind the game.

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zed January 17, 2010 at 08:31

It’s been working well for us these past fourteen years.

Ah, yes, the “mythical wonderful wife.”

Perhaps you and B&G would like to submit some examples to us of some of your posts on women’s forums where you demonstrate the same fervor for instructing women how they can make their relationships better as you are spending here.

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Kimski January 17, 2010 at 08:54

-Or not.

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Black&German January 17, 2010 at 08:59

There’s no point, although I do have stuff like this posted on my blog. Women’s forums are already filled with this type of stuff. I hang out at Catholic Answers and it’s a major topic. Here’s an example:

The best advice ever given to me was last year, in confession, by (at that time) my parish priest…who said that ‘my husband and I are one flesh. There is no need to debate or compete with one another, because we are one. When I’m hurting, he is, and visa versa. When couples start viewing each other as one flesh–they will be more in harmony–because they are working towards the betterment of the one–not of their individual selves.’
That advice stuck with me, and it really made a marked change for the better in my marriage. I would like to think my marriage was already doing well–but I think after hearing that, we just became more loving and self giving to one another.

Books have been written, as well, and they are best-sellers (and I’ve read them all). The Surrendered Wife, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, etc.

Seems like you guys are just terribly jaded. You’re convinced that all women on the planet are demon spawn. But really, do you think any woman who wasn’t demon spawn would want to marry someone who thought she was demon spawn?

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Black&German January 17, 2010 at 09:01

Anyway, Dr. Paul, why would someone who can’t successfully navigate a marriage offer someone else relationship advice? You are singularly unqualified, and any man who takes your advice deserves what he gets.

Now go back to throwing eggs at my gender.

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Black&German January 17, 2010 at 09:04

I would contend that if both parties know what is being done and why then it’s just a ritual rather than manipulation.

No, it’s ritual manipulation by mutual consent. LOL. You guys are a trip.

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Snark January 17, 2010 at 09:33

I would say that being unmarried makes one far more qualified than one who is married. One who married had not the perception to see the pitfall his life was careening into.

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jon January 17, 2010 at 09:39

Thank god for dr. laura. If she had a clue about men she wouldn’t have named her book “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.” How disrespectful can you get? She’s arrogant and dismissive just like you B&G. The very title of her book is a not very subtle putdown.

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zed January 17, 2010 at 09:52

why would someone who can’t successfully navigate a marriage offer someone else relationship advice?

That is actually a pretty good question. I always wondered about all those relationship advice books in the 1990s written by people like John Gray and Barbara DeAngelis who had both been married and divorced 4 times – including once from each other.

Of course you are missing the point that women have overplayed their hands and not all men are willing to make themselves into doormats in order to get along with manipulative women because they consider “relationships” to be of paramount importance.

With the 50% divorce rate, and the female tendencies toward hypergamy which women tend to have, it seems that men may have less need of advice on how to get along with women than they need on how to get along without them.

So, perhaps Dr. Paul can be seen as dispensing non-relationship advice to men – given that the relationship advice of the past 40 years has resulted in >50% of women living without a husband.

And, BTW, I didn’t ask what Dr. Laura was doing, I was inviting the “mythical wonderful wives” to show something that they were doing other than hanging out here looking for new men to nag because their own husbands may be reaching the limits of their tolerance for it.

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Black&German January 17, 2010 at 11:30

Of course you are missing the point that women have overplayed their hands

Actually, I have not missed that point. And my over-long and unwieldy post above was addressing that very point. Obviously, or I wouldn’t be hanging out here. I’m with you guys on most issues (y’all know that), but the idea that women (or men) are somehow inherently evil is an oversimplification of a real problem: our modern laws do not reflect our physiological and psychological makeup. They don’t fit how people really are, they fit how feminists and white-knights think people really are, or should be.

The 50% divorce rate so often quoted on this forum is misleading. The relevant information is how many of each marriage end in divorce. It only seemed like it was 50% for a while because the huge group of baby-boomers was divorcing and the marriages were taking place among a smaller group of their children. Marriages entered into today are much more stable than those of the boomer generation. The problem today isn’t so much the divorce rate (although it’s still a problem), it’s the illegitimacy rate, the resulting declining birth rate, and the unfair treatment after divorce. As well as the bizarre anti-marriage and anti-male laws that are being passed, although I see those as the last death-spasms of feminism and socialism, rather than a resurgence of those ideologies.

You guys keep missing a point I’m trying to make on here: you keep comparing women like me to those feminist boomer divorcee-types. But I’m not the daughter of one of those divorcees. I’m the daughter of one of the women who didn’t divorce. I’m the product of one of those new-fangled egalitarian marriages that worked out; where the people genuinely like each other and want to stick together. I married my husband because I like him, he’s a nice guy and a good dad and that’s a good enough reason for me to stick around. Same for him. I know it’s hard for you to believe, but there really are women out there who like their husbands. I’d even venture a guess and say that most wives like their husbands and most husbands like their wives. Crazy, I know.

You keep bringing up some “wonderful wife myth” that I’ve never prescribed to. I’m not a wonderful wife, I’m a good-enough wife. My husband could probably write a list 2 pages long in fine print of all the things I could do to improve (starting with lose 5 lbs, probably). That’s not the point. The point is that the bar set for being a good-enough wife is actually really low, which is why it’s shocking that so many women don’t reach it.

If I look at the original article and comments and ignore the snarky tone, then it boils down to the rules of being a good-enough wife:

1) Don’t act like a jerk
2) Don’t nag
3) Don’t get fat and dress like a slob
4) Don’t neglect or mistreat the children or the home
5) Cook edible food on a regular basis
6) Have sex with your husband and only your husband
7) Don’t leave your husband
8) Don’t take his kids away from him

I think most guys would be happy living with a wife like that because she’s a good-enough wife. Guys are actually pretty low-maintenance like that.

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George January 17, 2010 at 14:04

“The fact is that most women make decent mothers so the biggest reproductive advantage they can offer their children is in their choice of father.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

For real?

Most women are quite content leaving their kids with grandparents, distant relatives, or COMPLETE STRANGERS, while they run off and shop for shoes or get botulism injected into their faces, or whatever fucked up/pointless shit you ladies are doing for kicks these days.

The person most likely to neglect or physically abuse a child, or put the child in a position to be neglected or abused, usually by the aforementioned complete stranger the mother dumps the child onto, is the mother.

Most women are guilty of doing this. AT LEAST ONCE.

The job of “mother” is contracted out to about 50 different people by the female parent. That’s laziness and neglect, and shows that the “mother” really doesn’t give a fuck about the well-being of the child(ren) in her care.

But alas, I as a man, would put the burden of that neglect and abuse solely on the father, for entrusting a child to care for a child.

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Kathy Farrelly January 17, 2010 at 14:14

“Perhaps you and B&G would like to submit some examples to us of some of your posts on women’s forums where you demonstrate the same fervor for instructing women how they can make their relationships better as you are spending here.” Why, Zed?

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George January 17, 2010 at 14:17

“So if I’m carrying a heavy box and exclaim, “Wow, this is heavy!” my husband will rush over and take it from me (it never fails, and usually he doesn’t even give me the opportunity to carry anything even moderately heavy and will act angry with me if I attempt to pick it up). ”

It sounds like you are treating your husband like a pack-mule. Sure, he will do these things for you, but do you honestly think he has nothing better to do than run around doing chores for you that you could do for yourself just as easily?

And for what? To cater to your desire for attention? How selfish.

What if he asked you to blow him in front of a room full of people in order to cater to his desire to be seen as a chick magnet?

That’s essentially the male equivalent of what you’re doing. And you’re wasting his valuable time,as well.

“If I’m a doormat, I just continue to schlep the box and suffer in silence.””

No, if you are a mature adult, you take care of your own problems the best you can and don’t lay your burdens on the backs of others. An adult doesn’t need constant attention or praise, a child does.

Doing something for other people because they need you to or because it must be done is NOT “being a doormat”, it is being conscientious and thinking of others before yourself. That is a DESIRABLE trait to possess, one which very few people exemplify.

Someone who suffers in silence has honor, as long as the suffering is for a noble cause. By making your husband do these things for you, out of a selfish need for attention,you are affirming over and over, “I have no honor, I am not worthy of trust or respect.”.

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David January 17, 2010 at 14:46

Some of the women here sound fine to me. Men and women are both flawed. I think we have heard – for a very long time, probably back a century or more – that men are bad but women are good. In recent times, women have had more power to do evil, and some of them have used it unfortunately.

As one of my old bosses used to say, there is a “disconnect” between the old image of woman and the new behaviour of women.

I think Black&German’s 8 points are pretty good.

Marriage is a complex thing. It requires a lot of clever management. I was saying to a friend recently that, despite her faults, I always find my wife interesting. I sometimes say to people, marry the person whose faults you can tolerate.

I know I keep harping on this, but becoming aware of the “game” dynamic has made it clearer to me why some things have worked and some haven’t in our marriage. I’ll give an example. My wife wanted me to put a fence around her vegetable garden. I had put some “outdoor shoes” on and went downstairs. My wife said I should come grocery shopping with her. I said something like, “But I was going to do the job you asked. Look I have my shoes on.” Largely out of laziness I agreed to go shopping with her. On the way home, we had a bitter argument.

As I was thinking up on the roof yesterday as I cleared leaves out of gutters, I made two mistakes by going shopping. I acted like a little boy with his mother, by presenting myself with my work shoes on “like a good boy”. Secondly, I tagged along with her shopping, a feminine task, along with our son, like another little boy going shopping with his mother. What I should have done is let her go shopping, and then made up my mind how much work to do in the garden. I should, in short, have acted like a man.

Once you start to think about how you are coming across to your wife, you start to see the mistakes you are making.

This morning as my wife went off to work (I am on holidays), I teased her as she got dressed, told her how lucky she was to have had 24 years of marriage to a wonderful man to service, and so on. She said some annoying things that I ignored. In short, I was “cocky”, “arrogant” and “funny”. Masculine game. A lot of this comes naturally to any husband, unless he has let himself be ground down and pussified.

What I didn’t do was get down on my knees and thank her for 24 wonderful years, or something soppy like that.

I have read “The Care and Feeding of a Husband”. It’s quite a good book, in which the woman author actually refers to the elephant in the room, that most men like to be the leader.

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Dr. Paul January 17, 2010 at 16:06

For those interested. A quote from the mentioned book by Dr. Laura:

“I think your man should be willing to swim through shark infested waters to bring you lemonade. And I mean that literally.”

Laura’s crap = Gray’s crap = Hendrix’s crap = McGraw’s crap. Each one of those writers, and I have read them all, cover to cover, depend on the same model of masculinity that counts on sacrificing itself to the whims of women in order to feel adequate, in order to be good men and husbands. Dr. Laura takes women to task on a few things, for sure. But in the end crap is crap, even if one variety of crap has slightly less misandry than the other.

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David January 17, 2010 at 16:26

Progress is incremental. I was fairly happy with Dr Laura’s book and I was happy that my wife read it. It is not perfect but it is a vast improvement over the sort of feminist bullshit that women get fed in even the supposedly conservative women’s magazines.

And, as I said, she actually said the unsayable: that men like to lead. Until more women, and men, admit this and deal with it, there will be no real progress. The solution to women’s boredom with men and desire for “alphas” is to turn the average husband back into the Head of House that he used to be. As I said to a friend yesterday, male headship in marriage was the media norm until only about thirty years ago.

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Dr. Paul January 17, 2010 at 16:34

I agree, David, the book was an improvement, but I also tend to be careful for words like “lead” being codespeak for “serve” in their own right. Not meaning that as a reference to you personally, but I recall another woman commenting on how she liked the book because it put him in a position of taking care of everything, “especially what {she} wanted”

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David January 17, 2010 at 16:45

You make a very good point, Dr Paul. The churches are a major problem of late, in that they have often been dishonest in the way they have presented Christian headship. Even if one is not a Christian, the attitude of the churches to this issue will have an inevitable impact on the broader culture.

My own church, Catholicism, has been way better than most, but it has certainly been infected with some feminist ideas.

I was discussing this with a friend yesterday. I said that Christian husbandly headship is indeed meant to be one of love, but love does not mean doing whatever your wife wants, or pandering to her, or putting up with her sillier feminine moods. As my friend said, you love your children, but you don’t necessarily give them everything they want. You give them what they really need.

I have come to see, slowly, that loving one’s wife is not sentimental love, or servile love, but can include firmness where appropriate. It depends on the woman, but many women need firmness, not being pandered to by a weak husband who pretends he is being a good husband but is really abdicating his responsibility.

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Snark January 17, 2010 at 16:45

When confronted with the notion that men should ‘lead’, the litmus test I use is Nietzsche’s slave/master morality.

Is the man told to ‘lead’ because, in that position, he is facilitating what someone else wants?

Because then, despite the praises that may be heaped upon his value, or his functionality, or his proficiency, all of it is contingent upon how well he performs for the benefit of another.

Men even end up believing this for themselves. You know, they’re the assholes who think that they – and we – ‘owe’ something to women. They’re feminist apologists and social conservatives.

And they follow a slave morality.

If, however, the notion that a man should ‘lead’ is grounded in an understanding that he is the best, or most qualified to do so, from which he benefits and from which others benefit too, then this is a master morality.

Things can get a little fuzzy when ‘others benefit’, of course.

I think the distinction is that the ‘others’, who shall benefit from his leadership role, willingly relinquish that role to him, and do not keep it back from him.

I.e., the man who ‘leads’ according to slave morality does not really lead at all. He leads ‘as instructed’ by someone else. He is given instruction to lead, and how to lead. E.g. swimming through shark-infested waters to boost his wife’s ego. Is that truly ‘leading’, or is that pathetic supplication?

It seems that if you attach the concept of ‘leading’ to supplication, some men will buy it, and go on supplicating – purporting to beat their manly chests, while in reality bowing down before their chosen master.

Would a leader, who genuinely retains the leading role, swim through shark-infested waters for any reason? Of course not. And if he is pressured into doing so by his ‘followers’, then he is merely a follower of their leadership. His morality is that of a slave.

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David January 17, 2010 at 16:58

Yes, snark, I understand a lot of what you are saying. My sister used to say of bringing up children, “if you don’t make them cry every half-hour, you are not being a good parent.”

I think one could likewise say of a good head of house, “if you don’t peeve your wife every couple of hours, you are not being a good husband.”

I certainly let my wife “win one” fairly often, but I make damn sure she loses a few too, and I make sure she knows it. A complacent wife is a lazy wife, and a lazy wife is a dissatisfied wife.

People, husbands and wives, especially Christians, should go away and read that passage in Ephesians all the way through. It is quite a surprise. Wives are to obey their husbands “in everything”. It is quite absolutist.

Rather than Nietzsche, I would refer to Aquinas I think it was, who said that men’s leadership is indeed for the benefit of those led. But, and this is important, he leads because he is best qualified to lead by virtue of his primacy as a man. This is quite explicit in the New Testament – “the head of every woman is the man”. That is (and here we must ignore the bleatings of the womenfolk) man has primacy over woman which leads to his properly taking headship.

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David January 17, 2010 at 17:07

In case anyone doubts my claims about male headship being assumed in popular culture as recently as the 1970s, I recall the following instances from watching TV sitcoms of the time (British and US):

A wife apologising to her husband for “flying in the face of [his] authority”.

A young wife telling her husband that he was “the gaffer” [English slang for boss].

Girlfriends agreeing to let their boyfriends sit while they stood, because “they are the masters, after all” [I am not making this up.]

A husband telling his wife that he wanted a proper breakfast, with tea served by his wife. [This was quite a late British example, and actually involved her adultery eventually.]

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Black&German January 17, 2010 at 18:03

We shouldn’t forget that Dr. Laura is not a Christian, so her book won’t reflect Christian teachings about marriage. But it’s still a pretty good book.

The solution to women’s boredom with men and desire for “alphas” is to turn the average husband back into the Head of House that he used to be.

Agreed. But we should be careful that Head of House is a position that is unrelated to “breadwinner”. There’s some confusion about that, because the two roles so often overlap. The husband is the designated head of the house even if he’s not working; he receives that designation because he is the man, not due to something he’s done or hasn’t done. And, importantly, he’s not allowed to give it up, even when it sucks (and being a leader sometimes royally sucks); it’s a mandatory position. Same deal with the wife’s submission; it’s absolute.

No, if you are a mature adult, you take care of your own problems the best you can and don’t lay your burdens on the backs of others.

That doesn’t sound like marriage to me. That sounds like two people living in a house, doing their own thing, and shagging occasionally. When you marry (at least when Christians marry) you actually become one being (cleave) and you exchange responsibility for yourself with responsibility for the other. Her body becomes his body, and his body becomes her body. That’s the whole point of marriage, and what elevates it above mere cohabitation. In doing so, your primary responsibility becomes the other person.

A complacent wife is a lazy wife, and a lazy wife is a dissatisfied wife.
This is true. Even if you do something nice for her, she should understand that you’re doing her a favor, and not take it for granted. If she thinks you’re placating to her, she’ll become annoyed with you. It’s that fine line that I think men today have so much trouble walking.

For example, if your wife starts acting snappy and territorial when you try to help out, just drop it and leave the room. She’ll probably be relieved. And if she’s not relieved, then she’ll be quiet the next time (if there is a next time).

David, I knew it! You’re Catholic. It had to be. :-) Just saw what you wrote about Ephesians and totally agree. The message is absolute, and leaves no room for negotiation.

I also agree that being loving is more an action verb than a feeling. And sometimes that love is tough-love, if needs be.

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David January 17, 2010 at 18:22

Yes, Black&German, I am a Catholic. A cradle Catholic as they say, who has started attending mostly Latin Masses in recent years.

I appreciate your input. I think you make some good points. At the risk of “White Knighting”, I am sorry you have been copping some flak (getting some criticism) here of late. I think feminists really started to “lose it” when they stopped listening to sensible men, and I think men need to listen to sensible women if we are to make some progress.

I agree about the role of head of house not being the same as breadwinner. I think, with all due respect, that this is a characteristically American error. As it happens, I am the primary breadwinner (not the sole breadwinner), but that is not the reason for my being head of house. I think that is rooted in my theological understanding. And I agree that it is not always fun. Sometimes it is deeply unpleasant, when things go badly wrong. And when one’s wife is unhappy, there is a penitential aspect to it. Feminists don’t get this: sometimes being the man is not fun. Rights bring responsibilities.

Noblesse oblige. At the same time, I think there is no harm in enjoying one’s rights.

And one is either head of house or one isn’t. You don’t get to choose. As I said on this site a while back, a man doesn’t get to play at being a woman sometimes – or vice versa. A man is stuck with his God-given role, and a woman with hers.

I am not sure about my wife’s “theology”. Her opinions seem to change a lot, but she does, in actuality, tend to obey me and listen to me. I think, underneath all the cheeky remarks, there is quite a deal of respect.

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David January 17, 2010 at 18:51

As an addendum, my wife and I have talked about our swapping breadwinner roles in a few years time. I might semi-retire, or take up consulting in the technical area in which I work, and my wife might become the chief breadwinner.

However, I would still be the head of the house. I would still sit at the head of the table literally and figuratively.

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Black&German January 18, 2010 at 06:01

I have a thick skin, David. Sparring on here is good practice for real life debate.

Cradle Catholic attending Latin Mass here, too. I also wandered a bit in my youth, but have come home with a vengeance. Have you read the blog from the Archbishop of Washington? It’s pretty good. Nice to have a priest with a bit of backbone blogging. Oooh. Just saw that the topic today is “Raising Boys” and he makes some excellent points.

Yeah, I think the Head of the House and breadwinner roles are often confused; this is one of the problems with feminism. Women thought that if they earned enough money, they could become the leader, but it rarely works out that way. Nor should it.

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evrynome August 21, 2011 at 04:36

wow, all this male` superior`mentality, masturbating around this subject.
Humanity suffers from malignant archetypes and people continue to prolongate them because they have their own issues and keep fantasizing that they have the life force of building a million lives with shoulds and shouldnts. In love, everything is about the female. And don`t make of this truth a rationalisation, meaning that `since it is about the female, females should know better…`. Stop that. It is stated by the laws of human nature that it is all about the woman. A true man in love is a constant providor who self sacrifices.In the love making he kills the woman and then he has to restore her life. In the relationship he is, `should` be, sacrifice and the nature of woman is to chase her guilts concerning the man who becomes a sacrifice for her.

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lilly October 25, 2012 at 12:50

what really sucks is my boyfriend is imbarrised by me, he even admitted to it. So now he wants me to tell all my friends and family that we broke up (he wants me to tell people he “dumped” me ) to make him seem cooler, im sick and tired of him talking about me to his friends and then when i hear the things he says about me i ask him you know like why did you say that about me and he says every time ” i only said that so that we can keep things on the “down low ” I love him but this is just sick and tiring what should i say/do HELP ME !!!!

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The One January 27, 2014 at 19:59

Oh, Dr. Paul, you oh so dreamy one…The simple man in one complicated article. To the men out there that get it, loving the ladies for all the right reasons (the right ladies that you enjoy dual respect with) and to all the selfish mommy issue little wanna be mans, enjoy the single life, enjoy the article of non sense and because I have somewhat of an IQ, corrupted humor.

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sveda April 15, 2014 at 14:45

After reading through many posts on this page ….the reason being I feel my husband plays hot/cold im getting sick of his manipulative ways .
I have come to realise how hard women have to work at a relationship. Earlier posts mention shutting up and not talking are keys to sustaining a healthy relationship with a man. Serving him and not expecting much are the underlying tones.
Brings me to ask you men : Aren’t those signs you’re all selfish, moody,ungrateful creatures? When you say you want to get to know a woman before taking it to the next level how will you know her, if one of the pre requisites is shutting up and closing down; worse yet creating unhappiness, uncertainty, loneliness and self doubt in whom you chose to take seriously?
What do you achieve being in your own shell yet you need your needs met like sex,food and company? Aren’t you better off alone than dampening an unsuspecting woman’s spirit? That spells disrespect loud and clear…even a lack of love.
So what right do you have to say you deserve love and respect if you already come conditioned into a personal relationship?
If you’ve always been the type who supports and understands his partner it is in your nature and no matter how hard you try to be a prick you will always feel awkward. If you have mastered being a jerk you create bitchiness in women so be prepared to hear it out you created the monster face it.
What a few good words, a hug, smile can do and where it leads: better communication and your needs met without coercion and rejection; the same cannot be said of preconcieved ideals of what you presume are simple achieves. In short do a full introspection and ask yourselves if it’s meant for you :a relationship. Or just as well go get all the sex one night stands etc and be host to a myriad of STD’s and mostly which are viral and permanent…..once again you’re disrespect and lack of interest in genuinely knowing the pleasurable pleasant and sincere aspects of a woman you’re with: creates
Resentful Bitter Nagging women you so conveniently classify as BITCHES.
Men cannot assume their needs are simple; it sounds primitive whatever I’ve read. Then if you’re so simple please follow through in your behaviour that’s where i see alot of hypocrisy and untruths. There is no cohesion in what you say and act. This is why women have to read how to guides. Different perceptions gender wise perhaps then try to bridge the communication gap just dont say to yourselves” awe why cant she just shut up and screw me?” No woman in any frame of mind will agree. That leaves you men with multiple numerous intimate partners and a sure fire way to host a myriad of STD’s.
After all your needs are very simple shall we say primitive so stay that way dont demand respect or love its not for savage beasts.

Luv sveda

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