How to Teach a Boy to Look for a Good Wife

This morning, my son and I were out with the baby shopping for a few groceries.  We’re about to leave for a vacation next week, so we were only there for a quick run-in to buy the few items we need to survive for a few more days.  Lately, I’ve been in such a rush after I get the baby in, our shopping items, and my son is all in, I take it for granted that his seat belt is on, and  try to drive away.  This never happened before the baby!  I always made sure he was strapped and buckled in, but apparently, I’ve lost my mind. 🙂

My husband has been told about these instances… lol, I always get told-on, which is good, it keeps me accountable.  Whenever I try to drive away without checking if he’s strapped in, our son will now scream at the top of his lungs “I’M NOT STRAPPED IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

… it gets the job done.

He knows, we’ve had the conversation before, that good parents love their children… and part of showing that love is ensuring their safety. Laziness is the opposite of love.  He knows he’s valuable… he knows he deserves to be strapped in when we’re driving.  He’s really mature for a 5 year old.

So this morning, I remembered to ask him before driving away, and he thoughtfully said as we were driving off towards home that if he marries a bad woman that never straps his kids in, he’s going to tell them to scream to be strapped in.  He thinks bad women don’t care about their children, and you know… with all the abortion, child abuse, and neglect, he’s really not off in his thinking. Again… he’s mature for 5.

Hearing him talk about a “bad woman” has mixed emotions for me… 1) I told him that I don’t want him to think of marriage as simply happenstance – that it’s inevitable or unavoidable to marry a bad woman.  I told him that he has choices, that he will have many choices, and will hopefully be able to pick a good wife someday, and 2) the fact that he even thinks knows women are capable of being “bad” is a good thing and makes me proud.  Most men are conditioned to believe that the majority of women are good, angelic and innocent creatures, and have a man’s best interest in mind.  Women, to the contrary, have been proven time and time again, that they mostly only care about their own self-interest, and could care less about the reality, the feelings, and the happiness of men.  Hearing wives and husbands talk about the dynamics of their marriages on the Dr. Laura radio talk show when growing up was a real eye-opener to me – the majority of wives do not care about their husbands, that is the situation of the American Woman.

So since we’re not looking into moving to Europe anytime soon, a major part of raising a son is making him aware of what makes a good wife.  Teaching him the red flags as well as the good attributes are part of responsible parenting, it’s giving him an appropriate education so that he can plan out the course of his life using knowledge to guide him.

Here are some things we talked about this morning, basically it was just asking him to think about what he cares about in his life and future:

1) Do you love God?  Yes, he really loves God… this boy loves church and loves learning about the stories in the Bible.  Sunday is his favorite day of the week.  I asked him if he cares if his children will love God?  Of course he does!  He already talks about “when I’m a dad…”  “when I have kids…”  He’s a planner, and like I said, very mature… he knows he’s going to be the leader of his family someday – and that includes being the spiritual leader.  I explained to him that if these things are important to him, then it needs to reflect in who he looks for as a wife.  A good wife, therefore, according to what he values in life, needs to love God and be a firm Christian.  I do believe that a non-Christian can be a very good wife and mother – it is important for the boy/man to understand what he values

2) Do you care about health and fitness?  Yes!  He is a sports-a-holic, a classic little athlete.  I’ve told him before, many times, that he’s a Triple Threat: he is incredibly handsome, incredibly smart, good at school, and athletic – all these things are what girls tend to love about guys.  He’s even musically inclined and loves to play the drums & guitar.  He’s going to have lots of girls after him more than likely, even in high school.  I told him that since he cares about health, fitness, and exercise, that he needs to look for a girl who takes care of herself – probably a girl who works out.  I told him it may be wise to pick a girl that loves sports because you know she is 1) more than likely taking care of her body, and 2) that exercise and health are probably important to her.  Dance and Cheer leading count here, but almost any female sport is probably a good sign.  I asked him to think about if he’d be ok if a woman he married gained a lot of weight after marriage, or after pregnancy, used it as an excuse to stay fat?  Of course he said no, he doesn’t like how extra weight (fat) looks on women.  He actually really values keeping his own body fit, working out with his dad to Insanity (incredibly).  He gets this propensity to value an athletic physique from his dad and I, and so he’s going to expect his future wife to also value keeping her body attractive and fit.  Before the feminist Fat Acceptance Movement, this was common knowledge that men (and women) prefer muscle tone over excessive fat.  In fact, just a few decades ago, the average female size was much smaller than it is today.  Our great grandmothers understood the value of staying slender – not only because of the way it looked, but because of health reasons they didn’t even quite understand the science behind back then, they simply knew it wasn’t good.  It was not taboo to state that being overweight was bad for one’s health.  The more fit a person is as they age, the less they’ll have to worry about their body falling apart on them – knee problems, joint problems, tears in their ligaments from the extra heavy weight putting too much pressure on their cartilage, joints, and intricacies of the human body.  Quite simply put, we were not created by God to be able to take a lot of extra weight – our bodies (interior and exterior) respond very negatively to it.  Obesity is the leading cause of almost every fatal disease, including cancer as it speeds up the rate of which cancer cells multiply and spread (fat tissue causes inflammation – did a whole research project on this at university).  I asked him if he cares about his kid’s health and fitness?  Of course!  Then when picking a good mother for his children, it is still very important to look for these same qualities of a girl/woman who also values her health, body and fitness as it will carry over into the lessons she will teach his children later in life.  The best lesson, by far, is shown by example, so he needs to pick a wife that will be an excellent example for his future children.  If he loves his children, the kind of mother he picks for them should meet the standards he values for himself, and for them.

A woman who is responsible enough to take care of her health and body, is more than likely also conscientious enough (and wise enough) to be diligent about taking care of other important tasks in life, such as her children’s hygiene, school grades, friendships, etc.  She is less likely to be lazy or undisciplined… the very fact that she is disciplined enough to take care of herself, or exercise regularly, shows that a part of her is mature and responsible, a good steward over what God has entrusted to her.  A good wife is mature and responsible, and diligent enough to take care of herself.

I told him, because of the things he values and cares about, he needs to look for a woman who visibly takes care of herself – someone who takes care to dress herself well, who looks like she puts effort into maintaining a good sense of outer beauty because it accurately reflects how she feels about herself and life in general.  A confident woman relishes feeling good about herself – not in a vain, prideful way, but in a healthy, responsible way.  Like any little boy, he loves and appreciates seeing beautiful women, women who make an effort to make themselves beautiful.

3) He needs to beware of women who will spend money recklessly or carelessly.  I talked to him about how some women stress their husbands out by constantly spending their money, or by being in competition with their friends over cars, houses, and possessions.  I explained that if he didn’t want to be stressed out and in fear of being poor, then he needed to pick a wife that was good with money.  Materialistic girls and women drive their men crazy and undermine their marriage with selfish habits regarding money.  A red flag is a woman who cares more about clothes, purses, shoes, cars etc. than understanding the value of money and investments.  A good wife is a girl he can tell doesn’t care about high end fashion labels, or at least does the hard work of planning & saving before buying something that expensive, as opposed to using her parent’s freely provided credit card that serves to teach her the wrong message about money – that it grows on trees.  The ideal wife is frugal, but even a wife that simply understands self-discipline and self-control in order to save up for her expensive things is better than a wife who pretends she doesn’t understand in order to excuse over-spending.

I’m sure there are many more things for a boy or teenage guy to consider in how to pick a good wife for himself, but this was as far as we got before arriving in our driveway and he was distracted by his puppy!

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Single Women – Use Common Sense with Make-Up

A couple of weeks ago, there was a youtube video going around social media of a young woman showing the different responses she had from men regarding how she looked with and without makeup.  A friend sent it to me to see what I thought about it, and wow, was it brutal….

I feel for this woman, I really do.  One of the most important things a woman can do for herself regarding her beauty, is to have the best skincare routine possible.  This means getting rid of any acne.  Yes.  Getting RID of it… in this day and age, there is simply no excuse.

If you have a daughter, it is your job to ensure that she understands how to take care of her skin… it is crucial to her future.  My parents made sure I saw a dermatologist as soon as I started getting a single pimple.  I was given prescriptions and magic potion ointments that gave me gorgeous and flawless skin that I still have today.

I was given knowledge of how to properly take care of my skin.  For a woman, this is paramount to her future.  Acne severely diminishes her attractiveness, even making her look unhealthy or sickly, but with the kinds of ointments and powerful drugs out there, it is no longer an excuse.

Some cases need harsher prescriptions, some need very affordable, light-weight drugs like Tetracycline – extremely affordable, I was able to have clear beautiful skin for $5/month just using Tetracycline.

Mothers, it is your job to teach your daughters to understand how to take care of her skin, but also how men perceive women who over-share their beauty techniques (ie: how a woman hides her flaws, as seen in this video).  It’s not that women can’t have any flaws, it’s that we need to teach our daughters to not be so vulnerable when putting themselves out there.  No one needs to see her beauty tricks if its going to put her in a negative light, this is something that should be kept private as she sorts out how to get rid of her acne (it is doable).

Single women, regardless of it you had a mother who taught you how to use makeup, understand men, or embrace your own femininity, it is now YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to ensure your skincare is under control.

Yes, the men were unnecessarily harsh and cruel to her, but this is the way men feel about a woman hiding her acne underneath perfect makeup.  

They feel lied to.  They think it’s false advertising.  Your daughter needs to know this, she needs to understand that using makeup needs to be done in a tasteful way, and that overall, her skincare (achieving as flawless-skin as possible), is what really matters.  She needs to understand common sense when it comes to men and makeup usage.  They like it, most truly do, but only when it’s not hiding something ugly underneath that they can’t see.  They know makeup makes you look a little better, but they don’t want to feel like you look like a totally different person.

It scares men when you use makeup in this way (and show them your secrets).  It simply does.

Andrew, from The Rules Revisited, did a wonderful article on What Men Think of You Without Makeup that offers some more manly insight!  

From Andrew:

“There is no question that you look better with your hair and makeup done than you do without it. If your boyfriend tells you that you are hotter without it, because he prefers when you “look more natural,” he is either lying or you aren’t doing your makeup correctly. Makeup is designed to make you look better; saying that it doesn’t is like saying that a fresh coat of paint on a house doesn’t make the house look better: it is only true when someone screws up the paint job by using the wrong colors or applying the right ones incorrectly.

In any case, although cosmetics give you an undeniable advantage when it comes to controlling your appearance, they come with the burden of deciding when and where their use is appropriate. The following points explain what men think about seeing you done up or in your natural state, so that you can better choose between the two when that decision proves difficult.

1. He cares about first impressions. We all do. They matter. Initial experiences leave an impression on the mind much deeper than most of those that follow; this is simply the way the human brain works. So make sure you are looking great the first few times you meet him; he will remember it. (Note that I did not say that you should be looking “your best” the first few times you meet him. This is because it is always good to keep a little something in reserve. If your “great” isn’t good enough for him, your “best” probably won’t be either. And even if it were, you would have to be completely focused on your appearance in order to barely keep him interested, making your life a living hell.)

2. He is going to see you without makeup eventually, so don’t make inordinate attempts to avoid being seen bare-faced after the first few dates. By inordinate I mean things like canceling a date because you won’t have time to do your hair perfectly, or completely avoiding a hike with him because full makeup and hair would be inappropriate. I don’t mean spending an hour getting ready for a date. Spending time to make yourself look your best is normal, not inordinate; so err on the side of doing this more frequently rather than less. Just beware that there is an upper limit to the benefit of added effort, since he will see you without makeup eventually.
3. He doesn’t stop wanting to see you done up. There is a misconception among some women that as a relationship develops, a man becomes either (a) less turned on by seeing you done up, or (b) more turned on by seeing you in your natural state. Neither of these are true. In fact, if anything, the opposite is true in both instances, since, as a man grows accustomed to your look, his sex drive starts nagging at him, inclining him to desire other women (though in a good relationship, this is counteracted by emotional investment, time investment, love, etc.) In any case, he certainly doesn’t stop wanting to see you look your best, or grow less disappointed when you reduce the effort you put into your appearance. There is no point at which you can “relax” without implications while you are both sexually active with each other. If this seems unfair, remember the analogy between confidence and beauty: you taking a break from being beautiful for him is like him taking a break from being strong and confident for you. While you could probably sympathize with your man’s desire to relax in this regard, and might even be OK with him showing his weaknesses to you from time to time (see #7 below), you’d prefer to always have him being his strongest, and you wouldn’t be any less turned off by his weakness just because time had elapsed in the relationship.

4. He hates a women whose life is dictated by her appearance. The negative effect of being unwilling to do activities that would require you to not wear makeup (camping, surfing, etc.) by far outweighs the advantage you gain by always being seen at your best – especially considering points #2 and #8.

5. He loves a woman who is confident in her own skin. Confidence is a character trait that both sexes find incredibly attractive in the other (even if women value it more than men) because confidence is rooted in a healthy self-perception and acknowledgement of one’s own self-worth – which all diligent and contentious people have. The attractiveness of your confidence is much more important than whatever advantage you sacrifice by occasionally being seen without makeup.

6. He loves you looking your best during sex. Remember that men are primarily stimulated visually. While there is a certain attraction to being naked with a woman who bares her whole self to you, most of the time a man wants to be sleeping with the hottest woman he can. Again, remember the analogy between confidence and beauty, and consider how you’d feel if your normally confident man man turned into a weak pushover in the sack. I am not saying that you should never have sex without your hair and makeup done. There are some instances in which getting done up just for sex isn’t appropriate, and he’d certainly rather have sex with the “au natural” you than not have sex at all. But when you have the option to get done up, and you find yourself tempted to think “oh, he doesn’t really care” or “we love each other so much it doesn’t matter,” remember this point.

7. There is something intimate about seeing a girl without makeup. When I’ve seen my ex-girlfriends without their hair and makeup done, I’ve had two thoughts: (a) she is less attractive, but (b) it is nice that I get to see this side of her. It is an expression of intimacy – and her confidence – that she can be herself in my presence, and this is worth something. Don’t use this as an excuse to ignore point #3, but allow it to help you if you struggle with point #5.

8. He isn’t expecting you to be as hot without it as you are with it. Men understand that you aren’t going to be as beautiful without your makeup on and hair done. This is expected, and it is factored in to their evaluation of your attractiveness. Yes, there are some women who get more benefit from makeup than others, and it ispossible for a man to be surprised by how much less attractive a girl looks without it. You can avoid falling into this category by understanding your complexion and wearing makeup that is compatible with your natural look; but regardless, know that men definitely hold you to lower standards when you aren’t made up.

A final point is worth noting: a genuinely feminine woman loves looking her best. She takes great pleasure in adorning herself and amplifying her internal beauty via her external beauty. You don’t need to be a supermodel to enjoy this; you simply need to know that you are looking your current best. The more youallow yourself to enjoy looking beautiful, the less you will resent the “need” to do so, and the more comfortable you will feel when you don’t.”

Who’s In Charge Here Anyway?

manwhisperer

The Man-whisperer

We were taking our cute puppy for a walk this morning through our neighborhood, and I thought I’d let my son try to walk him… again, it hasn’t worked out too well partly because he’s only 5, but also due to the fact that he’s been terrified of the puppy play-biting and for the past two weeks has had hit or miss confidence with the dog.  He’s allowed the puppy to think that he’s the boss of our son – and as a result, has refused to submit when our son is in command at all.  Our walk ended up with our son practically dragging him with short breaks of me taking the leash to show him how to confidently lead him until we were able to get back to the house.  He would walk perfectly for me, and then refuse to walk with our son.

Something I’ve noticed in the past two weeks we’ve had our puppy is that he is incredibly dominant.  He’s sweet, easy for my husband and I to train, can do simple tricks, wants to please in general… but even at the dog parks we’ve been to a few times, he tries to dominate older male or female dogs, push their limits like a puppy will do, play-biting them until they have to establish their own boundaries with him and he learns his canine social rank.  But suffice it to say, this walk left us all so frustrated (especially the puppy!)…   From my point of view, it was hard to control the dog, the leash, my son and his attitude towards the unsubmissive dog, along with trying to push the baby stroller at the same time.  It was a recipe for disaster and one exasperated mommy!

We came back inside to take a MUCH needed break, drink some cool water and I told my son he had to stay in the kitchen and be with the puppy for one hour without being afraid.

My husband takes control

My husband then came into the kitchen, I explained our walk and situation… he immediately took over control and began explaining to our son frame control, and having firm authority in establishing respect with the dog.

He took over and disciplined our son for acting fearful by making him stay with puppy, even forcing him to go outside with it. My husband stayed outside with our son, explaining to him what he needed to do in order to control his fear with the dog and show dominance.

It was so incredibly reassuring and relieving to feel the weight of control and discipline shift from my mommy-role shoulders, onto my capable husband’s.  A father’s unique masculinity and fortitude are so desperately needed as parenting is a million times easier with his strength and presence taking over to instruct or demonstrate.  I watched as he stayed outside a little longer with our son and the dog, teaching how to demonstrate dominant assertiveness, so thankful for his aptitude as a father and husband.  He then came inside saying that he wanted him to play with the dog outside alone for awhile.

Our son played for a good 15 minutes with the puppy, and then ran excitedly to the door and told us that he and his dog were having lots of fun together playing.  This was a dramatic difference from when he’d be outside alone with the dog before my husband had time to teach him confidence and authority.  Before, when he’d be outside letting the dog go potty, he would immediately run to the nearest chair or higher surface in order to escape any potential play-biting or jumping of the puppy.  Him being confident with the puppy and playing with him outside for a steady 15 minutes was a breakthrough!

When it was time to eat lunch, he came back inside and my husband had our son watch a few short videos of the Dog Whisperer explaining masculine dominance and calm authority in different scenarios with difficult dogs.  It led into an interesting discussion the two of them had where my husband explained leadership, and asked our son who is in charge of our family.  Our son undoubtedly answered that it was him.  And my husband asked him why he thought that was?  “Because you’re in charge.”  My husband then explained what it meant to “be in charge,” what that looked like in different situations or even environments with different kinds of people.  He explained why our son could sense that his father was in charge of our family.

Recently, my son stood up to a boy older than him that was subtlety trying to bully or otherwise exert dominance over him at a playground.  My husband reminded him of how he had dealt successfully with that situation, telling him that in order to stop that bully, he had employed strength and assertiveness.  He stood up for himself.  He actually punched the older (and taller by a foot) boy!

My husband explained how even without violence or force you can establish yourself as a leader in any given situation.  He described how he is assertive in our family – he simply employs a feeling of authority in his manner, body language, and voice.  He used the example of how he has managed to show our extremely stubborn and at times rebellious cats, who’s in charge.  They obey him simply by his commanding voice – and its no small feat to get a cat to listen to you and obey you.  He doesn’t use violence or brute force, however, his voice alone has the strength and authority that makes them feel like they have to obey.

Later that day,

I needed to take the boys and the dog out again to check the mail, and this time, the walking went a lot easier.  When the puppy would refuse to submit and walk with my son, he stopped, assumed a more masculine body language and frame of mind, talked calmly to the dog, and the dog would resume walking.  It was the perfect combination of strength and gentleness… and it was like some kind of miracle watching it work for the dog to follow.

***

The whole thing got me thinking about leadership, dominance, and willingness to submit or follow.  Even though humans are drastically more complex than what can be simply related to canine behavior, the basics of dominance, authority, confidence, or submission are all entities used everyday in human relations.  In fact, you could say that it is extremely important in order to survive in society to understand these underlying dynamics of relationships.  Confidence, assertiveness, or knowing and understanding when to back down all apply within marriage, with family members, friends, neighbors, and even with maintaining a good relationship with your boss.

When our son was allowing the dog to control him, to be in the dog’s frame, he showed the dog that it was the one in charge of the situation.  Even worse, when our son displayed fear or running away, the puppy’s experience of being the dominant one was reinforced and encouraged.  He had to learn how to establish trust and respect with the dog in order for it to follow him or think of him as a good leader.

The entire situation depended on how our son approached the situation.

The kicker is that he was always able to get the dog to behave the way he wanted to, but in order to use this power, he had to mentally shift into a confident, assertive and dominant frame of mind in order to achieve the results he wanted.  He had to go into the situation with the right emotional mindset and authority.  There was no way the dog would submit to someone he sensed was afraid or out of control – someone he didn’t think would make be a good leader.  Dogs only follow the leader of the pack.  He’d rather be dragged on a leash for 1/2 a mile than submit to less than his idea of canine rank.

It was a difficult and exasperating lesson for a five year old, but enlightening for this grateful mommy.  Learning to approach any situation in our lives with confidence and calm assertiveness in our ability to succeed is crucial to a life of success.  We may fail miserably, but we cannot allow that to control our mindset so that we undoubtedly set ourselves up for future failure.

We have more control in any given situation than we may feel or realize, and by simply shifting our mindset, shifting the way we view our problems, we can find an alternative solution akin to a miracle.

The Ignorant Sexless Wife

you changed

“My wife (26) and I (26) have been married for 2.5 years and known each other for close to 4. Our daughter just turned 15 months.

After the birth of our daughter, my wife was reluctant to have sex for a while because she delivered vaginally. Her OB said she was good to go after 3 weeks or so, but we waited for a couple months to make sure she was comfortable. I initiated and we had good sex, and she mentioned how long it’s been and how she missed it. Then, after that one time, my advanced started getting rejected, you know, standard stuff. After a couple months of it, I started talking to her about it, how sex was important to me for emotional connection etc., and she said it was important to her, too, but she wasn’t in the mood and wanted some time. We talked about her mind and body, but she said she wasn’t depressed, and she’s not breastfeeding or on birth control. So basically, everything was fine and perfect and she just wanted more time.

Fast forward a few months, I successfully got laid (sounds a bit sad, no?) one more time, and a few weeks later we found out she’s pregnant. (We took the necessary precautions.) She was excited about it, and I, too, because we planned on having two kids not too far apart in age. Of course, sex stayed at zero as she was feeling sick most of the time. A couple months into the pregnancy, she suffered a miscarriage that required an emergency D&C procedure. I took 4 weeks off work to be with my family and didn’t try anything sexual for around 3 months. Then, it was back to getting rejected, more talks with me suggesting counseling etc., telling her I was missing the connection and was drifting away. She kept saying she’s fine and doesn’t need help, it’s just the way it’s supposed to be after marriage and kids, I should be putting our daughter first, she’s tired, I told her I feel like we’re best platonic friends, roommates,

I, while sobbing, told her I was feeling dead inside.

Her suggestion was that I should just watch porn and jack off, and warned that if I were to see someone else she’d take our daughter and run.

We had sex once this year.

I know that taking care of a toddler is tough, as I used to work from home 100% and helped out. We also have help from my mother, who gets along quite well with our daughter and my wife, whenever we need her. However, my wife says she just doesn’t have the energy for me. I also suggested many times that the baby sleeps in her own room instead of with us, but that got shot down.

I’ve also readhttps://www.reddit.com/r/DeadBedrooms/comments/2julkr/attn_hl_men_with_ll_wivesgirlfriends_and_newborn/ and I’m trying to be understanding, but it’s been really, really tough.

Lately, I stopped initiating because I was tired of getting shut down.

I feel less inclined to cuddle and kiss, which we did quite a bit of even when we weren’t having sex. I’ve been feeling my self esteem go down the drain. I just want to feel desired and sexy.

I used to think it’s weak and lame to want validation from others, but shit this sucks. I’m trying to convince myself that I should give it until the baby turns 3 or 4, but apparently sex isn’t really that important to my wife so I’m not sure if things will change.

I’m now spending time among here, r/adultery/, and r/seduction, I’m pretty sure I know where this is headed.

Perhaps I should just tell her straight up I’m gonna start meeting other people? Should I talk to a lawyer first?” (Emphasis mine)

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

I came across this anonymous note written by Young Handsome Dad in Deadbedroom, found here, at dead bedrooms reddit.  Before you judge him for looking into meeting other people, let’s look at all the basic facts he’s laid out about his situation.  I wish I could say this was a unique situation, but unfortunately, its actually common.

People tend to think that after marriage and children, your sex life starts to suck or completely disappears.  That it is ok for one partner to simply not desire sex anymore.  That you should accept living out your life in a so-called, “Dead Bedroom.”

Sex does not have to stop after you have a baby, this I know because I’ve lived it.  If a wife loves her husband, is attracted to her husband, and understands the dynamics of a working marriage, she will still want to have sex even when the couple has an infant.  I remember right after I had our second boy this past Christmas, 2 weeks later I already wanted to have another of my husband’s babies!  It shocked me because I hated being pregnant.  It humored my husband because he flat out refused – it was never our plan to have any baby that close together – (its actually part of why we have a puppy!), but I honestly wanted him to get me pregnant again… that soon after giving birth, I already wanted another baby with him.

I was so in love with our life, our new baby, with him as the man he is.  This is how a good marriage should be.  The spouses should love each other, should want to be together, to be intimate together.  There should not be a constant rejection of one spouse’s advances.

When I read testimonies in Dead Bedrooms like this, I wonder if the husband understands how much his wife is to blame for their unhappiness or bad marriage.  Does she understand how cruel she is to constantly reject him?

Does she know that he’s giving up on happiness in life because of her dead weight pulling him down?

Does she know that she’s killing her husband’s self-esteem?

Does she know that she does not care about one of his deepest needs that can only be met by her and her alone?

Does she know that she’s abusing her husband, slowly killing him inside?

Does she know that he’s trying to convince himself to hold out until the child is 3 or 4 years old – something utterly ridiculous and incredulous, just so that he can save his marriage?

Does she know that her refusing to have sex with him is like him refusing to speak to her (communication is as essential to women as sex is to men)?

Does she really care that he “was sobbing” when he’s been trying to get her to understand how he feels?

The short answer?  Women like this unfortunately miss all these signs, they actually don’t care – until its too late and he’s either cheated or divorced her for someone else.

The Nice Guy Wants to Be Your Partner, Not a Leader

I stumbled upon this post (below) over at a forum I used to comment at frequently back in 2008 (a year into my marriage when I thought I could magically fix everyone’s marriage problems), called enotalone.  Back then it was a smallish community of regular commenters and we would try to help any new people who came there with friend issues, family issues, sex issues, or marriage problems.  I loved reading everyone’s personal situations, maybe its the nosy yenta in me, however, I loved being able to analyze a difficult situation and try to find (or listen to) the best advice for that person’s particular situation.

Not everyone seeking answers were ready to hear what we had to say about their predicament.  Much like in therapy, you cannot just disclose everything you see wrong immediately to a person or they’ll shut it out in self defense, and nothing good will come of their experience with you, or from your advice.  You have to slowly help them to see the real problem; you really have to help them come to terms with it themselves first.

What I found striking about this particular post (from May 2014)  is how honest this self-proclaimed (and proud?) beta-male is about his desire to be a partner, not a leader, in a relationship with a wife.

I emphasized the phrases that are particularly important to his particular situation, and want to go through each one to dissect exactly what is going on here in his life at that moment in time.  But first, his plea for help:

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Hey everyone

I’m trying for some introspection here – before I start just let me say that I’m not looking for this thread for nice guys to complain about how they finish last.

So hey there….I’m a nice guy and I finish last 😛

I’m on the heels of another breakup (long time coming) and just trying to…. get some perspective on my place in the dating world

For any of you who have taken any interest in the Mayer/Briggs personality test, I’m an ISFJ – for the uninitiated, that’s a uber-responsible softie with some other annoying attributes – I was fascinated when I took the test, as it nailed me to probably 90% (I’m an ISFJ that will actually communicate with you and a few other discrepancies)

So my ex and I made the call to separate a few weeks back. There were numerous reasons for this, many boiling down to simple incompatibility:

She’s very high energy and an extremely outspoken and self proclaimed Alpha female whereas I’m a softer spoken artsy type

We didn’t have anything in common that we enjoyed doing together and conversation was really really hard. I found her overwhelming and she found me reeeaaally boring ( I’ve never had that with anyone before)- this one was the main factor as we just didn’t have fun together

Her opinions are hard and fast whereas I’m more….tender I guess towards other peoples opinions and perspectives

We recognized these and our other differences early on and thought we’d be able to make it based on the other attributes we liked about one another. Over time I found her very critical and overwhelming and I would more and more often become anxious and stressed – in all honesty I should have had better boundaries and left ages ago

Fort the last two years we were embroiled in a crazy roller coaster ride with her teenage daughter, when the fog lifted and we had some time to really re-examine us as a couple we wondered what there really was when you take the family (she has 5 kids) responsibilities out of it. In typical ISFJ fashion I threw myself into family responsibilities for the last 3.5 years of our partnership.

Over time, while she appreciated my gentle, giving nature she really found that she wanted more of an Alpha male, more of a challenge, more of a ballbuster (I don’t know how to be a challenge with the huge demands of the family). I understand her wants, but feel they would make more sense were it to just be the two of us, or with a few less kids – it was exhausting.

So much of the literature around this sort of thing will say, be a challenge to your girlfriend, to your wife, always leave her wanting, give her two signs of affection for her every three….that sort of thing.

I’m just like my dad…I’m not a alpha male,

I’m the typical ISFJ guy who will make sure everything runs smoothly, show my love, support you and give you my last quarter cup of Starbucks if you finish yours, you an trust me with your life and your heart.

So….I think I’m just trying to process, my ex has said before to me “you get so lost in us” (meaning the family) and I definitely did, for a long time I was leaving work 2-3 times a day to check on her daughter, we’ve done eating disorder, self harm, suicide ideation, tons of police visits…. I could go on, it’s been a rocky ride, stressful ride. I always say my dedication and support for all her kids and her to be where my strength lay as a “strong male”, while not aggressive and outspoken I was there for all the stuff her and the kids needed, many hospital visits and drunken teen escapades. It felt like a bit of a catch-22 as she’d tell me not to get lost in everything, but she was very demanding (also self proclaimed) and the needs of the family were very high so I didn’t really know how to NOT get lost in everything.

I’m rambling, I guess where I’m at is I’m not sure how to take this (there’s a ton more details, maybe some of you remember some of my posts back in January) but I’m not sure if I went wrong picking someone extremely incompatible with me? Maybe I should have held out for a sweet gentle librarian or am I too “Beta” and gentle which is a turn-off?

If I am too beta and gentle, I don’t really know how to up my game in that regard without compromising who I am (which is a gentle beta-artist by the looks of it)

I was forward with my needs and frustrations with her, but they always got shut down fairly quickly, so as time went on, I voiced my needs less and less. This was a point of frustration for her, but when I explained that it seemed pointless to do so because she’d just shut me down….she would shut that down too……

Is there a place for Beta guys? (as we are called), some people would say “nice guy” but I find that that moniker also includes, possessiveness, passive-aggressiveness and shut off emotions (none of which are me)

I get why women would go for the confidence of the Alpha male, but dang….I’m just not at this point in my life and never have been, I was a quiet baby, quiet kid, etc, I’m just a more peaceful kind of person who would rather be a partner than a leader in a relationship.

Or maybe I was just with the wrong person way too long, trying too hard to fit a square peg in a round hole, I don’t know.

Any thoughts on my rambling mess?

Thanks”

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First, there is nothing wrong with being a quiet, introverted, or “gentle” male, these qualities do not necessarily have to mean that a guy is feminine (emasculated) as well.  Alpha and beta are much more complicated that what most people seem to try to confine their definitions into.  The best and most simplistic manner I can possibly attribute to what is “beta” is an attitude of deference or subservience to a woman’s opinions, her needs, or her desires.  A kind of lack of confident authority or capable masculinity in a man.  Being too dependent on her happiness for his own happiness… allowing her to run and rule the family while he takes a back seat as a pseudo-equal partner, or because she leads better “makes better decisions.”

I give this guy a lot of credit for being honest and self-aware enough to admit that he actually doesn’t want to be a leader… most men who have been groomed into this kind of equality-type marriage adamantly assert that there shouldn’t be a leader (that somehow they both manage to lead and no one follows – yea, right) because they are both equal partners in the marriage.  Society has purposefully created these “beta” males, destining them for unhappiness as they strive for niceness and peacefulness, to be partners instead of leaders in their marriages.  However, no one endures the pain and frustration throughout life like the beta male does.  Let’s take a look at the emphasized sentences a little closer:

1) “as a couple we wondered what there really was when you take the family (she has 5 kids) responsibilities out of it. In typical ISFJ fashion I threw myself into family responsibilities for the last 3.5 years of our partnership.
Over time, while she appreciated my gentle, giving nature she really found that she wanted more of an Alpha male”

He doesn’t give their ages, but a single man who has taken on a woman with 5 children is only a plight a beta male would put himself through… the self-sacrificing, self-effacing giver who prefers to “do the right thing” for someone else, but never for himself (or always puts himself and his needs last).  Forever seeking to be the hero in order to mask their lack of real authority or tangible masculinity in their relationships, in classic white knight or beta fashion, he “threw” himself into family responsibilities for the last 3.5 years of his “partnership.”  Men who have been brainwashed by society to be “beta” believe that the crucible of true masculinity is in how much he can give, how much he can bleed for his partner and children, how many of his needs he can sacrifice, no matter how unappreciative or nonreciprocal his wife (ironically and supposedly his “equal” partner) is.  The problem is that women typically do not appreciate all that the self-sacrificing beta male does, she becomes accustomed to taking advantage of all the “sacrifice” he gives without having to pay anything herself for it, women will use this kind of man (for his goods and services) for a long time, but he will never win her respect and thus will never capture her raw desire.

2) I’m just like my dad…I’m not a alpha male,

This makes me so sad.  I think very few men had a good example of a father-figure in their life who exhibited what God truly intended for a man to be while growing up.  Most fathers are likely too passive, allowing the wife to be the true leader, while he is simply a figure head, pseudo-leader of the family to outsiders… behind closed doors, she is the one who leads.  When children (especially boys) grow up in this kind of family environment, they hear all these mixed messages (in church) about men being the spiritual head or leader of the family, and yet they watch day to day reactions where their father submits, defers, and is subservient to their mother who essentially runs their Matriarchal family.

This thus creates men who grew up with beta fathers, who in turn will produce more beta boys.

Boys desperately DESPERATELY need fathers who are strong, masculine, capable and confident in their God-given position to LEAD their family.

3)  I always say my dedication and support for all her kids and her to be where my strength lay as a “strong male”, while not aggressive and outspoken I was there for all the stuff her and the kids needed, many hospital visits and drunken teen escapades.

This again, depicts what is the crucible to a beta male of what represents true strength or masculinity – his ability to support her and her kids, to be there for her and for them.  He sacrificed his own time and energy in this relationship (that was not even a marriage, and to kids who are not even his own), thinking it was the epitome of being the “strong male” that she’d eventually desire.  He rationalizes that (based upon all his love and dedication and sacrifice), he is her hero and should be (at the very least) appreciated as such.  But do beta males ever get appreciated for all that they are willing to do for a woman (and her 5 children)?  No….  Their reward (this is harsh but so true) is a very unfulfilled or nonexistent sex life, or her cheating on him with an alpha-type male (more common than you’d think), or her using him for years for resources, money, housing, or emotional support, or parenting her fatherless children (as in this case) only to leave him after the fact because she’s finally realized she desires someone more alpha.

Women like this know they desire someone more alpha, but they are not against using a beta male for as long as he allows himself to be used.

4) If I am too beta and gentle, I don’t really know how to up my game in that regard without compromising who I am (which is a gentle beta-artist by the looks of it)

This is a common problem with men who have a skewed view of alpha vs. beta.  There is no one cookie cutter creation for what makes an alpha.  Every man is different, and it is a journey a man has to travel on his own, with God, to find his own identity.  It is probably the most difficult life journey any man has to undertake in order to realize his full potential to be what & who God intended him to be.

But believing that becoming “alpha” will somehow compromise his true “beta” self, he is undermining any advancement in personal growth, healthy boundaries, or even spiritual growth as he forgoes learning to acquire real strength and develop authentic masculinity.  A healthy, strong, masculine man does not allow a woman to use him in such a manner.  Such a parasitic relationship is not what God intended for him to “endure” in order to achieve a kind of “holy” sainthood for his sacrifice and dedication.  Having strong boundaries, a strong sense of self-respect and healthy pride in himself, a confident assertiveness, and a clear mind that can see a situation for what it is and be able to avoid a woman’s petty manipulations – these are all qualities of a healthy “alpha” male.  He does not need to change his innate gentleness or kindness, he just has to make sure he isn’t ruled by these qualities.  He doesn’t have to become some kind of “ball-busting” asshole like he says she would prefer.  While many criminals, sociopaths, and yes, assholes would be classified in the alpha category (and have the women to prove it), they are only alphas because they exhibit these traits (or take them to unhealthy extremes), not solely because of their anti-social behaviors.

5) I was forward with my needs and frustrations with her, but they always got shut down fairly quickly

Another failure of the beta male, is to be “forward” with a woman on what he needs or wants from her, to try to explain or break-down logically how a reciprocal relationship should work.

Women (like any human with a conscience) understand how reciprocity works, it is simply that they feel they don’t have to abide by those particular rules when it comes to nice beta men.  A woman who picks a beta man is not picking him in order to fulfill his deepest desires and fantasies, she is picking him for what HE can do for HER.  It is Emma Watson’s HE FOR SHE in real life played out day-to-day.  HE has to cater to HER, HE has to be there for HER, HE has to put up (or shut up) for HER… and so-on and so-on it goes.  When or if he starts to feel like it is a little one-sided and tries to explain to her about reciprocity, she plays dumb, doesn’t “get it,” and as in his own example he gets “shut down fairly quickly.”

She just doesn’t want to hear that he has needs, too.  It’s HE for SHE remember?

6) Is there a place for Beta guys?

There is “a place,” however it is not a place he wants to be, because being beta is never going to be fulfilling for a man, he will always feel a tug that something isn’t right, that his true self is somehow being repressed or even oppressed by everything and everyone in society.  He will always feel (unless it is extremely repressed) that he is somehow falling short, failing to be a true man.

There are many men who have found their place and lived the life as a beta man, husband, and father… and they often also find themselves waking up to a woman who doesn’t desire them in that raw sexual way, or who tells them she has never loved them to begin with, or who constantly disrespects him or undermines him in their marriage.  Again, it is simply not a place he wants to be in.

7) I’m just a more peaceful kind of person who would rather be a partner than a leader in a relationship.

Possibly the most wonderful example of true masculinity depicted in literature is that of Jesus Christ.  His unswerving strength, His confidence and capability, His boldness and courage, His assertiveness and toughness – all these masculine qualities were matched with calculated compassion, gentleness, love for children, joy, peacefulness, understanding.  He was not an asshole, nor was he a blubbering emo.  He was not merely a dutiful, quiet beta – He had much too much gumption and gall in fighting with the Pharisees than to be a compliant “peace at all costs” beta.

He stood up for what was Truth, always exhibiting what was the opposite of cowardice.

Which, when you really look at it, a beta male is afraid… afraid of his own masculinity.  Society tells him its too dangerous, undesirable, or even wrong.

But men, nothing could be further from the Truth.

Advice For the Wife Who Doesn’t Love Her Husband Anymore

Many people get married for the wrong reasons… be it to get away from their parents, because they want to avoid being alone (aka: they’re not comfortable enough on their own as an adult so they want to codependently live with another), they are pregnant, or they are 29 and don’t want to be that single person still in their 30’s.

I’d say that women are more prone to marrying for the wrong reasons, but I’ve heard of many men doing it too.  Regardless, once a person is married, it’s my belief that they should do whatever they have to do to love that person that they chose, and to actively work together with them to embrace the life they’ve chosen.  And make it into the most beautiful life they can together.

This short clip from Dr. Laura’s old radio show touches all the key points of a wife, after 14 years of marriage, deciding that she never loved her husband to begin with, and that she just doesn’t have those feelings towards him of being sexually attracted or emotionally in love.

Nevermind they have 3 kids together… kids that depend upon their parent’s ability to love each other and make a marriage work.  She just “never loved him” to begin with.

How convenient.

For you singles in the dating market, beware of someone marrying you just because it’s the right thing to do.  Or because they’re afraid to be an old maid (they’re 29 about to hit 30 soon).  They are settling for you, and you will someday wake up next to them to find a wife that no longer wants sex with you, that tells you that they never did love you.

Reflections on this Father’s Day

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It’s hard to find words to express all the feelings I feel this coming father’s day weekend.  I’m so grateful.  Grateful to have a husband who is a wonderful father, who is so good with our boys, demonstrating his love for them so beautifully.  He shows them what a man should look and be like, he gives them an example of what a strong husband who deeply loves (and always teases) his wife looks like.  And our oldest son loves watching his example!  I couldn’t be more elated with this man I chose, Father’s Day for me means honoring him and all he does for us, honoring the man and father I’ve watched him become throughout the years we’ve been married.

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I feel grateful that I had an amazing dad growing up who is still here to offer me help and guidance as he watches me being a mom to my kids.  He reminds me of what’s really important in life (not always cleaning), is always there to talk about anything on my mind, and constantly lets my older son feel like a hero at their house (and not eat any vegetables!).

But I also feel deep sadness for our society, because I understand that for many people – both men and women – father’s day is becoming increasingly painful or even meaningless.

We are in the midst of what I’d call a Fatherhood Crisis.  You see it everywhere when you see children in school with learning disabilities or with deep emotional wounds stemming from divorce, or men who are emotionally shattered because they aren’t allowed to see or have a relationship with their kids because of a vindictive ex-wife.  We see it when we hear of men who lose that critical role of father because they aren’t in the house anymore, they still see their kids and have a relationship but their impact has been significantly reduced as their role has been replaced when their ex-wife picked a “new dad” to impact his kids in ways he may not like or agree with.  We see it when we realize just how many kids are growing up without a father in the home at all, and the astronomical tie to future drug use, alcohol, sex, and involvement in crime that accompanies that fatherlessness.

We see it when we wonder what to do about Hook-Up culture, when we realize just how depraved our youth and singles are becoming.  We see it when we see mentally ill mass shooters in the news, many of whom had no positive male role model in their lives to show them real masculinity.  We see it when we see the degradation of a society who has never been taught to respect authority, or who believe rioting and looting is an acceptable means of venting black youth’s anger, a race that has long had a massive fatherhood crisis.

Fathers are immensely important to society, and the wounds that are left when they are violent or absent simply do not heal if left to fester on their own.  My own dad was great growing up, but he was never perfect.  He often had moments of wonderful strength, wisdom or guidance to give me – and there was never any doubt he believed in me and thought I was beautiful, but he still made typical mistakes as any human parent does.  It’s tragic to me, however, that not everyone grew up with a loving, strong, gentle, encouraging dad.  The places where my dad failed were very minor, however, they still left wounds that needed to be healed by my Father in order for me to become the woman I am today.

Only God is the perfect father.  Only He can heal the wounds we receive in our lifetime, and only He can make you whole.

I was reading an article in Women’s Health magazine a few weeks ago that was about the wounds a daughter feels when her father is missing in her life.  The article gave 4 different types of dad-wounds with a solution at the end of “How to Heal.”  It covered the emotionally distant dad, being abandoned by your dad, having a dad that was a sperm donor, and having a dad who died.  The most interesting thing about this article was reading the effects of having these kinds of fathers left on their daughters, deep wounds that impacted them well into adulthood.  Here are some interesting quotes to reflect on this Father’s Day,

Fathers who are emotionally distant (or not there for other reasons such as divorce, estrangement, etc.):

“Per a 2012 study, daughters of detached dads reported lower self-esteem than women who grew up with engaged and accessible males.”

Fathers who abandon their families or who aren’t there for their daughters for other reasons:

“Plenty of research shows that girls whose fathers leave the family are more likely to lose their virginity earlier (as young as 15, according to one study) than those with a pops who’s present.  Those daughters are often not emotionally mature enough for the act, and they can find it harder to trust men, explains Linda Nielsen, Ph.D., a professor of educational and adolescent psychology at Wake Forrest University and aughter of Between Fathers and Daughters.”

The effects of having a Sperm Donor for a father:

“It’s telling that she broke down when her donor father called her beautiful,” … “That’s what a woman wants to hear from her dad – that she’s special, beloved, praised.”  Jennifer clearly lacked paternal love and affection during her childhood, and she also had no role model for manhood. “That makes it hard to distinguish between different kinds of men and recognize a nurturing partner.”

“A study in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility found that three-quarters of donor-sperm children want to meet or develop a connection with their donor father, but the majority would not consider having children of their own using donor sperm.  They’re well aware of what their own kids could be missing out on.”

Positive Effects of a Father in a Woman’s Life:

“BODY IMAGE: A January 2015 study found that daughters who had caring and friendly relationships with their fathers frequently had healthier views about food and better body confidence – making them less likely to suffer from eating disorders – than those who had less kind and more overbearing dads.

SOCIAL LIFE: Girls who enjoyed positive and “warm” interactions with their papas during playtime as kids were more apt to develop strong interpersonal skills, according to a study in the journal Fathering.  This may be because dads who regulate their child’s excitement levels in a sensitive (as opposed to harsh) way are teaching their children empathy and reciprocity.

INTELLIGENCE: Doing mentally stimulating activities with daddy during childhood – reading, going to museums, playing games – is linked to having a higher IQ at age 11, and still at age 42, per research published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.  During these brain-building moments, dads can share what they know with their kids, making them smarter in the long run.”

Single Men: Your Girlfriend Should Not Want to Change You

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This should be common knowledge, but apparently, many single guys (and girls) get involved with people that are not quite all that they would want their future spouse to be.  And so they embark on some strange journey of trying to “help” them, or change them into their fantasy person.

I’ve seen girls accept guys for boyfriends they aren’t truly attracted to, at a very base sexual level.  Women are definitely more attracted to qualities other than simply a man’s physical appearance, that is undeniably true.  A husky man that has confidence and humor can attract a woman perceived as “out of his league” with a sexiness that exudes from his behavior and general confidence with women.  But even most women have a physical standard for men that is more stringent than they ever usually feel comfortable admitting.  It’s why you find so many women who are overweight themselves, pining after hot firefighters, or celebrities… meanwhile their husbands (who aren’t as attractive as these hot men) are lucky if they are having a sex life of once a month!

In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a woman in the real world who would ever have the guts to admit that she is more turned on by a hot, handsome guy, than a nice guy that still looks like the nerds she knew in high school.  It might not be a body builder type, but it’s not exactly the new “Dad Bod” either.

Guys, your physical appearance matters, and if you are interested in being more than Just Friends, you’d be smart to capitalize on your youth, health, and fitness in order to attract the kind of high quality girl you want.

But that would be a whole other topic, this post is explicitly for single men, who somehow find themselves in the very awkward position of dating or being with a girl (or woman) who is just not happy with who they are at that moment in time.  This is the kind of girl who tries to get you to join a gym membership – you know… “for your health,” (snark) not because she’s trying to force you into some kind of role to be her perfect person.  The point is, a woman who is doing this to you, usually does not care (or have any conscious knowledge sometimes) how critical or cruel she is being, she is not worried about your feelings of self-worth or self-confidence because she’s so focused on how you should be.

She often doesn’t realize that criticizing your weight, job, clothes, or any of that IS undermining your self-confidence and feelings of self-worth.  She’d rather you go through the painful process of accepting her criticisms and changing yourself (for her comfort level), than her do the difficult work of finding (or catching) someone that already meets her physical, educational, or financial standards for a good relationship.

Physical

Educational

Financial

These are probably the three biggest areas I’ve seen where women try to provoke through constant bitching change men.  There are other areas as well, like his friendships, but generally, these are the areas where women seem to give men the most grief in a relationship.

Does it come from Low Self Esteem?

Yes.  Yes, I believe it does.  The fact that she would pick someone who was not enough in her estimation to begin with is very telling here.  Why else would any woman settle on a man that is less than she thinks she (at least at some level) deserves?  Here me out single guys!  If a woman is putting you through this kind of unnecessary drama, you will be better off doing one of these three things:

1) Change, but make these improvements only for yourself. There is nothing wrong with getting a better degree, going after a better job or career, losing some weight or getting a gym membership to bulk up a little – all these things are positive, but they are only positive if they are done for the right reasons.

2) Leave her critical spirit in the dust, and then change (follow number 1).  This is hands down your best option here.  As a single, young guy, with more than likely your good health on your side… why put yourself into a relationship (or God-forbid future marriage) with someone who is more than happy to criticize you in any perceived short-coming of yours, to make herself feel better?

3) Don’t change, maybe you are genuinely happy with life as it is – maybe she was pressuring you to go after loftier goals than you desire for yourself, or to work yourself to the bone so that she can have a future of mass credit card bills or a mountain of debt to sate her happiness.  I knew a man that married young to a beautiful sorority girl, his college sweetheart.  He was pre-med at the time, but after their marriage found out that no matter how hard he seemed to try, he just couldn’t make the test scores to actually get in to medical school.  His wife then started to treat him like dirt, criticizing everything about him, his job (where he actually made pretty good), her inability to quit her job to be home with their new baby (she thought he’d be a doctor remember?), made fun of his research achievements (meanwhile he was receiving actual awards for his research), and denying him sexual access.  All because she married someone she didn’t really accept for who he was, but who she imagined he could be in their future together.  She’d rather ruin their marriage, than accept and make the best of the man he has become (a good man who works extremely hard to provide for their family, loves her and his baby, and puts up with her condemning and soul-crushing spirit).  The major drawback of choosing this option is that you will most likely lose the relationship if you don’t change.  For a single man, this is great in my opinion, you have very little to lose as you aren’t invested in her beyond maybe the physical or emotional.  If you do find it hard to move on, perhaps you need to remind yourself that she does not accept you (or possibly even feel sexually attracted to you) at a very very deep level for her.  To stay in that kind of relationship suggests you don’t value yourself enough in the first place, this is something you’d want to explore for yourself… why would you glue yourself to a woman who at her deepest level, isn’t crazy about you?

For a married man, you have my sympathy & a lot more to lose, but keep in mind that bending to her control will only make you even more repulsive in her eyes for your future.  Your best route is to go with number 1, but have the emotional attitude of number 2 in protecting or insulation yourself from her destructive spirit.  You don’t have to divorce her, but keeping a safe emotional distance so that she isn’t constantly cutting you down, while you work on yourself, for yourself, is wise in this kind of situation.

Your Future with a Critical Girlfriend

You have to understand, single guys reading this, the psychological aspect of a woman desiring control over you is bad enough, but to allow her to control you can lead to a future battle of wills when it comes to decisions later on down the road.  A future marriage with this kind of woman is going to be rife with unhappy conflict, why picture having children in this kind of environment?  A critical spirit is very hard for a woman (or a man) to overcome without significant amounts of therapy, and you will be playing into her hand from the beginning by 1) agreeing with her that you aren’t enough as is, and 2) that she is right to control or impose her will of what’s best for you.

Life is already hard guys, why make it harder by picking, or staying with someone who is merely settling on you?

Healing From Emotional Wounds: Why Does It Take So Long for Some to Heal

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I’ve often wondered why some people are more capable of going through a crisis, or even a series of crises, and are simply able to heal faster, or are more open to accepting the necessary truths that lead to their healing, than other people?  What makes the difference between a person who heals faster through therapy or their own self-reflective journey, and the person who has been in therapy for years and still deals with feelings of hopelessness?

I have felt depression, isolation, anxiety, and devastated feelings of self-worth at only a couple of times in my life after family rejection or intense family problems, but when I did, I knew somehow that I needed help to get back to my old self. The first step is admitting their is a problem in your life that is causing you to feel a certain way, the second is motivating yourself enough to do something about it so that you can come to a solution for that problem, and consequently find sustainable healing.  I’ve been very quick to seek counseling from an adviser, mentors, or psychiatrist, and it’s always resulted in healing for me – very deep, profound healing, and within a short time frame compared to someone who needs to spend years in psychotherapy.

I actually enjoy sharing my soul with a mentor or a wonderfully skilled psychiatrist who can pick apart my brain with their objective lens to see or validate my feelings in crisis situations, or to help me see myself or others in the correct (true) light.  I embrace their honesty with me because when I go, I am earnestly searching for truth and healing.  Having that validation, especially from a skilled psychiatrist, that objective perspective of a stranger who understands people and behavior, is extremely reaffirming and rewarding.  I value learning the truth, gaining peace about the events that have happened in my life, and I’m sure people who take longer to heal crave this as well.  But why do they take so long?

It isn’t fair (but then again, life isn’t fair).  But why do some people heal from emotional wounds so easily, while others take so much time… or never do?  Why do some reject truth or solutions to their problems, continue to live in depression or denial, or keep high-walled barriers around their anxiety or loss of purpose?

Suicide is the culmination of hopelessness.  When a person loses their will to live, their sense of any purpose in life or feel that their presence here is worthless, that terrifying concept of suicide starts to enter their brains.  Having known people who have had these thoughts or acted on them, I feel completely at a loss as to how to rationalize the decision a person comes to when they try to take their own life.  I simply cannot comprehend it… perhaps I’m selfish, I greatly enjoy and value my life.  But I realize I have a great sense of purpose… I’m not simply living for myself, I have two beautiful children who depend on me.

And who would be devastated if I selfishly took my own life.

But even if I had no one, if by God’s purpose everything I love was ripped away from me, I would hope that I would continue on my journey of living a life of worth.  I would hope I would still find life worth living, search for someone to help, and create something to live for.

I read a passage while we were out at a lake yesterday that both brought up and answered all these questions.  From The Search for Significance, by Robert McGee,

If we were computers, solutions to our problems would be produced in microseconds.  People, however, don’t change that quickly.  The agrarian metaphors in the Scriptures depict seasons of planting, weeding, watering, growth, and harvesting.  Farmers don’t expect to plant seeds in the morning and harvest their crops that afternoon.  Seeds must go through a complete growth cycle, receiving plenty of attention in the process, before they mature.  In this age of instant coffee, microwave dinners, and instant banking, we tend to assume that spiritual, emotional, and relational health will be instantaneous.  These unrealistic expectations only cause discouragement and disappointment.

I have witnessed people become discouraged or disappointed that their results of peace or healing didn’t come as fast as they expected they would.  I’ve also felt the pain of discouragement and disappointment that comes when you are waiting for someone to go through the necessary growth they need in order to be healthy and mature.  I’ve desired reconciled relationships that just don’t happen, and have watched as people choose denial and falsehoods to mask their unhealthy behaviors so that they can continue living in a life void of growth.  They reject having a real, healthy relationship because ultimately, they reject the stretching or stress they’d need to undergo in order to change their behavior.

Growth is painful, because it has to be, in order to work towards any solution, one has to be willing to do the hard, dirty work of growing, anything less won’t result in true healing.

Our growth will be stunted and superficial if we don’t give proper emphasis to honesty about our emotions, affirming relationships, right thinking promoted through biblical study and application, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and time.

Some of us seem to respond to this environment of growth very quickly; others, after a few weeks or months; and still others, never at all.  Why the difference?  Why are some of us able to apply principles of growth so much more readily than others? …

Those who respond quickly may not be as wounded as others, or they may already be in an environment which has prepared them for relatively rapid growth.

Some of us are in situations where one of more elements of growth are in some way missing or lacking.  We may be trying to deal with our difficulties alone.  We may be depending on a rigid structure of discipline for positive change, instead of blending a healthy combination of our responsibility of the Holy Spirit’s enabling power.  We may be expecting too much too soon, and may be experiencing disappointment with our slow results.  Some of us may, in fact, be ready to quit the growth process entirely.

One thing I truly appreciate about my childhood and adolescence was the way my parents went about their parenting.  They were (and are) such wonderful people.  They were always kind, loving, generous, supportive, and were always available to talk to through any and every situation or question I had.  They were both open books, and gave me a world of knowledge by sharing with me openly and honestly, what they understood.  They both loved science and research, and had knowledge of the world outside of our small town that they frequently made sure I was aware of.  In many ways, they were almost liberal for being Christians, and yet their convictions were firm and deeply, beautifully grounded.

They both had their imperfections, but they gave me so much wisdom and knowledge through their honesty, openness, and love displayed when I was in their household.  This is more than likely the reason I have no problem at all finding deep healing in being honest with an objective adviser of any kind.  But what about the many who didn’t have great parents?  So many people have lived through abuse or neglect of some kind… does it affect the way they heal or their unique receptiveness to healing?

Those of us who can’t seem to get the light turned on have the greatest difficulty in beginning this process.  We can’t see our problems.  We may recognize that something is wrong, but can’t pinpoint exactly what.  Or our defense mechanisms of denial may be so strong that we’re unable to see any needs in our lives at all.

Those from stable, loving families are usually better able to determine what their difficulties are, and be honest about them, than those who are shackled by the defense mechanisms that are often developed in dysfunctional families.

Those from abusive, manipulative, or neglectful families have far more to overcome than those from a healthier home environment.  Alcoholism, divorce, sexual abuse, physical abuse, workaholism, drug abuse, and other major family disorders leave deep wounds.  Many people from backgrounds like these have suppressed their intense hurt and anger for so long that they are simply out of touch with the reality in their lives.  Therefore, just as a broken arm requires more time, attention, and therapy for healing than does a small abrasion, people suffering from deep emotional, spiritual, and relational injuries need more time, attention, love, and encouragement than those with more minor wounds.

“Why doesn’t just understanding these issues work?  Why isn’t knowledge enough to produce change?”

(Author,) “Man is a relational, physical, emotional, and spiritual being.  We develop and learn and grow best in an environment of honestly, love, and affirmation, where all aspects of our nature are given the encouragement to heal.”

A woman asked me, “What do I need to do to begin seeing some results?”

“Put yourself in an environment of growth, which includes all the elements of honesty, affirming relationships, right thinking, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and time.  I can’t tell you how or when growth will come – but I know that it will come if you are patient and persistent.”

Living in such a way as to be healthy isn’t so much a destination anymore, but a constant ebb and flow of life’s journey of ups and downs that come to us, in my opinion.  Life will always have problems or pain, there will always be something right now or in the future that we are going to have to work or grow through.  I love the McGee’s symbolism of the seasons of planting, weeding, watering, growth, and harvesting.

If we have the patience of the farmer as he waits for the seeds to germinate, the persistence of his dedication in tending to his garden by pulling weeds or pruning older plants of their dead or useless limbs, we will in time, harvest the fruit and beauty we’re working towards.

Single Women: To Be Captivating is More than Mere Looks

I’m in the middle of doing an independent study on Esther, using different commentaries, videos, and guidebooks to help me go as deep as I can over this Summer, into one of the most fascinating feminine books of the Bible, in my opinion.  The book of Esther might as well have been written as a How To Guide on beauty – the appearance as well, as what is beyond skin deep.

Going into the history of the book of Esther, I was pleasantly surprised that my girlish notions of romantic fantasies were reality.  Greek Historian, Herodotus, who wrote History of the Persian Wars only 25 years after King Ahasuerus’ reign, wrote about our main male character.  According to Herodotus, King Ahasuerus (the Hebrew name for ‘Xerxes‘) supposedly was incredibly handsome, and a spoiled play-boy.  Not only did this man have royal blood coursing through his veins, had inherited a vast Persian Empire that encompassed all the surrounding countries in that region except for Greece, and inherited a seemingly endless supply of gold, treasures, and anything money could buy for him, but to top it off with him being incredibly good-looking, makes the book all the more exciting.

For any single women out there, you will be pleased to find that perhaps one of the many small lessons you can glean from the book of Esther, is that to be captivating, is more than having mere outer beauty.

Esther was stunningly beautiful, of that I have no doubt.  She was among the young virgins who were chosen from each area, that met the standard requirement of being “beautiful.”  She was capable of carrying the weight of her outward beauty, and yet beneath the surface, she hid a treasure of inner beauty.  As I’ve been reading and searching between the lines, I’ve found that Esther was much more than simply a beauty Queen who won the ultimate contest, she was smart, winsome, and full of kindness and good manners towards all who were near her.

I’ve done my own search into the meaning of winsome:

Winsome: Generally pleasing or engaging, often because of a childlike charm or innocence; Cheerful or lighthearted

Win comes from Old English wynsum = wynn, which means “Joy”

Right away we find that Esther gains the favor of the Head Eunuch who managed all the women.  He was in charge of their beauty regimens, their daily activities, their diets, their clothing, care, etc.  The Hebrew word used to describe how Esther went about obtaining his favor reveals that she “gained” or “took” his kindness.

“This idiom (found only in Esther) holds a suggestion of activeness in “gaining,” rather than, as the usual idiom has it, “finding” kindness.  Gaining kindness is something she is doing, rather than something being done to her.”

(Michael V. Fox, Character and Ideology in the Book of Esther, 2001. 26-27)

Esther somehow was able to win the favor “of all who saw her.” (Esther 2:15)  According to Beth Moore, this reveals even more about her character.

Beloved, you and I both know that a rare woman indeed is beautiful from a male perspective and favored by other women.  Females tend to be highly threatened by a woman admired by men.  Throw a horde of women competing for one man in the mix, and you’re sitting pretty for a cat fight.

A woman who can win the man and her female peers is in a class almost by herself. …

I think Esther was as likeable as she was beautiful.  She had looks a man liked, but she had a demeanor that women liked.  Perhaps she was endearing and befriending to the others.  Maybe she refused to get her toes tangled in their back-combed hair on her climb to the top and she was humble enough to accept the advice of a eunuch.  Esther managed to walk the fine line of moderation without making others feel judged because they didn’t.  How often have you witnessed that kind of girl?

Beth Moore points out in her guidebook that being exposed to severe trauma at an early age, losing both her parents while a child – being an orphan – might have made her seem different.  More compassionate.  More in tune with empathy, something that all men crave, especially a King who has access to the most beautiful women in the world, and could have any concubine he wanted, and yet needed something more intimate to sate his soul.  Vashti had blatantly and cruelly humiliated him in front of all of Susa, during the finale of his week long party, during a sensitive time of his trying to ramp up political support for his campaign to go to war to conquer Greece (something that seemed like an extremely difficult undertaking).  He, of all men, understood what it meant to have a wife and Queen who would undermine you, publicly humiliate you, and refuse to support you at the time that you needed it most.

In Beth Moore’s guidebook, she also suggests that Esther being brought up by her male cousin (who never did marry) could have been enough to make her stand out in a strange or unique way in which the other young ladies, who had mothers, didn’t.  She was a beauty who grew up without a female role model that we know of, but with a masculine parental authority… a man who suddenly found himself a father to an orphaned child.

Perhaps growing up with him gave her a different perspective, perhaps her seeing his life, having love and compassion for him as her father-figure, having an obviously good relationship with him (as seen throughout the entire story) made her more in tune with how to talk to a man, or how to really listen to a man.  How to emphasize with a man.

According to historians, King Xerxes did go on to attempt to conquer Greece… and failed… miserably!  Not only had he lost his wife and Queen, endured the hurt of her public humiliation, he then endured devastating military defeat.  Talk about a hit to a man’s pride.  King Xerxes was used to winning, he was handsome, threw lavish parties, got rid of his Queen immediately at the first sight of public disrespect.  He had pride, like most kings always did I’m sure… and it was more than likely bleeding out at this point.

The events in the book play out as though they happen in the same week (and truth be told, that is how I’ve always read it), however, the Bible clearly states that Xerxes was in his 3rd year of his reign (age 35) at the time of Vashti’s betrayal, and then in his 7th year (age 39) when he was effectively in a state of regret and depression, and was convinced by his personal attendants to search for a beautiful, young, virginal new wife.

In my humble opinion, he didn’t need another concubine… he had plenty of women to use for sexual pleasure.  And being historically described as a playboy, he’d probably had enough of that anyway.  He needed someone to fill his soul… the kind of woman who could mend a King’s pride and build him back up again after his devastating failure.  And our kind, thoughtful girl Esther was God’s purposed and benevolent gift to King Xerxes.  God was not only planning the survival of the Jewish race, but also gave a man who had known crushing and humiliating defeat, a redeemed chance at true love.  (Yes, I am overly romantic with this… I’m a woman, so sue me.)

We will sadly never know exactly what made her so unique that King Xerxes, after the night he spent with her, “loved her more than all the others.”  Listen to the passage of the Bible that follows after her night with the King:

The king loved Esther more than all the other women.  She won more favor and approval from him than did any of the other virgins.  

He placed the royal crown on her head and made her queen in place of Vashti.

The king held a great banquet for all his officials and staff.

It was Esther’s banquet.

He freed his provinces from tax payments and gave gifts worthy of the King’s bounty.

Sweet, winsome Esther, somehow swept the play-boy, handsome King Xerxes off his feet!  Did you catch that he actually threw a banquet for her?  She was humble enough to ask for only what the head eunuch advised her to take for her night with the King, but perhaps her humility also provoked this lavish display of a King’s public favor on her.  Vashti lacked proper manners.  Vashti lacked a good helping of Humble Pie.  But Esther… she floored the King with not only how she looked, but possibly due to her behavior.

I believe, somehow, even though King Xerxes had never known a loss of available women to sate his sexual needs, he had never come across someone like her before… and that both intrigued him and captivated his heart.

So single ladies… embrace that femininity, revel in your childlike charm we all had growing up that men so love to see in us, and above all, no matter how beautiful you may be on the outside, always act in humility and with kindness.

It’s like my mother always told me, “Good manners go a long way.”