The Taxonomy of Married Men, Vol. 1

taxonomy illustration

(Image/aiim.org)

Tax·on·o·my – /takˈsänəmē/ – The classification of something.

Here’s the breakdown:

1. Husbands

All husbands fall into one of two camps, which for the purpose of this exercise, require defining.

A. Good men.

A good man is the kind of person you’d let spend the night in your house without hesitation. A good man can be trusted to care for your children and pets. A good man is generally kind, honest, reliable, respectful, polite, loving and demonstrates loyalty and commitment to his family, friends, co-workers, teammates, etc. A good man is not perfect. But his Pros in the character department far outweigh his Cons.

B. Bad men.

A bad man does not care — even a little bit — how his actions affect others. He hurts people physically and emotionally without remorse. He cons people in order to take advantage of them. He lies. Cheats. Steals. Rapes. Murders. Abuses. He is toxic to himself and everyone around him, and his toxic behavior is intentional. His behavior can legitimately be described as EVIL. He revels in chaos, drama and dysfunction. He takes pleasure in others’ pain. A bad man is a constant danger to himself and anyone near him. His Cons far outweigh his Pros.

I am not going to waste thought and space on men who are bad. I lack the maturity and patience to explain to a stranger who is unlikely to be reading this or to ever care what I say, why knowingly marrying, or intentionally remaining married to, a BAD man are shitty life decisions.

2. Husbands Who Are Good Men

All good men who are married fall into one of two camps.

A. Good husbands.

A good husband performs the duties of marriage with skill and competence. His success is usually most apparent to his wife, who often feels loved and secure every day of her life, and who loves and respects him in ways she’s only ever felt for her children and her very closest family members. He is often appreciated by his in-laws, admired by his friends and neighbors, secretly or not-so-secretly wanted by women who covet the things he provides his wife and family in their own lives, and has very little drama or life stresses at home with his wife and/or family as a result of human conflict.

B. Bad husbands.

A bad husband is shitty at marriage. No matter how GOOD of a human being he is, he blows ass at the complexities of human relationships. (Note: This puts him in the 95% of everyone who at times struggles with the complexities of human relationships. This does not make him stupid or incompetent or unfit necessarily for anything good men are suited for. It just makes him bad at marriage. Throughout human history, good men have been bad at many things, like singing and dancing, or constructing high-rise buildings, or playing the piano, or carving ice sculptures, or solving advanced mathematics.)

I am not going to waste thought and space here on men who are good husbands. They’re awesome. I appreciate them. I hope you do too.

3. Good Men Who Are Shitty Husbands

All good men who are bad husbands fall into one of two camps.

A. Men who don’t know they are bad husbands.

Either these men don’t know they’re bad husbands because they don’t know what shitty husbandry is and/or no one has ever taught him that he’s one, OR anytime someone (usually his wife) says that he is, he doesn’t actually believe it. (Note: I believe, of all married men in existence, the VAST majority — I’m talking 85-ish% — fall into this category.)

B. Men who know they are bad husbands but want to be good.

This is a very bad spot to be in, because to arrive here, one usually has to have a miserable, failing marriage wreaking so much emotional havoc, stress and anxiety in our home lives, that we FINALLY decide to ask ourselves the right question: What can I do to help fix this?

An Earnest Search for Answers Uncovers Life-Changing Truths

One night at dinner, my wife said: “I don’t know if I love you or want to be married to you anymore.”

I reacted poorly and selfishly, making it entirely about me. I pouted and started sleeping in the guest room, from which point every day got a little harder and more difficult over 18 months before she chose to move out and end our relationship. But months before that, something in me snapped. I wanted to — needed to — understand why this was happening.

I knew that I loved my wife. I knew that I wanted to stay married. And I thought because I was a good man, and because we shared a son, our entire adulthoods, a home and many friends, that we should be able to pull through.

All you need is love! Right? RIGHT?!?!

Wrong.

Just like being a good man and being a good husband can be mutually exclusive things, so too can love exist in the shittiest and most painful of marriages.

One night, I found myself reading a book called “How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It”. The book is written by two long-time marriage counselors who used their experiences with clients and years of notetaking to explain common marriage problems and how husbands and wives commonly experience them.

The experience of reading about random married couples having IDENTICAL conversations and reactions as my wife and I had a profound effect on me, and set the stage for the fundamental shift from who I was to who I am.

Here’s What My Brain Did Afterward

Realization #1

Wow. Our marriage problems are so common that generic, made-up stories in a marriage book totally NAIL my marriage. These exact same marriage problems are affecting almost everybody.

Realization #2

If these marriage problems are this common, that means my wife and I aren’t somehow fatally flawed. We’re not NOT soulmates or freaks unfit for marriage. These marriage problems are practically universal and we don’t have to feel ashamed for having them.

Realization #3

If nearly all marriages suffer these common problems, then that means it’s foolish to get divorced with the intention of replacing your spouse with someone else. Because these same problems will ALSO exist with that other person. If my wife and I love each other, our son, and both generally prefer marriage to being single, the most logical course is to work hard on this marriage, rather than trying to start new relationships as middle-aged divorced single parents only to inevitably have to work hard on THAT relationship, but with the added suck of all the family and friends breakage, and losing so much time with our children.

The Most-Asked Questions of Hurting Wives

It’s one of two, but they both mean the same thing.

Either “You get it! How can I get my husband to read your stuff or understand what you now understand?” or “What could your wife have said or done to help you understand this before it was too late?”

Tomorrow, in Vol. 2 of this post, I’ll attempt to lay out what I perceive to be The Things Good Men Who Are Accidentally Bad Husbands Don’t Know.

But since it will inevitably cover plenty of familiar territory, you can get a preview by reading what I think is among my most helpful posts, Cracking the Code: 7 Ideas That Would Have Saved My Marriage.

It’s hard to be the guy desperately trying to save his family while his wife has checked out of the marriage because she’s been beaten down emotionally so much through the years without him — a genuinely good dude who simply sucked at marriage — realizing it.

And now he KNOWS. Now, he gets it.

But she’s done.

Few relationships come back from the dead. It’s a pill that’s hard to swallow.

But the value of understanding where we went wrong, how to avoid being shitty husbands in the future, and how to teach our children to have healthy and functional human relationships can’t be overstated.

I have to believe all the good men will agree.

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217 thoughts on “The Taxonomy of Married Men, Vol. 1

  1. Ha, apparently words matter because I was quite sure you were speaking of the taxidermy of husbands. I would not advise actually mounting their heads on the wall or anything.

    In my experience all the men I dated thought they were good men, very honorable, very righteous. I could not stand them and married the first bad man I could. I jest here, but honestly I think it was his humility about his own self that was so appealing. It must have been the right choice because we are still married. There is just something about those “good guys” that is always such a red flag me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      I think words matter here too, IB.

      There’s a ZERO-percent chance you’re married to a “bad man” as I’ve defined it in this post.

      I’m not talking about Nice Guys vs. Bad Boys.

      I’m talking about people with the requisite amount of character to warrant trust and procreation vs. the kind of people capable of the worst atrocities and/or mistreatment of others, imaginable.

      A bad man, as described here, isn’t capable of actually loving another human being, even his own wife and children.

      I think I did a bad job of writing this. I really wanted to create a visual flow chart for this, but I didn’t have time.

      The conclusion I was trying to get to for struggling couples is that a bad marriage involving GOOD people is worth fighting for, and that the vast majority of the time, a bad marriage involves a husband who is a good person, but simply doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.

      Tomorrow, I’m going to write about those Things that the average guy like that doesn’t know.

      You, of course, have read me write about them dozens, if not hundreds, of times.

      Most people haven’t been around for three years like you. :) (I appreciate that very much, by the way.)

      Like

      • You did not do a bad job of writing this, Matt, not at all. I think it is valuable information and I remember a time when I had to cross that bridge myself, when I had to say, what if he is a good man somewhere inside, what if his intentions are good and noble here, there is just something getting all lost in communication? It paid off, I struck oil.

        “I’m talking about people with the requisite amount of character to warrant trust and procreation…”

        I am so empathizing with women right now because we really have a rough job. We have to be able to see the potential in men, their higher selves, what they are capable of, perhaps without even being aware of it themselves.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Matt says:

          What a spectacularly profound and poetic way of stating it.

          I’d say, yes.

          The future of MANY marriages would depend on that very thing.

          And it’s wholly unfair to the women in the midst of that, while trying to sort through their own individual emotions and life responsibilities.

          Like

  2. Tina says:

    Matt – I know you focus on the husbands and I understand why but this one statement rings a loud in clear bell for me as a wife

    “so too can love exist in the shittiest and most painful of marriages.”

    I think that is where we wives may go wrong – when the same painful things large or small happen over and over we really come to really believe – its because there is no love there.

    We say consciously or unconsciously – if he really loved me he would (or he wouldn’t)…

    At least that was my error – a part of the suckiness I contributed to the failure of my marriage. Because once you think “he really doesn’t love me” you stop putting anything good into the equation no matter how long it drags on after that.

    Like

  3. Just me says:

    “she’s been beaten down emotionally so much through the years without him — a genuinely good dude who simply sucked at marriage — realizing it.”

    This is me. He still doesn’t get it. But I’m done.

    I welcome thoughts on how to tell the kids we’re divorcing after a 4-year separation. He and I are not communicating well right now.

    Like

  4. geminilvr says:

    I think a little mix of good and bad is a good thing. Not treated badly, but not so good that, yawn, there is no challenge. Ah, I’m confusing myself right now (smile). Great post Matt.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      This is a matter of semantics, I think. :)

      There is a difference between: Daring, Mischievous, Tough, Naughty, Confident, Brave, Bold, Aggressive, Non-Conformity, Rebellious, etc. and…

      BAD.

      I don’t mean Bad like James Dean.

      I mean Bad like Adolph Hitler.

      I don’t mean Bad like hooking up in the closet.

      I mean Bad like lying to get you into bed, and then stealing all your cash and jewelry while sending you creepy stuff in the mail made from letters cut from magazines.

      I’m not talking about being “well behaved,” per se. I’m talking about having character.

      Liked by 1 person

      • geminilvr says:

        Oh I completely agree with all you said…a little edge, a little challenge but not in a vicious, narcissistic way

        Liked by 1 person

        • I always find it interesting, so many women tend to recoil from that “good guy” persona. I always wonder what that is about. For me it comes down to two things, I prefer guys with a bit of humility about who they are as people, because that takes some genuine courage and strength. Also boundaries are good, being able to feel where you end and he begins, creates some stability and a challenge,too.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. rachel says:

    I really hope you write a book one day. I think the world needs it. I also really hope that you find love one day and can put all of this experience and insight toward healing your heart. I really enjoy reading your work, thankyou.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. danaethinks says:

    Wow, I think I finally get it. I am not crazy for being miserable in a marriage with a good man who became a shitty husband. Thank you. A thirty year relationship ruined by a decade of loneliness.

    Like

  7. Jeff Strand says:

    Well, after reading the definitions it’s pretty clear to me that I fall in “good husband” land. And I consider my “ball and chain” to be “good wife” material. So I won’t post much about it, as I suppose most will find it boring. Where’s the conflict, right?

    I’ll just add this for color. I was watching an old repeat of “The Honeymooners” with Jackie Gleason (remember that?). I noticed that the wives on the show never wore pants – even if just doing chores around the house, instead they’d wear a house-dress. Now my wife is very feminine as far as today’s women go (one of the things I most appreciate about her) – she colors her hair, keeps it long and styled, gets her nails and eyebrows done regularly, keeps herself in good shape to show off a woman’s hourglass figure, never uses profanity or acts un-ladylike, etc etc. And yet even she would slip into the habit of wearing sweatpants or something similar when doing housework.

    So I had a talk with her about this, and told her my preference that she wear dresses at all times. So being the good wife she is, I didn’t have to mention it twice. Over the next month she went shopping online (and at some local thrift stores). She was shocked at how cheap house-dresses are – nice ones easily sell for $10 to $20. Some she bought used…but so what, that just means they’re “vintage”! lol. So anyway, for like $100 she got a whole selection of them.

    So now she is always in a dress at home, even if doing housework. She says she’s still getting used to it, but she thinks she likes it. I told her I am DEFINITELY a big fan – it just makes her look so much more feminine and I find that very appealing. And it’s a great role model for our daughters.

    And here’s the bonus. She also wears her new house-dresses when shopping, dropping/picking up the kids at school, or just running errands. She’ll wear the prettier, more colorful ones in this case, as opposed to if she’s just home mopping the floors and doing laundry. And guess what? She’s gotten nothing but compliments – from men AND women when she’s out dressed like that. Of course, this only puts a bigger smile on her face. It’s almost like everybody lights up when they see her – even at just the grocery store. Because they see a graceful, feminine woman in a pretty (but simple) house-dress. And this appeals to people. Maybe it reminds people of a simpler time, like the Fifties or something.

    So we’re tickled with how this latest little experiment has gone, and I thought I share it here. She gave me a big hug and kiss just yesterday when we were discussing this, and said “This is why my personal motto is: husband knows best”. We are def very blessed to have each other.

    Anyone else here have an opinion on the whole house-dress thing? Any of the wives here wear them regularly at home? Would you be willing to try it? (remember, they’re cheap). You think your husband would appreciate it? I’m curious….

    Liked by 1 person

    • gottmanfan says:

      We finally have something in common, my husband has started wearing house dresses while shopping and mopping the floor and I love it!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Anne says:

        It’s my preference for my husband to wear a sarong while doing chores around the house. Any piece of drapey fabric will work—inexpensive too—and it looks nicest if he goes commando. With the convenient wrap, it’s easy for the garment to come off and the fun begin! There’s nothing so masculine as a husband who is responsible and picks up after himself and that really gets me in the mood. Helping around the house is one way a man can add up to three points to his MGS (masculinity growth scale), something every man should work on, especially if he wants a successful relationship with a woman.

        Wearing clothing that facilitates intimate encounters also gives the woman the ability to rapidly assess her man’s standing on the ELI (erection longevity index), because we all know that, with women rising in the work force and earning more and more, a man’s worth is linked to his ability to satisfy his wife, who makes their standard of living possible. The ELI is a telling indicator of a man’s marriage success, and while women can just “lay there and think of England” (or maybe Sam Elliot at any time in his post-puberty life), men don’t have that option. It’s perform or hit the door, buster! Ladies, it’s best to check on a man’s ELI before marriage—who wants a disappointing honeymoon?

        Of course, sarongs aren’t practical outside of the house, so snug-fitting pants and tight knit shirts are the ticket there. Men can display their masculinity and add valuable points to their MQ (macho quotient). My husband works out to keep his masculine physique, and frequently gets compliments from both women AND men on his broad shoulders, powerful chest, and tight butt—his close-fitting clothes leaves no doubt of his manly shape. It’s almost like everyone smiles when they see him: a hairy, masculine man in simple yet revealing clothing, which can be purchased for next to nothing at any Goodwill store. And this appeals to me. Maybe because it reminds me of a simpler time—like 200 BC or something. My husband is getting to like it too, although it took a bit of getting used to moving around comfortably in those crotch-strangling pants. But male comfort is not the issue here—it’s how attractive his wife thinks he looks. We often discuss our motto: A husband’s job is to work, and a wife’s job is to make sure her man does his job correctly. And always wearing that eye-candy clothing that his wife will appreciate, at least for the brief amount of time it’s on his body.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Matt says:

          [Slow clap]

          The kind reserved for next-level things.

          I can’t quite find the adjective. But please trust that I noticed the brilliance.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Travis B. says:

          Anne totally won the internet today. I have never laughed so hard at MBTTTR before. Anne for President 2016! That was GREAT!

          Liked by 1 person

        • gottmanfan says:

          Anne,

          You have made some compelling arguments in favor of sarongs over housecoats. I am going to tell my husband tonight to wear sarongs. I won’t have to tell him twice if you know what I mean.

          I appreciate your input!

          That’s what I love about this comment section. Each of his doing our best to contribute thoughtful, intelligent, serious suggestions to improve our marriages!

          Liked by 2 people

        • Donkey says:

          Anne, I think you are very lucky to have found a man like your husband.

          Ever since men gained full human rights by law (which in my opinion is very family unfriendly), a lot of them them have just gotton so darn uppity and repulsive to good women. It’s like they’ve forgotten they’re here mainly to be sexually attractive, pleasing and obedient to their wives. No wonder why so many women are filing for divorce. I think that most men’s ELI starts falling when they hit 17 or something anyway, so really, why should women bother. Why keep the bull when you can get the…well, you know, for free.

          Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        “We finally have something in common, my husband has started wearing house dresses while shopping and mopping the floor and I love it!”

        I bet you do.

        For reals.

        Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      The sad thing is, I’m not entirely sure you’re joking!

      Like

    • anitvan says:

      My husband prefers yoga pants

      Liked by 2 people

      • linds01 says:

        Anita, Just as long as they show of those buns. Buns are good to smack once in a while, you know. Nothing too hard, just something to let them know I’m still interested.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Yoga pants are nice to look at if you have the curvy bottom to go with them. But they’re over-played anyway at the moment.

        There’s something about the house-dress that’s retro-chic and, of course, it’s very feminine. Which is always nice.

        As I said previously, my wife has noticed a difference in the reaction she gets in public (just running daytime errands) wearing a cheery, colorful house-dress versus yoga pants or sweatpants or leggings or even jeans. Everyone smiles when they see her, the women come up and compliment her, the young men are very polite and ask her if she needs any assistance with anything at the store or whatever, and so on.

        So yeah, I gotta take a little victory lap there. Telling her to wear dresses most of the time? Genius.

        Try it out and see what you and DH think.

        Like

  8. Jeff Strand says:

    Btw, the jealousy from some of the female posters is really amusing I must say. And these people wonder why they are in shitty marriages.

    As far as the sarcasm directed at my original post, I’m a big boy and I can take it. But fair’s fair. So Matt, when I start posting snarky, sarcastic responses after each commenter’s sincere post about their marriage dynamics…I’m expecting you will let my comments stand. Just as you did with Anne, Donkey, Linds, and Gott. They should be able to take it too, right Matt?

    If you intend to let their comments stand, fine. I have plenty of sarcasm of my own I can unleash on them in the coming posts. Hope we’re not going to hear them whining as a result.

    Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      When we are wearing housecoats our whining sounds so ladylike!

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        I don’t think they make them in your size though. Maybe you could try a MuMu?

        P.S. Your jealousy is showing. Like really bad.

        Like

        • gottmanfan says:

          Ok, I’ll confess I am jealous of many things in life including Anne’s sense of humor.

          I haven’t tried mumus yet but I will check what my husband to see if we can get a matching set.

          Like

    • Matt says:

      Wrong, Jeff.

      You intentionally, REPEATEDLY, incite anger, drama and sometimes even pain with things you write.

      I haven’t decided how much to believe you’re aware of it, but I think you’ve demonstrated enough intelligence to suggest you’re fully aware of it.

      What that means is, you KNOW as you’re writing something, that you’re stirring shit up. You know it.

      And it pisses me off a little bit, because no one really ever fights here or gets upset unless you’re involved.

      That said.

      We discuss relationships around here, and I have to acknowledge that for a certain segment of the population, some if the things you talk about from a relationship structure could have merit, and help them learn something important about themselves, thereby having healthier, more successful relationships.

      The problem is that I don’t find your comments most of the time to be altruistic or intended to sincerely help others.

      I think you are, the vast majority of the time, passive-aggressively being a dick.

      Even if that wasn’t your true intention (we both know it is), reasonable people would adjust their approach if they really cared about helping others.

      I know that’s not what you’re doing most of the time.

      Everyone else you mentioned VERY SINCERELY goes out of their way to help others. Every chance they get.

      To suggest that them using satire to poke fun at your 1950-esque views on gender is somehow the equivalent of you purposely being a dick and flamethrowing in internet comments is insulting.

      Your commentary sometimes hurts other people, Jeff.

      These satirical responses DO NOT hurt you.

      And if you can’t appreciate that distinction, then I’m afraid common ground will be a bit hard to reach.

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Matt,

        Again, I’m not going to sit here and be a whiner or claim I’m being “triggered” or whatever. Like some of these special snowflakes did when I DARED to suggest that maybe a traditional idea of marriage has merit. Oh my, that was worse than physical assault!

        But you do me a great disservice by just assuming (right out of the gate) my motives are questionable. I was being 100% sincere in my original post. If you could see the smile light up the face of my lovely wife as she shows off her newest dress to me, maybe you would know where I’m coming from. I tried something new in my marriage (having my wife wear dresses the vast majority of the time) and it’s worked out great. We are both very happy and I thought I share that here. Maybe some of the other commenters try it and have as much fun and joy with it as we did. If others don’t see it as their cup of tea, that’s fine too. I never tried to force it on anyone.

        And if you look upthread, you’ll see the relentless ridicule and sarcasm that was heaped on me. For relating something that worked well in my marriage and asking if anyone else felt like trying it out, and if so what results they got. And you’ve decided to let the comments stand and not delete them. So OK, fine. Like I said, I can take it. No big deal. But I want that same right to heap on the ridicule and sarcasm when Gott or Donkey or Anne or whoever makes a sincere post of something she’s trying in her marriage. I just went the same right to ridicule the hell out of their posts too.

        Fair is fair, Matt. You know I’m right.

        Like

        • Matt says:

          Jeff. Give me a break.
          If I enslave a bunch of people with different skin color than me and profit from their work while mistreating them, the amount of money I make relative to the hours I put in will go through the roof.
          I’ll be living large in my fancy white person house, while I stand atop my balcony sipping my drink as my human property toils under the hot sun.
          Perhaps afterward I can run around to a bunch of message boards and online communities focused on cultural and ethnic equality and brag about my new business idea as something they should consider and “be jealous of.”
          Perhaps then I can act faux-outraged when damn near every response to my “sincere efforts” to share some really cool new life experiment with them is met with anger and negative feedback.
          I’ll probably spend months, maybe even years, trying to figure out how in the world people could take my generous messages and find them offensive.
          You can think me an asshole. One with many bad ideas.
          I’m okay with that.
          But a complete ignoramus dipshit, I am not.
          Please stop intentionally being shitty to others. It’s amazingly easy to avoid it.
          Like, pretty much everyone else does. Every time they post something. It’s like a free How-To-Do-It demo every time a new one comes in.

          Like

          • Jeff Strand says:

            Matt, you lost me. What does slavery have to do with anything?

            You saying I’m somehow enslaving my wife, the apple of my eye, because I mentioned I would like to see her wear dresses more and she was happy to do so? (Pretty dresses that I paid for, btw)

            You can’t be serious. I’ll give you a mulligan on this one, cause I know you’re smarter than that.

            Like

            • Matt says:

              This is your last chance here.

              Talking about enslaving humans as being beneficial is likely to upset people whom slavery has impacted adversely.

              Talking about making our wives behave as women were asked to at a time when they were (by every objective measure) held back and denied opportunity is likely to upset people who have been negatively affected by sexism and misogyny.

              This is the last time I’m going to ask politely. Please stop purposely flaming people in the comments of this blog. Please.

              Please share your beliefs, and respond like an adult when people disagree. Almost everyone will, because your beliefs aren’t radically dissimilar from someone in 2016 enslaving other humans.

              I have shit to do. Please be kind to people.

              That’s what Jesus wants you to do.

              Like

            • Jeff Strand says:

              OK Matt, I have to go too. Have plans tonight as well.

              But I’ll leave you with this thought. When you say women were treated so terribly just one lifetime ago (which is feminist gospel), do you even realize how you are slandering your own father, grand fathers, great grandfathers, and so on? You are saying they oppressed and shat on and even “enslaved” their own wives? Whom they worked themselves to death to support and provide for? Whom they raised children with? Whom they loved dearly?

              Is this why Gott and the usual suspects had such an issue with my post? Because they actually believe that bullshit? If so, then things have gotten even worse than I thought. A generation taught to revile their own grandfathers. It’s something the Bolsheviks would do. I want no part of it.

              Matt, maybe you want to re-think this.

              Like

              • gottmanfan says:

                I think you are misunderstanding my views. I’m was agreeing with you that housecoats are a great idea.

                My husband has enjoyed wearing them to please me as much as your wife has enjoyed wearing hers to please you.

                I want to be clear I have no issue with your post. It has been a wonderful opportunity for each of us to explore the greatness of housecoats.

                Sure, there are some who enjoy yoga pants and sarongs but housecoats, like diamonds, are forever!

                Like

              • Donkey says:

                Each and every one of your female ancestors who had children risked their lives to give birth to the next generation. Part of your thanks to the female half of the population is, (amongst other things), that they should never openly disagree with her husband, and that they probably shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

                Women and men who want equal rights and opportunities aren’t reviling their own grandfathers. They just want equal rights and believe that everytime women and men didn’t have equal rights in the past, that was unfair.

                I don’t deny that there were many nice grandfathers who worked hard and were good to their wives and kids. Doesn’t make it ok in my mind that women had fewer rights in society and in marriage.

                I’m sure there were many nice slave owners who loved their spouses and kids and worked hard. Doesn’t make the slave owning part any better.

                Like

                • Jeff Strand says:

                  Donkey,

                  Feminists make unsuitable wives. They just do. There’s nothing else I can say about it.

                  I mean, every feminist who gets married makes herself and her husband miserable. Why do you suppose that is?

                  Like

                  • gottmanfan says:

                    I think all will be well if everyone worse housecoats.

                    Like

                  • Donkey says:

                    “I mean, every feminist who gets married makes herself and her husband miserable.”

                    Well, you’re wrong, since I know perfectly happily married feminists. Any way, do you have any current statistics? Your personal opinions don’t necessarily make your statements true.

                    Im my opinion: every man who doesn’t respect women as full human beings deserving of equal human rights make unsuitable husbands. And women who don’t respect men as full human beings deserving of equal human rights make unsuitable wives too.

                    Like

      • Tina says:

        Matt for me the difference is in personal vs non personal attacks. No one hear has said a word about Jeff – just made a kind of funny play on his post. In his replies he repeatedly makes personal comments about the posters. I do hope you will continue to make a strong stand against personal attacks. Vigorous debate on topics including the occasional snark and sarcasm yes – perosnal nastiness – please no.

        Liked by 2 people

    • anitvan says:

      Wait a second.

      The mockery was directed at your ideas, Jeff, not you.

      Go back and read the thread again and then tell me who made it personal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Even if that’s true, then I want the same right to direct mockery and ridicule at the ideas of other commenters. Isn’t that fair?

        Like

        • Matt says:

          Yes, Jeff.

          Without making it personal, you have a right to mock and ridicule all ideas about marriage and relationships that don’t align with your own.

          That is totally fair.

          Your non-personal execution tends to always be the problem.

          Like

          • Jeff Strand says:

            Ok Matt, works for me. So just to be clear, when a particular commenter posts a sincere post about something she’s trying in her marriage or the dynamics in her marriage…I can immediately reply with a post ridiculing and mocking everything she just said. As long as I am ridiculing everything she just said, and all the ideas she expresses, and not her actual person.

            And those are fair comments. Do I have that right?

            Like

        • gottmanfan says:

          I’m ok with your direct mockery and ridicule of my ideas. However I draw the line at mockery of my husband’s housecoats.

          Liked by 1 person

        • anitvan says:

          Jeff, you HAVE directed mockery at other people’s ideas. You call them special snowflakes. Please don’t make me go through previous comments to prove my point.

          You got a taste of your own medicine today, Jeff. I hardly think you have the right to complain.

          I came down hard on the others when I felt they weren’t being fair to you. Now it’s your turn.

          Perhaps, instead of complaining about the mockery you could address the underlying IDEA that your mockers are alluding to.

          Like

          • Jeff Strand says:

            Anita,

            The IDEA is to not just skip over a comment that isn’t to your taste without responding, the idea is to heap ridicule and mockery on it. And sure, that can be fun and humorous.

            I plan to start doing the same going forward, if this is the case. Fair for them, fair for me. I’m sure you agree

            Like

  9. Lol! You people are too funny. If I asked my hubby to wear a sarong about the house while doing chores, I bet he would. There’s some hidden benefits to pleasing your spouse.

    Overlooking Jeff’s tone here, there’s some wisdom behind what he’s saying. As wives, moms, don’t let yourself get run down, stuck in mom jeans, sweats, because that will wear on you eventually. You’ll start to feel like a drudge, unfeminine, not worthy. Women from 9 to 90 have a need to feel pretty. Don’t deprive yourself out of defiance or culture. Embrace it, you’ll feel a lot happier.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Strand says:

      IB, that was my original point. How happy my wife is with the idea. And it’s just a silly little thing, after all. But she was excited shopping for the dresses, and happy to model them for me. She loves the smiles she gets when out running errands wearing a pretty house dress.

      And now I’m told I’m “enslaving” her by doing thus? Really? Because it’s s silly little things that’s added a bit more joy to our lives? Has the whole world gone nuts?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Matt says:

        Jeff. You have as bad of reading comprehension as any educated person I’ve ever come across.

        Either that, or, like always, you’re intentionally being difficult.

        Like

      • Yes,the whole world has gone nuts, that’s why I’m insanitybytes. Sometimes it’s best to just go with the flow :)

        The world, the culture, feminism has done a real number on people and so rather than seeing the sweetness behind your words, many people can only see patronizing, sexism, oppression, exploitation. Women are actually shamed these days for embracing femininity and instructed NOT to ever dress to please someone else, especially not a man.

        I spent years cutting my hair, hubby has always liked it long, I look better with it long, but so, so many people told me I should cut it, told me it was somehow demeaning if I even took hubby’s opinion into consideration. I finally followed my heart (and his) and let it grow out and I actually lost two good girl friends over it. Yes, just a silly little thing that shouldn’t really matter, but so emotionally charged.

        Like

        • Jeff Strand says:

          Wow, IB. That is just so wrong. Sorry you had to go through that. But they don’t sound like they were very good friends, in that case.

          Family comes first anyway, right?

          Anyway, I guess I was really naive with my first post. I was just sharing some joy in our marriage, and thought I’d mention it in case someone else could take something from it. But God forbid you suggest a wife try to look/act feminine. Why these days, that’s practically a hate crime!

          Your husband is a lucky man. And thank you for recognizing the sweetness in my words. That’s truly how I am with my Dear Wife…very sweet. And I like her in her new house-dresses, and she likes wearing them and feeling pretty in them, and what the heck is wrong with that?

          Liked by 1 person

    • gottmanfan says:

      I did see the wisdom in what he was saying. That is why I asked my husband to wear housecoats. It’s important for men to feel and look good and not let themselves get run down.

      Luckily he has embraced it and is indeed happier!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Gott,

        We get the joke. It stopped being funny about 2 hours ago. Now all you are doing is showing you can repeat yourself, like a broken record. Over and over.

        So yeah, I’m sure your hubby is one content, happy husband. And that’s why you’ve been coming to site about “shitty husbands” for so many months, right?

        Your jealousy of me, my wife, and our marriage is astounding. I’m guessing you have some real hurt, deep inside. Something broken in you, and your marriage crumbling. Makes me feel sorry for you.

        Like

      • It is important for men to look and feel good, but it’s far more important for women to look and feel good because a huge part of our sexuality is entwined with it. So when we shame women for their femininty, when we mock and ridicule those who embrace it, what we’re really doing is implying there is something shameful about female sexuality. From the time we are little girls we are saying to the men in our lives, “look at me, see me, delight in me.” We take that right into the grown up world and it becomes a significant part of female sexuality.

        So you can dislike Jeff, but what he’s actually done is empowered his wife, encouraged her to feel good about herself, and given her permission to be feminine.

        Like

        • gottmanfan says:

          I totally agree that housecoats have empowered Jeffs wife and my husband.

          Like

        • Jeff Strand says:

          “So you can dislike Jeff, but what he’s actually done is empowered his wife, encouraged her to feel good about herself, and given her permission to be feminine.”

          IB,

          You get it. And that’s exactly why my wife is so happy and content with her life and in her marriage. Sadly, most of the other wives/moms are constantly complaining about their lives and their marriage (so my wife tells me).

          Liked by 1 person

        • Donkey says:

          IB,

          “So when we shame women for their femininty, when we mock and ridicule those who embrace it, what we’re really doing is implying there is something shameful about female sexuality

          I have no problem with women who want to have long hair, wear dresses, be submissive to their husbands etc.

          My problem is that some people, and with respect, that means you and Jeff Strand in this case Insanitybytes22, have sort of unfairly monopolized the definition of femininity.

          What is considered feminine will change with the day and age. Heels for men used to be fashionable. Pink used to be considered a colour unsuitable for girls. Men in many cultures men wear dress-like clothing. I read in “Out of Africa” by Isaac Dinesen/Karen Blixen about a culture where women who kept their scalp cleanly shaved were considered feminine.

          So no one here has the definite answer on what is feminine per se, as a universal truth if you will. And when people make comments equating some standard of dress/behaviour with femininity as if they do have the ultimte answer, that’s where I have a problem, not (usually) the behaviour in itself. Because it shames women who don’t behave like that as if she’s somehow less than a woman.

          From where I stand, that’s what Gottmanfan and Anne are getting at when they talk about their men in housedresses or sarongs. They’re illustrating the sort of faulty over confident “I have the right definition on what a good woman / man should do” attitude

          “From the time we are little girls we are saying to the men in our lives, “look at me, see me, delight in me.” We take that right into the grown up world and it becomes a significant part of female sexuality.”

          Yes, but where does that come from though? You may think that’s biology, I think at least a very significant part of it is cultural pressure, what we teach girls vs boys, what we say to them (“what a pretty little girl” etc), over and over and over. I read about a man who became a feminist after his daughter came home from kindergarden and talked about how ugly her butt looked. That doesn’t come from her biology, that comes from social pressure.

          Liked by 3 people

          • “I read about a man who became a feminist after his daughter came home from kindergarden and talked about how ugly her butt looked. That doesn’t come from her biology, that comes from social pressure”

            It wouldn’t surprise me if that perception and valuing of herself actually came from other little girls, not men, not the patriarchy. It is often girls and women who put those kind of negative ideas in our head. The fact that it stuck, that she took it to heart,validates what I am saying, it is important for girls to be delighted in. Would a little boy care about what people thought about his butt? Not so much, what is going to be important to him is not quite the same thing as what is important to her.

            My father actually managed to buck the trend of always telling girls they are smart, they can do anything, and always made a point of saying I was pretty. At the time it was embarrassing because it was so politically incorrect, but today I really appreciate it. That need to be valued and appreciated because we are pretty is really innate to women, it’s within us. Even your offense here when you say, we’ve “unfairly monopolized the definition of femininity” stems from a fear of not belonging, of not being delighted in.

            Like

            • Donkey says:

              “It wouldn’t surprise me if that perception and valuing of herself actually came from other little girls, not men, not the patriarchy. It is often girls and women who put those kind of negative ideas in our head.”

              It would not surprise me if it came fro other little girls either Insanitybytes22. My point is that a lot of the pressure to look pretty etc comes from outside (media etc). Little girls see women being valued for looks. The idea that women’s value are based on their looks is sexist in my opinion, and comes from a sexist ideology. Women can certainly internalize patriarchal or matriarchal sympathies or whatever other sympathies and act them out against eachother.

              It reminds me of the “good hair” stuff going on in some black communities. I seriously doubt the issue is that a lot of white folks daily insult their hair. So it isn’t perpetrated by white people in that sense. But the beauty ideal that favours white people (straight hair is prettier) that has become internalized still has it’s basis in a racist system. To just deal with this day and age, if all the movie stars and Victoria Secrets models were black women with natural har, I believe the beauty ideal would change.

              “The fact that it stuck, that she took it to heart,validates what I am saying, it is important for girls to be delighted in. Would a little boy care about what people thought about his butt? Not so much, what is going to be important to him is not quite the same thing as what is important to her.”

              I will have to ask why it is important for girls to be delighted in and not boys. If I understand you correctly, you think it’s biological, and maybe you’re partly right. It’s certainly natural to want to attract a mate.

              But a lot of the messages are not just about how a woman/girl should look, how her butt should look. But about how only “pretty” girls have value, only pretty girls get their day in the sun, get the guy, get the castle, get the part in the movie, gets to be visible. So if the way to having value and a good life is through being pretty, no wonder girls obsess about that. Even if this doesn’t get said out loud, the message still comes across in a myriad of different ways. The beautiful princess vs the ugly witch. Beauty and the beast etc.

              I thank you for having this discussion with me in a civil manner.

              Liked by 2 people

              • Beauty standards can certainly have a cultural influence. At one point in Victorian times, tuberculosis, consumption, was so prevalent, to be pale, thin, weak, sickly, was considered desirable and beautiful, so women actually took arsenic to get that deathly look.

                What can I say, we’re a weird species.

                I guess I would ask why we are rejecting the beautiful, the pretty, in the modern world as if that is somehow shameful, not as valuable as the other things that men bring to the table. It is kind of the essence of women to take what is ugly and make it beautiful, to reflect and multiply and create something aesthetically pleasing in the world. That has tremendous value and when we police women, demand that our worth and value must now come from the things that men have traditionally been valued for, we are erasing the essence of who and what women are and what roles we play in the world.

                So, Beauty and the Beast, she breaks a curse, she sets a man free, saves her family, and restores an entire kingdom. Why do we mock that? It’s powerful. Her ability to seek the beauty in the thickets and brambles, to see through the Beast’s ugly exterior and see into his heart, is the whole essence of that tale. Also, many themes around the dreaded S word, but I’ll shut up now. :)

                Like

                • Donkey says:

                  “I guess I would ask why we are rejecting the beautiful, the pretty, in the modern world as if that is somehow shameful, not as valuable as the other things that men bring to the table.”

                  I like this point. Beauty has great significance for human beings, in my opinion, and I certainly agree that creating something of beauty can be just as valuable as other kinds of feats.

                  “So, Beauty and the Beast, she breaks a curse, she sets a man free, saves her family, and restores an entire kingdom. Why do we mock that?”

                  I mock “Beauty and the Beast” in this context, because I think it conveys the message that external beauty doesn’t matter….unless you’re a woman. And that I resent.

                  “That has tremendous value and when we police women, demand that our worth and value must now come from the things that men have traditionally been valued for, we are erasing the essence of who and what women are and what roles we play in the world.”

                  Believe it or not, I actually agree with you on many points I think. I think it’s a huge problem that what has been considered traditionally feminine in society has been undervalued. We see that many who provides care and comfort, takes care of children, the sick, the elderly, are not payed enough in either money or respect/status respect and money compared to many in professions considered more traditionally masculine. Mind you, I don’t want to undermine the traditional masculine professions, I want equal value as a general principle.

                  I think it lays out in marriage too, a lot of the traditionally feminine tasks, the emtoional labour, the remembering All The Things are undervalued. And it’s like it’s not allowed for women to talk about these things, to say that it’s actually work and should be recognized as such, and when they do, they often get ridiculed or dismissed by their husbands who have internalized the idea that these things just happen or aren’t a big deal, or aren’t taxing or whatever.

                  Where I disagree with you is that it’s necessarily the essence of who women are. I don’t think every woman longs (apart from social pressure) to be beautiful or a caregiver. Certainly not if she would be as welcome in society, in her marriage and in her family if she followed her own longings (to an extent, everyone should be a responsible citizen, spouse etc) if they are different than what you describe as the feminine essence.

                  I think it would be a great idea to place monetary value on the unpaid care work in soceity and really elevate its status. Give stay at home moms or dads not just pleasant words, but good pay, give people who care for their elderly or disabled relatives and friends good pay and not just talk about what important work they’re doing. Who knows, maybe even Donkey would end up barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen if that were the case. :p

                  Liked by 1 person

                • linds01 says:

                  IB,
                  There is nothing wrong with beauty. I think the point is that women shouldn’t be valued soley on being beautiful, nor should they be valued because they are desired by men.
                  Women should have value for being the person they are.
                  Some beauty you are born with and it says nothing about your character, or your capabilities.
                  Other beauty is developed through years of being who you are, and that may not look like the worlds idea of it.
                  But, that is the real, true beauty that people who rank and rate women on their butts or their breasts fail to see.
                  Unfortunately, in the pursuit of the perfect butt or breasts, women forget to love themselves exactly as they are. They can be convinced they don’t have value outside of this small sphere of mirror and man.
                  That is a shame and a travesty.

                  Like

        • Jeff Strand says:

          “Yes, but where does that come from though? You may think that’s biology, I think at least a very significant part of it is cultural pressure, what we teach girls vs boys, what we say to them (“what a pretty little girl” etc), over and over and over. I read about a man who became a feminist after his daughter came home from kindergarden and talked about how ugly her butt looked. That doesn’t come from her biology, that comes from social pressure.”

          This is why you never marry a feminist.

          I tell my wife I’d like to see her more in dresses around the house. I’ll pay for the dresses. Her response is to immediately buy some dresses and wear them for me with an open mind. Lo and behold, she finds she likes it too – it makes her feel feminine and pretty. The upshot is a little more joy and happiness in our marriage.

          But ask a feminist to wear a dress and you get a lecture about how oppressed girls are, starting from kindergarten. A whole political argument ensues.

          Who needs it?

          Like

          • Donkey says:

            You’re misrepresenting what happened Jeff Strand. Stick to the facts, please.

            What happened here was not that someone asked “feminist to wear a dress and you get a lecture about how oppressed girls are, starting from Kindergarten”.

            What happened here was that I replied to some of Insanitybytes22’s points abut femininity.

            Do you have any thoughts as to my points about femininity being relative, so it’s not fair of anyone to monopolize the definition?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Jeff Strand says:

            I think there are some traits most everyone view as feminine, just as there are traits people view as masculine.

            And I think a big problem nowadays is that parents are not making an explicit effort to raise their daughters to be feminine, in expectation of them becoming good and proper wives. Now my wife and I are raising our daughters this way, and I know there are some others doing so as well, but I fear that the vast majority of parents are not doing so.

            We have our girls in sewing class, we model the husband as head of the household dynamic in our family constantly…so they can see that as the role model for marriage, my wife teaches them cooking and all other domestic skills, dresses them in skirts and dresses from a young age, takes them to have their nails done at the salon from a young age, put them in a more feminine sport like tennis instead of softball or volleyball, impress on them the importance of keeping fit and attractive, teach them good religious and spiritual values, and emphasize the importance of family and children to their future…and their role as a wife/mom, rather than emphasizing a career. So we are explicitly raising them to be good wives. They will be good catches for the right young man.

            But since parents are not doing this, then this means that it will continue to be the case that most young ladies are not suitable for marriage, i.e., they are not “wife material”. But, looking on the bright side, that will just make my daughters stand out more and look that much better when they are in the dating and marriage market. Compared to their peers, I mean. So they should be able to marry quite well.

            What a wonderful gift for us to have given them!

            Like

            • Donkey says:

              “I think there are some traits most everyone view as feminine, just as there are traits people view as masculine.”

              The thing is, by giving examples from other cultures, I believe I showed quite well that the concpt of femininity and masculinity is at least heavily based in nurture, not nature.

              So wearing dresses, sewing etc, might be considered feminine by most in this culture. You’re wanting your daughters to conform to *this* culture’s view on femininity (or your subculture’s view on feminnity). But that doesn’t necessarily mean that that definition of femininity is inherently natural to women. Just like another culture’s definition of femininity (like having a shaved scalp, *not* wearing pink etc)doesn’t necessarily equate to what’s natural to women.

              “So we are explicitly raising them to be good wives”

              And this is where I have a problem. You’re equating your view of what you want a wife to be with being a good wife, thus not allowing for wives who do things differently to also be good wives. That is not allowing for legitimately different ways of doing things, and is therefore disrespectful.

              Liked by 2 people

              • Donkey says:

                Your idea of what a good wife is might work very well for you, just like someone elses idea of what a good wife is, even if very different than yours, can work just as well. They can coexist, is my point, neither you nor I or anyone else has the monopoly on deciding what a good wife is once and for all, or what feminity inherently is.

                Like

    • anitvan says:

      I have no issue with Jeff’s wife wanting to please him..I have a problem with the insinuation that wives who would prefer to dress in a way that is comfortable to them are not in the Good Wife Club.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Which I never said.

        Like

      • LOL, well forgive me for this antivan, but don’t let the “Good Wife Club,” get you down. The Bad Wife Club is a lot more fun anyway. :)

        Like

      • Donkey says:

        Agreed.

        Liking housedresses and/or a tradtional marriage is a style difference and not a problem.

        Framing it in sexist languge (notice I didn’t call anyone person a sexist) like saying that your wife being a good wife only had to be told once (I’m slightly paraphrasing) is a problem. As is implyng that women who behave differently than what Jeff Strand prefers aren’t feminine enough, and no wonder they’ve had marital problems.

        And yes, I did see Jeff Strand’s reply:
        “I meant she was happy to try something her husband mentioned he would like. I consider that a trait a good wife would have.

        Didn’t say that all good wives only wear dresses all the time. Hope that clarifies it a bit.”

        Normally I’d consider myself quite receptive to a clarification like that. But given Jeff Strand’s other opinions on what women’s rights should be in marriage and society that he has voiced several times in a way that makes little allowance for other people having a legitimately different opinion (as in not being ungodly, unfeminine, not a real man when they disagree with) him makes me less than convinced. I realize that may mean I’m not fully grasping what Jeff Strand was trying to communicate.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. linds01 says:

    Jeff,
    Oh my. Well, I’ve been trying to get a message through, but couldn’t because my poor laptop has just about had it.
    Listen. Please. Just take a deep breath and listen.
    I have sincere sympathy for you right now.
    I love these people, and I think they are hilarious, but I went to bat and defended you in a private forum. I can understand it does not feel good to be mocked and ridiculed.
    I believe that you may have written your comment out of sincerity. I believe you absolutely ,to the core, do believe the things that you continue to state.
    And I want us to respect that as your beliefs.

    But, you have to realize the things you are doing and saying. You have to be honest and real with yourself.

    You landed on one of the most awesome sights on the internet, because these people care.
    If you let yourself be honest with yourself, you will find we wont ridicule you, we will honor you.
    We will honor you in your screw ups, as long as you are looking for a different way.

    I am not going to dissect the entirety of your comments, but I do want to point out a few things to you.

    Its not to challenge you, or poke fun at you, or to prove that I am right.

    I just want to show you some concrete things that are not true that you stated.

    Again, admitting that you spoke out of emotion, or whatever the reason is not going to earn you a badge of disgrace, it is going to earn you more honor- because you are being honest.

    Jeff, You said
    “Matt,

    Again, I’m not going to sit here and be a whiner or claim I’m being “triggered” or whatever. Like some of these special snowflakes did when I DARED to suggest that maybe a traditional idea of marriage has merit. Oh my, that was worse than physical assault!”

    The thing I want to point out here is that you were not suggesting “traditional marriage”, you were suggesting that women had no voice, no vote, no rights. Even the traditional marriage people here disagreed with you.

    So, it appears that one idea of traditional marriage is different than the other.

    That is fine. However MOST people understand traditional marriage to be a little less extreme than how you understand it. So, we are not saying that “traditional marriage” is triggering, or worse than physical assault (I think we actually said it was equal to, but in any case.) We are saying that the extreme version of traditional marriage that you present is somewhat triggering, offensive and assault-ive.

    Instead of arguing that it is not. Please just take it in a listen that it is being received that way- I would say by many if not most people.

    If some guy walked into a restaurant and started waving his privates around, most people would recoil and look the other way. He may believe that nudity is natural and there is nothing wrong with it, but if everyone else is being offended, its time to put your dick away (pardon my french.)

    You said “But you do me a great disservice by just assuming (right out of the gate) my motives are questionable.”

    Jeff, I think like most people we understand others as we build experiences with them. Our experience with you has left us (most of us) questioning your motives.

    Again, please dont argue that we are wrong- it is just something that humans do.
    Please receive what I am saying in the generous spirit that it was meant.

    If several people respond to you the same way, you have to look at what they are saying.

    We are not trying to hurt you.

    “I was being 100% sincere in my original post. If you could see the smile light up the face of my lovely wife as she shows off her newest dress to me, maybe you would know where I’m coming from. I tried something new in my marriage (having my wife wear dresses the vast majority of the time) and it’s worked out great. We are both very happy and I thought I share that here. Maybe some of the other commenters try it and have as much fun and joy with it as we did.”
    I am very glad to hear this for you!

    “If others don’t see it as their cup of tea, that’s fine too. I never tried to force it on anyone.”

    I have to disagree that you do not try to force your opinions on others. It seems like that is the whole point and purpose of most of your posts- to get others to believe and see things the way you do.

    “And if you look upthread, you’ll see the relentless ridicule and sarcasm that was heaped on me. For relating something that worked well in my marriage and asking if anyone else felt like trying it out, and if so what results they got. And you’ve decided to let the comments stand and not delete them. So OK, fine. Like I said, I can take it. No big deal. But I want that same right to heap on the ridicule and sarcasm when Gott or Donkey or Anne or whoever makes a sincere post of something she’s trying in her marriage. I just went the same right to ridicule the hell out of their posts too.
    Fair is fair, Matt. You know I’m right.”

    Jeff, as I started this post with- I agree that what they were saying could feel like ridicule. And I am sorry. However, the thing is- you know that others have very different opinions than you do. If it were 6 or 8 weeks ago, they may have looked at it as a differing and interesting opinion.. but, there have been repeated attempts to really talk to you without you spitting out vulgarities, or some string of logic that does not line up all the way through.

    Jeff, the last resort is to laugh.

    The other issue, about fairness- well, I would hope that you could maybe see that your idea of fairness is likely different than everyone else’s idea.

    Anyway- I really hope you dont look away. I really hope that you can see past your anger, to see how other people are experiencing this.

    Holding on to your “rights” with both hands, doesn’t leave you with much to help out, or hold a hand, or do something constructive. You can hold onto that rope all the way down.

    Like

  11. Jeff Strand says:

    The most amusing thing about this thread is Gott thinking she’s ridiculing me somehow…by…wait for it…basically calling her own husband a sissy who prances around the house in a dress!

    LMAO! I’m dying over here, LOL! That’s one heckuva a man you got yourself there!

    Yeah Gott, you sure showed me…you keep your husband in dresses! LOL

    Ummm…you’re not very good at this

    Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      You are misunderstanding me once again. I am agreeing with you in the awesome power of housecoats.

      My husband has really enjoyed them because his family is from Scotland where real men wear skirts.

      But housecoats are awesome as we all know. Truly great for everyone!

      Like

    • linds01 says:

      Jeff,
      I am curious as to what “THIS” is to you?
      We don’t come here to name call or put people down.
      You keep talking about being a man, but you sound like a 6th grade boy.
      I don’t mean to be rude about that- but its true.
      You refuse to listen to anyone. You name call, you use bluff and bravado to deflect any sort of responsibility.

      If you are hurt- say youre hurt. Its ok.
      Maybe when you do that you can start to heal.

      But right now- you are the poster child for the bumper sticker “HURT PEOPLE, HURT PEOPLE.”

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Linds,

        I’m not hurt. Except from laughing so hard watching Gott trying to put me down by basically calling her own husband a dress-wearing sissy on a public forum, LOL!

        I haven’t had this big a laugh in a few weeks, LMAO! I couldn’t make this up!

        And I’m not attacking Gott personally. I’m laughing at her idea of dressing her hubby up as a sissy, thinking that’s somehow a dig at me! It’s beyond amusing

        Like

        • gottmanfan says:

          I am delighted that I amuse you! After all, it’s fantastic to have a good laugh now and then.

          One more power to ascribe to the amazing housecoat!

          Like

          • Jeff Strand says:

            Yeah Gott, but no one is laughing at my wife wearing a dress.

            Your “man” on the other hand….lol…def a laugh, all right.

            Like

            • gottmanfan says:

              You are laughing and mocking my husband’s housedresses?

              I thought you agreed that was where the line was drawn sir.

              Like

            • Jeff Strand says:

              No sweetie, I’m laughing at and mocking the IDEA of your husband prancing around the house in a dress like a sissy.

              Fair game. I mean, it is funny that you come on a public forum to humiliate the poor guy (your own spouse!) that way. Something I would never do to my wife.

              Oh well, guess that’s why we have such a successful marriage!

              Cheers. Maybe put your hubby in the hot pink dress tonight? I bet the little darling will look just smashing!

              Like

  12. linds01 says:

    Ok, Jeff.
    I’m being totally sincere and serious and you feel the need to make sure everyone knows you weren’t hurt or insulted, but in fact someone else is the one who really should be hurt and insulted.
    Which, I can squarely tell you Gottman fan is not.
    But that is way beyond the point.
    What causes you to try to hurt others so much?
    Does it always have to be a “them or me” thing?
    I really wanted to reach you on some sort of human level- but, you won’t admit that you are a human and it hurts to have people openly mock you.

    Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Linds,

      I tell you what. If you want to have a real chat like authentic human beings, why don’t you sincerely reply to my original post? Just post it here, at the bottom of the thread.

      Like

      • linds01 says:

        Well, ok. I mean, what you wrote was fine, but it wasnt anything that really resonated with me. And, it felt a little inflated and exaggerated in how everyone responded so well to her just because she was wearing a house dress.
        It made me think you were trying to prove that ABSOLUTELY every woman needs to be wearing dresses, and I just dont believe in very many absolutes.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        As far as me exaggerating or inflating how people reacted to her…all I did was relay what she told me. So if there was exaggeration, it came from her. But she was certainly being honest and sincere when she told me this stuff – I could see that she was happy about it right on her face. So if she was exaggerating, it was surely unintentional. She was just really pleased with the response she was getting out in public.

        And I didn’t say “all you women reading this need to wear dresses all the time”, so you are incorrect about absolutes. I relayed this little episode in my marriage and its positive effects. Then I asked if any of the female commenters would consider wearing dresses more if their husbands asked, like mine did. And if so, how it went. You can go back and re-read the post for yourself.

        Would you be willing to if your husband asked you? Why or why not? Do you think wives should dress, look, and act feminine for their husbands?

        Like

        • linds01 says:

          Thank you for explaining Jeff.
          Can we do an exercise together?

          If someone makes a comment to us that we dont agree with, or states an opinion that we dont agree with, can we make an agreement that instead of thinking of all the reasons they are wrong, we just take a deep breath and acknowledge they have a different opinion?

          We dont have to justify or defend our position, or prove why their position is wrong.

          Lets just practice that for a little while, as see if we can come up with some more indepth conversation.

          I think it will be fun.

          Like

        • Jeff Strand says:

          Linds,

          You’re preaching to the choir.

          Like

  13. Travis B. says:

    What I miss most through all of these constant thread hijackings of late at MBTTTR is that Matt’s messages have virtually always (I can think of literally only a single exception, and that was by design) been written in the vein of “What can I do as a man and a husband that benefits my wife first (exalts her, champions her, and heals any wounds I may have caused, intentionally or otherwise) before it benefits me (retention of marriage)?” But now, so much of every comment stream these days, fueled almost exclusively by Jeff and IB2, takes the tone of, “What can my wife do for me/at my behest that benefits me first, then her second (e.g. alleged increased sense of self-worth via others’ perceptions)?”

    Am I personally offended and/or revolted by so much that Jeff and (only lately) IB post here? Yes, but who cares? My tastes are not the arbiter of Truth or Value. But I miss–ache for!–commentary more keeping in the tone of Matt’s intentions, the core values of MBTTTR. I miss a robust dialog about how men and husbands can and must step up their game. Because this is the only place anywhere on the internet where I can find such an environment. And I need it. I need that message. I need that reinforcement. Because it helped saved my life in a very real way once and stands to continue doing so for years to come.

    But Jeff’s and IB’s message? I can put presentation aside. I can put visceral disagreement with ideology aside. But I keep getting hung up on the fact that I can find their philosophy EVERYWHERE. There is no want for it, no shortage of it, in the world. From the walled environment of the internet inside our Windows to the wide open world outside of our windows, the overriding message to women throughout recorded history has been “what can you do for your men?” There are so many places to find Jeff’s and IB’s message. It’s ubiquitous. It’s hard-wired into the very fabric of global society. It is the Christmas music that’s been incessantly playing through society’s endless early winter since Time Immemorial.

    MBTTTR is different. MBTTTR offers a unique, fresh, new point of view. MBTTTR encourages men to be brave enough, secure enough, to carry the onus. MBTTTR asks the tough question, “What if I, as the husband, am the problem? What if I am my own worst enemy? What if am the disease in my marriage, but also its potential cure?”

    I would argue that statements beginning with some form of “Here’s what wives can do for their husbands…” or “Husbands, have you tried having your wife…” aren’t salient to the discussion here–not because of issues of feminist dogma, or a retraction from religious instruction, or any other ancillary influence, but because if there is any central, core, fundamental principle upon which this entire forum has been built, it’s “Husbands, it’s time to own your own shit.” Agree or disagree with the logic of each associated topic as you see fit, but all discussion should branch out from that central tenet: “But what about you, Husband? What about you?”

    Liked by 3 people

    • gottmanfan says:

      Travis,

      Very well put!!!!

      That’s why I was so encouraged the other day with Eric’s comments who seemed genuinely interested and appreciative of donkeys input about how he could rethink things to improve his marriage!

      The majority of commenters here are women. Tired, weary women who have spent many, many years being told they are not doing enough, being enough. Like you said, the world needs less of that music.

      And let me repeat once again Gottman’s research. The CRITICAL piece of a good marriage is the husband accepting his wife’s influence (under his definition). The vast, vast majority of wives already do that.

      That’s why Matt’s blog message is important. It puts the challenge and call for change on men and their shitty grandiose behavior and attitudes where it is really needed.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Gott,

      You say that. And yet…

      Upthread, you tried mocking me by sarcastically noting that you and your husband are so blessed and lucky to have each other, and have such a great marriage. Because I had said that previously about my own situation.

      But as everyone here knows, I was being sincere when I said it – this really applies to me and my marriage. Whereas, it does not apply to you. And this drives you crazy with jealousy, which is of course why you try to cover up that hurt with snarky sarcasm. But it doesn’t fool anyone, nor does it heal what’s broken within you and within your marriage.

      Maybe you should look within, and try to see what is it that drives so strongly into anger and jealousy when you see a happy and successful marriage someone else has. Because that’s an incredibly immature attitude, and your lack of maturity has been amply demonstrated in this thread. Over and over, in fact.

      I don’t say you’re a bad person. But I think you clearly have some healing to do, and you could use some introspection. Good luck to you.

      Like

    • What can I do as a man and a husband that benefits my wife first (exalts her, champions her, and heals any wounds I may have caused, intentionally or otherwise)…”

      Travis, I don’t mean to offend you, but its somewhat comical how you refuse to listen to me, you have simply written me off, dismissed me entirely, right after asking, “what can I do as a man?”

      Well, step one, try to listen and not stereotype and dismiss? I never take anything personally, but I can feel your disrespect for me, your dismissal, your complete unwillingness to hear any value in my words. You don’t want a wife to ever experience that same thing, it cuts off her lines of communication with you.

      Second, help her to embrace her femininity, her sexuality! I really believe that is what men are called to do, that it helps to exalt, edify, lift your wife up. That is what I read into Jeff’s comment, that is what I have seen in my own marriage. I don’t have an agenda here, I’m simply a happy wife trying to share what has made me happy and you are a man asking “what can I do as a man?”

      Well, step one, just listen and take into consideration the words of people who have been married for a long time.

      Like

      • Travis B. says:

        I do not disrespect you, IB. I never have. But, yes, you are right that I have dismissed, well, not you but some of your stated beliefs. I have held them up to personal scrutiny and found them ranging anywhere from inapplicable to my personal marriage to what I perceive as morally dubious (and remember, I’ve clarified that I don’t consider myself the arbiter of Truth and Value, but I do have personal values and your championing of wifely submission is not in alignment with them). I’m sorry if you feel I am somehow diminishing you, which is not my desire and never has been. Truth be told, after many months of beneficial, insightful and friction-less dialog with you, I’ve been rather melancholy that you and I seem to have found ourselves on divergent paths and that it’s seemed to incense you so. Because, from my perspective, you and I are simply disagreeing. I’ve had the same thing occur in the past with gottmanfan and I consider her to be MBTTTR’s most valuable player. The difference for how my disagreement with you makes me feel versus my disagreement with Mr. Strand is that, with a single forgivable exception, you have never been personally insulting to me or others here. Historically, you’ve taken ideas to task, not those who verbalize them.

        So that’s what’s happening on my side, IB. I take some (some, mind you–you and I have talked about a great many things with no rancor or discord before) of your ideology under consideration and dismiss it when it does not align with my personal value scale. Again, that can range from something I find morally objectionable (e.g. requiring or championing wifely submission; frankly, even the kind mutually agreed upon sits ill with me, because it smacks of a kind of Stockholm Syndrome, and I am ill-disposed in general toward people embracing any kind of subordinance for themselves–in short, I am naturally wary and distrustful of so-called authority figures, including husbands with a “traditional” idea of marriage to, well, God himself) to something that doesn’t strike me as germane to my own marriage (e.g. helping my wife feel more feminine and sexy is not an area in which my wife needs any help whatsoever–whatever contributions I might already knowingly or unwittingly be making toward that concern appear to be more than sufficient). With me, it has never been unwillingness to hear, but in some cases, yes, it is and will remain unwillingness to agree.

        Furthermore, I am, to use Matt’s word, privately chagrined that you continually give Jeff’s presentational style a free pass. You also have a marked tendency to, from my perspective, spin his beliefs into the most positive framework possible because that’s how you read them. Very well, but where you find diamonds in his writings, I find broken glass. Unfortunately, I don’t feel confident that I can say much more on that front without taking Mr. Strand the man to task, and I’ve made him a deal that I will not become personally combative. I just hope, IB, that you can understand that, in the vast majority of cases where your beliefs align with his, I’m not going to find personal value in your position. I’d hate for that to shut communication off between us–I truly would!–but I also refuse to betray my convictions just so that everybody can feel equally championed. As I mentioned in an earlier thread, it’s not enough to me that an idea works (e.g. the concepts Mr. Strand espouses which allegedly fortify his marriage). History is replete with cruel ideas that worked. For me, those ideas must not simply produce tangible results but also be morally sound.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Travis, call me crazy, but somewhere in the midst of you reducing me to ideology, accusing me of Stockholm syndrome, and declaring you are not going to find personal value in my positions, I’ve got this silly idea you have no respect for me.

          I’m just trying to point out that we take that same luggage into marriage with us and it is no surprise to me that we people than struggle so much.

          All in good humor here Travis, but what you’ve just done is called Gaslighting, Ingrid Bergman, 1944.

          You’ve implied my feelings are wrong, (by declaring ‘I do not disrespect you’) and than you proceeded to dictate how I actually do feel, which is allegedly “incensed.”

          Most women I know find that kind of thing really crazy making. So to use Matt’s terminology, that’s a hallmark of a crappy husband. It’s far better to just be direct and not dance around “feelings” so much.

          So, a more honest form of conversation that actually honors a woman would be, “Yes, I totally disrespect your ideology and I’m rather incensed about it.” That’s direct, simple, honest, validating. I can work with that, I can accept that, I can sense having been heard and having been heard by your spouse is what it’s really all about.

          What your comment does instead is to dump responsibility on me for politics, history, cruelty, morality, ideology, the interactions on this board, Jeff’s communication style, and accuses me of demanding you betray your convictions.

          It’s like, whoah, no wonder women often feel overwhelmed and emotionally overburdened. Some of you guys just back up a dump truck and unload it all on us.

          Like

          • Travis B. says:

            I find the totality of what you’ve written here to be grossly unfair, as well as imbalanced in that it reads to me as denying my ability to explain my behaviors and defend my moral stance all under the umbrella accusation of “gaslighting”. However, the concept of gaslighting is a relatively new idea to me, brought to light by some of our best members here, so I don’t yet feel I always have a lock on it. Also, I do recognize that I have practiced this behavior with my wife in the past, so I can apparently be prone to it. So rather than try to defend myself against what feels like a rain of unfair accusations and criticisms, I’m going to try to focus on learning what I can from our continuing and lamentable breakdown of communication, and I’d like to do it in baby steps so that I don’t lose the through-line along the way.

            As an example of gaslighting, you said, “You’ve implied my feelings are wrong, (by declaring ‘I do not disrespect you’).”

            I would make the case that I, and I alone, dictate how I feel about anything. I own the feeling of either respecting you or not respecting you. It makes absolutely no sense to me that you have either the knowledge or authority to tell me my thoughts and feelings are not mine to qualify. On the other hand, whereas I don’t believe you’re in your rights to accuse me of being in error by stating I do not disrespect you, I would find it completely understandable if you’d expressed that something I’ve said has made you feel disrespected.

            Additionally, you wrote, “you proceeded to dictate how I actually do feel, which is allegedly ‘incensed.'”

            Is it gaslighting to assign an emotional value to an observed behavior or tone? As an analogue, if something leaves moisture on my hands, is it gaslighting to call it damp? If a child cries out because a dog bites it, is it gaslighting to say he felt pain? Where is the line between telling you how you feel and being able to observe and make an evidence-based assessment about how you feel?

            So I leave this open to the greater crowd here at MBTTTR, because if I’m in the wrong, I need and want to know. I do not wish to gaslight. If I have, please, everyone willing, show me how I have done so, and please provide context on how my perspective on the two points above is faulty. I don’t know if I’ll ever return to your good graces, IB, but I am determined to learn from this exchange.

            Like

            • Travis, I’m sorry you feel as if I am being grossly unfair and imbalanced. I hate to see you feeling defensive and accused of things. There was no intended accusation or blame and shame in my words, it simply is what it is, an observation about communication.

              We were originally speaking of my alleged faulty ideology and my supposedly being insensed. You’ve turned it all back around to yourself with multiple defensive “I” statements. There is no defense here needed, you are free to feel anyway you want.

              This is a good question, “Where is the line between telling you how you feel and being able to observe and make an evidence-based assessment about how you feel?”

              I’m going with never. We can ask questions, we can observe behavior, but the moment we assume we know how someone feels, we’ve blurred the lines and convoluted the whole discussion. People will usually tell you how they feel, there is no need to try to guess.

              Like

  14. marilyn sims says:

    HOORAY FOR YOU TRAVIS!!!!

    I too would like the conversations to stay on track — to offer the wise counsel and the empathetic support that has been the hallmark of this special place for so many months.

    I don’t understand why we have not yet learned how to avoid the “tar-paper” trap that wastes so much of our time and energy. We are a “tribe” of learners who share the joys and pains of our individual journeys toward health and wholeness.

    Please remember that is the reason why Matt opened this site

    I ask each of you to hold your candle aloft. We need more light and less heat.

    Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      Perhaps some might disagree with your assessment of the need for less heat. Or that candies can burn without oxygen.

      Like

      • marilyn sims says:

        Hi gottmanfan,

        I’m sure disagreement is possible, my reference to the need for less heat was meant to be a call for less friction among the contributors here.

        I don’t understand your statement, “or that candles can burn without oxygen.”

        Like

        • gottmanfan says:

          Marilyn,

          I did understand you meaning was for a call for less friction among the contributors.

          That is what I was saying that some might disagree was the goal in the current environment.

          I have no idea what the right thing to do is. I can defintely see the merit of your preferred method of avoiding the tar-paper.

          Others might see the merit of of engaging with comments they find unhealthy rather than letting them stand unopposed.

          That is what I meant by candles not being able to burn without oxygen. The atmosphere may be polluted with toxic ideas left unchallenged with other comments presenting an alternative view.

          I can see your point and preferred ignoring method. Definte advantages to it. Probably many people agree wth you.

          It’s just not the only valid point of view in my mind even if the result of the other method appears to you like the conversations are not staying on track.

          There is a different value being played out there that I find preferable to the ignoring method. Others understandably disagree and prefer less conflict.

          What is the “track”? Both methods are staying on track. They just define it differently. Hopefully this explains my meaning more.

          I know you don’t agree with me and that’s ok. You could very well be right. It’s a difficult situation to know how to approach and it will vary be person.

          Perhaps I see it less as a “tribe” and more as random internet people exchanging ideas. The ideas matter to me more than preserving the tribe. That may be part of the reason we may see this differently.

          But hey I’m certainly no black belt in maturity or differentiation so that might factor in some too. Trying to learn though. 😀

          Like

          • marilyn sims says:

            HI,

            I agree, more than you can know, that there is merit in contributors challenging “comments they find unhealthy”. I am in no way averse to our “warrior-poets” rising to the call to arms. I am feeling sad and frustrated because too often the dialog feels like a descent into a rat’s nest where “dis-ease” can breed and spread untreated and unabated WITH NO END IN SIGHT.

            This is a difficult situation and no one seems to have the definitive right answer for finding an honorable way out for everyone involved.

            You are right about how we define staying “on track” differently. I think my “fatal” character flaw (IMPATIENCE) may also be in operation here.. I want solutions that we can practice and put into effect YESTERDAY.

            Thanks for taking the time and making the effort to clarify.

            Liked by 1 person

  15. marilyn sims says:

    To Eric especially
    ,
    I am so glad that you have found something of value here — we will survive this temporary
    diversion from our purpose. Please stay. We need men who are willing to listen and contribute insight where we may be lacking. I think our “warrior-poet”, Travis, would especially appreciate the presence of “a brother in arms”.

    Like

  16. Jeff Strand says:

    Travis: “But Jeff’s and IB’s message? I can put presentation aside. I can put visceral disagreement with ideology aside. But I keep getting hung up on the fact that I can find their philosophy EVERYWHERE.”

    Honestly, this makes me wonder what planet you’re living on. Our society is so soaked in feminist thinking at this point, it’s practically all you hear and see. From TV (where every sitcom dad is a bumbling fool who things would go great for if he would only listen to his wife, who is always right, about everything) to the movies (where the new Star Wars had a teenage girl become a Jedi master instantly upon learning of the force, whereas Luke Skywalker had needed massive amounts of training with Yoda to get there) to kids’ movies (like the recent “Zootopia” where the little female bunny proves she can become a cop and physically handle big tough bad guys, because Girl Power!) to Christian media (like the film “Fireproof” where Kirk Cameron’s character spends the whole movie coming to realize all he has to do to make his marriage work is to pedestalize his wife and kiss her ass), etc, etc, ad nauseum.

    IT’S ALL WE SEE AND HEAR, EVERYDAY. But living out a traditional, husband as head of household marriage like my wife and I do is VERY counter-cultural. And that’s the dissident voice that needs to be heard, like on this blog. Exactly because all everyone (young people especially) hear is exactly the opposite – feminist propaganda. And so many marriages are suffering because of it. And these women are not happy…on the contrary, in my experience they are almost always bitter and angry and complaining and miserable. Yet my wife, who happily submits to her husband and knows her place in the family structure, is very happy and content and thankful in her life. She goes through life with a smile on her face, a song in her heart, and a spring in her step.

    Do you ever stop to wonder why that is? Could it be that maybe…just maybe…God knew what He was doing when He ordained that the man is to rule his wife as head of the household? And so maybe it’s no surprise that women who rebel against God’s chosen order, even as Eve did, end up so miserable? I mean, how many feminists do you know who aren’t either alone, or have been thorough at least one divorce? What does that tell you?

    Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      That tells me that housecoats are needed!

      Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Yeah, Gott. We get it – you are a genius at taking a snarky piece of sarcasm and beating it to death like a dead horse, over and over.

        Yep, you are hilarious. Everyone is just cracking up at your sharp wit.

        Well, either that or they feel sorry for you.

        Like

        • gottmanfan says:

          Thank you so much for your nice compliments!

          Like

        • Jeff Strand says:

          No problem, I love giving compliments.

          Here’s another one for you: I’m sure your husband greatly appreciates being married to a delicate flower of femininity like yourself, who is obviously very low-maintenance and concerned with fulfilling her duty as a good wife…and respecting him as the head of the household.

          Yep, he sure is a lucky husband! Why, you even take the time to make him prance around the house for you in frilly dresses! And then tell everyone on a public Internet forum all about it, so everyone can have a good laugh over it. Now there’s a husband who must feel respected as a man by his wife, for sure!

          Well done Gott!

          Like

    • Donkey says:

      Jeff Strand,

      I agree with you about the sitcom dads. I find it offensive and misandrist.

      I would agree that society is soaked in feminist thinking to a much larger extent than before.

      But for every female lead in a movie these days, there are still many more male leads. For every female cfo, there are many more male cfos. For every female head of states, there are many more male head of states.

      So I really don’t see how you can conclude that feminist thinking is “ALL WE SEE AND HEAR, EVERYDAY”.

      I really struggle to understand how someone can have a problem with a societal norm of equal rights and opportunities in society and in marriage.. But I get that you somehow think it’s ungodly, at least within marriage.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        There should be more male cfo’s and heads of state. Men have to go into a profession to support their families, don’t they?

        Did it ever occur to you that when you see those male cfo’s, executives, electricians, plumbers, cops, and so on, what you are not seeing are the wives and children at home that he is supporting?

        Now how is that a bad thing?

        Like

        • Donkey says:

          I don’t think it’s a bad thing that male cfo’s and heads of state support their families. I think it’s a bad thing that the power is unequally divided between men and women.

          Just as I believe many men get crewed over in custody cases and lack Power there (which I think is a bad thing), I think women lack power on the government level and in business, for instance. And that’s bad thing, in my opinion, because I value a just society.

          Liked by 1 person

  17. Jeff Strand says:

    Donkey said “Your idea of what a good wife is might work very well for you, just like someone elses idea of what a good wife is, even if very different than yours, can work just as well. They can coexist, is my point, neither you nor I or anyone else has the monopoly on deciding what a good wife is once and for all, or what feminity inherently is”

    Of course different people may different definitions. What is that to me? Taken to its logical conclusion, one cannot make any decisions or judgments at all…because someone else might disagree.

    The bottom line is, I as the husband/father bear the ultimate responsibility for how my kids are raised. Of course, I rely on my wife for this to a great extent as well…since mothers carry so much influence with their children while they are growing up. But my wife and I see eye to eye on how we raise our kids, and we are willing to stand in Judgment one day for how we raised these precious souls that were entrusted to our care.

    My number one goal for my children is that they get to Heaven. Ultimately, that will be up to them…but as parents we must give them a firm foundation and push in the right direction. My second most important goal, and specifically for my daughters, is that they become good wives and mothers. So of course, we try to raise them in a way that’s compatible with that.

    One of the ways we do that: while they know they are loved very much, we make sure to model behavior that shows the kids that the marriage between me and my wife is the PRIMARY relationship in the family, and the kids come after this. The marriage is the foundation, the kids are only the fruit of it. And none of the kids while ever succeed in putting a space between mom and dad or dividing us (as teenagers sometimes try to do). Mom and dad are always a united front, and their relationship to each other ALWAYS takes priority over the parent-child relationship. So for my wife, it’s husband first, kids second. I think this helps keep them centered as they grow up and not become spoiled, and will only help my daughters to bond properly to their husbands when the time comes.

    Of course, you may disagree. And you’re free to live your life the way you want.

    Btw, proofreading this, it occurs to me that this is exactly the kind of comments this blog is supposed to be about. People sharing sincere thoughts on marriage and family, and what works or doesn’t work for them. And if you respectfully agree or disagree, perhaps myself or another reader can learn something from it. I’m certainly game – that’s why I’m here…for mature and adult discussion of these topics.

    Now compare that attitude to Gott’s shitting all over the comment thread with her tireless repeating of her lame joke about housecoats, over and over. What does that contribute?

    Matt, maybe it’s time to give her a time out.

    Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      I breathlessly await Matt’s answer to your thoughtful suggestion!

      Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      I know Gott, right?

      Because you have been adding such thoughtful comments to the discussion!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Donkey says:

      “What is that to me? Taken to its logical conclusion, one cannot make any decisions or judgments at all…because someone else might disagree.”

      If you’re seriously interested in my opinion, it is that you could take it into consideration with how you express yourself, lest you come across as disrespectful.

      Let your language reflect your knowledge that you don’t own the ultimate truth about what femininity is, or what a good wife is. So you’d have to stop explicitly or implicitly saying that women who don’t behave the way you want them aren’t feminine or good wives for instance.

      What Anne and Gottmanfan and myself at one point were doing was basically taking some of your opinions and flipping the genders. We all saw how that came across as pretty ridiculous. The thing is, since you don’t own the ultimate definition of what femininty is or how a good wife should behave (just like Anne or Gottmanfan or myself don’t own the definition of femininity or masculinity), it’s no more ridiculous for them to talk about men wearing sarongs and housecoats and working on their MQ, than it is for you to talk about women’s SMV and how feminine women wear dresses and are submissive to their husbands, as if you your opinions are the Truth.

      There’s something else I’m wondering about, and this is only personal curiosity, so it’s perfectly fine of course if you don’t want to discuss that.

      You’ve mentioned before that Your deepest wish is for Your children to get into heaven, and you’ve also said that you believe that most People don’t get into heaven.

      I’m wondering why you would then take the risk to have children at all, believing there’s a strong risk they’ll be sentencted to eternal damnation (I assume that’s your belief)? I realize some catholics are against birth control, so I understand if that’s not an option. But why not become a monk, or stay unmarried then?

      Like

      • Donkey says:

        I’m also wondering about your thoughts on the points I made further up:

        “Each and every one of your female ancestors who had children risked their lives to give birth to the next generation. Part of your thanks to the female half of the population is, (amongst other things), that they should never openly disagree with her husband, and that they probably shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

        Women and men who want equal rights and opportunities aren’t reviling their own grandfathers. They just want equal rights and believe that everytime women and men didn’t have equal rights in the past, that was unfair.

        I don’t deny that there were many nice grandfathers who worked hard and were good to their wives and kids. Doesn’t make it ok in my mind that women had fewer rights in society and in marriage.

        I’m sure there were many nice slave owners who loved their spouses and kids and worked hard. Doesn’t make the slave owning part any better”

        You said:
        Feminists make unsuitable wives. They just do. There’s nothing else I can say about it.”

        I replied to that further up so I wont repeat that. I’ll just add that this is a good example of you not allowing for legitimately different opinions and life choices and being disrespectful

        “I mean, every feminist who gets married makes herself and her husband miserable. Why do you suppose that is?”

        This is a good example of presenting your personal opinions/experience as facts, which is also not respectful or honest debate.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      I agree that this comment is consistent with someone offering a thoughtful description of what works for them, and why they believe it’s healthy and successful.

      I disagree that Gott has come anywhere near being as intentionally mean-spirited as you have repeatedly shown yourself to be.

      I want to clarify that I don’t know you. I spent YEARS accidentally hurting my wife (and probably others), due to a fundamental lack of awareness.

      I suppose it’s possible you share that same lack of awareness RE: how people perceive the things you say.

      I don’t have any problem with your beliefs or your sharing of them.

      I have problems with personally insulting those who disagree, not on the merits of the argument, but in bullshit ways rooted in name calling.

      You do not address things people say. Substantive things.

      I very clearly tried to explain how an intelligent person touting the merits of slavery should anticipate and expect certain reactions from groups and individuals who’ve dealt with cruelty and other mistreatment due to their skin color or some other arbitrary classification.

      And in THAT EXACT SAME WAY, an intelligent person should be able to anticipate and expect certain reactions from women who have dealt with cruelty and other mistreatment due to sexism, chauvinism, misogyny, whatever. You pick the word you want.

      And then, you proceeded to say that people were equating the treatment of your wife to enslavement.

      Which is ridiculous. No one said or implied any such thing, least of all, me.

      I think it’s awesome that you and your wife have a great marriage. And if you didn’t constantly upset damn near everyone paying attention, I’d think R was great that you were here sharing your ideas and experiences.

      I’ll say it once more, as perhaps I havebt been clear enough:

      You will never be dismissed because someone doesn’t agree with you, or because your fairly presented ideas offend someone.

      You will never be unwelcome because someone wants to silence you or because someone doesn’t think your ideas have merit.

      The thing that crosses the line is treating people shitty.

      IB frequently agrees with you, much to my chagrin, but you’ve never seen her mistreatment anyone in the process.

      You do it with great regularity.

      You may be the master of your household, but here you are on par with everyone else. No more, no less.

      Equal. You dont win. You participate.

      If you want to share ideas and explain them, cool. The best ideas should ALWAYS win.

      But everyone gets to decide for themselves what wins.

      When someone challenges something you say, I want you to first accept responsibility for saying something another person felt compelled to challenge.

      And second, should you choose to respond, I want you to, very simply, not be a dick about it.

      I think maybe you spend so much time being one to people, that you lack context and perspective for what that looks like.

      Maybe no one tells you this.

      I am.

      The way you are with people is what “being a dick” looks like.

      People don’t like it. Almost universally.

      As such, Being a Dick = Unkind.

      And intentional unkindness is reserved for mental midgets who can’t defend their ideas.

      Defend your ideas. Be convincing. If people are not convinced, perhaps that might be an opportunity to figure out why.

      In the end, you share truth with someone, or figure some out for yourself.

      Please believe me when I say that if I have to babysit these comments because you lack the discipline to not respond in a way consistent with community standards, then you’ll be uninvited.

      And I gotta say how lame that sounds. If someone told me I couldn’t comment on their stupid blog, I can’t imagine caring even a tiny little bit.

      But for reasons that continue to escape me, you seem to want to do so. In fact, for quite some time now, you’ve left more comments per day/week than anyone.

      I don’t know why you do. I don’t know why you care.

      If I thought it was somehow noble or selfless, I’d be infinitely more supportive.

      But your intentions don’t seem noble nor selfless.

      I don’t want to talk about this anymore. It’s stupid.

      You have your own blog at which you can and should write anything you want.

      In these comments, people will not intentionally be shitty to others.

      In more than three years writing here, I’ve written this to other people zero times.

      But I’ve now written it to you about 10 fucking times.

      I have better things to do with my time.

      This will be the last time we discuss this.

      If you find your commenting duties gone, you can write me an email or create a bunch of ghost accounts just to leave more comments on some idiot’s blog, instead of spending time with family and friends, or doing something constructive.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Jeff Strand says:

    Matt,

    I guess I just don’t understand how my original post was “mean spirited”. I mean talking about a cute/fun little idea like my wife wearing house dresses like Alice Kramden used to? And us having fun with it in our marriage? And throwing out the idea on this forum, to see if anybody else felt like having some fun with the idea? And if so, if they felt like sharing their results?

    If you go back and read my original plot, I think you’ll find that I’ve described it fairly. And I don’t understand what is being “mean spirited” or “being a dick” about that. You seem to imply that I am faking not understanding, but honestly I thought the post was something innocuous. I mean, who could take that as being offensive? (Well, I guess the answer is feminists – they do take the fun out of everything, after all)

    As far as Gott’s comments, it’s not really that she’s “mean spirited”. It’s that she has decided to clutter the comments section with about 100 snarky, sarcastic remarks that are meant to mock another poster…and that contribute nothing to the conversation.

    Had I taken that tack, are you honestly gonna claim you wouldn’t have already banned me? You may not want to admit to a double standard, but it’s obvious and there for all to see.

    If you ban me, you ban me. Otherwise, I shall continue to give my opinions in as polite a manner as I know how. Within reason. For example, Donkey thinks it’s “disrespectful” for me to say that as a general rule, feminists don’t make good wives. But that is just my opinion, based on a lifetime of experience and observation. How is it “disrespectful” to just state my opinion? She is free to disagree and point out why she disagrees, as is anyone else. No “disrespect” in either case.

    Like

    • Donkey says:

      First of all, I don’t own this blog, so my word isn’t law.

      I’ll try to respond to your question cnecerning me, Jeff.
      I’ll repost the comment I made to you further up:

      ““I mean, every feminist who gets married makes herself and her husband miserable. Why do you suppose that is?”

      This is a good example of presenting your personal opinions/experience as facts, which is also not respectful or honest debate.”

      Here’s another comment of ours: “Feminists make unsuitable wives. They just do. There’s nothing else I can say about it.”

      Once again, the problem is that you are *not* expressing yourself as if “that is just my opinion, based on a lifetime of experience and observation”. And you are not expressing yourself as if your opinion on this may be true for you (as in, a feminist wouldn’t be a good wife for you), but not for everyone else. Many women here identify as feminists. By your statements, you are dismissing every feminist woman’s potential to be a good wife. That’s a pretty big deal. Presenting a negative opinion about all feminists, as if all feminists are the same and as if your opinion is Truth, is not respectful in my opinion, no.

      Granted, no one expresses themselves perfectly all the time! It’s not so much about how you said something this one time or another time. It’s that so very very very very many times, you have presented your views on what a good wife is, what femininity is, what women should or shouldn’t do (and that usually always includes having less power than a man) in a way that makes no room for you being wrong, or even that people with a different opinion could be just as right. You say here to Matt that something you said is just your opinion, but that isn’t how you express yourself the vast majority of the time. And that is just in addition to the many insults you have made to people, the deflection or skipping over of honest points etc in the past (everyone messes up, but for you it’s been a quite common thing to deflect, to evade, to insult etc on this blog).

      Your opinions constantly leave women in a one down position when it comes to power and rights, entirely based on their gender, something inherent to their humanity. That is dehumanizing, in my opinion. It f*cking hurts. Just like I would find it dehumanizing if you over and over expressed sympathy to the idea that people of colour shouldn’t be allowed to vote, or that people of colour married to white people should (purely based on their race) be sweet to their white spouses and not disagree with their white spouses. You and others may see an ethical difference between gender and race in this regard that I am not able to perceive, but as far as I can tell, no one has presented a good argument as to why.so far. I’d be interested in hearing it. In any case, my opinion is that they are not ethically different.

      So my take is that if you wish to express an opinion that diminishes a group of humanity’s rights in society and/or marriage based on something inherent to them, like race or gender, I think it’s only fair that you show *a lot* of tact and humility in how you do it. At least the same amount of tact and humility other people usually show here, on much less controversial subjects, There are many religious people here, and I think the same principle should apply to atheists who wish to express why they don’t believe in religion at all. As in, they should take care to do it with tact (and note that in this hypothetical example, no atheist said that religious people shouldn’t be allowed to vote or that religious people should be submissive to non religious people etc).

      And by that I mean, you take care not to name call or insult, and you take care to respond to fair points and answer honest questions, you take care to not put words in people’s mouth, you take care not to misrepresent what you or someone else said, and you take care to not, as a general thing, present your opinions on these controversial matters as facts or the Truth.

      To be perfectly clear: I am not saying that because your wife is submissive you are dehumanizing her. I am not saying you are dehumanizing her by enjoying seeing her in dresses. So please, don’t go there. I am saying that when you support opinions that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote, when you think the norm should be that women should, solely based on their gender, submit in their marriages and not disagree with her husband (again, I’m NOT AT ALL here talking about people who freely choose to submit in their marriages, be they men or women for religious reasons or not), yes, I believe that is dehumanizing.

      You may argue that I just have A different opinion, and I would argue that my opinion can’t be compared to yours in this area, because I do not wish to deny any group og humanity rights or power in society or marriage based on something inherent to them, like gender or race. If I posted the same views on men or on people of colour as you do on women, the opinions would be comparable in my mind

      Too long, didn’t read:
      I don’t own this blog. Matt has all the power to disagree or agree with me, my word is not law here. My take is, everyone should allow for different opinions and viewpoints, people should repsond to fair points and honest questions and not evade/deflect/dismiss/misrepresent what’s being said/change the subject etc. And if the opinions someone expresses over and over leave one part of humanity in a position with fewer rights and less power than other humans based on something inherent to them (gender, race, we could even add religion), I think they should take especially care to practice good blog manners while doing it.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Matt says:

        Donkey, you communicate more skillfully in these back-and-forths than I could ever hope to.

        You make salient points. You stick to facts. You exhibit kindness. And it’s always honest and authentic. All while doing so in your second language.

        I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again: I couldn’t be more impressed with you, nor more appreciate of your contributions here.

        I don’t sit around keeping score. I’m sure we disagree about all kinds of things.

        But on Letting the Best Idea Win, and being kind to people even when we disagree with them, you and I are in lockstep.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Donkey says:

          Thank you so much Matt, for thinking such nice things of me and for saying them to me aswell! :) That’s a very nice thing to do.

          I really appreciate many of your comments on this matter, too. You get the analogy between racism and sexism, I appreciate that very much. And it calms my nervous system. :p

          …I live somewhere in the more northern parts of Europe (not the UK). 8)

          Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Donkey: “Once again, the problem is that you are *not* expressing yourself as if “that is just my opinion, based on a lifetime of experience and observation”. And you are not expressing yourself as if your opinion on this may be true for you (as in, a feminist wouldn’t be a good wife for you), but not for everyone else.”

        Well, if I state what I believe to be the case, obviously that is my opinion. It seems to me it would just clutter up the post if I preceded everything I said by “in my opinion”. I would think it’s understood. For example, I realize everything you just said in that length post is merely your opinion. What else could it be? I may disagree with a lot of what you say (in fact, I do)…but why would I find that offensive? It’s just your opinion, which may differ from mine. Maybe I can learn something from it, maybe not. But I don’t expect you to preface every sentence with “the following is merely my opinion”. I already know that.

        So for example, it is my opinion that feminists are not good wife material. I would never have married one, and I would never advise any other man to do so. Now you can disagree with me on that, and that’s fine. But I’m entitled to my opinion (based on many years of experience and observation), just as you are entitled to yours. There’s no problem here. You can state “I would never marry a man like Jeff Strand”, and knowing that’s your opinion doesn’t bother me. It’s your opinion, that’s all…and I fully believe you should be free to state it. No hard feelings.

        Is that too much to ask?

        P.S. I take exception that my opinion “diminishes a group of humanity’s rights” (this group you are talking about is clearly women). And then later you say you are not accusing me of dehumanizing my wife – well, which is it?? She’s a woman, and so part of that group of humanity I’m “diminishing”. That sounds pretty dehumanizing to me. You can’t have it both ways.

        Btw, if you told my wife she’s being “diminished” by me, she would laugh out loud. She has a beautiful life that she loves dearly, as she expresses so often to me. And she thanks me for all I have done to have that beautiful life become a reality, and she does this often. So is she just too darn stupid to figure out I’m “diminishing” her? Why is she so happy in her life? Doesn’t she know she should be miserable and feeling oppressed by her husband?

        Well, that sounds pretty sexist to me.

        Like

        • Matt says:

          Jeff. This is an example of you being unfair.

          Donkey very specifically said she’s totally cool with women CHOOSING a relationship of submission and deference to her husband.

          She took exception to the suggestion or implication that there can be no other relationship models that work. That only people who do things that way can be “good,” or “right,” or “happy.”

          And that everyone else is wrong. That all women who aren’t that way are stupid, miserable feminists and not wife material. That all men who aren’t that way are liberal, sissy manginas.

          You don’t read a question, and then answer it.

          And I think it’s because you don’t have one.

          No one likes to ask themselves hard questions. It’s uncomfortable. But I wish you’d try anyway.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Donkey says:

            “Donkey very specifically said she’s totally cool with women CHOOSING a relationship of submission and deference to her husband.

            She took exception to the suggestion or implication that there can be no other relationship models that work. That only people who do things that way can be “good,” or “right,” or “happy.”

            And that everyone else is wrong. That all women who aren’t that way are stupid, miserable feminists and not wife material. That all men who aren’t that way are liberal, sissy manginas. ”

            Yep, this is it.

            Like

        • Donkey says:

          Hello Jeff,

          You seem to disagree with me as to what is polite and what good blog manners are when it comes to (amongst other things) how we express our opinions, how much we should make it clear that something is our opinion or not. I believe that in some other settings, your style in this manner could work. Matt and many (but probably not all) of the other commenters seem to lean more in my direction on this issue though, and that is something for you to consider, since this is the blog we’re at.

          “P.S. I take exception that my opinion “diminishes a group of humanity’s rights” (this group you are talking about is clearly women). And then later you say you are not accusing me of dehumanizing my wife – well, which is it?? She’s a woman, and so part of that group of humanity I’m “diminishing”. That sounds pretty dehumanizing to me. You can’t have it both ways.”

          Again, please stick to what I actually said. I said the following:
          “I am not saying that because your wife is submissive you are dehumanizing her. I am not saying you are dehumanizing her by enjoying seeing her in dresses.”

          My point is that I think it’s fine if a woman (or man) wants to submit in marriage, as long as that is freely chosen by them as an individual, in a society that doesn’t force them to do so based on gender. A man preferring to see his wife in dresses I don’t find dehumanizing either.

          But yes, I find your support of the opinion that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote dehumanizing. Yes, I think it’s dehumanizing that you think women *should* submit in marriage based on gender. Since your wife is a woman, yes, in that sense your opinions are dehumanizing of her too the way I see it. But again, if your situation is freely chosen by the two of you, I do not find that dehumanizing. I hope that distinction is clear.

          “Btw, if you told my wife she’s being “diminished” by me, she would laugh out loud. She has a beautiful life that she loves dearly, as she expresses so often to me. And she thanks me for all I have done to have that beautiful life become a reality, and she does this often. So is she just too darn stupid to figure out I’m “diminishing” her? Why is she so happy in her life? Doesn’t she know she should be miserable and feeling oppressed by her husband? ”

          “Doesn’t she know she should be miserable and feeling oppressed by her husband?”
          Here you are insuniating that I say things that I don’t say. Please stop it.

          I’ll try to be clear once again. If you and your wife have freely chosen that she should submit to you, no I do not see why she should feel diminished by that submission.

          If she, however, agrees with you that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote, or that women shouldn’t be free to choose *not* to submit, (and therefore doesn’t feel diminished by those opinions of yours) yes I do take issue with that. I cannot presume to know your wife’s reasoning. But I certainly know that sexism and racism or egalitariaism or whatever else often gets internalized (hence the “good hair” point I made to IB further up).

          At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter that much to me whether or not the person who says that women or men or people of colour shouldn’t be allowed to vote, or should submit based on something inherent to them (race or gender) is a woman, man, white, person of colour. I deeply believe in full human rights and a just society for everyone regardless of colour or gender. So similarly to the case of your wife, if a jew said to me that he or she didn’t think jews should be allowed to vote, and didn’t feel diminished by that opinion expressed by others, I would have to disagree with that and wonder why they had internalized a (in my mind) dehumanizing opinion such as that. Yes, I would think that was faulty thinking. (We all fall prey to faulty thinking every now and then though.)

          I’ll make an exception for religious reasons though. So if you feel that your religion prescribes a certain order n marriage or in society, I can understand (though not agree) with that. However, for it to be coherent and not hypocritical in my mind, the same kind of exegesis that was applied to arrive to that conclusion must be applied to the other aspects of your religion. So if you believe that wives should submit because it *literally* says so in the Bible (I know you do not), I don’t see how you can disagree with the places where it *literally* prescribes stoning, or condones slavery or whatever else, and still think that your exegesis is coherent. Of course, the exegetical principle could be something very different though, something that I’m not familiar with at all. As long as someone can show how their interpretations are coherent, I can accept a lot of it (though again, not agree).

          Dear readers, please note that this is NOT equating submission to slavery or stoning. I’m NOT doing that.This is me making a point that believing in something because of how you interpret your religion stops being a good explanation to me if you interpret your religion by different principles when it comes to other issues. Unless using that different principle on other issues has a deeper exegetical reason for it, but then someone should be able to explain that for it not to seem incoherent to me. To be very basic, it makes sens that Christians place more value on the New Testament, so even if they interpret that literally, it doesn’t mean they’re not being coherent if they’re not interpreting the Old Testament literally.

          I apologize for my lengthy comments. It’s definitely not a rhetoric strength. Have a good evening everyone.

          Like

        • Donkey says:

          To hopefully be even more clear:

          Jeff, you said: “You can state “I would never marry a man like Jeff Strand”, and knowing that’s your opinion doesn’t bother me. It’s your opinion, that’s all…and I fully believe you should be free to state it. No hard feelings.”

          Stating that “I would never marry a man like Jeff Strand” or stating that “I would never marry a feminist” is very different in my mind than saying that ” every feminist who gets married makes herself and her husband miserable” or that “Feminists make unsuitable wives. They just do. There’s nothing else I can say about it.”

          I hope and trust you can see the distinction.

          Like

          • Jeff Strand says:

            “I hope and trust you can see the distinction.”

            Uh, not really. I don’t believe feminists make good wives. That’s my opinion. You can disagree. Why should it bother you that I have such an opinion?

            For example, I’ll sometimes hear feminists say that they recommend women don’t marry. (Well, not to men anyway, lol). Does this make me offended and angry? No, of course not. It’s just their opinion, and they’re entitled to it. I don’t care. (Plus, I think it’s good if they don’t marry – some poor schmuck gets saved from a lot of misery)

            So Donkey, we’ve been over this many times by now, I don’t know how else I can say it. I don’t believe men should marry feminists, and i would never do so myself. I think the odds are too great it will lead to misery and even disaster.

            If you choose to get offended because that is my opinion, well I can’t help you. That’s a choice you make.

            Like

            • Donkey says:

              “I don’t believe men should marry feminists, and i would never do so myself. I think the odds are too great it will lead to misery and even disaster.”

              This is quite fine (though I don’t agree, and I’d certainly feel quite free to question how you evaluate those odds). If something like this offends me, that’s certainly my own problem to deal with.

              “every feminist who gets married makes herself and her husband miserable” and
              “Feminists make unsuitable wives. They just do. There’s nothing else I can say about it.”

              is not quite fine.

              Because in the first example, you are at least making it clear that you are presenting your opinion on this touchy issue. In the second two quotes, you are presenting your opinions as facts, as Truth. Matt and I have both gone into mor detail on this not being respectful, I suggest you take a look at it again, if you still don’t see the problem,

              Like I said in a previous comment it’s not so much what/how you said something one time or another. It’s the quantity of your verbal transgressions, bad blog manners of not adressing honest questions and points, putting words in people’s mouths, deflecting and so on, combined with *some* dehumanizing (in my opinion, and I made the case for why I find it so further up) views. Now, Matt has a high tolerance for diverse opinions, even those he finds offensive himself, but he seems to agree with *me* that you ought to present your opinions, whatever they may be, with more tact.

              I’m really just repeating myself here, so I suggest you read (or reread) my comment from 3.24 PM, and my comment from 5.17 PM (or thereabouts, I don’t know if it shows up exactly the same on your end). Basically all my comments on this suvbject. And I certainly suggest you reread Matt’s comments on this subject too. His opinion on this matters the most of course, since he’s the boss in this place.

              But in this case Jeff Strand, I am in the priviliged position of being quite nicely aligned with the blog owner, who’s (judging from what he’s said) getting closer and closer to uninviting you, if your manners don’t improve. So the onus is on you to understand and take into account what Matt and I and I and some (not all) others are getting at. On a different blog, your style might be in the priviliged position, the blog owner and most of the commenters might find my blog manners lacking, and I’d have to adjust accordingly. But that isn’t the case here.

              Have a nice Sunday everyone.

              Like

    • Matt says:

      No one said you’re original post was mean-spirited. I said you are often mean-spirited. I also said I appreciate when you’re not.

      I’ll sleep just fine at night with you or others thinking I’m employing a double-standard, or being unfair.

      The very reason you frustrate people (I still believe, intentionally) is because of unfairness.

      I don’t want to ban you, Jeff.

      I stood up for your right to be different than others here, and lost readers and commenters because of that choice.

      THAT was there for all to see.

      You’re asking and insinuating bullshit things that have nothing to do with what I said.

      But what’s so funny about it is it’s the same garbage, juvenile, intellectually bankrupt behavior patterns people use all the time to justify being assholes to others.

      I know, because I used to talk around everything, and “Yeah, but what about…” everything just like you are when people challenged my behavior.

      Donkey, who learned English as her second language (I don’t know where she lives, but it’s not the U.S.) still manages to use well-reasoned, kindly worded, well-articulated alternatives or different perspectives to things you’re saying.

      I’d be impressed if you’d take her counterpoints, and offer your take on them, rather than do, whatever it is you do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Strand says:

        Matt: “I stood up for your right to be different than others here, and lost readers and commenters because of that choice.

        THAT was there for all to see.”

        I don’t dispute that Matt. You did take a stand there. I thought it was well done.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Matt has some awesome integrity and good character. I have a lot of respect for Matt so I really dislike causing him chagrin by agreeing with you, LOL.

          Here’s the thing I really wish people here would understand however, you are a perfectly example of the things Matt speaks of, of trying to see beneath the surface and actually communicate, of how men often have good intentions.

          So from a wifely perspective, one cannot even have a marriage if one is going to be at war with everything the other person says. We have to look at one another and not immediately zero in on the perceived weakness of the argument, but rather it’s strengths.

          It is only a suggestion, but if people would like a good exercise in communication, you simply pull the positive out of what someone says and parrot it back to them. No judgment, no offense, just bypass the weak parts and repeat back the positive that you have gleaned. It helps people to feel heard and it helps you to communicate better. My husband taught me that and it changed the whole tone. So I’d say “you jerk, blah,blah ” And he’d say, “I appreciate the way you express your anger.”

          Like

          • Travis B. says:

            I have to profess that I am a little confused by how, a few times now, you keep equating the concessions spouses need to make toward one another in communicating to doing same with fellow blog commentators.

            Those paradigms are not at all equal.

            With any foresight at all, we tend to pick spouses with which we share some moral accord and then we make a life-long vow to them. Very few people here seem to feel such moral accord with Mr. Strand and certainly none of us have exchanged vows with him to live our lives together as one. As such, none of us is particularly compelled to afford Mr. Strand (or, frankly, anyone but our spouses) such strong concessions.

            But to tie your point back to Matt’s position on the importance of intention, he has always qualified that belief by saying that, while good intentions should warrant a bad husband some measure of grace and not to be cast off by his wife immediately, said good intentions will not, and should not, represent a “get out of jail free” card for his inability or unwillingness to be introspective, to recognize his own failings as a husband and put dedication effort into improving them, to own his own shit and be the champion of his own change.

            Like

            • Huh. In my way of thinking blog commenters are a great way to practice communication skills because there is less emotional investment than there is with a spouse. Or not, apparently.

              Like

              • Travis B. says:

                With someone who has earned my respect, I fully concur (perhaps more evidence that I respect you?), but for someone who has failed to do so at every level and every turn, someone in whom I cannot find a single, solitary noble or likable quality, is someone I consider so dissimilar to my investment in, and dynamic with, my spouse that I honestly do not believe any lessons I could learn from the effort would be worth said effort.

                Like

  19. Jeff Strand says:

    Donkey said: “I don’t think it’s a bad thing that male cfo’s and heads of state support their families. I think it’s a bad thing that the power is unequally divided between men and women.”

    We will disagree here. I hope and pray that we will never see the day where women’s average lifetime earnings are equal to men’s. Or where there are an equal number of women in the professions.

    Why? Because that would mean that feminism (a form of cultural Marxism, if you recall) will have completely triumphed. And that women as a group no longer prioritize family AT ALL. Instead, they prioritize paid work at the same level as men (and that’s a very high level, since men have traditionally prioritized work so highly because they had to earn enough to support not just themselves, but an entire family).

    Also, that would imply that men have been so damaged by feminism that they are no longer willing to devote their labor to supporting a wife and children…or maybe the men will just have rationally concluded that the modern, feminist women aren’t worth the sweat of their brow. We’re seeing this already, with the so-far small but growing marriage strike among young men and the whole MGTOW movement (men going their own way).

    Either way, since family is the backbone and basic building block of society, you get a society in collapse. Which is exactly what the more honest feminists admitted they were seeking. Recall that Friedan, Steinem, Firestone, Abzug, et al were all atheistic Jews who either leaned Communist, or in many cases (like Betty Friedan) had actually been card-carrying members of the Communist Party.

    This all goes back to the Frankfurt School. They tried imposing this revolution in Germany, but when Hitler came to power they realized he would not put up with their treasonous plans and would probably have them shot, so they fled the country. The U.S. was foolish/naive enough to take them in, and they set up shop at Columbia University. Where they immediately set about bringing about their socialist, godless revolution here in the U.S. That was their thanks for having taken them in when they were stateless.

    But the good news is that more and more people are waking up to this sell-out. And not only men! Recent polls show women are more unhappy than ever…even though our society is more feminist than ever! Gee, it’s almost like the whole feminist movement was a con, who’d have thunk it!

    Changes will be coming. The impending election of Donald Trump is just the start of the backlash. Where it will lead, no one knows. We shall see.

    Like

  20. Donkey says:

    “I hope and pray that we will never see the day where women’s average lifetime earnings are equal to men’s. Or where there are an equal number of women in the professions.

    Why? Because that would mean that feminism (a form of cultural Marxism, if you recall) will have completely triumphed. And that women as a group no longer prioritize family AT ALL. Instead, they prioritize paid work at the same level as men (and that’s a very high level, since men have traditionally prioritized work so highly because they had to earn enough to support not just themselves, but an entire family).”

    Hmmm…

    Well, this probably won’t come as a shock, but I mostly disagree with you.

    I certainly agree that people who choose to have families should care about them.

    But I believe you think, and correct me if I’m wrong, that men who work (as cfos, plumbers etc) support their wives and kids certainly care about/prioritize their families. They are working in large part to support them, no?

    So if a woman with a family works to support her family financially, why do you think that *she* doesn’t prioritize family?

    That seems like a double standard to me.

    If a woman works to provide and a man stays home, why would that not be, even if it’s not what you’d want for yourself, a solution that prioritizes family as much as when the woman stays home? It’s the same concept, just with the genders reversed.

    Or if a woman and man share the provision burden/joy and share the burden/joys of the home responsibilites, why would not that be a solution that prioritizes family just as much as when the jobs are more specialized?

    To be clear, I think it’s perfectly alright that someone prefers that the woman stays home. But I’ll have to disagree (and I believe I’ve made my case) that other ways of structuring family that would involve women having the same pay as men would necessarily mean that women don’t prioritize family.

    I agree with that someone preferring the woman to stay at home is a viable option.

    “Which is exactly what the more honest feminists admitted they were seeking. Recall that Friedan, Steinem, Firestone, Abzug, et al were all atheistic Jews who either leaned Communist, or in many cases (like Betty Friedan) had actually been card-carrying members of the Communist Party.

    This all goes back to the Frankfurt School. They tried imposing this revolution in Germany, but when Hitler came to power they realized he would not put up with their treasonous plans and would probably have them shot, so they fled the country. The U.S. was foolish/naive enough to take them in, and they set up shop at Columbia University. Where they immediately set about bringing about their socialist, godless revolution here in the U.S. That was their thanks for having taken them in when they were stateless.”

    I have little knowledge on this, and so I don’t really have anything to say.

    “But the good news is that more and more people are waking up to this sell-out. And not only men! Recent polls show women are more unhappy than ever…even though our society is more feminist than ever! Gee, it’s almost like the whole feminist movement was a con, who’d have thunk it!”

    Well, I’d make the case that there are other reasons than the feminist movement being a con that women today could be unhappy, even though our society is more feminst than ever.

    It could be that women now have expectations of egalitarian relationships. And when those expectations are not met (which many studies show that they often do not, notably the Gottman study of accepting influence, studies about house work inequalities etc), they feel unhappy becuase of that unmet expectation, and because of shouldering more of the total workload, when that is the case.

    Could also be due to other things. More polution which messes with the endorphins in the brain for instance. I don’t know. I’m just saying there are other possible reasons.

    Like

  21. Jeff Strand says:

    “That seems like a double standard to me.”

    Only if you assume that men are women are identical and inter-changeable. Which in my humble opinion, is not merely wrong but flat-out ludicrous.

    “I have little knowledge on this, and so I don’t really have anything to say.”

    Which is what they’re counting on. They want to teach the young girls in school that feminism was an organic, spontaneous movement started by normal, everyday housewives like Betty Friedan to give women “equal rights”. They don’t want them to know it was a deliberate Communist plot to destroy the family. Research Antonio Gramsci when you get a chance, along with Bella Dodd’s testimony to the US Congress in the 50’s. You’ll discover how you’re being played.

    (As I said earlier, Betty Freidan was an atheistic Jew and former card-carrying member of the Communist Party of the USA. Does that sound to you like your typical 1950’s suburban American housewife?)

    Feminism is a sub-set of cultural Marxism. It is satanic in nature, as it is directly opposed to God, His Holy Church (as Bella Dodd testified from first-hand knowledge), and the family. Look at the fruits it has brought – promiscuity and rampant fornicarion, out of wedlock births at epidemic levels, easy divorce, pornography, abortion, homosexuality, crass materialism and an all-encompassing consumerism, and the emptying out of the churches and the confessionals so that most people now die in a state of mortal sin and are damned for eternity, Recall that Our Lady of Fatima told Sister Lucy, “More souls are damned to hell for sins of the flesh, i.e. sexual impurity, than for any other reason.” Matt, being a Catholic, is no doubt aware of this, so he knows what I’m talking about.

    So these are the diabolical fruits of feminism. This is not by accident. I’ll leave you with 2 quotes:

    “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist” — source unknown

    “There are no accidents in politics. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      Here’s a quote:

      “When anesthesia was developed, it was for many decades routinely withheld from women giving birth, since women were “supposed” to suffer. One of the few societies to take a contrary view was the Huichol tribe in Mexico. The Huichol believed that the pain of childbirth should be shared, so the mother would hold on to a string tied to her husband’s testicles. With each painful contraction, she would give the string a yank so that the man could share the burden. Surely if such a mechanism were more widespread, injuries in childbirth would garner more attention.”
      Nicholas D. Kristof, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

      Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      Gott,

      I don’t know what that has to do wth anything. And I’d love to see some proof that anesthesia was withheld from women because they were “supposed to suffer”. Gee, if it was indeed withheld from them, do you think it might be because until well into the 20th century pretty much the only anesthetics were alcohol, morphine, and ether…and administering them could be very harmful to the soon-to-be-born child? You know, given how drugs in the mother are passed into the fetus through the placenta and umbilical cord?

      Nah…couldn’t be. Must be those terrible woman-hating men again, who just get off on hurting women. Typical feminist propaganda, and it’s only effective it you turn off your brain. And anyway, if you really feel men hate women so much, why don’t you go gay?

      But maybe you’re onto something in thinking that spouses should share the pain that one of them is forced to experience while doing their duty for the family (hence torturing the man’s testicles when the woman has labor pains). Maybe it’s a worthwhile idea. So when a male coal worker would die an early, horrible death from black lung disease, that he got from working himself into an early grave to support his wife and kids and power a nation…then his wife should have had her longs filled with asbestos or fiberglass particles too, right? So she too could experience the horrible experience of coughing up her lungs in an early death, just like her husband…who did this to himself in order to put bread in front of her and the kids, and a roof over their heads.

      And the men who came home from war missing a limb that was blown off by a mine or shell? You guessed it! Hack off one of his wife’s limbs as well, so she can “share the pain”. Yep, makes perfect sense Gott. You’re a real genius!

      Finally, I’ll leave you with this thought that’s related to the topic of childbirth you brought up. For thousands of years, up to the early modern period around the 1600’s, women were almost always assisted in childbirth by another woman (a “midwife”). It wasn’t considered appropriate that a man (even a doctor) see her in that state, so men pretty much stayed away and let the midwives handle it.

      What was the result? Disaster. It wasn’t uncommon that the baby would be in the wrong position for birth (called a “breech” birth), and without the ability to perform a C-Section without almost certainly killing the mother, the midwives did nothing. Or rather, they just did what they normally did for a regular birth, and the results were often catastrophic. And as I say, this went on for century after century.

      But when male doctors got involved in assisting childbirth around the 1600’s and saw the problem, they did what men do best. They didn’t sit around and empathize – they put their thinking cap on, used logic, and invented a solution. And thus forceps were born! With this tool, which is basically a glorified pair of salad tongs, the physician could reach into the birth canal and re-position the baby head-down for the birth process, as nature intended. Thus alleviating much unneeded suffering and avoiding many tragedies. And thus immeasurable improving women’s safety and life expectancy.

      Think about that. Something so simple as forceps (again, basically just salad tongs), and in all those centuries no female midwife ever thought of inventing something so basic. But when men started assisting with childbirth, they invented them almost immediately. All to benefit and save the lives and reduce the suffering of women in childbirth. Interesting, no?

      Doesn’t exactly square with the feminist narrative, now does it? Why, it’s almost like the whole feminist paradigm is bullshit, isn’t it? Go figure.

      Like

  22. ttravis says:

    Coming a little late to this thread, and not having had a ringside seat at the festivities all summer, I’m a bit hesitant to enter into the fray. But maybe that actually gives me a useful perspective?

    Much of the passion here seems directed at issues of tone–are people commenting sincerely on ideas or are they provoking conflict, either intentionally or due to clueless presentation? Tone can be hard to parse in a written forum, and tone is what we usually use to discern intent. There are rhetorical rules and traditions intended to structure the production of tone– for instance, use of a phrase like “In my opinion” when one wants to be clear that one does not have empirical evidence for a claim, or of “It seems like” when one wants to make clear that one is testing out ideas, rather than presenting accepted fact. Because the use of such modifying claims is standard in English, withholding them (though it does increase efficiency in writing) conveys to the audience that the author possesses evidence and/or is presenting decided facts, whether the author intends to suggest as much or not.

    This seems to be what is at issue in Jeff’s claims about feminists’ unfitness for marriage and about the value of female submission within marriage: whether he intended them to or not, they are presented as facts intended to support a normative claim about the social order and the proper distribution of privilege within it. Hence they can read as “oppressive.” At some point, rhetorical forms outstrip even the best author’s intent.

    Armed with this knowledge, someone genuinely interested in engaging in dialogue will often take special pains to modify and qualify their statements– foregrounding the tentativeness of their claims so as to keep channels of communication open. For someone used to speaking largely unfiltered (and I count myself in that camp), shifting to this rhetorical mode is very difficult. It means questioning the ways you express yourself and, indeed, the very ease with which you do so. Suggestions that more care may be needed can be read as “policing” free expression due to “political correctness.” That would be one way of thinking about it–that is usually my go-to way of thinking, in fact.

    What has been useful for me in thinking about this issue is pondering what I want to get out of the conversation I’m participating in. When the costs of changing my rhetorical mode seem too high for me, I find that it is often because I’m not actually interested in dialogue that will help me learn more, but in showcasing ideas I already have that I think others will (read: “should”) find enlightening or amusing. At that point I usually try and ask myself why I think others in the discourse community at hand need my thoughts so badly.

    This usually prompts me to remember that in fact hardly anyone “needs” my brilliant insights. With that I can generally make a thoughtful decision about whether I want to stay in the discourse, modifying my rhetoric so that I can stay engaged with others in the community; withdraw from the discourse so that I don’t damage the overall conversation; or stay in it because I actually enjoy provoking the community to explosion–with humorous overstatement, sarcasm, and profanity (one of the reasons I love Matt) being among my favorite rhetorical IEDs.

    My propensity for the latter has led to my being somewhat unpopular at work, which is why I have so much to say on this point. I don’t know if these ruminations on the macro level issues at stake in this thread is useful to anyone, but I thank your for prompting them!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Donkey says:

      Hey ttravis! :) I enjoyed this post.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Travis B. says:

      I wish I could buy this guy a drink. Man, we “Travis” folks are some righteous dudes, are we not? ;-)

      Seriously, great, succinct food for thought all around.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Matt says:

        (Psssssstttt. This comment was written by Dr. Travis. She’s totally not a man [Unless women can be “dudes.” I suppose that’s possible, and I just didn’t get the memo]. And she’s also infinitely smarter than us. Well… me, at least. Just FYI.)

        Like

        • Travis B. says:

          Gulp.

          I believe in equality between the genders, so Dr. Travis is more than welcome to consider herself “one of the guys”, unless that strikes her as rude, offensive, or in any way disparaging of her state as a female, then I shall make every effort not to refer to her in such terms again. #tightropewalk

          LOL.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Matt says:

            I know Dr. T to be kind and tolerant.

            She has on many occasions taken me to task for word/topic choice.

            Yet, always supportive, and always kind.

            I appreciate it. Calling people dumbasses is not how to get them to agree with you. Making stronger arguments about true things is.

            That seems to be Dr. T’s M.O.

            Liked by 1 person

            • ttravis says:

              I just got tasked with a very big high profile assignment at work. It involves persuading a lot of dumbasses to do things my way. Will be calling on you for support, Matt!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Matt says:

                As honored and flattered as I am that you pay attention to things I write, there have been a couple instances of you disagreeing with my take on things.

                Are you sure I can help?

                There can be little doubt that, I too, am a dumbass.

                I just have a decent vocabulary to mask my intellectual deficiencies.

                Like

                • ttravis says:

                  I think of you as a role model: someone who has realized some of the costs entailed in just calling someone a dumbass and telling them they should agree with you, and is actively trying to craft a new and more productive way of engaging in a disagreement.

                  On the comment thread on Vol. 2 of this topic, there is some discussion of somebody’s husband who now “gets it” but isn’t changing (at least, not fast enough). I feel like I’m kind of in that place regarding the “how to have a disagreement” issue. I get that my default method is not always working–a foundational step. I’ve come to understand what’s at stake– what I’ll gain and also what it will cost– to make changes. That’s another key step. The question of HOW to change, which involves some fundamental re-imagining of myself, learning new things (and jettisoning [or playing down] some old things), then exerting the willpower to do new things AND live with the discomfort of being uncertain about them– that’s yet another step again.

                  I see this blog as by, for, and about people who are interested in– and looking for support for– such a multi-step process of change in their relationships, with you leading the way. I learn a lot from how you write about that process. So to the extent that I can now have a meeting with my boss that doesn’t conclude with me saying, “we can do it your way if you want, but I’m smarter and more popular than you and am quite confident your way will fail,” I thank you. And my boss does too, I’m sure!

                  Liked by 1 person

      • ttravis says:

        Travis, I’d be delighted to share a drink with another righteous dude!

        Here is just a small side comment that I think supports some of the claims that Donkey and Gottmanfan have made about the ingrained nature of gender bias in our world. Simone de Beauvoir (yes, another Marxist!) argued that in Western society, “man is the subject, woman is the other; he is the vertical, she is always oblique” (or words to that effect– don’t have book in front of me). A more current phrasing might be that man is the default, woman is the “customized.” If you like the biblical version, man is the original, woman is the derivative.

        Her point is that the foundation of male power is this fundamental impulse to equate “human” with “man”– unless the person marks themselves out as “not man.” Nothing in my comment hinted at my gender, so you– a pretty enlightened and thoughtful person, judging by your comments– assumed I was male. I’m not offended or anything– it’s just always interesting to me to see how strong that bias runs.

        The question of whether “dude,” at this point in the term’s history, actually indicates a specifically gendered person, or is really a term meant to hail a person of either gender and indicate a kind of intimacy with that person based on affection and respect– well that’s another question and we can discuss over beverages!

        Liked by 1 person

        • gottmanfan says:

          I appreciate your insightful comments!

          I have made the mistake in the past when reading your username of missing the t in front of travis. The font of the t is very small on my phone.

          A while back I responsed to one of your comments as if it was Travis B. because I thought it said “travis” not ttravis.

          I say all this to pose my theory that Travis B saw the name Travis and thought it was a male because Travis is typically a male first name.

          But discussion over drinks would make it clear.😀🍺

          Like

        • Jeff Strand says:

          “Nothing in my comment hinted at my gender, so you– a pretty enlightened and thoughtful person, judging by your comments– assumed I was male. I’m not offended or anything– it’s just always interesting to me to see how stromg that bias runs.”

          I don’t know you, but given the user name you go by…how can anyone not assume you’re being disingenuous at this point? To be blunt, you’re playing dumb.

          Your user name is ttravis and you can’t imagine why anyone would assume you’re male? What if I logged on here for the first time with a user name of “ssally” or “mmary” or “kkaitlyn”? Don’t you think maybe people would assume I’m female? Hey maybe i just happen to be a guy named “Ken Kaitlyn”, and I use my first initial and last name as a user name, right? How dare these sexist people assume I’m female because I logged in as kkaitlyn??

          Common sense. But no, you have to spin it into a male conspiracy to keep women down as the “other”, because that’s what you learned in gender studies class. And the funny thing is, Travis – who buys into this feminist gobbledygook – is probably all upset at himself for exhibiting that terrible “male privilege” again!

          So it’s funny – people have questioned my statement that no man should ever marry a feminist as being too extreme. Yet everyday, the feminists prove my point for me. And at this point, I’ll tell you what…no sympathy for the men who find themselves in misery after marrying a feminist. There’s just no excuse for it anymore, at this late date.

          Like

          • ttravis says:

            I think if my screen name was “tbilly” or “tdavid” your argument would be totally on point. But Travis is a fairly common last name as well as a man’s first name.

            And by the way, dude, I TEACH the gender studies class!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Jeff Strand says:

              “And by the way dude, I TEACH the gender studies class!”

              Oh, Lord.

              Maybe I should have majored in gender studies, instead of aerospace engineering. What was I thinking? I hear that smashing the patriarchy pays pretty well! LOL

              Like

  23. Lisa Fary says:

    Frequent lurker, occasional commenter….

    I’ve been reading this blog for a few months and have found it personally helpful in my current relationships and in understanding where my previous relationships went wrong. It’s usually part of my Sunday morning internet rounds, while I have coffee and a bagel. Matt’s blog has been a game changer for me in relating to my male partners insofar as it seems to be “lifting the veil.” It’s also, and I realize this may be in the minority here, been helpful in relating to female partners, as I tend to take a more traditionally “male” role in those relationships.

    I miss that. I miss this space being about people who want to be better partners. Lately, it feels like the Jeff Strand show and it pisses me off. It pisses me off because the Jeff Strands of the world have plenty of outlets for their opinions. The Jeff Strands of the world aren’t interested in being better partners, but are interested in telling women how they can be better wives while also asking them to clean the house in dresses.

    Why are we letting this person hijack the discussion?

    Can we, somehow, come to an agreement not to engage this person? This person adds nothing to this community. I’ve learned nothing about being a better partner or about encouraging partners to be better from this person. This person also shows no interest in personal growth, which seems to be what this blog is all about. I fall back on the ancient internet saying of “Don’t feed the trolls.” Troll feeding is all that’s happening here.

    We can stop it if we want to. Don’t feed the troll.

    That said, if my partners wish to wear a house dress, sarong, or kilt whilst going about their day, I have no problem with that. So long as it is their choice to do so. If I truly love them, I’m sure I will find them attractive regardless of their dress.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Molly says:

      I’m a fellow lurker, and this is my first comment ever in this blog. I find this blog about a month ago. I have been married for 13 years and with my husband for 18 years. We started dating 18years ago yesterday, in fact! My husband is a sweet guy, excellent father, hard worker, and he started with literally nothing. He moved across country right before we met with one suitcase. We have a very traditional marriage, 4 kids that i homeschool, and i stay home.
      But he is very forgetful about stuff that pertains to running our house. It’s very frustrating because i feel like I’m in charge of everything. This blog has helped so much in understanding him. I joke that he was raised by wolves, because he doesn’t understand emotions and he can be so messy. I wouldn’t say he was a shitty husband, but huge did have a couple shitty tendencies.
      But i love him and he loves me, so I’ve changed the way I’ve talked to him and how i explain things. He has really stepped up and taken some off the load with the house. I’ve lowered my expectations of the house and i know he didn’t care if it’s perfect. He’s spent enough t time with our kids to know how fast they can destroy any room.

      I totally went off on a tangent, but i agree with you. This blog is awesome and some of the comments are fantastic. We should stick to the topic and not respond to anyone who seems to enjoy riling people up.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Matt says:

        That’s a really nice story, Molly. I love how you intentionally tried a different approach instead of the one generating the same results, and discovered that good things came from it.

        So many people are unwilling to budge. Unwilling to try new things. They just want the other person to do all of the adjusting.

        I appreciate so much that you were willing to adjust, and now appreciate the return effort.

        It’s not an insignificant thing. It’s something everyone in any type of relationship should employ whenever they find themselves in an unpleasant communication cycle with someone.

        Thank you for sharing your personal story here. Please have a great day.

        Like

        • gottmanfan says:

          Awesome that you’ve found a way to change the dynamics of your marriage Molly!

          I agree with you that this blog has certainly helped me think about things in new ways and I really appreciate that despite my many failings to contribute to the comments in ways people find helpful.

          Always a struggle to balance different values and know the right thing to do in a difficult situation.

          So glad you commented! I hope you do so many times. I need your wisdom as a person who has successfully figured out how to change.

          Like

          • Molly says:

            Thanks gottmanfan! Some days, i don’t feel so successful. My husband still drives me crazy sometimes lol! But he really is trying, and he’s very good at giving me Grace, way more than i give myself. I’m learning every day, and so is he. We’re just 2 broken sinners in this broken world, trying to make it better for our kids. And i think our life would be easier and less messy without them, but what’s the fun in that? One day our house will be clean but it will also be empty. Dh and i better still like each other then.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Molly says:

          And thank you for writing about it from the guy’s point of view! there’s no shortage of blogs and books out there for women, it’s refreshing to see something for men too.

          Liked by 2 people

      • gottmanfan says:

        Molly,

        Sorry put my reply in the wrong spot. It’s below Matt’s.

        Like

    • gottmanfan says:

      This particular troll brings his own all you can eat buffet to the party so feeding or not feeding doesn’t impact his presence.

      And as much as I wish others wouldn’t engage, there are those here that agree with his comments enough to respond positively to them.

      So no, that will never be an option either apparently.

      And Matt’s moderation policy (which is of course his right) allows this troll to contribute many many offensive comments per post.

      So no, I don’t think feeding the troll is causing this problem.

      But, of course, you may disagree.

      I do appreciate your support of my husband’s housecoats though! Highly recommended.

      Like

    • Jeff Strand says:

      “This person adds nothing to this community. I’ve learned nothing about being a better partner or about encouraging partners to be better from this person.”

      Then you haven’t paid attention to the comments I’ve made. Have you read Lori Gottlieb’s book, or Laura Doyle’s book, or watched the videos on YouTube by “Peaceful Wife”, as I recommended?

      If you have refused to do so, that’s fine. Totally your right and your call. But don’t then turn around and complain I haven’t added anything worthwhile to the comments, and you haven’t learned anything from me. Truth is, you haven’t made the effort. It’s like not putting in any effort in a class you’re taking, or even reading the textbook, and then complaining you learned nothing.

      Does that make sense to you?

      Like

      • BlueBlazeIrregular says:

        Jeff Strand, I haven’t read Lori Gottlieb’s book because I believe that I can love and can be loved, outside of a checklist. Gottlieb’s story is her story. My story is entirely different. In case you hadn’t noticed, different people have different stories and women are people.

        Peaceful Wife and Laura Doyle appear to be operating from a Christian perspective, and I am not a Christian. Ipso facto, I don’t give a shit about how I might fit into traditional Christian women’s roles in relationships. So, no. I haven’t read those. Again, in case you miss it, I’m not Christian and Christian values mean nothing to me.

        I am a Buddhist.

        I’ll give you a moment to Google that.

        And in case you hadn’t gleaned this from my previous comment -and since you recommended Peaceful Wife, I’m assuming you didn’t…………………….

        I’m also queer.

        Yeah. I have relationships with men and women.

        Let that sink in.

        I know myself. In my relationships with men, I take a feminine role. In my relationships with women, I take a masculine role. That’s just how I do it. That’s what’s comfortable for me.

        I’m reading and commenting on this blog because I want to be a better partner to the men and women I love.

        Why are you here, Jeff Strand? It seems you already have the perfect marriage for yourself. If you already have your perfect marriage for you, why are you here?

        Be honest, Jeff Strand.

        Like

      • Jeff Strand says:

        BlueBlaze,

        Given the lifestyle you lead, it is clear you are at war with God. According to Tradition, when the Lord experienced His anguish in the garden on the night of Holy Thursday, His worst torment wasn’t the thought of the indescribable torture He was about to undergo. It was the the realization that even in spite of this ultimate act of love, there would still be those who would reject Him, spit on Him, ridicule Him, and in so doing ensure their own destruction and damnation for eternity. The thought of this was almost more than He could bear in His humanity, and so the Eternal Father sent an angel to console Him. As it is, His anguish was so great He was literally sweating blood.

        Perhaps you should meditate on the role you play in this? (I hear you Buddhists are good at mediating, after all)

        I hope you change your life while you still have time. And save your soul. I truly do, in all charity.

        But given where you are right now, I have less than zero interest in having a discussion with you about marriage and relationships. So that’s not gonna happen.

        P.S. But I do think I should correct you on one point. Lori Gottleib’s book is about OVERCOMING checklists, in order to find love. So it’s pretty much the opposite book to what you implied.

        Like

  24. […] (Read The Taxonomy of Married Men, Vol. 1 here) […]

    Like

  25. OKRickety says:

    “It’s hard to be the guy desperately trying to save his family while his wife has checked out of the marriage because she’s been beaten down emotionally so much through the years without him — a genuinely good dude who simply sucked at marriage — realizing it.

    And now he KNOWS. Now, he gets it.

    But she’s done.”

    It’s too bad few women get the following advice and follow it:

    Michele Weiner-Davis says in Prevent Your Divorce: The Walk Away Wife Syndrome:

    “What I want to say to women is that when these men finally understand the importance of marriage and family, they are making profound real changes. They are transforming themselves into the husbands you’ve wanted them to be. If you do get a divorce, they’re going to make someone a really great second husband. They’ve gone to school on your relationship. Don’t leave now. You’ve finally gotten through to your man, because you’ve taken an action.”

    Liked by 1 person

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