How much should a husband share with his wife?

New commenter ayatollah1988 asked how much a husband should turn to his wife for emotional support:

Dalrock, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on this. I’ve heard it talked about in the Manosphere a lot about how men cannot rely on women, even their wives, for emotional support, especially if it involves the men demonstrating any sort of weakness. Basically, the idea that you are her shoulder to cry on and she is NEVER your shoulder to cry on. Redpill guys chalk it up to female solipsism and the idea that they are the most responsible teenager in the house.

It is true that a husband shouldn’t just dump his feelings on his wife, but the concern here can also be overstated.  The first thing I would suggest is changing the way you view the situation from one of frustration/disappointment towards women to one of empathy towards them.  Imagine working for a small firm and having the boss/owner tell you all of his fears for the business.  If you are relying on that job to support your family this could very quickly become unsettling.  The same is true if your surgeon, dentist, or airline pilot doesn’t communicate confidence and a command of the situation.

Your wife (and even your girlfriend) wants you to be her rock, especially if her own emotions are storming over her.  This is a profound gift a husband can give his wife, and should not be seen as something negative.  A wife also relies on her husband for protection and financial support of the family.  For these reasons there is a limit as to what kinds of things and more importantly how, how much, and how often you talk about these things with your wife.  This isn’t because there is something wrong with women, it is due to the difference between men and women, and more importantly the nature of the roles of husband and wife.

However, this doesn’t mean you should shut her out when something is troubling you, it just means there is a balance.  Especially after you are married for a number of years, your wife will know when something is troubling you.  If you pretend that nothing is bothering you, or refuse to discuss it at all, this could be even more unsettling to her.  Just like with all communication the key is to understand how what you are communicating is impacting your audience (her).  What you don’t want is for the received message to be “you are in danger because I’m not fit to be your husband”.  This is true even in cases where there is real danger that she needs to understand.  In those cases you want to communicate clearly about the threat, but not push her into hopelessness.  The message should be, “problem X exists, and we’re going to solve it” (or if a solution isn’t possible, replace solve with manage).  The way to manage this is to communicate not just through well chosen words, but with your tone of voice and body language.

I embedded a clip from the movie Unbreakable in a post I did on vulnerability Game.  In the clip he communicates strength and protectiveness, while also communicating that something troubled him, as well as “I need you”.  She knows that she is safe and loved, and she also feels connected to her husband.  You don’t have to physically pick her up, but pulling her toward you and letting her feel protected in your strength is something which should become natural to you when you sense that she may need this.

If you keep these things in mind, and pay attention more to what she does than what she says, you will get a gut feel of how much and what types of things you should be communicating to her.  As a man looking to marry you can also keep this in mind when choosing a wife.  Some women are going to be a better fit for you than others in this regard.  If she needs more alpha aloofness than is natural and comfortable for you, you either need to change your own comfort zone or (more likely) find a better fit for both of your sakes.

It also sort of goes along with the idea of “Man Flu,” where women seem to be unable to show empathy for their husbands when they are sick, and the idea that women seem incapable of showing empathy towards men in any context.

There is some feminist ugliness here, and it is something else to consider when choosing a wife.  You don’t want her to baby you, but you do want a woman who can feel empathy.  A wife should also avoid indulging in the feminist urge to strip her husband of his manhood.  A wise and well adjusted wife should instead feel protective of your masculinity, just as you should feel protective of her femininity.

I’m asking because I go to a church that is real big on being “vulnerable” and that if you are not constantly talking to your friends and especially your wife about all your struggles and weaknesses, then you are being sinfully self-protective and “un-spiritual.” I’m not married yet, but this is something that really bothers me because in relationships past when girlfriends would beg me to “open up” and “express my emotions more,” I would do so. I thought I was doing the “spiritual” thing but in retrospect it may have been a bad idea to be vulnerable. I wonder if it caused them to lose respect for me.

This kind of teaching comes from the same place as the push in parts of Europe to get men to sit down to pee.  The idea that men and women are the same isn’t biblical, and of course it isn’t true.  I can understand your frustration at having gone through this, but I would encourage you to see your new understanding of this not as something to be bitter about, but something freeing.  As Cane Caldo points out, you aren’t losing pretty lies (lies are inherently ugly), you are gaining a beautiful truth.  Feminists inside and outside the church had to sell this false message for decades because what they are asking men to do doesn’t feel natural, because it isn’t natural.  It took generations of deception.  Healthy well adjusted men aren’t emotive like women, and we aren’t chatty.  Men tend to communicate much of our message non-verbally.  When we do speak, we tend to use fewer words*.  There is nothing wrong with this, and if you do this well as I noted above you will be lovingly meeting her needs.

And all I was opening up about was depression, it’s not like I was opening up about thoughts of pedophilia or something really deviant and pathetic like that. One of them in particular was very critical and neurotic and our relationship was usually her criticizing me for every little thing until I apologized (back when I was on the blue pill). She often wanted me to open up, but looking back on it I think she was just probing for weakness. So I guess my question is, can your wife really be your friend in addition to her being your first mate? And to what extent can you be emotionally vulnerable in a marriage without it compromising the headship/submission dynamic?

I think I’ve addressed everything here except the specific issue of depression.  I would say the same basic advice I suggested above would apply, in that you probably want to let her know if you are struggling with something and give a bit of detail, but you don’t want to overdo it.  This doesn’t mean you won’t be emotionally close with her.  In fact, doing this right makes you closer.  As you experienced, doing it according to modern conventional wisdom will destroy your closeness.  If you need help you should get it, but that should probably be mainly from a male friend, a counselor, etc.

*One thing I would suggest is to practice using the tone of your voice to lead others.  If you are in a position of leadership this is easiest, but you can even practice this with ordinary interactions.  You will find that if you speak with a deeper (but still natural) voice you will tend to get people’s attention better than speaking louder.  My father has a great trick where he speaks more softly when he really wants to get your attention.  A deep voice spoken calmly will tend to calm people (if they are fearful of something this only works if you demonstrate that you understand their concern), and just as most people’s fathers demonstrate it is possible to also use inflection with a deeper voice to communicate volumes with a single word.  This is an ability men have been taught is inappropriate for us to use because it is seen as “unfair” to women to capitalize on our natural strengths as men.  However, women have their own methods of communicating which are different than men, and either way it makes no sense to abandon our masculinity because feminists are envious of it.

See Also:  Headship Game

Posted in Beautiful truth, Book of Oprah, Envy, Game, Headship, Manliness, Marriage, Ugly Feminists | 31 Comments

Another bombing run

Check out Vox’s post if you are interested in the latest book bomb:

Larry Correia has posted the third and last of the 2015 Sad Puppies Book Bombs, this one for Related Works and the Campbell nominees:

Posted in Book Bomb, Social Justice Warriors | 15 Comments

The only real man in the ashram

If this is true, it would certainly top Driscoll.  From The Independent:  Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be ‘closer to God’ 

Posted in The only real man in the room | 251 Comments

Too ugly to empower

Back in July I predicted that the (then) up and coming divorce fantasy movie Wild would not have the kind of success Eat Pray Love had back in 2010.  A good divorce fantasy needs to show the divorcée ending up with a better man, and it needs to provide moral cover for divorce by showing that divorce makes a woman a better person.  Eat Pray Love and Fireproof are the secular and Christian gold standards for this genre, and both of those movies deliver.

Based on the trailer, it appeared to me that Wild would not deliver these core elements.  I haven’t seen the movie, but from the reviews I’ve read my initial take appears to be born out.  Leah Finnegan at Gawker wrote in Wild Is a Bad Movie and Reese Witherspoon Is Bad In It:

Will Reese Witherspoon win an Oscar for “Wild” because she overcomes the hardship of wearing a really heavy backpack for most of the film? I sure as hell hope not, but she probably will, because Hollywood is stupid. In any case, this movie was awful, and terrible for women. Wild was by far the worst movie I saw this year—and I saw Heaven Is For Real.

The problem is the main character comes across as ugly and the message of divorce leading to redemption falls apart:

Witherspoon is a sniveling, Flickian, narcissistic bitch, and therefore this so-called story of redemption—Woman Goes on 1,000-Mile Hike to Cleanse Herself of Sins and Find Herself—comes across not as real or raw or uplifting but just another tale of easy blonde triumph.

Finnegan makes it clear that she is a big fan of Eat Pray Love, so this can’t be a critique of the genre.  Even worse for the movie, the comments on Finnegan’s review at Gawker were overwhelmingly in agreement with her.  The reviews at IMDB don’t look any better.

This lack of enthusiasm translated into the box office.  I pulled up the weekly takes from Box Office Mojo for the respective movies here and here, and charted them out:

wild_epl_nominal_gross

Overall Wild grossed $37,339,313 during the first 12 weeks of its release (actually 13 weeks, including $47,248 for “week 0″).  In comparison, Eat Pray Love grossed over twice that amount, bringing in $80,574,010 during its first 12 weeks.  If we adjust the EPL gross into 2015 dollars*, the mismatch is slightly larger with EPL grossing an inflation adjusted $86,214,191**.

Given the reviews and the box office figures, the moral should be clear for moviemakers looking to cash in on modern women’s shameless obsession with divorce.  Make sure your divorce empowerment movie provides plenty of moral cover for women blowing up their families;  show divorce as the catalyst for the woman becoming a better and more holy person.  Likewise, be sure to clearly show the woman profiting from blowing up her family in the form of lifetime commitment from a better man than her ex husband.  Follow these two simple rules and you have a license to print money.  Get one or both of these wrong and your divorce empowerment movie will fail.

*Adjusting for inflation, one dollar in 2010 bought as much as $1.07 buys in 2015.

**Here are the weekly inflation adjusted figures in chart form.

Posted in Divorce, selling divorce, Ugly Feminists | 118 Comments

Riding the brake

Opus notes that Sheila Gregoire has realized that sex sells:

she has a book or three to sell and with such salacious titles as Thirty One Days to Great Sex, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, and Honey I don’t have a Headache Tonight, you can see that this woman is selling a form of snake-oil and not without success as the second of these is at number 3,559 on [insert name of long south American river] .com. Getting God to give a plug for your book (blurb on dust-cover – ‘I could not put it down’ – God) is surely the ultimate in endorsements.

But this goes beyond mere clever marketing.  Gregoire is clearly obsessed with sex, and deeply conflicted about it.  When it comes to sex she and her readers have one foot on the gas and the other on the brake. You can see this from her books as well as the posts on her blog. There is a great deal of energy on using sex as a weapon, including when, how, and why to deny sex. The other side to this is all of the energy coming from the deep fear that they will overplay this card and as I described in Frigidity and power, lose their power. What if he watches porn, or even Game of Thrones while I’m denying sex? Then my V will lose its power over him! How do I overcome my own frigidity? If I’m frigid, my V has no power!

They’ve turned having sex into a Rube Goldberg contraption.  But all of this works because the audience is already there.  They already know how to use sex as a weapon, and they already have deep fears that by doing this they risk losing the very power they are trying to wield.  They already sensed that misusing sex was making them frigid.  Gregoire and her readers can rationalize to themselves that this is all about healthy Christian sexuality, despite the sea of red flags.  Many husbands probably foolishly encourage their wives to read Gregoire, based on the promise of fixing their frigid wife.

See also:  A Tale of Two Beaches

Posted in Frigidity, Sheila Gregoire, Ugly Feminists | 146 Comments