Update from Ann.

Just over a year ago I wrote a post in response to a reader who I call “Ann”, titled How to encourage a husband to show more leadership. Check out the original post to see Ann’s specific request.

Ann contacted me again a few weeks ago in the comments section of the page. I’ve pulled out the end of the note at her request, but here is the part she said was ok to share in a post:

Hello Dalrock,

This is “Ann” writing back to tell you how nicely things have been going after we had the exchange above, exactly one year from today (such a coincidence that I thought of writing to you today)

I took most of your advice and applied it to our daily life. As I went through it, new forms of encouraging him to lead also came up, naturally.

I can tell you there have been lots of changes in our relationship, all in a good way. They aren’t huge, dramatic changes but it’s more like stones setting in their place. I can observe my husband feels more free to do what he wants, to say what he wants even though people don’t really agree all the time. I see him give advice to his friends about these things and it makes me very happy, not to mention proud. I also noticed changes in myself, I noticed some mistakes I’ve been making and stopped making them.

Another great note, all this hasn’t decreased his respect for me one bit. Just because he sits at the head of the table or he decides where we’ll go, what we’ll do in most cases, he didn’t start ignoring me or treating me like I don’t matter. It is a great case to see that both things can exist together. He still respects and loves me the way I respect and love him, he still asks for my opinion on things that involve me and wants me to be happy.

So I wanted to thank you for taking my question seriously and responding me in a kind and helpful way.

As you can imagine this made my day.

Note: As I did for the original post I ask that all comments be respectful and kind in tone. I will remove any comments which aren’t respectful of Ann or her husband.

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80 Responses to Update from Ann.

  1. dawn says:

    This post was wonderful! I am finding that there are more women who are wanting this in their marriages. With feminism being the cultural model it can be difficult, but what joy comes when we see the fruit of the men leading. I have been on this journey for a few years, it has been difficult at times (I have had to apologize to my family for trying to lead) but I am glad that we turned in this direction.
    Good for you Ann for taking the steps toward a better marriage!!

  2. MackPUA says:

    I dont know why Dalrock doesnt make Women Should always be Encouraging Their men to lead, as a crucial part of a marriage, into some sort of maxim

    I love the analysis & viewpoints, specific advice like Athol Kays, as the above letter shows, is desperately needed …

  3. Suz says:

    I know that one anecdote doesn’t constitute a body of evidence, but in this case it shouldn’t have to. All of human history backs this up. THIS, being devoted wives, is how women helped men build civilization. It’s a valuable contribution to humanity, yet feminists want us to be ashamed of it?

  4. greyghost says:

    One life at a time Dalrock. This women now has a true gift to give her daughter or granddaughter. The greatest thing we can do on this earth with this life is to enrich the lives of others with the gifts and talents they already have within themselves.

  5. Jacquie says:

    A thoroughly enjoyable post. I also enjoyed going back to the original. How wise of her to know what she needs to develop in herself as a wife so early in her marriage. It gets more difficult redefining the relationship the further your into it.

    Last night my husband and I met with our financial advisor. Up until last summer I handled all the financial aspects of our marriage, now my husband does it. As we were sitting in the meeting the advisor kept addressing me. I finally had to do something that I thought was rude but necessary; I ignored the advisor. I kept my eyes on my husband. The man eventually caught on and talked to my husband.

    Change is not easy. Bad behavior patterns are very difficult to break. Changing how others view the relationship has sometimes been more difficult than changing how I behave toward my husband.

  6. GKChesterton says:

    Good news indeed.

  7. Sunshine says:

    I liked your original post very much, thank you for it. Tangible ways of affirming one’s husband’s leadership are critical for any woman under 50 since we have been thoroughly saturated in feminism from birth. The symbolic demonstrations you mention, such as having the man drive or sit at the head of the table, are helpful to me for maintaining an attitude of deference toward my husband so that I don’t inadvertently begin trying to usurp him as I used to do in the early years of our marriage. I suppose it’s a bit like what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:7-10 about women wearing head coverings as a symbol of being under her husband’s authority.

    7 A man ought not to cover his head,[b] since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own[c] head, because of the angels.

    Women don’t wear head coverings now, but visible demonstrations of yielding to our husbands’ authority might serve a similar purpose. Anyway, thank you for writing such a helpful post.

    [D: My pleasure. Thank you for the kind words, and welcome to the blog.]

  8. The leap she made here is getting harder and harder to do in this culture. It sounds to me that God is rewarding her for her faith (as well as her husband). It’s nice to see testimonies like this as it can remind us that a good outcome is possible and not just the dread march that so many marriages seem to have been put on.

    Also, Sunshine. I’d prefer the visible demonstration over the actual head covering any day. I’ve known enough women that have worn the “doily” while trying to dominate their husbands/fathers to have seen through that one. I think “covering” is talking about a spiritual covering.

  9. deti says:

    Beautiful.

  10. Jennifer says:

    The Bible actually does not call any human a spiritual covering of another human, but spouses should be able to help each other spiritually. I think you may want to do some studies on the passage about head coverings; if we took it at face value, it would mean we women are still commanded to wear head coverings, in more than one place.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Jacquie, why not just tell the advisor your husband handles things now?

  12. Jennifer says:

    Nice to see positive comments here. Looks like Ann was most of the change in her life; her attitude was one of honor and respect from the start.

  13. Suz says:

    Jennifer, it’s not a big thing, but that would technically be speaking for him. She could have done so without any harm, since it might sound like whining if he said it, but I think she handled it beautifully. She showed instead of told. That’s a message that cannot be doubted.

    Seriously, submission is uphill work in this world. It takes constant thought because very often it would be easier to let it slide.

  14. Suz says:

    “Looks like Ann was most of the change in her life; her attitude was one of honor and respect from the start.”

    Exactly. Yet people still insist that submission is weak!

  15. Jennifer says:

    Submission takes strength all right. For me, whether it’s a sign of weakness would depend on the severity, the method and the reasons for it.

  16. Jennifer says:

    “The greatest thing we can do on this earth with this life is to enrich the lives of others with the gifts and talents they already have within themselves.”

    So true. The book “Passionate Housewives” gorgeously describes enriching others’ lives with both our gifts and our service.

  17. GKChesterton says:

    @Jennifer,

    What a lame and mean comment. Not to mention:
    if we took it at face value, it would mean we women are still commanded to wear head coverings, in more than one place.

    I hate to break this to you but many churches still do require this and for the largest of all Churches, Rome, it was required by law until the 60’s.

    People say some nice things and you can’t resist getting a couple of digs in. Pathetic. My daughter wears one, and my wife often does.

  18. ballista74 says:

    Great news!

  19. greyghost says:

    GKChesterton
    Jennifer is one of those dipshits that can’t help herself. She is one that makes a real women afraid of mens nblogs because when they show up they see us kicking her ass. She is also what I was talking about poisoning other women with self doubt.

  20. Suz says:

    Jennifer:
    “Submission takes strength all right. For me, whether it’s a sign of weakness would depend on the severity, the method and the reasons for it.”

    So…..you believe in “submitting” piecemeal, one issue at a time, depending on if you feel it’s worth the trouble.

    That’s not submission, that’s negotiation. Either you are submitted to you husband-as-head-of-the- marriage, or you are not. Sure, you can slip up, it happens to the best of us, but when you do you must understand that it’s a lapse on your part, even if you’re “right” about the individual issue.

  21. @Jennifer

    Could you please explain to me what difference is being referred to between the man and the woman? Could you also explain what “power” the woman is to have on her head, that man is not? If it isn’t a spiritual covering, then what is it? If it isn’t a physical what is God requiring here? Please explain, exegesis, so forth:

    “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”
    (1Co 11:4-11)
    ,

  22. ukfred says:

    Dalrock, if I may address Ann directly

    Ann

    Thank you for the encouragement in your words.

  23. Symbols matter. My wife has covered her head when we went to Latin Masses. It is still a practice in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, one of the two approved forms in the RC Church.

    My wife seated me at the head of the table when we married and that has always remained my seat. I used to let her drive, but I now only do this if we are on a long roadtrip.

    And, for the Love of God, no “keeping your surname” in any form. All you are doing is using your father’s name and insulting your husband. Other men will think your husband is a huge wuss. Trust me.

  24. Jacquie, you could have said something like, “That is very interesting advice, but my husband will be making the final decision”. That would have got him to change his tack.

    I often let my wife do the legwork, then make the call.

  25. Jennifer, I think you are clever enough to know that you are sowing confusion. See all the ladies with their hamsters lined up. You are walking past and giving all the cages a spin.

    Naughty.

  26. Elspeth says:

    This wasn’t the time or the post, Jen. Your objection to a husband’s headship (despite the numerous Scriptural references to the contrary) has been duly noted. And noted. And noted.

    I for one am very happy for Ann and her husband . I haven’t found submission to my husband oppressive at all. To the contrary, it’s quite liberating and it pleases me to know that there are other women coming to that realization, no matter how few and no matter how slowly.

  27. Sunshine says:

    “The Bible actually does not call any human a spiritual covering of another human, but spouses should be able to help each other spiritually. I think you may want to do some studies on the passage about head coverings; if we took it at face value, it would mean we women are still commanded to wear head coverings, in more than one place.”

    Jennifer, I didn’t mean to derail the thread on this issue, and I don’t think I said anything about spiritual coverings. I actually was referring to physical head coverings, which are symbolic in function. As to studying this passage: I’ve read a substantial amount of exegesis on this topic, but I don’t debate scripture with other women in front of men. They already know we’re poor theologians; they don’t need to watch us display our ignorance.

  28. Cute, Sunshine. I think we men can stand the sight.

    Paul wanted women to cover their heads in the assembly – church – “because of the angels.” The idea is that the woman wears a mark of her subordination on her head. The natural order must be made particularly manifest on holy ground. It is the donning of ritual attire.

    Just a sidelight. I have never seen Mel Gibson’s Passion, but I am told that Mary Magdalene covers her head at the crucifixion.

  29. Jacquie says:

    @ David
    In an effort to not by too wordy, I may have summarized too much.
    When I owned my own business several years ago our advisor made first contact with me, our children’s accounts listed me as custodian, and he usually dealt with me on everything. My husband went to the meetings but was not an active participant in the finances.
    Over the past year I’ve mentioned that my husband is now handling the finances. Any time I needed to do something with the children’s accounts, since I am listed, I always begin with saying, “my husband has sent me to take care of…”

    I know I have a very strong personality, it is one of the things my husband loves most about me. I do understand based on history and just the way I interact with people that they may not even realize they are directing toward me instead of my husband. This is something I have realized more so over this last year or so as I try to defer everything to my husband. So I need to be proactive in not only my behavior toward my husband, but sometimes regarding how others interact with us together. This is where strength is needed most since it is always too easy for me to take the reins in such situations.

    @Suz

    “it’s not a big thing, but that would technically be speaking for him. She could have done so without any harm, since it might sound like whining if he said it, but I think she handled it beautifully. She showed instead of told. That’s a message that cannot be doubted.”

    Exactly. Words speak so much louder than words. And thank you. I am learning with time and practice how to handle such situations in a way that best honors my husband.

  30. MackPUA says:

    Jennifer thinks all forms of submission is rape … typical clueless feminist moron …

  31. Elspeth says:

    I know I have a very strong personality, it is one of the things my husband loves most about me. I do understand based on history and just the way I interact with people that they may not even realize they are directing toward me instead of my husband. This is something I have realized more so over this last year or so as I try to defer everything to my husband.

    I have known women who have had to do what you’ve done Jacquie, precisely because of their strong personalities. They have to go all the way to the other end of the spectrum in an effort to strike the right balance.

    You are actually very wise to do what you’ve done. I commend you.

  32. Sunshine says:

    “This is something I have realized more so over this last year or so as I try to defer everything to my husband. So I need to be proactive in not only my behavior toward my husband, but sometimes regarding how others interact with us together. This is where strength is needed most since it is always too easy for me to take the reins in such situations.”

    Very wise, thank you for mentioning this. I am also trying to do so; let us “exhort one another.”.🙂

  33. Suz says:

    Jen,
    Easy: childish disobedience. Result: chaos (no really, look around you)
    Harder: submission. Result: peace
    Hardest: rationalizing pseudo-Biblical excuses to disobey. Result: chaos, exhaustion, confusion, resentment.

    Why do you work so hard? If you want to follow the disastrous feminist precedent, that’s your choice and YOU own the consequences. Just admit that doing so is NOT a Christian principle. Do you really think that if you can justify your defiance Biblically, it will somehow mitigate the consequences? It won’t. Do you WANT your marriage to be defined by, “I’m miserable but according to the Bible, I’m doing it right so it must be someone else’s fault!” That’s the bottom line, isn’t it?
    You’re willing to work your tail off to avoid taking responsibility for your “bad” behavior. It would be easier to just be “good.”

  34. freebird says:

    The one Pastor posits that “because of the angels” refers to the fallen angels that bred with human women before the cleansing of the flood.Nephilim.
    I like to think it’s to indicate to submit to God an husband to avoid seduction from any outside forces,and the woman is always prone to seduction,theological,and otherwise.

  35. Suz says:

    “…let us “exhort one another.”. ”
    Could somebody just lend me some duct tape for my mouth until we get a house under contract? I am measuring every word these days.

  36. freebird says:

    Citation Genesis chapter 6,verses 2 and 4.
    4:”There were giants in the earth in those days…when the sons of God came into the daughters of men..

  37. Sunshine says:

    “Easy: childish disobedience. Result: chaos (no really, look around you)
    Harder: submission. Result: peace
    Hardest: rationalizing pseudo-Biblical excuses to disobey. Result: chaos, exhaustion, confusion, resentment.
    Why do you work so hard? If you want to follow the disastrous feminist precedent, that’s your choice and YOU own the consequences. Just admit that doing so is NOT a Christian principle. Do you really think that if you can justify your defiance Biblically, it will somehow mitigate the consequences? It won’t. Do you WANT your marriage to be defined by, “I’m miserable but according to the Bible, I’m doing it right so it must be someone else’s fault!” That’s the bottom line, isn’t it? You’re willing to work your tail off to avoid taking responsibility for your “bad” behavior. It would be easier to just be “good.”

    I wish I could transport your comment back in time and show it to my 22-year-old self. This would have saved me a lot of grief and my husband a lot of annoyance in the early years of our marriage. When we first married, as non-Christians, I did the “easy: childish disobedience” thing; upon becoming a Christian, I immediately skipped to “hardest:rationalizing pseudo-Biblical excuses to disobey”. It’s only been in the past four years that I have finally gotten to “Harder:submission” but you are right, the result is peace that I could not have imagined.

  38. freebird says:

    Timothy 4:1-Now the spirit speaketh expressly,that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith,giving heed to seducing spirits,and doctrines of devils.

    Mark13:22 (red letter)
    For false Christs and false prophets shall rise,and shall shew signs and wonders,to seduce,if it were possible,even the elect.

  39. Suz says:

    Sunshine,
    We REALLY need to be pounding this into the heads of young girls and women. I for one, would not have listened when I was 22, but I might have caught on sooner than I eventually did. (For most of my marriage I was a pretty good wife because I was too lazy to be a female go-getter; I usually followed my husband by default, but not with intention.)

    Girls aren’t stupid. Plenty of them can see what’s going on, and would welcome a better way.

  40. Ariane says:

    As God is my witness, until I started reading these blogs, I honestly thought that keeping one’s maiden name as a middle name was tradition, a la the historical examples of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mary Todd Lincoln, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy… I thought it was a lovely, old-fashioned means of showing one’s social status as a married woman. Now I am totally confused. Can someone please explain to me when this tradition changed? Thank you.

  41. MackPUA says:

    Athol regularly gets letters from women, thanking Athol for saving their marriage, by telling her to let her husband lead …

    All a woman has to do is listen to her biology & texts like the Bible … Ironically a womans god given biology, telling them to let the man lead, has no place in a modern womans marriage or a modern church …

    Of course her own biology, to a woman entrenched in hyper-feminism, is labelled as chauvinistic & mysoginistic …

    Saving your marriage, by listening to your biology, is now not progressive or modern enough, or worth saving their marriages for …

    For christian women, listening to your biology, is not religious or biblical enough …

    Unfortunately for women, leadership is a masculine concept designed to satisfy a womans need for somebody to provide much needed direction & security …

    Which is the whole point of a relationship

    Why else would you be in a relationship, IF you werent there to seek direction & security from your husband?

    Direction & security, are also signs of privilege, by not letting your husband lead, you no longer receive the direction & security from your husband

    If a woman no longer lets her husband lead, she no longer has a reason to be in a relationship

    This is one of the major reasons WHY most women are so unhappy in their relationships & marriages

    They no longer have a reason to be in a relationship

    Of course feminism & the modern church is all about giving women no reason to be in a relationship

    Leadership is the natural response for a womans need to be in a relationship …

    By not letting a man lead the relationship, women no longer have the direction or security of a man, AND they no longer have a reason to be in a relationship …

  42. Athor Pel says:

    “…
    Another great note, all this hasn’t decreased his respect for me one bit. Just because he sits at the head of the table or he decides where we’ll go, what we’ll do in most cases, he didn’t start ignoring me or treating me like I don’t matter. It is a great case to see that both things can exist together. He still respects and loves me the way I respect and love him, he still asks for my opinion on things that involve me and wants me to be happy.
    …”

    She articulated in this paragraph the fear that plagues every woman that wants to have a marriage on the Biblical model. And for many women it isn’t a fear so much as a firm belief, a false belief but a belief nonetheless. The insidious message that submission to her husband will be the death of his regard for her, it is this one thing that is the poisonous seed at the heart of the ideas currently trying their damned best to destroy marriage after marriage.

    This is where the mis-definition of love comes into it as well. Love is an act of will, it is not an emotion. What she is describing is her huband’s acting out of his love for her. Another way to put it, what she is describing is her fear that once she submits to his leadership he won’t love her anymore.

    She seems genuinely surprised by how he responds to her submission. My guess is that she is projecting. She is expecting him to act like she imagines she would act in the same situation.

  43. greyghost says:

    Beta males don’t desrepect women at all. Infact good solid working beta types have to be taught and pushed to kick a wife’s ass for her own tingle in the form of game. A true alpha or bad boy does not need that because they naturally don’t give a damn about women except for how well they assist in relieving him of excess sperm. For some reason women find that tingling (until you put it the way I phrased it). I have learned to have full faith in the beta male to instinctively protect and pedistalize the woman he loves. Women tingle and have a bad case of solipsism to go with that rationalization hamster and they could never tingle (love for a woman) a man that treated or thought of them the way they treat or think of their husband. Combine that with years of only seeing men as bad in every medium and any so called good as seen as his duty to her and we have someone that sees submission or just plain being pleasant to a man as bad for her. (this is where that childish selfish interest interfears with a womans biblical joy)
    It takes a lot o individual courage for a woman to see the world biblicly and actually make an attempt to live it in todays herd. A fellow commenter on the Spearhead keyster likes the idea of women in the MRM , I do in a way but I think the greatest power a woman has and just as important is the changing of the herd mentality

  44. Dalrock says:

    @Athor Pel

    She seems genuinely surprised by how he responds to her submission. My guess is that she is projecting. She is expecting him to act like she imagines she would act in the same situation.

    I’m not sure she is entirely surprised. I think she wondered at some level if the feminist warnings had a grain of truth to them. Given this, the fact that she is the one who wanted this for her husband from the beginning it is a credit to her. At the larger level though I think you are correct; feminists are clearly projecting. It is the problem with the Golden Rule when applied between men and women. In Ann’s case one thing which strikes me is how much empathy she has for men. I’ve left out part of her correspondence with me at her request, but this is something which really comes through. She is unusually able to empathize with men as well as women.

  45. chaz345 says:

    “Suz says:
    May 25, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Sunshine,
    We REALLY need to be pounding this into the heads of young girls and women. I for one, would not have listened when I was 22, but I might have caught on sooner than I eventually did. (For most of my marriage I was a pretty good wife because I was too lazy to be a female go-getter; I usually followed my husband by default, but not with intention.)

    Girls aren’t stupid. Plenty of them can see what’s going on, and would welcome a better way.”

    There is hope. Girls/young women are slowly starting to see the destruction wrought by feminism run amok and are starting to question what the right way is. Aside from a few women here, the group I see the highest degree of “getting it” in is girls/women in their late teens and early 20’s.

    Sure it would be great if we could jump straight from “hey maybe this isn’t working” to immediately seeing what does work, but people in groups don’t shift their thinking that radically that quickly. Everything about the right way is completely 180 degrees opposite to everything they’ve heard their whole lives so it’s going to take time. For now I’m taking hope in the fact that there’s a growing number who are at least saying “hey, this current system isn’t working and the reason it isn’t is not necessarily entirely because men are flawed”.

  46. chaz345 says:

    @ Sunshine,
    Easy: childish disobedience. Result: chaos (no really, look around you)
    Harder: submission. Result: peace
    Hardest: rationalizing pseudo-Biblical excuses to disobey. Result: chaos, exhaustion, confusion, resentment.

    I agree in principle but I would have the harder and hardest flipped if for no other reason tham the fact that the rationalizing requires nothing from them personally. EVERYTHING that can possibly go wrong is the other person’s fault.

  47. Suz says:

    Constant rationalization takes a lot of mental effort. Submission takes discipline, but it gets easier. Lying to yourself and being in “defensive” mode, along with being unhappy (as a result of your choices) for years on end, is a recipe for mental breakdown. Cognitive dissonance sucks, and men are much better resolving it than women are.

  48. chaz345 says:

    @ Suz,

    I suppose it might if the position one is trying to rationalize is out on the fringes. As it is today though, the position that they are trying to rationalize is the largely accepted “truth” and so there’s a ton of support for it. It’s become so much the norm that it takes little effort to maintain it. IMO the lynchpin in all of it though is the widespread pervasive underlying idea that men are inherently flawed and women are inherently virtuous. That allows for the idea that any unhappiness, and problems in the marriage can ultimately be blamed on him. That, IMO, needs to be the point of attack since the evidence against that way of thinking is so clear. The problem though is that the assumption is so ingrained that you’ve got people(both men and women) who will, if challenged directly, say “I don’t beleive that men are inferior” in one breath and in the next say something that clearly demonstrates that they do believe that way.

  49. Anonymous Reader says:

    Suz, men are not necessarily better at resolving cognitive dissonance. But we can be pretty good at compartmentalization. There’s a reason why some men spend 50 or more hours per week at work – sometimes they just do not really want to go home; work is less stressful.

  50. Suz says:

    I think men usually are better. Your emotions don’t get in the way (as much) of your reasoning process. Where there are logical solutions, men are better at finding them. The tension at home that keeps a man at the office, is an external conflict, one over which he has limited control. The decision to avoid the external conflict is often a result of having solved the inner conflict. He knows there’s a problem at home and right now the best thing to do is to avoid it. A woman who rationalized nearly every decision she makes, won’t even recognize the source of her stress, let alone any solutions. Everything stresses her out and she has no idea why.

  51. Scott Butler says:

    So much wisdom on these pages. I really appreciate all of the contributions. There are the occasional postings by people who are bitter because of what they have been through, but in the majority of cases the posts are very insightful….sometimes inciteful (in a good way), and have really stirred my thinking. I thank all of you.

  52. elm says:

    I truly loved the advice in the original post not to judge the decision based on the outcome. Such good advice. “Hindsight is 20/20” is cliche for a reason. A bad outcome does not mean it was a bad decision in the first place. Bad outcomes can come from well-reasoned decisions.

  53. techman says:

    @ suz
    I think men usually are better. Your emotions don’t get in the way (as much) of your reasoning process. Where there are logical solutions, men are better at finding them. The tension at home that keeps a man at the office, is an external conflict, one over which he has limited control. The decision to avoid the external conflict is often a result of having solved the inner conflict. He knows there’s a problem at home and right now the best thing to do is to avoid it. A woman who rationalized nearly every decision she makes, won’t even recognize the source of her stress, let alone any solutions. Everything stresses her out and she has no idea why.

    This is so spot on,how very insightful, and coming from a woman and all ” a compliment” particularly the last sentence.”Everything stresses her out and she has no idea why” she knows one thing though its not her fault, its what all the rationalizing is about. I have seen this soooo… often. By the way this is a great blog. With all the crap out there as marriage guides and help sources its nice to know that there are people who still know how it really all suppose to work.

  54. Suz says:

    Thanks, techman. Dalrock attracts quite a crowd, doesn’t he?

  55. 30-Something Woman says:

    Ariane, they’re talking about women keeping the maiden name as their last name after marriage. So Jane Smith marries John Doe and remains Jane Smith instead of changing her name to Jane Doe. Most men wouldn’t have a problem with a woman keeping her maiden name as her middle name after marriage, as Jane Smith Doe. In that case, she’s still taking her husband’s name.

  56. The latter is an American practice only.

  57. Ariane says:

    @30-SW– I based my question on their condemnation of Sheila Wray Gregoire for keeping her maiden name in the middle; at least one commenter stated basically that any retention of the maiden name indicated a resistance to her husband’s leadership (I’m paraphrasing).

    @David Collard– this is true; however, it is well established historically and I was just wondering when it started to become a sign of rebellion.

    Thanks everyone.

  58. Two points.

    It looks feminist to outsiders. America has always been a feminist country, and it would be interesting to research how the practice got its start. It is unknown in other parts of the Anglosphere.

    On your question about when it becomes rebellion, I am tempted to reply facetiously that it depends on whether it is Hilary Rodham CLINTON or Hilary RODHAM Clinton.

  59. A Lady says:

    It’s not solely American tradition in the Anglosphere, it varies by class status, and of course, it’s tradition in other -spheres around the world, usually Latin ones.

  60. 30-Something Woman says:

    If someone is offended at a woman taking her husband’s last name but keeping her maiden name as her middle name, they’re going way overboard. There are plenty of real issues to deal with without making mountains out of molehills. If a woman wants to honor her family of origin by keeping their name as her middle name, while also taking her husband’s last name, that’s not a bad thing.

  61. 30…..I disagree completely. (you have vindicated me a tiny bit here). I have yet to know any woman who did this with such pure motive, normally it is bristling with hear me roar. It is a real issue, its a reflection of an attitude, not to “honor the family of origin”.
    I am and will remain offended by it. If I were to come across that rare diamond that shows what you are saying, I will still remain offended and see it as unnecessary.

  62. I failed to add, symbols mean things, they carry weight and meaning well beyond the narrowly intended, in this case perhaps honoring the family. And frankly I would not find it honoring that my daughter did this. It will be interesting as she is 21 and I assume within 5 years or so we will be near marriage and I would advise her to not to that.
    This is a symbol of independence, a rejection of the Biblical admonition to leave and cleave. We have in this country made the word FAMILY carry 2 separate meanings.
    If Im driving in the car with wife and kids, I can say Im with my family….and its true.
    If I go to my hometown for a visit and say Im seeing my family, its a completely different meaning.
    And thats tragic.
    Like in latin languages there are statements of “to be” that differ for the permanence of the object being referred. In Spanish es, and esta. Family should be es……ALWAYS, and idiomatically it is.
    But here in America, its a lie. The hometown visit carries the “es” designation while that gang in the car carries the esta, because she (or I) can jettison the whole thing and be driving with a completely different group some years later and say “my family”. Family should not be transient, and the hyphenated name has one foot in the door of the “es” family and one foot in the door of the “esta” family

  63. Suz says:

    Emp and 30,
    Technically you’re both right. My 81 year old mother goes by Jane C. Doe. “C” is not the first letter of her middle name, it’s the first letter of he maiden name. My paternal grandmother (bornn in 1903) did the same thing. In past generations it was a nod to a wife’s father, but it has evolved into a glorification of the wife herself. Nobody would look at my mother’s name and think she did it to maintain her “independent identity.”

    It was a nice tradition before feminism got its grubby hands on it

  64. Suz says:

    It used to mean, “I am Mrs. X, and I was born of Mr. Y.”
    Now it means, “I am Mrs. X, and I am ME!”

  65. 30-Something Woman says:

    Part of this depends on where the woman is socially and what her ambitions are. Hillary Clinton probably wanted to assert that she is her own person while also being associated with her husband for political purposes, hence, Hillary Rodham Clinton. She wouldn’t have gotten so much political capital from her marriage with Bill Clinton if she had not taken his last name. If not for that, I’d guess she would have kept her maiden name as her last name.

    Most average women aren’t going to do it like that though. The average woman who wants to make a feminist point will either keep her own last name or go with a hyphenated last name. After all, moving her maiden name to middle name is still making her name of less importance. Absent a clear benefit to her, a raging feminist is not going to do that.

  66. Paul says:

    “nd of course, it’s tradition in other -spheres around the world, usually Latin ones”

    Untrue, at least in the Spanish speaking world. They have two family names, one from the mother and one from the father, and those don’t change on marriage. It is very patriarchal, because they take on the paternal family name from both parents.

    IIRC correctly the first family name is the one from the father, the second from the mother (I might have this backward), and in cases where you are using only one of them for brevity you would use the paternal one.

    So if your parents are John Smith Doe and Jane Miller Brewer, you would be Suz Smith Miller, and you don’t change this upon marriage. I think this probably also ties in empath’s point of es vs. estar, when it comes to a family the bond is unbreakable, a definite es, marriage also but it is subordinate because it is subsequent, in my estimation.

  67. Part of this depends on where the woman is socially and what her ambitions are. Hillary Clinton probably wanted to assert that she is her own person while also being associated with her husband for political purposes, hence, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
    ——————————————————————————
    Wanted to assert that she is her own person?

    Im thinking my mea culpa was premature

    The feelings about last names reveal much

    I also wondered about that claim that in the Spanish speaking world people did this. Thats patently false.

    Good point on marriage…….soy casado. I am married. I find humor in the fact that the word casado and cansado are so similar, one meaning married and the other meaning tired.

  68. Paul says:

    empath, don’t forget cazar, to chase/hunt, where the z sound can be hard for English speakers to distinguish from an s sound.

  69. 30-Something Woman says:

    Empath, you are again taking my comments out of context. I did not state a value judgement on Hillary Clinton’s (presumed) reasons for taking her husband’s last name while keeping her maiden name as her middle name. I merely stated what I thought her reasons probably were.

    That situation, however, is uncommon. Most raging feminists, at least the ones I know or have heard of from others, either keep their maiden name as their last name or take a hyphenated last name. They wouldn’t use their maiden name as a middle name because that would make it of less importance than their husband’s name. In Hillary Clinton’s case, she benefited politically from taking her husband’s last name. Otherwise, I doubt she would have.

    Let me state this clearly, since you are fond of making wild leaps while assuming what you think I believe: a woman should take her husband’s last name. Having said that, I see nothing wrong with a woman keeping her maiden name as her middle name if she does it to honor her family of origin. If she does it to make some sort of feminist statement, that’s a cause for concern.

  70. My leaps are less wild than I thought

  71. AJ Miller says:

    @ Paul

    The Spanish naming convention is such that it never changes regardless of marital status:

    First Name Middle Name Father’s Last Name Mother’s Maiden Name(Her Father’s Name)

    So a woman does not change her name when she gets married. The distinction comes as to how she is addressed in public. She is referred as Mrs. First Name/Maiden Name/de/ Husbands’ last name

    An example.

    Eva Duarte (the famous Evita)

    When addressed in public:

    Senora Eva Duarte de Peron

    de= means belonging to Peron

    The whole naming convention is Patriarchal. A woman either belongs to her husband or to her father.

  72. doug1111 says:

    Dalrock as Athol Kay.

  73. Ann says:

    Thank you, Dalrock, for the post. We have been on vacation and I found the chance to check your blog only today. Also, I would like to thank everyone who commented on my letter, for their kind words.

    @Athor Pel, you said:
    ” She seems genuinely surprised by how he responds to her submission. My guess is that she is projecting. She is expecting him to act like she imagines she would act in the same situation.”

    Yes, it has been a pleasant surprise. But not exactly because of what you thought. The reason for my surprise is, I was born and raised in a different environment where there were no such examples as my husband. When the majority of men around you are opressive and dominating to the extent of violent, you don’t really think that love, respect and leadership can exist together. So, yes, I was surprised and I am very happy about it🙂
    I trusted my husband’s good qualities and it turned out great. I’m sure we have a long way to go and learn new things but this was a great first step.

  74. I was born and raised in a different environment where there were no such examples as my husband. When the majority of men around you are opressive and dominating
    ——————————————————————————
    Often this is a self fulfilling thing, generational even. Years of overtly bucking the natural God ordained order manifest badly in all involved. Also, things may not have been as bad as perceived. If the picture is painted by the female “victims” its rarely as stated.

    [D: From her correspondence with me she is talking about a different part of the world, not in the West.]

  75. valor says:

    there’s actually a good book for women called the surrendered wife, i read about it on a blog by a woman who went from a christian wife who doubled as an unruley bitch given the way she treated her man, to basically the kind of wife every single man wants in his life. she realized after many years that something was very wrong and she didn’t know how to change it. she took matters into her own hands and actually did her own research. her husband turned from a typical dumpy loser who ignores his wife and watches tv all day to a man she loved and respected, as a result of HER actions and choices. as many have said: it’s not the man but how the woman behaves that makes the marriage in many cases.

  76. Pingback: Insensitive | Dalrock

  77. maggieblack says:

    I can’t wait to be married so I can submit completely.

  78. Pingback: Revisiting the question of a troublesome mother in law. | Dalrock

  79. rawr says:

    interesting that ann said in her last comment that she grew up in a culture where her men were violent oppressive and dominating. that pretty much sums up my family’s culture if you’d believe the shit on the web anyway. they say that russian men have an epidemic of alcohol and abuse going on in the homeland, either way it’s their fault for choosing these kinds of men to be with, my mother included.

    hopefully someday a woman will love and appreciate the fact that i am neither spineless nor abusive. maybe i should look overseas on one of those bride websites? i don’t know if those are legit and i’m skeptical as it is of everything including women. not gonna lie feminism caused a hell of a mess, for even someone like me to go from selfless and loving of others to wanting any trace of emotion gone from my mind and body. feelings in men are a fucking curse and i hate myself for still having them.

  80. Pingback: The Undated Wife  My husband isn’t being romantic… | Honor Dads

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