Good Enough

JMW Article ShotA woman was missing.  Helping to locate her, a news agency published a story along with a very flattering, if enhanced, photograph it presumably borrowed from one of the woman’s social media profiles.  To actually help searchers recognize the missing woman, however, the agency had to publish a separate, unenhanced photograph, one more natural and significantly less flattering.

Same woman, two sharply contrasting representations.

Ah, the gifts of modern technology.  One can make chicken fried steak look like filet mignon.  Interestingly, chicken fried steak would have looked rather appetizing on its own in this case.  Pictured next to filet mignon, however, chicken fried steak looks like, well, chicken fried steak.

Moral:  better is sometimes worse.

Nevertheless, let’s call this behavior what it is:  fraud.  Light fraud, certainly, and amusing fraud.  Yet, fraud just the same.  The question is:  why do women participate in this low-level deception?  Why do they feel compelled to misrepresent their appearance—and reality too, for that matter—to become someone they know isn’t genuinely them?

The answer is simple—rather obvious, actually:  women don’t like the way they look.  Why else arise every morning, look in the mirror and groan, and set to a ritual of required improvement?  To a ritual of required disguise and deceit?

Clearly, women disapprove of what they see.  Or to put it a deeper, more thematic way:  women aren’t, good enough.

Talk about unearthing the secret place miles below the surface—

Houston?… [static]… We have arrived. 

[static]… Roger, Deep Diver One.  Advise caution, over …

Indeed, women rarely admit to these feelings of inadequacy.  When they do, it’s usually to therapists—people no less bound by client/counselor privilege!  Still, not good enough is how women feel.  Spending so much money on appearance-enhancing merchandise, product ranging from cosmetics to plastic surgery, their behavior certainly implies it.

And just to be clear, who has these inadequacy issues?

Women.  It’s their problem.

Yet, here’s the challenge:  women project their not good enough feelings and beliefs onto the men in their lives, and thus make their issue, men’s issue.  It is to say, women feel they aren’t good enough, and then punish men for it.

For example, women continually compare themselves to other women.  Jealous and envious, they project those feelings onto their men, who must then provide affirmation and reassurance.

And sex.  For their appearance failures and insecurities, women avoid sex.  They don’t initiate sex.  They argue over sex.  They are self-conscious and inhibited participating in sex.  And to cap it off, they make men responsible for the relationship’s sexual dysfunction—men who would enjoy more sex, incidentally, were they merely more affirming and reassuring.

At least, that’s what they’re told.

Nevertheless, punished.  See how it works?

This is but a couple of examples from a very extensive list.  But as to its entirety, why all these troubles for men and relationships?

Because women aren’t, good enough.

The assumption, the mindset—it’s not only a severe drain on relationships.  It’s a burden for men, an affliction overlooked and ignored for whom it indicts.  And how many women are indictment-worthy?  To varying degrees, all of them.  Film stars, super models—even the most attractive women wrestle with being good enough.  Although, these elite beauties do indeed pretend pretty well via all those sexy photoshoots and perfume advertisements, leaving the impression they are confident and assured and, well, good enough.  Back at home, however, they can’t keep a relationship together.  And why?

Not good enough.

The entire notion is utterly absurd, of course.  So let’s calmly, constructively, sit down with women and try to explain this shortcoming to them.

“Honey.  You’re insecurities are unnecessary, and they’re causing us a lot of needless strife.”

“My insecurities?!  Ha!  Like you’re perfect!”

“Honey, I’m just saying I don’t like all the fighting and dysfunctio—”

“Oh sure.  Like it’s all my fault!  You’re such a narcissist!”

That went well.

Amazingly, a counselor can deliver this same message not only to rousing success, but to a warm reception.

Dr. Jones, Ph.D.:  “Now Karen.  Your insecurities are raging.  They’re putting a significant strain on your relationship.  You must tend to these issues, Karen, if you want your relationship to survive and flourish.  Robert is no doubt weary of all the fighting and dysfunction.  So, say it with me:  You-are-good-enough …”

Karen:  “I-am-good-enough!  I know, Dr. Jones.  I feel terrible sometimes, so guilty.  Robert’s wonderful, and I need to be more secure.”

Atta girl, Karen.  Two grand in counseling fees for what could’ve been admitted at home, in the living room, to Robert.  Better late, and more expensive, than never.

And to stay on point, why are Robert and Karen in Dr. Jones’ care?

Because Karen doesn’t feel, good enough.

Singer Amy Lee cuts to the heart of the matter with this honest lyric:  “… am I good enough for you to love me, too?”  And there it is—the fundamental question.  The eternal question.  When women become emotionally invested in men, that they’re good enough and loved is what they desperately need verified, and of what they need to be assured, and reassured.  Interestingly, when women are assured, it annoys them.

For example, women know Mr. Adoring loves them.  His servile affections aren’t very inspiring at all.  Bad boys, on the other hand, they make women stretch.  Always pursuing the attention and affection of bad boys, women are continually asking themselves, “Am I good enough for you to love me, too?”  It’s hard to tell with bad boys.  Hence, women keep striving—striving to be good enough, that is.  Although, this isn’t something to be discussed.  Else, women be exposed and lose their feminist mojo.

The truth is women are better mates when their good enough status is uncertain.  When they are sure of their status, they would rather be unsure—or a little unsure.  Or maybe a lot unsure, and then sure again.  And then, not so sure …

Ahh, yes.  The eccentricities of women.  Indeed, the quirkiness is fabulous at times.

At others, not so much.

Of course, bad boys don’t treat women this way intentionally.  They’re merely being bad boys, men who couldn’t care less about all the girly, emotional stuff, and who aren’t afraid to be independent men.

“Do you love me, Robert?  I mean … really love me?”

“Of course I do, Karen.  You’re my girl.  I can’t see the television, sweetheart.”

This how it goes with bad boys—just a spoonful, but never the whole bowl.  And despite their objections, women love this treatment.  It’s infinitely more inspiring than Mr. Adoring’s servile affections.  Eyeroll.

Even so, bad boys aren’t spared the not good enough assault, either.  Slowly, methodically, women project their inadequacy issues onto them, too.  Eventually, bad boys buckle under the strain and submit, transforming into servile Mr. Adorings themselves.  Of course, this leaves women with exactly what they don’t want and, rolling their eyes, uninspired.

And again, what caused this unwelcome transformation?

Not good enough.

So, for the sake of their relationships.  Moreover, for the sake of the burdened—men.  It’s time women were honest about their not good enough problem, because it accounts for a majority of the difficulties in relationships.

Yes, it’s that profound.

Solve, or merely mitigate, this issue alone and relationships will improve dramatically.  No more inadequacy-driven criticism and accusation.  No more anxiety over other women and infidelity.  Better, more frequent, and less-inhibited sex.  Much happier men—and not for the sex, either.  But for having more secure, happier, and thus less controlling and less contentious women.

A situation otherwise known as:  a relationship worth maintaining.

Women want to know they are good enough for their men, want to be assured in this.  That’s not so outrageous.  Every human being wants to measure up and to have assurances in some regard and at some point.  With women, it’s being good enough for the men they choose.

Of course, nobody can convince women they’re good enough.  It’s like getting people to exercise or diet.  People don’t do these things because someone tells them to.   People do it because they decide, and when they decide.  Lord knows men have gone blue in the face trying to convince women they’re good enough, and to no avail.  So, likewise, being good enough is up to women.

To that end, don’t expect miracles.  But here are a few ideas that might assuage the doubts and inspire some much needed confidence in women, and that might help chart a course to that dramatic, and welcomed!, relationship improvement—

A guy walks into a diner where a young waitress catches his eye.  Wearing little to no make-up, she’s working the tail end of a long shift—and exhausted.  Her uniform is soiled, reeks of the day’s “special.”  Her disheveled hair is pulled mercifully into a ponytail, a ballpoint pen pierced conveniently behind the hairband.  Approaching, she smiles demurely.  They chat briefly, cordially.  She takes his order, and then turns on her heel for the counter.

Watching her leave, he likes her.  In fact, he’s quite taken with her.  Over the course of the next few weeks, he returns routinely to see more of her.

Delivering his check one evening, she sets it down with a now warm and friendlier smile.  They chat more intimately, more revealingly.  And finally, his request:  “Would you like to have dinner?”

After a brief pause, “I’d be delighted,” she says reticently, concealing her enthusiasm.

Arriving for their date, he knocks, the door opens, and she looks amazing!  Completely different, in fact—a contoured dress, hair down, drawn neatly, seductively over one shoulder, exquisite makeup, and wonderfully aromatic.

Surveying her, he grins.  “You look terrific,” he says with reserved elation.

The date thereafter is a success, and a relationship begins.

Now.  Here’s the point:  women see this grinning, eyebrow raising “elation” from men at their fresh, feminine, optimally kempt appearance, and they think this is the look men prefer and desire.  It is as if women feel the need to make a visual statement, See, I’m not that smelly, unattractive waitress you saw at the diner.  I can be sooo much more striking. 

 And what are women ultimately saying, incidentally?

They’re saying they did not previously feel good enough.  Hence, the subtlety and ease with which women assume the role.

 Nevertheless.  This perception of male preference is a mistake.  How so?

Because our guy was initially attracted to an exhausted waitress with disheveled hair, wearing little to no make-up and a pedestrian work uniform that reeked of the day’s “special.”  Our guy returning repeatedly to interact with this woman proves one thing incontrovertible.  In her less-than-optimum state, our waitress was deemed … good enough.

 Moral: an optimum appearance isn’t necessary to gain a man’s approval.

The fact women would think it necessary demonstrates the problem.  And the problem?

Not good enough.

At a bar with a few male colleagues many moons past, we were holding down a pub table and surveying the local talent.  Unbeknownst to me, a group of women graced the main entrance.  My buddy elbows me—

“Look-at-that!” he says, in that choppy way that implies urgent disbelief.

I look in the direction of his gaze, see the targets.  I was missing the urgency.

“What,” I impassively say, as in what’s the big deal?

“Are you kidding me?! The brunette—far left,” he says.

He was very inspired.

I saw her, was still missing the urgency.  Perhaps she was a victim of overselling.

“She’s nice,” I said, not wanting to dampen his enthusiasm.

“Nice!?” he blurts, offended.

“Well, go get’em tiger,” I say, pointing in encouragement.

Eventually, that’s exactly what he did.  The brunette and her friends joined us at our table, where my buddy and his brunette prize were chatting it up.  It wasn’t long, however, and he was dancing with one of her friends.

At the table, I later asked him conspiratorially what happened with the brunette—the supposed hottest woman in the known universe.  He made a dismissive face, and said, “Eh.”  But it was more than “Eh.”  Overhearing their conversations, I know exactly what had occurred.

She talked herself out of his favor.

To be brief, and to our point, she didn’t feel good enough.  Basically, she thought her friends were more attractive, more deserving.  And soon enough, they were.  This, despite being the hottest woman in the known universe, and the very object of my buddy’s desire.

Moral:  humbly assume you’re the hottest woman in the known universe, because sometimes you actually are.

Now.  When women manage to make it to the next level and into a relationship, this good enough matter need not reemerge.  Men would not involve themselves in relationships if they did not approve.  Men approve; that’s why they are involved.  And marriage?  If men take that step, women can be supremely confident men have thoroughly thought the matter over and reached this conclusion:  she’s good enough.

So, let’s review:  women are deemed good enough when approached by men, good enough for a relationship, and good enough for lifelong commitment and marriage.  The fact is, the only participants thinking, concluding, believing, and projecting they aren’t good enough at every stage of the process, are women.

See the problem?  Good.

Not being good enough—it’s unhealthy, introductorily costly, and a severe drain thereafter on both relationships and men.

It isn’t men’s job to make women feel good enough.  Making it men’s job is just a way of women saying, “Here, hold my bags.  You be responsible for my emotional well-being,” which means being accountable for my emotional suffering and misery, too, namely my feelings of inadequacy.

Women need to feel good enough on their own.  Why is this vitally necessary?  Because if women are constantly questioning if they are good enough, then it is impossible for them to ask a more important question:

Is he good enough?

Either, you’re the one making the assessments and determinations, or you’re the performer auditioning for a role—a role perhaps beneath your talent and ability.  And obviously, if you’re the one making the assessments and determinations, you haven’t the burden of proving …

good enough.

©2019 JMW All Rights Reserved

JMWs latest book — New Rules: Relationship Logic for the Darkside

 

 

 

The Languages of Love

JMW Article ShotA man and his woman had a fight.  That’s right—his woman.  Most men will claim there are two things of theirs which aren’t to be trifled with:  their wallet and their woman.  And rather fond of their money and their women, men mean it.

Thus, in man language it’s rather high praise when men say, “That’s my woman.”

However, women find the implied ownership offensive, which is rather confusing.  As a matter of introduction, for example, it’s okay to say, “This is my wife.”  Ownership is perfectly acceptable to women in that context—endearing, even.  Yet, lead an article with, “A man and his woman had a fight,” and women get touchy and offended.

Tomato, tomahto—seems like semantics.  Seems like selective offense and outrage.  Seems an effort to make men unsure of what is acceptable, and to make them perpetually cautious and defensive.  Seems like a power-play and a control thing.  In service to that end, it seems like a tool, like a weapon, and that women are going to be oft offended.

And to that, there can be but one response:  who cares if women are offended.

It’s a statement, not a question.  And it isn’t a malicious, disrespectful statement, either.  Rather, it’s an exasperated response to an oppressive modern reality, which is:  women are offended by everything.

Of course, women disagree with this assertion.  Although, I have had the conversations with them in regards to it.  What happened?  They were offended by the suggestion they were offended by everything.

I’m not kidding.

To men who doubt the veracity of this conclusion, I would say:  try being honest—read: critical—about anything female.  See what happens.

At my keyboard and thereby insulated from female wrath, I’ll offer some forbidden honesty.

Ready?

Here goes:  women actually relish being “his” woman.   In fact, being called “his” by Mr. Right gives women a warm and gooey center.  Don’t believe me?

Tisk, tisk.

Women get a charge from hand-holding and cuddling Mr. Right, do they not?  Indeed they do.  Feeling desired and sheltered, it’s because women are assured they are “his” woman.

Women always gripe at their men for looking at other women, too.  Why?  Because they are “his” woman!  Not her!  Not that trollop with the hair extensions, six-pack-abs, and fake breasts.

I’m supposed to be your woman, jerk!  Approve of me!  Care about me!  Love me!  Ogle me, dammit!  Am I not good enough?”

Initiate Chin-puckering and tears.

“But honey, I wasn’t looking at her.”

“Don’t.”  Sniff, sniff.  “Just, don’t.”

And then women sulk for three days.

So as I say, women like being called “his” woman.  Indeed, they want to be “his” woman, and “his” woman only.  They’re rather emotional about it, actually.  Yet, they’re offended by the ownership implication in, “A man and his woman had a fight.”

So, what gives?

What gives is, women are offended by virtually everything men say, even when they’re not offended.  Actually, women are offended even when extremely pleased with what men say, and even when filled with a warm and gooey center.

So I repeat:  who cares if women are offended.  At a certain level of saturation, it’s like switching deck chairs on the Titanic—it no longer matters.

“Just get comfortable and sip your scotch, Rose.  We’re going down.”

When everything is offensive to women, it isn’t as though men are going to say anything that won’t be deemed offensive.  Unless, of course, men say exactly what women want to hear, in which case men are oppressed, and basically slaves—relational slaves.

And relational or otherwise, what kind of existence is that?

Answer:  one where men do what they’re told, and what they’re expected to do, or they live a life of contentious misery.

In other words, men learn to speak the language, or else.

So, now that we’re clear on the term “his”—and incidentally, there’s another thing:  clarification.  For all the offense, how many times do men have to explain themselves to women, and interpret what they mean?

It’s beyond routine.

And why are men always clarifying things for women?  More like, why are men always defending and justifying themselves?

Because women don’t understand man language, and are offended by virtually everything men say.

I say it often, and write it more often.  And yes, it is redundantly annoying.

Even so, here goes again:

… and women wonder why men won’t be honest with them, and why relationship communication breaks down.

I never know how many women see the light for this redundant advice—which is absolutely true, incidentally, and thus wise.  If women see how their behavior causes a problem.  If they take the advice and make themselves less defensive and accusatory and critical, and begin enjoying better communication and relationships, they never say.

Actually, I suspect women read my essays on relationship matters and totally comprehend their sins and culpability.  Yet, they sit-back in silence hoping their men don’t read my essays, too, and in hopes they don’t have to change anything.

As one woman said about my book New Rules:  Relationships Logic for the Darkside, “I definitely want my sons to read it, but it’s off-limits to my husband.  I don’t want him to know all of my manipulation tactics.”

She laughed, but she was serious.

Interestingly, she really loves her sons, and doesn’t want them abused by some young, conniving broad.  But her man?  Why, he deserves the abuse.

Control—it’s rather intoxicating, and difficult to surrender.

And incidentally, men aren’t terrified to be honest with women, either.

Ready for more redundant annoyance?  Great.  Here goes:

Men won’t be honest with women because they don’t want to invite the ever-impending drama.  As in, the sort associated with the demeaning nature of gender ownership via the term “his”:

“You don’t own me!  No man owns me!  Shoot—come up in her’ talkin’ bout ‘My woman.’  Boy, please.”

And later it’s:  “Why can’t you just be honest with me?!”

Initiate Chin-puckering and tears.

“But honey …”

“Don’t.”  Sniff, sniff.  “Just, don’t.”

And then women sulk for three days.

And if men were honest, they would say, “I don’t want to be honest because, every time I am, you get defensive and angry, and we end up in an argument.”

And of course, the honest admission invites, what?

Defensiveness.  Anger.  An argument, and dreaded drama.

See how simple this is?  Man language is pretty basic, and rather easy to interpret, too.

It just requires a little interest in the language.

Women grin and giggle at their feminine kookery as if it’s funny and cute, as if it’s the delight of womanness that men get to enjoy, and as if it isn’t a relational problem.  And that’s because it isn’t a problem—to women.  The kookery is how it works.  Women get to keep their boot on men’s collective necks by accusing them all the time, and by being defensive and sharp, and that’s the arrangement.

And men don’t have to like the arrangement; they just have to get used to it.

Because, that’s the arrangement.

At least, that’s the arrangement until the relationship slowly but surely rots to the point men despise women, and leave for other, less contentious women—if only temporarily less contentious.  Then it becomes a different arrangement, one not so funny, cute, or favorable.

And men having laid claim to another woman in a new arrangement, the despised suddenly want to be “his” woman again!

Initiate Chin-puckering and tears.

“But I was his girl.  What does she have that I don’t?”—sniff, sniff.

Well, him.

Now.  If you’re keeping score, particularly if you’re a man, you’re not only thinking, Wow.  This is totally insane.  You may also sense a theme, an underlying point

Indeed!  There is an underlying point—obscure and not easily discernible though it is.

Relationships have an arrangement—in fact, are preset with the arrangement.  By extension, they have a native tongue, a specific language that is to be spoken, and one superior to all others.  And it is these facts which return us to the opening line, and to the point of all this.

So, a man and his woman had a fight—it’s the beginning of an illustration I use repeatedly for its efficacy in proving a specific point.  This particular woman claimed that her man did not care about her, that he did not love her—at least not up to her definitive standards, or to her perceptions of love.

This was the accusation which led to the fight.

The man protested, declared the charge untrue and totally absurd, which it was.  Of course, his woman disagreed.  And after a protracted argument, the pair went to bed angry.

Throughout the night it snowed heavily.  The next morning the man arose early, saw the snow, and set to its removal.  He spent an hour in single digit temperatures removing snow, specifically from his woman’s car, which he also, as a courtesy, warmed-up.

Wearied by the drama, he had decided to swallow his anger, to put forth an olive branch, and to essentially re-profess his love via a charitable deed—pains he had undertaken numerous times previously, incidentally, yet clearly to no lasting and convincing avail.

Leaving for work, his woman emerges.  Shouldered briefcase, dressed impeccably, clutching her travel-mug coffee—she breezed defiantly down the freshly shoveled sidewalk, and past her red-cheeked, snotty-nosed groundskeeper.  Loading herself into a warm, snow-freed and awaiting car, she fired it up and sped down the driveway, never having said a single word or acknowledged a single thing.

Now.  People talk about the language of love.  There is a problem, however—an unrecognized truth:  there’s more than one language.

This particular woman, for example, has certain definitions and standards for love that weren’t being observed and met by her man.  This is the language of love she understands and speaks.

Her man, on the other hand, doesn’t speak this language.  In fact, he speaks another, totally different language, one he understands and speaks.

So for purposes of illustration, we have two people in the land of love speaking foreign languages.  And here’s the point:  despite two viable, sincere but totally different languages being spoken in Love Land, which party is continually held accountable for not understanding and speaking the other’s language?

Answer:  not women.  Never women.

To put the point simply:  women set the rules for love and relational behavior via their definitions and standards.  And men have the option of either observing those definitions and meeting those standards, or being the party always failing the relationship.

In other words, women are Love Land’s natives.  Thus, their love language is paramount and sacrosanct, and is the native tongue to be spoken.  And men can either learn the language to best serve the relationship, or face rebuke.

When are women asked to better understand men?  To learn the love language men speak?  Furthermore, when do women ever try to understand and learn?

Women aren’t asked to better understand men.  They don’t try to learn the love language men speak, and they aren’t interested in learning and better understanding it, either.  The relationship’s controlling authority, their love language paramount, sacrosanct, and the native tongue to be spoken, women don’t have to be concerned with another language.  Their job is to enforce the rules, one of which is men learning the female love language.

For example, women get their panties in an emotional twist for one reason or another, and the universal reaction is:  “You don’t care about me!  You don’t love me!”

Of course, this is sometimes implied rather than stated directly.  Yet, the message is the same:  men don’t understand the love language women speak, and are thus failing the relationship.   Hence, men need to learn the language and follow the rules.

Are women ever failing the relationship for not understanding men’s love language?

No.  Only men fail.

And how do men respond to their failure?

Why, they set to learning the language, and to rectifying every complaint born of not understanding and of misinterpreting the native tongue.  And in learning the language, men learn how to avoid the complaints, which is accomplished by keeping their mouths shut and catering to the language, which is oppression and slavery, ultimately.

Are women ever rectifying every complaint born of not understanding and of misinterpreting men’s love language?  Are women keeping their mouths shut and, like oppressed slaves, catering to the language?

No.  And just try suggesting such a thing, gentlemen.

Relationships have a native tongue, and there is but one language spoken within.

And the love language men speak and understand?—

Like, rising early to perform charitable work.  Like, swallowing anger and pride to end strife and drama, and to restore peace.  Like, braving single digit temperatures for an hour to remove snow.  Like, making a woman’s trip to work a little warmer and more pleasant.  Like, trying to be honest and taking a verbal beating for it.  Like, defending and justifying every critical, if improvement-purposed comment.   Like, tolerating incessant and insane emotional kookery.  Like, staying in a relationship month after month, and year after year, despite the constant defense and justifying, and despite the incessant and insane emotional kookery.

What about these gestures?  And the many like them that constitute the love language men speak?

Why, who needs to learn a language nobody speaks?

And besides, it’s not the native tongue in relationships.

My wife and I have an ongoing disagreement about cheating—ongoing in that we don’t agree.  Actually, it’s not really “ongoing.”  Since we know we disagree, we just don’t have the conversation.  So it’s an underlying “ongoing” disagreement, and we just never venture below the hard-deck.

Nevertheless, whenever the subject of a sexual affair comes up, this is how the conversation used to proceed:

Me:  “Why did he cheat?—that’s the question.  Cause and effect.  Women always blame men, but I want to know what role his wife played.”

My wife: “He made the choice to betray her trust.  He decided that.”

“Okay.  Why?” I repeat.

“Doesn’t matter.”

“Of course it matters.  What if she was controlling the sex, like most women do?  Saying “No” all the time.  Constantly rebuffing his advances.  Doling out sex when she wants, when she feels like it, when he’s been a good boy—”

“Doesn’t matter.  He made the decision!”

“Okay, so:  have sex dictated to you for the rest of your life, and like it, and rarely get to enjoy it.  Or, have sex with another woman who really wants to bang you.  Those are the options?  I’m sorry, those don’t seem like very good options.”

Women are actually saying to men, “I’m only going to have sex when I want and when I say in this relationship, and you’re going to live with it for the rest of your life, and like it.  And I dare you to have sex with another woman!  And if you do, you’re going to be at fault.”

Although women don’t put it in these terms, this is indeed what they’re saying.  And it’s so grossly unfair, so arrogant and demanding, you wonder how women themselves could possibly believe it to be an equitable arrangement.  Yet, considering it becomes the arrangement, they clearly believe it’s equitable.

Nevertheless, it’s silent at this point in our conversation—the air filled with, Gosh, when you put it like that …  “That” being the ridiculous options women don’t realize they are presenting to men.

It’s the same point reached routinely in relationship disputes—the point at which men make a compelling argument, and women face changing their perspective, beliefs, position, ways, and habits.  And it’s also the point at which, rather than change their perspective, beliefs, position, ways, and habits—which they should welcome, incidentally, given the change they routinely demand of men—women decide on silence, or to blow a matter up into a hell on earth, so that nobody addresses or remembers the original matter.

The fact is, however, these options aren’t fair to men.  It isn’t fair that women are sexually lazy, and that they aren’t involved and motivated like they should be.  And if women are treating men this way, then they play a part in their man’s affair, and need to accept their role.

Furthermore, had women accepted their role long before the affair, when the arguments over sex were taking place, which they most assuredly were, the affair likely wouldn’t have occurred.

And therein lies the point.

Their language the relationship’s native tongue, and ever to be spoken, women never feel compelled to understand or speak any other language but their own.  This being the arrangement, women constantly take men to task for not understanding the language, and for not speaking it fluently.  And ultimately, the female language becomes the only language that is correct.

In terms of security, which is what women crave most, this is an extremely seductive arrangement.  Having your language catered to and ultimately getting your way is not only appealing.  It becomes an easy habit to fall into.

Only, it isn’t fair to men.  And relationally speaking, it isn’t healthy.

Women can’t argue that men aren’t learning the female language.  Fixing every female complaint, grievances resulting from men not understanding the language, men are forced into religious and routine linguistic study.  Men may or may not be great students, and they may be slow learners, but they are definitely studying—and learning.

And women?

Not so much.  Perhaps, not at all.

Women don’t have to learn—that’s the point.  And in the era of gender competition, they resent having to do anything for men.  The resentment runs a little hotter for some than others, but to varying degrees it runs, nonetheless.  And learning to understand men?  Learning to speak their language?

Uh, no.  That’s not the arrangement.

So, women get used to bludgeoning men into speaking their language, and into thinking the correct way.  And eventually, there becomes no other language but the native tongue, and no other way but the “correct” way.

The good news is most women aren’t doing this intentionally.  The circumstances just sort of, evolve.  They evolve because controlling things makes women feel secure, and because getting their way is appealing and comfortable.  And also because, spending all of their time in servitude to the native tongue, men allow their love language to become irrelevant.

It is to say, there isn’t a secret sinister plot being executed in most relationships.  To put it simply, men and women just don’t realize they are falling into inequitable and destructive habits.

Ignorant to the reality though men and women may be, the fact is this language issue is the primary reason relationships decay.

Now, if only that point could be communicated in a recognizable language.

©JMW 2018 All Rights Reserved

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But One Brand of Truth

JMW Article ShotMy boss had me into the conference room.  Immediately, he began railing about an annual report that was two days late.

“This needs to be done the same time every year,” he said, eyes wide with anger.  “First of the month.  Every year.  Same time, dammit!”

And indeed, this is true.

Here’s another truth:  the boss had relieved me of the responsibility the previous year, and had given it to Dave.  Furthermore, I oversaw the job for years and never missed a deadline.

I calmly reminded the boss of these dismantling truths:

“You gave that responsibility to Dave last year.  It’s his job now.  Dave failed, not me.  I never failed to meet a deadline.  Never.  Not once.”

“You’re supposed to help Dave!” the boss replied—still angry, completely ignoring the dismantling truths.

“And I did.  Dave assigned me my portion.  I finished a week early, and turned it in.  Dave is organizing the work, not me.  I used to organize it.”

“This report is important, dammit!  We can’t have all this dilly-dallying around.  I won’t put-up with it, I tell you!”

This is the point at which I tapped a pretend microphone in my hand—

Tap-tap-tap—“Hellooo?  Is this thing on?”

It was a sarcastic attempt to lighten the mood; it did not have that effect.

So for “truth’s” sake, let’s review:  there is a report that needs to be done the same time every year, and by the first of the month.  I had been responsible for the report for many years, never once failing to meet the deadline.  The boss relieved me of the responsibility and placed Dave in charge.  Dave organized the work, and delegated my portion, which I completed and turned-in a week early.  The ultimate report, however, wasn’t completed on time.  Dave failed at his task and in his responsibilities.

And, voilà!  The “truth” of this annual report matter.

There isn’t another brand of truth.  This is it—the truth.  Yet, I could’ve recited the previous review—the truth—to my boss verbatim, yet again, and the truth would have been ignored, yet again.

Why?

Because the boss is angry.  He wants to chew somebody’s ass over the late report, and he has clearly determined it’s my ass he wants to chew.  Not Dave’s, who is truly responsible and deserving.

The point is, the truth doesn’t make any difference.  In fact, it’s a nuisance.  The boss isn’t interested in the truth or in my subsequent exoneration, either one.  He’s interested in venting his anger and frustrations over the late report.

The fact is, I can throw incontrovertible fact after fact at the boss and it isn’t going to change a thing—the previous incident being:  Exhibit A.  Yet, despite it not changing a thing, this is precisely what people in these circumstances continue to do.  In an effort to persuade, they keep throwing out facts, thinking their accuser will finally see the light and offer absolution.

Yet, accusers rarely see the light.  They don’t want to see the light.  Thus, they don’t agree.  They don’t offer absolution or vindication.  They don’t apologize.  They just continue with the accusations.

Why?  Because the truth is a nuisance, a hindrance.

The boss could’ve immediately said, “Oh, that’s right.  I’d completely forgotten that I’d given that responsibility to Dave.”  And he could’ve followed with, “Considering the report is late, perhaps I should have left you in charge!  Hahaha!  Forgive me.  You may go.”

Yet, the boss doesn’t say that.  He’s emotional—mad.  Not to mention, he’s committed to his accusation, and faces humiliation if it proves false and unjustified and unfairly issued.  Thus, in venting his anger and frustration, and in avoiding embarrassment, the truth is both a hindrance and the enemy.

The more the ass chewing continued in this particular incident, the more I didn’t like it—and not because I’m above an ass chewing, I’m not.  I didn’t like the truth being blatantly ignored and totally ineffectual—at the expense of my ass, no less.

Personally, nothing makes me more indignant, especially when I have a vested business interest.  I sent one across the bow.

“Look, you’re gonna stop chewing my ass, or you’re gonna see me put my shit in a box, and leave.”

Stunned silence.

“I’m not the problem,” I quickly returned, preventing a defensive, ego-driven response.  “And if I were the problem, I’d sit here and take an ass chewing without uttering a single word.  Because I’d deserve it.  But I don’t deserve it.  Dave deserves it.  Yet, you persist in chewing my ass, instead.  I’d recommend that you stop chewing my ass before my shit goes in a box.”

The approach is in line with one of my life rules, which is:  you’re a business person first, and an employee second—always, and in everything.  Employment doesn’t make people slaves.  Leasing themselves and their services to someone else, people are commodities, each their own private business.  Hence, they have jurisdiction and authority over their business affairs.  Simply, they have the freedom to do whatever they want.

If people don’t like what they’re being paid, they can negotiate better wages.  Or they can find another job, and leave.

If they don’t like the way things are being done, don’t like inefficiency at their expense, they can say so.  They can offer remedies and improve things.  Or, they can leave.

If they’re getting their ass unfairly chewed, they can fight back.  Or, they can place their shit in a box, and leave.

This is a “business person first” mindset.

Most people think like employees, or utilize an employee first mindset, because, after acquiring mortgage and college tuition payments, they lose their nerve. They’ll endure an unfair ass chewing without saying a word.  And rather than act like business people and assert themselves, they’ll go home and pick a fight with their spouse to vent their own frustrations.  Better still, they’ll become liberals and espouse hatred towards business owners and capitalism the rest of their lives—or until they begin running their own companies, where they learn what they don’t know about the challenges and injustices of running a business.

Nevertheless.  People should view themselves as business persons first, and employees second.  It’s all business, and from a mindset of ownership is exactly how people should treat all of their affairs.

I finished by saying to my boss:  “If I have a boss who is going to give me an ass chewing for something I’m not responsible for, that I can demonstrate I’m not responsible for, and that he then knows I’m not responsible for, then I don’t want to work for a person like that anymore.”

My boss softened his expression and tone.

“Look,” he said gently, “this report is important. We just need to make sure it’s done.”

“You’re talking to the wrong guy,” I said brusquely.

His softening was supposed to make me soften.  Yet, he continued, if subtly, to maintain that I was to some degree responsible.

In other words, despite all that I had said, and proven, he still wasn’t interested in the truth.  The only brand of truth.

Finally, and with no apology, “I’ll have a talk with Dave,” my boss said soothingly.

I took it as an apology.  Because that’s what it was, which is good enough.

People get caught-up in wanting/demanding a direct apology, and with hearing the actual words, “I’m sorry.”  Frankly, it shows subordination and weakness, that of an employee mindset.  It isn’t how business-minded people behave.

Via his comment, my boss accepted Dave was the problem, and that I had been correct all along.  This was a business negotiation, and I won.  Sorry was an ego-rescuing, “I’ll have a talk with Dave.”  It’s a symbolic peace over war bow, as in martial arts.  And for the confident business person, it is sufficient.

And the boss didn’t chew my ass again, either.  In fact, he became quite fond of me, wanted to know what I thought about things, how I’d do things.

Why?

Mainly because I was right about Dave.  But also because I had nerve.

The point is “truth” isn’t a mysterious and elusive aspect of life.  It’s a present and discoverable aspect in any and every situation.   The problem is, truth is always buried beneath a pile of self-serving, political BS.  Consequently, truth is a chore to unearth and expose, which is a reason people don’t pursue it.  And clearly, even when it is unearthed and exposed, it’s yet defiantly ignored for people wanting and needing to disregard it for selfish reasons, which is yet another reason people don’t pursue it.

Yet, present and discoverable, there it is in any and every situation for all to access.  It’s just, nobody wants to do the digging.  Most would rather keep piling on the crap, which is waaay easier.

If people want better lives, and better relationships, they’d stop shoveling.

Why do they shovel?

Because it delays the two most loathsome admissions of the human existence:

“I’m wrong,” and “I’m sorry.”

Instead people say, “I’ll have a talk with Dave,” which is sufficient, but actually rather pathetic.

So here’s the preventative:  one, before chewing someone’s ass, do some thinking and digging and know the truth, so as to not unfairly accuse, and so as to avoid having to say, gulp!, “I’m wrong,” and “I’m sorry.”  And so as to avoid having to defiantly continue an argument to save yourself the embarrassment of thoughtlessness and laziness and ineptitude, too.

Two, know the truth so you can fiercely and effectively defend yourself, and so you can go on inexorable attack.

Three, know the truth so you can be respected, and valued.

In the grand scheme, the truth is a rather formidable asset.  Actually, it’s the ultimate asset.  Everyone recognizes the truth when they hear it, too.  And everything else?

Well, it’s just cheap whiskey.

There is but one brand of truth.  It’s top shelf.  And despite its crappy storage, it ages well, too.

©JMW 2018 All Rights Reserved

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Teachers: It’s Just A Job

JMW Article ShotBorn of government, public education is inherently political.  It is subject to the political winds of Washington, DC and state houses, and thus to the politically motivated decisions and ultimate strategies of politicians.

To the point, there is a hierarchy in public education, a food chain.  Government leaders, government agencies, administrative personnel—they’re at the top.  And at the bottom?

Teachers.

Despite their costly, hard-earned, and neatly framed Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, teachers are public education’s interns and errand runners.  Or, its go’fers—go’fer this, go’fer that.  Manage this problem, manage that one.  And in being treated as such, it doesn’t matter which political party is in power.

The point here is simple:  teaching in public education is no different than any other job.  At least, it shouldn’t be any different.  Yet, allowing their employer to ignore the fundamental rules of business, and allowing their union to ignore their employer’s disregard for the fundamental rules of business, teachers seemingly think their job is different.

Despite what teachers allow, their job is not different.

Yet, teachers do indeed have a different employment reality, an abusive reality, in fact, one that would not be tolerated anywhere else in the world of commerce.  It is a truth teachers need to recognize, and a problem they need to address and solve.

As to this abusive reality, I made some general notes.  I offer the insights to teachers:

1) Teaching is a job. Meaning:  teachers are employees who punch-in and punch-out—and not just physically, but checking out mentally and emotionally, too.  Teachers don’t take the job home, as public education is not their company to manage.  Employees, teachers are exempt from ownership’s responsibilities, worries, and obligations.

2) It isn’t the responsibility of teachers to figure out how to get a volume of work into contract hours, aka, paid hours. That’s administration’s responsibility.

3) Teachers aren’t a lot of things they are asked/required to be on the job, namely social workers. In fact, teachers are degreed professionals paid to instruct, and only to instruct.  Issues that require social work are administrative concerns.

4) Teaching is a vocation: a summons or strong inclination to a particular state or course of action, as in a divine call to religious life.

In other words, education is more than a job to teachers.  It is a calling, a predestination—for which teachers become more emotionally involved in their work.  Passionately invested, teachers are then more readily given to feelings of responsibility and guilt for professional failures—in this case educational failures, and specifically, public education’s failures.  And this unwarranted and misplaced guilt isn’t discouraged or left to waste, either.  It is employed to advantage, if but implied, by public education hierarchy:

“Do it for the children” whom you have clearly failed based on test scores and statistics—“it” meaning:  whatever we require (for your professional failures), even if you have to stay late, take it home, and work for free.

So, however passionate toward their work, teachers shouldn’t allow that passion to be exploited.

5) When does government accept blame for the problems in public education and its failures? More pointedly, when do politicians and administrators accept blame?  When are they filling out yet another form on their own time?

Politicians and administrators don’t fill out forms.  They generate forms—for the interns and errand runners to complete.  And while teachers are filling out forms on their own time—meaning:  without compensation, and at the expense of their families and social lives—politicians are either blaming teachers for public education’s problems and failures, via classroom observation and effectiveness ratings, or they are allowing teachers to take the blame.

Administration, namely politicians, manufactures forms and tasks so as to appear concerned to their various voting constituencies, and proactive on their constituency’s behalf.  It is political strategery at the expense of teachers, who are expected to selflessly and charitably participate “for the children,” whom teachers have clearly failed based on test scores and statistics.

6) Public education is a cake with many ingredients: government and politicians, administrators, teachers, parents, students, and curriculum.  When the cake doesn’t turn out well, why are teachers the problem ingredient?

Why not the curriculum?  The provided curriculum, no less—designed, chosen, and approved by administration.  Common Core math, anyone?

Why not administrators?

Why not entitled, lazy, negligent parents and recalcitrant students?  Why not related family and social issues?

The facts are, government isn’t going to condemn its curriculum, and thus blame itself.  Administrators aren’t going to blame the boss, the boss’s curriculum, and themselves by extension.  Products of their environment, students are never to blame, recalcitrant or otherwise.  And entitled, lazy, negligent parents?

The boss needs their votes, of course.

Who’s left?

Teachers—the problem ingredient.  They’re given forms and programs and an ever increasing list of things to do to, so that administration doesn’t have to condemn itself; so students receive Mother Teresa-like compassion they lack; so that entitled, lazy, negligent parents are pleased, and moreover accommodated, for their much desired votes on Election Day.

Bottom line:  administration doesn’t hold any other ingredient in the public education cake to account.  All the responsibility—the work—is placed on teachers.

Don’t like it, teachers?  Here’s a complaint form.  Take it home, fill it out on your own time—take you 15 minutes, at most.

7) Clearly, public education feels itself entitled to teachers’ time.

8) Teachers unions—they’re part of the political, public education paradigm, too. In other words, teachers unions are loyal to public education, not to public education’s employees.

I asked a friend, a union representative for an international company, what he would say to union members were the company requiring them to work for free, and past contract hours.

Contemptuously grinning: “That’s not going to happen.  We work; we get paid—overtime and double-time, too.”

So, teachers.  Is your union standing up for you with this sort of loyal defiance?  Is it raising holy hell about your unpaid time and defending your contract provisions?  Defending your families and personal time?

Is it dealing with the mounting stress and strain of too many responsibilities beyond classroom instruction?

Is it saying “No” to out-of-pocket classroom expenses?

Is it championing teachers and addressing problems with the remaining ingredients in the public education cake—government and politicians, administrators, parents, students, and curriculum?

Is it demanding that unnecessary and failing programs be abolished, that there be less forms and paperwork, and that work be streamlined to fit contract hours?

No?

So then, union dues—what are you getting for all that hard-earned money?  A one-percent raise every 5 years?  An increase immediately swallowed-up by rising insurance premiums and more classroom necessities.

“I know, I know.  It’s hard on everybody.”  Or, “It’s those damn Republicans!”  Is this the union representative response to your complaints about unpaid hours, the growing workload, and the ever-increasing stress and strain?

Well, a union paid to protect and serve your interests has nothing whatever to do with Republicans, or any political party.  A union’s defining purpose is to defend teachers from employment injustice—a service purchased with union dues.

9) While public education clearly feels itself entitled to teachers’ time. The union clearly feels itself entitled to teachers’ money—sans the service and protection.

So, question: where in the private sector would these employment conditions be acceptable?

Answer:  they wouldn’t be acceptable.  In fact, aggrieved private sector employees would march directly to their union stewards or to the Department of Labor to lodge complaints, which would be fiercely serviced.

Yet, when it comes to the employment injustices in public education, teachers not only bite their collective tongues.  They log countless unpaid hours in dutiful, Mother Teresa-like service to the public education cause—while being blamed for all of its problems, no less.

So let’s briskly review:  teachers are to blame for public education’s problems and failures—despite being mere employees, despite teaching established and supplied curriculum, and despite being but one ingredient in a multi-ingredient public education cake.

Meanwhile, administration caters to voters with endless forms and programs and ideas, while it overworks teachers to accommodate those voters.  The endless accommodating creates a workload that strains and surpasses the limits of union-negotiated contract hours, yet is a workload nonetheless required to be completed on teachers’ personal time, without compensation, and at the expense of teachers’ families and personal lives.

And finally, all of this occurs without protest from administration officials and teachers’ unions.

So, beginning with a few fundamental principles, let’s talk solution:

One, the problems in public education are not your problems, teachers; they’re the boss’s problems.

Two, it’s not your job to organize and streamline work, and to figure out how to fit 12 hours of tasks into however many contract hours.

Three, it’s your job to instruct for however many contract hours, and to leave thereafter not only physically empty-handed, but mentally and emotionally disengaged, too—as does every other employee.

To that end, four:  it is administration’s responsibility to make this the standard for teachers, by organizing and streamlining work.

And lastly, five:  it is the union’s responsibility—it’s paid obligation, in fact—to see that this standard is established and enforced and upheld.

Now.  If teachers want this new normal, as opposed to the abusive normal, it requires the collective, and collective action.  Teachers can begin with a potential pay raise for themselves by demanding the new normal in exchange for union dues.

The Mother’s Milk—it’s always the place to start.

Normal is what we allow it to become.

©JMW 2018 All Rights Reserved

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Some Notes on the “Blue Wave”

article shotFirst and foremost, and completely overlooked, and most assuredly ignored—liberals were once again wrong in their silly prognostications about an upcoming election.

Evidently, being wrong is a preference.

Second:  President Bill Clinton lost 53 house seats and 9 senate seats in ’94, a scalding performance rebuke from voters regarding his first two years in office.  Likewise, Barrack Obama lost 63 house seats and 6 senate seats per his first performance review in 2010.

In contrast, Donald Trump lost 27 house seats and gained 3 senate seats.

So, while the midterms weren’t a bloodbath for democrats, they were a pretty good woodshed beating, and yet another voter repudiation.  Which, of course, self-deluding liberals will choose to see otherwise.  Why?  Because they must.  Because an alternative reality is better, is a safer-space, than reality itself.

Three:  for two years liberal voters have been witness to the obstruction and resistance of democrats, at the expense of the country, it should be noted.  These same voters have been given ample evidence as to the existence of a liberal establishment—news media, Hollywood, Democrat Party—and thereby cannot, one, deny the establishment’s existence, and two, deny its political efforts on behalf of the Democrat Party and liberalism.  These same voters have also witnessed the attacks of every abusive stripe on Republicans—Donald Trump, Ivanka, Melania, Barron, Pence, Huckabee-Sanders, Scalise, Kavanaugh, now Carlson, and a host of others.  Attacks both encouraged and sanctioned by the entire liberal establishment, no less.

And yet after two years of visible, incontrovertible political treachery performed by liberals and the liberal establishment, the voting margins between 2016 and 2018 remain virtually the same.

Which means but one thing:  liberal voters endorse the treachery.

In other words, given an opportunity to speak, to object, liberal voters spoke.  And they said:  “We like what we see.  Keep it up.  Continue with more of the same.”

There may not have been a “Blue Wave” in terms of liberal voters sending a message, and helping democrats to arrest majorities and regain control of the government.  But liberal voters did, however, send an equally seismic message:

“We’re with stupid–>.”

Conservatives were fair-minded.  They gave liberal voters the benefit of the doubt, allowing voters were ignorant of all these hidden political secrets about democrats, the news media, and the liberal establishment.  Except, now all has been made manifest, and there are no more secrets.  And via their voice in Tuesday’s mid-term elections, liberal voters unmistakably chose sides.

So let it be.

Liberals wanted a fight?

Having the damning evidence, and having declared their allegiance despite it, now they can have one.

©JMW 2018 All Rights Reserved

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Consequences

“Men don’t take the time to end things.  They ignore you until you insist on a declaration of hate.”—Joan Holloway-Harris

JMW“Them’s the consequences.”  It’s a line I’ve delivered unsympathetically to guilt-ridden men several times over the years.  Men who’d finally and to great, if somewhat burdened, relief pulled the plug on their marriages—some 5, 10, 20, even 40 years in.

Why my lack of sympathy?

Because women were getting exactly what they deserved.

Why were the men guilt-ridden?

Because they’re good men—men of virtue and quality.

Responsible, good-natured, compassionate, industrious, loyal, principled, moral—these particular men are the virtuous sorts women profess to want.  They don’t philander, are home by five.  They attend little league games, drive mini-vans.  They’re affable, agreeable—actually, too affable and agreeable.

And after pulling the plug on their marriages, interestingly, they’re men who suddenly become menaces to society worthy of Child Protective Services raids and supervisory parental visitation.

And this after being exemplary and lauded husbands and fathers for years—decades, even.

But let’s stay on point.

These are quality men.  In fact, hold a man auction for single women and place these traits above a particular man on an overhead sign, and a bidding war and catfight will erupt.

Booze should definitely be forbidden at these events.

And these auction men don’t have to look like Hollywood, either.  For a shot at all this dreamy and securing male virtue, women will rollback their appearance demands considerably.

In my early years, the fact so many of these quality sorts of my acquaintance couldn’t survive a marriage got my attention.  And throughout my life, the trend continued.  Seeing so many end up in divorce court, I thought, If these guys can’t make it in marriage, why bother?

Needless to say, “I do” wasn’t on my list of things to do.

Difficult and elusive, I was regular old milk.  These guilt-ridden souls I’ve had to encourage on occasion, however, were the proverbial cream.  The fact they feel guilt over ending their marriages is proof of their creamy superiority.

Narcissistic jerks don’t feel guilt.  Only the good guys feel it.  They feel it not only because they’re considerate and responsible, but because they understand and appreciate consequences, as much for themselves as others, namely their women—who they’ve just dumped.

So, why should men care about the consequences for women they’ve just dumped?

Answer:  men shouldn’t care.  Yet, given the guilt they clearly do care.

And why?

Because they’re good men, men of virtue and quality.  That they care is yet more proof of their quality, which, sadly, inexplicably, was never acknowledged by their respective women.

So, these good men being the type women desire, and the type women presumably want to hold on to, what caused these men to pull the plug on their marriages?

Well, the exit story is virtually always the same.  It’s a collection of things that encourage men to pull the plug.  Actually, it’s a collection of small things:  lack of attention and isolation, perpetual criticism and accusation (which are actually one and the same), constant acrimony and bickering, sexual tyranny, disrespect, female defensiveness and control and entitlement.

The main reason men pull the plug is the fact nothing ever changes in their favor, despite their attempts to communicate, inform, and to ultimately improve their relationships.  And the cumulative effect of all those small things is to men like Chinese torture and its death by a thousand cuts.

Phtt, phtt, phtt—they’re all small cuts, distressing but tolerable … at least for a while.

Eventually, the cuts take their toll.  The frustration and resentment slowly, silently builds, and turns into secret defiance and loathing.  Until one day—5, 10, 15, and even 40 years later, the feelings manifest.  And without warning men pull the pin and pitch a live grenade into women’s laps:

“I’m done.”

And women are shocked, literally shocked—which is rather surprising, actually.

Women become so comfortable with the way things run relationally, and with their ability to abuse men and to avoid punishment, that they literally convince themselves men are happy and will never leave.

And then, the grenade.  And the consequences.

And in fact, justly deserved consequences.

And despite the consequences being just and deserved, men still feel guilty.  For which they must be told, “Them’s the consequences,” and consoled and encouraged.

Why must men have their decision to exit validated?

Because they’re good men, men of virtue and quality.  Men who have respect for the consequences of their actions, especially as those actions pertain to others—namely the women they’ve dumped.  They’re men whose virtue was unappreciated and taken for granted and ignored.  They’re men whose patience ran out.  Men whose virtues and quality should have been acknowledged to avoid the grenade, and the subsequent waves of shock.

In other words, women should have recognized what they had in these men, appreciated them, and should have both behaved and participated in a relationship as though they were indeed appreciative.

Who like’s consequences?  That, of course, depends on the type of consequences.

The fact is people like good consequences, or favorable consequences, and dislike punitive consequences.

In other words, the thief likes all the free stuff he can steal, but doesn’t like getting caught and prison time.

Likewise, women who aren’t paying attention to their men, who are perpetually critical and accusatory of them, who are engaging in sexual tyranny, and who are defensive, controlling, entitled, and disrespectful—they like the favorable arrangement, too.  And likewise, they aren’t too keen on the consequences of their actions, either, which is the grenade and:

“I’m done.”

And deserving as women are of these consequences, are women going to impose them on themselves?

No.  No more than the thief is going to march into police headquarters and return all the free stuff and confess his crimes.

So then, who has to deliver the consequences to women?

Men.

And there it is:  the element responsible for staying, if temporarily, marital execution.

Imposing the consequences, men have to become the bad guys.  For pulling the pin and tossing the grenade.  For taking action to put an end to the relational inequities, to their captivity and misery, men have to become the assholes—and soon to be menaces to society worthy of Child Protective Services raids and supervisory parental visitation.

And this after being exemplary and lauded husbands and fathers for years—decades, even.

But again, let’s stay on point.

And in fact, precisely for having to impose the consequences and become the assholes, men choose to stay in marriages and endure the abuse and neglect and disrespect for 5, 10, 20, and even 40 years.

Why do they choose to stay?  Again, because they’re good men, men of virtue and quality.

This is one of the aspects these virtuous, guilt-ridden men don’t understand, or perhaps don’t realize.  Exiting the relationship they have to punish women, which doesn’t at all sit well with men in general, and particularly virtuous men.  Hence the guilt after they pitch the grenade and the need for exit validation.

And for the discomfort with this punishment, men will endure a lot, and for a long time.  They ignore a lot.  They sweep things under the rug.  They keep their mouths shut, keep the peace, and endure.

That is, until one day.  When they pull the pin and pitch the grenade.

Another aspect men don’t understand, or perhaps don’t realize, is that women listened to their complaints all those many years.  They just didn’t hear the complaints.  Women dismissed the complaints because they didn’t care.  They cared about getting their way, about having things the way they want them, which is the way that maintains their security and comfort.

In other words, there were plenty of opportunities for women to hear, and to adjust, and to help improve the relationship.   They just didn’t want to hear, to adjust, or to help improve the relationship.

Why the inaction, the lack of participation?

Other than selfishness and not caring, what other answer is there?

If women cared, they would have heard—which is to mean:  taken to heart—what men were saying, and would have taken action.  Yet, they chose inaction, because they cared about their comfort, and because they like the control and security which maintained that comfort.  Take sex for example.

My friend Rick said, “I complained about sex for 12 years.  It finally dawned on me that I’d complained about sex for 12 years, and that nothing had ever changed, or was going to change—like so many other things in our marriage.  So, I left.”

Rick’s ex- had set the sexual schedule, which was basically when she wanted it.  And she was in control of that arrangement, and thus comfortable with that arrangement.

Consider Rick’s schedule?

Accommodate his desires and appetite?

Why, that isn’t the arrangement.  Besides, the days of men dictating and having their way are over.

Thereto, the fact is when men complain about sex, women are immediately put-off.  Women feel obligated, as though sex is being demanded of them.  So basically, women resist having sex.  They resist hearing men’s complaints and requests, too, which, goes on for years, obviously—twelve in Rick’s case.  Furthermore, sex becomes unnecessarily weird and awkward and unnatural.

And all because men had to ask for more sex—and had to continually ask, which they should not have had to do, which they nonetheless had to do, which became annoying and off-putting and defiance-worthy, which made sex weird and awkward and unnatural, and not to exclude problematic.

Women like relational control and security, and they care about maintaining their comfort.

That’s the arrangement.

And despite men’s complaints, complaints women listen to but don’t hear and take to heart, the arrangement will be maintained—until the bitter end, which involves a surprise grenade and shock waves.

So given there was ample opportunity for women to hear, to adjust, and to help improve the relationship, the question to men is:  why feel guilty over pitching the grenade?

Men like Rick have lived the same, repeating frustrations and misery for years, and the circumstances never changed or improved.  Further, there was never any effort to change or improve the circumstances.

In fact, this is what repeatedly happens:

Men grow frustrated with the circumstances—the accusations, the control, the sexual tyranny—and they make a stand.  A week-long fight erupts.  Faced with the revolt, women dole-out a couple of complimentary, unsolicited blow-jobs so the relationship can get back to running as it does the other eleven months and three weeks of the year, which has them in charge and calling the shots—all the shots, including the sexual shots.

So that men don’t realize things are returning to rest-of-the-year normal, or that nothing has changed, or is going to change, women ease seamlessly back into the dictating role one small, familiar, and comforting step at a time.

Of course, basking in the relieving and satisfying warmth of a few complimentary, unsolicited blowjobs, indeed, men don’t realize a thing.  They allow things to return to rest-of-the-year normal, where the accusations continue, the sexual tyranny returns, and where nothing at all has changed.

And this pattern repeats for 5, 10, 20, even 40 years.  Until men wake-up one day and realize they’ve been complaining about the same things for 12 years with no results, and pitch a live grenade into the marriage.

 And at that point, the relationship is over, really over.  It’s the point of no return.  A point from which there’s no getting men to return, either.

Calmly, soothingly, and with faux-remorse—men say things like, “I’m just, emotionally spent.”

Of course, this is what men gently say.  What they mean is:

“The thought of being with you another day makes me nauseous.”

That’s what men are really thinking.  They’re just too considerate, too virtuous, and too gentlemanly to say it.  And there’s no rekindling their passion or respect, either.  In fact, everything women attempt—begging, tears, guilt projection—repulses men further.

None of it works.  It’s ineffective, repulsive.

The fact is, women aren’t going to change in ensuing years and the circumstances improve, which history well proves.  Things will remain the same, will remain rest-of-the-year normal, which is what men finally realize at various points in their marriages, a realization that provokes reaching into the rucksack for a grenade.

In other words, women are going to continue in a comfortable arrangement and dare men to do something about their frustration, dissatisfaction, and misery in that arrangement.  Women use marriage as leverage, and to avoid doing things they don’t want to do.  For the legal and financial consequences facing men and their exit, women essentially dare men to do anything about it.

So as for any consequences being served, the responsibility falls to men.  They not only have to be the initiators.  They have to endure the resulting emotional and financial and legal BS, too.

So for men, bringing the consequences sucks, which is precisely why they put-up with an unfavorable arrangement for years—decades, even.  Until they finally pull the pin and pitch the grenade, an act for which unsuspecting women are completely unprepared.

After ignoring and dismissing men for years, and with a live grenade now in their laps, women are suddenly frozen in shock and ultra-attentive.

Wha, wha—you don’t want to be with me anymore?  Why?  What’d I do?

 And then the tears start, and the pleading.  After that, the tactic changes to accusations and blame—the stratagem both implying and employing guilt.  Then it’s vengeance, and the Child Protective Services raids and the demands for supervisory parental visitation.

Thereafter, it’s maintaining legal tethers of control and making their men’s lives as miserable as humanly possible.  Because, of course, men took the dare and made women’s lives miserable by exiting a frustrating and inequitable arrangement.

Consequences.

And why the consequences?

Because women didn’t want to relinquish a favorable arrangement, and because they refused to hear men, refused to adjust, and refused to help improve the relationship.  And at the baseline, they neglected/refused to realize they were in relationships with good, virtuous, quality men.

And that presents the question for women:  why?  Why is it so difficult to recognize good, virtuous, quality men?  Take Rick, for example.

Rick is a solid guy—rock solid.  He’s nice looking, too, and a really good salesman who does extremely well.  In fact, everyone recognizes Rick’s outstanding quality.  Rick’s wife?

Not so much.

Rick’s wife criticized him, which led to an argument.  He told her he had friends and customers who thought he was terrific, and that his relationships and sales numbers proved it.  And yet, through her constant criticisms, his own wife seemed to think he was a perpetually awful and unworthy human being.

“Can you account for that disparity,” he asked her.

“Well, they don’t have to live with you,” she said.

“Neither do you,” Rick replied, and he started packing his stuff.

“That’d been coming for a long time,” Rick told me.  “I can’t say I was planning it, but deep down I had already disconnected.  I was going through the motions is all, staying because I was supposed to, because I didn’t relish throwing her to the wolves.”

“Did you still care about her?” I asked.

“I despised her at that point.  No desire for her whatsoever,” he added with a nasty frown.  “Which is weird, actually, considering she’s all I ever wanted.  But, you get tired of all that shit.  I didn’t want to mistreat her, but I definitely wanted to get rid of her.  And I did.”

And Rick’s a terrific guy.  Well-liked by his friends.  Respected by his business associates.  Yet, looked at constantly as a first-rate asshole by his own wife.  And Rick and good men like him are supposed to endure such treatment and hang around “until death do us part?”

The relationship being dead fulfills the obligation.

So, the advice to men is to feel great about their decision to exit a marriage and to deliver the consequences.  It takes guts, especially considering the legal and financial and emotional costs.

The fact is women have had plenty of information and opportunity afforded them before the grenade.  They just waved it all off in favor of favorable consequences, and in favor of maintaining an arrangement they control, which caters to their desires and comfort.

The virtuous quality of their men?  Their stellar reputations?  The securing things they bring to the relationship table?  Their desires and appetites?

Why, that isn’t part of the calculus.  And isn’t the arrangement.

All relationships start out setting the world on fire, and in ensuing years men are blamed for putting the fire out—and for everything else, for that matter.  Thereafter, their penance becomes dutifully remaining in a marriage where they’re justly ignored, dismissed, disrespected, and taken for granted.

At least, until the grenade—which is most unnecessary.

Marcy, Rick’s wife, she had to return to work after the divorce.  Life became significantly more difficult for her thereafter and, now over 40, the pool of men from which she was able to draw had withered considerably.  By every measure she’d had the one of the best men.  Yet, arrogantly, selfishly, unwisely, she didn’t hear what Rick was saying.  She didn’t appreciate his virtue and quality.  She didn’t value him, and she didn’t participate in their relationship as though she did, either.

“I realize now all that Rick did, and all that he was,” she said, surprisingly humbled.

And not only was it all unnecessary.  It was too late.

©JMW 2018

JMWs latest:  New Rules:  Relationship Logic for the Darkside

 

 

 

Men, Modern Relationships, and the Feminine Crap

FWC Author Pictures 005Regarding the challenges for men in modern relationships, I wrote the book.

Literally, I wrote it.

And as to the aggravating and frustrating challenges men endure for, uh, femininity, who’s telling men’s story?  Who’s describing their troubles?  For that matter, who cares to listen to men’s story, much less tell it?

In fact, whenever men do try to communicate their frustrations, women say things like: “Women—they’re sooo awful.  Pooor you. The world would be better off without us.”  Or, “Oh, I’m sorry you’re in a relationship and have to tolerate another human being.”

Women can be very sarcastic.

The point is, women say everything but, “I hear you; and I understand.”  Everything but, “I never realized,” and “Perhaps I need to improve on some things.”

Women don’t say those things, because they’re too busy demanding that men say them.

If men want someone to listen to their story, men have to pay someone—as in, a couple’s therapist.  Yet even in the counselor’s quarters men are merely listened to, are more or less tolerated, but not heard—

“Mr. Warren, do you hear what your wife is saying?  I mean, what she’s really saying?”

“Uh, does anyone hear what I’m saying?  What I’m really saying?”

“There it is, doctor—the defiance, the anger.  See what I was talking about?  It’s my life, day-in, day-out.”

“Yes, yes.  Indeed I do see, Mrs. Warren.  Much worse than you described, too.  A very deep-seated defiance and anger.”

“I thought we were paying you to listen to us both, doctor.”

“Yes, well.  I think we’ve heard all we need to hear from you, Mr. Warren.  We get the picture, and it tells the story.”

And then the good doctor spends the next 2 years debriefing Mrs. Warren every week as to my progress, while they both construct a better Mr. Warren, a more compliant Mr. Warren—the tolerated and unheard counseling participant, who’s cutting the checks, no less.

Nobody is telling men’s story, and nobody really cares to hear it, either.

Nevertheless.  The challenges for men, and me having written the book on it—I could have summarized the manuscript this way, and perhaps I should have summarized it this way:

Men don’t have to tolerate the feminine crap that comes with modern women and relationships.

I actually did outline the feminine crap in the book’s epilogue—rather thoroughly, in fact.  I just never directly told men they didn’t have to tolerate it.  Maybe the point was implied, I don’t know.  But I should have communicated it directly.

The point about toleration has to be made to men because they remain traditional-minded in their view towards women, towards relationships, and towards their role in relationships, while women have largely abandoned traditional ideas and roles.

For example, women are working.  And they want to work—if nothing more than for the income that affords them independence from men, which is ultimately a mechanism of control over men.

Interestingly, women complain about not feeling needed and thus wanted by their men, and claim they want to feel needed and wanted.  Yet, here women are wanting their own income and independence, and essentially telling men they don’t need them, by financially arranging it so they don’t need them.

Like I said, it’s interesting.

And of course, women have become exhausted and angrier and more resentful for having to work so hard to overcome their dependence on men.  And for all this effort at independence, women also fancy themselves more entitled—entitled to being served, to being heard, to being accommodated, and so on.

I mean, they do all that extra work, and all.

Naturally, this fresh female perspective towards men and relationships comes with relational acrimony, the likes of abundant criticism, accusation, bitterness, resentment, defensiveness, and uncontrolled emotion.  Otherwise known as the feminine crap men tolerate for remaining traditional-minded in their views toward women and relationships.

Frankly, I’ll never understand why men tolerate the crap.  Yet, they do indeed.

But, why?  There’s no rule in the nuptials dictating that men tolerate it.  Even if there were, who wants to be involved in an acrimonious relationship?  Who wants to live such a miserable existence?  Further, who deserves to live it?

And there’s this:  when all the acrimony finally comes to a head, it’s men being held accountable and severely punished.  The accused, men are alcoholics and drug addicts and various themed abusers.  It’s men, not women, who are the general, all-around assholes that made the marriage a nightmare, and who pay handsomely for the nightmarish ordeal via child support and alimony.

And all of this after enduring years of criticism, accusation, emotional tongue-lashings, and soul-crushing acrimony.

How do you like them apples, big boy?

Why would men want to endure all that?  What man wouldn’t look back on such an ordeal and say, “Gosh, I’d have rather avoided that woeful chapter of my life.”

Trust me.  Men have said it.

And women have said it, too.

Only, women are the ones with the fresh, conventional perspective on men and relationships.  They’re the ones defensively and bitterly and resentfully dishing out the criticisms and accusations, the ones rendering the emotional lashings, and the ones responsible for the acrimony.

Most importantly, they’re the ones refusing to acknowledge their role in the “woeful chapter” that all involved would’ve rather avoided.

The bottom line is men are made ultimately responsible for making relationships and marriages work, and thus, for them failing.  It is an expectation slowly imposed on men for the never ending female need and subsequent demand for multi-faceted security.

In other words, the success or failure of relationships is dependent upon male conformity to the rules women, however slowly and subtly and incrementally, set forth.

Women want good relationships, too, mind you.  They just don’t want to be responsible for the work that makes relationships good.  They don’t want to perform all that outdated, traditional protocol formerly expected of women.  They want men to do the work, and they expect men to do the work.   The traditional work, too.

Women are victims, a role they take to quite naturally and readily.   Why so naturally and readily?

Well, in what aspect of modern society are women not “the victimized?”

Precisely—in every aspect.  Thus, women take to victimhood quite naturally and readily, and even warmly.  Why?  Because it’s advantageous and beneficial.

Here’s how victimhood works relationally:  women are the abused, the undervalued, and the underappreciated.  They make men their victimizers.  Disproving the status, men become the relationship’s employees, doing all the relationship improving work.  Women get used to men doing the work, and to men making concessions.  And ultimately, women come to expect men to do the work, and to carry the relationship bags.

That’s precisely how it works.

Of course, the baggage transfer isn’t something that happens overnight.  It’s a process, slowly evolving, one that gets worse and worse, and more onerous.  Women don’t expect men to carry their bags in the prenuptial phase.  No.  It’s when the documents are signed and the vows are spoken—that’s when women start demanding, and start offloading their bags.

Men aren’t romantic enough.  They aren’t attentive enough, aren’t paying enough attention to the children, and thus aren’t committed enough or involved enough.  They aren’t trying hard enough, aren’t ambitious enough, aren’t sophisticated enough, aren’t fill in the blank.

The process slow and subtle, men never realize what is happening to them—that they’re being held responsible, that they’re conceding, that they’re subject to soul-crushing acrimony, and that they’re the only ones lacing-up relationship work boots to improve things.

Women tend to get angry when this reality is exposed.  They don’t argue that it isn’t reality, mind you, and that these things don’t occur.  Rather, they get defensive and start pointing out men’s flaws.

Only, there’s the reality—the slow and subtle process to establish dominion and the related expectations, which actually does occur.  And rather than getting angry and defensive, women should acknowledge that it occurs, and should simply rid themselves of the bitterness and resentment, stop the criticisms and accusations, end the acrimony, and take responsibility for their own bags.

Yet, women refuse to recognize themselves as merely a part of the problem, much less the problem in total.

It proves the point:  women want good relationships.  They just don’t want to be responsible for the work that creates good relationships.  They want men to do the work, and they expect men to do the work, and to carry their bags.

Being responsible for a relationship’s failure?

Doing all the improvement work?

Expected to do all the improvement work?

Forfeiting my life and desires and happiness, and living a miserable existence in exchange?

I can’t speak for every man but, personally, I can’t love a woman that much.

I don’t have that kind of love in me, in fact—whatever kind that is.

It’s a new age.  Men are living in a fresh relational paradigm, one that has them carrying the bags.  Yet, men are stuck in the past, stuck in traditions that have been largely abandoned, and that are no longer applicable.

Hence, men must be told they don’t have to tolerate the feminine crap—the acrimony—that comes with modern women and relationships.  Men must be told because there seems to be a switch that’s flipped or a button pressed that makes men feel they have no alternatives relationally, and that they are obliged to endure whatever feminine crap is thrown at them.

Men come home from work to their suburban homes like zombies:

“Hi, Jim.”

“Hi, Bill,” they say to one another deadpan, and listless.

Then men go inside their respective dwellings to be griped at by women and disrespected in so many ways.

And how do men respond to the acrimony?

Subordinately.  Compliantly.

Men tell themselves:  It’s part of the deal.  It’s my job as a husband.  I need to be patient and understanding.  I need to be more attentive and involved.  I need to be more sensitive, more sensitive to her needs.

Men justify their women, too:  She’s exhausted.  She works all day, too.  She has a difficult job.  The kids are rambunctious.  She needs a break.

Once in relationships, men turn into mindless zombies.  Brainwashed worshipers at the altars of:  I have No Choice and This Is Life for Me Now and I Must Endure This Feminine Crap.

Once in a relationship men are like never-before-caged Bengal Tigers.  They anxiously pace the fencing of their confinement—back-and-forth, back-and-forth.  They hiss defiantly when their captors bring them food—Hissss!  Only to pace some more.

Pretty soon they just accept the bars and their fate and, well, they lay-up.

No more pacing.

No more defiance.

No more vigor.

Resolved and listless, it’s:  “Hi Jim.”  “Hi Bill.”

And when their food is delivered they purr with contented satisfaction and lick the hand that feeds them.  And once fed, they’re responding to the captor’s whip and are poised like ballerinas on their hind quarters.  After which, they return to their comfy straw bed to lay-up, until the food bucket arrives again, and until being commanded to perform.

Woo-pishhh!

Women won’t recognize their role in any relationship problems, or that they need to improve in any particular area.

And why would they?

Women have willing, traditional-minded, zombie-like men taking all the blame, doing all the relational work, making all the relational adjustments, and who then head back to the straw to … lay-up.

Men don’t have to lay-up.  They don’t have to take any feminine crap, either.

What is a relationship, anyway?  That’s the idea men need to rethink.

Let me help:  a modern relationship is a business venture—that’s what it is.  And if men think it isn’t, they should visit the courthouse and learn how the legal system views relationships, particularly those acrimonious and that haven’t fared so well.

It’s untraditional thinking, to be sure.  Yet, unfortunately, it’s the conventional type required to manage feminine crap, and for modern relationships.

©JMW 2018 All Rights Reserved