Is it just a solipsistic fantasy, or is this how God intends for men to “love their wives”?
Readership: Men; Women who desire to be truly loved by a man;
Reader’s Note: This is part 5 of a series on masculinity.
Length: 3,300 words
Reading Time: 11 minutes
“Men understand instinctively that depth of emotion does not always mean outward expression of it giving into its basest impulses. The aesthetic reasons for restraint are elevating to the human condition.”A comment from Scott Klajic.
Our discussion last week of whether men need talk therapy? (2021 June 16) turned up many important points. Scott wisely noted that when a woman (or collectively “women”) say they want a man to be vulnerable and talk about his feelings, they are speaking in code. Scott offered a filter to aid us in translating from femtalk.
“I want a [super-hot sexy man] to talk about his feelings, [as long as what he is saying makes me feel good about myself but I don’t want any negative, icky stuff or pain, or fear, or needs or anxieties because this makes me see him as weak and he will fall apart under pressure when the barbarians are at the gate].”
Rontomlinson2 noted that the reason women assume that men need to talk about their feelings is because women need to talk about their feelings, and because they are solipsistic and prone to psychological projection, they assume that men do too.
Not only do women carry this expectation, but it is also something that men expect too! So we might call this a mutually double-blind trap.
“From my own personal experience… I really don’t have a problem being open, straight-forward, and honest to my girlfriend about my feelings, regardless of how vulnerable, emotional or weak it makes me look. And I think the reason why is because I set that baseline before we even committed ourselves to each other. I don’t run “game” or pretend to be someone I’m not when it comes to someone I’m genuinely falling for.
In fact, the reason why I’ve probably fallen for her is BECAUSE I can be myself around her. The moment I start having to watch what I say around my girlfriend (or anyone), is the moment I’ve decided I don’t want you in my life.
Yeah, she’s capable of bringing it up and using it against me… lololol, but to be honest, I kinda prefer it. Especially sooner than later in the relationship. Because I don’t have many buttons. And if I give her access to those internal nuclear codes and she starts firing them off in retaliation or just to see what I do… well, my longest relationship is three months. I always tell my family, if my girlfriend makes it past six months, that’s how you’ll know she’s the one.”
There is one takeaway from the discussion that bears emphasizing – whether it is wise or even realistic for a man to “open up” to a woman. The overall consensus here is that it is not. This post will recount several statements from commenters to this end, and why it is important to escape this tempting trap of expectation.
Men’s Fundamental Fantasy of Love
We could easily dismiss Rock’s stance as a Blue Pill mindset, however, this expectation is not something that originates from Blue Pill indoctrination. Yes, it is taught by and learned from the culture, but this notion appeals to something deeper in the heart of man that desires and expects this level of intimacy from a woman.
Red Pill Apostle described this when he wrote,
“I fell completely for Mrs. A because of how honest I could be with Mrs. A prior to marriage. We talked and shared about deep personal aspects of life. Then we got married, the license was signed and the power structure changed. Then the curse of Genesis 3 came out in full force. I’m not going to suggest that this will happen to you, but I would certainly be vigilant. You might even want to skip the marriage license part (if your state laws create an environment where the strategy could be successful) just to keep the power balanced.”
The reason that men fall for women with whom they can be honest is because this is an expression of Heart Trust. When a man is able to open up and talk freely about his thoughts feelings, desires, dreams, and fears, it is deeply humbling. This combination of Heart Trust and humility is the basic recipe for “falling in love”.
Jack said this Heart Trust, humility, and “love” was the main thing he wanted most out of marriage.
“Rock, I used to have the very same mindset as you when I was younger, and I had that habit of interaction with my first wife. While we were dating, we talked about everything! She was delighted when I teased her. She always agreed with me whenever I said something serious, and she laughed at everything I said in jest. This comfort, intimacy, and honesty was a major reason why I chose to marry her over others I knew.”
Scott also shares this sentiment.
“When I was very young, probably around 12, I started to feel this overwhelming urge to connect with one, and just one girl in a way that would transcend either of our “looks” or whatever physical preferences or desires we had. I wrote about this in the post, How I discovered that I wanted to be married (2020 April 27).
Of course, I could not articulate it then. I was 12.
I can’t recall seeing any particular movie, or hearing any specifically romantic story that planted this in my head. I remember the feeling starting before all that. I remember feeling like there was some other half of me that was missing, and that when we found each other, we would just know. There would be an attraction there like two powerful magnets that cannot resist the pull towards each other.
Regardless, one thing I believed for many years — decades really — was that if I could learn how to express this in a clear and unambiguous, courageous way, “women” would FINALLY understand that there are men out there who aren’t just sexual predators and who are capable of great depths of love and devotion.
This doesn’t sound like Blue Pill indoctrination. It’s more of a deep desire in a man’s soul.
Scott’s Mission to Make Men Know
As a psychologist, Scott has recognized this fundamental fantasy of men, and has taken it upon himself to help men jump over the hurdle of this crippling desire. He wrote this a month ago. [Emphasis his]
“Now, at this later stage in my life, having the experience, the education/vocabulary, the courage, and the opportunity to explain, in great, flowery detail to [quite a few] specific women what the internal processes of a man who is falling in love involves, I have come to this deeply painful conclusion.
The problem isn’t that they don’t understand these things (including the sentiment Cameron is describing, and you are trying to reiterate). It’s that they don’t particularly value that kind of depth (or care), and unless you are bringing something else to the table (like whatever it is they have a raw attraction to at that particular moment in her life), you might as well just move on. If I can’t describe it and the light goes off in one single woman and she says to herself, “Oh, NOW I get it. His love is so deep that it will NEVER run dry… if I would just give him a chance.”, then it is not because they don’t understand.
It is one of the biggest lies we have been sold. Namely, that men are barbaric, sex-crazed, selfish creatures of opportunity, and women are deeply feeling, sophisticated diviners of true love. Cue eye roll.
Men are the true romantics, and always have been.
My job, if I ever get a chance to do it on a grander scale, is to help men understand that, and be OK with it.”
Honesty in Dating doesn’t translate to Honesty in Marriage
As we have found, unfortunately, honesty in dating appears to be a unique and fragile paradigm that does not continue to flourish and grow after marriage, but instead becomes an Achilles’ heel to the marital harmony.
Jack continues on with a heart wrenching tale of how marriage destroyed the Heart Trust, humility, and honesty that he most desired.
“That all changed after we married. As soon as the honeymoon was over, she didn’t want to hear anything I said. She tuned out of common exchanges. If I spoke my mind about something serious or talked about my feelings (!!!) she immediately went to Defcon 5. By that I mean, she would get nuclear angry, storm about the house, declare she wanted a divorce, pack a suitcase, and leave the house for several days.
During marital counseling, the counselor told her that our former habit of communication was important, it worked well for us, brought us together into marriage, and that she needed to continue talking with me like that if she wanted the marriage to continue smoothly. She was flagrantly indignant about this advice, partly because she knew it was true I suppose, and partly because she hated it. She chose divorce rather than to resume communicating properly. I eventually came to learn that, apparently, when she had maintained this kind of communication while we were dating, she wasn’t as honest as she had let on.”
RedPillApostle had this to say about how the game changes after marriage [edited for clarity].
“Rock – I’ll put some personal specifics to highlight what Nova wrote, because it is true.”
- Dating conversations – Being open, honest, joking, and non-judgmental indicates a presumption of trust.
- Married conversations – Being open and honest will get manipulative “if you really love me…” type statements. Joking around will get you kicked or pinched under the table because she thinks her choice of a man cannot embarrass her.
- Dating view of me – She let me be myself, and we enjoyed our time together.
- Married view of me – I got told I’m not like her dad and real men do it “this” way. I got lambasted more than a few times like this.
“Once you are legally hitched to a girl, who you are is a reflection of how good a man she could get. It is SO true that she will use all her soft manipulative power to try to make you into the man that makes her look best. She will not care what you actually want unless what you want matches up with what she wants already. Who you really are can be fine as a boyfriend because you are not fully committed. Once the rings are on the fingers, your meaning to her changes. You become her status symbol and anything you do that causes her to perceive you as lowering the status in her mind will be met with resistance, manipulation and cajoling (nagging) to get you to keep her appearances up.
By the very fact that you are on this site reading, you have knowledge that many of us here did not have while dating. Use it wisely.”
“After I had this experience with my first wife, I talked it over with my dad. He told me he experienced the same thing in his marriage to my mother, and this was one of the biggest disappointments he had, not only about marriage, but in his life.
For some time after this, I had the hope that I might make a dent in this family curse. I started to talk about this with my family members from time to time, trying to get it out in the open. Soon I began to recognize a pattern in my family. Whenever I brought it up, all the men knew exactly what I was talking about and jumped on board, but all the women became indignant and walked out of the room with a huff. My sister was the only woman in my family who was willing to admit it was true, but she would only admit this to me in private, and she would not go into the topic any further than a simple agreement. But even so, I did learn something about the women’s perspective from talking with her. All the women talk rather freely amongst themselves, but they’ll never tell the men anything that is going on. They’ll have a caucus, make decisions, and carry out those decisions among themselves, and they intentionally keep the men in the dark as much as possible. For example, when my sisters and female cousins started to be sexually active, my mother and aunts gave them lots of “instructions”, and kept it all a secret from the men, as if it were none of their business. If there was ever an abortion in the family, I never knew about it. When one of my aunts had an affair and was socking money away in preparation for a divorce, all the women knew all about it, but all the men remained clueless until she breeched the subject – after she had already arranged everything with a lawyer.
I experienced more of the same with my current wife, but it’s not as bad because I was already aware of this, and I had already learned to be less trusting of women.
Novaseeker responded to Rock’s comment with an explanation of the female nature.
“I know that this [level of men’s trust and honesty with women] is what the culture peddles, and I also know that it “feels” more comfortable for us, as men, to be like that. But it isn’t wise. Women are not men. They catalog everything we say or do that shows any sort of vulnerability or weakness away in their brains and later on that information and knowledge is deployed against you in some way. It often doesn’t happen immediately, and in the context of a BF/GF relationship with a woman who is not naturally toxic/BPD/etc. it can seem to work ok. But when the marriage comes into force, the entire power dynamic is forcibly shifted, and you will eventually have all of that info come back and be used against you, either openly or covertly, in how she decides to “manage” you.
It bears repeating.
Women are the weaker sex physically, and they therefore feel both existentially vulnerable in ways that we generally do not, as well as innately justified in using anything that can be used against us in ways that are beneficial to them — precisely because they feel we have a leg up on them anyway. When you feed women information verbally or through your actions that reveals weakness or vulnerability, you can fully expect that it will be deployed against you in some way by her for her advantage, because she will eventually find herself in a situation of conflict with you, where she is looking around for things she can use to her advantage to “win” the conflict. It really is that simple. Women do not see vulnerability in us as being cute or endearing or humanizing or any of the other claptrap that the culture tells us, or that women tell themselves and spout to us and each other. Women despise weakness and vulnerability of any kind in men, despite how they may openly mouth otherwise, and even think that they themselves believe otherwise — deep down, they despise it, especially in a man they are connected with/dependent on. It will eventually be used against you at a time when she feels the need to reach for tools to use against you in a conflict with you. Sucks, but it’s just how women work.
Note that this doesn’t mean you have to be an unfeeling ass, or that you have to pretend with yourself that you don’t have weaknesses. It isn’t a lot of mumbo-jumbo, we know we all have our weaknesses, we aren’t that stupid. The key is that you do not show these to women. The person you share them with are close male friends who can help you with them, and can empathize with you to some degree because if they are really close friends with you they won’t react in the “one upmanship” way of exploiting your weaknesses and vulnerabilities, like a male stranger will. This is why we don’t share our weaknesses and vulnerabilities with male strangers — they also use that information against us, generally, typically to assert hierarchical dominance over you at the moment you disclose the weakness or vulnerability (Christian pastors love to do this to men, for example). And it’s also why it’s critical to have actual male friends — something fewer and fewer of us have, which tends to make men reliant on women in this area, which leads to the problems I outlined above.”
The Bible requires that husbands should love their wives (Ephesians 5:25-33). As men, we are rather well versed in couching this commandment in terms of personal commitment, discipline, sacrifice, and “tough love”, as described in 1st Corinthians 13. However, are we not allowed any element of genuine emotional love for a woman that comes of honesty, humility, and Heart Trust? It seems that it would be much easier for men to follow this commandment, and follow it more deeply and more genuinely, if a woman allowed a man to “open up” his Heart Trust and honestly communicate his thoughts and feelings without any fear of backlash. But in reality, because of women’s weaknesses for self-centered solipsism, dominance, and control, men are practically forbidden from experiencing this depth of joy in loving a woman.
If marriage is in your future, full biblical patriarchy is the only solution to this and you better be tough and determined as hәll in today’s world to enforce it.
However, the emotional health and vitality of men are not entirely held at the behest of women in this regard. Rontomlinson2 spelled out some options.
“A man isn’t required to talk to his wife or even to a friend about his feelings, he can…”
- Consciously examine them for himself.
- Talk to God about them, in prayer. (Such prayers are rapidly answered, in my experience.)
- Talk to other men about it.
- Put them on hold while he gets the job done, whatever it is.
“Thus he has options. Whereas I don’t think women do. Strictly speaking they don’t have feelings: feelings have them. The moment one actually feels a feeling, it dissipates. So my personal motto is that feelings are for feeling, not for talking about. (Being fairly introverted, I’ve had a lot of practice!)
However, it can be great fun to pretend to agonise about them, sometimes.”
Questions for Discussion
- Is men’s desire for honesty and openness with their wives just a quirky conceited fantasy, or is this how God intends for men to “love their wives”?
- Do women know that men fall for women with whom they can be humble and honest, and use this to control and manipulate men?
- Is it possible for a man to experience a deep, emotionally humbling love for a woman without taking the risk of “opening up” to her in the manner described here?
- Is it worth trying to educate women that their husbands will love them more deeply and more genuinely if they would allow him to “open up” his Heart Trust and humility, and honestly communicate his thoughts and feelings without any backlash?
- Σ Frame: Somewhere Down the Mystic River (2019 November 23)
- Σ Frame: Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. (2020 January 27)
- Matthew E. Cochran: She’s Just a Woman (2021 June 14)