Originally Posted by Trenton
Mem, what you are changing is positive for the relationship and is obviously well in your range of normal behaviors as it comes naturally. You very well may attribute all your success to the helpful advice of Man Up philosophies but I believe focusing on the individual story and working to figure out the issues, with the person asking for help, provides quicker and more effective advice.
Let me try a different example. Husband is told to turn down the thermostat because he is doing a lot of household chores in the relationship as well as working and the men of these great forums have decided that this is too much for a man to do and the wife is taking advantage. Post after post reiterates..., "You are a doormat. Please check out the Man Up thread <insert link>. Then a small debate ensues about whether or not it's natural for men to become doormats. Isn't it natural for men to be providers? Is it the feminization of men that lead to this? <insert cliche about wanting and eating cake> <insert argument about feminists> Yadda Yadda.
Let's say Claire (the wife) really is having a hard time with her husband because she tells him how she feels but he doesn't listen to her. Her real anger and resentment comes from getting home each evening and sitting down to express herself but Buddy (husband) is always distracted by sports news and his love of carpentry that just so happens to coincide with the time Claire is unwinding and wanting to talk. He won't allow her time to talk and express herself but is ignorant that he even does this. As a result, even when Claire spells out the actual problem she has in the relationship that has created resentment and disconnect, Buddy can't hear the message and neither can we, because we think it's just another classic case of man up syndrome.
Buddy gets support in these forums and instantly begins thinking...I do everything for this woman and she is still shutting me out, unresponsive in the bedroom and unappreciative of all I provide for her. It's time to work on my happiness, what I want and turn the thermostat down so that my wife will want to have sex with me.
Claire has had it. She wants a divorce and has begun confiding in a male friend at work who is indeed very interested in what she has to say. She doesn't even notice Buddy turning the thermostat down because she could care less. An EA is forming with the man at work and Buddy is still at home confused as to why Claire isn't responding.
In this case, if we as forum listeners can't do anything but provide support that creates entitlement and adds fuel to Buddy's already burning fire, what help do we really offer? Perhaps Man Up would work and it might eventually lead to the reconnection of the Claire and Buddy but at what cost? Wouldn't asking Buddy the right questions, considering all factors and getting opinions of both men and women with varying perspectives help Buddy more?...and with more speed?
OK, so this is long. It outlines clearly my problem with generic offerings of help or the idea specifically that we are not snowflakes and that all relationships between men and women are the same. This is what I can't fathom.
So I'm in the minority. I get that. I don't think this means I should lose the chance to address it.
First off, there's no cliche about cake eating. It happens. I know. Why would me SO think it was ok to have her affair, but get irate with me when I want a divorce? Why would she continuously rub her affair in my face, but the instant we separate and I go for coffee with another woman, she freaks on me, saying I don't care about her anymore. Then, when she really understands that I don care about her anymore, she wants back in. Then when she gets back in, she starts up her affair again, but keeps talking to me about things we need to do to the house, what we need to buy, what trips we should go on next. Hmmm, feels like cake eating to me.
Second, doing chores isn't about manning up. I did all the chores. I just didn't do them for sex. If I did, then THAT makes me a Pu$$y, and THAT is what is being told to men about manning up.
There's a reason this advice works 95 percent of the time. Because 95 percent of the time these affairs are all textbook behavior. How many posts have you read about...wife having an EA? Etc.etc.etc. And they ALL sound exactly the same? I think about 95 percent of the ones I have read follow the same script. Posted via Mobile Device