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Old 05-24-2011, 09:00 AM   #196 (permalink)
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If it is manipulation, it is for yourself and nothing more than changing your own behavior. The four wise men (can't leave out Conrad) have all given me great advice on my own self-improvement. I still don't know if my marriage will benefit from this yet but I am getting better everyday and that's all the matters.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:05 AM   #197 (permalink)
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Mom,
Yes to all of that.

I went to dictionary.com for a definition. And the reason for choosing that source is that as an "online" product it is likely to have a current definition. If someone says to me "you are manipulating me", it means what the first definition listed in dictionary.com says.

DICTIONARY.COM
ma·nip·u·late   
[muh-nip-yuh-leyt] Show IPA
–verb (used with object), -lat·ed, -lat·ing.
1. to manage or influence skillfully, especially in an unfair manner: to manipulate people's feelings.
2. to handle, manage, or use, especially with skill, in some process of treatment or performance: to manipulate a large tractor.
3. to adapt or change (accounts, figures, etc.) to suit one's purpose or advantage.



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Originally Posted by Mom6547 View Post
Here is how you have lost credibility with me, T, on this topic and several others on this board. You don't struggle to understand what people are saying. You don't read what is written as intended by the author. You struggle to debunk based on your own issues wrt gender equality. You tell people that they have said things they never said. Anyone can make that mistake, but when corrected you dig in your heals and insist that they meant something else. Usually someone who has made a point knows what the point is that they were intending to make.

I came to this board thinking the Nice Guy stuff was a bunch of whooey. The man up stuff nothing more than anti-female bashing. But if you stop and really read what these guys are saying, there is a lot of sense to it. I can see the behavior of my husband doing it naturally. (I have to avoid reading BBW. I don't know if he is of the same ilk. Something about his writing style irks the tar out of me, and I cannot help thinking he really is just a pat the poor little wifey on the head type of guy.)

And as I said earlier, the proof is finally in the pudding. Their wives don't feel manipulated, their integrity remains intact. In fact, they are HAPPY.

So when you see me drop off a conversation like this one it is because it has become a waste of time. Others who might be reading the board can make their own conclusions.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:16 AM   #198 (permalink)
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I haven't contributed to the behaviors and intentions discussed on this thread, but looking at it from the outside, it seems that these discussions often pass over some critical assumptions that must exist at the core of who you are. I have no doubt that those on the title assume this foundation, and have probably discussed it, but people often miss it. AFEH often describes this well. Still, we're talking about behaviors, and whether their intent is good or bad, without being very clear about the foundation that must exist before they become natural and permanent.

I'll give an example. All of us who work in the business world are probably aware of the doormat types. These are people who seem to have accepted that life is just what it is, and they become the victim. At home, maybe the wife hopes they'll come up with the perfect vacation this summer. Full of spark and romance. She's arranged the last sixteen, now tells him to give it a try. They answer in a sequence of statements like this: "Well ... what do you have in mind?" Or "That sounds really stressfull, or "I can't imagine doing that", "People don't really do that, you know.", or even better, "I put some thought into it ... maybe later."

Before even talking about manning up, there needs to be a foundation. The first is integrity. Also, self respect must be cemented into their personality. With full confidence, a man must be able to say, "I will not be a doormat," "I will have a great sex life because I want you, and not because you owe me, and " if I do more chores, its because I demand more from myself when it comes to fostering a healthy environment."

I only mention this because there is so much discussion regarding manipulation. But think about manipulation. Inherent within it is often the assumption of weakness, or some power that needs to be gained. In marriage, it often implies someone looking up to the person who holds the power, or in the converse state, someone with tremendous power who is sucking the life out of the weaker one. Self respect and integrity should eliminate the fear of manipulation, or being a doormat.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:27 AM   #199 (permalink)
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Just putting my two bits in here. But almost nothing in history changed for the better due to saintly reasons, not at first.
Please re-read what I wrote. I said from the VERY BEGINNING that manning up is initially sexually based. I haven't wavered from that. It isn't for saintly reasons as you pointed out and I agree with that. I also said from the very beginning that there is nothing wrong with that. Not sure where the man hating snipe came from but alas, you missed my point entirely.

Last edited by Therealbrighteyes; 05-24-2011 at 11:03 AM. Reason: awful spelling.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:22 AM   #200 (permalink)
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I only mention this because there is so much discussion regarding manipulation. But think about manipulation. Inherent within it is often the assumption of weakness, or some power that needs to be gained. In marriage, it often implies someone looking up to the person who holds the power, or in the converse state, someone with tremendous power who is sucking the life out of the weaker one. Self respect and integrity should eliminate the fear of manipulation, or being a doormat.
The word I bolded, in my opinion, is where some take issue with these discussions. It is seen in terms of who has, or is exerting influence and power ... particularly if framed from the point of view of the male influencing power over the woman. Sawney Beane said as much with the benevolent despotism analogy.

If you were to ask a woman if she respects, values, and trusts the judgment of her husband, generally, she will feel inclined to say, yes.

If you were to ask a woman, if her husband leads the relationship and she is comfortable following his lead, you are likely to get a different response.

To me, context is everything. Those sentences above infer the same thing. One is implicit. The other is explicit. One is likely to elicit positive emotions and a positive response. The other is going to send up red flags, defensiveness and prompt questions of; "What do you mean?" The second question infers power and weakness, and that makes folks uncomfortable.

I've seen it. Actually saw it this past weekend when staying with my brother and his partner in CA. I pay attention where I didn't before. I don't think that I'm smarter or wiser, or know things that others don't. I've done my due diligence and put into practice what I have learned. I certainly don't feel like I have anything to prove. Not to anyone other than myself.

Excellent summary, Halien.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:29 AM   #201 (permalink)
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The word I bolded, in my opinion, is where some take issue with these discussions. It is seen in terms of who has, or is exerting influence and power ... particularly if framed from the point of view of the male influencing power over the woman. Sawney Beane said as much with the benevolent despotism analogy.

If you were to ask a woman if she respects, values, and trusts the judgment of her husband, generally, she will feel inclined to say, yes.

If you were to ask a woman, if her husband leads the relationship and she is comfortable following his lead, you are likely to get a different response.

To me, context is everything. Those sentences above infer the same thing. One is implicit. The other is explicit.
I can easily say that I trust my husband's judgement AND that he does not lead the relationship. I also trust MY judgement. That I trust my husband in no way infers that he is a leader.

That inference is a giant leap, in my opinion.


The point that came to my mind about power is that the objections to this thread around power come from people to whom it matters who wields power. Personally, I don't CARE about power except insofar as it gets things done. The issue of power arises as a result of fearing the loss of it.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:45 AM   #202 (permalink)
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Bright,
When I first read your post my blood started to boil. Then I read it again. By the third time I was nodding.

Are you saying that for most men the "trigger event" for manning up is that their sex lives are screwed up?

Because I think that is true. It sure was for me.

But what started out as an exercise in "how do I create desire" turned into a much bigger project more broadly "how do I become a better partner, including a recognition that I could help bring out the best in my W, just as she has done with me"

So the initial impulse: shallow, selfish, base. Oink oink

The resulting changes - a beautiful thing.


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Please re-read what I wrote. I said from the VERY BEGINNING that manning up is initially is sexually based. I haven't wavered from that. It isn't for sainly reasons as you pointed out and I agree with that. I also said from the very beginning that there is nothing wrong with that. Not sure where the man hating snipe came from but alas, you missed my point entirely.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:57 AM   #203 (permalink)
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Bright,
When I first read your post my blood started to boil. Then I read it again. By the third time I was nodding.

Are you saying that for most men the "trigger event" for manning up is that their sex lives are screwed up?

Because I think that is true. It sure was for me.

But what started out as an exercise in "how do I create desire" turned into a much bigger project more broadly "how do I become a better partner, including a recognition that I could help bring out the best in my W, just as she has done with me"

So the initial impulse: shallow, selfish, base. Oink oink

The resulting changes - a beautiful thing.
Yes, Mem. Take a look at the boards in the men's forum and also the sex forum. There is alot of "sexless marriage", "she doesn't want sex", "don't know how to get our sex lives back", etc. I haven't seen yet a post by a man saying "she doesn't communicate her feelings".
My point is, when the sex life goes downhill for a man, that is when he starts looking around and seeing how he can man up. Nothing wrong with that at all, btw. In doing some of the things, he will start to notice other aspects of his relationship change, like you did. So all in all a very positive thing.
What I was saying and many argued with is that it isn't inititally motivated by some noble thing. It is a very basic thing and yet many wanted to discredit that or worse, call me a man hater. We all use manipulation at certain times. I freely admit that I do.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:03 AM   #204 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mom6547 View Post
I can easily say that I trust my husband's judgement AND that he does not lead the relationship. I also trust MY judgement. That I trust my husband in no way infers that he is a leader.

That inference is a giant leap, in my opinion.
But if those elements I indicated are in place, you are not likely to be concerned about if and when he does lead.

Whereas if you believe that your husband can't find his ass with both hands, you would likely feel a bit less secure were he to declare, "This is what we are going to do ..." as opposed to, "Well honey, what do you think?"


Quote:
The point that came to my mind about power is that the objections to this thread around power come from people to whom it matters who wields power. Personally, I don't CARE about power except insofar as it gets things done. The issue of power arises as a result of fearing the loss of it.
Better said than I.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:03 AM   #205 (permalink)
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I recently read Awareness by Anthony DeMello.

One thing that really struck me in his book was the fact that ALL behavior that we exhibit toward each other and others is self-motivating/manipulative - ALL BEHAVIOR.

Everything we do is motivated by our desire to either get something in return or to feel good about ourselves - we don't do anything for nothing. Therefore we manipulate situations and people daily in order to get "what we need" out of the situation.

- When we give money or our time to charity - we're not just doing it to help others - we're helping ourselves, because giving to charity "makes us feel good." We are expecting to feel good, therefore we get something in return for the charity we give.

- When we cook our husband's favorite dinner - sure we're doing it because we know it's his favorite and we love him, but we're also doing it because it makes us feel good when he tells us how wonderful it was.

Every action = reaction.

All actions expect "something" in return.

So what the "Alpha 3", as I like to refer to them as, are doing, is nothing more than each and every human being does every day on this earth.

We do things, all things, because we expect some type of payback - whether it be sex, more time, attention, ability to feel good about ourselves, increased self-esteem - something.

Nobody can be truly unselfish as unselfish requires us to put everyone's happiness above our own - impossible - our very human nature forces us to always, when the chips are down, put our OWN happiness above all others.

Just some food for thought - it was a great book - thanks AFEH!
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:11 AM   #206 (permalink)
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If you were to ask a woman, if her husband leads the relationship and she is comfortable following his lead, you are likely to get a different response.
If you asked me this question three years ago, I would just be bewildered and wouldn't know what you meant.

I wouldn't be offended! Rather different from a lot of female members here. Simply because of my culture background!

Now if you ask me this question, I will be happy to tell you that I choose to let my husband to lead our relationship and I am happy following his lead. Because my husband has shown me that he has the ability and he is loving towards me.

He knows that I am impulsive when I make decisions, he tells me that directly. Many times because I listened to him, I didn't make silly mistakes, if I was just plain stubborn and wouldn't listen to my husband, I would have made a lot of silly mistakes. I say this, some others will then doubt my intelligence and tell me that I am dumb. OK! But now I have a smart husband to hold my horses, and he helps me make smart decisions, why not?!

In some areas, he has good ideas. In some areas, I have good ideas. When I tell him my opinion, it makes sense, he happily adopts my idea. A couple makes up for each other, they do what is the best for their relationship!

Manipulation, I don't know anything about it. I never used this tool to get what I want, neither did my husband.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:12 AM   #207 (permalink)
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But if those elements I indicated are in place, you are not likely to be concerned about if and when he does lead.

Whereas if you believe that your husband can't find his ass with both hands, you would likely feel a bit less secure were he to declare, "This is what we are going to do ..." as opposed to, "Well honey, what do you think?"
Yes.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:19 PM   #208 (permalink)
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Yep.

I wasn't paying attention to my Wife's feelings. She was:
- Resentful I had gotten out of shape and stopped working out.
- Frustrated I had become so "passive"
- Turned off by my passive, passive, passive, AGGRESSIVE responses
- Confused by her total lack of desire for me
- Resentful that she had to keep having sex with someone she felt no desire for

Now I look back and I feel gratitude. I am glad that she was turned off by all that wasted potential. That she didn't/couldn't feel passion for someone who had really started to "check out". Ultimately she did the most powerful thing she possibly could. She began to stop loving me.

So. Here's to you Mrs. MEM. Thanks for having high standards....

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Yes, Mem. Take a look at the boards in the men's forum and also the sex forum. There is alot of "sexless marriage", "she doesn't want sex", "don't know how to get our sex lives back", etc. I haven't seen yet a post by a man saying "she doesn't communicate her feelings".
My point is, when the sex life goes downhill for a man, that is when he starts looking around and seeing how he can man up. Nothing wrong with that at all, btw. In doing some of the things, he will start to notice other aspects of his relationship change, like you did. So all in all a very positive thing.
What I was saying and many argued with is that it isn't inititally motivated by some noble thing. It is a very basic thing and yet many wanted to discredit that or worse, call me a man hater. We all use manipulation at certain times. I freely admit that I do.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:25 PM   #209 (permalink)
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Yes, Mem. Take a look at the boards in the men's forum and also the sex forum. There is alot of "sexless marriage", "she doesn't want sex", "don't know how to get our sex lives back", etc. I haven't seen yet a post by a man saying "she doesn't communicate her feelings".
AHHHHHHH. I get you. When I read a man saying she doesn't want sex, I read my marriage sucks, I want to fix my marriage. When I read a woman write, he doesn't communicate her feelings, I read my marriage sucks, I want to fix my marriage. But you were talking about the trigger event that arrives one at my marriage sucks.

That said, I HAVE seen, though as you say no where near as often, my wife is distant, nothing I ever do is good enough...


Quote:
My point is, when the sex life goes downhill for a man, that is when he starts looking around and seeing how he can man up. Nothing wrong with that at all, btw. In doing some of the things, he will start to notice other aspects of his relationship change, like you did. So all in all a very positive thing.
What I was saying and many argued with is that it isn't inititally motivated by some noble thing.
See that is where I think I differ from what you are saying. I DO think wanting to fix your marriage is a noble thing and that is the motivation with sex being the leading indicator for men.

But I am no mind reader.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:34 PM   #210 (permalink)
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See, we can agree. Also, yes wanting to fix your marriage is noble. That isn't the initial motivator though for lots of guys here. It is sexually motivated in the beginning. They then begin to realize all the other things that are missing and set out to work on those too. My mentioning "noble" was in reference to a few posts here that said it was about being a better father, husband, co-worker and that is why they decided to man up. No, that wasn't the reason. The initial reason was something more primal. Of course, all those other areas benefited but that is why I said let's be honest about the initial motivation.
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