The Power of Understanding

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The Power of Understanding
On the left is what we consider “color-correct.” On the right is what someone with red-green colorblindness sees. (Image/Irv Aron’s Journal)

Person #1: “I love the way the red pomegranates, orange oranges and yellow bananas pop in this photo.”

Person #2: “What are you smoking? Everything looks muted. Dark greens and grays. Nothing is red or yellow in that photo.”

Person #1: “Are we looking at the same thing here? The colors are vibrant and beautiful. You’re crazy if you don’t think so.”

Person #2: “Whatever. You’re a moron. I know what I see.”

Couples fight a lot. We’re human. We disagree because our brains work differently than others’. But when we FIGHT, it’s mostly because we don’t understand.

And then, no matter how many different situations crop up, it seems as if the fight is always the same.

Both people believe they’re looking at the same thing, yet both people see something totally different, in much the same way people with color-correct vision perceive color differently than those with red-green colorblindness.

That situation rarely comes up today because advanced tools and understanding in optometry detects colorblindness early.

But you can imagine the conversations people were having before it became widely known that color-blind people literally see something different than those of us blessed with the ability to see the full range of colors.

Two sane people arguing about how something right in front of them looks totally different than what the other is describing, and both thinking the other must be crazy or intentionally trying to upset them.

I think that sums up the majority of marriage and relationship arguments throughout human history.

Sometimes one person will be factually incorrect, yes.

But the marriage fights that slowly break down the emotional connection between two spouses tend not to be about things we can “prove.”

We Don’t Need to Speak the Same Language; We Need Only Accurate Translations

I can’t read nor understand any spoken language that isn’t English (not counting the 30 words I still remember from my Spanish classes).

How accurate or helpful a written document or spoken set of instructions may be can’t overcome my inability to understand them when offered in any language but the one I know.

There’s profound power in understanding what something means.


Shameless Self-Promotion Note About My Coaching Services

I started coaching in 2019. Clients and I work collaboratively through current and past relationship stuff in order to improve existing relationships or to prepare for future ones. Other clients are trying to find themselves after divorce or a painful breakup. We talk by phone or video conference. People like it. Or at least they fake it really well by continuing to schedule future coaching calls and give me more money. If you’re going through something and think I might be able to help, it’s really easy to find out for sure. Learn More Here.


The Power of Habit

Stuff happened to you when you were a baby that you can’t remember, but the imprint those things left on you is responsible for some of the emotional triggers affecting you today.

They look and feel different for everyone. Even siblings raised by the same people in the same environment.

Moreover, we spend our lives subconsciously developing habits. Habits are very powerful. When our spouses say or do certain things, it may trigger something within us that brings out the worst in us. It’s emotional, deep-seated chemical response based on a lifetime of experiences (many of which we may have misinterpreted or misunderstood at the time!).

Charles Duhigg wrote an awesome book about habits. Here’s a quick video about the power of habits:


So, I finally understood what my wife had been saying all these years, and that fundamental shift in understanding changed EVERYTHING for me in terms of my ability to properly frame our conversations and disagreements.

It was incredibly empowering (albeit regret-inducing) to recognize reality. To be clued into the truth about colorblindness for the first time.

And I was so excited about this information that seemed so powerful and important to me that I wanted to share it with as many people as possible.

Divorce was very hard as a child to see your parents go through it, and it’s very hard as an adult — the breakage and loss we feel, and the added pain of watching our kids suffer and knowing we had a hand in it.

And FINALLY, I know something that other guys don’t know, but IF they knew, they could all change and then maybe they won’t get divorced like me.

That was what I thought and felt.

But after doing this for four years, seeing and hearing how so many relationship and divorce stories play out, and going through the human experience myself in my various family and social relationships, I’ve learned something else very important.

We Don’t Change — Our Understanding Does

I thought my new understanding would change me. I even used the word “change.” I described myself as a new person. A different person.

It’s a lot of semantics of course, but I’m not actually all that different. And I haven’t really changed despite all of my newfound understanding.

I used to believe that I could help a man understand what I know, and that if he “got it,” he could then flip a switch and magically turn into someone else who never did the things which upset his spouse.

That’s not what happens.

People don’t magically turn into other people with totally different personalities and habits, no matter how much they learn.

I used to believe that a guy would simply stop doing all of those things which started fights at home and THAT would save a marriage.

I no longer believe that.

I believe a guy — any person, really — will continue to be exactly who they are. But I believe they will occasionally be more mindful of their behaviors and reduce instances of situations which historically caused an argument.

But the real value is in the understanding.

Marriages aren’t saved by people changing everything about themselves and the chemistry that brought them together in the first place.

Marriages are saved by people who learn how to understand one another. We learn that our translators are unreliable, so we must account for things getting lost in translation. We learn that the goal of a conversation is not to win an argument, but to achieve mutual understanding.

We learn that we can look at the exact same photo as someone else and see something totally different because neither of us are wrong. Then, when we talk, we are — maybe for the first time ever — actually talking about the same things with the same frame of reference.

Because my brain and your brain are not the same.

Because all of my individual experiences, and all of yours, shaped us into people who see and feel things differently.

Because colorblindness is real.

“Oh, he’s colorblind. Of course the fruit looks different to him. He isn’t wrong. He isn’t crazy. And he hasn’t been intentionally trying to anger or hurt me all this of time after all.”

We want them to change.

But all we really need is for them to understand.

That’s when good things happen.

126 thoughts on “The Power of Understanding”

    1. Right. I have a unique capicity for the thoughtful observation after the fact, instead of in real-time when an adjustment might have changed everything for the better.

    1. Thank you, Lesli.

      Most of this is nowhere near “new ground,” but I have been thinking a lot about the behavioral-change component.

      I thought if people “knew better,” they could automatically stop doing things with negative triggers, and start doing things which had a positive impact.

      But that’s not what happens.

      We forget. Or at least, I do. And I find myself thinking and feeling and behaving in much the same way as I did in my marriage that ended BECAUSE of many of those thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

      And I let it get to me for a while. It was almost depressing.

      Like: If after thinking and talking about this stuff almost every day for four or five years doesn’t “fix” me, what can? Maybe I’m doomed.

      But then I had another moment of clarity.

      Most of us don’t get “fixed.” Most of us don’t change.

      We don’t eliminate triggers so much as we become more self-aware and better at managing them.

      We DO NOT change. Not any more than our natural growth and maturity brings about over time.

      But our understanding and wisdom levels can increase dramatically.

      So it’s not our thoughtless behaviors that change, because they are mostly ingrained involuntary actions and responses. It’s us achieving a high-enough level of understanding that we know how to manage ourselves and communication with our partner afterward.

      How we talk and think changes more than anything else.

      But I think that can be enough.

      Or. Maybe I just hope.

      1. This is the current challenge in our marriage – after a lot of therapy, my husband’s behaviors really haven’t changed much at all despite him having a better understanding of why they are harmful. We have not yet effectively progressed to managing the conversations better, but that’s the goal.

        1. I don’t “like” your situation. But I do like that you shared this.

          This is the work of saving a marriage, right? And I don’t think I’m crazy for thinking that it’s a nuanced, subtle shift in framing the problem (again, combined with all of our inconvenient emotional triggers and baggage) that makes it seem hopeless for people who continue to feel bad even when they feel like they know more than they used to.

          Totally the point of this post, and I’m grateful for you applying a real-world scenario to it.

          Thank you for that.

  1. zentrifiedlawyermom

    Profound words. “We want them to change. But all we really need is for them to understand.” I’ve been growing in my understand lately, because I’m watching a close family member go through the same problems in their marriage that I went through in mine (which ultimately led to my divorce). But the difference is, the person close to me is a man, and his wife complains about the same things I complained about concerning my husband. I see things from his perspective and not his wife’s, because he is dear to me and I know his heart. And every time that happens, it makes me realize I could never see it from my husband’s perspective when the shoe was on the other foot. There was so much love lost between my husband and I that I don’t think it can make a difference now, but I definitely think it will shape the way I understand in future relationships.

    1. Really appreciate you sharing that story and perspective.

      I know exactly what you mean. About so much love lost. The toxicity of resentment and emotional baggage.

      But I share your hope that I can rectify some of those things should I decide to ever walk that road again.

  2. Thanks again Matt for your profound words of wisdom, a change of view from me really helped seeing more about what my wife was talking about and feeling on things. I think this change of perspective and understanding is what is saving my marriage.

    1. I don’t think it can be overstated how much people need those closest to them to understand and accept them in order for a relationship to not turn into a total shit-show.

      It’s awesome of you to keep checking in and leaving the occasional note. I appreciate you thinking about this stuff and walking the walk.

      I promise you it’s easier for me to sit around typing this stuff than it is to do the grown-up work if living it out even when it feels frustrating or thankless or inconvenient.

      So, thank you. For all that you’re doing at home. And all that you’ve given away from it.

  3. East Coast Lonely

    Matt do you think it is necessary to understand everything or, in the absence of understanding, acceptance. My husband can not understand my desire to connect with him over conversations that are not always so heavy. But he doesn’t need to understand why that is important as much as he needs to accept that it is important to me. He tells me that he cannot understand why people want to talk about things that are not important. I do talk about important stuff, just not all the time. It cannot be the entirety of my conversations. So he doesn’t connect with me on a level that I can appreciate because he doesn’t understand the importance to me. He has told me that. But I think that if he cannot understand it, he can at least accept that it is important to me and try a little harder to meet my needs. But he won’t, and I give up.

    1. I remember writing that “a lot of this is semantics.” And this is exactly what I’m talking about.

      So, in this instance, I don’t expect your husband to “understand” in the context of totally agreeing with you.

      But I DO expect him to UNDERSTAND the situation. Which is what you said. That what you need is to connect with him through these ways that apply specifically to you, but not to him.

      This is a classic Oblivious Husband Moment. And he’s one of two guys. A guy who honestly doesn’t give a shit about your feelings, OR a man who (if he had a Zen moment of Total Enlightenment) and “understood” in the most literal sense of the word that a particular behavior truly HURTS you, and since he would never hurt you, he will now adjust or eliminate that behavior.

      I hurt my wife repeatedly in my marriage. Over and over and over and over again. I mean, heart-damaging, gut-wrenching neglect.

      And I recognize now how that happened.

      But I absolutely, 100% did not in the moment it was happening.

      I thought something. She thought something. We disagreed. I treated it like any disagreement.

      But the moment I was in as part of a marriage demanded more from me. Something I get now and am trying to pass along to others.

      He needs to Understand on a big picture. How much it matters.

      NOT to agree with you. Just to agree that it matters BECAUSE it matters to you.

      1. Such a great discussion…I would add, to the last line just above, just to understand that it matters, without needing to understand why.

  4. “I believe a guy — any person, really — will continue to be exactly who they are. But I believe they will occasionally be more mindful of their behaviors and reduce instances of situations which historically caused an argument.

    But the real value is in the understanding.

    Marriages aren’t saved by people changing everything about themselves and the chemistry that brought them together in the first place.

    Marriages are saved by people who learn how to understand one another. We learn that our translators are unreliable, so we must account for things getting lost in translation. We learn that the goal of a conversation is not to win an argument, but to achieve mutual understanding.”

    I’m with you 100% here Matt. People aren’t REALLY going to change. Yes, there will hopefully be some small adjustments here and there to accommodate the other person, but much of who we are is shaped by a lifetime of experiences. So although changes can and do happen, they aren’t going to be major paradigm shifts.

    So the big win is in finally accepting that hey, my views AREN’T always your, and just because you don’t agree with me it doesn’t mean you are WRONG.

    THAT, to me is a fairly significant shift in thinking.

    I DON’T have to agree with someone elses views. But if I can try to understand them, and understand WHY they think the way they do – then it’s much easier to accept them as who they are.

    1. The brief conversations we’ve had Drew, and various comments and writings I’ve read from you have been a big part of me coming to this realization I’d previously been missing.

      I think it’s a big one.

      When you think things will CHANGE, or that you will change, and you don’t, it can be depressing.

      Feel like failure. Like something is wrong.

      It’s a flawed premise and totally unreasonable expectation.

      What happens is, we still mess up, our partners still mess up, and we still feel crappy about it.

      But instead of digging in our heels and arguing our respective positions like we always do during The Same Fight, we finally see things for what they really are.

      What changes is, The Same Fight stops eroding the relationship, and the recognition of both people that it’s happening, and adjusting words and behavior in that moment kills the resentment, and creates all of the good stuff that makes a family a family.

      I think the subtle move from working to explain oneself to the other while also trying to understand the other person’s perspective without trying to debate the point or “win,” is literally the difference between the marriages that thrive, and those which end — either literally, or even just inside each individual’s check-out hearts and minds.

      You’ve been a great influence, Drew. I really appreciate it.

    2. “So the big win is in finally accepting that hey, my views AREN’T always your, and just because you don’t agree with me it doesn’t mean you are WRONG.”

      Quoted for the simple truth and beauty of this statement. We need to accept our partner as Other, which is actually a big leap for a lot of us. :-/

  5. I always find things funny that other people don’t . wait you were not writing about me were you?its well written.Thank you for letting me know i am not alone

    1. We’re never the only one.

      I mean, if you stand on one foot, close your left eye, eat a dill pickle spear while listening to The Beatles white album while yelling with your mouth full: “I am the bread maker you’ve been looking for, so don’t sell pinball machines to skinny kids in Tokyo!” you will probably be the first and only person to ever to do that.

      (Unless I’ve done it first, of course.)

      But otherwise… never alone.

      And in certain life situations, the profundity of that realization can be life-changing.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a note.

  6. People do continually change through life. Relationships are one of the agents of change. I don’t think couples are glued together, then break apart exactly as they were. It’s more like they have chemical reactions and are never quite the same as they used to be even when they break up. Like that melting model airplane glue they used to let us kids play with in the ’70s? This reminds me of some of those employee behavior training seminars that human resource departments are so fond of. They tell you that if you understand all your co-workers and bosses, all interpersonal problems will vanish, but in reality, understanding why Jockstrap in the next cubicle is such a jerk to women co-workers doesn’t actually make him less than a jerk.

    Understanding and acceptance is necessary, and should cure all sorts of day-to-day things between people. Wanting your mate to do and see everything your way is controlling and disrespectful. However. There are the deeper issues of roles and responsibilities that can’t be understood away. A spouse who always sees himself as a child of the house may be understood, but accepting that is accepting that you didn’t marry. You adopted an ugly bearded baby with perverted desires. And it isn’t ok, and I while I do understand it, I don’t accept it, because that would mean destroying my own personality completely in service of his. Change or out.

    C’mon, it’s not impossible. You wife did not emerge from the womb taking care of everyone’s medical care and appointments, arranging childcare, vacations, planning and budgeting healthy meals, paying all the bills, and cleaning the house so no one got cholera. She CHANGED into a responsible adult partner when she married. I don’t get why guys get to wander in as permanent teens and then say “no one changes.” Like H. Ask the wives how much they had to change.

    1. So much truth here Anne. Granted, some people do have an easier time planning and managing things, just like some people have an easier time learning how to read than others. I believe that. But some people have an easier time of it only because they’ve practiced doing it over and over. And like you say, no one emerges from the womb knowing how to manage and take care of all the things. If someone truly has difficulties with a certain set of tasks, well, they can do and be responsible for something else instead.

      “You adopted an ugly bearded baby with perverted desires. ” Hahaha!

  7. Yep. Many conflicts come from a lack of understanding. If you look back in history, many wars were fought over resources people thought were finite at the time. Of course those resources (such as food) were not finite at all… we just didn’t know any better. I do think people can change though… it takes a long time and a lot of work but it is possible. In the same way a 30 year old man can master the guitar with enough deliberate practice, he can learn to be more considerate to the people around him. The key is to realize that change doesn’t happen intellectually. It has to happen on a subconscious level in order to really take root. That’s why most people don’t change until something deeply emotional affects them, or they are put under a behavior changing stimulus for a prolonged period of time. This was a great read Matt, have a nice weekend.

    1. Amen.

      Thank you very much for reading and contributing. No pun intended, but you clearly “understood” exactly the point I was attempting to make.

      Semantics keep getting in the way here.

      Sure, people understand concepts, don’t make changes, and then horribleness continues. I get that.

      But unless one is married to an intentionally abusive person, NO husband or wife, EVER, would truly understand a situation which resulted in emotional harm to his/her partner so severe that it would end the marriage and jeopardize the welfare of their children, and various family and social relationships.

      What I’m saying is (for the thousandth time) most of the “marriage problems” most commonly cited as reasons for divorce or as contributors to affairs, are things one person does as a natural part of their life. It’s a habit. An instinct. A thoughtless behavior.

      It FEELS benign and insignificant to the accused offender.

      It FEELS exactly how it would feel if someone told me that the way I tie my shoes, or the fact that I set my alarm clock for 6:30 a.m., or that I was born in Iowa caused them pain and discomfort so severe that it was jeopardizing the health of our relationship.

      It sounds insane. Stupid. Nonsensical.

      I wouldn’t understand. Maybe on the other end of that, there’s a good reason. Maybe there’s not. Who knows.

      But on the other end of these relationship issues IS a good reason. These things really do HURT people so deeply that they become entirely new versions of themselves and are often willing to risk the loss of their homelife and time with their children and restart their adult lives over as a terrified single parent, all because that sounds more pleasant and safer than maintaining the status quo.

      A spouse needs to UNDERSTAND that.

      They don’t need to understand in a personal way why a dish by the sink hurts his or her partner.

      They don’t need to experience it the same way, or agree that a dish left by the sink is a painful human experience on the whole.

      But they DO need to understand that in this one specific instance, it’s painful for his or her partner, and that it’s part of something much bigger, and that not accepting responsibility for a small behavioral change to accomodate someone else’s discomfort will eventually destroy the relationship.

      It’s sneaky. Frighteningly subtle and sneaky.

      And people want to fight over the importance of the dish more than they want to understand how little things fit into the entire puzzle.

      I really appreciate you adding to this conversation.

      People can certainly change their behavior. No question. And it’s by forming new habits that they’ll get there.

      And unfortunately, yes, it often takes something deeply affecting, like a life trauma, to trigger the mindfulness necessary to form new and healthy habits.

      1. I appreciate you too brother. I think you’re doing a lot of selfless good with your blog. Many people would have developed a “I want other people to suffer through what I went through” attitude after something as painful as a divorce but you are trying to turn that into a positive. I know none of us are perfect, but you should be commended for trying really hard to help. Keep writing, and I’ll keep reading.

  8. Pingback: On Being Colorblind.. | See, there's this thing called biology...

  9. I “understand” fully. Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t. His view is if in the conversation or argument you don’t agree with him then you are wrong. He is always right and only sees it his way. He wear blinders. Because as he “sees” it, he would be a failure or he feels it’s a failure if he is wrong!

  10. Matt said: “Couples fight a lot. We’re human. We disagree because our brains work differently than others’. But when we FIGHT, it’s mostly because we don’t understand.”

    Maybe so. But you got to feel bad for these poor suckers, esp given that if they dare call the police, THEY will be the ones who get arrested (unless they have everything on video)

    I’ve said it before – marriage is a very risky endeavor for men nowadays. I expect the marriage strike to continue to gain traction.

    1. I don’t operate from a place of cynicism.

      There’s no rational way to write about love and marriage when you’re operating from the mindset that one or both people are con artists, or evil, or severely mentally ill, or any other thing that might cause a person to deceive and intentionally harm the person they married and/or the other parent of their children.

      That is so far outside the confines of the reality I know, that I never even think about it.

      There can be no accounting for deceit or fraud or evil intent. I can only encourage people to be vigilant about “screening” the people they would invite into their lives in such a potentially impactful way.

      That is not my world. I am not out to encourage people to be trying to work things out with an abusive or evil person.

      The framing in my writing is always under the premise that two well-meaning human beings WANT to be married and love one another.

    2. “I can only encourage people to be vigilant about “screening” the people they would invite into their lives in such a potentially impactful way.”

      This, times 1,000.

      I’ve seen too many good guys have their lives ruined by getting involved with the wrong girl. No doubt it works the other way too, at times.

      Be careful out there, y’all.

    3. “I don’t operate from a place of cynicism”

      How about a place of realism? Matt, with all due respect, you are in complete denial about the risks posed by marriage for men. And I mean for men specifically…not women.

      You act like it’s still the 1950’s, when marriage was indeed a good deal for men (and women too). Those days are long gone.

      Are you even familiar with “the Duluth Model” of domestic violence, where the husband is always presumed guilty? And is to be treated as a batterer as a matter of course? (Which will destroy his life)

      If the wife is so much as touched in anger, all the courts, the police, CPS, social workers, etc all close ranks behind her to destroy her husband. But if the wife kicks her husband’s head in? Well, then this happens:

      So let’s cut the crap Matt. The majority of men should steer clear of marriage today…it is a rigged system, and it is rigged against them. To quote from the 1980’s movie WarGames, “A strange game, the only way to win is not to play.”

      And don’t feel sorry for the women who will end up old maids, with their cats and their “battery operated boyfriends”. Because they could bring back Marriage 1.0 (what you saw on Leave it to Beaver or Father Knows Best) if they wanted to. But they apparently choose not to. And they still expect men to voluntarily put their head into the noose? Don’t count on it.

      1. Jeff, you sound like a preprogrammed Dalrockian, and frankly that kind of cultian behavior starts to freak me out. It’s like the mothership issues his talking points for the week and you guys all just start chanting them in unison all about the intertoobz.

      2. IB,

        Facts are facts, whether they “freak you out” or not. We have to deal with reality as it is, not as you might wish it were.

          1. So true!! If I’m not mistaken, married men live longer than married women and single women live longer than single men. The facts do indeed show that men benefit more from marriage.

        1. Ai yi yi. Take the red pill, come out of the Matrix, and than you too can lecture people about the nature of reality.

          Never mind all that, what I can never figure out is how people can possibly reconcile that mindset with faith? I mean, call me crazy but I believe in burning bushes, talking donkeys, and the risen Christ. I believe we walk by faith and not by sight. I believe we are in the world but not of the world. Oh, and I also believe in love, marriage, babies, kittens,and assorted other miracles.

          I’ve seen some odd things in my life, but I must admit the whole concept of “Christian red pills,” really threw me for a loop.

          1. Yeah. Jesus and Red Pill disciples demonstrate few commonalities.

            And it’s because several principles of each philosophy completely contradict one another.

            I’m glad you said that.

          2. Matt,

            Do you really think you can change the rules from Marriage 1.0 to what we have today, and there won’t be a reaction?

            The shaming tactic to push men to marry isn’t working like it used to, and will work even less in future if these trends continue. They see that the laws and courts are completely set against them, that they will always be the “bad guy”, and that they are always a mere phone call away from being destroyed. Why would they play by those rules?

          3. Do Unto Others, Jeff.

            If you are discussing marriage in a dispassionate, mathematical, legal sort-of way, you have a point.

            If we are discussing marriage as a spiritual union between two well-intentioned people who intend to love and serve one another and raise children together “’til death do us part,” then I think what you’re saying is complete nonsense.

            I KNOW there are broken people out there capable of heinous, abusive, cruel things to the people they claimed to love.

            Every post I have ever written is NOT about them.

            The writing is ONLY about people who ACTUALLY WANT to be married.

            I’m not agreeing to discuss things within this fundamentally flawed, dysfunctional premise you’re carrying on about.

            If ALL women are abusive tyrants, and ALL men who marry are 100% mathematically certain to be “chained” to one of them for the duration of their marriage or their children’s growing years, then of course no one should ever get married or have children.

            OF COURSE.

            But you’re being kind of a dense asshole about this.

            Clearly, there are MANY, MANY, MANY (to the tune of probably 90-95% of the human population), who if for no other reason than their own self-interest, don’t want to get married only to suffer through divorce and financial difficulty and emotional trauma and custody battles, etc.

            You’re acting like there’s a secret society of women plotting to get married and then later divorce JUST to fuck with good men.

            It’s such an asinine assertion that I’m pissed at myself right now for dedicating this much time and mental energy to try to think about where you might be coming from.

            Most people are not evil, Jeff.

            Those people are accidentally ruining their marriages through their lack of understanding how their words and actions are perceived by their partner.

            They have no idea how bad it is, because THEY themselves don’t feel bad when those actions are reversed.

            As you know, this tends to break along gender lines, but not always.

            Men do X. X makes their wives feel bad.

            Women do Y. Y make their husbands feel disrespected and ashamed.

            They repeat the same damn fight for however many years they’re married, and then in that 5-10 year window, they divorce or one of them has an affair.

            That’s the math. That’s what statistically happens most of the time.

            NOT this thing you’re Chicken Little-ing about.

            We don’t have some crazy rash of evil women conning good men into marriage only to trick them into physical abuse (or fabricating stories so believable to police) that good men are being arrested or imprisoned or otherwise victimized.

            You sound like a lunatic suggesting otherwise.

            And you sound like a sexist, narcisstic tyrant when you suggest that men should only marry, submissive, demure, opinionless women who are perpetually willing to take a backseat to their husbands EVEN when they honestly believe their husbands may be making a poor or unwise or irresponsible choice that might jeopardize the health, wellness, safety or financial stability of their children.

            JUST STOP. You’re incorrect.

            I know it hurts to be wrong. I’m wrong all the time.

            Just not about this.

      3. Extrapolating to the population in general on the basis of an extraordinarily number of specific cases filtered through ideological preconceptions is close to insanity. It’s about as reliable as taking in all of your information about science, relationships and history from what you see in theaters. In this case, what’s being served up is a potent mix of anger and powerless victimhood. Far better to seek growth in understanding, maturity and self-confidence that empowers one to risk connection and love with all those around you in all your relationships, intimate and otherwise.

    4. Bae, get divorced then, join your red pill brethren in being eternal bachelors with a new sex every day and no marriage, I dare you, do it! Red pill works right? Be a sex object woman have sex with then leave!

  11. Two people can expereicne the same thing, come to different conclusions, the key point is to find a way through such a deep conflict of perceptions, and to not alienate the person you wanna stay before they get to a point of numb and peacing out, that’s key, that involved more then passive listening and one person doing all the emotional labour!

  12. Matt,

    I’m responding down here, the formatting was getting a bit narrow above.

    Let’s try to find some common ground. I get what you are saying – you are interested in giving advice to people who want to be married, and want their marriage to be a success. Those who are totally unsuitable for marriage are not your intended audience. So yes, I get that.

    Furthermore, I believe in marriage! I’m happily married myself now, for many years. I hope my kids will be happily married someday. And I do believe in “do unto others” and I certainly don’t think all women are evil (I know for a fact my wife, daughters, and mother aren’t…lol)

    So where do we disagree? Well, I think it’s in the ability to rationally look at how the rules of marriage have changed over the last few decades, as a result of the feminist agenda. All the rules now in place make marriage a risky bet for a man.

    You can say “but most people are good” and “women take their chances too, she could end up married to a jerk”. And of course that is true. But here’s the problem – if she ends up married to a jerk and decides to divorce him, the courts are in her favor! She will get the kids. She will get the house. She will get a claim on his income. She will take half his pension or retirement account. She will get all the sympathy and commiseration about how sad that her “marriage didn’t work out” (even if she left him because she thought she could do better…or he left a dirty glass by the sink once too often)

    What does the now ex-husband get? To be her slave, supporting her even after she bails on him. To be alienated from his children. And all this if he’s lucky! If he’s unlucky, she picks up the phone to call her local police and informs them that she’s “in fear” of her husband…the big, scary man that he is. Would the officers be so kind as to come right over and handcuff the gentleman, take to jail for the night, and put him into the criminal justice system? (which may have a devastating effect on his career, not to mention will get DCF investigating whether he’s a fit parent. You know, sincere now he’s officially labeled as “violent”)

    This happens all the time. Every man knows someone this has happened to, assuming he hasn’t gone through it himself! And you seriously don’t expect men to react to this? Their still supposed to marry like it’s the 1950’s and they will be treated like Ward Cleaver?

    Pull your head out of your ass Matt. You have to deal with reality. Again, saying not every woman would do that kind of thing (and I agree with you here!) solves nothing. Because the problem is that any particular woman can choose to do it at any time, and the possibility is always there. The threatpoint always hangs over the husband. It’s the threatpoint, enforced by our legal system, that must be removed!

    How can I make you understand this? Ok, try this. Suppose the legal system was set up so that the man could beat the crap out of his wife at anytime, for any reason. And not only would he face no punishment, but if the wife complained then SHE would be the one arrested. Now if that were the case, and most women knew a female who was being beaten in such a way by her husband with the full blessing of the legal system, don’t you think the number of women entering into marriage would begin to fall? And if it did, would you chastise those women by telling them to “do unto others”, and that not all men are evil, so hopefully their particular husband will be a good guy?

    To be consistent, that’s exactly what you’d have to do. Yet we know you wouldn’t.

    Please think about what I’m saying Matt. See if you can understand where I’m coming from. Read the link I posted before and check out that guy’s story. Google the “Duluth Model” and especially check out the “power and control wheel”. See for yourself what the radicals have done…while you continue to look the other way.

    This is affecting the marriage market, and will continue to do so. More and more. Pretending it doesn’t exist will not help. Obviously, the solution is to change the laws and legal system back to Marriage 1.0. But who knows when or if that will ever happen? In the meantime, what can a marriage-minded young lady do to reassure her intended that it’s safe to marry her? And what can a marriage-minded young man do to reassure himself that taking marriage vows is really not the equivalent of sticking his head in a noose?

    These are the kinds of questions I’d like to see you address. Not so much for me – I’m good. Been happily married for many years and don’t plan to ever be in the marriage market again. But for you, your readers, our kids, and so on, these questions should be addressed. It’s time to stop ignoring the elephant in the room.

    1. Matt is HARDLY the person that needs to pull his head out of his ass.

      I just want to be clear, did you just compare the result of a man getting a divorce to a woman being beaten?

    2. Because everyone knows someone who has suffered through painful miscarriage or the death of a child after birth, perhaps we should put a moratorium on procreation.

      Because everyone is familiar with stories of people dying in car accidents, perhaps we should ban driving or vehicle sales.

      Because poor nutrition and unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol are known to cause health problems, we should reinstitute Prohibition, shut down fast-food restaurants, and outlaw things like candy, ice cream and soft drinks.

      When you use enough irrational fear-mongering rhetoric, you can start to justify all kinds of things, Jeff.

      Being an asshole to someone with different-colored skin.

      Or denying them employment.

      Or denying them service from your business.

      Or denying them the same seats on a bus, or access to the same drinking fountains, or access to the same educational opportunities.

      Or denying them basic human freedoms. The right to vote, or own land, or NOT be OWNED by some other guy who looks more like you.

      When you spread fear about what might happen based exclusively on these statistically infrequent happenings, I think you might be able to justify doing ANYTHING, Jeff.

      Slaughtering families as part of an ethnic-cleansing initiative.

      Enslaving people in concentration camps.

      Killing every elderly person who no longer contributes financially to society at large or denying them medical care, because they’re “a drain on the system.”

      Don’t waste your time telling me these are extreme examples. I KNOW they’re extreme. That’s the entire point.

      Throughout human history, insane things have been done in the name of protectionism and/or fear.

      I’m glad you care so much about what I write that you very specifically want me to write about some of these things that seem to have you worried. Thanks.

      But there’s no elephant in the room, Jeff.

      You might not like the truth. That healthy relationships require compromise and sacrfice and selflessness and humility and effort and fortitude.

      I agree it’s not as convenient as it would be if the rest of the world catered to our every whim and nothing in life was ever difficult.

      But these things are required. REAL love — rooted in kindness and mutual respect and a willingness to put another person AHEAD of yourself — is required for most people to have a marriage that doesn’t end prematurely.

      I’m not interested in cautionary tales about courtroom drama and women so callous that they’d INTENTIONALLY harm their husbands and/or children’s fathers.

      I’m interested in two good people and their children having the best-possible chance for celebrating that 50- and 60-year anniversary together, where the kids stand up and thank them for showing them what it looks like to live for something greater than yourself.

      That’s what matters.


      1. Some people like Jeff have unnatural endurance for arguing their point without ever taking a breath and looking at something from another perspective. He will continue to dig his heels in–deep. At which point all you can do is stop fighting and remind yourself Matt, that you can’t save them all.

    3. Alright Matt, I’m talking to a wall here. And it’s intentional on your part. You refuse to address my point that it’s NOT that there are always examples of people being hurtful to each other. If that were all it is, fine. You roll the dice and you take your chances. Either a man or woman could end up married to a jerk, if they’re not careful. Fine.

      No, the point I made (which you ignored) is that if husband is the a$$hole, the laws and the courts are on the side of the wife. She at last has that going for her, as a safety net.

      But thanks to the feminist agenda, cowardly politicians, insanity like the “Duluth Model”, and frankly guys in denial like you…the contrary is not the case. If she is the a$$hole, then all the laws and courts on her side and against him!

      Read the link I posted. See what happened to that guy. Then realize, it’s not that he just happened to be married to an evil witch. That not the point. The point is, when that evil witch decided to destroy him…the law and courts backed her fully! As a man, HE HAS NO RECOUSE!

      It’s like the analogy I posted in my prior post. If the law said men could beat their wives with impunity, and if she complained about it then SHE would be the one to be arrested, would you expect women to continue to marry at the same rate as before? And just tell her, “Oh well. Look,on the bright side – it’s untrue to say all men are evil. So just do unto others, etc”.

      I know I’m wasting my breath. If you respond at all, you’ll again purposefully skip my entire point and address your straw man yet again..that I am claiming all women are bad.

      If you don’t believe me, go talk to Domestic Violence counselor (as i have…yes, I’ve done primary research on this topic. Have you?). Have her tell you her experience with all the good men who’ve been railroaded by the system. Talk to the men who are not allowed to see their children because the court says so. Ask about the fraudulent restraining orders, the false accusations of physical abuse, even sexual abuse of children. And remember, the point is NOT that some women do this…but that any particular woman can do it at anytime and the whole legal system will back her. Therefore, a man who enters marriage will have this threatpoint hanging over him at all times!

      Ignoring it won’t make it go away Matt. It just won’t.

      P.S. To the women here backing Matt, because it feels emotionally good to paint this as a Battle of the Sexes and see Matt as your beta orbiter or white knight. You are making a mistake. While it’s men who are being railroaded by this system, ultimately women will pay the biggest price. Because if nothing changes, more and more men will opt out and refuse to marry. And it doesn’t take many to have a big impact on the marriage market…as they say, “prices are set at the margins”. At some point, when women see enough of their girlfriends and relatives ending up old maids, panic will set in. We will hear over and over “What’s wrong with the men today? Why won’t they marry?”

      Well, you know why. And if you did nothing about it, you are part of the problem.

      1. See, that last point right there is my biggest problem with this. Why is my worth dependent on the amount of men willing to marry? That makes no sense at all. What exactly do you think the feminist agenda is? I must be overlooking something crazy because it couldn’t possibly be something as simple as equality, right?

        And Matt, a white knight, are you joking? I’m pretty sure you’ve missed the entire point of his blog.

      2. “If you don’t believe me, go talk to Domestic Violence counselor (as i have…yes, I’ve done primary research on this topic. Have you?)”

        That would be me, Jeff, for decades. I burnt out. I got so tired of seeing woman’s burned and battered bodies, maimed and dead children, this endless parade of misery and suffering caused by the hands of MEN. One third of all murdered women are killed by intimate partners in this country.

        Men fear being shamed into marriage, or the rejection of divorce. Women fear the loss of our lives,the abuse of our children. These things are not equal.

        1. These two things are so far from each other it makes me sick it was used as an example.

      3. That’s the last fucking time you get to call me one of your moronic Red Pill nicknames.

        I tolerated “mangina” in your first-ever comment, to which I promptly invited you to go fuck yourself.

        And I’m going to extend that invitation once again.

        Your very existence here works against the ENTIRE PURPOSE of all of the thinking and writing I do.

        I’ve tolerated it for a long time now at the expense of losing readers and commenters who actually provided value and aren’t moronic, sexist, or racist cockfaces toward others in half of their comments.

        Consider this my final request for you to go find something else to do with your time.

        The next time anything you type looks or smells anything like an insult or childish name-calling attempt toward another commenter or myself, we’ll have had our final exchange.

        We probably already have.

        1. I feel better able to understand (not agree, just understand) where Jeff was coming from, having read his comment on IB’s own blog post linked above (Dalrock etc.)

  13. Personally, I’d rather die a spinster and have my cats feast on my cold, dead body (and then they must be found in good time and adopted into loving homes) than be married for life someone who thinks about women and marriage the way Jeff Strand seemingly does. If the men opting out of marriage have those kinds of opinions, well, I can’t help but be kinda pleased. Many of those men would probably feel the same way about me, that’s their right of course.

    That being said, I strongly believe in a just society. I’m not familiar with the court system in the different states in the USA regarding divorce or domestic violence. I’m not very familiar with the court system regarding divorce or domestic violence in my own country either. Maybe there are gross injustices done against men when it comes to divorce and domestic violence (and I do know of some!), and if/when that’s the case, I am wholeheartedly against that, truly.

    I personally believe shared custody should be the norm when people divorce (with legitimate expections). So no evil plan from a feminist/egalitarian to deny decent men access to their children here. And I believe in the innocent until proven guilty concept. No evil feminist agenda from myself at least to place innocent men in prison just because a woman is feeling vindictive.

    But hey, there are pretty legitimate reasons for arresting someone, or taking it very seriously, (which is NOT the same as convicting someone) if there’s a complaint about domestic violence, or fear of domestic violence. Like IB writes, women have a frighteningly high chance of being murdered by their partners. And yes, men should be afforded the same protection from violent women. I’m pro more safe houses for men, by the way. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve heard of a Gottman study that shows women initiate domestic violence more often than men, though I suspect it’s of a less serious nature. No intentionally covering up unsavory facts here to promote some kind of injust agenda (though for the record, Jeff Strand never accused me personally of any of these things/agendas/evil plans).

    Of course women can kill and harm, and with guns things can play out in different ways. But let’s not forget that in general, men are larger and muscularly stronger than women and thus can usually do way more damage to her than the other way around. I think it’s right that if a woman calls and has legitimate worries for her safety in the presence of a man, that should be taken seriously (again, not convicting someone until they’re proven guilty!). Just like a fit young-ish woman can usually do way more damage towards an elderly frail man than the other way around, and so society (in my opinion) should err on the side on his protection (again, not convicting someone until proven guilty) should he legitimately fear for his safety in her presence (say there’s been a heated argument and she’s throwing things in his direction), rather than erring on the side of never ever arresting/issuing a restraining order etc against someone (again, not convicting unless proven guilty) someone who hasn’t actually done anything wrong.

    1. Donkey,

      Thanks for the sentiments regarding fixing abuses in the court system and innocent till proven guilty. Thinking like that makes you part of the solution. It’s a start.

      The shot against me personally wasn’t necessary. You could just say that you wouldn’t choose to marry me, as we are not compatible. No problem, I’m off the market anyway, lol.

      So, in case you feel like replying…I have a couple questions.

      Do you think Tiger Wood’s wife should have been charged with DV assault for attacking and terrorizing him with a golf club when she learned he was cheating on her? This would have involved her being handcuffed, taken to the police station, the humiliation of being fingerprinted and mugshotted, transferred to the county pen overnight, stood in front of a judge, probably in jail 2 days before she could get out, eventually a plea that requires attending a DV class, the plea on her criminal record which will result in: A) She loses custody of her kids to Tiger. B) She can never own a gun for the rest of her life C) If she has a high status job, her career is now over.

      Do those seem like reasonable consequences for having freaked out when she learn about all of her husband’s infidelities? And answer the same question if she hadn’t used a weapon at all (the golf club), but merely slapped him with an open hand across the face…leaving no marks or injury. Because the law is the same in that case…it’s still a DV misdemeanor and everything i laid out in the prior paragraph still gets triggered.

      And second question. Nowadays, a man can be arrested and removed from the home merely because the woman claims to be “in fear”. In other words, he neither hit her nor threatened to do so. But she’s “afraid” because he yelled at her. Or punched a pillow or something. Can you not see the insanity of these policies? You’re making the man responsible for the woman’s FEELINGS (specifically, fear). But how can you control someone else’s feelings and emotions? And how can you be held responsible for her feelings?

      How would you feel if your son were arrested on a DV charge, just because he had an argument with his wife and she called the police and claimed to be “in fear”? (Though he never touched her or even threatened to do so). And this cost him his job? And cost him custody of and even visitation with his kids if she divorced him? Would you not be furious? Would you not consider this a grave injustice?

      And if you had a second, younger son…still single…after witnessing what happened to big bro, how quickly do you think he would want to jump into marriage? Knowing his destruction is always a phone call away, at anytime. No matter how much he might love his gf, no matter how sweet he might think she is, would he be in a hurry to give her that absolute legal power over him? To destroy him on a whim? And if he wasn’t in any hurry to get married as a result, could you blame him?

      I’m just saying these are legitimate questions.

      1. Hi Jeff,

        I actually tried to *not* take a personal shot at you, while stating my own strong opinion at the samte time. That’s why I talked about men with *opinions* about women and marriage such as you *seemingly* have. I consciously chose to not say “men *like* yourself”, that would have been a personal shot in my opinion. And by saying “seemingly” I tried to make it clear that I do not know the ultimate truth about your opinions. And I said that I think many of those men would feel the same way about me. Haven’t you expressed similar sentiments about egalitarian women, that men should stay way clear of them etc?

        But hey, I don’t know the ultimate truth about what’s respectful or not either, so if I was disrespectful, I apologize.

        I’m only very vaguely familiar with the Tiger Woods and Elin Woods golf club incident, so I can’t comment specifically. But yes, if a woman attacked and threatened a man with a golf club and he got scared, I think she deserves to be arrested and hand cuffed, having to take a DV class. Do I think an incident like this should always lead to a job loss and loss of custody and never being allowed to own a gun? No.

        “And answer the same question if she hadn’t used a weapon at all (the golf club), but merely slapped him with an open hand across the face…leaving no marks or injury. Because the law is the same in that case…it’s still a DV misdemeanor and everything i laid out in the prior paragraph still gets triggered.”

        Good question,and I can’t give you a straight answer because I’m undecided about what I’d do if I was seriously involved with someone and he slapped me in anger. If it had been in a highly charged situation, lets say we had a child who had been colicky for months, for some reason I called his mom a whore and he gave me a slap that wasn’t particularly hard? It wouldn’t be completely obvious to me that I should call the police and have him arrested etc. Again, I certainly don’t think something like that should always warrant a job loss etc, even if there was an arrest, especially if it was a one time not serious thing. And really, I’d feel the same about a woman hitting a man. Yes, he is within his right to press charges and I don’t think I blame him if he did, but If it was pretty mild and it was a one time thing in a very pressed situation? I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t press charges either.

        Of course, it’s not fair to be held responsible for someone elses feelings. But if he is yelling and punching a pillow, his temper is at least somewhat out of control, even if *he* *feels* certain that he’d never actually be violent. And so no, I don’t think it’s crazy that she feels afraid and no, I don’t think it’s wrong for her to call the police if she’s scared and have them decide what should happen. And vice versa. Certainly, not all heated arguments should end in an arrest, no matter who does the yelling! If your partner is pissed and goes into another room and punches a pillow in there, away from you, then it would be wrong to call the police in my opinion, they’re taking responsibility to make sure they don’t hurt/threaten anyone etc. But if someone feels threatened and their partner won’t stop or leave them alone, maybe follows them around even after the told them to let them be, keeps yelling, keeps punching things? Yeah, call the police if you fear for your safety, no matter your gender.

        I would be ok with my daughter in law calling the police if she feared for her safety with my son. If my son actually hadn’t done anything and didn’t even have temper problem (temper problem can do serious damage even if there’s no physical violence) and lost his job etc, yes, I would be furious and consider it a grave injustice, absolutely. Again, I believe in innocent until proven guilty.

        I’m not sure there is a automatic link between getting arrested and loosing your job/custody though. WHat do you know about this?

        No, I wouldn’t blame my younger son for being wary of getting married if the above happened to his brother. But it’s kind of similar as if my daughter gets raped by her husband, and he gets away with it because she gets blamed for wearing a short skirt, flirting earlier in the evening etc. So few sexual violence cases end in a conviction. Would I blame my younger daughter for being wary of getting married, even though the court system is unfair and this can happen? No. But hopefully few men will rape their partners. And hopefully few women will press false charges against their partners.

        But yeah, anywhere there is an injustice in the court system, I’m against it. 🙂 A very very serious subject, but there was story where I live, where journalists exposed how men who murdered their children got sentenced more harshly than women who murdered their children, even when the extenuationg circumstances were the same. And honestly, I was “glad” (as glad as you can be with this kind of awful topic) that this got exposed, as I want a just society where no one gets a raw deal because of their gender.

        A question for you, as you have som patriarchal opinions (I think this is fair to say). In some more heavily patriarchal countries, the father almost always gets awared custody. Do you think this, also, is unfair, and/or would you wish for this in the USA? Or do you, like me, shared custody should be the norm (with legitimate exceptions)?

        Hope I answered your questions.

      2. Just when I was agreeing with a lot of what you say, you throw out the opinion that it’s fine for a woman to call the police merely because “she’s in fear”. Because he yelled at her during an argument, or punched a pillow.

        Do you not see what a crazy standard that is? And if she tells the cops she’s “in fear”, yes they will arrest him (Duluth model). Back me up her IB. And yes, this will trigger a CPS investigation into the father, if there are minor children living in the house. He may have to live somewhere else until the investigation is complete. Also, now a lot of jobs require reporting of even arrests (not just convictions) on background checks. If he’s in a high achieving career field, this alone could tank his career.

        Of course, if he’s in law enforcement or the military his career is AUTOMATICALLY over, if there is a conviction or no contest plea…because he can never own a gun for the rest of his life. IB can back me up here too…this provision is in the “VAWA” act.

        If there is a subsequent divorce, this “prior instance” of “domestic violence” can and will be used to deny him custody, and maybe even to require supervised visitation.

        That seems like a pretty stiff price to pay for failing to control her feelings and emotions during a marital argument! I thought men weren’t supposed to control women? Why are we punishing him for not controlling her feelings? How can one person be responsible for another’s feelings?

        Are you sure you want to stick with your answer here?

        P.S. I don’t believe a person can “rape” their spouse. Assault him or her, yes. But sexual consent was given in the sacred marriage vows.

        As far as custody, that’s a big question. Don’t know if I can answer it here in a comment, to be honest. But one big problem I do think needs to be addressed is the issue of parental alienation.

        P.P.S. I asked about Tiger Woods because when that happened I asked a bunch of women if they thought her physical assault on him was justified. All said yes. When I said but that’s illegal, that’s domestic violence, they all said “But he was cheating on her!” So much for “there is no excuse” for domestic violence, right? How many guys are in jail because they smacked their old lady when they caught her f@cking another dude? I guess they were held to a different standard than the former Mrs. Wood.

        When I suggested that Elin Woods should have been arrested, put in domestic violence offender classes, and lose custody of her kids in the divorce (because of her track record of violence in the home)…the women I was talking to were aghast. They wanted no consequences for her at all. Which is of course, what she got. She even got to take him to the cleaners in the divorce settlement and get sole custody of the kids!

        But men were watching. And learning. For every action there’s a reaction.

        The marriage strike gathers steam.

        1. “IB can back me up here too”

          I’d love to, but I’ve just spent the day listening to some red pills explain to me that women are basically disease ridden rodents, vermin to be exterminated. Throw in a few Nazi references down the road, and I find my deep seated affection for men suddenly waning.

          1. Just ignore it IB. That’s the Internet for you. They attack me too, because I disagree that ALL women today are rotten. And I don’t agree with them that no man should marry…ever.

            I merely state that the way the laws are set up, marriage is a risky bet for a man today. And further, it is my opinion that many (most?) young ladies today are not good wife material. But I think there are still some women who will make good wives, and a man who has a lot going for him should focus on finding one of them.

            For that, they jump all over me…calling me naive. Whatever. I just shrug it off.

        2. I hope it’s clear by this point that I”d disagree with the women who thought Elin Wood’s assault on her husband was justifified!

          “ou throw out the opinion that it’s fine for a woman to call the police merely because “she’s in fear”. Because he yelled at her during an argument, or punched a pillow.”

          I think I was more nuanced than what you say. This is what I said, and yes, I stand by it:

          “Of course, it’s not fair to be held responsible for someone elses feelings. But if he is yelling and punching a pillow, his temper is at least somewhat out of control, even if *he* *feels* certain that he’d never actually be violent. And so no, I don’t think it’s crazy that she feels afraid and no, I don’t think it’s wrong for her to call the police if she’s scared and have them decide what should happen. And vice versa. Certainly, not all heated arguments should end in an arrest, no matter who does the yelling! If your partner is pissed and goes into another room and punches a pillow in there, away from you, then it would be wrong to call the police in my opinion, they’re taking responsibility to make sure they don’t hurt/threaten anyone etc. But if someone feels threatened and their partner won’t stop or leave them alone, maybe follows them around even after the told them to let them be, keeps yelling, keeps punching things? Yeah, call the police if you fear for your safety, no matter your gender.”

          This isn’t about men being expected to control women’s feelings, or vice versa. It’s about people being allowed to call the police if they feel threatened by someone else, and let the police take it from there. Yes, I think this is a good thing. Again, with the principle of innocent until proven guilty.

          “Of course, if he’s in law enforcement or the military his career is AUTOMATICALLY over, if there is a conviction or no contest plea…because he can never own a gun for the rest of his life. ”

          If a man (or woman) in the military or police has been *convicted* of a violent crime (and punching a pillow isn’t a violent crime) or given a non contest plea, then maybe it’s a good thing they aren’t allowed to carry guns, yes, even if that means the end of their career. I don’t want police or military personal around who can’t control their temper and violent impulses. Hopefully there is nuance in the system, so that if someone punches a wall once etc, that doesn’t mean the end of their career.

          “Also, now a lot of jobs require reporting of even arrests (not just convictions) on background checks. If he’s in a high achieving career field, this alone could tank his career.”

          I don’t know the various practices around, maybe you’re right about this. I hope employers would be fair and wise, and it’s certainly unfair if someone yelled during an argument (haven’t we all been there?) and then gets arrested and looses out on a job opportunity! Yes, the system is flawed, and I’m sure some women and men use it to screw over their partner. But just like a woman can more easily have a man arrested (again, arrested, not convicted) than the other way around, so a man can more easily be violent towards his intimate partner (he’s usually bigger and stronger and more able to intimidate her physically), but in a “smart” way so it doesn’t leave marks and he thus can’t be proven guilty, even though he is.

          Even though you don’t believe in marital rape, you can imagine the example of a woman daugheter being assaulted by a man but he leaves no marks and so she can’t be proven guilty. Would I blame her younger sister for being wary of marriage, even though the system is rigged against *her* should it happen to her? No. But hopefully a small number of men will be like that.

          I quick note to say that, like the article you linked to, I agree that women’s violence against men is often portrayed as a joke in the media, and I find it appalling.

        3. But honestly Jeff, it’s pretty hard for me to trust that you’re coming from a good faith place here, even though I agree with quite a few of your points. You’re against injustices towards men in the court system, I hear you, I’m with you to a pretty large extent. But at the same time, you’ve expressed a lot of sympathy towards the idea that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote, so you aren’t pro gender equality before the law there. And when it comes to domestic violence against women, you just seem unwilling to acknowledge that men’s domestic violence against women is a very serious problem both in the Western world and globally. Battered and murdered women at the hands of intimate partners isn’t a once in a blue moon thing. Of course, the discussion doesn’t always have to be about more than one form of injustice at once, that line of thinking can often be used to derail a descussion. But some acknowledgement that domestic violence cost many women their lives and health is warranted, I think. Plenty of scared women have reason to be scared.

      3. Donkey,

        I would hope that any woman who thinks like you (that it’s acceptable to call the police on her husband during an argument because she’s “in fear”, even though there’s no violence or threats of violence involved) would disclose that to him before getting married. So that he can remove the possibility by refusing the marriage.

        A related point – men should specifically ask this question before agreeing to marriage. If she says what Donkey did, and he married her anyway, well…he could only have expected it.

        Furthermore Donkey, you show a dangerous amount of naïveté in saying she should just call the cops and trust them to sort things out without arresting anyone. Since most police are trained with the “Duluth Model”, they come to the scene spring-loaded to make an arrest. They are not there as marriage counselors. And many jurisdictions actually have “shall arrest” policies, where once the cops are called to a domestic violence complaint, they MUST make an arrest.

        Now if you support men being arrested and having their lives ruined because they had a non-physical argument with their wife wherein voices were raised, fine. But then you must expect that there will be a reaction to that – men will begin to refuse to marry. And that’s what indeed is hapening. And that’s my whole point.

        Here’s a good example. Google “man arrested for carving watermelon”. You’ll see this happened a few years ago in Connecticut. A man had an argument with his wife. Later, she walked into the kitchen to see him cutting up a watermelon on the countertop with a knife. She said seeing him cut up the watermelon put her in fear (note: he made no threats to her…was just cutting up the watermelon, period). She called the police. They showed up, and based on her being “in fear”, they arrested him.

        Now what message does this send to young men who are considering marriage? And note, if she had decided to add that he had verbally threatened her (even though he didn’t) then it would have been even worse for him. But how could he have proven he didn’t make the threat? How can you prove a negative?

        In other areas of the law, it’s “innocent until proven guilty”. In DV cases, the opposite is true. The accusation is assumed to be true, even with no supporting evidence, and the accused must prove himself innocent (which is nearly impossible).

        Like I said earlier, I had a fiancé once who threatened to “hit myself in the face, call the police, and tell them you did it”. Since then, I have asked several cops this question: if she had followed through on that threat, is there anything I could have done to prevent myself being arrested? Each cop said, nope…you’re going to jail. Even if she didn’t hit herself so there’d be a mark on her face…just the accusation alone would suffice. The man is going to jail, period. Absolutely no evidence is required.

        Now do you understand the “threatpoint” I previously referred to? Every man living with his wife or gf is always one phone call away from being destroyed. At her whim. Both parties know it. And he has to accept this and live with it, if he is going to marry.

        Given that, many men are just saying “no thanks, I’ll stay single and won’t live with a woman. I’ve worked too hard to give some chick the power to destroy me at any time, just because she’s mad at me and not thinking clearly. It’s not like you need to marry to get sex from these modern chicks anyway.”

        Until the pendulum swings back, you will see more of this.

        1. Pay this no mind, Donkey. This is pure and utter nonsense. To suggest that INNOCENT people are arrested and have their lives ruined based exclusively on women fabricating unprovable stories with any frequency which doesn’t resemble ALMOST NEVER is totally disingenuous.

          There are rare instances of people being wrongly arrested and released.

          There are ULTRA-rare instances of innocent people suffering criminal convictions based on false accusations and shitty policework/legal counsel.

          But this happens with about the same frequency as people winning the lottery, dying in commercial airline crashes, or being struck by lightning TWICE.

          Our judicial system in the United States, while certainly imperfect, is not somehow convicting innocent people with crimes and ruining their lives at any rate worthy of Chicken Littling about as much as Jeff is here.

          It’s so stupid, I want to punch myself in the face repeatedly and tell the cops Jeff did it.

          According to recent research by The Ohio State University, approximately 10,000 people are wrongly convicted of a crime each year in the United States. Of any crime. Not just domestic violence.

          To put that in perspective, 48,000 people die every year in the U.S. from nephritis, and I don’t even know what that is.

          76,500 people die every year from diabetes. How many have you met?

          93,500 people die every year from Alzheimer’s disease. How many have you met?

          No doubt we should ALWAYS care when innocent people are wrongly accused or convicted (and try to prevent/cure Alzheimer’s and diabetes).

          And I think I’ve demonstrated how much I value healthy marriages.

          But this conversation is so fucking stupid, I can’t stand it any longer.

          Please find something else to do, Jeff.

          Get real.

          1. Yep. Me too. She lives in another country, and I give her credit for being thoughtful and not believing everything she reads from a stranger on the internet.

            But I’m still not letting you go unchecked telling bullshit stories that inexplicably victimize husbands, demonize wives, and make the United States’ criminal justice system sound like it’s run exclusively by a bunch of incompetents instead of some of the most educated, thoughtful and fair-minded people we have in this country.

            What’s great, or what is SUPPOSED TO BE GREAT about the United States is that gross injustices like good, innocent people being wrongly accused or falsely imprisoned is not something that happens much here.

          2. Kind of tragic, Matt. Jeff really can’t see the value or significance of women’s fear. As far as he’s concerned, she’s just making it up, always, every time. Complete dismissal.

            Of course, flip that around to “women can just call the cops and ruin men” and suddenly fear matters, suddenly fear is a very important thing indeed! In fact, the entire male gender should boldly flee marriage immediately based on nothing but that fear! It’s almost comical in it’s complete disconnect and lack of empathy for anyone but oneself.

          3. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve considered Jeff to be fair in his observations or arguments.

            Justice, equality and fairness are not concepts he seems to value.

            Either I’m insane, or he is.

            I think we’re to the point where only one of those things can be true.

          4. IB,

            I just don’t buy that many guys are secretly beating the hell out of their wives or gf’s. Personally, I don’t know any it’s happened to, or any of my male friends or relatives who have perpetrated it. If it was a serious assault, you’d know because she would be hospitalized, he would go to trial, etc. Never seen that happen. Now granted, there could be some real low level physical stuff that I wouldn’t know about (say, a slap or something similar that causes no injury and leaves no mark). But based on the kind of “fear” you reference, I assume you’re talking about the serious stuff.

            On the other hand, I know multiple men who have been victimized by false claims of DV, or the threat to do so. One guy I know (and he’s the nicest guy) was even falsely accused of sexually assaulting his 9 year old daughter, in the midst of going through a divorce. When the judge determined the wife was lying, the judge read her the riot act in open court…but she was not charged with anything or prosecuted. The verbal tongue lashing from the judge was her only “punishment”. Now let that sink in.

            And you, like Matt, ignore my bigger point. If a women is married to an abuser, help is a phone call away. The police, courts, judges, DCF, public advocates, EVERYONE, is on her side and has her back. She has all kinds of resources. But the man who is falsely accused has NO RECOURSE. He is assumed guilty. His life is destroyed BY THE FULL POWER OF THE STATE. He is totally helpless while he watches everything he worked for all his life be destroyed.

            It’s so disingenuous of you and Matt to keep ignoring this crucial difference.

            P.S. I’m willing to bet that actual domestic violence (going both ways) is more common at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. But marriage rates are lower here anyway…this is where you have lots of single mothers shacking up with a succession of boyfriends, etc.

            At the higher end of the spectrum (where I and my friends and relatives are), such physical assaults are much more rare. I’m sure of it. And yet, it is at this level that the false accusations are so devastating. Because for professionals at this level, it can easily be career-ending.

          5. I’d like to chime in on this.
            I think you may be missing an important factor when it comes to who is being abused and their socioeconomic status. There is abuse on the higher end, its just the people going through it have a lot more to lose if they speak up. They’re not just physically and emotionally trapped but also financially.
            As for never witnessing something like that I genuinely hope you never do. I personally have never seen a situation where a father was falsely accused of doing something he did not but I have been there for the aftermath of a woman who was dragged naked into a dumpster by her boyfriend. It’s an awful thing to see happen to someone.

          6. And I’ll bet he went to jail for that, didn’t he? Certainly, he would have if she called the cops.

            When I was hit regularly by my ex-fiancé, I (unlike the woman in your example) had no recourse. If I had called the cops, they would have arrested ME. And she could have destroyed me at any time by making a single phone call to 911, and claiming I hit her (or even, just that she’s “in fear”). No evidence required. No way to prove my innocence. NO RECOURSE for me.

            Are you really incapable of seeing the difference? Do you really expect men to continue to marry when the laws are set up this way? Would you?

          7. He did not go to jail. Nor did the man who threw a ceramic tile at a woman’s head that I was in college with. They were too terrified to do anything. If I had to guess for every supposed fake call you mention, there’s probably fifteen women that have never called and will never call about legitimate abuse. It’s a shame you don’t see this.

          8. If she chose to stay with him or not call the police in a case of legitimate physical assault, that’s her decision. I won’t second guess her. But nor will I feel sorry for her. The cops are a phone call away. He will instantly be handcuffed and dragged away. The courts will be on her side. A restraining order will be granted. She has recourse.

            A man falsely accused has NO recourse. Are you really so obtuse that you can’t understand the difference? If you think it’s bad having just one individual (albeit bigger and stronger) attack you, can you imagine how much worse it is to have the awesome power of the State lined up against you?

            The woman can appeal to the State to protect her. Who does the man appeal to in order to protect him FROM the State? The answer is: no one. His only answer is to prevent the situation from ever happening in the first place. Which means, do not marry. It’s just basic logic.

            If you change the rules of the game, the behavior of the players will also change. Make marriage too risky for the man, make it so he is always just a phone call away from having his life destroyed, and more men will refuse to play the game. They will stay bachelors. Like I said, it’s just logic.

          9. “I just don’t buy that many guys are secretly beating the hell out of their wives or gf’s……”

            It doesn’t have to be “many,” just some. One third of all women murdered are killed by intimate partners. Thousands go to hospitals all the time. No, violence is not restricted to the lower classes.

            It’s often very frustrating talking to people like you because there’s this kind of cognitive dissonance that kicks in, like when you say, “I just don’t buy….”

            What that really means is you can’t hear, won’t hear, and aren’t willing to see the evidence all around you. I’ve always been fascinated by why that is and I suspect it has a whole lot to do with some men being unable to accept the nature of their own selves, their potential for violence, the darker aspects of masculinity. Such men are often to be found among the red pills, actively engaged in this kind of emotional plea bargain, where women are portrayed as more evil, more unworthy, more sinful than men, therefore anything men might do really isn’t a big deal.

            I used to care about injustice done to men, Jeff, but not anymore. Not once I discovered how one sided so many men can be, how their empathy only extends to their own gender. You find one even capable of fully embracing the fact that women are actually human,and you’ve found yourself a rare gem. Harsh words, but true.

          10. Rare gem indeed. I have rarely come across a man that is not what you are describing. I do realize that is not all men and there are hopefully many exceptions but it’s a common trend.

          11. IB,

            What you care about doesn’t matter. What matters is how the laws are set up. Until they change, more and more men will join in a marriage strike. Already, marriage rates in the UK are plummeting. You will see the same thing in the US, wait and see.

            Eventually, people will see the insanity of these laws and start to change them. Already, it’s happening – “shall arrest” laws have been repealed in some jurisdictions. There were just too many good people being railroaded, so even the politicians had to act. There have been large demonstrations in Washington DC against the “VAWA Act”. So there’s some small cause for hope. Perhaps we will finally go back to “innocent until proven guilty”.

            But it may be too little, too late. It will take a long time to repair the damage. But it is to be expected. When getting married becomes a dangerous act for men, fewer of them will do it. It’s only logical.

          12. “What you care about doesn’t matter….”

            So I’ve heard, Jeff. Women’s fear doesn’t matter, my experiences don’t matter, what I care about doesn’t matter, women’s lives don’t matter. Given those conditions, is there some reason why I’m supposed to care about the things that matter to you?

            As far as I’m concerned, any man so broken and damaged that they don’t care about the health and well being of women, would be doing the world a huge favor by going on a strike against marriage. More power to them.

            And any women who meets a man who says at any point in the relationship, “what you care about doesn’t matter” dump him immediately and don’t look back. No second chances, no pitiful pleas, no forgiveness, you’re done and it’s over.

          13. “Given those conditions, is there some reason why I’m supposed to care about the things that matter to you?”

            Again, it doesn’t matter to me what you care about. You’re just some stranger on the internet, same as I am to you.

            But what does matter is the reaction being provoked by these insane policies of mandatory arrest, no requirement for any evidence, guilty until proven innocent, etc. The reaction is the increasing marriage strike. The only solution is to change these laws and policies.

            If they’re not changed, here’s some investment advice. Go long on cat food, meals for one, and batteries. Lol, no charge for that.

          14. “The reaction is the increasing marriage strike.”

            Good! Women would be far better off living alone and actually eating cat food than ever having to be married to one of these losers. Please, strike! Take your ignorant self right out the gene pool, because the world needs a whole less of that kind of garbage.

            And anyone as obtuse as you Jeff, really ought to thank God He made a woman as patient and blind as your wife.

          15. IB,

            You make me laugh. Sorry I can’t take myself out of the gene pool for you, I have already reproduced multiple times, lol. As far as my wife, given that I do not make personal comments with regards your husband and his choice of a wife, may I request that you extend to me the same courtesy? Or am I expecting too much of you?

            Lastly, I would not so flippantly refer to the ever-increasing numbers of women who find themselves unable to marry. I know several such “old maids”, and can assure you, it is anything but a desirable outcome. They are most unhappy, lonely, and pitiable. Quite sad, believe me. It is you, and not I, who desires to see an increase in such misery in future. But it won’t happen to my daughters, of that I am certain.

            You have a lovely day, dear.

  14. No prob Matt, I’m done with this. Clearly we’re talking past each other. I tried to meet you halfway and understand where you were coming from…to find some common ground. You were not willing to do the same for me. You apparently are not capable of admitting that I might have even just a tiny bit of a point. That maybe the laws and the system are unfair to men when it comes to marriage. Nope, I guess they’re not…and all the men going on a marriage strike because of these unjust jaws and policies are just insane and imagining it all, right?

    So yes, I’m going to find something else to do with my time. I’m not a troll trying to piss you off…I was honestly hoping you could try to see where I’m coming from. But you won’t make the attempt, so I will sign off.


    P.S. I don’t believe I called you names. I said that in my opinion, some of the female commenters on here were thinking with their emotions instead of their brains, and were viewing you as taking a white knight role on their behalf.

  15. If I were so inclined to read every paragraph of the incredibly long posts I’d probably not be surprised to see that the point counterpoint arguments that I see between Matt and Jeff are typical of the communication breakdowns between lovers. Having 2 parallel conversations, talking about 2 completely different things, and insisting that both are responding to the others points. In reality neither are. But in Matt’s defense, it’s HIS blog, he started the conversation and Jeff responded but to a different argument. And so this merry go round continues.

    And since this is Matt’s blog, I think Jeff should exit the ride.

  16. The work Matt is doing with his blog is commendable. He is genuinely trying to help people in their marriages. I enjoy his posts and look forward to new ones…they are beneficial to me personally and given the number of followers he has, I would say other people benefit from what he has to say as well.

    The title of this entry was “The Power of Understanding”. I love what he addresses here:
    “But the real value is in the understanding.
    Marriages aren’t saved by people changing everything about themselves and the chemistry that brought them together in the first place.
    Marriages are saved by people who learn how to understand one another. We learn that our translators are unreliable, so we must account for things getting lost in translation. We learn that the goal of a conversation is not to win an argument, but to achieve mutual understanding.”

    This is what I kept trying to relay to my ex-husband, but it fell on deaf ears. At the time, I just wanted him to understand where I was coming from on certain things that were important to me. Just as I was trying to understand his views on certain things. I was always labeled crazy, oversensitive, bitchy, delusional, etc. A couple of months post-divorce & several therapy sessions later, I have it on professional authority that I am NOT crazy and that my ex was essentially not capable of understanding anything from my point of view. I’d never really paid attention to the term narcissist, but that term has been brought up and more than likely that’s why I was fighting a losing battle.

    Now for my soapbox. It seems to me that every single time Matt writes something that sparks a lot of interest & feedback from the followers of HIS blog, Jeff Strand comes along & blatantly hijacks the post from its original intended discussion and diverts it to an entirely different discussion…and it usually ends up being an ugly train wreck of a mess.

    How in the hell did we go from trying to save our marriages by learning how to understand one another to talking about how men get screwed in the court systems & men need to go on marriage strikes because pretty much all women these days are not marriage material, and that all the “old maids” out there need to invest in cat food & batteries & all of the other bullshit that this man spews forth?? Yes, I understand he has an opinion just like everyone else & it’s his right to freedom of speech, whatever. But, here’s a suggestion. He needs to go create his own blog titled “Jeff Strand’s He-Man Women Haters Blog” and there he can talk shit on women all he wants.

    I’ve always heard & believed that when we are seeking God and trying to live in His will, that’s when we’re are more prone to Satan’s attacks. I think that’s the equivalent of what’s going on here. Matt is doing good, positive work here, for both husbands & wives. Jeff’s presence here is a distraction, IMHO, and I really don’t understand why he keeps coming in here & stirring the pot, other than he enjoys riling people up and wreaking havoc. It’s disturbing.

  17. Hey we seriously enjoyed this post! Our website is we’d greatly appreciate and be honored by a visit from you and anyone reading this. We are a multiethnic couple with a funny perspective but we only aim to encourage and uplift those reading.

    Mahalo for your words!

  18. For something positive about men, here’s this divorced guy I follow on facebook, Billy Flynn. He says the best things like, “It’s my ex-wife’s birthday today so I got up early and brought flowers and cards and a gift over for the kids to give her and helped them make her breakfast. Per usual someone asked me why the hell I still do things for her all the time. This annoys me. So ima break it down for you all. I’m raising two little men. The example I set for how I treat their mom is going to significantly shape how they see and treat women and affect their perception of relationships. I think even more so in my case because we are divorced. So if you aren’t modeling good relationship behavior for your kids, get your shit together. Rise above it and be an example. This is bigger than you. Raise good men. Raise strong women. Please. The world needs them, now more than ever.”

    “This is bigger than you.” Isn’t that sweet? That’s what it’s all about

    1. I vote for “raise good men; raise strong women.” Didn’t the troll say he had better things to do then comment on a website where is he is roundly hated? He’s promised to leave so many times before, it’s like he can’t actually do to what he….oh, I get it now. It’s so difficult to follow through your words with action when you live isolated from reality. Or your mom’s basement.

      1. . Ad hominem attack. How original. But after all, everyone who disagrees with you (even politely) is automatically a troll, right?

        P.S. The part about living in mom’s basement did make me laugh however, given that I moved out of my parent’s home at 17 and have been independent ever since, lol. Not to mention bought my first house (with me alone on the mortgage) at 28 years old.

        1. You don’t live in your parents basement AND you have a mortgage? Well that’s sexy af. My opinion of you has suddenly changed. How YOU doin?

          1. Actually, no mortgage. I had one when I was 28 and bought my first house. By the time I bought my current house (my third) at age 40, I paid cash. So no mortgage.

            So yeah, I do pretty well. 😉

          2. Jeff i think the weather is nice outside. Or soon will be. Do you have some outdoor activities that you can participate in and take a break from your computer?

          3. Taken schmaken. You’ve been very flirtatious on here so I just figured that’s what you were trying to do.

          4. Aw hon, I’m just naturally friendly. Always been an outgoing, gregarious kind of guy. Some women may view it as flirty, doesn’t bother me. And the wife doesn’t mind, she gets a kick out of seeing the gals flirting with me…it’s an ego boost to her, if you think about it. So we just laugh it off. No worries.

            Like I said, I love women! What can I say, lol

      2. Oh, this I agree with.
        I think the point is, to raise a person to know that they are a person, and have just as much right to want for, and fight for things they want (Some women never learn this, I only learnt this a few years ago) and raise a person to be in touch with themselves, and their emotions and be able to control themselves (for some men it would be violent emotional over reactions, for some women it would be, again, not really understanding their own emotions) and raise people to know what they actually want (hey, if you don’t’ want marriage, fine, but you have to learn to look after yourself, you want marriage fine, these are the ways to not fall into abusive/toxic relationship patterns, you wanna be an artist HERE IS THE WAYS, et cetera)

  19. “Raise good men. Raise strong women. Please.”

    If that’s how he wants to raise his kids, that’s his (and their mom’s) call. Can’t say I agree, as I see it differently. My motto is more along the lines of: “Raise good and strong men. Raise sweet and feminine women.” It’s that yin and yang, masculine and feminine, initiator and receiver. When the two come together, they complete each other.

    Which of us is right? That’s for you, dear reader, to decide. Choose carefully.

    1. Jeff ..I don’t like getting involved in these types of shit shows but the reality is that we as a nation and society have changed dramatically . ..even in the last 10 years or so. I am astounded by the number of so called advances we’ve made as a nation as a community as humanity . What I will say is that the level to which we treat each other has morphed as well . No longer can we socially accept subservience from one or the other be it in terms of financial racial and especially marital interactions . Our partners in life have to be just that…partners…We are much stronger together and walking lock step with each other to better move forward . The days of leave it to beaver and such depictions are long gone. …..more honesty really that view really didn’t exist as related . …..I grew up in a blue collar stay at home mom neighborhood of first generation immigrants in the 60s and 70s. My dad my uncles the neighborhood dad’s worked and the moms stayed home….we’re the moms subservient to the husbands? Not that I saw…what I saw was unparalleled respect for each other great faith good moral character a sense of community service care and unbounded love….the love that people shared was forged out of the feeling of being part of each other having each other’s back and moving in the same direction for the overall good of the family and community .. … the illusion that the stern husband and doormat wife ever existed is a typical false depiction cogured up in some film noir nonsense . Many foul scaly wags with a needy personality would love for this to be a social norm but that kind of thinking only makes me wonder what issues or lacks that type of character has for him or her to want to feel some superiority over someone they allegedly love.
      my parents, although not perfect, clearly did right by each other they defined for themselves the role they played in their own relationship they cared about each other’s thoughts ideas wants needs and helped each other . …. they ran businesses together helped out in the community together loved each other for who they were and very importantly showed my brother and me their example . At the time of my dad’s passing my parents were married 63years when he closed his eyes for the last time he looked at my mom as he was unable to speak and my mom said goodbye my love…. I’m not trying to evoke a tearjerk response from you or anyone else but I will say that what I saw throughout my life gave me guidance , courage ,faith and the value love and respect plays in a relationship . … I’m sorry for your bitterness . …but I don’t see it your way . 25 years ago I got full of myself and didn’t see what I was off track…we almost divorced but with a realization of who and what really mattered in our lives we have now made the 33 year mark….it isn’t easy it’s work worth doing but it isn’t rocket science either . ..sincerely the best to you.

      1. 1. Two words – paragraph breaks. Just sayin’.

        2. Congrats on your 33 year marriage. Seriously.

        3. You ruin your message with the cheap shot at me (“I’m sorry for your bitterness”). Not only am I not bitter, but as I believe I’ve mentioned once or twice I’m happily married for the better part of 20 years now. I respectfully read and comment on your post, and I don’t insult you (though I may politely disagree with you). Are you not capable of the same manners and courtesy?

        4. Happy to hear your parents had a lifelong marriage and a lifetime of love. A wonderful thing.

        5. You say wives shouldn’t be “subservient” to their husbands. It’s hard for me to comment until you define what you mean. I agree with you if by subservient you mean treated like a doormat or a slave. However, I think the wife should respect her husband as the head of the household and family. She should yield to his leadership on big decisions and in general should obey him, as the marriage vows state. He is the captain, she is the copilot. I feel the husband has a right to expect this, and I personally would not marry a woman if I couldn’t expect it from her. Of course, the husband also has his responsibilities to fulfill. Remember, women crave love. Men crave respect.

        6. Though it may be heretical to some, I believe the sexes are different. Men and women are not identical. Most good, strong, decent men are attracted to women who are sweet, soft, and feminine. The yin to their yang, you might say. Hence, my comment that parents should raise men who are good and strong, and women who are sweet and feminine.

        It seems to me that feminists who object to that are really showing that they secretly believe that the feminine is inferior to the masculine. Whereas I disagree. Can you see the irony here? I get called a “woman hater” for calling for women to be feminine (which literally means “woman-like”). Whereas feminists like some commenters here only seem to value women who repudiate the feminine and try to act like a man! Just who is denigrating womanhood here? Not me!

        My wife, for example, is very feminine, sweet, soft, pretty, and girly. She doesn’t swear and cuss, she doesn’t walk like a man or act like a man, she keeps herself fit and attractive, shaved, makeup done nicely, nails done, and hair dyed, she comes across as ladylike and feminine at all times. And it’s precisely these feminine qualities that make me love and treasure her even more. I will often comment to her that one thing I love about her is that she is “one hundred percent, all woman”. (Which always makes her very happy to hear). Now, does that sound like someone who hates women…or is bitter? Didn’t think so. I love women, and the more so as they act more like women. But the ones who act like pushy, aggressive, masculine feminists with foul mouths? Total turnoff. What’s the point of being with a woman if she’s not going to BE a woman?

        We raise our daughters to grow up to be just like their mom, which so far they are. Wouldn’t have it any other way. The feminists will not be corrupting my kids, not if I can help it.

        1. Sorry for not responding sooner….busy schedule and all.
          To point 1. I am a published author (Pizza Today Magazine June 1989) and therefore claim literary and poetic license .
          2. Thank you (sincerely ) she is my world
          3. No cheap shot just an observation relative to a view that seems upset that the world doesn’t conform to your perception . I recall the time you mentioned your marriage and applaud your longevity and seemingly awesome relationship and bid you your wife and family continued blessings .
 parents were inspirational . Thank you . 89 year old mom just baked cookies for a lonely 55 year old widower to comfort him .
 subservient I mean a draconian belief that can fester and become a lot best found in a compound in Utah . That the head of household respect should not be reserved solely for the husband as partnerships continually prove to be the best marriage model . The yin and yang comes from the individual talents each possess to be combined for the greater good. I tend to be impulsive hot tempered and explosive my sweet feminine and loving wife tends to be more level headed and not easily cage rattled. This works as our partnership endures, because after so many years we have embraced when each of our traits need to be applied the other supports the application . Now I will admit that was not a total or even proper example of what I mean but you can derive my focus. You see Anne is wonderful at a number of things I couldn’t even consider attempting and she looks to me for my abilities . We know how to make it work for our betterment and know our love for each other is one that follows a path hand in hand toe to toe.
          6. I don’t believe you are a woman hater…. I have strong honorable gentlemen for sons with equally strong honorable girlfriends and a strong feminine no nonsense daughter (takes after her mom but has my temper) with a strong honorable gentleman boyfriend . Hopefully I will have the good solid in laws I can count on to help our family grow and endure (as well as a grandchild or 6). Our kids learned by watching and listening to how we and pretty much all of our family and friends have behaved in their relationships . They have a good sense of deal breakers and boundaries and are now learning how to communicate and coordinate with those in their lives. They saw our struggles and our triumphs . I recently ran for political office , my daughter was my campaign manager (her first time being involved in politics ) although I lost by a very slim plurality the courage conviction and bold efforts on my behalf by her was awesome and inspiring . After the election she was sought out by numerous businesses and even opposing political factions . My sons maintained and back of the house stance and we’re my go to guys for getting the physical and practical “goonery” done. My wife stayed by my side throughout this Odyssey (she has lost lifelong friends and to a degree some family members over this but knew her commitment was to me as I am committed to her) and her level headed approach to situations kept me focused. I never been so proud of my family .
          The feministiphobea is concern for some but radical anything should be , but not all who seek true equality and dignity are radical . ..just sick of feeling inferior .

        2. I mean, you insist all women be and are THIS WAY, which is very hostile to all the women who aren’t like that, which is a bunch, if you consider the suffragettes, and the feminists, and even the fact that before feminism was a thing poor women worked, and it’s true.
          If feminine worked for all women, we wouldn’t have women saying no to it, and being proud of their own choice, it’s just fact,

    2. I’m sweet, and strong, and have a vulva, where do I fit in your vision?
      I also have that weird looking after people thing women are taught to have, but also am fiercely independent and am not sure if I want marriage, and if I had a marriage that it would be straight, which opens another can of worms….
      I also can be feminine, but feel comfortable in pants, and am very “GOOD” at least on paper, and back in high school
      also, also, I met a boy in high school who wanted me, but wanted me to start the relationship and make the moves, and introduce myself into his social group, I didn’t do it, much because (Girls Don’t Initiate). Which worked out very well for his romantic ideals of us marrying, and marrying young, funny dat, I had other plans, I was after the booty, which breaks another of your assumptions, and then there’s the whole lesbian/bisexual/non conforming thing….

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  22. Rebekah Verbeten

    Understanding on both sides…lack of ill intent from one, and honestly hurt feelings on the other. Then willingness to listen to ideas on how not to hurt those feelings again (at least in the same way from one. And willingness to have the same, though slightly differently worded, conversation however many times it takes from the other.

    You talk about how we learn so early on how to deal with various things. My husband and I have come up with phrases to let each other know what our knee jerk reaction to something would be (you aren’t sending the message you think you are), but our chosen reaction is assuming lack of ill intent to give the benefit of the doubt for ignorance. LOTS of practice and LOTS of uncomfortable, stumbling, rambling conversations but we are at the point where one of us can speak freely (though still respectfully/tactfully) about how we are feeling and know that the other is going to help rephrase and wordsmith until we BOTH understand.

    Definitely agree with the comments regarding situations where understanding WHY doesn’t matter, so long as there is recognition that there IS an issue for one person or the other. Thank you Matt for trying to wade through the semantics and wordsmithing to try to make your thoughts understandable! 🙂

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  27. I really we enjoy reading your posts and applaud u BIG TIME for finally “getting it” about women and marriage. I cannot comment u enough for this site and these posts. PLEASE keep writing. These Posts are very informative especially from the men’s perspective which I am trying to understand through these posts. I believe an interesting blog post to help women understand better, is to post about men’s egos and what exactly men’s egos NEEDS (or wants). I have tried getting my hubby to talk to me about that for years and all I ever get is stonewalled for 18 years and yes I’m at the end of my rope. If u would be willing, please help women to better understand men’s Egos and what men’s egos need. You can separate ego needs from ego wants. Please and thank you.
    Now if I can just get my hubby on board with your Ah-Ha moment….

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  37. That’s cool and everything. My girlfriend of 4 years moved out and doesn’t want me to know where she lives. It makes me feel really short. What to do?

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Matt Fray

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