Wednesday, March 25, 2015

8 Things Wife Led Married Couples Do Every Day

A happy and successful wife led marriage rests, in part, on well established rituals of behavior. Of course, life is full of surprises and marriage is always in a state of adjustment to them. But most of the time we are living lives of routine.

Our routines are the building blocks of our lives. They reinforce good habits and attitudes and both encourage and demonstrate love and commitment to those we care most about.

So what are the routines of a wife led marriage?

She flirts with him

Not a day goes by that she won't find some way to express her femininity with him. If not in the morning when she wakes or before she leaves for work then, later, when she returns home to him or before she goes to sleep. Ideally, there is flirting at each and every opportunity.

Unfortunately, many working wives fall into the habit of rushing off to work and coming home too exhausted. It's tempting to think that her responsibility for the household income is sufficient. It isn't. Especially if he's spent all day caring for children, he needs to renew his emotional connection to her.

In playful teasing, she renews and refreshes her erotic power in the marriage. Often the slightest gesture and touch is sufficient.

He expresses his adoration of her

Every interaction, flirtations especially, become an opportunity for him to refresh his adoration of her. At least once, and ideally several times a day, he tells her that he loves her and reminds her of how grateful he is that they are married.

She tells him what needs to be done

She doesn't make him guess. She doesn't assume he can read her mind. She doesn't rely on shared priorities. If it needs doing, she tells him.

But she doesn't nag. If there is any possibility that she is repeating herself or that he already knows what she is about to tell him, she tells him in a remindful manner. Instead of angrily assuming that he has forgotten (again!), she gently offers to recap things that need to be done that day.

He promises to do what she asks

He never assumes he knows what is required of him. When he is given instructions he repeats them back in his own words to confirm his understanding. And he replies in the form of a promise. He promises to do what he understands needs to be done.

She asks what's done

At the most appropriate time she checks up on his progress. Not when she is tired and cranky but when she is fresh and emotionally engaged. Often this is after a satisfying meal and a refreshing bath.

In asking what's been done she is not only monitoring his progress on things that need to be done but she is also creating the opportunity for him to demonstrate pride in what he's accomplished. When the job is done and done well, she expresses her admiration of him. But even when he has fallen short of expectations she can still show gratitude for his efforts even as she offers correctives.

He tells her what he's accomplished

He is proud of what he has accomplished for her and cannot wait to tell her about it. He provides just enough detail to assure her that the job has been done well. If she is interested, he may give her more details about how he managed it. But he values her time and focus and never bores her with irrelevant details.

She asserts her authority

Life is filled with decisions and every day presents opportunities for her to reassert her authority in the marriage. Whether it be a small choice or a major decision, she makes a demonstration of her authority by stating the matter to be decided and her choice. In asserting her decision she reinforces her authority in the marriage. The more difficult and contentiousness the decision, the more effective the demonstration of authority.

That doesn't mean that she never solicits his opinion. Where relevant, she does. But she makes clear the difference between accepting his opinion and resolving a choice.

He yields to her command

Of course, he accept her decisions. But more than that, he yields to her command. He looks forward to proving his obedience to her will and relishes every opportunity to demonstrate his submission to her domination of the marriage.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Domineering Wife

Can a wife be too domineering?

The short answer is, "no". But that is not a complete answer because, to be frank, so many wives do it wrong.

The more precise answer is that it is very easy and natural for a wife to dominate, or attempt to dominate, her husband in such a way as to do great harm to the marriage. And so the popular image of the domineering wife is not a very pretty one.

Why are wives so often dominating their husbands wrongly? Because most wives come at it out of frustration and powerlessness. As a result, the average controlling wife is unpleasant, even toxic in her attitude toward her husband and the marriage. In short, a nagging bitch.

There is a right way for a wife to dominate her husband. The right way is a matter of both style and substance.

In style, a rightfully domineering wife is pleasant and playful. She makes demands of her husband with a smile and a wink. Her husband hears her demands not as an assault on his ego but as an opportunity to express his love for her.

In substance, a rightfully domineering wife always keeps the good of the marriage and the happiness of her husband firmly in mind. Her husband comes to trust her decisions in the larger scheme of things even when he might disagree in the immediate circumstances.

Wrongful domineering exploits and erodes trust and creates distance between you. But rightful domineering exercises and builds trust and draws him nearer to you.

So, it is not possible for a wife to be too rightfully domineering. Provided that the demands are made in the right style and toward the right goals then there is no reason a wife should feel inhibited about expressing herself in a domineering manner.

If you are rightfully domineering then he will be as happy as a puppy, eagerly anticipating your return home, and craving your authority and domineering presence.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Big Flip

Izzy Chan, a business strategist and film director, has been working on a documentary project, "The Big Flip". Marriages are in the process of flipping from having a husband as the primary breadwinner to the wife taking that role. Already, women are the breadwinners in 40% of households with children. Within fifteen years the majority of working wives will outearn their husbands. And since women outnumber men in college, this trend is only likely to continue.

Most people find these statistics startling. Social conversations are simply not keeping pace with the facts. The trend toward dual income households and the high income and net worth of a small minority of ultra-successful men has obscured this transition. People just assume that women are catching up with men as they enter the workforce but, in fact, they are beginning to surpass them among average households.

Although these changes are occurring slowly, social convention is not keeping pace. An unfortunate consequence of flipped marriages is divorce. Divorce is 40% more likely when a women earns over 60% of the family’s income.

Why? There are three interrelated reasons.

First, husbands are generally uncomfortable with playing second fiddle. That's the male ego at work. Men are naturally competitive and often view themselves in competition even with their wives for social status within the family. When the wife outearns the husband, the husband can feel emasculated and jealous of his wife's success.

Second, wives, even those in high paying jobs, expect their husbands to be ambitious and to provide for the family at least at parity. When the wife outearns the husband, especially when the difference is significant, she tends to resent him for his lack of ambition blaming his relative failure on the career decisions he's made.

Third, especially in cases where there has been a sudden change in relative income, it is the wife who still shoulders the major responsibilities of keeping the home. Even when the couple can afford to hire help, the wife is still spending more time with the children and managing the household.

What to do? The common denominator is resentment.

It may be that your husband lacks ambition. Or it may be that you have made better decisions than him. It may even be that you are simply more competent than him. Regardless, you must avoid resentment. Resentment will poison your marriage.

But avoiding resentment is not easy when you not only earn more but still shoulder most of the household responsibilities.

You need to step back and reappraise the respective roles in your marriage. Redistributing household chores is one of the most obvious changes to make but, more generally, to head off resentment you will need to assume a greater role in household decisions. This is particularly the case if you are, in fact, the more competent spouse or if your husband is genuinely lazy.

The problem, as noted above, is that your husband may, himself, already resent the fact that he is earning less than you. And he will almost certainly resent being asked to do women's work around the house. It's not enough for you to overcome your own resentment, you must also disarm your husband's ego and resentment of the situation.

Essentially, your husband's ego will be in conflict with reality. He is not fulfilling the role that he would prefer and wishing won't make it so. He may well be avoiding that reality. You must gently and patiently lead him to accept the situation as it is. And accepting the situation includes, of course, accepting whatever you determine is necessary to avoid resentment of your own.

In situations such as these there is little merit in halfway measures. If you must lead your husband through this crisis you might as well take the lead in the marriage. Whether you decide simply to redistribute chores or to ask him to become a stay-at-home dad, you will be the one initiating the change and taking responsibility for the outcome.

The key to accomplishing this is to constructively harness your own resentment into a determination to make yours a wife led marriage.