Monday, January 2, 2017
But a closer reading of my book will reveal many ways that a wife could do wrong in her marriage.
To start with, the wife has certain goals in the marriage and cannot count on the cooperation of her husband. She could do wrong simply by failing to enlist her husband in her goals or causing him to work against her. For example, if she neglects to project her erotic power then her dominance will wane and her authority will be diminished.
But even if she is completely successful in establishing her authority in the marriage, her dominance may be short lived, or the marriage itself may become endangered, if she fails to adequately nurture her husband's happiness. As I often say, once you own his heart you are responsible for it.
A husband in wife led marriage tends to find himself depending more on his wife than he would naturally prefer. This is especially the case when he gives up his career to keep the home. In that situation, especially, he may lose the respect of friends, perhaps even his family. He may feel socially isolated for a time until he makes new friends or otherwise adjusts. But even when the husband is still the breadwinner, he may feel some loss of dignity in his new role in the marriage.
So the wife cannot adopt an "anything goes" attitude in her marriage. In fact, I can think of three distinct and important ways in which she must take her husband's feelings into account. I describes these as the "Three Don'ts".
Don't compare your husband unfavorably to other men. Comparing your husband unfavorably to other men is absolutely toxic. It is the surest way to arouse his ego and sabotage your dominance of the marriage. Your goal should be to tame his ego, not to crush or inflame it. When you compare your husband unfavorably to other men you shift his thinking from serving you to competing with other men. When men think about competing with other men they fall back on very primitive and crude evolutionary tools including, among others, anger and violence. And at least some of this, if not most of it, will be directed at you.
Instead, reassure your husband that he is the best man you know. You chose him in marriage and you would gladly do so again. This not in spite of, but at least in part because of, his surrender to your dominance in the marriage. He is the greatest man you know because he serves you. Other men are pathetic creatures who ignore their wives and indulge their outside interests at their wives' expense.
Don't lead your husband to think he is inadequate. Even apart from comparing him unfavorably to other men, you should avoid maliciously belittling him. This can be subtle, of course, when you are in the process of putting him in his new subordinate place in the marriage. The act of domination must, as far as practical, entail raising you up, not putting him down. And disappointments should always be tempered by your confidence that he can be the person you expect him to be. By contrast, if you leave him with the impression that he is an irredeemable failure he will rightly conclude that you have given up on him and he will lose interest in becoming the husband you desire.
Similarly, actions that humiliate your husband must be taken with extreme care. As a rule of thumb, I always frame humiliation with a dose of humor. Good humiliation invites him willingly experience humility. It requires his cooperation. Bad humiliation tries to force humility on the husband over his resistance and it can serve instead to inflame his ego against you. So keep the humiliation light and fun. And try to keep the eye rolling to a minimum.
Finally, don't emasculate your husband. One of the biggest confusions about wife led marriage is the mistaken belief that it involves a repudiation of gender roles. Nothing could be further from the truth. This error arises from a fundamental confusion about gender, itself. Masculinity and femininity are not defined by their relative dominance and submission but by their respective approaches to life. Masculinity is at its best when it is exercised in service to femininity.
This is one reason why I am such a strong advocate of the Queen/knight metaphor. The knight in this relationship is no less of a man because he serves his Queen. On the contrary, she depends utterly upon his masculinity. The Queen will never be a King, she will always be a Queen. And the knight will never be King but he will always be a man. The Queen has every interest in nurturing her knight's masculinity. The ideal situation is one in which the Queen dominates the knight and the knight dominates all else.
Whenever I encounter a marriage where the gender roles have become confused I suggest a very direct solution: the wife should instruct her husband to join a martial arts studio and learn self defense. This allows the husband to express his masculinity without inhibition by beating up on other men while preserving the dominance/submission relationship in the marriage. If he were ever called upon to use his learned skills it would be to defend his Queen and their family, perhaps even to give his life for them. You can't get any more masculine that that!