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Dr. Helen

Why do men put up with a short leash?

December 3rd, 2013 - 11:38 am

I just read a post by Doug Giles at ClashDaily.com spelling out a list of 10 Ways Women Can Destroy Their Man. Here are a few of them:

1.Nag your Husband.

One way to torture your hubby is to be a nerve grating, contentious, non-stop dripping faucet of faultfinding and finger pointing.

2. Criticize your husband in public.

Yep, publicly shame him. Become an expert at unveiling anything about your spouse that’ll cause him to want to jump in front of a speeding bus.

3. Keep Him On a Short Leash.

By short leashing your mate with insane limits your man will quickly feel like a stupid son, controlled by you, his new petulant mommy.

I have never understood #3. I have often seen men who had their wives or girlfriend call, text or hassle them about where they are 24/7 and while they look bothered, I often wonder if they have ever told her to knock it off or if they like it in some perverted way. Why do men put up with this? Is it just resignation that nothing can be done? Are they afraid to confront her due to the backlash of anger or retribution? Do they secretly feel wanted? Help me out here! What’s the deal?

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Top Rated Comments   
Very good quote: if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. This in connection with "Women never listen and more rarely think about the consequences of what they say and do" sums it up.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hi Dr. Helen,

You've answered the 'short leash' question in your book. Women are financial hostage takers. Short leash or Motel 6.

I'm just about done with your book. I like the Titanic/Concordia comparisons.

I wish you had covered the hostile workplace more. Maybe I will write the book on that section of the debate.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Female insecurity, basically.

I put up with it while I was married because pushback guaranteed a sh*tstorm of accusations and embarrassment. Trying to discuss the situation was worse than useless. So resignation was a part of it as well.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (103)
All Comments   (103)
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This is the way I look at it. I have an education, a BS, a BA and an MA. I also have a realtor's license. I have a job. I earn a salary. And my family, meaning my mother and me now, own a company worth millions. I don't have anything to be worried about. I'm set for life.

Every girl I meet. She has an education. She has a job. She earns a salary. If she wants to be the head of her house, she can buy her own house. I'm not going to buy her a house. I already have one.

Oh, so now she wants to come live in my house. She wants 50% of everything. She wants me to assume presumptive paternity--that's a deal breaker, by the way. And she reserves the right to walk away at any time, after requiring me to pay child support for another man's bastard.

No way, no deal. I am not about to agree to those terms and conditions. It's very simple to me. If she wants me to provide for her, if she wants me to grant her access to my home, then she will respect my authority and abide by my decisions. Or I'll throw her out. She can take bad attitude and sell it on the streets for all I care. She can take all that money she earns from selling bad attitude on the streets, and use it to buy her own house.

So, now where are we? Presumptive paternity renders the marriage contract null and void. I have my house. She has hers. So, what, we just meet for dinner and drinks on occasion, and have in sex in a hotel?

This is the logical conclusion of the current stituation. Men are loners, and all women are prostitutes. Feminism at its finest.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think you've mentioned that before, GawainsGhost.

But having an MA, a realtor's license and a rich mommy is certainly worth bragging about over and over and over again. I wouldn't let a girl make me assume presumptive paternity either with that list of impressive accomplishments.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are probably as many reasons why men put up with women as there are men and women. In our case, my husband puts up with my foibles because we've been a team for a long time and he loves me.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sounds like a good excuse.

And when you lose respect for him because he puts up with your "foibles" (read: treating him as a sub-human), you can financially rape him in family court.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dr. Helen,

I think it has to do with men feeling desired. Some men like to know that they are desired by a woman, even if it means a short lease. If she wants him around so much that she needs to constantly have him on a short lease, it may feel good. I personally like to feel desired and wanted by a woman, who checks up on me and takes interest in seeing how I am doing. But not to the point where she controls me. Usually, as a man, I am the one who is expected to be charming with flattery and make the woman feel desired. Only once have I ever been treated in a way that made me feel desirable without the short lease, and that relationship didnt even last that long either. There is a really good article that explains this phenomena indirectly

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-how-and-why-sex-differences/201104/why-dont-women-ask-men-out-first-dates
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gents--it's because you aren't the bf or husband--you are the girlfriend. You are there to hold her purse, put up with her crap, and like it. You have no idea what masculine strength is or how to wield it. When you do try to stand up to her, you fumble and wind up even more cowed.

Good luck with that.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
My grandparents were happily married for 65 years. Every day, before my grandfather came home from work, my grandmother would go into the bedroom, fix her hair, put on makeup and a nice dress to welcome her husband home. She gave him something to come home to.

In the 1940s, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis. The doctors said they'd have to cut out one lung and half the other. That was an expensive operation back then; it would probably cost $400,000 today. So my grandfather, who was a bank manager at the time, went down to the bank, stole the money, paid the doctor, and saved his wife's life.

After it was done, he went down to the police station and confessed. He was sent to prison, but got out after six months for good behavior. Of course, he could never be a bank manager again, but he could always find another job, and he did.

To me that's love. That's real love. She always made a welcoming home for him, and he sacrificed everything, including committing a felony and going to jail, for her.

That was a different era. These days it's a completely different ball game. All women want a man like my grandfather, someone who would do anything for her. But few women are willing to be like my grandmother, make a welcoming home for her husband.

It's gotten to be ridiculous. Women are not women anymore, but men are still expected to be men.

How many of you guys out there are willing to rob a bank to save your wife's life and go to jail for it? How many of you girls out there are willing to make a welcoming home for your husband?

These are simple questions that go the heart of the matter. It's complicated, I know. But it's very simple really. Are you willing to go to jail to save your wife's life? Are you willing to make a welcoming home for your husband to come home to?

In my experience, my answer would be both and neither. But it doesn't matter really. Relationships are so screwed up these days that any woman who expects a man to go to jail for her is delusional, and any man who expects a woman to make a welcoming home for him is equally delusional.

It's cultura and time-sensitivel. It just doesn't work anymore. The current situattion is that women are on their own. That is what they wanted, after all. The government will pay for their health care. They don't need husbands.

Does anyone esle besides me realize how stupid all of this is?
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
As a friend's therapist put it so well, "The secret to a happy marriage is: The man eats sh*t."

I was married for 13 years and will never do it again for any reason.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The secret to a happy marriage is: The man eats sh*t."

That's exactly what it is. But lots of men want to keep up appearances for whatever reason (I find it moronic). They want to come across as the man with a marriage and new hardwood floors and a new Mercedes and the like. Their whole lives are spend trying to impress other morons. Pretending that they have a non-nagging wife is part of their pretense. And usually the nags and leeches find guys like that.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am reminded of an old Andy Capp cartoon, something along the lines of:

Chalky: "My wife is talking about buying a new sofa."
Andy: "So? Let 'er talk."
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
My personal favorite along those lines is:

Man1: "I haven't spoken to my wife in weeks."

Man2: "No? How come?

Man1: "I didn't want to interrupt her."
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are a lot reasons men put up with this stuff that reflect badly on them and their testosterone levels. Those reasons have been fully explored in these comments. I'll take a stab instead at why a "good man" would put up with this crap.

By "good man" I mean someone who has medium to high conscientiousness and who would take a punch or a bullet or other life-threatening risk when not given time to think about it to protect a woman or child. A lot of such men are henpecked by harpies, and it's not because they're pussies, it's because they don't know what else to do. They tend strongly to respect convention and traditional notions of honor and morality. It takes a lot to rile them and they need to find clarity and seriousness of moral purpose before they will defend themselves. If there's one thing American women are good at, it's being aggressive without clarity or seriousness of moral purpose. This tends to confuse American men.

A lot of women treat their men like the 5 year old taunting the family dog. They know just how far to go before getting snapped at, and, if they go a little too far, well, the dog will take the blame anyway. If you're one of those taunted men, and I know a lot of you are, here's my suggestion for changing things:

Live up to a resolution to never again let your wife disrespect you in front of other people if she wants to stay married. That includes your children as people she's not allowed to disrespect you in front of.

Oh, and don't tell her about your resolution. Just suddenly enforce it. If you tell her about it, she might laugh so much she falls down the stairs and breaks her bitchy head open, and then you'll be in court for sure.

Be willing to break up the family right here, right now to stop this madness.

But you have to do it with no whiff of butt-hurt if you want to be taken seriously.

Ruin a party in some creative way when she metaphorically calls you "boy". Spray cheez whiz all over her face and start licking it off in the middle of her public tirade. Leave the house, taking the kids, so you'll have something to occupy yourself with instead of moping in a hotel room hoping she'll call your cell phone. Cancel her credit cards.

The point is do something Harlequin and after you do it, never apologize. Unconditional surrender from her is now required or you're screwed. At a certain point, she needs to tell this story to her friends a la "Taming of the Shrew."

If you cut contact as part of your rebellion, and you answer her calls, and you shouldn't answer her calls if you cut contact, just say "You deserved it" and hang up. If you don't cut contact, and you're brushing your teeth side by side after the party, no matter what she says, you say nothing but "You deserved it" until she apologizes and snuggles.

She may up the ante, divorce you, take you to the cleaners. Accept that as a better outcome than staying married to her. But that's not the most likely outcome for a good guy married to a woman who's been trained to be a shrew unless you blink.

Women viscerally need good men to lead them. You're in short supply. If she dumps you, the next woman will be a lot better.
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37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
>> I'll take a stab instead at why a "good man" would put up with this crap. By "good man" I mean ...

There's your answer. What is a good man like? Our entire culture has been sold on a certain understanding of what a good man is that is entirely different from the past.

In the past men didn't take it beyond a certain level because other men (and women to a lesser extent) thought it was unmanly to take that from anyone, especially including women. Now men take it because they think that is what a good man does. The obvious truth of this isn't even arguable. The only interesting question is what happened to old manly ideals and why. Ann Douglass' "The Feminization of American Culture" and every moral philosopher since dirt who feared "feminization" as cultures aged for all the reasons they had for fearing it tell us pretty much what we need to know if we care to ask them.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's simple: he's gettin' some. And a man will put up with almost any misery if he's gettin' some.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Getting some only goes so far, for so long. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, all a woman had to do ( for what I considered 'good sex'), was to be there, naked and willing. Now? I expect them to actually know what they're doing, I refuse to do all the work, it needs to be a mutual effort. I've found a shockingly high percentage of women are so used to laying there and waiting to be pleasured, that they are absolutely horrible in bed. Merely the act of getting sex isn't enough for me to put up with any kind of crap from a woman.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah, a 'straight f*ck' gets old quick when your testosterone levels start to abate, no doubt.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Eh, has nothing to do with testosterone levels. I just have more self-respect, and I'm more selective with whom I sleep with. If she's lazy/selfish/inept, I'll stop mid-coitus. Women can pull that crap on stupid teenagers/twentysomethings that don't know any better.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeppers. It's a form of passive-agression. You put up with it to preserve your deniability.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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