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Dr. Helen

Continuing the “short leash” discussion

December 10th, 2013 - 5:31 am

I saw that at Psychology Today, Dr. J.R. Bruns takes a stab at answering the question I asked in a prior post about why some men put up with being on a short leash in their relationship. Here is what he had to say:

Many American men have ceded control of the relationship to their wives and their girlfriends. This acquiescence of responsibility in the union occurs early in the initial courtship of the couple. Quite frankly, many American men don’t mind being controlled by their lover in return for acceptance and romance. They bury their needs, feelings and goals to accommodate their mate’s. They surrender unconditionally due to their natural desire for sex and their fear of being alone. They would rather be in a poor relationship than NO relationship. But there is a terrible cost to their short-term pathway to romantic bliss. This century-long trend of submersion of the male in love and marriage is a major cause of the unprecedented failure of heterosexual relations in 2013 America.

Dr. Bruns goes on to make some good points but he does seem to put much of the fault with this behavior on men. While they are certainly responsible for their own noose at times, I think the omission here is the societal and legal realities that put women at an advantage in marital–and even non-marital relationships. Husbands often put up with negative behavior because they know that they could lose their home, the kids and a portion of their income. Women, for the most part, have no such worries. Yes, there are exceptions of women losing these things, but it is mainly men who do so. This knowledge must play some part in the willingness to let women call the shots.

Combine this with a society that gives men no other guidance than “go along with the woman” and it’s no wonder men go along to get along. Of course, it doesn’t work and breeds resentment as the good Dr. Bruns points out, but it is easier for some guys to play along than risk losing in court and “love.”

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Top Rated Comments   
There have been so many times I've had to cringe and suffer through male friends and co-workers chuckling about how they're dominated by their wives and girlfriends. On top of that, older men advise younger "Just do what she says and everything will be all right." I agree there are cultural / legal reasons for this, as well as female attitudes to blame, but I still believe this is largely a case of men "doing it to themselves." Remember it was mostly men that changed the laws to give women legal authority over their wives.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (12)
All Comments   (12)
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Best decision I ever made was the acceptance that it is alright to be alone, there is nothing wrong with it. It took three bad relationships for me to come to that conclusion, but in the end, I was better off. There is nothing worse than working all day and then have to come home to a person that is controlling and irrational. I noticed how quickly all three of my relationships changed when the attitude of the other person changed and they tried to control my life.

Nothing can top freedom and peace of mind.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
What about the attraction to power? I've never been married or even had a relationship of over one year so maybe I'm weird. But the few times that I had a relationship of a few months or so, it was a turn on to be controlled by a woman. Sorry. That's not going to be very popular here but I must admit that female dominance (by a physically attractive female, huge point), at least in a short term relationship, was really attractive. After 15 years, I'm sure it gets old.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Female "captivation" of males goes back to the dawn of humanity. Women used a variety of means (providing sex, preparing food, making clothes) to ensure that men went against their normal tendencies of promiscuity and lack of commitment. There were some societies that avoided this (mostly by communal rearing of children), but most follow this pattern. More recently there has been an escalation to a pattern of ensnaring men and then dominating them. This is most effective if there are children who are liked by the husband.

The irony is, that in the USA today, there is less need for ensnaring and dominating than there has been for generations. People marry later and are more mature at the onset. Straying by husbands is less frequent, and divorces are less frequent. Thus, the desires of wives to ensnare and dominate are based on factors other than bad behaviors of husbands. The most important factor is that our society has become female-dominant despite the dearth of female politicians and CEOs. Women have won the "battle of the sexes" and don't know it.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Women used a variety of means (providing sex, preparing food, making clothes) to ensure that men went against their normal tendencies of promiscuity and lack of commitment."--MinigoV

What means did early men use to ensure that females went against their normal tendencies of promiscuity and lack of commitment?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow, funny you should mention this today, when later you get the absolute best example ever! Michelle dictating to Barry where to sit! (http://twitchy.com/2013/12/10/forget-the-death-glare-check-out-what-furious-flotus-did-to-obama-pics/?utm_source=autotweet&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=twitter)
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
"While they are certainly responsible for their own noose at times, I think the omission here is the societal and legal realities that put women at an advantage in marital–and even non-marital relationships. Husbands often put up with negative behavior because they know that they could lose their home, the kids and a portion of their income. Women, for the most part, have no such worries. Yes, there are exceptions of women losing these things, but it is mainly men who do so. This knowledge must play some part in the willingness to let a women call the shots. "

Absolutely I agree with this. I would go further in that controlling people like this are so apt to go nuclear to get their way and non compliance means that there will be a tantrum with screaming and yelling and whatever else and quite possibly a (false) domestic violence call against the man as well. And it's not because they are mentally ill, they are doing it consciously....just have a witness present, or pull out your camcorder and watch how fast they calm down. So there are severe short term consequences as well as long term consequences. The sad thing is that this insanely uneven balance of power is quite intentional on the part of some advocacy groups and policy makers and they would argue that this is a good thing (behind closed doors at least), and this is the primary reason I am against civil marriage. Anybody, man or woman, should be able to walk away from their voluntary relationships (marriage included) without fear of severe penalties being imposed on them by others for doing so.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
She doesn't have to make a call. She assaults him until the police arrive, then they arrest him because she has reason to be afraid of him, now.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
After 3 years of 'marriage' overlapping with 13 years of fighting in family court, I'm *never* doing that again.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
years ago, I was smart enough to dump a relationship that would have gone like that. Had I married her, I would have been ruled with an iron fist, with divorce or suicide as the only way out. i could see she was already planning on cutting my folks out of our life together and she was already exerting pressure on me to dump most of my friends.

The girl I did eventually marry, thankfully, is not like that (learning from experience, I guess) but I did cede the leadership role in too many cases over the years. Thankfully since starting to read Athol Kay and other manosphere authors I've recognized that I do need to lead and have stepped up to it. My marriage is better for it and my wife is happier too.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
There have been so many times I've had to cringe and suffer through male friends and co-workers chuckling about how they're dominated by their wives and girlfriends. On top of that, older men advise younger "Just do what she says and everything will be all right." I agree there are cultural / legal reasons for this, as well as female attitudes to blame, but I still believe this is largely a case of men "doing it to themselves." Remember it was mostly men that changed the laws to give women legal authority over their wives.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Should say "give women legal authority over their husbands."
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree with you, men have largely done this to themselves. It's just easier to abdicate power and let their wives make decisions and then play the victim. I've seen it a hundred times. Men want peace, but they go about getting it the wrong way.

33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
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