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“Why Are Great Husbands Being Abandoned?”

divorce cake

divorce cake

An article in both HuffPo and Psychology Today gets at what’s happening to many marriages today as a result of The Fairy Tale Myth, combined with social support for divorce and “you can have it all” attitudes.

The author-therapist, Randi Gunther, Ph.D., sees more and more breakups where the husbands have been close to the ideals the young wives say they want — but the wives are unsatisfied anyway:

The women I have treated who have left their husbands for more “masculine” men believed that their new relationships would be able to both excite and nurture them. Sadly, that has not always happened. The veritable saint with balls is as elusive as ever.

When things haven’t worked out as they thought they would, several of the women I am now working with are re-thinking their decisions, wondering if they left too soon, or for the wrong reasons. They want to reconcile with the men they have left behind. Their husbands are torn between the understandable desire to reject them and still wanting them back. Ironically, because these have nurtured the feminine side of their natures, they are also able to forgive in a way few men have been able to do in the past. But because they have no interest in returning to the “bad boy” mentality their competitors brandished, they are faced with a challenge most men have never had to confront. How do they hold on to their vulnerability and capacity to nurture, and blend it with the strength and power required of a self-respecting leader of men?

None of my reuniting couples ever want to lose each other again. They’ve left the old ways behind and know that going back to what was will not work anymore. They intensely want to create a new kind of connection that blends the beauty of traditional roles with the freedom to move between them, and to blend the best of the past with an as-yet-unwritten future.

It must be a parallel path. Both men and women must separately find their own individual balance between their need for independence and their desire for ongoing commitment, not balance their proclivities on the other end of their partner. As integrated individuals in their own right, they would then have the capacity to create a relationship that is more than the exchange or sum of the parts. Committed partners who are willing to fight for that innovative solution will find the way.

These women think they want a good partner / helpmate, but find themselves missing the thrill of the bad boys that excite their attachment systems. It’s a shame they disrupt what they acknowledge are good marriages wanting something more that generally doesn’t exist in real life. See “Stable is Boring? ‘Psychology Today’ Article on Bad Boyfriends” for more on this common problem.

Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples OrganizationsDeath by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations

[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations,  available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]

The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.

Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”

Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.


For more on modern feminism’s effect on marriage and politics:

Divorced Men 8 Times as Likely to Commit Suicide as Divorced Women
Life Is Unfair! The Militant Red Pill Movement
Leftover Women: The Chinese Scene
“Divorce in America: Who Really Wants Out and Why”
View Marriage as a Private Contract?
Madmen, Red Pill, and Social Justice Wars
Unrealistic Expectations: Liberal Arts Woman and Amazon Men
Stable is Boring? “Psychology Today” Article on Bad Boyfriends
Ross Douthat on Unstable Families and Culture
Ev Psych: Parental Preferences in Partners
Purge: the Feminist Grievance Bubble
The Social Decay of Black Neighborhoods (And Yours!)
Modern Feminism: Victim-Based Special Pleading
Stereotype Inaccuracy: False Dichotomies
Real-Life “Hunger Games”: Soft Oppression Destroys the Poor
Red Pill Women — Female MRAs
Why Did Black Crime Syndicates Fail to Go Legit?
The “Fairy Tale” Myth: Both False and Destructive
Feminism’s Heritage: Freedom vs. Special Protections
Evolve or Die: Survival Value of the Feminine Imperative
“Why Are Great Husbands Being Abandoned?”
Divorce and Alimony: State-By-State Reform, Massachusetts Edition
Reading “50 Shades of Grey” Gives You Anorexia and an Abusive Partner!
Why We Are Attracted to Bad Partners (Who Resemble a Parent)
Gaming and Science Fiction: Social Justice Warriors Strike Again
Culture Wars: Peace Through Limited Government

More on Divorce, Marriage, and Mateseeking

Marriages Happening Late, Are Good for You
Monogamy and Relationship Failure; “Love Illuminated”
“Millionaire Matchmaker”
More reasons to find a good partner: lower heart disease!
“Princeton Mom” Susan Patton: “Marry Smart” not so smart
“Blue Valentine”
“All the Taken Men are Best” – why women poach married men….
“Marriage Rate Lowest in a Century”
Making Divorce Hard to Strengthen Marriages?
Student Loan Debt: Problems in Divorce
“The Upside of ‘Marrying Down’”
The High Cost of Divorce
Separate Beds Save Marriages?
Marital Discord Linked to Depression
Marriage Contracts: Give People More Legal Options
Older Couples Avoiding Marriage For Financial Reasons
Divorced Men 8 Times as Likely to Commit Suicide as Divorced Women
Vox Charts Millennial Marriage Depression
What’s the Matter with Marriage?
Life Is Unfair! The Great Chain of Dysfunction Ends With You.
Leftover Women: The Chinese Scene
Constant Arguing Can Be Deadly…
“If a fraught relationship significantly shortens your life, are you better off alone?
“Divorce in America: Who Really Wants Out and Why”
View Marriage as a Private Contract?
“It’s up there with ‘Men Are From Mars’ and ‘The Road Less Travelled’”
Free Love, eHarmony, Matchmaking Pseudoscience
Love Songs of the Secure Attachment Type
“The New ‘I Do’”
Unrealistic Expectations: Liberal Arts Woman and Amazon Men
Mark Manson’s “Six Healthy Relationship Habits”
“The Science of Happily Ever After” – Couples Communications
Free Dating Sites: Which Have Attachment Type Screening?
Dating Pool Danger: Harder to Find Good Partners After 30
Mate-Seeking: The Science of Finding Your Best Partner
Perfect Soulmates or Fellow Travelers: Being Happy Depends on Perspective
No Marriage, Please: Cohabiting Taking Over
“Marriage Markets” – Marriage Beyond Our Means?
Rules for Relationships: Realism and Empathy
Limerence vs. Love
The “Fairy Tale” Myth: Both False and Destructive
When to Break Up or Divorce? The Economic View
“Why Are Great Husbands Being Abandoned?”
Divorce and Alimony: State-By-State Reform, Massachusetts Edition
“Sliding” Into Marriage, Small Weddings Associated with Poor Outcomes
Subconscious Positivity Predicts Marriage Success…
Why We Are Attracted to Bad Partners (Who Resemble a Parent)

Stable is Boring? “Psychology Today” Article on Bad Boyfriends

Bad Boy

Bad Boy – Shutterstock

Attachment studies, Red Pill writings, and Psychology Today agree: women especially have a problem they need to recognize. The kind of intensely activating, sexy and dominant partner they may crave is the least likely to be a good long-term mate. This Psychology Today column by Jeremy Nicholson has some good bits:

Dating and relationships have always been hard. In this day and age, however, they can sometimes seem impossible. Particularly, women I speak to say that they can’t find a good man. They lament over the guys that they say are stuck in childhood, not taking responsibility for their lives. They complain about the men they call “nice guy, push-over” types, who don’t stir passionate feelings. They also have difficulty with men they label attractive “jerks”, who disrespect them, ignore their needs, and break hearts.

This states the general problem: for anxious-preoccupied women (but for others as well), the “nice,” sensitive, thoughtful guys don’t wake them up even though they might be the wisest choice for partnering up with. Meanwhile, the rough, aggressive, dominating sorts giving off testosterone and sexual fitness get their attention, but can’t be relied on and may well end up being abusive. A Secure person will tend to react against the thoughtless and self-centered and so avoid the harm these “bad boys” do, but for the insecure this drama-filled interaction — with intermittent reinforcement, sexual excitement, and extra-strong hormones — is a lure that’s hard to stay away from even when they know it’s not a good choice.

Socially, today’s woman is encouraged, empowered (and perhaps expected) to do it all. This, in itself, often causes extreme stress for the “super woman” and “super mom.” Social norms tell her she is expected to succeed in work, run her home, raise the perfect children, and be attractive and chipper too. It is a tall order. It is also an order that requires women to be intelligent, motivated, powerful, and in control.

Given those social instructions, women are motivated to “choose” men for how well they mesh with their life plan, goals, and ideals. Essentially then, some women choose to “attach” to men who are cooperative, agreeable, supportive, and often take their lead in areas the woman finds important. From a cultural standpoint, men who are categorized as “disagreeable,” “opinionated,” or expect women to “acquiesce” may be considered unappealing as “attachment” partners.

Unfortunately, however, many of those “culturally undesirable” male traits are similar and overlapping with the traits that are biologically “attractive.” Although not always true, often the man who is intelligent, high status, and ambitious will be unlikely to take a back seat, follow, and submit in a romantic relationship. Generally speaking, men who have “leadership characteristics” may want to lead in many situations.

With those two “feelings” juxtaposed, women often find themselves unfulfilled in love. Many that I talk to seem to hover between what they call “nice guys” and “jerks” in their dating life. They become attracted to “jerks” for their status, ambition, and dominance—only to be hurt when those men don’t live up to the cooperative and considerate cultural standard for an attachment partner. Women then may gravitate towards a culturally prescribed “nice guy,” only to find that they become bored, their libido wanes, and their eyes wander back to “jerks.” Either way, they find the relationships largely frustrating and unsatisfying.

The new customs have delayed marriage, leaving an expected period (college years until 30 or so) of experimentation and “finding yourself.” Red Pill types talk about the “sexual carousel” (or more rudely, the “cock carousel”), of Sex and the City-style promiscuity or rapid serial monogamy. Sexually exciting partners are tried and found wanting over and over, until finally the young person is no longer young and realizes the most obviously exciting are not the partners who will stick by you no matter what. And by that time, most the best partners have already bonded and are unavailable, so what’s left is more avoidant, more used up, and more set in their ways.

The article goes on to suggest some strategies (for women, but it’s valid for everyone):

1) Learning to Love Leading—one strategy adopted by some women is to learn to love being the leader of a “nice guy”. Think empowered business woman, cougar, or even dominatrix. All of these women relish being in charge, empowered, and having their desires fulfilled. Getting what you want can be pretty attractive after all. This dominant approach may have a downside in resentment and rebellion however. So, be considerate (and persuasive)….

2) Following Wisely—other women choose to be cautious in love, looking for the “right” guy to be with, and enjoying their attraction to strong, male leadership. This is more of the compatibility, eHarmony approach. These women evaluate and “test” men to find the right guy, a guy who will lead with their hopes, dreams, and goals in mind. They know that, if you’re not driving, it is wise to pick the driver carefully. Thus, they find a man with strong, attractive attributes to swoon over, who will not end up treating them like a “jerk….”

3) Mixed-Mating—yet other women join the “best of both worlds” club. Here, think polyamory, open relationships, or a hot boyfriend on the side. Evolutionary psychology indicates that women sometimes use this strategy to seek the most stable and supportive partnership from one man, and the best genes for children from another. When women can’t find it all in one guy, some choose to mix-and-match….

4) Negotiation, Sharing, and Balance—finally, some women choose to negotiate and share leadership roles with their partner. They divide life tasks and duties into different areas, with each being the “boss” of different things. Perhaps she leads with the finances, and he takes charge of the kids (or vice versa). That way, everyone has a bit of leadership, responsibility, agreeableness…and therefore attraction and attachment too.

This is too simple — animal dominance and submission is not the best model for human partnerships or marriage. We are far more sophisticated as a species, and good marriages typically have a division of labor as in choice 4, so that one partner tends to handle some kinds of tasks while the other partner does others; this specialization makes the marriage stronger because tasks are handled by the most competent member at that type of task. In a good marriage of equals, both partners leave decisionmaking in some spheres to the other, and even the most aggressive and dominant in, say, external business affairs is not threatened by ceding control of, say, entertaining to the other; and nothing says this has to be conventional. Most of us know a couple where the husband is the great cook and the wife handles all the investments. This happens naturally for the most part, without any conscious negotiation — it’s not bargaining for dominance.

The “best of both worlds” club (“polyamory, open relationships, or a hot boyfriend on the side”) is controversial. One of the Red Pill resentments is that women will accept the support of a good man, then pursue cheating with sexually exciting bad boys; of course stereotypically this was always something “bad boys” did, having a respectable “madonna” wife at home while chasing “whore” skirt on the side (see Mad Men for examples of how it used to be for upper-class men!) It goes against the grain of both societal expectations and evolutionary psychology for males to tolerate being used to support children of less responsible men, so open marriages with honest pursuit of outside sexual partners are likely to remain a minority choice for couples able to have children. But the excitement of cheating will always tempt those who crave more stimulation, and so one of our primary sources of fictional and real-life drama will continue.

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Related Posts:

Sex is Better With Love (Claim Women)
Why We Are Attracted to Bad Partners (Who Resemble a Parent)
Evolve or Die: Survival Value of the Feminine Imperative
The “Fairy Tale” Myth: Both False and Destructive
Perfect Soulmates or Fellow Travelers: Being Happy Depends on Perspective
Mate-Seeking: The Science of Finding Your Best Partner
Dating Pool Danger: Harder to Find Good Partners After 30