Alpha by day, beta by night: How to make love last
This article was originally published at Fox News.
Not long ago a woman named Ana shared a story with me about her dad. In 1970s Mexico, he had a female boss who was a big powerhouse at the firm where he worked. Needless to say, this woman was very Alpha.
One day, Ana’s dad was invited to a dinner party at his boss’s house; and when he arrived, he was shocked to see her transformation at home: She was a doting wife who took Ana’s dad’s coat at the door, but her husband was the host of the party. He sat sat the head of the table and led the conversation.
Ana’s father used to tell her and her sister this story as an example—the moral being that they could go as far as they wanted in life, both as students and as professionals. But whatever they did, they should never bulldoze their husbands.
That is the message of my new book, The Alpha Female’s Guide to Men & Marriage. I wrote it for two reasons: to help myself, and to help women like me, navigate wifedom in a culture that celebrates our fierce independence. Self-reliance is indeed a great thing. But it has a dark side.
Former journalist E.D. Hill talked about this “downside” in her 2005 book “Going Places.” Like so many women today, Hill’s mother taught her to learn to do everything herself, even the typically male tasks.
Here was the result: “I found it very difficult to let anyone help me. And if they tried but couldn’t do it as well I could, I was disappointed. That often left me frustrated … I couldn’t stop myself from proving that I didn’t need [my husband] to do things for me. Needless to say, this ‘power struggle,’ along with other issues, put a big strain on our relationship, and he is now my ex.”
This power struggle Hill describes is now par for the course in modern marriages and relationships. It’s hard for women who are used to being in charge to move out of one mode and into another.
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