An Open Letter to American Men
This article was originally published at The Daily Caller.
Believe me when I say I feel your pain. Ever since I wrote The War on Men, back in 2012, I’ve heard from folks across the country and beyond; and there’s just no question that modern-day couples are locked in a perpetual power struggle. No one seems to know what his or her role is anymore—it’s all so ambiguous. The sexes are supposed to be “equal,” but that’s one of those things that sounds good on the surface but doesn’t square with reality. If it did, men and women would be getting along famously.
I’d like to offer some insight, if I may, as to why there’s so much confusion. Women aren’t trying to make love difficult; they’ve simply been raised to believe they can do anything a man can do. To be sure, this has helped them get ahead in the marketplace. But it offers nothing about how to love and get along with a man. On that score, women are shooting blanks; and you’ve been caught in the crosshairs.
I can’t count the number of men I’ve heard from who want to know what women want. They say women ask them to be sensitive and kind or even “enlightened” on the home front, but when they comply, women seem bothered by it or are still unhappy. Here’s just one example from a man named Tom:
I love my wife very much but in doing so I’ve become perhaps her servant (housework, childcare, sex) and less her man. I’ve always wondered that perhaps being a loving and stronger man would be better for her. Reaching to what you are perhaps suggesting is deep down her desire for a real man.
My problem has been that she is an alpha, and I love her even though I’m tired of the power struggle. I don’t want to go about this like I’m breaking in a horse. I don’t want to win every time. I want a partner.
But I feel like my actions of love are perhaps enabling. Then I feel like husbands I know who aren’t serving so much or some that are real ‘dicks’ have their wives clinging to them, and it sounds like the sex is good. Because although they might err on the side of being a jerk, if their firmness is demanding, respect seems to drive their woman closer.
I just wonder if she’d be happier if I lovingly put my foot down. I know how to do that with my kids, and I know they’re better for it. I wonder if that’s what I need to do for my wife, but then it seems like I’m treating her like a child. I just don’t know!
Tom is not alone. That’s the precise dynamic being played out in countless marriages and relationships today. Women say they want their relationships to be equal, but they don’t. Not really.
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