It’s the beta wife who comes out ahead in the end.
Some of the pushback I’ve been getting since my article and appearance on Fox News last week has to do with idea that not every person fits neatly into an alpha or a beta box. I couldn’t agree more and say as much in the book.
“Most people are neither 100% beta nor 100% alpha. Someone who’s 100% beta is someone who has no opinions (or who never shares them), no identity, and very little self-esteem. This person does not value his or her needs at all. Someone who’s 100% alpha, on the other hand, is, well, a bitch or an ass. This person appears to have an inflated ego but in reality is likely insecure. Her or she has a hard time incorporating other people’s needs into the equation. We all run into folks like this on occasion; but they’re the exception, not the rule. Most of us are some combination of alpha and beta, though we typically lean to one side.”
The issue I’m addressing in The Alpha Female’s Guide is that women have been specifically groomed to bury their beta-like ways and to assert themselves at all times in a masculine, or alpha-like, manner. The result is that we’re drowning in alphas. We’re inbreeding! And that doesn’t work. Every alpha needs a beta, and every beta needs an alpha. Getting the balance right can be tricky, but it is vital for your marriage that you do.
Both people cannot play the same role at the same time. They cannot both drive the same car. At any given time, someone’s leading and someone’s following. Consider ballroom dancing: you literally can’t dance without a leader and a follower.
Some have asked, “Why does one person always have to be the leader while the other follows? Can’t they take turns?” But the assumption here is that it’s always better to be the leader. Since I don’t agree with that, I rarely look for a chance to be the driver. I now know how powerful the passenger seat is, and I like it. I think the followers have it better.
That’s not to say there aren’t roles each person plays that put them each in charge of certain things. For instance, my husband and I decide where we’re going on vacation together; but I do all the leg work in deciding where we’re going to stay. That’s because I enjoy it, and I care a lot more about the details. I’m also a firm believer that whoever cares more or whoever’s more proficient at something should typically be the person in charge of it. So, yes, there’s flexibility.
But the point is that a beta wife isn’t inferior. Beta wives aren’t Stepford wives. They do not lack an identity, nor are they an appendage of their husbands. That’s the narrative the culture sells, but it doesn’t mean it’s true.
Betas have wonderful qualities! My daughter is one, and I’m always learning something from her. Betas are patient, easygoing and rarely in a hurry. They’re quieter, yes; but that’s only considered bad in a country that demands people shout to be heard. Shouting is not the only way to be heard. Moreover, letting life unfold on its own, as opposed to forcing everything into a box, can be advantageous.
These are all things I’ve had to learn because I am not someone who sits back and lets life happen. I like to be in control. And while I concede that in certain domains, this serves me well, it has not served me well in love. When it comes to love, it is the beta wife—the woman who respects her husband and doesn’t micromanage his life—who comes out ahead in the end.
So I decided to become one.
Best thing I ever did.