Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Relationship troubles: It’s MOSTLY his fault

Here’s a b.s. book you shouldn’t bother reading unless you’re in the mood to get pissed: “It’s (MOSTLY) His Fault: For the Women Who Are Fed Up and the Men Who Love Them”. Isn’t that just a great title? Regardless of whatever kind of relationship problems you are having, the title suggests, you can just go right ahead and place most of the blame on him, you’ve probably been doing that anyway, so here is a book that will commiserate with you.

I haven’t made it through the entire book, but I’ll try to come back to it as I feel I can stomach more of its nonsense. I’ll be fair. If the author makes what I feel is a good point, I’ll be sure to highlight it. At the moment, I’m not expecting much.

After ignoring a quote by Michael Moore and another quote that only seems superficially relevant, I read the first couple of paragraphs and was taken aback.

“After thirty-five years of marriage and thirty years of being a therapist and marriage counselor, I’ve come to three major conclusions:
First, the notion that men and women are equally responsible for the problems in marriage is—to use one of my father’s favorite expressions—a bunch of crap. Mostly it’s the men. Mostly it’s us husbands. Mostly it’s our fault.
This is not male-bashing. Don’t even think about going there. That’s not what this is at all. Nobody needs to get bashed, and nobody needs to be bad here. All we men need to do is own up to the fact that we sometimes act like jerks in our marriages, and think and say and do things that create disconnection rather than connection with our wives, and we need to change.”

After three paragraphs, I too have come to some conclusions. First, this book was written either by a mangina or the wife of a mangina. Second, this man is probably a terrible marriage counselor; he begins with a bias toward the male. Third, don’t expect too much in the way of hard evidence or sound logic, we’ve boldly stepped into the “The Emotion Zone”.

The title summarizes the rest of the books introduction. Paragraph after paragraph tries to slam home the point that it is MOSTLY the man’s fault. He attempts to save a what little face he has by saying women aren’t perfect, but follows that up with a reiteration of his titular thesis; it’s men’s fault, men’s fault, men’s fault.

In addition to that, he urges men that the key to a happy marriage is to kowtow to a woman’s version of what a relationship is. I see where he is going with this whether he’d admit it or not, he is saying if you want a happy relationship, you’d better do everything in your power to make that bitch happy, else your life is gonna be miserable, or the prime time television version “Happy wife, happy life” (a phrase I’m sick of hearing).

Men and women are different. Furthermore, men are different from each other just as women are different from each other, yet there are some somewhat standard consistencies among the sexes. That is, men will tend to behave in one way and women will tend to behave in another. That’s just generally true, even where relationships are concerned.

So, the only way to come to the conclusion that it is MOSTLY the man’s fault is to say that the female relationship paradigm is the correct paradigm. That’s such pitifully weak thinking it hardly necessitates an analogy, but since I both think in and love analogies, here we go… that’s like saying the problem with women drivers is that they don’t drive more like men.

Why are a woman’s expectations of a relationship the correct expectations, the correct model? We’re not told, just that they know how and men don’t.

Isn’t the correct relationship model whatever works for that couple? I’m not saying that the correct model is what SEEMS to work, I’m saying what works. It’s not fair for a woman to have to feel unloved but pretend to be cold and distant just to make the relationship work. What I’m saying is if he needs space and distance and his cave and she needs affection and attention then that couple needs to work out a compromise. Saying that he is mostly to blame is flat ridiculosity (I coined a word, feel free to use it). It would be no different than saying that it’s MOSTLY her fault for needing so much damn attention all the time, that the relationship would be great if she’d stop nagging him.

Here is my relationship advice. Step one, stop listening to Oprah and Dr. Phil. Step two, communicate openly and honestly. Sometimes it’s hard to do, sometimes it’s hard to hear. Then truly listen. If you are in a relationship and you don’t want to communicate (especially if you are a guy) then ask yourself why you are in a relationship to begin with.