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6 reasons why my husband should be my "punching bag"
Have you ever had the kind of fight with your husband where you’re being somewhat irrational and highly emotional and completely exhausted? You know, the kind where you just keep going around in crazy circles until he finally says something like, “What am I supposed to do, be your punching bag?” I have. Quite a few times. It goes down like this: My husband did, or didn’t do, something that made my life a little bit harder at a time when I’m just barely treading water (like, he shaved and left little hairs all over the bathroom that I had to clean up). I call him out and he says I’m upset “over nothing” (his words) but really I have every right to be mad. So, YES, dear husband, you should be my punching bag — and here’s why:
1. My hormones are making me crazy. Let’s be clear: I’m not talking about my period here. As you know, I recently had a baby and unless you’ve ever experienced pregnancy and postpartum (especially postpartum) hormones — which, of course, you haven’t — you just can’t understand what it’s like. In a nutshell, I feel a bit insane. Actually, sometimes a lot insane. I have high highs and low lows. I can be laughing and feeling happy one minute and crying the next. I can loose your sh*t over something really unimportant and not be able to stop myself. (And no, I’m not alone — ask around.) Sometimes these feelings make me lash out at you. And since these crazy hormones aren’t ruling your body, I think you should just take the lashing.
2. I have a baby on the boob all day long. You wouldn’t know this, but breastfeeding is ridiculously hard. It means that I have another person attached to me all day long. It robs me of my energy. It makes me super hungry. Considering how much you whine when you have a little cold, there’s no way you’d last a day after nursing all night long. So, the least you can do is let me take my frustration out on you once in awhile.
3. I resent the crap out of you. I shouldn’t, but I can’t help it. I resent you. And — sorry, there’s no way to say this nicely — sometimes I don’t even like you. Too often, you’re like an extra kid around the house that I have to take care of, except not as cute. You get to leave the house to work. You always find time to exercise, and you get to shower every day. You even spend 20 minutes in the bathroom all the damn time. On top of taking care of our children, I also run the house, buy the food, make the food, clean up the food, keep track of the schedules, deadlines, bills, and every other mundane detail of our lives. Aside from going to work and helping with the kids, you don’t have to do anything. And I resent you for it. So you should have to pick up the slack by taking a verbal punch from me every now and again.
4. I have no energy for niceties. Sometimes just listening to you talk drains the little bit of energy I have left. I respond and it might sound like the b*tchiest sentence ever. It’s not meant to be. It’s just that I literally don’t have the energy to sound nicer. Things come out fast, hard, and blunt. Whatever takes the least amount of effort to say is pretty much what comes out of my mouth. It’s also often why I say things that make no sense or forget things entirely (it’s called Mom Brain — look it up). So if I say something or respond to you and it doesn’t sound the nicest, just take it and move on.
5. I’d prefer to lose my sh*t on you than on the kids. Some days are so hard that someone has to be my release valve. On those days, it’s a definite that I didn’t get to leave the house alone, and I probably also didn’t get any time to myself (you know the baby hates to nap). If I’m going to lose it, better that it is on you than on the kids. You can take it — you’re a grown up that should be able to remember what I’m going through and where it’s coming from. You can remind yourself that it’s the hormones talking.
6. You expect me to have sex with you. On top of everything else, you still want to have sex. I’m somehow supposed to get in the mood, and feel and be sexy, and have intimate and romantic time with you. So if sex is what you need, a punching bag is what I need. Fair trade?
While I understand the concept of being someone’s punching bag is probably unfair and unappealing, as it turns out so are many aspects of motherhood. You didn’t get postpartum depression. You aren’t still fat with no time to work out. You aren’t treated like a short order cook by your toddler. You don’t have the life sucked out of you by a baby. So let’s call being a punching bag your husbandly duty, and I’ll do my best to drop the punching bag routine…just as soon as I’ve gotten more than two hours of sleep at a time.
Women are tested most when they have small children. It's definitely the case that some women react to the pressures involved the wrong way, by directing negative feelings toward the person doing the most to help them, namely their husband.
But it's one thing for a woman to have vicious thoughts and feelings appear at this time and another to give in to them, as this woman has done. It's a test of feminine character here - a woman of strong character will recognise how irrational and low-natured these thoughts are and do her best to subdue them.
Finally, the post is another reminder to men not to put all that is best within themselves into the relationship with their wife, as there are women who are simply not receptive to this. Men were always supposed to put some of their better qualities into their civilisational role - their role of upholding the larger tradition they belong to and acting in concert with other men to achieve this.
Aside from going to work and helping with the kids, you don’t have to do anything.ReplyDelete
It just shows how incredibly selfish men are. This guy goes out to work to earn money to support his wife and children, and then comes home and helps with the kids, and he expects respect for that?
In my experience, women are able to acknowledge the father making sacrifices for his children ("children, thank your father for....") but not so easily able to acknowledge the sacrifices that men make for their wives. In their minds, men go out to work because that's just what men do, it has nothing to do with men making a sacrifice to keep their families in financial security and comfort.Delete
Again, it makes me think that if you had a church devotional for women, there should be prayers in it along the lines of "Lord, I acknowledge the sacrifices my husband makes for me by...." or "Lord, I am grateful for the sacrifices my husband makes for me...."
I tried doing the "stoic punching bag" thing when my son was born in 2007. I thought if I didn't complain and kept on trucking we would get through it. That didn't work; we eventually separated. In hindsight being whiny/complainy & having rows - lowering myself to her level - might have been better than taking the moral high ground of stoic suffering, which just caused added resentment on both our parts. Better still of course would have been taking a leadership role, but nothing in my life had prepared me to do that, certainly not my parents' example.ReplyDelete
Better still of course would have been taking a leadership role, but nothing in my life had prepared me to do that, certainly not my parents' example.Delete
That seems to be a major problem. So many men today don't even realise that taking the leadership role might be an option.
The absolute worst thing you can do is to seek "professional help" by going to relationship counselling. You'll simply be informed that women are never ever in the wrong and you may even end up believing it.
"You'll simply be informed that women are never ever in the wrong"Delete
I think men expect that there will be some sort of investigation into what is going wrong and then some sort of practical advice for improving the situation.
It's more likely that there will just be an airing of views, some head nodding and then an assumption that the man must have done something wrong.
Older, level-headed female counsellors are possibly the best. Flakier, feelings based female counsellors and white knighting male counsellors the worst.
I'm not convinced there's much that individual men can do. Maybe a man who is very high-level, who knows the typical mindset that mothers fall into, and who brings it all out to the surface and deals with it will have some success - but even such a man will be dealing with the female tendency to deny that the problem exists whilst still acting on it passively-aggressively.Delete
I'd prefer the problem to be acted on at a culture wide level. If we know that women unreasonably tend to hold their husbands responsible for their comfort and happiness, so that the husband is blamed for the stress and discomforts of early motherhood, even if he is working hard to support her, then the response to this could be embedded within the culture.
For instance, women could be encouraged to show gratitude and appreciation toward their husbands ("greet him warmly after his hard day at work"); women could be encouraged to acknowledge that life itself will always bring discomforts and disappointments that women can't ever be shielded from, but that require some inner character from women themselves to deal with; there could be greater respect for husbands and the work they do within the culture; there could be greater pressure on women not to give way to irrational feelings and thoughts; perhaps the mothers of these women could have a role in helping to bat away some of these destructive ideas.
Most of all, people in positions of moral authority should be reminding these women of the work that their husbands do on behalf of family.
"greet him warmly after his hard day at work"Delete
Mark, you must have missed Jack Jones:
I'm afraid we've "seen this movie before."
Anon, I think the song gets it wrong. The point is not to stop the husband from straying. It is to encourage a grateful and receptive attitude in the wife, or, to put it another way, to discourage a selfish, entitled attitude. It is to encourage the wife to think about the needs of the husband after his long day at work.Delete
Flakier, feelings based female counsellors and white knighting male counsellors the worst.Delete
From personal experience I'd have to agree that white knighting male counsellors are disastrous.
Interesting feedback, thanks.Delete
"I'm not convinced there's much that individual men can do."
Yes, I'm not sure there is anything I could have done to make it better. A lot of her complaints centred around me not finding her physically attractive and only being willing to have sex with her out of a sense of duty. But she wasn't willing to do anything to make herself more attractive such as wear clean clothes, wear makeup, wear nice underwear, do her hair, never mind eat less & get less obese. And coming home to filth & squalor every day was really demoralising especially how she would spread filth, upending her dirty handbag onto the table I'd just cleaned. There was no sense of reciprocity, even as a practical matter. It's not like I didn't want to be attracted to her, but she did nothing to help with that.
Unfortunately this is par for the course on mom forums. Lots of whining and blaming the husband. Everyone has postpartum depression but no one understands them enough to be allowed to criticize their behavior.ReplyDelete
I read a study once that losing control of your temper actually becomes a vicious cycle. So by directing her anger at her husband she is making it more likely to "lose her sh*t with her kids."
Funny she has energy to post this long winded diatribe about him but not be kind to him.
Funny she has energy to post this long winded diatribe about him but not be kind to him.Delete
Yes, makes you think. Maybe she has reached a point of liking feeling hard done by.
Yup. What women can't see they don't readily understand.ReplyDelete
So when a man goes to work..... and comes back alive... then that's all fun
Once you subtract all the work and responsibility men do... its like they do nothing!!
This is also why women should not lead: they do not see the whole-- especially other men. They see women (female extensions of themselves) and children.
But the well being of both depend of the invisible male.
What women can't see they don't readily understand.Delete
That's interesting. I have often thought that it's wise for a husband to demonstrate his masculine skills to his wife. For instance, it's not enough for him to do martial arts, he needs to make sure that she comes along and watches him. Similarly, if there is a work night where he's giving a speech he should try and get her along. She cannot divine his capacities for these things, she needs them to be physically demonstrated.
they do not see the whole-- especially other men. They see women (female extensions of themselves) and children.
You can see this I suppose in feminism, where there's little concern for the well-being of society as a whole, the focus instead is on the sectional interests of career women.
You can also see it in the way that some women look on men in functional terms - unless a woman has a romantic interest in a man she's liable to look on the mass of men in utilitarian terms as existing to do things. Similarly, once she loses romantic interest in a man, his existence for her rapidly changes and is depersonalized. A wife can live with her husband for 20 years, but once she makes the decision to divorce, he no longer has the same human aspect but has only the function to provide material things for her. She just assumes that that is his new role.
Here is an important comment about this from Jordan Peterson:ReplyDelete
What a great video. I might post it. I think men have an instinct to step in when their sons are a certain age to start preparing the sons for the rigours of adult male life, but it is often the case that the mother will try to undermine this, even though it is greatly beneficial for the son. Ten years later the mother is then complaining when the son is failing at things. Again, a society needs to back fathers to follow through with their better paternal instincts.Delete
Here you can clearly see how the modern family has failed. New mothers need support and that is not her husbands job. It is the job of preferably, her mother, aunt or sisters. Other women with practical experience with children are the answer, but instead every marriage is being left on it's own, which discourages people from getting married or having children.
It is amazing how many people do not even think of this!
Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future
It is the job of preferably, her mother, aunt or sisters.Delete
I really do think this is part of it. The current understanding is "the family won't be based on sex roles, so the husband will do his traditional bit (provider/protector) but also do the feminine nurturing/supporting roles as well. If the wife doesn't feel nurtured/supported in a feminine way, the husband has failed and is to blame".
There are millions of men trying to do this, even to the point that it is becoming common for men to take long service leave to help with newborns.
But I think the experiment will fail, despite the best efforts of men. It puts husbands in a vulnerable position of being held responsible for a task they are not really fit for - which then causes unnecessary damage to the marriage.
To give one small example. A pregnant woman at work was in distress. I and my male colleagues tried to help but none of it put her at ease. It wasn't until an older female colleague who had had children of her own returned to the office that the problem was resolved. She did it very skilfully and confidently - it was interesting to watch - she just took the younger woman "under her wing" and had the situation under control in minutes.
It's not that the men were uncaring or unconcerned - but you are dealing with the situation like a clumsy outsider, without the finesse and confidence that an older woman with motherhood experience can bring to bear.
It puts husbands in a vulnerable position of being held responsible for a task they are not really fit for - which then causes unnecessary damage to the marriage.Delete
It's possible that men made a huge mistake in giving in to feminist demands that they do "their share" of the housework. It encouraged the idea that the traditional male role was irrelevant and unnecessary. If a man worked 60 hours a week at an incredibly demanding job that counted for nothing - if he hadn't done the dishes then he was just another useless male. Doing the dishes was far more important than something silly and pointless like working to earn money.
And that of course meant that men were no longer worthy of respect. A man who worked hard and succeeded in his career was still second-rate if he didn't do the dishes properly.
It's another example of how compromising with feminists makes things worse.
It's also always worth remembering that most female jobs in the workforce aren't real work. Digging ditches is work. Sitting in an air-conditioned office drinking coffee and attending meetings and workshops and very occasionally answering the telephone isn't work. Women don't respect work because mostly they don't do actual work. They do pretend work.
"You get to leave the house to work."ReplyDelete
I've never understood this feminist envy over work. If I were independently wealthy, I'd never work another day in my life. I have to work; on Saturday I get to stay home, and there's nothing I enjoy more than that. Do women think men are just relaxing and socializing all day at work? Do women really enjoy work that much? Could it be that civilization is made possible by a forced reversal of our natures (i.e., women are actually the ones who like working, while men don't?)
Could it be that civilization is made possible by a forced reversal of our natures?Delete
Interesting thought, but in my experience only a small minority of women are genuine careerists. Some are in a position where they can choose part-time hobby work. Those who are forced to work fulltime as breadwinners often dream of striking it rich and not having to work, just as men do.
In my opinion, civilization would be better served if men had more time away from paid work to engage their talents in culture and community building work.
Do women think men are just relaxing and socializing all day at work?Delete
Yes, because that's what middle-class women (mostly) do at work.
Do women really enjoy work that much?
Middle-class women whose work consists of sitting in a nice office drinking coffee and talking certainly enjoy it. They might not enjoy digging ditches so much.
Working-class women often do work at real jobs that are actual hard work but feminists don't give a damn about working-class women.
Has OZ become a "He-Man Woman Haters Club"? (Our Gang and The Little Rascals movies between the wars; the Spanky, Alfalfa, Darla, Buckwheat, and Porky years.)ReplyDelete
My son's mother turned from a relaxed dating sweetheart into an emotional basket case after we married. I tried to carry both of us emotionally for years. It got so that I hated walking in the door at the end of the day. It was sanctuary in reverse. Everything fell apart. It simply wore me down. When I could no carry her, we fought. I refused to be anyone's punching bag, so the marriage ended. Neither of us remarried.
I made a mistake. It was the measure of my character, not my measure of her character.
I married the wrong woman, and for the wrong reasons. It was my wrongheaded decision. How can the answer be to marry the right woman? Like the old joke about the thermos bottle that serves us well in both Summer and Winter: "how do it know?"
Men and women's brains are wired different, their just different. We know this. Our chemical makeup is different. We know this too. What's outside all our heads is the exact same thing. Nothing is different.
It would be a very special man who could get inside the head of a young woman (especially a young woman), to see if she's "the right one". Haven't we been scrutinizing this since the beginning?
Honestly, how many of us are behaviors are permanently changed by a woman? We accept trade-offs, just as we wish that they would do. Our natures are not altered.
Hal Roach got the idea for Our Gang from watching children play and bicker outside his office window. "A show about children just being themselves".
Do we want men and women not being themselves? I don't. As much as men struggle to understand women, I don't think we want them to be more like us. Aren't we currently grappling with that kind of disorder and dysfunction?
I can't fathom what the perfect wife would be, which isn't terribly unlike the philosophical quandary in law. Perfect law exists and it has an author. It's man's task to discover it. Will that ever happen on this Earth?
Men think that we better understand women as we age, just as women are aging along with us, but on their separate plane. As a perfect plan, or bassackwards? It is what it is.
I definitely should not have married young. It turns out that I shouldn't have married at age 40. I'm 70 now and I have it all figured out. Right. The perfect wife for me now, would permanently live on the other end of my neighborhood, to close to always drive, but close enough for a healthy walk.
Mark mentions feminine "character" as being the test of this woman. Accurately profiling and judging - "sizing up" - a man's "character" used to be seen as a good measure of the judging man's good character and worth. There are statutes criminalizing that now.
We gave our authority away. My father's generation put the nail in the coffin. His so-called "Greatest Generation", sacrificed their newly challenged "character" on an alter of "isms". If they had the character to hold the line after the war, just through the 1950s and into the 1960s, things could be very different today. They didn't. They folded like cheap suits.
To say that "society needs to back fathers to follow through with their better paternal instincts", is to put the cart before the horse, and to leave them unconnected.
Men have given in to their own specific vices. There is no other explanation for the state that we're in.
It a man's job. Or, isn't it?
To say that "society needs to back fathers to follow through with their better paternal instincts", is to put the cart before the horse, and to leave them unconnected.Delete
Not really. A man can try individually to follow through, but if he does not have the backing of culture, custom and law, he might well find himself out of the family altogether.
Previous Anglo societies did things differently at a societal level. In the upper classes, sons were simply sent away from their mothers from age seven.
I don't think you have to be this decisive, but it should be recognised explicitly within the culture that:
1. Woman are driven to interfere with a father's better paternal instincts
2. This will leave boys unprepared for adult manhood
3. Therefore, there needs to be a) a cultural understanding that women are to step back and b) some other ways to do the same job in case the father fails (boys' schools with a strong masculine ethos; boy scouts with a strong masculine ethos; boys sports clubs with a strong masculine ethos etc.)
I made a mistake. It was the measure of my character, not my measure of her character.Delete
But someone was going to marry her. The effect on society and the family was going to be the same. So how do we constrain the negative effects of such a woman?
As you note, it's not necessarily easy for a man, even a somewhat older man, to judge the individual character of a woman when dating. A woman who is terrible at relationships can nonetheless be good at presenting to men in an attractive way.
Part of the answer, in my opinion, is to move away from the idea that the whole of a man's life is to be directed toward marriage. I don't think that all women are worthy of this, and it wastes the talents and contributions that many men could be making toward the larger society and tradition.
Second, we need to consider how the "marginal" women (those who could go either way - to be either successful or unsuccessful as wives) could be pushed in the right direction. This, at least, would make the odds better.
What kind of influence might help?
1. Make sure that girls have a realistic view of marriage - that they don't expect the husband to play the role of a "god + father" who will be able to bestow some perfect state of security and contentment in which there are no life stresses to deal with.
2. Encourage women to be virgins at marriage - or as close as possible to this. Promiscuity undermines the ability to pair bond.
3. Encourage parents to stick together for the sake of the children - girls whose parent divorce when the children are young are the most likely to divorce.
4. Encourage earlier marriage. Women who get used to a single girl lifestyle will find it hard to adapt to life as a mother in the suburbs.
I also think it would help if there were a better awareness of personality disorders. Not everyone is fit to marry - a person with a personality disorder can take out 2 to 3 people during the course of a lifetime.
A man can try individually to follow through, but if he does not have the backing of culture, custom and law, he might well find himself out of the family altogether.Delete
Especially law. The problem for men today who try to approach marriage from the correct traditionalist viewpoint is that the law will not merely thwart them at every step, it will punish them ruthlessly for failing to conform to feminist norms. So without major changes to family law there's little a man can do.
Significant changes to the law are very unlikely unless there's a change in the culture. And changing the culture is difficult as long as the current culture is enforced by law.
"I also think it would help if there were a better awareness of personality disorders"Delete
Indeed. Does your prospective wife have a history of Depression? Does her mother? Did her mother divorce her father? Does your prospective wife have a history of failed relationships?
These are all warning signs. I think there are good reasons my ex's history of depression was largely hidden from me until after we married.
Does your prospective wife have a history of failed relationships?Delete
Not only with men, but with parents, siblings, female friends, work colleagues.
Sometimes you have to dig back a little while. You might arrive on the scene when she has a stable circle of friends and is holding down a job - a good patch in her life. She might be really trying to hold it together.
But what was the situation two years earlier? Four years?
Did her mother divorce her father?
If this happened when she was a young girl, this is the single biggest predictor of divorce. Maybe because it means that single motherhood is her childhood normal. Maybe because she has no realistic reference when it comes to men and marriage. Maybe because it means her mother has issues - these can be heritable.
"he might well find himself out of the family altogether"Delete
So be it. That's my point. What's your alternative? More of the same? Continue to submit until even feminists/modern liberals can't stand us any longer?
Men must lead, one by one, alone and on their own, in spite of no support; until they're noticed and they begin to notice and hear about each other, or some such scenario. They need to lead by example. They need to stop submitting.
Are the best women going to quit men altogether if men actually stand their ground? Or, will they begin to see men for their worth? The question seems to be; what are men worth?
How in this world do submissive men reverse the course of culture, custom and law? Are "moderate" Muslim going to subdue the devout? Is the unarmed honest citizen going to subdue the armed criminal by articulating a principled position?
Men have to stop submitting first. Culture, custom and law follow the actions of men, not the other way around.
No one made me marry that woman. That I rushed in where some other fool might have gone, is irrelevant. For purposes of this discussion, I'm every-man. No man should have married her.
Where in human history has culture, custom and man's law established itself without the prior submissions of the men complaining about them?
If this is a dysfunctional-woman's world, as it is increasingly described, what exactly is the supporting role of men?
Reading this is yet another confirmation (and possibly the brightest shining example) that the best and wisest decision of my life that I ever made, was to never marry or father children.ReplyDelete
I'm definitely convinced that by doing so, I saved myself from countless years of thankless toil, drudgery, and stress; possible mental, psychological, and physical abuse; and the loss of untold hundreds of thousands of dollars in income for expenses and possible attorney fees, alimony, and child support that I never had to pay.
Although I've changed my religion (I'm no longer a Christian), nevertheless I AM convinced that there is a God.