Character matters: Morf and Bee edition.

26 May

Yesterday my mom told me that Morf, the son of one of her best friends, is definitely splitting up with his wife Bee after four years of a marriage that, as far as I can tell, never really took off.  There’s a “for sale” sign in their yard, and Bee has apparently already moved out.  Again.

Morf is a pastor’s son and attended Christian school all his life, including college.  He was popular, good-looking, and athletic, and seems to be a romantic.  (He gave his college girlfriend a promise ring.  I remember groaning when my mom told me.)  After college, Morf found some success as a salesman in the Chicago area, and it was during this time that he met Bee in (of all places) an internet chat room.  In a stroke of fate, Bee turned out to be a hometown girl who had attended the same high school that Morf did, only she was four or five years younger.  Bee had actually seen Morf way back when and immediately knew he would be her future husband.  Morf and Bee began dating and married when Bee was 20 in a ceremony where they had written their own vows.  The only thing keeping their story from being a Nicholas Sparks novel was that no one was terminally ill or in the military.

Unfortunately, the wedding was the pinnacle of their relationship.  About a year or so later, my mom told me that Bee had moved back in with her mom and wanted out of the marriage.  Morf tried to reason with her, explaining that they had entered into marriage for life, especially as Christians, but Bee flat-0ut told him that those rules didn’t apply to her.  Eventually, Morf was able to convince Bee to come back, and for a while it seemed that things were back on track.

Except, obviously, they weren’t.  Morf and Bee went to marriage counseling, but Bee had already checked out of the relationship.  Her friends were still in school or starting jobs, living it up in Wrigleyville (the fashionable young people’s neighborhood in Chicago), while she was stuck in podunk town married to a guy who now was working for his dad’s ministry, a.k.a. not a road to riches and earthly glory.  It seems pretty obvious that Bee had decided that a better life, free of the constraints of Morf, was out there waiting for her.

My mom is quite grieved that Morf and Bee’s relationship cratered, but in retrospect, the warning signs had always been there.  For starters, Bee was an only child of divorce and was used to getting her own way all the time.  She lived with her mom, and if her mom wouldn’t get her something she wanted, she would just turn around and get it from her dad.  The fact that her mother allowed her to move back in the first time Bee left was a bad sign as well.  Instead of telling her that she’d made her bed and now she had to sleep in it, Bee’s mother enabled Bee’s selfish behavior.  But it’s not Bee’s fault alone:  I suspect that Morf acted like a big, fat beta during their marriage.  Even before Morf and Bee got married, Morf’s mom had mentioned that Morf could never say no to Bee.  (Of course he couldn’t; he was the kind of guy who goes around buying promise rings.)  When I spoke to my mom, she said that when Bee came back to Morf, Morf acquiesced to every single thing that Bee demanded.  Which, as those of us steeped in manosphere principles know, NEVER WORKS.  By trying to make Bee happy, Morf just confirmed to Bee that he was not the man she had signed up to marry.

I suppose the golden lining is that Morf and Bee’s marriage is a classic “starter marriage,” which means that other than any emotional lumps they’ve taken through this whole thing, they’ll pretty much be right back where they started.  Not being rich, they have no significant assets to split.  They have no children.  And each is good-looking enough to attract a new spouse easily; Bee is cute, young, and vivacious, which is enough to make many men ignore all the warning signs, and women LOVE taking care of the good-looking, vulnerable men that other women abandon (it’s always a competition with women:  “I won’t treat you like dirt the way she did!”).  I expect both to be remarried within a few years, tops.

I could say that we should learn some very obvious lessons from Morf and Bee, but being human, we probably won’t.  No one wants to believe that their beloved is a statistic, rather than the exception.  Still, I believe Morf could have saved himself a lot of grief if he had more closely examined Bee’s character while they dated.  Her cuteness, along with his general desire and readiness to Be Married, probably blinded him to her shortcomings, and now he’s paying the price for that.  So, readers, choose carefully and look at the details as well as the whole picture.  Being a Christian isn’t in and of itself enough to save a marriage, nor is being cute, or young, or popular, or nice, or “having good values.”  You really have to get to the root of someone’s convictions.

P.S.  As far as I know, there is no third party involved in this split.

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46 Responses to “Character matters: Morf and Bee edition.”

  1. Will S. May 26, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    “Starter marriage”? Brrrr! What a horrible phrase. (I know you didn’t invent the term, Haley, I just hate the sound of it.)

    Marriage, of course, as God planned it, is supposed to be for life, with only one shot at it. I realize there are exceptions, which are Scripturally permissable, and given church leaders may choose to recognize these (and hopefully do), but then again, there are others who treat it way too casually. And any church full of people who think “starter marriages” are hunky-dory, has some serious problems. Alas, that means all too many, these days…

  2. Hermes May 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    women LOVE taking care of the good-looking, vulnerable men that other women abandon (it’s always a competition with women: “I won’t treat you like dirt the way she did!”).

    A girl in our church group I attempted to pursue back in March, went on 2 dates with but got nowhere, now seems to have developed a thing for a guy in our group who’s divorced. (The divorce happened recently–they used to attend the group together.) Your analysis of such situations makes sense. Also, I talked to this guy once about his failed marriage, and he told me he thought she left because she wanted a man who “needed a mom,” and he didn’t need a mom, which I thought was a totally off-base interpretation of what happened. I hadn’t known his wife very well, but it was beyond obvious to me that the reason she left is that while he gave her the bad-boy tingles when they first met and fell in love, as they settled into marriage she began to see him as beta, and ran off looking for the same sense of excitement she had once gotten from him. He doesn’t seeem to grasp this dynamic at all. (In terms of the love triangle between the new girl, me, and him, by now it would be trite to mention that she’s interested in him and not me in spite of, or perhaps because of, the fact that he’s a guitar-strumming drifter with a dead-end job while I’m a doctor.)

    Being a Christian isn’t in and of itself enough to save a marriage, nor is being cute, or young, or popular, or nice, or “having good values.” You really have to get to the root of someone’s convictions.

    So true. The Man Who Was… used to mention this phenomenon of areas like the American South where everyone claims to be a Christian and you can’t tell from someone’s attendance at a conservative Church or even tendency to pray, quote the Bible, etc., where they really stand, and I used to say I hadn’t encountered that. I’m revising it now. I see this more and more, even outside the South. You REALLY have to be careful. There are a lot of wolves in sheeps’ clothing, even in the church.

    I also agree with Will S. that the notion of a “starter marriage” is so egregious that it’s hard to call it a silver lining. They’ve both lost a piece of their innocence (if Bee ever had any.)

  3. Hermes May 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    Forgot to add: Exhibit A in the aforementioned dude’s descent into betatude with his ex-wife is that the very reason they’re in this city is that he followed her here so she could attend grad school here. He agreed to work a dead-end job while she got her Ph.D., putting on hold his own dream of attending seminary.

    Also, during that one conversation he added that she had indeed found a new guy who “needed a mom.” Yeah, right. She didn’t find a guy who needed a mom; she found a new bad boy who gave her the tingles the way he once did.

  4. y81 May 26, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    The writing their own vows thing was a very bad sign. People who stay married do so because they see themselves as part of something larger than themselves (a traditional institution, a divinely created arrangement, etc.). If you made your own marriage, without reference to anything outside yourselves, then obviously you can unmake it whenever you please.

    It’s probably also a bad idea to marry someone whose parents were divorced. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “I had sooner play cards against a man who was quite skeptical about ethics, but bred to believe that ‘a gentleman does not cheat’, than against an irreproachable moral philosopher who had been brought up among sharpers.”

  5. Eumaios May 26, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    Our hostess: “No one wants to believe that their beloved is a statistic, rather than the exception.”

    Correction: No *woman* wants to believe ….

    Obviously the men of the manosphere are totally convinced of the statistic inexorability of female fickleness.

  6. Eumaios May 26, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    A general response to the entirety of Churchian courtship, “marriage”, and heartache: the end of copulation is procreation. The kingdom has no place for contraception.

    Haley, I suspect you would enjoy Vernard Eller’s The Sex Manual for Puritans. My favorite quote:

    uritan thinkers argue among themselves as to just when and how the true sexual climax happens, but they have no problem as to where it lies. Some maintain that it comes with the birth of a baby–a loved, wanted, family-wrapped baby. Others would agree in principle but maintain that true sexual climax has been achieved only if the newborn infant is the couple’s grandchild–demanding considerably less of floor-walking, nighttime feeding, and dirty diaper-changing than first-order babies do.

    http://www.hccentral.com/eller13/part6.html

  7. Samson May 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm #

    (He gave his college girlfriend a promise ring. I remember groaning when my mom told me.)

    I have largely abandoned reading this blog, in no small part because of this sort of thing. It seems fairly evident to me that you are not representative of women in general, although you may have conned a certain sort of reader into believing that you are. In fact, as often as not you come across sounding like a brat. You “groaned” at this? Why? Because you’re a spoiled princess without a romantic bone in your body who thinks that every man should accord with her idiosyncratic vision of what “alpha” looks like? As far as demeanour is concerned, you fail at attractiveness, Haley, and for the benefit of the audience: don’t be fooled. Not all women are so cold and cynical towards romantic gestures. Some actually have souls.

  8. Thag Jones May 26, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Samson, maybe she groaned because she was jealous? I know what you mean though; there’s a certain cynicism here that bothers me and it’s not hard to imagine Haley ending up a cat lady. Cynicism, like anger, is usually a cover for hurt of some sort.

  9. Julie May 26, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    This sort of thing is why I dislike the common advice on Boundless to marry young, and generally just to take a leap of faith. Christians are divorcing left and right, so people need to be shrewd and serious before marrying just anyone.

  10. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life May 26, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    There’s almost always a third party.

  11. Old Guy May 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    If the moral of this story is that “Character matters” why is it so clear that it’s Bee’s character that is the topic under discussion? If Morf, our promise ring bearer, could have been more attentive to Bee’s character (Her parents were divorced! Her mother hasn’t mastered tough love!) he would have … chosen a woman better able to tolerate his betatude?

    Hayley, repeat after me: Being a woman is not a character defect. While Bee may have ended the marriage and behaved like an entitled Princess, this is the salient stuff, the events you can point to. Morf didn’t do anything that will send him directly to Hell, but he didn’t do what he needed to do to be a man for his woman, did he? (The Book of Common Prayer’s Confession of Sin confesses “things I have done and things I have left undone”.)

    Speaking … hypothetically, let’s say a woman turns ever more into a soul-eroding bitch as, over the course of years, her husband plays defence badly. That is, not by remaking himself after reverses but by a series of tactical retreats that make what she needs from him ever more distant. The test of her character isn’t whether she is diminished and deformed by her circumstance — she’s a woman, and she must be — but by how long she can stand it.

    After you take the red pill, eventually the rocks are once again rocks and the trees become trees yet again.

    Uh … thanks.

  12. Aunt Haley May 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Eumaios–
    Most men aren’t in the manosphere.

    Samson–
    You are as unattractive to me as I am to you.

    Thag–
    I do love cats.

    Julie–
    I agree that Boundless does press young marriage very hard. However, they don’t tend to encourage young marriage based primarily on attraction. Their point would be that you should only marry someone if everyone in your family, friend, and church circles agrees it’s a good match and you feel that God is giving you the green light to move forward. Of course, this strategy has its own pitfalls….

    Old Guy–
    Being a woman is not a character defect, but walking away from a marriage just because the man isn’t living up to expectations or the marriage isn’t fun IS. And there ARE women out there with higher tolerance for betas. That her husband might turn out to be a big beta is something that a woman risks when she gets married, but that isn’t biblical grounds for divorce.

  13. lifeinlonglegs May 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    “He gave his college girlfriend a promise ring.”

    Promise rings are not-quite-engagement rings for guys who cannot committ but want to give the illusion of commitment so they can sleep with their girlfriend.

    Total groan.

  14. Badger May 26, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    “I suppose the golden lining is that Morf and Bee’s marriage is a classic “starter marriage,” which means that other than any emotional lumps they’ve taken through this whole thing, they’ll pretty much be right back where they started. ”

    1. When one person is really at fault in a divorce (in this case the flighty and airheaded Bee), no matter how long it was it’s impossible to say the victim is “right back where he started.” His heart has been broken, and he’s failed in his participation in the most holy institution under which he was raised. If he’s right back where he started and hasn’t learned anything, then he’s a fool.

    2. Do you think Morf really understands what went wrong? That he chose a spoiled self-absorbed person for a spouse and enabled her behavior? Or does he just think he failed at “leading” the marriage? There’s a big difference, has anyone really told him the truth?

    3. The fact his dad is a pastor makes this triply tragic. It’s almost impossible to think it’s NOT the case that he did everything he did because that’s what he had been taught by the church growing up – treat a woman like a princess, make her feel speeecial, don’t make her cry, if she goes astray it’s because you didn’t “lead” her right, etc. Oh, and you should be “forgiving” of your mate’s faults instead of being serious about what might constitute major marital unfitness and incompatibility.

  15. Spencer_AT19 May 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    “No one wants to believe that their beloved is a statistic, rather than the exception.”
    I find this to be true, at least as far as I am concerned. To be fair, exceptions do exist. But if your beloved is an outlier, he/she will bear up under scrutiny, and scrutinize you must.

    Julie:
    Boundless does present the advantages of marrying while young, but nowhere do they advocate marrying while immature.

  16. Julie May 26, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    Yes, but I believe Boundless overestimates the number of people who are mature enough and discerning enough to marry well at a young age. Some people can do it, especially if they have been raised well and seen a good marriage model. Most people tend to make wiser decisions when they’ve lived a while longer and grown up a bit more.

  17. y81 May 27, 2011 at 6:32 am #

    Actually, I’m curious why Haley “groaned” about the promise ring. When I was in college, they were more commonly called fidelity rings, they weren’t restricted to Christian circles, they didn’t represent a promise to be pure (just not to be impure with other people, so to speak), and they were generally not conceived to represent all that serious a commitment (as indeed seems to have been the case with Morf, since he married someone else). Just a young person’s symbol of romantic love. I’m not sufficiently au courant with twenty-something mores of today (Christian or otherwise) to say how things might have changed.

  18. Eumaios May 27, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    “Most men aren’t in the manosphere.”

    Goalposting.

  19. Eumaios May 27, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    Samson, you’ve actually delineated the reason why I do read this blog. Know your enemy, and all that.

  20. modernguy May 27, 2011 at 6:50 am #

    More and more marriage looks to be a burden. Why would any man want to take on the burden of a woman who is going to act like a crazed monkey on his back? And that on top of having to work and live up to all his other responsibilities. In an age when women are giving it away for free if you can just play the seduction game a little there is no reason to bind yourself to someone who has the impression that a relationship is a field of war where the object is to test your opponent’s strength.

  21. Kate May 27, 2011 at 6:52 am #

    I have largely abandoned reading this blog, in no small part because of this sort of thing. It seems fairly evident to me that you are not representative of women in general, although you may have conned a certain sort of reader into believing that you are. In fact, as often as not you come across sounding like a brat. You “groaned” at this? Why? Because you’re a spoiled princess without a romantic bone in your body who thinks that every man should accord with her idiosyncratic vision of what “alpha” looks like? As far as demeanour is concerned, you fail at attractiveness, Haley, and for the benefit of the audience: don’t be fooled. Not all women are so cold and cynical towards romantic gestures. Some actually have souls.

    I’m a happily married woman and I would groan at that too. I’d be very angry if my son did something like that. It’s completely unbiblical and stupid to give someone a special ring to do something you are just supposed to do and which should be normal and not special at all. It’s like “Here honey, here is a ring that promises I’ll never burn offerings to Baal in your name.” It’s a trite modern symbol from a castrated and feminized version of Protestant Christianity, which luckily my family and I abandoned.

  22. jack May 27, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    American consumerist and celebrity culture is destroying our women. It would be wrong to say that women are a bunch of narcissistic, selfish, status-obsessed little children.

    It would be correct to say that our culture is making every effort to turn them into that.

    What percentage of women can resist this much pressure? 5%? 10% 15?

    Far less than half, for certain.

  23. Brendan May 27, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    I have largely abandoned reading this blog, in no small part because of this sort of thing. It seems fairly evident to me that you are not representative of women in general, although you may have conned a certain sort of reader into believing that you are. In fact, as often as not you come across sounding like a brat. You “groaned” at this? Why? Because you’re a spoiled princess without a romantic bone in your body who thinks that every man should accord with her idiosyncratic vision of what “alpha” looks like? As far as demeanour is concerned, you fail at attractiveness, Haley, and for the benefit of the audience: don’t be fooled. Not all women are so cold and cynical towards romantic gestures. Some actually have souls.

    This is unduly harsh.

    Promise rings are stupid and always have been stupid because they are supplicating gestures. The men who engage in that kind of activity are setting themselves up for failure with most women over the long term. If you have enough of an alpha frame, you can throw in some romantic gestures without them coming off as supplicating — women like that. If you don’t have an alpha frame, women see these kinds of gestures as coming from a position of weakness and act accordingly. Haley is quite cynical, but we can also assume that there are reasons for this based on her own experiences in the dating/mating market. At least she is honest, however, about what her own desires are, rather than being in the “I can’t articulate it” fog that most of her peers seem to walk around in.

    1. When one person is really at fault in a divorce (in this case the flighty and airheaded Bee), no matter how long it was it’s impossible to say the victim is “right back where he started.” His heart has been broken, and he’s failed in his participation in the most holy institution under which he was raised. If he’s right back where he started and hasn’t learned anything, then he’s a fool.

    Badger — This is a case where both were at fault, really. Yes, Bee behaved like an entitled, brainless, immoral bitch, but Morf behaved like a supplicating beta and made apparently every stupid beta move in the book. It’s probably true that he was mis-educated and misled into thinking that this is how he ought to have behaved, but objectively it was mistaken behavior. He never really had a chance here, and while it may be fair to say that his subjective “fault” for behaving this way was due to him having been misled during his earlier years, objectively those actions and inactions have a cascading impact on the marriage, and on Bee’s reactions as well. Bee is responsible for her own stupidities here, but she isn’t responsible for Morf behaving like a hapless beta chump.

    Almost all divorces are mutual fault to some degree. That’s the logic behind having no-fault divorce, in part. The fault is almost never equal, but it is typically mutual to some degree. I do agree with you, however, that it is silly to understate the negative impact of the end of a starter marriage on both people, regardless if there were no assets or kids. Divorce scars, no matter what the circumstances. It almost always makes both parties “harder”. Often it makes them cynical. It almost always gives them baggage that they will carry into future relationships, even if they think they have “dealt with it”. It really is one of the most scarring things that can happen in life, even though we tend to treat it rather casually in our current culture.

  24. jack May 27, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    By the way, I am certain that “Bee” had probably been sexual with at least a few guys prior to the marriage.

    I don’t think girls start developing a lust for the carousel that soon if they have not at least taken a ride or two.

    I could make some accommodation for a girl with a low number who got saved later, of course, but getting saved would have to be a serious thing to her.

    I’d have to be much more careful about a Christian girl who had taken a couple spins on the carousel.

    They have already rationalized sexual sin, and are no less likely to do it again. Very little wife material these days, even in the church.

  25. theprivateman May 27, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    There are no more marriages, only weddings.

    There are no more wives, only brides.

    Advertising erodes a woman’s soul.

  26. y81 May 27, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    “Promise rings are not-quite-engagement rings for guys who cannot committ but want to give the illusion of commitment so they can sleep with their girlfriend.”

    “Promise rings are stupid and always have been stupid because they are supplicating gestures.”

    Aren’t these comments contradictory? One says that promise rings are an effective trick to get to home plate; the other says they weaken the man’s position.

    For myself, I note that college boys and girls have been exchanging trinkets for a long time now. My wife’s collection includes a fraternity pin from long-forgotten college swain, but she gave her high school class ring to another boy and never got it back. Yet the republic still stands, girls turn into mothers, etc.

  27. Aunt Haley May 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    y81–
    Promise rings are silly because they’re pre-engagement rings. If you’re so certain about someone, just get engaged.

    theprivateman–
    I never thought of you as the melodramatic type before.

  28. The Man Who Was . . . May 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    Once she’s past 20, a woman’s age doesn’t seem to much increase the risk of divorce. However, the number is more like 25 for a man. Men should not get married before 25.

  29. modernguy May 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    I think a kind of reflexive reaction has developed in the manosphere to criticize men who’s marriages have dissolved. Automatically he’s a beta chump that pushed his wife away. And although that may be true strictly speaking, there is a kind of natural assumption men make when they get married that the hard part is over and everything is set, waiting only to be enjoyed. It’s partly this letting down of one’s guard that makes it so bewildering and vexing to learn that in a woman’s mind the game has barely begun. Men want the completion of things, to enjoy resting after an accomplishment, while women are interested in the process and what it shows.

  30. The Man Who Was . . . May 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Brendan/Novaseeker is a wise man.

  31. jack May 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    modernguy-

    That is why women never really resolve issues or arguments.

    With women, there are only postponements of conflict, not resolutions of conflict.

    With women, even if the male (deserved or not) admits fault, apologizes, and the woman accepts, she is free (in her mind) to repeat his offense to him at any point in the future as bargaining leverage: “remember that time when you did abc????”

    In the mind of most women, “forgive and forget” means “stop badgering him about it until there is a tactical advantage in the future.”

  32. Julie May 27, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    Re: women getting married before 25. I think it really depends on the woman. I have friends with fantastic marriages and they married at 19. If I had married the boyfriend I’d had at 19, that would have been a train wreck. I think one big liability for me was having divorced parents–that was a huge hurdle to overcome. I have overcome it and I know I am in a lifelong marriage, but I definitely did not have the maturity and discernment to recognize my husband as a great match and relate in a healthy way, before my mid-twenties.

  33. Svar May 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    “women LOVE taking care of the good-looking, vulnerable men that other women abandon (it’s always a competition with women: “I won’t treat you like dirt the way she did!”)”

    I dunno, doesn’t that go against pre-selection?

  34. Svar May 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    @ The Private Man

    “There are no more marriages, only weddings.

    There are no more wives, only brides.

    Advertising erodes a woman’s soul.”

    Well said.

  35. The Man Who Was . . . May 27, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

    Julie:

    Those are the stats. There are exceptions, but marrying before your twenties is a massive risk factor for a marriage. It largely goes away once the woman reaches 20.

  36. lifeinlonglegs May 27, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    “Aren’t these comments contradictory? One says that promise rings are an effective trick to get to home plate; the other says they weaken the man’s position.”

    …no. The man who gives the promise ring as a supplication to the woman is too Beta to give her what he ought [if he’s going to pursue her sexually] – a committment; and? too Beta to admit she’s not what he’s after, really – and go for who IS.

    Overall, it’s a major sign of SPS.

  37. Julie May 28, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    Perhaps my problem when I was under 25, is that I was dating men under 25?

  38. Badger May 28, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    “Perhaps my problem when I was under 25, is that I was dating men under 25?”

    Well, I think you’re damned (figuratively speaking) either way. A young person who marries another young person is two blind souls in a very tough situation. On the other hand, a young woman who marries a much older man is on the wrong side of a big gulf in life experience and how to manage expectations. (I’m going to guess that very young guy marrying older woman is statistically very rare.)

  39. jz May 31, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    a few comments about cynicism.

    Cynicism is a toxic lack of faith, which is a necessary ingredient to make a marriage stick. Would you marry a partner who lacked some amount of blind faith in marriage? Many writers and commentors in the Manosphere are gristled old cynics on marriage, thus lack capacity for marriage. Reading the Manosphere may make a man wiser, but also cynical and thus less appealing as a partner.

  40. Brendan May 31, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    A very convenient comment, jz.

    Blind faith for men is toxic in itself when it comes to marriage 2.0. Cynicism is another extreme, but blind faith is frankly just stupid, and men who enter marriage with that attitude, unless they are truly completely clueless, deserve what they get — they certainly have it coming.

  41. jz May 31, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    I’ll agree that cynicism is toxic and bind faith is disastrous. Some amount of faith is necessary for a marriage to stick. Should either a man or woman marry a partner without it?

  42. Eumaios May 31, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    jz, you’ve already demonstrated that you’ll equivocate like a Republican on the word “faith”. Why should anyone engage you in conversation about it?

    I won’t engage, but I’ll bludgeon. The modern concept of “faith” is a damnfool concept, whether deployed in religion or marriage. A better translation of pistis is “loyalty”.

  43. Brendan May 31, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    Should either a man or woman marry a partner without it?

    One needs trust, yes. Blind faith, though, in no measure.

  44. Eumaios May 31, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    Brendan: “trust”

    That works, too.

  45. Anthony June 1, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    It’s almost impossible to think it’s NOT the case that he did everything he did because that’s what he had been taught by the church growing up – treat a woman like a princess, make her feel speeecial, don’t make her cry, if she goes astray it’s because you didn’t “lead” her right, etc.

    “Lead her right” – that’s what it means to be an alpha in a committed relationship. (Just read Athol Kay’s stories about his relationship with his wife.) The problem is that all that other stuff that gets taught undermines a man’s ability to lead his wife.

  46. Richard Aubrey June 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    I’ve been interested in this subject. Can’t say I’m alpha or beta. Was an Infantry officer some wars ago, played smash-mouth sports and am pretty fit. On the other hand, having been a soldier, there are a lot of civilian things that don’t matter to me. One example is the house temperature. Never ask anybody to turn it up or down. Their comfort zones are narrower than mine so I’m happy while they’re arguing over 71 vs. 72. So, with that as an example of a great many things, I don’t ask for much because I don’t need much. Maybe that’s a beta trait.
    I am interested in the actual, practical description of “leading” a wife. How does it differ from dominating and what do you do if the wife jibs at one thing or another?
    I asked Paul Coughlin–No More Christian Nice Guy–if, in his practice, any wife had objected to her husband becoming a strong man because she’d found him being a wimp gave her power and freedom. He said he’d not known what to expect when he took his big jump, but felt he had to, regardless. Worked for them.

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