Something more on dominant males

From Hearthie: “Dominant Males“.

Well worth reading and thinking about.

There are many different ways of “husbanding” and a few of the recent posts at this blog have conveyed ideas from a couple of wives.

I am personally on the introverted side but I don’t think that is a bar to successful “husbanding”. It is my impression that a man needs cunning as well as strength to be an effective husband. In Machiavelli’s terms, the fox as well as the lion.

What follows is a short reflection on what Hearthie wrote from my perspective:

It is much better to be a “one-woman man”. I can’t imagine the amount of trouble that “chasing skirt” must cause for a man and, of course, his wife. Choose a good woman, one you find attractive, and marry her. Then, forget the rest. I don’t mean don’t notice other women. That is impossible. But don’t chase them.

I don’t think being masculine or manly or dominant, or whatever you want to call it, implies bedding lots of women. I have only had one woman in the nearly thirty years my wife and I have been married.

There is nothing wrong with using “game” techniques (in my experience, they do work). But use them on your wife.

I like the way Hearthie touches on “control” and “ownership”. Some men don’t have these instincts. But a lot of them do. I know these feelings myself. Like most desires, they have to be “christened” and properly channeled. But I believe they are fundamentally healthy. They suggest a real interest in and concern for one’s wife. At times the expressions of interest can seem a bit heavy-handed, but I think that is better than the opposite.

If a husband feels his wife is travelling along well, morally and in other ways, then there is no need to intervene in a “bossy” or (to use Hearthie’s term “domineering” way). It is more a matter of giving the occasional steer.

People may say, why doesn’t that work both ways? Well, it does up to a point. A good wife can offer timely correction when a man is veering off the rails.

However, I think it is more natural and common for the husband to set the tone for the household.

One thing it took me a long while to learn, and I think a lot of husbands struggle with, is this: women are not perfect; far from it. Your wife is not “your better half”. If you expect that, you will become disappointed and bitter. There is no biblical reason to expect that, and no reason from common observation. It is only when a man can see the weaknesses in his wife and accept them, that he can love honestly. You can’t love a mirage.


13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 15, 2015 at 3:20 am

    I am happy with what I wrote, but I wanted to add a couple of points.

    I suspect women who are mature enough to know what they want will be drawn to men with the right level of dominance. Men are not always aware of their own personality traits in this respect and often it is only the reactions of women, negative or positive, that lead them to self-understanding. Also, just as it is a mistake to assume that a noisy, flamboyant woman cannot be submissive; it is a mistake to assume that a quiet man does not have dominant impulses.

    Self-awareness is slow to arrive, and often we only understand ourselves with experience and maturity and in retrospect. I look back now and I can see the pattern.

    Proverbially, whatever we do will please some and displease others. But I have been less surprised by the negative responses to some of my remarks on the Internet from some women than by the surprisingly positive responses from others.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 16, 2015 at 2:35 am

      Also, perhaps wives who are happy with their husbands feel that their man’s behaviour is reasonable. To an outsider, it may appear too “laid back” or too “demanding”. But it feels right and natural to the woman.


  2. Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 15, 2015 at 3:40 am

    Here is what I wrote a while back at the Dalrock blog. It is somewhat relevant.

    “In my experience, the only test of an obedient wife is if she actually obeys. End of story. If she somehow never actually seems to get around to obeying, ever, she is not an obedient wife. It doesn’t matter if she dresses like the Amish and speaks ever so softly, she is not an obedient wife.

    I have known noisy women who are as obedient as a Samurai wife; and quiet girls who are as stubborn as you can imagine.

    I believe there are three types of women. The first type will NOT obey you. She may feign an obedient spirit, but there is no way she will ever do anything other than what she really wants. The second type have read scripture and the books, and they try hard to obey, but it will always be a struggle against their nature. And the third type are just naturally obedient. They would be obedient in any culture, at any time.”


  3. Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 15, 2015 at 4:17 am

    Reading some of the comments on Hearthie’s blog leads me to add these further remarks.

    If a young woman really has “the hots” for you, she will tend to want to “belong” to you and be, frankly, ripe for exploitation. This is a dangerous situation for you both.

    Sometimes in such a situation the man has to take the initiative to turn the girl into both a woman and a wife. It is tempting but wrong to take advantage of a girl in this kind of vulnerable emotional state. Women in this kind of state will be prepared to do just about anything to please the man. (I have a strong suspicion this is at the bottom of a lot of the major problems that can develop for a woman both then and in the future – and is behind the large numbers of deranged or bitter women that seem to be around these days.)

    I have just today read a poem, clearly personal, by a woman who is an unemployed journalist, not terribly young, which describes what is clearly a man sexually exploiting her.

    Men have a MUCH larger effect on women than they often realise, and a bad and exploitative relationship can probably ruin a girl for a very long time. On the other hand, taking a girl in hand and leading her into a healthy relationship can be rewarding for you both in a long-term sense.

    I have photos of my wife nearby which show her when we were early in our courtship and later when we were a bit more settled. She looks naughty but a bit tense in the former and much more content in the latter.


  4. To clarify, the offers aren’t initiated by my husband. It’s like, “oh you’re nice… oh, you’re dominant and nice… oh… yeah… can you get this zipper?” For real. About that subtle, too. -rolls eyes- The idea is that if you can get accepted as a toy, you can move up to a mistress and gradually work your way into the target’s affections, replacing the wife over time.

    I am a bouncy intense rabbit. I am cheerful and *intend* to be obedient and I’m loving as a golden retriever … but I’m intense. If you can’t deal with me full blast, a marriage will not work out well. And not a lot of people can deal with me when I’m not being politely muted. Which makes me sad, see “golden retriever”. I like to make people happy… but you can’t be muted forever. It’s boring. Nobody wants me to be bored, right?


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 15, 2015 at 4:49 am

      I believe my wife had approaches years back and she told me that she brusquely rejected them. From other men I mean. And I believe her. It is not her style to be unfaithful. Nor is it mine. I had a few women sidle up to me over the years. Not many, and the last was a few years ago now. But they tended to be pretty attractive women, often with scientist fathers or husbands. I think they are attracted to the “remote”, absent-minded type.

      I never acted on any of these approaches. The last one was kind of funny, because the poor woman (who would have been really pretty once, and was still not too bad for her age) wouldn’t take a hint, even when I pointed out the building nearby where my wife worked. It was one of the most embarrassing half-hours of my life.


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 15, 2015 at 4:51 am

      Hearthie, one of the biggest mistakes men and women make is to think that quiet girls are best and easiest to handle. NOT in my experience.

      The genius of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew is that the loudest woman became the best wife. The play was not called The Taming of the Mouse.


  5. Many “mice” tend to be this way because we learned as children that it wasn’t a good idea to try to go off the status quo and actually think for ourselves. We knew that was dangerous. We did exactly, precisely what we were told. We would not have dared do otherwise. To dare to think on one’s own would have meant swift punishment. You grew up knowing it was in your best interests to please your parents. (If you think of “To Train Up a Child”, that’s pretty much how I was raised.)

    Then, you marry and you set out to be the obedient wife, and before you know it you’re on antidepressants, slogging your way through a couple of babies in a fog, because you can’t make even the tiniest decision on your own…..fortunately after a while I decided I was going to make some decisions and yes, I was capable of going out and buying shoes for my kids. Now I make decisions all the time, I have control of my life and I’m no longer on medication…..but I’m not an obedient wife. Why? Because I know that becoming one will mean a straight shot back to the fog of depression and a life on meds. No way. I refuse to live my life on antidepressant medications which serve the purpose of keeping me compliant, and at the same time dope me up so I can barely think…..and then eventually die of the side effects. My husband has no right to expect me to live like that. It’s a tradeoff, but I need to be able to function normally in society. I realize that the two are not mutually exclusive, but in some situations, such as mine, they are unless both parties are willing to work the problem out and get some third-party intervention. If one party isn’t willing to do so, than the other one must do what is necessary to get healthy for herself — or himself as the case may be.

    Merely my opinion, and I realize that this is not everyone’s scenario. But I thought I would point this out, lest the “mouse” always end up demonized, when in actuality she may be just trying to survive.

    ~ from a mouse


    • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 15, 2015 at 5:22 am

      Yes, OK. And that is why I started off my remarks with this:

      “I suspect women who are mature enough to know what they want will be drawn to men with the right level of dominance.”

      My wife and I are happy with the equilibrium we have reached. We married fairly late (I was 30, she 25.) So we knew what would make us happiest.

      I would say we have a “modern traditional marriage”. Or a traditional marriage with modern elements. For example, my wife has always worked, usually part-time though.

      Some women are naturally submissive. For some other women it will always be a struggle. As I wrote above. My point is not to deny that some women have trouble with the traditional relationship – I think most people have heard that these days. My point is to say that a substantial minority at least are happier in a traditional marriage.

      As we get older, my wife seems to get more submissive if anything. She is always asking my permission to make purchases and checking her plans with me. This is not something I asked her to do. She does it, as if by instinct.


      • Sort of the same with us — I was 26, husband was 34. But our marriage definitely struggles. But, then again, a lot do, and who knows, maybe someday it will get better. He definitely wants a more obedient wife, but I know that would not be appropriate for me because I would end up right back on medications. Every time I have “handed over the reins” that’s where I end up. The last time I determined I would hand the reins over. Within a month I was a mess again, and ended up having to get the antidepressants again….only that time I dealt with the side effects, and they weren’t good. That’s when I said forget it, nothing was worth that. I did suggest we go get counseling to be able to work out a situation that would be good for both of us, but many traditionalist people disapprove of counselors and so forth, believing them to all be modernist or feminist. So that did not happen. I got off the medication and took back the control I had yielded.

        Having said that, I have only joy at my choice and know I am with the man God chose for me from all eternity. It may not look like I thought it would, but it’s all good.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 15, 2015 at 5:53 am

        I do know that most marriages go through some very bad times. For some it is illness; others infidelity; others unemployment. In our case, some of the biggest problems have been the health of children.

        In every marriage, I suspect, both spouses do some things which are, technically, “unforgivable”. Either that breaks the relationship. Or it survives.

      • Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 15, 2015 at 5:56 am

        I think God wants us to become better versions of ourselves; but never to become what we were never meant to be. A woman shouldn’t feel that she is acting a role or straining to achieve a result.

        (I have to say that there is a kind of natural aversion to being told what to do; and a good way for a man to get a less compliant wife is to demand a more compliant one. Or, to put it another way, a woman prefers to follow willingly rather than to be driven along. This is a lesson many husbands are slow to learn.)

  6. Posted by Julian O'Dea on December 16, 2015 at 2:32 am

    I have taken some information out of a comment above. So it may read a bit oddly.

    However, I did also want to say one thing. I am a bit surprised, “St Thomas More Academy” by some of your comments. I take you to be an American woman. You say you reached the age of 26 before you married but that you had never really “discovered yourself” by then nor ascertained your future husband’s expectations in the area of marital decision-making. I find that surprising. I don’t doubt your story. But I can only assume that you were shielded from popular culture and media.


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