Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Myth of the Egalitarian Marriage

My wife and I are equals. We share in all the decision making. Neither of us is the leader of the other.
The egalitarian view sounds so lovely. Two people living together in harmony. Neither having more authority in the relationship than the other and neither having more responsibility in the relationship than the other. Unfortunately, it's merely a utopian vision, because when a crisis occurs (when the metaphorical shit hits the fan) the egalitarian model breaks down.

Consider this scenario:

A married couple along with their two children are driving home from a weekend trip. As they round the corner their home comes into view. There are firetrucks and flashing lights. They simultaneously realize that their house has burned to the ground. One spouse emotionally melts down; turns to the other spouse; and with tears in their eyes and panic in their voice screams: “Oh my God! What are we going to do? Tell me, what are we going to do?”

Which spouse had the emotional meltdown?

Or to put it another way, which spouse has the option of emotionally melting down in this situation: the husband or the wife? The wife. Now, this doesn't mean she must break down emotionally, but because she is a woman she has that option. It is accepted by society (including modern feminist society) that women have this option.

Men (married or single) do not have this option when a crisis occurs. They are expected to remain stoically calm, controlled, and clear headed. A husband who failed to do so in the above scenario would not only be called unmanly by even the most feminist of wives, but would be criticized for failing to support his wife emotionally (the wife that exercised her option of melting down emotionally; the option he never had). When a crisis strikes, egalitarian gets quickly forgotten.

OK, so that just means that a couple can have an egalitarian marriage from day to day, but when a crisis strikes they will switch to a complementary marriage model where the husband takes the lead—right? Wrong.
He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. (Lu 16:10 WEB)
The biblical lesson is that you discern a person's character by how they conduct themselves in small, day to day situations. It makes sense, because there really is no other way to determine how someone will conduct themselves in large matters until a large matter actually arises. Let's (with a little rewording) apply this verse to marriage.
A husband who shows leadership in the everyday things will also show leadership in a crisis. A husband who does not show leadership in the everyday things will not show leadership in a crisis.
Is this always true? We can all site an example of someone unexpectedly stepping up in a crisis, but how would you know ahead of time someone will “unexpectedly” step up in a crisis? You wouldn't. That's why it's unexpected.

Women fitness test their husbands to determine if their husband will step up in the small crises so she will feel confident he will step up when a large crisis hits. Security is the number one need of women, and at the top of that security list is the need to know their husband will take the lead when a crisis occurs. It's biologically wired into women. An egalitarian marriage model doesn't feed that need.
I make all the decisions (as long as my wife agrees with them).
The above quote was taken from a real estate article teaching realtors how to determine who was the real decision maker—the husband or the wife. Think you're the leader in your family? Look at the above quote. If your wife has veto power over your decisions, then she (not you) is the real authority in your home. Do you second guess your decisions based on what your wife might think, even on the small meaningless decisions? If so, then you have handed the reigns of family leadership over to your wife. You've created a situation where she can't trust you even on the little things.

One of the fascinating findings of Game is how well all women (and especially wives) responded to men unilaterally making decisions. In fact, the smaller the decision the happier women are when the man makes a unilateral decision. You thought you were making her happy by letting her pick where to eat, but you were only making her nervous. “If he can't even make a decision about where to eat, how will he ever make an important decision?”
A husband who does not show leadership in the everyday things will not show leadership in a crisis.
When a wife gets nervous about your ability to lead, she will start to second guess her husband even on the small decisions. The solution isn't to give in to her on the small things. You might think “Let her make the decisions on the little things; what does it matter? ” It matters to her, because she's pushing you—testing you—to determine if you have a backbone. If you can't stand up to her—a little ol' woman—how can she expect that you'll stand up to real trouble when it arrives. And every time you don't it makes her more nervous about your ability to lead; and the more nervous she becomes the more leadership she'll assume (because if he won't do it, then I guess I'll have to do it for the good of the family). Eventually it will get to the point that she will be making all the decisions (either explicitly or by holding veto over all of her husband's decisions).

You might not think this is a bad thing. I know there are plenty of men who don't want to shoulder the responsibility for making the decisions in life; for being the leader of their family. It's a burden, and a lot of men are happier not shouldering that burden. But your wife won't be happier. She'll be nervous and frustrated. Do you know how women in this situation talk about their husbands? “He's a child; I can't trust him; I feel more like his mother than his wife.” No woman (even the most radical feminist) wants to feel like she's her husband's mother.

Ever wonder what happened to your sex life after marriage? When a woman starts making the decisions—starts taking the leadership role in the marriage—her sexual attraction for her husband starts to wane. Eventually it disappears all together. Do you think a woman who feels like she's her husband's mother wants to jump her husband's bones for some wild and passionate sex? Just the opposite. She will come to see her husband as sexually repulsive, because she will no longer see her husband as a man.
A husband who shows leadership in the everyday things will also show leadership in a crisis.
Women see the willingness to make unilateral decisions as confidence. The one trait all women rate as the top attribute they want in a man is confidence. In fact, confidence and masculinity go hand in hand in women's minds. If you are confident you are masculine; if you are not confident you are not masculine. Start small. Start making simple, everyday decisions. Don't ask her where she want's to eat, just drive to the restaurant. Don't ask her what she wants to watch on TV, just say “let's watch this.” Don't ask her if she minds if you play golf, just tell her “I'm playing golf this Saturday.” She'll push back, but remember she doesn't want you to give in. She's only pushing back to see if you have the confidence to stand up to her. Eventually you'll work up to larger and larger decisions.

She'll see you as having more confidence, which will cause her to (1) turn over even more of a leadership role to you, and (2) see you as more masculine (more of a man) which will make her not only happier, but more attracted to you sexually. Just remember the following:
A husband who shows leadership in the everyday things will also show leadership in a crisis. A husband who does not show leadership in the everyday things will not show leadership in a crisis.


  1. A husband should be completely submitted to Jesus God. A wife should be completely submitted to Jesus God. A husband should follow Jesus. A wife should follow Jesus. Jesus would be the Leader. Then husband and wife would walk together on the same path and end up in the same place. Like Joseph and Mary. The plan has been around for 2000 years, yet almost no one will agree to it.

  2. Wives should also submit to their husbands (as they submit to God). Quite a few people don't want to agree with that.

    1. Wives should also ?
      How can a wife be completely submitted to Jesus, and not be submitted to her husband? Such a thing cannot exist. A
      husband should teach,exhort his wife to submit to Jesus; not to himself. Of course it is risky to give God control of your wife. With Mary the mother of Jesus, God neither asked Mary's permission nor did He run the Plan by Joseph. It was not until Joseph was going to quitely 'divorce' Mary that God clued Joseph in. Wives also run a risk when their husbands are completely submitted to Jesus. For one thing, their husband will not obey, follow, worship them. With the modern concept of love the wife will probably not 'feel' loved. It is always risky to the 'self' to surrender control, even to God; especially to God.