While I’m sure many women won’t appreciate the analogy, the following passage on parenting whiny children proves to be remarkably relevant for husbands:
Some [men], who are concerned about frustrating [women], give in to [women]’s whims when they are crying, mistaking these whims for genuine needs. In the broken cookie example, a [husband] may take his [wife] to the store to buy another box of cookies. The result of this indulgent style of [husbandry] is that the [wife] generally becomes more and more demanding and difficult to live with. This is not because [she] has been given too much. It is because [she] never has an opportunity to release pent-up feelings by crying and raging. These are [women] with stress just like all [women], but their [husbands]’ inappropriate responses to their attempts to release stress have prevented the [wives] from healing themselves.
When [husbands] “give in” after a wife has whined and begged for a long time, [she] is prevented from having a good cry and releasing stress. The [wife] will soon find another reason to whine and beg, and this will continue until she is allowed an opportunity to have a full-blown cry. This is the main mechanism by which permissiveness can lead to [wives] who are demanding and obnoxious.
-Tears and Tantrums by Alethea J. Solter, Ph.D., pg. 86 [Noun substitution by me…without permission.]
Over my six years of marriage I’ve found that nearly every major step forward was the result of a “fight.”
This was a bit of a surprise to me because, growing up in the church, I was exposed to two alternative viewpoints on marital strife:
- Fighting is bad
- Fighting is simply the result of two “sinners” sharing the same roof
But nobody ever taught me how fighting, if handled properly, is one of the best catalysts for moving towards greater unity.
A fight is the result of two clashing frames. You’re both seeing the same data, but it means different things depending on what story you fit it into.
It’s unfortunate that Christian husbands are taught to try to “work it out” or find a “balanced” solution to the conflict. The aftermath of a conflict is one of the best times for a husband to restructure a wife’s worldview.
Here’s how I do it:
First, I diffuse emotion with logic. This is really not about “winning” the argument as it is about exhausting her. So I don’t get frustrated how she’s not “getting the point” I simply see it as an endurance contest.
Eventually she’ll get tired and calm down. But now she’s worried because we had a “fight.” Her head is spinning trying to figure out what happened. This creates a golden opportunity for…
The Power of the First-Heard Story
Unless your wife has an unusually high IQ, she won’t be able to stand chaos and uncertainty. A fight creates uncertainty. Whatever she thought she knew about you or about the situation has been disrupted and her brain is desperately trying to come up with an explanation that makes sense.
This is where the husband can swoop in and rescue the damsel in distress by telling her the story she needs to hear. “See babe, what happened is that…”
Whoever first provides her with an explanation is the one who shapes her worldview.
Of course, to provide an immediate explanation to an event requires prior diligence. You need to pay attention to her daily frustrations and figure out the root cause behind them. Here’s a useful formula for framing such analysis that I learned from Rich Schefren:
You think the problem is X, so you’re doing Y to solve it. But the real problem is Z and Y actually makes Z worse.
Example: “You think you need to ‘try harder’ to be a better wife and mother, so you’re doing all this activity. But the real need is for unity and agreement between us and trying to be the ‘perfect’ wife and mother by completing all your ‘to dos’ only creates disharmony.”
I’d say root cause analysis is perhaps the most important skill of husbandry. It’s what allows you to shape her worldview, permanently solve her problems, and shape her into the woman you want her to be.
Keep in mind that someone will be moulding your wife… and that someone will be whoever understands her pain and provides the first explanation to the cause of that pain. The first heard story always sticks.
If you don’t mind comparing your marriage to horse training, here’s a lesson I found while reading Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle is the Way:
As a young man, Alexander the Great trained his famous horse, Bucephalus.
No one had been able to train this horse prior to Alexander. Even his father, King Philip II, could not break the horse in. They tried whips and ropes and every kind of force they could muster. But still, the horse would only buck off the riders.
But Alexander had a different approach.
He would lightly mount the horse and simply hang on until the horse was calm. The harder Bucephalus tried to buck Alexander off, they more quickly he tired out. The horse had no choice but to submit to his rider’s influence.
Alexander used the horse’s own force against itself.
It’s a similar situation with high-strung wives…
Sometimes the best approach is simply to remain calm. Ask her a series of fact-based questions to get more data on the situation (who, what, where, when, why, how). The more emotional she is, the more she’ll exhaust herself trying to address your simple questions.
Soon enough, she’ll have no fight left in her and, being too exhausted, she’ll turn to you for guidance.
Entertainment is a controversial topic among Christians.
How much is too much? What shows are appropriate? Is violence better than sex? etc. etc.
But one aspect of entertainment I rarely hear talked about is how fathers can “spin” secular entertainment into spiritual lessons.
For example, here’s the opening scene from the latest Pixar film, Coco:
In the scene, the boy explains how his family is not like other families because his grandmother hates music and tries to shut it out from their life.
This simple scene could be used to illustrate a number of spiritual truths like…
- Just like the bitter grandmother who wanted to shut out music, so do some people become bitter against God and shut out the light.
- Even if those around you are bitter, you can still have joy in your heart just like the little boy in the Coco
- God gives us reason to sing, just like the boy in Coco
- Some people want to snuff out the light, just like the grandmother wanted to snuff out music. But you can’t hold back the truth for long.
- God wants his truth to be like music to our ears. Just like the boy in Coco.
The next time you’re watching a show with your wife or kids, keep your eyes open for good illustrations. Spiritual truths are more readily grasped when there is a tangible reference point.
Now, I think I need to get to “work” and catch up on my movie watching 😉
Illimitable Men’s reflections on dominance and submission is a better marriage guide anything you’ll hear from the pulpit today:
[A] good woman is the handiwork of great men, ideally well-raised by a strong father, but at the very least young and receptive to dominant, masculine governance. A woman cannot, try it as she may, become the embodiment of what a man wants without her chosen partner having a hand in the matter, for her constitution is innately erratic, and as such, in the absence of a strong male figure in her life, she will in all likelihood fall prey to predacious dogma and sully herself.
The value of a young woman extends beyond the appeal of her physical youth and fertility, although both are covetously desirable in and of themselves, it is her malleability to be formed into a woman who complements a man that is her main draw. Older women are, much to the dismay of men everywhere, not solely lacking in beauty, but largely irredeemable in that they lack the pliability archetypal of young women.
Bitter older woman unable to secure a dominant alpha who see a young woman coupled with a man perhaps ten or even fifteen years her senior have an instinct to shame the couple, more specifically, the man. It is said by spinsters of ever-increasing opinionation that such men are no more than perverts, that they only covet a young woman’s body and sexuality, and that if such men were as refined as they, they’d look to date someone “more mature.” Be it that maturity for women is little more than bitterness that erodes their femininity, the point of maturity is an entirely moot point, for women mature little in adulthood. These spinsters disguise their vitriolic bitterness as concern for the well-being of young women, but in reality they are the jealous crabs in the bucket, scornful of the men who don’t want them, jealous of the women who can get them.
The man must act upon and mould a woman more than she does him, for if the woman is to act upon and mould the man, she will create something she finds abhorrent. More simply and explicitly stated, a woman will mould a man into someone she despises, but a man will mould a woman into someone he loves.
For the “how to’s” of moulding a woman, check out my latest guest post on the Sigma Frame blog.
After years of reading the Bible to your wife, do you feel disappointed that she hasn’t transformed into that radiant woman without “spot or wrinkle” that biblical husbandry is supposed to bring about?
If you do, you’re not alone.
After several years of trying the standard “daily devotion” approach to spiritual leadership, I abandoned it completely. I threw away all my nifty “Bible in a Year” plans. I no longer do a structured family worship time.
Simply because I wasn’t seeing results. There was no spiritual fruit.
What I do instead is far more simple and more effective in my experience.
I think some men have intuitively figured out this method, but I’ve never seen or heard it explained before.
I’ve detailed how the method works in a 3,394 word guest article on Sigma Frame. It’s the most in-depth “how to” article I’ve published to date. I recommend bookmarking it and reading it through as you’re able. If you have any questions about the method, leave me a comment.
After you’ve read the explanation, you can download a one-page summary of the method that you can print out for reference.
Forget everything you learned in English class. This is real-world communication 101.
Lesson #1: Without frame control, your opinion doesn’t matter
Frame control primarily means three things:
- Call out B.S.
- Get to the point and don’t let people waste your time
- Don’t be the dancing monkey*
Lesson #2: Right Frame + Right Proposition + Trust = Agreement
- Do you have her attention?
- Does she understand your jargon?
- Is it directly relevant to her needs? (see Maslow’s hierarchy of needs)
- Is she capable of understanding and using what you’re telling her?
- Does it easily to connect to what she already understands and believes?
- Is the proposed change simple and easy to implement?
- Do you live consistently with your values?
- Does she know your intentions are for her own good?
- Have you shown yourself to be a capable man who can achieve his goals?
Lesson #3: Speak the unspoken
Guess what she’s thinking and say it before she does. This creates an instant mind-meld that allows you to direct her thoughts.
Lesson #4: Claims create objections
Our most automatic form of communication is a self-centered sequence: opinion > reason > evidence. Unless people already agree with you, they will almost certainly disagree with your claim.
But if you want someone to have the same epiphany as you, let them discover it themselves. Inverse the order: evidence > reason > suggestion.
This is not to say you should never lead with a claim. Claims expose people to new ideas. Just don’t expect anyone to agree with you if it’s a new idea. But repetitious exposure creates belief.
* The “dancing monkey” is a metaphor coined by freelance writer Bob Bly. It refers to the barrage of questions potential clients use to intimidate inexperienced freelancers into lowering their fees to barely livable wages: “have you worked in this industry before?” “what kind of results have you gotten?” “What makes you so sure you can do the job?” etc. etc.
Women do the same thing to their husbands when she demands explanations and “proof” to back up everything he says, bringing attention to his inadequacies and past failures in attempts to lower his confidence and force submission.
The other week I wrote a post summarizing some of the common sex questions Christian wives are privately asking online.
Most of the questions centered around issues of guilt. I thought it’d be fun/useful/provocative to give my answers to each of the questions.
Q: Is using birth control and condoms inside of marriage a sin?
A: No. Do not add to the word of God. “Be fruitful and multiply” does not mean have as many children as you can as fast as humanly possible.
Exception: some forms of birth control destroy life after conception. Sometimes it is difficult to assess the effects of a birth control. Condoms are probably the safest bet in terms of conscience.
Q: Is masturbation a sin?
A: No. Do not add to the word of God.
Q: Is it a sin to have an erotic dream involving another man?
A: No. Do not add to the word of God.
Q: I can’t enjoy sex…
A: Ask her what she is thinking about while she is having sex. Get specifics.
Q: Is it a sin to have sexual thoughts about someone other than my husband?
A: No. Do not add to the word of God.
Exception: It is a sin to covet a man other than your husband. But this is different than fleeting sexual thoughts.
Q: Is it a sin to enjoy reading erotica?
A: No. Otherwise you couldn’t enjoy the Song of Songs.
Q: How can I deal with lusting after hot guys?
A: The modern concept of lust is different from the biblical concept of lust. She is probably just noticing physical features that women instinctively find attractive. But if it truly is sinful lust, the solution is simple: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Q: I feel guilty because I privately fantasize about being raped…
A: “Rape” is modern term used to shame both men and women for natural sexual instincts. It is not wrong to have sexual fantasies about being roughly taken by a man. Do not add to the word of God.
Q: Need prayer to heal from the past…
A: Pray. But don’t allow her to continue to identify as a victim. There is (probably) nothing wrong with her physically. It’s all in her head. Help her to focus on positive aspects of sex (like the Song of Songs) rather than negative (like being a sexual abuse victim.)
Q: I have issues with attraction and fantasies towards women…
A: The Bible never condemns women for finding other women sexually attractive. The Song of Songs even encourages it (Song 6:13).
Given my apparent theme lately of Satanic deception and sexual suppression, it seemed fitting to wrap the week up with a lesson from Disney.
The other week, there was some discussion in the manosphere over the Satanic nature of the song “Let It Go” from Frozen.
I would agree that the lyrics are Satanic (at least when they stand alone). But the lyrics also provide a perfect perspective on the inner thoughts of a woman as she is being deceived.
So let’s consider the following lyrics and try to become “wise as serpents” in our dealing with our wives and daughters:
The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen.
A kingdom of isolation,
and it looks like I’m the Queen
She feels like her responsibility is forcing her to be isolated from relationships with others. Like any girl, she is curious about the world and wants adventure. But she feels trapped.
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in;
Heaven knows I’ve tried
Her inner (sexual?) passions are too much to contain. She feels that she can’t “keep it in.”
Don’t let them in,
don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Being “good” and her inner passions are placed at odds with each other. She now feels like she is “bad” and cannot let loved ones get too close to her. Being “good” becomes a heavy burden.
Conceal, don’t feel,
don’t let them know
It is her passions that make her “bad.” The message she perceives is that she must conceal these passions. Don’t let anyone know how bad she is.
Well now they know
Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
After having her epiphany that her passion is too much of a burden to hold in, she finds a new sense of liberation in letting it go.
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care
what they’re going to say
Now that’s she’s made her decision to “let it go”, she reaffirms her decision by burning her bridges. They don’t understand. She doesn’t need them.
Let the storm rage on.
Her conclusive cry of “liberation.”
The cold never bothered me anyway
Sure, there’s a down side, but it’s not that bad…
It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all
She is uncertain about her decision so she needs further justification. Compared living in fear as a “good girl”, this new liberated lifestyle is clearly better for her.
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me,
With the shackles removed, she can finally explore the limits of her passion. No more rules! That means she’s free, right?
Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the storm rage on
She’s a grown up now. She’s has understanding now of things she was never allowed to previously explored. She boldly declares “here I’ll stay.”
Suppression is the necessary condition for deception. Women always want to feel like they’re being liberated from an oppressor.
Don’t allow God’s Word to become that oppressor she secretly craves to be liberated from.
Frame is everything.
Over at the Red Pill Christians subreddit, I came across an interesting set of questions posted by the user “Red-Curious.”
Other than my own blog and Sigma Frame, I don’t know of any other blogs that are trying to develop practical frameworks for married Christian men to use in light of red pill truths.
Dalrock and company have some good insights. But their specialty tends to be calling out feminism in the church rather than providing usable strategies for awakened men.
So the church is woefully lacking resources to help married men who have recognized and accepted the true nature of women.
But if we were to start a larger conversation, I think these questions would be a good place to start. (I’ve given my own opinions as a response.)
1. How can you reconcile the message of Christ with Red Pill Praxeology? What about Married Red Pill? Does the message of Paul and Peter change the picture?
The Red Pill is simply re-awakening us to biological truths that are suggested at the beginning of Genesis. Christ’s message was about a new kingdom, not a new biological imperative, so there is no conflict. But the marriage teachings of Peter and Paul do change the frame of red pill truths. Men are expected to take responsibility for their wives just as Christ takes responsibility for the church.
2. Why are Christians such bloop caricatures? How did we go from Warrior Knights of the Cross to this mess of de-testosteronized “men” in the church today?
My best understanding is that this is due to the cultural forces that contributed to the Nice Guy Syndrome. Men have been conditioned for several generations to seek approval from women and view traditional masculine qualities as “toxic.” This message is further reinforced in the church by the “sacrificial love” rhetoric. Nice Guys believe that if they do the right things and sacrifice more, they will get what they need. “Sacrificial love” is changed to mean doing what the wife wants… which only makes marriages worse. On top of that, most Christian men are pre-occupied with the so-called “battle of lust,” thus ensuring they will remain in perpetual state of feeling guilty over their sexual instincts and believing they are a “sinner” unfit for any significant duty in God’s kingdom.
3. Do you agree with Dalrock that feminism has invaded the churches and that more and more apostate Christians are replacing the worship of the Lord Jesus with Vagina worship?
4. What Christian denominations have been able to hold back this feminist onslaught and why?
None that I’m aware of. Though my experience is limited to Pentecostal and Reformed denominations. Pentecostals seem to be more blatantly egalitarian. Reformed churches seem to give lip service to the abstract concepts of headship and submission. But they ignore the gritty details of the problems and fail to provide any workable advice to men dealing with the effects of feminism.
5. Can a Christian man use Dread Game with a disobedient wife?
Yes. Dread Game is about arousing a woman’s jealousy in order to reform her behavior. We learn in Romans 11 that God brought in the Gentiles in order to make the unrepentant Jews jealous. So provoking a disobedient wife to jealousy is (literally) a godly thing to do.
6. Who agrees with me that we can fix this for the next generation if we bring back the authority of a man over his family, including his wife, and children? Can we? Should we?
Agreed. First, we must attempt to do so through teaching and rhetoric. If that doesn’t work, we simply wait for our civilization to crumble so we can rebuild. Build your own household on the rock so that it does not crumble when the storm comes.