The short version:
- Men give up their power. Inadvertently, but voluntarily.
- Men do what their wives tell them to do instead of doing what she desires.
- Couples speak different love languages and sex languages
- Couples get caught in the power-struggle death spiral
- The unsolvable problems
The Long Version
Before I launch into the long version of all these marriage problems, I want to assure you that all of these issues are solvable. Do the Husband Power work and I’ll guarantee that your wife gets off your back and on your front! The first step, though, is understanding how we got here.
It may disappoint some readers, but I’m not going to talk about the problems your wife has created. We’ll get to those later, after you have your Husband Power back. Until then, we’re going to focus only on things you can change . . . without your wife’s help or participation, if necessary. That will get you some Husband Power. You can then use that power to get her to fix her problems. (After all, you shouldn’t have to solve her problems.)
Throughout this section, I’m going to talk about “you” and “your wife” like I know you. I don’t know you. I know I don’t know you. But I bet a lot of these stories hit home. And it’s much easier for me to write “You did XYZ,” even if it isn’t always true for you, than for me to repeat endlessly, “Like many guys, you may have, at one point, done XYZ.” If something I write doesn’t apply to you, that’s OK. Just try to see the big picture.
Ok, now back to the list
Giving up your power starts a bad trend
I hate to say this, but many problems in marriage are traced directly to guys giving up their power. Women don’t take our power. We give it up. And it starts immediately after the proposal. Here are some examples
Do you remember getting engaged? Immediately after that momentous occasion, your new fiancé went into wedding-planning mode. She wanted to figure out when to send invitations, where to hold the reception, what cake, who will cater, and why all these cousins should be invited. It all meant a lot to her. And your opinion? “Whatever you want, honey.” She and her parents planned the wedding, and that’s how she and her parents got so much power even before you were married.
Having a house and kids is a lot more work than you anticipated. Don’t feel bad. Most people, both men and women, underestimate the impact that the house and kids will have on their lives. You might have made other choices if you had had to sign a statement promising to give up every evening and weekend to doing yardwork, changing diapers, and fixing stuff. As a guy, you are more laid back about issues with kids and the house. You don’t mind if your wife decides what has to be done and when. After all, she feels more strongly about it and you’re hard at work paying for it all. That seems fair to you! (Cue the nagging. Serious loss of power.)
As we’ll point out repeatedly throughout this program, women are not attracted to men who always let them have their way. Women are attracted to men who have power. You can’t be a powerful man if you’re always saying “Whatever you want, honey!”
[A full article on the ways guys give up their Husband Power will be published by another site, soon. I’ll link here when it’s up.]
Doing what your wife tells you to do instead of doing what she desires.
We’re men. We’re simple creatures. We want to make our wives happy. If we knew what made them happy, we’d do it.
Nobody told you what would make your wife happy. You had to figure it out. She says help with the laundry? You’re willing to help with the laundry! She says pick up the kids at the park? You’re happy to pick up the kids from the park! She’s telling you what will make her happy. You’re doing it. She should be happy. Right?
She’s not happy. She’s grumpy. And has a headache. Again.
You’re caught in a no-win situation. If you do what you’re told, she’s not happy. If you don’t do what you’re told, the yelling starts.
So how do you escape from this hell? You recognize what she truly desires: She wants you to come up with the plan before she does. Then discuss it with her and make changes, if necessary; and then you both carry out the plan. It only takes 30 seconds to become the Captain in charge of the day instead of the Private taking orders.
“After breakfast, I’m going to take the kids to the park. You wash the sheets and run to the grocery store while we’re gone. I’m watching football from 3 – 6pm. After that, I’m making you all the world’s best hamburgers for dinner—so get my secret ingredients while you’re at the store.”
Here’s another way to look at it: If you’re waiting to be told what to do, then you’re acting more like her child than her husband. Believe me when I say your wife will never want to have sex with her child.
You’re speaking different love languages and sex languages
You may have heard of The 5 Love Languages. It’s the first book recommended by many marriage counselors. It points out that people show their love and feel loved in different ways.
You fondly remember the days when the sex was great. You felt very loved back then. You want to reconnect like that, so you try to initiate one afternoon. All your wife seems to care about, though, is not having the potatoes that she needs to make dinner tonight.
Your wife, on the other hand, fondly remembers the days when you two would make dinner together. She wants to reconnect like that, so she tries to involve you in making tonight’s dinner. Maybe you could do something simple, like get some potatoes at the store while she does everything else. But all you seem to care about is getting in her pants.
You’re speaking different love languages. You need to give her what she wants (not what you want) in order to get what you want.
In addition to the love languages, there are six sex languages, too. Just like there are different ways that people express and feel love, there are different things that turn people on!
So if you’re wanting to get Kinky, but she likes Romance, you’re talking different languages. If you are both Responsive (that is, you get turned on by seeing your partner turned on), you have the same “language” but might be waiting for each other to initiate! (The other three sex languages are Dominance, Submission, and Forbidden. More on the sex languages in future posts!)
The power struggle death spiral
If you have everything else running perfectly, then an occasional problem isn’t going to send you down a bad path. You’ll stumble, recover, and life will be good again.
Get a few problems layering on top of each other, though, and they start to breed more problems. When you’re not getting what you want from the relationship, you’re less inclined to give. Then your wife is not getting what she wants, and she’s less inclined to give. With all the love/sex language barriers, even when you two try to give, it is perceived as trying to take.
This becomes a power struggle. She wants you to do X. You want her to do Y. You’re tired of not getting any Y, so you’re definitely not giving any X. She’s similarly entrenched. It becomes a struggle for who gets to have his/her way. It’s about who controls the relationship.
In the end, you might turn into roommates, calling a truce where you (mostly) stop fighting, but still are not getting what you want from the marriage. (The affair will arrive shortly.) Or one of you might take the nuclear option: insist on a divorce.
It’s sad, but it’s undeniable. This how most marriages end up being divorced or unhappy.
Break the cycle
There is another option. A way to break the downward spiral of demands and unmet needs. It takes work. You can be the one that does it, or your wife can do it. Just realize that whoever breaks the cycle ends up having the power in the marriage. Not by winning the power-struggle death spiral, but by rising above it.
Even when talking to couples, I advocate for the man to be the one who breaks the cycle. There are lots of reasons for it, but the most compelling argument is this:
Most women are attracted to powerful men and are willing to follow them. Most men are not attracted to powerful women who try to lead them. So all else being equal, I recommend that men break the cycle and end up with the power.
[For the women reading . . . No, this isn’t fair. No, I’m not saying it should be this way. It just is. If you’re the rare woman who is sexually aroused by men who follow her and try hard to please her, you’re one lucky lady. The world is full of guys who will turn you on!]
Guys, if you want to end up with a wife that’s attractive and attracted to you, then you need to be the one who breaks the cycle. If you want Husband Power, you need to make the next move.
You break the cycle by deciding to rise above the power struggle. By acting like the Captain, not like the Private. By creating the plan instead of being told what to do. Want some guidance through the process? Just follow the Husband Power program. (Sign up for free on the home page.)
The Unsolvable Problems
I suggested at the start of this post that Husband Power can solve all the problems in marriage. That was an overstatement. I recognize that there are a number of serious marital issues that are not covered, above, and that are not solved by Husband Power.
- If you and your wife have fundamental differences in your life goals, you may be better off apart than you are together.
- If either of you is dealing with severe medical issues that are ruining your relationship, your doctors are the best ones to help you map a path forward.
- If you’re dealing with a current or recent infidelity, a licensed marriage counselor is probably your best route.
- If you’re being abused or you are abusive, seek professional help.
Even if you have an unsolvable problem, you’ll want to see the next few posts. We’re going to talk about why you want Husband Power even if it doesn’t resolve your current issues.
Coming soon . . .
Specific Husband Power plans for:
- What to do if you’re headed for divorce
- What to do if you’re trying to save your marriage
- What to do if your marriage is in a boring routine
- What to do if you have no marriage problems and want to stay that way