My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary not too long ago. Most of their life they’ve spent in the same small three bedroom house that I grew up in along with my two brothers. As any married couple, I’m sure they’ve had their ups and downs but in their semi-retirement (Dad is retired, Mom still working for another year or more) they’re still going strong. They’re planning a trip to Hawaii this fall to celebrate the marriage milestone.
My dad has always been an easy going fella; methodical and analytical, fairly introverted but friendly, and has never really found anything that caught his fancy as far as life purpose or major long-term hobby so is a little driftless. In his youth, he partied his way out of college and became an alcoholic. He mostly drank at home in the evening, never physically or even emotionally harmed us beyond “normal” kid discipline in those times (spanking). Mostly he just came home from work, did his few basic chores he was responsible for (car maintenance, mowing the lawn, basic fixing stuff) and then unplug from the world to deal with a job he despised but justified because it kept three boys and a part-time working wife housed, fed and clothed. I must have been about 11 years old when my mom made him get treatment for his addition. My younger brothers and I didn’t really understand what was going on at the time, but I remember going to the treatment center to visit, having pudding cups and watching TV while my mom and dad talked. It must have been an incredibly trying time for them, but one they persevered through. By my calculations it’s roughly 25 years since my father has had an alcoholic beverage, and that is pretty awesome considering it’s in the face of social and family norms where drinking is so prevalent. My father is still trying to find his purpose and he’s now doing running races, finishing his first half-marathon earlier this year which has been pretty cool to see . The fact he was able to retire from something he hated he’s also a lot more at peace with the world and all around more happy.
If my father is a cool shade of blue, my mother is a fiery red. She’s passionate and full of energy and is a whirling dervish in all mannerisms. Mom is full of life and has a tendency to dominate situations with her mannerisms and outgoing nature. She continues to work a couple of jobs, not because they need the money but because it keeps her busy. It’s generally her direction that we followed growing up. Once the destination is set by my mother, my father will take care of the details to make sure things happen according to plan. It’s worked out well for them, but is far from the Patriarchal environment I’m trying to now employ in my life. I love my parents and appreciate all the support they provided throughout my life, and am thrilled they’ve made it this long together. They’re an example of how two people can work with each other through thick and thin while maybe having a dynamic that is a little more weighted toward the female side.
Wasn’t it Freud who said you are attracted to those with similar traits as your mother/father? I can see this in my situation, and Holly and I had a conversation about this just the other day, even relating it back to my parents. You see, like my mom, she’s a strong woman. Holly could be classified as an Alpha female – she’s physically and mentally gifted, extroverted, can socially dominate (in a good way), feminine and will bowl over weaker men or women. Because of these traits, earlier in our marriage it was really easy for me to be like my dad and simply go along with someone leading the way since it didn’t take a whole lot of effort, and honestly I didn’t really care that much. However, after taking the Red Pill I totally understand now how this is not an attractive quality in a man. Despite what the women’s movement has said about their right for fairness and equality and power and how they “need a man like a fish needs a bicycle” it does not apply to relationships. Despite their saying they want a man to dote on them and do whatever they want and for them to “wear the pants in the family” the reality is they lose respect for a man who behaves this way. They want a man to be true to himself first as that represents the strength to lean against. A man without this life energy or masculinity is not much of a man at all. To maintain long term attraction, and for your wife to see you as a man, you need to take the lead, make decisions, and dominate aspects of your home life.
Holly’s dad is probably the manliest man I know and I’m sure I’ll post more about him in the future than just his poop stories and pearls of wisdom. If the Freud parental attraction stuff is partially true, I must have at one point shown similar qualities as him, at least early on. When we first met, I was the one who made the first move (literally the first time I really noticed her, which was completely out of character for me at the time), planned dates, the first of us to have a “real” job, got us a dog and apartment and generally led the direction that our lives were going through some twists and turns we went through. At some point I guess I stopped standing up for anything or bumping back against Holly on things I didn’t like about [FILL IN THE BLANK] to make things easier. Pretty soon I was like my father, waiting for someone else to make my minor life decisions for me, probably treating Holly like a child treats their mother. I’m sure that I thought being well behaved and doing whatever she wanted would gain me favor, attraction and the love I desired, but instead it was Not. Attractive. At. All.
Today, I feel our family structure is where it should be. I’m the Captain (or at least Holly submits enough to make me feel like I’m the Captain), I take charge on the home-front so Holly doesn’t have to be so Alpha after coming home from a job where she has to be. She can let her guard down, be more feminine, let go of her control so as not be in charge of things and let me be the leader since she knows I’ll do a good job steering the ship. With these foundational improvements in our marriage back in place, things are much better and I can again envision hitting that same milestone my parents just did.