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Dealing with Machismo-ism... - Page 2

post #21 of 38
Thread Starter 

...

Thanks for all the input so far and keep it coming, I've been reading it all... I just feel so disrespected in general with everything that is going on and I am feeling pretty ready to end things...it is sad but I honestly think that I changed (grew up, matured) for the better and my husband stayed more or less the same and parenthood hasn't matured him yet either... through all of this machismo attitude I have also started to see that our parenting values are completely different, even with something simple like me wanting to get the baby to bed around his bed time and my husband wanting to drag the tired little guy around for as late as he wants claiming "in belize" people just take their kids wherever they go and whenever they go and americans are to rigid with their schedules... i happen to think rest is important for a child and there is nothing like a tired baby who can't settle and fall asleep because they're out and about way past bed time... ugh! It just seems like more and more and more things keep popping up and it is getting overwhelming...there is always some new problem, some new dramatic, difference! And the worst part is that getting a divorce won't solve these issues-- i already know my husband would be the type to take things out on our baby to get back at me (i.e. letting the baby do something or have something that I personally wouldn't allow)...I think that when a machismo man marries a strong and independent american woman there seems to be a never-ending power struggle and i'm scared my husband will stop at nothing to get that power...it's all so stupid when I really think about it...
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocsNemesis View Post
I've sort of had that same issue but without the cultural differences. My ex was the kind of guy who would say "oh sure, I get that you need help, I'll totally help!" and then...well, I never saw any help.
You know, this really resonated with me. I used to complain about cultural differences to a friend of mine who had been married to a man from Zimbabwe for 30+ years. Once time she just laughed, and said that some women married to some American men have the same problems, and they don't have the convenient excuse of blaming it on a cultural difference. I'm watching my sister (also married to an American) dealing with rather large conflicts in how to raise their new baby, too. I think some people, regardless of culture, have very strong ideas on what a good parent looks like - ideas that just don't express themselves until they are actually parents, and that can make it seem like they have become a completely different person.

Can you compromise on some of the issues? Like the bedtime issue - I do agree with you that keeping babies up late leads to a cranky, hard-to-put-to-sleep baby, but what about agreeing to keep baby up and out 1 day a week or 2 days a week, as long as DH is willing to be the one who puts baby down to sleep, or something like that? Baby will still be getting enough rest most of the time, and DH's desire to go out will probably wane after a few weeks of having to get a cranky baby to sleep.
post #23 of 38
From your second post, I have to say I've heard the same from a mom without cultural conflicts with her hubby. It seems that becoming mom is entirely different from becoming a dad. That same mom once said that she saw parenting as a language and while moms are dropped into a foreign country and must figure out the language to survive, dads get to take a class in order to learn that language.

My hubby is Mexican although he grew up in the States, his parents were rather "old school". While he has backed off on cleaning and meal prep with the birth of our son, he has been considerably more hands off with our son than I had thought he would be. I got told that "in Mexico, men don't do much with babies, blah, blah, blah." It's very irritating. We're not in Mexico. He knew I wasn't a Mexican woman. Honestly, we're still working through things here. We are seeking counseling because he's finally getting that I'm not happy.

But I will share that I posted a while back in Parents as Partners and many mamas told me that this is a rough period in life. Having a baby changes so much, including the dynamics in a marriage. I was advised that the first year is not the time to make a dramatic decision about our relationship so I'm honoring the opinions of women who have BTDT.

I wish I had actual advice to give but sometimes I feel a bit better just by knowing I'm not alone.
post #24 of 38
If your DH didn't have this attitude before the baby came along, I think that is pretty telling. My DH (also Hispanic) did a total 180 when DD was born as well. My equality-minded, tolerant, flexible hubby all of a sudden because uber-traditional, crazy strict and unreasonable. In retrospect, he essentially reverted back to *his* family experience to adjust to parenthood. And yeah, for him that meant dad earns the cash, mom does all the baby stuff, and house help does the house cleaning and cooking (and, well, that's mom again if there's no house help). He figured if it worked well enough raising him, it would work for our daughter as well.

And in my experience, Hispanic families have TOTALLY different approaches to raising children than those I gew up with. Sometimes that's great: every get-together is family friendly, and they expect and welcome you to come and enjoy and bring the kids along! But yeah, if that get-together lasts until 2 am and has lots of drinking, you just figure a way to deal with it with a young child.

With DH, at least, it seems like he was operating under this ideal because it was all he knew and it had never been challenged. Well, guess what, I challenged it. I had to point out when he was just operating off of what he knew/what he grew up with and contrast that with what I knew/what I had grown up with/what I had spent hours researching and reading and internet searching. Ultimately, we had to reframe our childhoods and experience as just that: a knowledge base to GROW FROM, not the end-all, be-all key to how things will work in our household. And sometimes I totally use his assumptions to my advantage: in his history and experience, mom calls the shots when it comes to the kids, so you'd better believe that sometimes when he's being extra stubborn, I'm all of a sudden very Latina.

We had our growing pains, but we made it.
post #25 of 38
DP is Filipino.. very machismo- but we have been married for almost 13 years now and we have ironed out a lot of issues..
post #26 of 38
No time to read replies but I wanted to say that I totally get you. I'm expected to do a lot of things for my husband, and it's not like he is... mean about it so much as that he expects it as a routine course. We have all the "talks" in the world about it and he doesn't get that there's a different way. If I bring it up he tells me that I didn't marry a "basket-weaving hippie sensitive man". I'm sure part of this is his upbringing (Puerto Rican houehold) and part of it is the (sadly) misogynistic views he was surrounded by in his young adulthood as a member of the military. Machismo is certainly reinforced there.

There are several good parts to it, though. I do feel very safe around him, he is courteous to me, he prevents me from doing any of the "man" stuff...

So basically, his thing isn't that he doesn't respect me but rather that he believes that men and women have different roles to play. And if I'm honest with myself I believe that too. It's just difficult sometimes when we disagree on what each role entails.

P.S. - the day after I gave birth he was complaining that I'd been sick for nine months (pretty much on bedrest for my WHOLE pregnancy) so now that I wasn't pregnant anymore, where was dinner? He was totally serious. I ordered a pizza and that was that. And to tell the truth, it was fine, I had an uncomplicated birth and actually was fine to get back into the swing of things. I'm sure if I was recovering from a traumatic birth or something he would have been more... sympathetic. He's not heartless, just cause he has the macho thing going on.

ETA: The one thing I *hate* with a passion is the jealousy. I can't see why he would be insecure and not let me talk to other men, even if they're friends, etc. But on the other hand, he is also beyond excellent on not talking to other women or having them as friends. At least he has the same standards for him and for me, but at first things were pretty bumpy as we butted heads - I had a lot of guy friends that I did not want to give up just because I was together with a new guy. Actually things did work out well because as time went on, and I started to see things out of DH's perspective a bit more... I actually, much to my chagrin, found that a lot of my guy friends WERE actually behaving a bit.. inappropriately with me. I thought we were "Just friends" and they thought that eventually they were going to get something out of it other than just friends. So those friendships dwindled a bit. So the conflict went away. But sometimes even being polite to a man in public is almost offensive to DH, and that's when we do argue. "No, I wasn't flirting with the phone salesman, I smiled to be polite," etc. It gets really annoying really fast.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleanani View Post
Actually things did work out well because as time went on, and I started to see things out of DH's perspective a bit more... I actually, much to my chagrin, found that a lot of my guy friends WERE actually behaving a bit.. inappropriately with me. I thought we were "Just friends" and they thought that eventually they were going to get something out of it other than just friends. So those friendships dwindled a bit. So the conflict went away.
OT, but you know, I had the same thing happen. Not the conflict side of it so much, but before I married my first husband I had several male "just friends," and my then-fiance was someone who was very cautious about male/female friendships in his own life. I was anticipating the potential for it to come up, but then I announced my engagement and poof ... all but exactly two of those friends just evaporated into the mist on their own.
post #28 of 38
Liquese - I'm sure it's not just something that's happened to only you and me!

Oh, and I just wanted to come back to this thread to add that I a tiny bit resent the fact that women are presumed to be weak if they're with a more macho guy and put up with them. Certainly it's not something every woman prefers, and that's fine! But just because someone is OK with more traditional role assignments based on gender... I don't think for a moment that that [alone, by itself] makes a woman weak. I know that I am a very strong woman who has been through a lot and I've come out on top of it all. But I am fine with being in a macho relationship. I have my strengths and DH has his strengths and we use them together. I am not particularly independent, but that's also by choice. I don't want to be independent. If I had to be (DH died or up and left or something) I would be perfectly resourceful and I wouldn't roll over and die without a man. But I would much rather be WITH a man than without. I would much rather contribute to a relationship than do it all on my own. I respect women who do, sure, but I don't think they're better or worse.

FWIW I was *not* raised in a macho household. If anything, my parents were raising me to be independent, career-driven, don't bother with a man... And lo and behold, I finished college but right away I got married and had kids and was fine with that. I wouldn't have it any other way. So, I don't know. It's not like I was brainwashed by my family to accept my position in life, it was my active choice to participate in a certain relationship dynamic. (For us the social parts don't really play into it because we don't have friends, family, etc. - we're unfortunately pretty isolated. )
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by leurMaman View Post
By the time I was pregnant with my third he didn't even cater to my needs as a pregnant woman - acting like I should be able to do everything with two kids and keep up housework, etc. I wasn' pampered, in fact, I felt compared to women in other cultures who only stop working in the field to pop out a baby. We nearly divorced over this.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm more... genuinely curious than not. Perhaps because I'm not around a lot of pregnant women. I pampered myself during pregnancy as much as I could (being very sick and all) - I gave my stomach oil rubs and foot rubs and took lovely self-portraits of my belly, and ate good food (when I could eat at all) etc. This was in the middle of caring for my other baby (our kids were ten months apart) and caring for the house and doing what I could. Then I had a UC one morning, and life went on as usual, except with two kids instead of one. I was doing all the work anyway. I didn't feel disrespected - the way you said that "women who stop working to pop out a baby" - it's actually quite close to what happened with me. I didn't feel like divorcing my husband over it, though. Please don't think I'm judging you but I'm genuinely trying to understand. What sort of pampering did you expect or feel entitled to (perhaps a bad choice of words, I don't mean it in a bad way!) that your husband didn't give you? Sometimes my husband kissed my stomach when I was hugely pregnant. That made me feel special. What else is, erm... "normal"? In this culture?
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaleanani View Post
Please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm more... genuinely curious than not. Perhaps because I'm not around a lot of pregnant women. I pampered myself during pregnancy as much as I could (being very sick and all) - I gave my stomach oil rubs and foot rubs and took lovely self-portraits of my belly, and ate good food (when I could eat at all) etc. This was in the middle of caring for my other baby (our kids were ten months apart) and caring for the house and doing what I could. Then I had a UC one morning, and life went on as usual, except with two kids instead of one. I was doing all the work anyway. I didn't feel disrespected - the way you said that "women who stop working to pop out a baby" - it's actually quite close to what happened with me. I didn't feel like divorcing my husband over it, though. Please don't think I'm judging you but I'm genuinely trying to understand. What sort of pampering did you expect or feel entitled to (perhaps a bad choice of words, I don't mean it in a bad way!) that your husband didn't give you? Sometimes my husband kissed my stomach when I was hugely pregnant. That made me feel special. What else is, erm... "normal"? In this culture?
I think that most people agree in this culture and in a great many others as well, that the day after giving birth...and likely for at least a week (and sometimes up to a month!), the mother needs to rest and recover from the birth. There is very well documented evidence that a woman is at a much higher risk for hemmorage (the #1 reason for mortality rate, G-d Forbid, in a post partum woman) and other complications during this time. In my community here in Israel a weeks' worth of meals are organized for each woman who gives birth, so that she can stay in bed and rest. Religiously, during this period of time, a woman is considered quite litereally a woman whos life hangs in the balance between life and death and she is treated accordingly.

If my husband expected me to cook dinner the day after giving birth I would feel unloved, uncared for and downright insulted. It would not be acceptable in our marriage. We discuss this well in advance, that meals will need to be provided by him, the community, or ordered out.
post #31 of 38
That makes sense. When I read pampering I wasn't thinking of "not having to do heavy work" but rather... well... active "pampering". I don't know. Although I didn't really get any extra special "stay in bed and I'll bring you food" I also did take it easy. I went down to the bare minimum of what I had to do, and I paid attention to myself and my health signs. If there was bleeding, or dizziness, or weakness, you bet I sat down and did the absolute minimum. But I was very lucky to have easy, uncomplicated deliveries. Like I said, I'm sure that had I been too weak to do anything, DH would have been understanding. And actually, I did barely anything when I was pregnant. DH kept hinting that I should go do some dishes or something. I knew I wasn't up to it healthwise, I told him so, and when he hinted again I told him in no uncertain terms to not ask me again. So it's not like I was being forced into stuff.

Although I will say having people deliver food to us sounds great. I didn't have any family or friends stop by once after the baby was born - a few weeks after the first was born I had to make the drive to go see my mother, stayed an hour or two, and then I went home. But I guess the upside to that is that I didn't feel pressured to show the house to anyone or have there be pressure for it to be nice.
post #32 of 38
I don't normally post here, my mother's family is Hispanic. My father's family is not. My parents were hippies, I grew up on a commune, I was raised to be independent, sufficient, and expected to be treated as an equal. I also grew up around the Cuban culture. My mother's father and brothers were some of the best looking, charming, kind, and full of machismo. I love them dearly, but I can't imagine being married/involved with any man who reminds me of them.

Instead, I married a man from matriarchal culture, only to find that has a whole other set of issues. We had some serious cultural issues to wade through when we got married, only to have many of them resurface when we had our son. I love many things about the culture he is from, but I'm tired of always being responsible for every major decision regarding our son, our families, our finances, and our relationship. What is truly sad, was my MIL getting upset with me because her son has equal access to our bank accounts, retirement, and financial information. She really believes he should hand me his pay check and I should give him an allowance. The man is an engineer, he conducts energy audits on power plants, he has a master's degree and he's almost forty, I think he can handle an ATM card..........
post #33 of 38
WOW, Night Owl. What an interesting flip of problems. Thank you for sharing that with us, as it is absolutely important an relevant that the problem can certainly swing both ways.


What culture/society is your husband from?
post #34 of 38
One of the North American Indian tribes, it's been interesting to say the least.
post #35 of 38
sounds it. I think that this is relatively a rare situation for most native English speakers who are on this list, but it is SO important to realize that this can happen both ways and I think it really brings to light the point that we need to clarify what "partnership" means to us and that might go against what we were brought up with.
post #36 of 38
Thread Starter 

update

Well, as an update, I had to separate again from my husband...but this time I'm pretty sure it is permanent. In addition to all the awful behavior and verbal abuse I've dealt with since mid-pregnancy, he made threats to physically hurt me (in front of our son)...to be specific he started to say things like "stop looking at me that way or I'll punch you down"-- I'm all for marriage and "making it work" but he has said this kind of thing one too many times... for a while I just brushed it off like I joke but the night before he made this threat to me I was nursing our son while he was in one of his angry rages and I felt myself flinch when he came into our bedroom, like I genuinely no longer felt safe in my own home...that coupled with the threat told me it was time to go... although some of you have shared some of your experiences with machismo-ism, has it gotten to THIS level and then you've made it work? For now, I am living with my parents and letting him see our son only with a third party present... I thought I could make it work and he could change with the verbal abuse, but I'm not sure now that he's taken it to this level...
post #37 of 38
Oh IlanaRose, I'm SOOOO sorry (((hugs))). There is an abuse forum here that might be helpful to you.

Obviously there is a line in the sand for everybody. That is both healthy and good. Clearly you have reached yours (and I think many people would agree with you that the threats of physical violence could and SHOULD be taken seriously and it was responsible and correct of you to get to a safe place immediately!)

I commend you on keeping both youself and your child(ren) safe. This is not easy and takes a lot of courage and strength. I know that there are women who, after therepy and counceling with their abusive partners, are able to reconsile, but not all people can or want to go that route, and that is okay. The bottom line, here is that you need to feel safe and BE safe and so do your children. And this, obviously, crosses over the line of what is machismo-ism and what is something else entirely.

Sending you hugs and love.
post #38 of 38
I am sorry that it has come to this, it must have been so frightening for you and your son, well done for having the courage to leave, make sure to protect yourself and your son, remember there's always MDC to give you the support and confidence that you need to follow your path.
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