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"New Mamas of Spirtual Awakening in Our Marriages" roll call - Page 7

post #121 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by May May
Oh, and also . . .

Part of why it took me *so long* to come to this place (statistically speaking, btw, it often takes women much longer than six years) was because of misogynistic comments from women, such as:

- All men act like that, you must not *get men*
- That's just how men are, honey (tongue in cheek)
- He's a great man, I just don't see what you're talking about
- You're reading into it
- Your over-reacting
- You are hyper-sensitive
- You sure are 'hormonal' -- is it your time of the month?
- Stop making waves
- You should be grateful for all that he does for you and stop complaining
- You're expecting unrealistic things
- You're a perfectionist
- You're trying to control him
- You should be thankful . . .back in my day it was customary for men to beat their wives, etc. etc.
- You need to work on your appearance (meaning: that's why he's treating you the way that he is, i.e. 'you deserve it')
Wow...yah...I have heard a lot of these comments...and am relieved that I haven't said any of them to anyone.

Sometimes I have caught women saying these comments about the men in their own lives...taking the blame, making excuse...the "all men are like this" really bugs me and I am quick to point out "my DH isn't like this" but there is so much of it a women can talk to many of her women friends and they understand because many of them are living with the same thing...so they conclude this is the way it is.

How do the men who are not like this escape...my father was not like it but my brother has these qualities...maybe sometimes the way a man's mother raises him contributes...being overpowered by a woman as a child might have some affect. That would have been how my brother was raised..my mother was incredibly controlling of us...

How do we prevent our sons from being this kind of man?
post #122 of 236
Well, I'm jumping into to this discussion way late, but there is such great advice here for me right now. My boyfriend and I have been dating for over 4.5 years and he just started going to a psychologist. I thought it was a little more for his own 'stuff' then just our stuff, but I don't think he has told the psychologist about any of his own stuff. We have a pretty good relationship, but we have definitely had our issues too. He says that he doesn't know why we are not married yet (and I'm like "cuz you haven't asked me yet ) so thats what he is talking to the psychologist about. I think he makes me out to look like a crazy woman, but I'm really not . Anyway, that last couple weeks I feel this change like he has made up his mind he is either going to decide its working or leave me. Its really hard because if I start any kind of 'discussion' he reacts totally different now like hes "not going to just sit there and take it," which of course is not what I want him to do. I don't know if this is making any sense, but I am just feeling bad right now and I need to listen to all you wise women .
post #123 of 236
Jessica...by working on himself he is working on the relationship. I sense he is talking about you a lot...a good psychologist will lead him to his own responsibility and ownership of his behaviour.

In the meantime...concentrate on your own self improvement..be supportive and available. It may mean you go your separate ways...painful as that is sometimes you may end up better off...let me correct that..you will end up better off...

It is ok to have expectations and standards in a relationship but make sure the person you are with agrees with them before hand because you are not going to "make" him agree with them after without resentment.

I hope your bf and you work things out..it is an adjustment...he is learning to be the man he wants to be...bit of a shock when your partner changes even if it's for the better.

When he says "he's not going to just sit there and take it" does that mean he used to shut down when you talked to him and now he's going to be responsive...it sounds to me like he feels like you are "at him" about things...(not saying you are but if you look at the first agreement that might help) the way you say things may be interpreted by him differently than how you actually mean them.

1. I AM Impeccable With My Word
I speak with integrity. I say only what I mean. I avoid using the word to speak against myself or to gossip about others. I use the power of my word in the direction of truth and love.



Take care
post #124 of 236
I hate to say "Men are like this" again but one thing I have experienced is that men that come into therapy alone often don't quite know why they are there, and take a great deal of work to get to their responsibility. That is one reason why I love to see couples... they do know each others stuff.

There is this "dance" that men and women do in which women tend to take too much responsibility for their relationships and men, too little. Of course it isn't always true... just a trend.

I think the hardest thing in relationship is to fully accept the other person, ask them to accept you but still work on personal and relationship development. It isn't fair to ask your spouse to change who he is but it certainly is fair to ask him to change his behavior. If you have been clear about how much it bothers you to be teased and he continues it... you might try talking about this. Maybe every time he does it you could say- "You know it bothers me and yet you continue." Without blaming, or making it mean something or getting defensive or attacking, just point out the behavior. It might help you keep it in perspective as his behavior problem, not about you or a relationship issue.
post #125 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
. . . it worries me that by supporting a women's goal to strengthen her marriage, I may also be adding to the destruction in her life.

Maureen,
it's nice to know that you're contemplating the effects of your perceptions in a professional context, because that is where a lot of women first turn (marriage couselling or individual counselling) when they're having trouble in their marriage. It is natural for women to want to reach out for help and to take the whole load of the relationship into their own hands (initially, at least).

In fact, statistically speaking, the numbers of women who are discouraged (indirectly) by experiences had in therapy sessions is staggering. I'm talking specifically about women who are partnered with patriarchal men who manifest their beliefs in their behavior (misogyny).



Yes, a woman expects a lot from her misogynist partner.


She expects
to not have her opinions, concerns, feelings, and ideas put down, belittled, teased, or subtly ridiculed. She expects to be taken seriously.

She expects
her feelings to *matter* to the one who 'loves' her; she expects to be *wanted.* (If she feels unwanted, but he's saying he wants her, then why does she feel unwanted? Perhaps because he's really a woman-hater who is thinking of her as his *right* rather than his *privledge.*)

She expects
her adult partner to behave like an adult and communicate with respectful, mature words, as opposed to 'speaking through his actions' or 'his actions conflicting with his words' -- in other words: PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE behavior/ mind games/confusing behavior.

She expects
to be trusted and respected as a mother; at the very least not undermined in front of her children.


I know there is much more to this answer. It is very complex, and I will think about it some more.

For now, let me suggest that, as a counsellor, you check out domestic violence resources -- it is literally a whole other language from counselling. (I've done individual counselling and marital counselling for many, many years, and this dv info is all new to me, but earth-shattering, nonetheless).

And thanks for asking.
post #126 of 236
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post #127 of 236
Basically, Maureen, it's just a dead end street with misogynists. In fact, do some research, and you'll find that rehabilitation programs for abusers are few and far between because, statistically speaking, it doesn't work.

Also, misogyny is belief-system oriented, it's not psychology/emotional.


I would strongly recommend these two books:
Lundy Bancroft's Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and
Controlling Men
and When Love Goes Wrong: What to do When You Can't do Anything Right by Ann Jones and Susan Schechter.



And be careful in your book search, because, unfortunately, there are a lot of 'hybrid' books out there that do recognize misogyny/abusive behavior, but that also seem to hold the woman accountable for some of it (misogynist authors; yes women can be misogynistic, too).
post #128 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by May May
"How does it make you feel to hear that it's because he hates you?
And that is the big, big secret that he is covering up, even from himself, and is why he appears to be unclear on his priorities and intentions in the relationship."
See? This would just make me feel sad for him. Not angry at him. And still love myself, regardless.
I don't know, it's just seems like a tidy package to label it this way, is all. We can simply chalk it up to misogyny and go our merry way.

But again, I ask: what about our sons?
I believe boys are MORE oppressed than we are. I believe they are hurt deeper than we can know.

There are dark issues here - forces that feel too damn big to fight. Maybe the only way to win is through non-violence...which is truly women's way/not passivity and not battling, but love - love to stand firm and not budge in our love for ourselves and our children and our world and even him in all his woman-hating crap.
That doesn't mean that we try to fix him...No, I really don't really know what this means - maybe someone else does.

I get comfort and hope and strenth from it.
post #129 of 236
May May- Thanks for your responses. I am more specifically asking about you rather than outside resources. I have worked in the domestic abuse field for years and am well aware of how inaffective it can be. I "get it"- I just think it is really complicated. I wonder if you can see a way you would have gotten it quicker? When the therapist told you your partner hated you... did he have any suggestions or solutions? If I told someone that their partner hated them, I would think we should start talking about a peaceful divorce.

Do you believe that abuse in relationships is always misogyny? I have a client that is horribly abusive verbally and I am working with the couple. I have told them both that I feel their relationship is verbally abusive and highly destructive especially to their children. I think they love each other but can't explain how they allow this abuse to continue. Here's the glitch- she is the abuser and he is very clearly the victim. They both come from families with verbal abuse. They each learned their role. If she was a man, I think I would hate her for what she is doing. I would be telling her husband to call the shelter except they won't help him- he is this huge guy. Abuse is not a male trait. The difference is that few men will end up trapped in an abusive relationship, men have more options for getting out. But if he stays, he doesn't necessarily have any better options for taking care of himself or his children. We have a hard time holding partners accountable. It seems we have divorce or we have suck it up. This is where I feel marital counseling can be helpful. At least I try and call abuse what it is. I try and point out the damage where I see it. And then they chose. And I can't chose for anyone. That I learned in my domestic abuse work. People leave abusive relationships when they are good and ready... and not a minute before.
post #130 of 236
Allgirls~ Thanks for the great advice : ! Yes, I think I could always use work on speaking impeccabley. Sometimes, even though I don't try to, I think I come across in a negative way and he doesn't tell me. Instead, he just tries to ignore it which leads to resenting me. He likes to completely avoid conflict of any kind. Its good in some ways because he is very positive, but he also won't bring up things that he 'thinks' will make me made : . So, then when I find out the truth later I get mad (but I have to try not to). I am going to work very hard on speaking from a place of truth and love.
post #131 of 236
Jessica...is he assuming you will get mad or is he coming from experience?

Maybe practicing how you respond...you must be allowed to feel anger but learn how to be calm with your anger..you can do this.

Try saying.."that does make me a bit angry but thank you for telling me, let me think about it"
post #132 of 236
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post #133 of 236
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa72
I don't know if this is the right place to post this but it feels relevant to me, my apoligies if not.

We had "the talk" today, I said I felt he had no respect for me as a woman, always prodding me, making fun of me etc " as a joke" I said I didn't want to live my life being told to f off among other things, called names, generally disrespected.

He looked at me like I was talking another language...NO idea whatsoever.

It got to me saying, I dont want to be with someone who treats me like this, he said he didnt want to be with such a tight ass

Apparently I have no sense of humor, I didnt find it funny when he was prodding me with the broom handle and repeatedly asked him to stop so he carried on, all over me, saying I was no fun.

Loooong story short we came to agree on lots of counselling and try to be nice.

I just feel this is such crap, I know deep down I want to leave. I am struggling with the breaking up the family issue, I also realise he will never make it easy for me to leave, I have to face up to the fact it will be long and horrible, I will have to leave the country and his thing is he will never see the kids again.

The more I read and learn, the more angry I become with my own weakness, my own inability to do the right thing for my children and myself. Noone else to blame really, but just realising these things is helping me get there.

The traits I see in him feel like they are way down there where noone can touch them, there are parts of him, ie misogyny, even I think, racism, that will always be there.
Ugh this is really hard.

totally relevent...IMO we can all post whatever we feel regarding ourselves working at our marriages.

My dh does similar things...he intentionally tries to annoy and upset me because I think it makes him feel better for a moment. He also will passivly bully me like pushing up against me or blocking my way and then acting like he doesnt know what I am talking about when I ask him to stop.

I feel in my heart that I want to leave also. I'm not sure what I am waiting for, definitly not for him to change.
post #134 of 236
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by May May
Oh, and also . . .

Part of why it took me *so long* to come to this place (statistically speaking, btw, it often takes women much longer than six years) was because of misogynistic comments from women, such as:

- All men act like that, you must not *get men*
- That's just how men are, honey (tongue in cheek)
- He's a great man, I just don't see what you're talking about
- You're reading into it
- Your over-reacting
- You are hyper-sensitive
- You sure are 'hormonal' -- is it your time of the month?
- Stop making waves
- You should be grateful for all that he does for you and stop complaining
- You're expecting unrealistic things
- You're a perfectionist
- You're trying to control him
- You should be thankful . . .back in my day it was customary for men to beat their wives, etc. etc.
- You need to work on your appearance (meaning: that's why he's treating you the way that he is, i.e. 'you deserve it')


I have been told these things myself and I believed them!

I realize my dh is a misogynist and it makes me feel anger towards him realizing this because I have had enough of his crap, I dont feel responsible for him or sorry for him...he has no respect for me no matter how much I stand by him and how hard I work, he secretly resents the fact that I dont "work" and make my own money...he says he loves me but I never see it...the truth is he is a vagina hater, the stronger I get in my womanhood the more he resents me.
post #135 of 236
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post #136 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by mystic~mama
My dh does similar things...he intentionally tries to annoy and upset me because I think it makes him feel better for a moment. He also will passivly bully me like pushing up against me or blocking my way and then acting like he doesnt know what I am talking about when I ask him to stop.

This is a very, very common scenario in misogynistic households; it is classic behavior -- textbook case.
post #137 of 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa72

The traits I see in him feel like they are way down there where noone can touch them, there are parts of him, ie misogyny, even I think, racism, that will always be there.
Ugh this is really hard.
Your description is very accurate (of misogyny. . I don't know your husband personally, obviously).


Lisa and Sarah


This is so, so hard.
post #138 of 236
Thread Starter 
may may~

I'm so sorry about your mother.

I lit a candle and said a prayer for you & for her.

thank you so much for sharing this.


~sarah
post #139 of 236
everyone, thank you for sharing so much. It is awful to see how many average women suffer quietly and anonymously in the institution of marriage, unable to find a comfortable place in this situation which is touted as the ideal.

Just thinking out loud, if I may, and to no one in particular.

Misogyny is part of almost all cultures. We all, male and female, internalize it to some degree.. I have also been told “men don’t do x,y,z” and therefore my expectations are unrealistic, which is supposed to excuse my dh’s insensitivity or inaction and effectively put the responsbility for it and for changing it upon me. I also agree that many societal expectations of men are unfair and based in similarly false beliefs. If we can nurture our sons and daughters to be aware, self-confident, loving and responsive, perhaps we can begin to heal these patterns of mis- or dis-connection between men and women.

I think at the beginning of a relationship we attract and desire a person who is on our same level emotionally (whether it is initially visible or not). Then in many relationships one partner, for whatever reasons, begins to flow a different direction - changes in ways that the other partner cannot relate to. The two further diverge, and unless they can find another common meeting place, the relationship becomes (or seems) irreconcilable. Maybe we are meant to flow on? Maybe marriage is not the final word for some of us?
post #140 of 236
MayMay I'm so sorry about your Mother.

Thank you for sharing your story

Lisa

xxx
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