Are YOU Afraid of Your Wife?

Category: Weekly Columns

Wife going after husband

How many men do you think are afraid of their wives? If “afraid” is too strong a word, how many men believe they must walk on eggshells in their wife’s presence? What marriages do you know – well – that are successful and appear happy? I chose the word “appear” because no one really knows what is going on inside another’s home and life, so all we can make is educated guesses based on how well we know people.

Marriage cartoon

The three happiest marriages I know well have one common theme. The man is clearly madly in love with his wife and lets her run the show. My parents fit that description to a T and were happily together for 73 years, married 66. However, after being part of a men’s group for over a decade, I witnessed way too many men who feared their wives or partners.

What are the signs that a man – YOU – might be scared of YOUR wife?

~~ You are extremely careful with anything you say in her presence.
~~ Some topics are just not to be discussed, whether about your sex life, money, or how to raise the children.
~~ She adores her parents; hates yours and you allow those feelings to determine the outcome and invitation list of family events.
~~ Saying “No” to her causes heart palpitations.
~~ You’ve long ago realized that your “fix-it” reaction to her problems never is appreciated and now you just begrudgingly listen and offer no ideas or solutions. Note: in many cases, this is a wise move, period.
~~ When you must bring up something you think will precipitate a tough discussion or a fight, you put if off and/or bolster yourself with substances.
~~ You don’t even remember why you fell in love in the first place.
~~ She controls all the purse strings and when you want something, you dread asking for it.

Marriage fighting comic

Well guys, how’d you fare on the above things? Ladies, do you recognize your man in the above list?

We’ve been living through a very feminized time in human history. Women dominate our elementary schools and all our schools seem to favor girls/women in their curriculum and in so many other politically correct ways. Boys are failing at higher numbers than ever and more and more women are accepted to colleges while their male counterparts are often floundering. Plus, the work place is now fraught with HR rules. Men can literally be brought up on sexual harassment charges simply by the perception of a female co-worker saying something he did or even how he peered at a female co-worker.

relationship infographic

Heck, I’d be scared to work at any large business today. Towards the end of my showbiz career, post Anita Hill, I stopped hiring female secretaries simply because I didn’t want to be walking on eggshells. The irony was that I experienced pretty harsh sexual harassment twice from women in positions of power and was laughed at by my (male) bosses at the time.

So, is it any wonder that our boys and young men might be afraid of their women at home and at work?

There is no easy solution. But, for most men, I think having good men in their lives can make a huge difference. Even without all these societal changes, many men will stick their feet deep into their mouths at times. I am certainly guilty of this far too often. Having an outlet with other men might help prevent the legitimate lapse in thinking that is endemic among many men.

What men and women think

The decade I spent in a men’s group helped me deal with the hardships of my divorce, raising my boys alone, and dating again in a changed world. The men in my group sincerely helped me navigate the new relationship that ended up leading to my second marriage. I’d bring them issues and they’d give a perspective and/or advice that I just hadn’t thought of or realized. They saved me from myself in many cases.

In other cases, it’s just learning that the new World Order is simply different. The empowerment of women is largely a good thing, but it has diminished men to a degree, which is why there are so many men living in fear of their wives or partners. The irony of this column is that I expected it to contain much humor, yet upon writing it, the harsh truth of this topic kept me from my usual quips.

Cartoon about relationships

I’d really love to know what you think: men and women? With women, I want to know if you respect the man in your life? Has his kowtowing to you made you love him more, if he’s acting that way? Men, do you resent your wife? Do you feel less a man? And, parents – what are you seeing from your boys and from your girls? Are you happy with the state of Gender Affairs?

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Book Cover from The Empty Nest

  • Adeline

    Fantastic article Bruce. This topic has been on my mind a lot lately. My parents are happily married and no, my ma doesn’t run the show. She’s more than happy to tell dad off when he does or proposes something idiotic, but she’s just as happy to respect his decisions and choices too. In India it has always been the tradition for the man to be the leader and the housewife to be the supporting force. But with both men and women working today, the dynamics have changed.

    Many many families today are women dominated. In fact, women who don’t work,a.k.a the homemakers control their husbands..it’s quite shocking how the transformation has happened. I know several, even well educated women order their husbands/boyfriends around to do the dumbest and stupidest of things and the men meekly follow.

    It shouldn’t frustrate me but it does, especially when you see intelligent and smart men do something ridiculous just because the woman wanted it.

    I have a feeling that men just don’t want to come home to a nagging wife ( which is what will happen when you don’t listen to a woman) so they rather just do as the wife says so that they can come home to enjoy a good game of football. So no, I don’t think men are afraid, they just wanna chill, and there’s a price to pay for it!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      It’s all perhaps happening too fast @f0e942ecf0276bd02d20ca9c4343a720:disqus – but we’ll see where this all goes!?

    • Guest

      Most marriages have always been woman-subjugated because women hold superior sexual power…thanks to basic biological differences between the Sexes. Today, we’ve add (false) feminist social domination to the female bag of tricks…which makes marriage totally untenable for all but the meekest men. Happily, young men are getting the picture and shunning marriage in droves but that doesn’t exactly create a secure society as single mothers/fatherless rug rats predominate.

  • http://twitter.com/profkrg Kenna Griffin

    I hope Jeff isn’t afraid of me. I think we do a good job of knowing what issues are really important to each other and splitting the “wins” in our relationship.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @twitter-27305797:disqus – Jeff may not be afraid of you, but I SURE AM! lol…

  • http://www.facebook.com/yvonnewray Yvonne Wray

    Men and women have so much misinformation about how to have a relationship keep getting better. The battle of the sexes rages on as your article points out. In this battle when one gender wins the other loses. This model of relating, win-lose man vs. woman scenario, is severely limiting and full of traps that ultimately lead to unhappiness for both. You can jump into it with a new partner, or switch who is on top either the man or the woman but it is still the same win-lose situation.

    I believe that changing to a model of relating between the sexes that has both win is ultimately what we all want, for us and for the generations to follow us. She wins AND he wins – no battle, not splitting the wins while losing 1/2 the time. Friendship, enjoyment and fun predominate the relationship. You are happy with the other, you are willing to tell the truth. You win and do what it takes to make sure your partner wins too.

    It sounds Utopian and perhaps impossible, but I’ve learned about a way of doing just that and have experienced the gratification and pleasure that it brings to my life and relationships. Analyzing the battle won’t do anyone any good. I challenge people to toss it out, it is a dead end, and look for a sustainable solution elsewhere.

    http://www.welcomed.com/deliberate-orgasm/what-is-deliberate-orgasm-newsletter-signup.html

    • Guest

      Given the head of steam that the officially coddled worldwide hate movement known as gender feminism has gotten up (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhliqceyoL8) it’s going to take decades to strip away the lies about ‘gender’ and sex….lies which demean men as men and destroy boys as boys. Women who truly desire your Utopian ideal will have to show their mettle in terms of opposing feminist bigots before I will believe one thing they say about win-win relationships. Thankfully one decidedly decent woman named GirlWritesWhat has gotten millions of hits on YouTube for doing just that, but those kind of women tend to be few and far between in towns subjugated by feminist gender bigots all at levels.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      You are so right @facebook-543022318:disqus that there seems to be TOO MUCH emphasis on winning vs. just US!

  • Guest

    ‘Terrified’ would be more valid in many cases. Jodi Arias is on trial for what prosecutors allege was the cold blooded murder of her husband, a few pages over from you column we have a story about a 48 year old woman who allegedly raped a boy starting when he was 15 and we have had a litany of very serious child torture cases involving the Fair Sex over the years. In fact, once you drill down below the poisonous feminist propaganda about domestic violence, you’ll find that women are relatively equal to men in terms of DV perpetration…even thought they get away with most of their DV by blaming the male victim. And as Mary Cleary’s ground breaking book (That Bitch) shows so comprehensively, the deck is totally stacked against men in marriage, in domestic violence law, and in domestic violence shelter/support. Since women often prefer pycho-social-relational violence, the kinds of things you alluded to above are certainly red flags that one might be married to an abusive woman. Given the terrible odds men face when dealing with the Dark Side of Woman both personally and politically, it’d be a very good idea to trust one’s fear and get to work on finding professionals like Dr. T: A Shrink for Men who can help on detect/deal with female forms of aggression.

    It’d be nice to know how many rooms our local DV shelters have for husbands, fathers and their children, whether said shelters provide male-secure schooling devoid of bigoted (Duluth model) feminist propaganda, and whether there is any organized community outreach for scared or terrified male survivors…survivors who cannot depend on a men’s group as you did for support. Bet you’ll find NONE. Yet billions of federal VAWomanA dollars have been wasted on the tyrannical feminists propaganda racket known as the DV industry.

    And one thing you didn’t mention is the commonplace tyranny of false DV accusations for which a man is guilty until proven innocent. This gives vile women a loaded cannon (the state) with which to terrorize anyone they choose. And of course, the false accuser knows she will never really go down for lying about something so serious.

    All in all a lot to be ‘scared’ about, I’d say. The reality here is far harsher than the relatively minor forms of aggression you mentioned in your column. It’ll be a fine day when all those men in your men’s group start roaring like lions to demand simple human decency for men and boys. Until we end the One Billion Bigots Rising movement, we will resent women who participate or collude in said movement, we will all be castrated lap dogs for female predators both personal and political, and our and our sons and daughters will be right to ridicule us as impotent nincompoops.

    That said, thanks for at least sticking your big toe into one dark poisonous pit. Ending evil feminist Sex-ual subjugation (which is not really female or feminine) will take a long long time. In that spirit, we need to hear more about what to DO when you are afraid of your wife, girlfriend, female boss or whatever…and of course Mary Cleary is the go to resource there.

  • Jean Parks

    I believe that my husband & I have a relationship based on mutual respect. We both dislike drama & work hard to make our individual strengths & weaknesses work for the good of our family. Nobody around here kowtows or walks on eggshells, ain’t nobody got time for that nonsense 🙂

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Then @google-d0e7b152420ee21df3d87d2d9bbbb59c:disqus – you two have figured it out – beautifully!

  • http://twitter.com/jackdrsm Jack Durish

    My wife and I are still “romantically” involved after more than 35 years of marriage. Fear has nothing to do with it. We feel sorry for those who make do with less.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      You’re a lucky man @twitter-189186958:disqus but I’m sure you work at it, too!

  • got a good spouse

    It is fortunate you don’t have a daughter–your misogyny is showing–yet again.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Oh @e7405176773d33cf14d952d7c8cb8d50:disqus – do tell?

    • Guest

      Dare to address the Dark Side of Woman…on the personal or on political level…even very gingerly…and one will immediately be double-bind shamed as a misogynist. False accusations like this one can be very scary for men too, but, as fighter pilots know, they can be defeated easily by simply turning into the attack and shooting down the female sociopath. Looks like your spouse (assuming he’s male) has got a very bad spouse…and heaven help HIS son…if he had one with you.

      • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

        I can’t tell who is addressing who given you’re both anonymous…so I’m going to bow out of this discussion. I’d appreciate as much civility as possible though, please. I rarely delete comments but I will if it gets too aggressive. Every one here is allowed an opinion – but I don’t care for any name-calling in an open forum like mine…

        • Guest

          That’s fair on any gratuitous name calling. However, I did this one intentionally because the constant false accusations of misogyny or sexism here are an ugly form of aggression intended to silence free speech by shooting the messenger. Such tactics tend to work well because most men have a very hard defending themselves against the shame game. Given the niggardly nature of these kinds of baseless cheap shots, I tend to be less than tolerant when confronting them.

          At a minimum, when someone blanket accuses anyone here of ‘misogyny’ or ‘sexism’, I need them to offer some specific reasons for their accusations. Otherwise, they are merely calling names too…only with politically correct panache…which allows them to get their cheap shots in without being responsible for em. That said, you are the boss on your comment blog so I can always say the same thing in other ways…ways which are more politically correct I might add…or I can let you show us how you defend attacks on your character…so I have something to model my game with:).

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            TY @0003e358a89867db100bf246375feacf:disqus – I didn’t get at first that is was another “Guest” calling me names – now I see it. Thanks for covering my back!

            I got a LOT of angry feedback when I wrote negatively about the Occupy movement, though most of those comments actually were civil and intelligently written, if not very wrong IMO. I was very pleased with that discourse, the most any column of mine has ever generated!

          • Guest

            You’re welcome. I love angry feedback which is civil and intelligent too. Keep us all on our toes…and shows you wrote about the right thing.

            Here’s something interesting for your sons and all sons: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2013/may/07/men-gender-divide-feminism The fascist feminist bigots who run the The Guardian are finally being forced to bring in balance but we won’t be seeing them tell the truth about gender feminism’s hateful dogma/deeds anytime soon. Mike Buchanan (Justice for Men and Boys) is banging away on the BBC though so there is hope for British men and boys.

  • http://brianvickery.com/ Brian Vickery

    Did I make the list of three men who is madly in love with his wife? You’ve met my wife – nothing to be afraid of. You’ve seen us together…have too much fun with each other…even through the stressful times.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @dbvickery:disqus – you are definitely one of the lucky guys! And, I know ’cause as you say, I’ve met your lovely wife!

  • Pingback: Who's Afraid of Their Wife? | Bruce Sallan Radio Show | Bruce Sallan()

  • Guest

    Very scared: http://www.independent.com/news/2013/may/08/ucsb-student-heads-trial-false-rape-report/?on Wonder how long it will take men in Santa Barbara to come to terms with reality? My guess is that it will take a very long time.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @0003e358a89867db100bf246375feacf:disqus – Some fear is good…lol

  • David W.

    Lots to reflect on here. Fundamentally, I think you are combining some phenomena that may not necessarily be combinable much of the time. The phenomena you appear to be focusing on are: husbands and wives in private; women in the public sphere (corporations, businesses, etc.); and differences in accomplishments and rates of success among young men and women in school (I presume you are referencing the U.S. American education generally, i.e., primary, secondary and post-secondary levels).

    I don’t dispute that there MAY be some overlap among these phenomena. I think that WHAT that overlap is, and the extent to which it may (or may not) exist is up for grabs. For example, the wife that the husband feels intimidated by may not necessarily be working outside the home … to her, the degree to which the workplace has changed in terms of the relationships in it among men and women has an impact that is limited, although probably not negligible.

    The signs listed that a man may be scared of his wife can, with the roles reversed, be signs that a wife is scared of her husband. Reread the list and flip the “shes” and “hes” and so on and the list works to describe a relationship in which the husband is the intimidator and the wife the intimidatee. Either way, it’s two people who are playing into one another’s worst characteristics; women as well as men can be indifferent toward and unfairly demanding of one another. To what extent changes in relations between men and women in the workplace influence that, I don’t know.

    As for each sex’s success, or lack of it, in school, that is a complex matter that may only partially be explained by thinking about changes that have come about in the culture generally about how men and women relate to one another. As a university professor, it is clear as a bell to me that among my students, most of the best are female. I’d say about 75% of my department’s winners of each semester’s top department prizes (e.g., research excellence award, top academic award, etc.) are women. Granted, across the country, about 60% of the students majoring in my field (communication) are female; in my department, I’d say the number of female majors is approaching 70 percent. (My university is about 60% female.)

    But those top students come by it honestly. That is, the top students are motivated, bright, hard-charging and serious of purpose. More females that I teach are that way than the males that I teach. The females tend to be better writers, come to my office for coaching much more than the men do, have insight into content during class discussion that the men tend not to. I do have many men who are in that same league, it’s just that the percentage of men who are is markedly smaller than the percentage of women who are. To put too much blame for this on factors other than a young man’s own choices is to unduly separate him from his choices.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus – I feel that your own direct experience as a professor only validates my off-the-cuff generalities and assumptions. The “Why’s” are worthy – perhaps – of an academic paper while I simply raise the questions!

  • Jenny

    Well interesting article. I know many men who are “scared” of their wives as in the ways you described above. Men like my father would be a dying breed – he is the opposite of what you described in nearly every way. Needless to say, my mother is not too pleased with him, either. Ah, the joys of marriages. I wouldn’t know, since I am a single woman with a fair share of my men who did not eventually become my husband, as I am never married. I would not like my man to fear me – a healthy dose of mad love will be enough – I would respect and admire a man much less if they feared their wives for those reasons you listed and most certainly would leave them. I think mutual respect and mutual admiration is very important in a loving, happy relationship. But I haven’t found that for myself yet so perhaps I am doing something wrong.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_tqzTBc9LAM:disqus – I would rather think that you just haven’t met the right man, yet!

  • tyler

    You should probably never leave the house again. The world is such a scary place for you.

  • Guest

    My wife is literally half my size, and it took me a long time to even realize I was afraid of her. Well I’n afraid of her but hi’m afraid of her emotions. During our wedding planning phase, she was so all over the place, happy, angry, frustrated, miserable ect. Every day was something different, I defiantly spent 6 months on egg-shells. Her emotions were not bad or un-called for, just a lot to handle, coupled with the fact that she is a perfectionist so I had to put in so much time for this stupid party. I was also constantly told what to do, including proposing. From proposal to wedding day I did what I was told the best I could. I didn’t feel like my opion counts, that what society says, I also didn’t care. If it were up to me it would have been very small, informal with some tack out.

    The experience, did something to me, I felt so bad for so long I just wanted to leave, not just her but everything. I felt like I had made a huge mistake but felt like everyone would judge me for not giving it a chance and also wasting $30,000. Day one of our marriage I would have left if I could have come up with a good enough excuse. Too bad were weren’t at war, not that I want that, but going off to die would have been an easy choice. I was tired of walking on egg shells, I was tired of being controlled, but I was so weak I couldn’t do or say anything. It took me many months of missery, becasue I think we just got used to the dynamic of master and slave, until one day she got in my face about how to cook something. I have been cooking since I was young and come from chefs, I know what do in the kitchen (she burns stuff and ruins my pots). I stopped yelled at her and walked out. We talked afterward and I explained how she was controlling and I immedialty felt so much better!!! Things are much better now, I still get flash backs when I get yelled at, but now sometime I do the yelling to, but mostly we are very happy.

    To anyone struggling remember you are a man, society has castrated you, they just taught you your nothing. You are big and strong, you are man and aloowed to act like one!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      GOOD for you!

      I agree with so much of what you said except one important thing – which you clearly learned given your ultimate action.

      WE are not victims unless we choose to be. NO ONE – other than a violent criminal – has any control over us unless we allow them to. WE are responsible for ourselves and when we let another make us feel bad about ourselves, it is OUR problem.