The Selfish, Lazy Husband Who Kept Blowing Off His Stressed Wife to Go on World War 2 Reenactments – Male Entitlement in Relationships: Why Women Divorce Men – and Churches and Culture Support This Male Entitlement
This may be the start of a series. I may do more posts like this as I come across more examples. I kind of already did a part one a couple of years ago (Part 1). This post was not the Part 2 I had in mind, not really.
The things this post covers pertains to one of my big pet peeves as related to men, dating, marriage, culture, church, and relationships.
First, here is the story, (and then below, I’ll analyze or comment why this bothers the hell out of me).
Over a year ago, I watched an episode of the TV show “Restaurant Impossible,” hosted by Chef Robert Irvine on Food Network.
This married couple owned a restaurant that was failing financially, so they had Chef Irvine come in to rescue their business.
I don’t remember all the details of the show, the couple, or their restaurant. I don’t remember their names or where they were located. I cannot recall if both the husband and wife wanted the business, or just the wife did, or what.
The wife was having a nervous breakdown from all the stress of being a restaurant owner. She was running all aspects of the restaurant by herself (with a small staff who helped cook), but the vast majority of the responsibility for the restaurant was on her shoulders.
Although the wife kept begging her spouse to help her, because she was at a breaking point, he would not help her. He would sort of promise or act like he agreed to coming in more often to help, but he would bail on her.
If I am not mistaken, the husband did not hold down a regular job at this time. I think he had quit his regular “9 to 5” job to be in the food business with the wife.
However, the idiot (the husband) spent all his free time chasing down his passions and hobbies, which included stuff like parachuting out of planes on weekends with other men as part of a World War 2 para-trooper re-enactment group, and I think the guy was also part of a barber shop singing quartet the rest of the time, or something.
By the way, this couple, IIRC,
(I.I.R.C. stands for IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY),
appeared to be in their 40s or 50s.
We are not talking about a 22 year old man. I can kind of understand a 22 year old married man being too dumb, immature, and short-sighted to see how him bailing on his wife impacts her, but this couple was older.
These were not two 20-somethings. The husband was old enough to know better.
Anyway, even though the husband promised he’d start participating more in helping the wife with the restaurant, he would instead skip out on her to go hang with his buddies jumping out of planes.
During the course of filming this show, the wife explained all this to Chef Irvine.
She said she felt ignored by her husband, and that her spouse kept ditching her with helping at the business to go run off and “have fun” with his male friends. She said she would have to fold the restaurant, as she could not take the stress any longer.
Irvine then sat down with the couple, and Irvine told the husband – whom I’ll call “Bob” (because I can’t recall his name) – that he, Bob, had to start showing his ass up to the restaurant to help his wife, because his wife was falling apart.
As the show progressed, IIRC, the husband, Bob, skipped out for more Civil War re-enactments, or whatever the hell he did for fun, when he was supposed to be getting his ass down to the restaurant to help his wife out.
So, they had another meeting or two with Irvine over the course of this show where Irvine totally chewed Bob out.
The wife was really falling apart during one of these meetings – she was crying really hard and so forth. She was telling Bob in no uncertain terms,
“I don’t think you get it. I cannot take any more of this. I can’t do it alone. If you don’t start helping, we are not only losing the biz, but I may leave you too.”
Bob, meanwhile, had very flat affect – dude showed little to no emotion in about every confrontation with his wife and Irvine, which I found very strange.
In tears, the wife explained to Irvine that she told Bob many times she was falling apart, but the jerk-face kept running off to have fun with his male buddies jumping out of planes.
She said she even tried to simplify things for Bob by making lists of stuff she wanted him to do at the restaurant (and she would take care of the rest), and it was not even a long list.
Despite the fact she was taking all these steps to make it easier for Bob to participate, Bob was still bailing on her to go hang out with his friends.
They had to have one or two more meetings on this show where Irvine laid down the law with Bob the spouse, because Bob was still blowing off the wife to go hang with the pals, and Irvine was like,
“Buddy, do you not effing get it. Are you blind. Your wife is having a nervous break down. Tears are streaming down her face as she’s describing all this to me. She can’t be any more clear that she NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT. Stop being a little boy and bailing on her to go jump from planes with your friends. She needs you HERE to help out. You will lose her and the restaurant if you don’t stop putzing around.”
Irvine was so angry with Bob he seemed to turn red in the face, and I was expecting (and hoping) Irvine would punch Bob.
Eventually, by the end of the show, Bob did skip a para-trooper reenactment to come to the restaurant to help his wife out (if I recall right). FINALLY. The selfish jerk-face FINALLY put his priorities into the correct order: he put the wife above his own selfish, trivial pursuits.
Can anyone reading this say that had the wife divorced Bob it would’ve come as a shock?
But, many men are oblivious and stupid about this.
If they were in Bob’s place, and the wife said, “I’m outta here, here’s the divorce papers,” they would be crying over a beer to their male peers, “I don’t get it!! I never saw it coming. I can’t believe Hilda is divorcing me. And I was so good to Hilda.”
This is a pattern I have seen many times over my life. A pattern by men.
And both secular and church culture conditions men to be this way, and the conditioning and propaganda culture and churches pump out justifies, excuses, encourages this behavior.
Men use and exploit women (sexually, financially, or in other ways), women put up with it until they can’t stand any more, and they eventually break up with or divorce the selfish jerk-face man.
Then the selfish jerk faces go online, join M.R.A.- type groups, and whine and bitch about how women initiate divorce more than men do.
These men sometimes post this, “whoa is me, women are so awful, we mens have the life and dating and marriage so hard, the womens gots the life so easy!!” dreck under every article about feminism on various forums and sites.
These men are totally oblivious to the fact that it is their very selfish, entitled, and/or negligent (and sometimes abusive) behavior which drives a woman away, even to the point of filing for divorce.
No woman is going to stay with a selfish jerk-hole of a man indefinitely, no matter WHAT her church teaches on marriage, a woman’s role, or divorce. Every woman has her breaking point, and it varies from woman to woman.
If your wife divorced you, go look in the mirror. There may be a chance YOU and your actions are the reasons she left you.
Putting emotional, physical, and other forms of abuse aside (as that is not the purpose of this post),
-if you repeatedly take your wife (or girl friend) for granted, if you stop “wooing” her (you no longer take her on dates, bring her flowers and so on),
-if you never pitch in at home with housework, especially if she has repeatedly told you 100 times that she is at the breaking point at having to take on more than her fair share of heavy lifting in the relationship –
-don’t sit there and act like a sexist, whiny cry-baby on M.R.A. or anti-feminist forums about how your wife done you wrong, and you never saw the divorce coming, and woman are so complicated, women are so hard to please, and women are so ungrateful.
Please. Wake up.
Most women will try to communicate with you a 100,000 billion times leading up to the break-up before they actually dump you.
Women will give you many a chance to address what problems they bring up – but most of you men TUNE THEM OUT because you are TOO LAZY (or SELFISH) to want to WORK ON the relationship.
You men LIKE the status quo in relationships because change requires hard work on your part.
Most women will give you 345,678 million chances to make things right in the months leading up to a break up. They will bluntly let you know they are unhappy, and they will at times drop hints.
But most men just want to kick back in their boxer briefs, crack open a beer, and watch football when they get home. They make no effort to rectify things, or they may try to change, but only a half-assed attempt for two weeks at the most, before they revert back to the same old, same old.
Most men do NOT want to work on the relationship, spend time with the wife and/or do what the wife is begging them to do (such as helping more with the kids, doing more housework, take out the trash without having to remind you, whatever).
These types of men have a lot of nerve complaining or crying about women divorcing them, when their inattention, selfishness, or apathy are the very reasons these women divorced them to start with.
SECULAR AND CHURCH CULTURE CONTRIBUTES
Unfortunately, a lot of secular culture and church teachings (especially under the heading of “Christian gender complementarianism”) conditions men from the time they are boys to think girls and woman are mere accessories to men, ones who lack needs of their own and who exist only to meet the needs of men.
I don’t care what your gender complementarian church or favorite gender complementarian group or pastor (C.B.M.W., Mark Driscoll, John Piper, John MacArthur, whomever) is teaching you – they may cherry pick and misinterpret a few Bible verses and re-define terms such as “help-meet” and “submission” to mean,
“woman is doormat to a man, woman is at a man’s bidding per God’s design, and woman’s only purpose in life is to help the man meet his goals and keep him happy,”
but the stone cold reality is that men and women are actually pretty similar, and following that sort of bogus Christian teaching will lead to a woman wanting out of the relationship sooner or later.
As to men and woman having a lot in common (which is not what complementarians teach; they act as though all men are from Mars, all women are from Venus – but both men and women are from Earth):
This means, women have many to most of the same exact desires and needs that men do. Women want and/or need love, respect, sex, encouragement, purpose in life, consideration, and empathy.
That means, among other things, a woman would appreciate a man who helps her with housework. A woman would want, need, or appreciate things such as…
A man who takes her out to dinner to celebrate when she comes home to say she got a promotion at her job. A man who will cheer her up and reassure her she is still great if she comes home a little down because she was passed over for the promotion at work for another person. A husband who cooks dinner when the wife gets home and is too exhausted to do much of anything.
I could go on and on, but you should get the idea.
KERRY SHOOK, MARK GUNGOR, AND OTHER SUGAR COATERS
Please note: some complementarian pastors and Christian marital pontificators, such as a Kerry Shook or a Mark Gungor, will soft pedal these views. Their presentation of gender differences are still rooted in untrue, unbiblical stereotypes that will leave women frustrated and still wanting out of a marriage. A gender stereotype carried out tenderly with compassion is still a stereotype.
If you, the man, are NOT meeting a woman’s needs, and are not even attempting to, your girlfriend or wife WILL eventually dump you.
If, in the back of your mind, you are justifying you ignoring your wife’s needs and wants by saying to yourself,
“But Christian pastor Joe Bob says during his sermons and in his books that the Bible says women were put here to meet a man’s needs, women only want men to read them love poetry and give them the occasional emotional warm and fuzzy – but the bulk of relationship happiness and keeping the marriage going falls on the woman’s shoulders, and my wife’s design and purpose is to SUPPORT ME…”
You are on treacherous ground. Your wife WILL divorce you.
CAUTION: THE SUGAR COATERS
By the way, this can still hold true in the case of the pastors who “sugar coat” these issues.
These kinder, gentler complementarian pastors and marriage counselors will say, “Oh yes, we make sure to tell the men in our audience that women have needs, and that the man should meet the woman’s needs.”
However, what this usually comes down to are needs defined by what men assume women need and want, which are, in turn, generally fueled by gender stereotypes – and not based upon what real life women actually want and need and find useful.
For example, many of these softer complementarian pastors, such as Jimmy Evans or Kerry Shook, will tell men in their audiences that women are “more emotional” and want men to do things for them, such as run them bubble baths and weep with them as they observe pretty sun sets together.
Look, your wife or girfriend might appreciate you running a hot bath for her and that type of thing. There is a grain of truth in that.
However, this sort of teaching is patronizing to women and still manages to overlook their TRUE needs, most of which are IDENTICAL to a man’s.
For example. Let’s say you and your wife each get home separately after a long, hard day of work: why don’t YOU cook dinner for the both of you and why don’t YOU take out the trash without your wife having to ask, demand, beg, or cajole you into it? That sort of thing.
Meeting a woman’s needs is not merely capitulating to some pink-colored stereotypes of reading poetry to a woman. It goes beyond that to not being a selfish lazy ass and so forth.
Ignore Pastor Joe Bob and other celebrity Christian hacks who publish books and posts about marriage and gender roles and trust blogger Christian Pundit on this one.
I’m dealing with HOW THINGS ARE and how women REALLY think and react – not how pastor Joe Bob wrongly interprets the Bible to suit how he WISHES that is how women are and how women will behave.
Do not listen to Christian preachers or bloggers who tell you that God designed women to want and need “waiting on a man” or “being submissive to a husband.”
Women do not in reality, contrary to what you hear in secular culture, and certainly not in conservative Christian culture under gender complementarian or Christian patriarchal teaching, find meaning, purpose, fulfillment, and happiness in repressing all their needs and wants to be a wife and mother, and all to be at the beck and call of a man.
Women have their own goals, dreams, and identities apart from a boyfriend, husband, or taking care of children. Ignore that reality to your own peril if you are a married man or a man with a girlfriend.
Unfortunately, a lot of Christian women buy into this nonsense, too, at least for awhile, but many of them “wake up” from this falsity after so many years.
I bought into this complementarianism stuff for many years. I was engaged for several years to a man while I was a complementarian.
During my relationship with this man (which lasted a few years), I repressed all my needs and desires because I was taught that a woman should only care about a man’s needs. I was taught it was selfish for me to get my own needs met.
What happened after several years of this, where I repressed MY needs and wants but catered only to my fiance, is that I snapped.
I wrote more about my experience with this guy here:
After YEARS of repressing my needs, and my ex clearly did not give a damn about meeting my needs, I grew tired of it, I grew resentful, so I left the guy. I dumped him. I was hurt that I was being used.
Here I was, running around giving it my all to make my ex happy and be supportive of him in his career and so forth, but he never returned those gestures to me.
So, you can teach a girl or woman that it’s “God’s design” for her to “enjoy” or “find contentment in” serving and submitting to a man, but in all honesty, that’s not how real life works out.
Women are more than an accessory to a man – but secular and church culture keeps advancing this idea that women are but mere props to a man. Under these stereotypes and religious teachings, the man is the “star” of the movie, but women are just the co-star or “side kick”.
The truth is, Women have dreams, goals, and needs of our own.
We Women were not designed by God to find happiness, meaning, and contentment by repressing our own needs and wants, or only or primarily by serving a man, or by being a wife or mother.
(This is not to say a woman can never find any joy in being a wife and mother at all – but that is not the whole story, and not for most women.
Further, being happy and content as a SAHM (Stay At Home Wife / Mother) is heavily contingent on the SAHM in question being married to a non-abusive, supportive, highly compatible man who earns a hell of a lot of money.
Also, some women never marry and never have children, so obviously, such women would be SOL -“sh*t out of luck”- if this sexist stereotype were true.
Obviously, the God of the Bible is not going to set up a system where-by the ONLY types of women who would meet the criteria to be happy and have purpose in life are married mothers, as that would alienate widowed women, divorced women, infertile women, and so forth.)
At any rate, I see a lot of churches and Christians misinterpret and abuse Bible verses to make women miserable and to teach men that God wants women to be miserable and under male rule, such as the one verse in Genesis in the KJV that translates the word meaning ‘strong, compatible partner’ to “help meet.”
The term “help meet” or “help mate” is thus translated in the minds of American, Christian readers to something meaning,
“Stay- at- home June Cleaver woman who meets the husband’s every whim, cooks pot roasts for him, does all the cooking and cleaning, never asks him to bother with meeting her needs.”
This, however, is not at all what Genesis or other biblical books are teaching about women or marriage.
That Christians keep teaching men that women were only put here to “help” men, which is further twisted to mean, “women are here only to meet YOUR needs, men!” apparently leads to a lot of men thinking (I’m basing this on these selfish patterns I see in men),
“Women do not have needs. All I needs to do is find me a woman, slap a ring on her finger, and OOooo-EEEE, she will meet MY every need, I don’t have to meet hers. I can sit back in my LAZ-Y-BOY recliner while she keeps bringing me new beer. I can be a lazy bastard.”
And that right there is a recipe for a wife divorcing you. (Or for your girlfriend dumping you, if it’s a dating relationship.)
The only question is, the only variable is, not IF your wife will divorce you, but WHEN.
In other words: What is your wife’s toleration limit for this selfish nonsense that has been drilled into your head by secular society and preachers in the pulpit: will she divorce your selfish ass after five years? Ten? Twenty? It depends on the individual woman’s breaking point. But do expect a divorce some day.
I’d also expect a woman in such a marriage to possibly have an affair.
After so many years of her husband taking her for granted, plopping his ass down on the sofa to watch TV instead of occasionally taking her to dinner once in awhile and helping with childcare (if they have kids), or cleaning dirty laundry, and making her feel valued, wanted, and sexy, you can expect her to start up a fling with the first half-way decent man to flirt her up.
Secular culture and churches that promote “male headship” (under gender complementarian views) are doing married American couples a big disservice by setting up these unrealistic, untrue expectations in men regarding women, marriage, and relationships.
Some women are brainwashed into playing along with it for a while, and they give it an honest attempt, but after a few years of it, most women will want out and call it quits.
I have known so many women over my life – family, friends, women I see on TV like the one that was married to Bob in the “Restaurant Impossible” episode – who are worn out, at their wit’s end, being married to men who won’t help pay the bills, or who won’t lift a finger (consistently) to help out with housework and so on.
I’ve seen so many examples of men who are oblivious, or down-right old fashioned selfish, who have no interest in encouraging or assisting their wives, girlfriends, and female friends, but they expect women (especially wives or girlfriends) to be supportive of them.
Men really do get taught through social conditioning (and this goes on in churches) that little is expected of them in relationships with women.
And women, once they’re dating a guy like this, eventually say,
“Enough is enough. I’m moving on from this User-Loser to find a man who will not take me for granted, who will pull his share of the relationship workload and all the other responsibilities. I’m breaking up with this guy. I am divorcing this guy.”
Gender complementarians need to be teaching that sort of thing, not the whole false paradigm that, “God created women to “help” men!,” because all this false teaching does is ruin marriages or dating relationships sooner or later – there are too many false expectations that don’t pan out In Real Life in complementarian teachings about marriage and how God supposedly designed women to be.
It really is amazing the amount of entitlement that most men have (I’ve seen it often, it’s quite common), and that so many men are content to be lazy or selfish and chase after their hobbies or goals, even to the point they will allow a relationship to deteriorate.
If you’re a man, and you don’t want your wife to divorce you (or your girlfriend to dump you), one way to decrease those divorce or break up odds: start paying attention to HER needs, goals, and wants and actually take steps to meet them, instead of ignoring her needs, or expecting her to wait on YOU all the time and to support YOU.
This TV episode of Bob the husband repeatedly brushing off his wife and ignoring HER NEEDS and WANTS and GOALS (in spite of her clearly having a mental breakdown, her constantly in tears, and melting down in front of him) so he can go and play-act “war games” with his male buddies is a case in point of male entitlement at the expense of the women in their lives (which leads to divorce), and I’ve seen this so often from so many men over my life.
And most men still don’t get it.
I still see so many men boo-hooing or kvetching online or TV about how their wife divorcing them was “out of left field” and it “took them by surprise.”
I see a secular and church culture perpetuating this selfish male behavior, and teaching or stereotyping false views about female wants and female perspectives about life and marriage, which only aids in driving women away from men who are into all this.
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