Standard NAWALT disclaimer. That issued, let’s proceed to discuss the women way too many men have to deal with. PE
Are women purely emotional, irrational human beings who cannot help but be confounded by logic? Or is there a secret wisdom in their emotions from which men can learn?
We are going to start looking at that today in the first of a two-part series on woman and emotionalism.
Women are emotional creatures compared to men. It’s not PC to say that, along with a lot of other truths that people would prefer we all pretend were just inaccurate stereotypes.
I’ve had some men tell me that they thought that it wasn’t true. These are almost always the same men who rail against the gender wage gap, rape culture, and male privilege. I have had female feminists, too, tell me that it wasn’t true, but then again they usually had spit flying out of their mouths and were pounding a desk when they were saying it, so there’s that.
Most women are, in fact, dominated by feelings over intellect. They are often, and especially while in relationship conflict, irrational, residing in an emotional carnival, either riding the moody-go-round or standing in line to get on.
During interpersonal struggles, they have an unfortunate tendency to take issue with reality. They get offended by common sense and fight pointless battles against reason on their haphazard way to solving problems by creating more of them.
This presents a fundamental problem for men. How do you resolve problems with someone who is making your problems have puppies every time they open their mouth? How do you reason with the unreasonable?
There is an abundance of advice out there, allegedly instructing men on the most constructive way to handle the emotive side of their female partners. Nearly all of it is bad.
Consider what most pundits have to say about your problems with emotionally labile women. The number one suggestion, generally, is that you have to listen to your wife’s or girlfriend’s feelings. I am sure that is very cutting edge. I am just positive that you have never heard anyone tell you that you need to listen to and validate a woman’s feelings.
We see this time and time again. We are hammered with the idea that there is some secret to happiness hidden in standing ready to be the captive audience for a woman’s feelings, regardless of the circumstances and regardless of what she is saying.
Here’s the problem. None of this bullshit gets to the heart of things. These gurus aren’t here to tell you how to deal with women’s emotional orientation; they are just telling you different ways and reasons to put up with it in a way that keeps her, and only her, at the very center of the relationship universe. All of it, every last bit, is about making her feelings the alpha and omega of the relationship focus.
In short, they are advising you to be an active participant in her infantilization, and to prevent your self-respect from creating any pressure on her to woman up and be able to handle life without hugging a stuffed animal while you gently rub her back and say, “I feel your pain.”
The popular idea of how to deal with emotional women is to kowtow to them.
That idea, sadly the gold standard for most modern relationship advice, is driven by the mediocrity of low expectation and the assumption that your female counterpart is emotionally retarded. Personally, I can’t think of anything more insulting to me or my partner.
The only antidote to this system, which I call an idiocracy, requires a rethinking of some very faulty but common assumptions.
Dwelling on feelings, especially the irrational kind that tend to get worse when you point to the irrationality, are not a healthy emotional catharsis for women. They are not a viable communication tool that just needs your loving, patient, attentive ears to work.
What they are in reality is partially digested, petty life disappointments, which she vomits on the living room floor so that you will have to be extremely careful where you step.
Emotional reasoning is not just a woman’s shortcoming. It is a woman’s weapon to gain the upper hand in almost any relationship. By rolling in a train car full of irrational anger, concocted offense or spurious suspicions about your character or your actions, she is assured of putting you on the defensive and having her emotional state take primacy in everything going on between you.
She also uses this tactic to paint a target directly on your back.
She gains 10 pounds, and suddenly she has a lot of feelings about whether you are faithful. She overspends then gets feelings about whether you should be making more money. She has a shit day at work, then suddenly remembers something you may or may not have said or done three years earlier and decides that she is just now getting around to expressing her displeasure with you.
That is what most men end up dealing with, and that is the dirty little secret that most people giving so-called relationship advice won’t bring up when they are wagging fingers and telling men they need to listen to their women’s feelings, without judging, criticizing or trying to fix them.
Being a crazy woman works because being a normal man, you are likely to turn somersaults trying to restore her sanity. If helping her regain her sanity is one of your priorities, it may help you to notice that her sanity usually returns when you take blame for whatever she wants you to, or as soon as she gets her way about whatever it was she wanted.
The advice to sit there like a chump and say “tell me more about your feelings” translates to nothing less than “Please smash me on the head with that hammer a few more times. My head is not bloody enough.”
If you want a life as a pincushion and emotional doormat, then by all means, deify your woman’s emotions and trust there is some grand wisdom in them, even when she is acting like a four-year-old pissed off because the candy jar is out of reach.
After all, it is your life, and no one has a gun to your head.
Now, am I saying don’t listen to a woman’s feelings? Of course not. I am saying, however, that if you have a single clue about what is good for you, you will put a limit on it.
When men have a bad day at work, what you will likely to hear is something like, “My day sucked. Sometimes I want to strangle my boss.” And then it is over. Time to crack open a beer and unwind, usually talking about nothing at all, but certainly not talking about their shitty boss.
When women have a bad day, what you are likely to hear is two hours of her droning like bagpipes about how Wanda in accounting is a bitch. You have heard the same bellowing a dozen times before. It is starting to sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, but alas, women’s feelings are sacred, and it is your by god job, as a real man, to indulge her because she can’t grow up and quit obsessing on people she doesn’t like.
With this in mind, what they say about women not wanting you to fix their problems is usually bullshit but is sometimes true. When the problem, at least in her mind, is you, which it almost always is when dealing with her feelings, you can bet your ass she wants you to fix it, even if it kills you in the process, and even if the problem is really her.
When the problem is not you, which is admittedly rare, she does not want you to fix it for her.
She doesn’t want you to fix it because then she would have to shut up or find something else to talk about. What she wants is for you to set aside everything (including any attempts you are making to decompress from your day) and listen to her gush out her feelings du jour until she wears herself out talking.
If you make the mistake of getting tired of that, then you are a bad partner. Then she will need to talk about her feelings about you.
In short, it is all about control. It is all about the world revolving around her. Her day, her feelings, her issues. Your job is to treat her like an emotional toddler and sponge that crap up till she is satisfied that the moon and stars once again revolve around her.
It’s a shit way to live for any man who possesses an ounce of self-respect. But of course, most men specialize in living shit lives with a highly negotiable policy on self-respect.
Those men interested in something else, however, have options.
The best thing for life problems like this is almost always preventative medicine. I estimate, in ways that are embarrassingly unscientific, that there is about 20% of the female population who process emotions in a more masculine way.
Perhaps it has something to do with in utero testosterone flooding. Maybe it is just the luck of the draw, but there is a population of women who don’t need a feelings marathon every time the grocery store clerk is rude to them, or because Wanda in accounting managed to hook some guy in senior management who drives a Porsche.
Or because, God forbid, you’re not perfect and sometimes prove it.
And yes, by the way, I am saying that at least 80% of women are emotional reasoners, and in their raw state are unfit for intimacy, consistent communication, problem-solving or being anything other than a life sucking pain in the ass — especially given the modern social climate.
Self-obsession and the insatiable need for an emotional repository in Levis is an obvious trait in those afflicted. It even shows itself in the honeymoon period, during which almost all women will bring you some crises, then time how long you remain transfixed on “being present,” which is another way of saying being glued to her emotional story as though it was an episode of Game of Thrones.
If she’s not wearing the t-shirt that says “less you, more me,” it’s probably because she’s worn it out. But it may be because she does not fit the standard female mold in emotional terms.
If you don’t want that emotional toddler a year into a relationship, don’t start out by getting involved with one.
There are ways, however, to reduce the chronicity and severity of some of the remaining 80% of women. It’s a little bloody and a little brutal, but it is doable except for those at the Mia Farrow end of the emotionally whacko spectrum.
I will be talking about that in part 2.