I brought this up over at “CF”. Where it’s not permissable to bring up the “S” word. I’ll post it as I did there, much fun ensued:
Thinking about what attracts me to my wife for the last several days has lead me to some different thoughts. In some ways I suppose this could even be seen as egalitarian in some ways. There are some things I don’t care a lot about; where to go out to eat, where to go for a walk or bike-ride, most of the time I’m just glad to be spending time with my wife and we can do what she likes. What we like as far as movies is divergent but we can usually come to an agreement, I’ll even watch a “chick-flick” while she infrequently watches the things I like, that’s all fine.*
There are some things for me that are deal breakers. I can’t even really begin to describe them but I know them when I see them. Certain areas of inflexibility which have the general effect of making me shrug and go into “I have a headache” mode. Being bossed around, having my work underappreciated, or constant “attitude” invariably has this effect. If my wife is constantly quibbling over terms, negotiating for a better deal with me, constantly bargaining or playing games of brinksmanship, I start losing interest really fast.*Turn my natural desire to please her along with my natural desire for her “intimate companionship” into a bargaining chip in that negotiation and I end up feeling like a beat down animal who performs tricks for sexual favors, demeaning everyone. Thankfully my wife hasn’t often resorted to this type of thing, because in the end going along with it, I feel would disqualify me as a legitimate leader. Going along with this “domestication” only serves to destroy my capacities as a Godly man.*Maybe some think that makes me weak, but I get a sense of emasculation, a reduction of my masculinity when everything is open for debate all of the time. When my wife seeks to remove my role, my purpose, my ability and act of sacrifice to the marriage/family, I’m not attracted to her. I feel in a visceral sense that I am being attacked and see whatever the act as aggression. Not amazingly, I am not attracted to her when I feel this way. Take away what makes me special, the special contributions that I can provide, diminish the significance of those and I generally start feeling “meh” about the whole thing. I’m not needed or appreciated, I’m not special or significant…….*By not assigning a special significance to our spouse, we conserve to ourselves no special significance. If I can’t be special in masculine ways (or those ways are mocked or demeaned) how can anyone say with a straight face that feminine traits are in any way more special? What is to save us from a generic, robotic universal androgyny at that point? Nothing.*************************************
I generally don’t have this problem at all. But it’s hard not to see that dynamic from time to time. It’s what my friends and I call “the beast nature” and it evidences itself because people want to always assert their dominance. There is no such thing as egalitarianism in my opinion, everything is a power struggle until we surrender to God.
“When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.” (Louis Veuillot, also seen in Children of Dune)