See Alice, and some other second thing.

I am certain this has been posited somewhere before. I seem to recall the famous Minter marriage topic brushing up against it, but not painting broadly. That guy was very open about his self-love and the efficacy of same, and if I recall concluding that porn and self indulgence had cost him, uh, some rigidity or something along those lines. While likely true it was an unfortunate nod to conventional wisdom that the decline in male sexual capability with age is not at all related to the partner, but to the fact that the man is most likely staying up late with Lucy Laptop, Tracy Tablet, and Phoebe Phone…exhausting himself in a menage a trois that no Luddite could possibly enjoy.

Or not. Stay with me as I swerve.

I raised the subject of a couple, friends of my family, who are in the death rattle of their marriage. I explained that the man is like a released hostage, not elated at the family being destroyed, rather he is content in the fact that this 27 year union is going to end, not if….and he knows when. He is not crestfallen, weepy, or morose. He is a bit pissed off.

He spoke to me last evening and still sounds great. He shared some bitter wife anecdotes that I explained to him come from the template. One was that he spent a full day and night  at her house while she was out of town, cleaned, mowed, and did some work on her bed because she has an injured back. When she returned he was still there. She made no acknowledgement of any of the work.

As he left he told her that he had done some work on the supports under her bed and that he had slept on it himself (he has had five back surgeries) and thinks it will help her back.

She followed him to his car and asked, “So you slept in the bed?”. Him: “Um, sure, yea, where else would I sleep?

She said, “That’s just weird and creepy”.

I don’t know about you but that kind of thing gets me exercised. More, its a glimpse into how her bed has likely been for years.

All of that for some reason sent me to sleep last evening with images of two claw foot bathtubs on a hill. Well, not really. But it did make me wonder if the absurd amount of Cialis sold in the US has a tiny bit to do with that happens, down to and including nothing,  in her bed(s) collectively. When mercy comes runnin’ and she gives her thoughts to England for her man is it any wonder he needs a pharmaceutical splint?


12 thoughts on “See Alice, and some other second thing.

  1. It gets me exercised too.

    Edith Entitlement has done a lot more for boosting sales of those pharmaceuticals than Lucy Laptop ever will. Does she have the obligatory “I’m the Princess” license plate or is she more minimalist and prefers not to advertise her inner machinations?

    I suspect her expectations of him will change very little after the official change of status takes place on Facebook. He will still be Peter Packmule, but with slightly greater latitude to decline when princess needs a knight.

  2. These are not people of means by any stretch. They have struggled financially for the duration of the marriage. They have truly never had excess or extra, losing their tiny home to bankruptcy, defaulting on rents on other homes, driving barely operational vehicles, etc. We have often helped them and kept them afloat. They cannot afford two households….its a matter of arithmetic. But when has that stopped any woman who wants to erase the jerk from the JC Penny Studio 8×10 on the side board.

  3. There are clearly women who would rather live alone than submit to a man. When they get what they say they want, they can then complain of being lonely – consider that a bonus.

    There are probably a lot of reasons for sales of drugs such as Cialis – various physical issues (overweight, circulatory problems, decline in Testosterone, etc.) but surely the unmentioned pachyderm in the room is really related to contentious women. And “starfish” submission isn’t really anything more than passive-aggressive contention.

    A friend who was divorced back in Nov. 2013 was in a situation that may have been similar. I’ve talked to him since then, and he’s living in an even more modest situation than before, but observed that coming to his dwelling and not walking in the front door on eggshells has proven to be a much more pleasant experience than he expected. It would not surprise me if he told me his blood pressure has dropped 10 points. And to be reallly crass, his sex life has likely not changed one bit in the last couple of years.

  4. I suspect that most men care about the opinion of their wife, because they desire her respect. Contempt slowly but surely erodes that care away, until in time a man in self defense just does not give two hoots what she thinks or says. At that point his “wife goggles” fail, and he sees her as he would see any other women of that age and condition, with predictable resutls.

    Or to put it another way, if there was a drug called RespecTium with good results in women it would likely work even better than Cialis…

  5. I have been gone a while–have had some serious health issues that made computer use difficult, having regular eye treatments.

    Anyway: I think that there was a time when men and women’s roles were more outlined clearly, and not so blurred or even nonexistent as now, and so in a way each had their own province. Men at times had to play up to women, and vice versa. But now women do not technically need men for men’s work that happens in their sight. (while they do need a lot of the intensive labour jobs that mostly men perform, the average woman never sees military duties, rig work, minIng, other work that makes it possible to have a civilization in the first place)

    Without that, women frankly don’t need the average man as much as the average man needs her. And I don’t think most women even like men that much. They often talk about men as though they are conveniences or inconveniences but not people they actually care about. Which makes sense–the average person’s life, focused in the service oriented economy in the West, is wrapped up in what has become work that women are better suited in many ways to perform, certainly in the current environment, where empathy is valued over integrity and intent (or at least imagined intent) is more important than truth.

  6. Sojscribe

    I was wondering where you’d gotten to and hope the issue is reconciled. It does boil down to men not being needed, at least that’s what this the wife I reference perceives.

    Its easy to see how untrue it is. She is perhaps the most empathy led wife Ive ever known. The man adapted to it and became a sort of male analog of it. I used to describe their visits to our home in another city after we left the one where our bonds formed. We (the couples) had three coincident aged little children. This isn’t to suggest we had the best parenting balance, only to say ours was very different. I would joke that the women would , upon hearing a child was cold, start destroying furniture to build a bonfire, or a hungry child would be met with a repast created from pretty much everything available in pantry and fridge (the food one is not a huge exaggeration). The dad would speak in a whiny furrowed brow tone to the kids about everything, until they were older teens.

    His and my connection weakened during those years because he was not unlike talking to a wife who wanted to share emotionally derived concerns or constantly share woeful tales of demise about folks I didn’t even know. Writing this made me realize he has been nothing like that the past couple of months. Normal inflection, normal man topics.

    I dont think its well understood just how a man’s self is wrung out of him by 24/7 empathy seeking.

  7. I think there’s a simple reason for that. While both men and women can respnd to empathy, at a certain point men need clarity. Like “this is what I am supposed to do, these are the steps by which I can achieve it.” Where women seem to get more invested the more empathy there is, men seem to get more tired and frustrated.

    In the effort to make women feel more generally included in public life, our language and sense of propriety has shifted. In empathy language, what you SEEM to be saying and meaning by what you are doing is in some ways far more important than what you are ACTUALLY doing. Like when talking to a troubled couple I know, I saw a typical example of this. The wife would say “Can you do this with me?” The guy says, “Okay.” She then proceeds to want to talk about why she wants to for half an hour, pursuing the sense that he really wants to. I noticed his exasperation, and pointed out that generally he’s a man of his word, so if he says “Okay, I’ll do it,” he will do it to the best of hisability. She said “But I don’t know how he feels about it!” And I said, “He is willing to do it beause he loves you. That’s how it is for most men. That is his expression of love, not feeling what you feel.” This was so alien to her I might as well hvae been saying, “Gorbachev sings tractors: turnip! Buttocks!”

    So what I finally did was explain to her that this is how men show love to one another. They may listen to one another’s troubles or talk about them, but ultimately it is about what we will do for onather, even if it is just speech or witing. This was genuinely baffling to her, and I think that explains a lot.

    When a woman is still doing all the things generally in her marriage, to a man that IS love. It’s not that he’s being stupid or anything–to a guy someone else having your back and standing by you means devotion.

  8. I thought the idea behind doing a good deed was not to expect any reward for it. Are you guys Christians or atheists?

    [“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

    “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”]

    (Matthew 6:1-4)

  9. These are not people of means by any stretch. They have struggled financially for the duration of the marriage. They have truly never had excess or extra, losing their tiny home to bankruptcy, defaulting on rents on other homes, driving barely operational vehicles, etc.

    There’s a saying that goes “I can do bad all by myself” that I’ve heard used by women in these situations. It means that if she’s going to be poor and miserable anyway then she’d might as well be single and not have the burden of a husband who can’t provide. A twisted kind of logic, but there it is.

  10. Men are idiots. No wonder you guys are posting here. Enjoy ….yourselves. Eww! Pardon me while I gag.

  11. By the way, I am very married and very well provided for materially. Far beyond the capacity of any of you. That is the part you men can not possibly understand. Women need real men. Not just anyone who can bring in a paycheck…and any idiot can do that. What you lack is a soul. Yes, you are empty, totally worthless. You truly have zero clue. So sad for your mommy.

  12. I would have confronted her about her lack of gratitude without showing the slightest regret about my labors. “You saw the mowed lawn, the cleaned house, and the fixed bed, but all you can say is that it is “creepy” that I slept in the bed I fixed for you. What is so wrong with you that you can’t manage a Thank You?”

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