May 13, 2010

Insecure Husbands and Smothered Wives

Insecure Husbands and Smothered Wives
Successful Marriages Have a Balance in Power

Men and women approach life in different ways and marriage can reveal weaknesses and cause power struggles.
In years gone by, men were automatically considered the head of a marriage. They made the decisions and had the final say in everything. While this is still true in many cultures, western society has swung to the other extreme and many men and women are unsure of their roles in marriage.

In the book, Husbands who Won't Lead and Wives who Won't Follow, James Walker explains how this has brought about insecure husbands and smothered wives.

What are potential problems in marriage

Most problems arise as partners struggle for control in the relationship. This is normally most obvious in the early stages of marriage. People's actions are often modelled on what they saw in their parents' marriages and the resulting power struggles can be lethal to their relationship.

Smothered Women in marriage

A smothered woman is invariably married to a controlling man. While her husband may be satisfied by the way she keeps house, cares for the children and satisfies his sexual needs, he does not give her the emotional support she needs. James Walker says her ideas, thoughts, desires and inner needs are pushed aside and ignored.
Typically a controlling man will exercise control over everything in the house including the TV remote, the temperature of the electric blanket and the purchase of groceries. As a result, a woman loses her identity and becomes like an invisible cog in the machinery that keeps her husband's life running smoothly.

What creates insecure Husbands

Some men control and dominate because they came from a home that was run by females. They subconsciously remember their fathers as absent or emotionally removed and their mothers as domineering and in charge of all decision-making. In this situation, a man may lose respect for his father and spend his life ensuring that he does not end up in the same situation. This type of control is cover for insecurity and often extends to small insignificant matters.

How to work through power struggles in marriage

It is helpful if both partners are willing to go for counseling or at least discuss their problems with each other. James Walker says it can be useful to rank the control factor in a marriage on a scale of 1 to 10. The more control the higher the number.

For example an insecure man may score an 8 leaving his smothered wife with a score of 2. To try and correct the balance to an equal 5 each it is helpful to work through key areas in a marriage and assess the control levels. Here are some suggestions of things to consider:

  • Finances

  • Sex

  • Career

  • Child raising

  • Housework

In some areas a wife may need more control such as buying groceries, meal planning and child discipline. The husband may be better with finances and choosing a car.

Marriage is a partnership of two individuals. While the couple must learn to work together, it is important that they retain their own interests and ideas. A mutual balance of control will create an environment where both can thrive and give of their best to each other.

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