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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The emotional man double standard

By Samson

We touched on the most popular double standard between men and women not long ago, but how about when it leans in the woman's favor? Yes ladies, some things do swing your way.

I remember a while ago my wife came upon a bunch of unforseen expenses all at once. Needless to say, it was a stressful time. I knew eventually we'd see our way out of the hole, but it would take some sacrifice and we were going to have go through some bad times before the good showed up.

Now I have a very relaxed demeanor, so my jokes tend to get lost in translation sometimes. This particular time, the joke wasn't caught, nor was it funny... Why? Because I'm a man.

Samson: I don't know what we're going to do... *Said in playful mock sadness/desperation*

Wife: What?! Don't say that!

Samson: Huh?

Wife: *Goes into panic mode and talks about how we have to be positive*

Now this is what I mean. In addition to my day job and side endeavors, my other occupation is full-time husband. A good percentage of my husband duty is to be a shoulder to cry on and ear to complain to, all the while going against my natural instinct and remembering the unwritten rules:

1. Don't fix her problems for her
2. Let her vent without interjecting too much solution oriented conversation
3. Just listen

This set of rules makes zero sense to me, but as a husband (and I'm sure other husbands or long-time boyfriends can vouch), I had to learn that it's the reality of surviving life with a woman. Be the rock without being the fixer. It's not right or wrong, it just is.

On to that double standard part...

So I'm faced with a crisis, and when I "break character" and so much as JOKE about showing my weakness, I'm not allowed. It's not fair, but neither is life. But let's break down what really happened.

She got upset not because I showed weakness (though it was supposed to be a joke...), she got mad because I showed weakness when it was time for me to be the man. All men, women and children have weak moments. But because she perceived me to be having one at that moment, she panicked. You can't have two people freaking out at the same time. She was worried, so when she thought I was just as worried or worst, MORE worried, it scared the Bejeesus out of her. So she "whipped me into shape" and back into my default role.

So the golden double standard rule of the day is that a man is allowed to have weak moments, but not nearly as often as your woman, and not when it counts.

In my relationship, I share feelings, cry and vent when I feel the need, but that ratio has to be about 1 time for every 50 times she does. It's not because I'm trying to "be a man" or play tough, I just naturally don't have those needs as often as she does. Most men are this way.

So while women "aren't allowed" to slut it up and retain the same level of attractiveness, a man isn't allowed to be as emotionally needy (for lack of a better term) as the average woman. Neither of these are fair, but they're reality.


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