Marriage and the Dissolution of Boys Night Out
Okay, here we go. I know what you're thinking ladies, another rant where I take the guys' side. I know how this looks. Especially considering my self proclamation of feminist ideologies. Really though. I'm not taking ANY real side here. I'm just addressing another 800 lb. gorilla sitting on that grape juice stain on the carpet of marriage in America. I can't help myself. The potatoes are burning on the bottom of the pot of stew, and someone HAS to stir it before it all goes to hell, and as my mother likes to tell me all too often, I'm a pot stirrer. I ruffle feathers. Well, someone has to. It's a hat I'll happily wear, even if it's black, and I'm tying someone to train tracks while doing it.
Why do men get married? I have asked my guy friends this question a LOT lately. Now, I get all sorts of answers, and usually nasty looks from their wives if they are within earshot. At which point I elaborate, and then the men look grateful, and the women become downright venomous.
So I pose the question here. Why would any man, EVER want to get married? Think about this for a moment ladies. As a single man, your husband has access to ALL of his money, unlimited rights to watching as many uninterrupted hours of any sporting events he may choose, unlimited rights to wearing his sweats and holey socks (and not showering, if that's his bag) all weekend long, no responsibilities to attend female functions (showers, weddings, your best friend's birthday party), not one second of nagging about the dishes or any other chores, and (most importantly) he DOES NOT HAVE TO ASK PERMISSION TO GO OUT WITH HIS FRIENDS.
Now, I realize that I am leaving a lot of other "bachelor perks" off this list, and for that I apologize. Really, though, this last one bothers me probably more than all the rest. I've already addressed other bad habits wives seem to acquire in previous blogs, but this whole "asking permission" to go out thing has been irking me more than a little bit lately. Ladies, once again I feel I must remind you; your husbands are not your children. They do not need your permission, clearance, or assistance in arranging their play dates. Seriously, why would any man go from having total freedom to come and go as he pleases, 7 days a week to ANY of the following scenarios:
- Husband now gets one night out with "the guys" a week, month, and/or quarter. (This one usually includes provisions involving the destination, purpose, and actual names and approval of other members of group attending. See link: http://wilk4.com/humor/img/boysnightout.pdf )
- Husband must ask permission on a case by case basis for attend any event that does not include chaperoning and/or supervision by wife. (again, see link: http://wilk4.com/humor/img/boysnightout.pdf)
- Husband must now agree to any number/type of reciprocation wife sees fit in order to gain her permission to go out. This usually includes driving children somewhere, being a "room dad", taking wife out for a date husband knows they cannot afford because the hot water heater is going to break soon, etc.
- Husband is now required to subject himself to public ridicule EVERY time his friends have tickets for a sporting event or have a few beers at a local pub by being forced to say, "That sounds good, but I have to check with the wife first." There are other variations of this statement.
I think my point is made, and I realize that all of womankind is plotting now to have me drawn and quartered. I firmly believe this is why they had all that craziness in Salem, Mass. back in the 1690's. Some guy wanted to go out with his friends, and some woman took his side. Witch!!!!
The fact of the matter is this. Marriage IS compromise. Both sides give up behaviors and freedoms they had as single people, for the sake of love, children, family, etc. That's GOOD. People should come together and face the same direction in a marriage. Women give up things, too. Including a lot of girls' nights out. What I am talking about is not the simple act of compromise in a healthy, normal, happy marriage. What I am talking about is an ABUSE OF POWER. take a look at that link I posted earlier. I know this was meant to be funny, but every joke, every myth, every urban legend is rooted somewhere in truth. Take a look at these statements:
- I request permission for a leave of absence from the highest authority in my life.
- I acknowledge my position in life. I know who wears the trousers in our relationship, and I agree it’s not me. I promise to abide by your rules & regulations.
REALLY??!! I'm not a wildly religious person, but attaching a title like "the highest authority" to the role of "wife" is just plain outrageous, sanctimonious, and sacrificial. My highest authority is my own deal, as is yours. That's your right, and I'm not here to propagate any theology over another. However a husband's highest authority IS NOT his wife. She is his PARTNER. His equal. Marriage is a partnership in problem solving. It is NOT a fight for power.
The second statement just further emphasizes the first. The message that wives are sending out to their husbands, and probably also teaching their sons through osmosis. "The wife has ALL the power. Men are infantile, idiotic, slobbering, pathetic creatures that cannot manage to feed, dress, or clean themselves without a woman's help. For the record, my female friends complain about how all the guys they meet are these overgrown man children who can't even do their own laundry. I agree. They are. The problem isn't how they are. The problem is how they GOT that way. We raise our sons to be completely dependent on us, then we bitch and complain that our husbands are completely dependent on us.
Change starts at home. If women treat their men as the strong, capable, sexy, intelligent beasts that they truly are; if they "lengthen the leash" (I hate the metaphor, too, but I think a literal visual is important for now) a bit, well, you may just find that your husband/partner/equal is going to volunteer to do more of those things you nag him about. In short, it is my theory that if you stop being your husband's mother, he will stop being such a mamma's boy. Also, it's bitchy, manipulative, and controlling.
Gut check minute ladies; when did you turn into this domineering ice queen?