Wives and The Curse of Happiness

Dr. Wall laments the behavior and attitude of unhappy wives and proposes their unhappiness may be due to their search for happiness in all the wrong places.

I am not in love. I deserve to be happy. I’m not happy and I can do whatever I need to do to be happy. There’s nothing wrong with that. (Translation: And if that means I have to divorce your sorry butt, so be it.)

Too Many Unhappy Women To Count

AHHHHHH! If I hear one more woman say the above quote, I’m going to scream. Why are there so many unhappy women? And why are there so many unhappy women who believe that if they divorce their husbands, or have an affair with Mr. Dreamboat (HINT: If a man will have an affair with a married woman, he is, by definition, NOT a dreamboat. He’s been called a LECHER since the 13th century. Look up the definition of that word and then if you’ve been tempted to have an affair with him, go throw up in a corner.), that this will make them happy?

And why is it they can only be happy if their husbands are without fault?

And where did they ever get the idea that if they hound their husbands day and night to be perfect, that somehow these husbands will jump for joy at their wives’ criticism and do whatever they say, instead of cowering in corners or getting mad and fighting back (Of course, if husbands do this, they’re control freaks or have an anger management problem.) or never coming home, because why would these husbands want to come home to wives, who put them down and remind them of how far they fall short, when these men have a hard enough time feeling good about themselves already?  And why is it so difficult for these wives to understand that their husbands are facing the cruel thistles and weeds out there every day and the weeds are unrelenting and never go away and yet these husbands toil day in and day out to pull them out and they see themselves as doing it for the benefit of their wives and kids and families, only to be ridiculed by these unhappy women, who used to be pretty, but now their scowls have shriveled their faces and their demeanor is disfigured with the agonies and shortcomings of said husbands?

And where did these unhappy women get the idea that if their husbands can’t get an erection. that it is the wives’ fault and that these wives need to take it as a personal affront and be offended and hurt and totally shut down any sexual mechanism within them, even though the doctor says their husbands have high blood pressure or their arteries are clogged with sludge (which counts for 50-60% of ED in men over 60) or they’re depressed or worried or fearful (maybe even NOT about their wives) or they’re frankly worn out from working outside year around for 30 plus years or they’ve got diabetes, nerve damage, pelvic problems, spinal cord and brain injuries, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, hormonal imbalances, Peyrone’s disease, have had surgery of the prostate, rectum, or bladder for cancer or who knows what, or they’ve had radiation therapy or had to take drugs for any of the above (Hey, guys. Considering your erection is NOT a given during your lifetime, you might want to be generous with your wife, when you are young and your testosterone is through the roof. When the lights go out in your closet, you don’t want her treating you with the same impatience and disappointment as you treated her, when you were both in your twenties. Keep in mind you’re supposed to be married for 50-60 years. Take the long view, eh?)?

And how did these unhappy women ever come to the conclusion that if their husbands’ struggle with things like this, that somehow it is helpful to turn into passionless sludge and to hold the belief for dear life that sex was never important to them anyway and they just aren’t the sexual type, they wish they were, but they just aren’t, so instead they both sit there on their separate recliners, the one flipping channels endlessly and the other reading romance novels (Isn’t that interesting? There are two people, who are unhappy in their marriages: Men who indulge in pornography and women who read romance novels and my theory is, it’s a cause, not an effect. Re-read that sentence and make sure you get it.) and that somehow this is all going to be helpful?

And where did they ever get the idea that they can only be happy if their husbands are happy, and when their husbands aren’t happy that that means that they tell themselves, “I can’t be with you because you bring me down and I deserve to be happy” rather than trying to cheer their husbands up or asking what’s up or sitting and listening or snuggling up to them or just sitting and mourning together because, you know, he’s sad or forlorn for a dang good reason and you’d be bummed if you were him, too?

And where did these women get the idea, that if they don’t feel love, that that means they should withdraw and not reach out to their husbands at all because they believe that if they were nice to their husbands, that would give their husbands the impression that it is Okay for their husbands to continue as they are, as if everything is Okay, and they definitely don’t want their husbands to think everything is Okay, so they act as if everything is NOT Okay and then they blame their husbands, when their husbands are put out or angry or say this is a bunch of crap, which it is, but when these women are so self-absorbed it’s difficult to do anything, but blame everyone else around them for their problems, so they continue to not do loving things or to think loving things, because to them love is a feeling and since they don’t have loving feelings, it is their husbands’ fault because their husbands NEVER talk about their feelings, which, since the beginning of time, men haven’t talked about their feelings, until Oprah told everyone, that men have to talk about their feelings, and so these unhappy women remind their husbands over and over: You’re less than what I want, you’re a failure and how come you won’t get your act together?  All you do is ______ and you never do _______ and I’m just so unhappy?

And why is it so difficult for these women to discover the simple truth that you don’t get happy by making sure everyone around you does what you want and that instead you get happy by doing the right thing and that to do the right thing is it’s own reward and that if these women were to reach out to their husbands and literally touch them and flirt with them and joke with them and sex up their love life and be fun to be around and be responsible and read books about being better wives and mothers and persons and loving and praying for their husbands and discussing their concerns instead of yelling or complaining or criticizing or scolding or scoffing their concerns or totally shutting down and withdrawing, that they would discover that actually their husbands aren’t so bad after all and maybe marriage can be fun?

And what makes these women think that if they haven’t learned to be giving and caring and interesting and fun and mysterious and sexy and approachable and kind and self-sacrificing with their first husbands, that their second husbands are going to jump for joy when these wives lay into them, too?

And where did this message come from that somehow this is the road to happiness?

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Dr. Bing Wall is a marriage therapist with a practice in Ames and Urbandale, Iowa.  To set up a time to see Dr. Wall click here or call 888-233-8473.  For more information about Dr. Wall click here.

About Dr. Bing

Dr. Bing Wall began Heart to Heart Communication, L.C. (offices in Ames and Urbandale) in 1995 with the goal of applying a strength and mentoring approach to helping people in their relationships through education and therapy. Prior to completing his M.S. and Ph.D. at Iowa State University in the area of Family Studies, Human Development and Marriage and Family Therapy, he was a pastor for 15 years.

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