One of the most popular HuffPo posts over the weekend was about how many wives hate their husbands, written by Iris Krasnow who has published a book on the same topic. I didn’t find it directly but saw that it was featured at the top of my Google News feed as one of the most trafficked stories on the internet. It starts:
“Help! I hate my husband.”
This is how a letter starts in my Inbox today. It’s from a 41-year-old woman named Cindy in Dallas who has been married for 12 years. I get hate mail like this using slightly different language several times a week. Substitute the word “hate” for “loathe”, “despise”, “can’t stand” and occasionally, “wanna kill”.
I always tell these women the same thing: You are definitely not alone. Plenty of wives feel this way. Plenty of wives think about divorce at least once a month, if not more, and manage to stay married for decades. My conclusions about the see-saw between hate and love come not as a psychologist or as a minister who counsels her flock. I am an author of five relationship books, including The Secret Lives of Wives, to whom women tend to tell all, about joy and sorrow and cheating and lying, about hot sex and no sex – and lots of dish in between.
Any woman married for longer than six months, if she is honest, knows the eggshell thin line that separates loving from loathing The deeper the love, the deeper the potential to hate. Any wife who is honest knows the compulsion to throw things, to hiss, to swear, to sit in the driveway in your bathrobe, engine running, sobbing.
Now you might recall that here at GMP there was a nuclear meltdown just before the holidays over a piece I wrote entitled “Being a Dude is a Good Thing” in which I said, among other things:
One close friend jokes, “When speaking to my wife I always make sure to look at the ground in deference. And I make sure not to make any sudden movements.” I’ve watched him. He loves his wife.
He’s a very competent human being. But with her he’s decided the only way to survive is to submit. The female view is the right view. The male view just gets you into trouble.
So where does the blame come from?
My unscientific theory is from a fundamental disconnect between men and women at the micro level. Men know women are different. They think differently, they express emotion differently, they are motivated by different things, they think about sex differently, and they use a very different vocabulary.
Why can’t women accept men for who they really are? Is a good man more like a woman or more truly masculine?
Does anyone else see these two pieces of mirrors of one another? I was actually asking, not telling, whether or not men should attempt to be more like women to get along. But I was acknowledging that what I see in my extremely limited sample of experience is that a lot of guys seem to feel that their wives hate them. And I got slammed for saying it out loud.
But a woman writes a book and a HuffPo blog about how women are coming out of the woodwork because they hate their husbands (and she has the answers to how to deal with the man in your life even if his manhood drives you nuts) and she’s the most popular thing the internet has ever seen.
Can someone please clear up this inconsistency?