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  #1  
Old 10-04-2009, 01:42 PM
Polerius Polerius is offline
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"Wife always right, even when she's wrong" - Implications for women's characters?

In this thread people brought up the oft-repeated axiom that to have a happy marriage the man always has to be the one to admit he is wrong.

Below are some examples from that thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal Briston View Post
It sounds like a man who knows when to say when. Hell, I've apologized for shit that I had absolutely no reason or cause for apologizing. Did it make me a little nauseous not to stand my ground when I was clearly in the right? Yeah, it did -- but that doesn't last. Our marriage has.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ají de Gallina View Post
I was gonna say "your wife is always right even when she's wrong" because that's my basic advice
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jettboy View Post
Dude, how long have you been married? You should know by now that she's always right, and you my friend are always wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic View Post
We've been married for 12 years, but lived together for 8 years before that, so it's a 20 year relationship. I learned in first 6 months that it doesn't matter who's right because she's right. There's a comic named Ralphie May who says that married guys basically have to decide whether they want to be right or they want to be happy. That pretty much nails it.
Assuming the above is good advice for men (and I guess if you have counter arguments or proof that it isn't good advice, it would be good to hear from you too), what does that say about women and their character?

Basically, if we assume that in long-term relationships there will be times when the woman is in the wrong as well as times when the man is in the wrong, and if we assume that the above advice for men to always cave in is good for the long term stability and happiness of the marriage, the possible implications are one or more of the following:
  • Women are incapable of seeing things from another person's point of view, which leads them to think they are always right, which is why they always expect the husband to admit he's wrong
  • Women are such egotists that even when they realize they are in the wrong, they still will not admit it and will expect the man to apologize
  • Women are so insecure that, as proof of his love for her, they expect a man to apologize even when he's wrong.
  • Women are infallible, therefore men are always wrong, which is why it makes sense to expect men to always apologize
If the above axiom is true, I can't see any explanation that has a positive connotation for women.

My questions are
  1. Do you think the above axiom for happy marriages is correct? (Are you male or female?)
  2. If the axiom is correct is there a way to interpret it and not have women come out in a bad light?
  3. If the axiom is incorrect, why has it survived for so long?

I should note that I expect Doper women to not agree with the above axiom as much, and expect responses like "I always apologize when I'm wrong and wouldn't want a man who apologizes when I'm in the wrong", since Doper women are in general different than the average woman out there (just as Doper men are in general different than the average man out there). If you're a woman and you feel that the axiom is wrong, can you explain why it has survived as advice men give to each other?

My one data point: I do not live by this axiom and it makes for some very unpleasant times between me and my wife. I can see that if I caved in things would go smoother, but I just will not "apologize" when I am not in the wrong.

I think having men living in a relationship where they are expected to apologize when they are not in the wrong (just to keep the marriage stable) is a form of psychological abuse and is analogous (but of course not equivalent) to having women living in a relationship where they are expected to not say anything when their husband beats them (just to keep the marriage stable). If a marriage can only be stable via acceptance of psychological or physical abuse I don't see it as worth saving.
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2009, 02:10 PM
Telperien Telperien is offline
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Were the people espousing (har) the "wife's always right, even when she's wrong" view all men, or did any women hold to this view as well?

My guess is that this view is held by husbands who don't want to bother to take the time to actually work things out with their wives. All that communication stuff is for chicks, they think, so better to tell her she's right so they can go back to their fun man stuff.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:15 PM
waterj2 waterj2 is online now
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How do people in same-sex relationships know who's right, then?
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:16 PM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telperien View Post
Were the people espousing (har) the "wife's always right, even when she's wrong" view all men, or did any women hold to this view as well?

My guess is that this view is held by husbands who don't want to bother to take the time to actually work things out with their wives. All that communication stuff is for chicks, they think, so better to tell her she's right so they can go back to their fun man stuff.
Ditto. And it pisses me right off when people say things like this. Every relationship is a give and take. I admit when I'm wrong - I being the impulsive one have probably had to apologize more often.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:22 PM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polerius View Post
My questions are
  1. Do you think the above axiom for happy marriages is correct? (Are you male or female?)
  2. If the axiom is correct is there a way to interpret it and not have women come out in a bad light?
  3. If the axiom is incorrect, why has it survived for so long?
1. No. Female.

2. n/a

3. It is my experience that a lot of people, both men and women, don't communicate very well. They don't express themselves well, and they don't listen to or understand others well. This leads to things like women saying "Oh, I don't mind if you go play cards with Jim" when really they should have said "I'm lonely when you go play cards, would you please watch a movie with me". Then the guy hears "I don't mind if you go" and doesn't notice that she also said "it would be nice if you were back by 10 pm so we could do xyz" and that causes a problem.

Women have been taught by our society to downplay their wants/needs and couch them in soft language, as well as being taught to manipulate their husbands to get what they want. This makes them unable to make direct requests, a thing I find extremely maddening. Just spit it out dammit. I do think this is changing but it's taking a while.

Some men seem to need some instruction on how to be good listeners and how to pick up on nuances of conversation. Notice I didn't say "all" men. For example my husband says that he really has to be "hit over the head" so to speak in order to realize, hey, this is an important point she's making. I think it's the old thing about men are better at noticing visual cues rather than verbal cues.

Men and women tend to have different styles of verbal communication so that often they are talking past each other. It takes a concerted effort for couples to communicate well, and frankly a lot of people are lazy and don't want to put forth the effort.

I also notice people not being considerate of each other. So what if it's dumb that the wife insists on the car being parked on the left side of the driveway instead of the right. That doesn't make her "wrong" and you don't need to win an argument about that. Perhaps that's what some of the guys mean when they say "just give in".


Or maybe it's like Telperien says and men just agree so's to get back to watching the ball game.
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:25 PM
mswas mswas is offline
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I think that this is extremely disrespectful to women. It is a throwback to a time where it was ok to placate your wife by sweet little lies because you were going to just do what was right anyway, so what did it matter what she thought?

The entire idea is that women are inferior and should be condescended to.
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2009, 02:35 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Quote:
  • Women are incapable of seeing things from another person's point of view, which leads them to think they are always right, which is why they always expect the husband to admit he's wrong
  • Women are such egotists that even when they realize they are in the wrong, they still will not admit it and will expect the man to apologize
  • Women are so insecure that, as proof of his love for her, they expect a man to apologize even when he's wrong.
  • Women are infallible, therefore men are always wrong, which is why it makes sense to expect men to always apologize
If the above axiom is true, I can't see any explanation that has a positive connotation for women.

My questions are
  1. Do you think the above axiom for happy marriages is correct? (Are you male or female?)
  2. If the axiom is correct is there a way to interpret it and not have women come out in a bad light?
  3. If the axiom is incorrect, why has it survived for so long?
The standard advise is basically correct. I only have one marriage (now ex marriage) under my belt but many females generally do not like giving sincere apologies or showing remorse in intimate relationships. My ex-wife is a good person and we were together for 17 years and she never apologized to me for a single thing or admitted that she was wrong or even slightly mistaken during that whole time. Even if she was caught in something like a checkmate situation in chess, she still couldn't bring herself to admit it even if it was something stupid and completely non-confrontational. Her mind would spin until she could find a way out even if it meant just throwing out a completely unrelated random insult for for something I did 5 years earlier. My grandfather and I discussed this issue a few weeks ago and he is a lifelong politician, businessman, and womanizer. He told me I just had to accept that fact if I ever want to be with a female with any type of personality at all and I am starting to believe it.

***I am not anti-female in the least. I live for my two daughters and I was raised by my mother and most of my best friends are female but I can see where all of this feedback comes from and I think it does have some merit.

Last edited by Shagnasty; 10-04-2009 at 02:36 PM..
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2009, 02:47 PM
supergoose supergoose is offline
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Thank you for posting this thread. It makes me really angry when I see comments like those examples in your op. If I ever wind up in a relationship in which the other person just acquiesces during a fight because I'm female and therefore obviously can't have an argument and either admit defeat/apologize or agree to disagree, that is an immediate deal breaker for me. That's incredibly condescending. And if I ever become one of those women, please, just shoot me.

I wonder, though, if the wives of the men quoted in the op would say that they do the exact same thing, that men just have to be agreed-with sometimes for the sake of the relationship, and their husbands just don't realize it because they assume that their wives are sincere when they agree or apologize.

Basically, my feeling on the matter is this: don't lie to me or expect me to need to be lied to, and I won't lie to you or put you in the position to have to lie to me for the sake of our relationship.
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  #9  
Old 10-04-2009, 02:48 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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@Polerius: see you're not even right on this. Dude can't ever catch a break.
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  #10  
Old 10-04-2009, 03:29 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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It is unfortunately true in all too many cases, but not necessarily a universal truth.
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  #11  
Old 10-04-2009, 03:48 PM
Lobsang Lobsang is offline
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I'm such a sucker for female attention that my future wife is virtually guaranteed to be right one hundred percent of the time.
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  #12  
Old 10-04-2009, 04:05 PM
athelas athelas is offline
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The meme will die when it is no longer useful; that is, when "letting women win" doesn't lead to better outcomes. For that, female behavior will have to have changed relative to when the meme originated.
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:06 PM
SweetLucy SweetLucy is offline
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I think it's pejorative both to women and to men. I've encountered a few women who hold to this attitude- incidentally they're all divorced.
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  #14  
Old 10-04-2009, 04:21 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Just a couple of things -
  • Sometimes people exaggerate for effect. This is not necessarily a bad thing.
  • One of the great gifts my parents gave me is the gift of naivete. Even now, as I enter later middle age, it astounds me when people don't seem to know what a mature relationship is like.
I grew up with the bland assumption that spouses always related to each other the way my father and mother related to each other. I now know that this is not necessarily the case, but the assumption remains in place.

Of course people in a committed relationship apologize when they are wrong, and even, sometimes, when they are not wrong. I don't necessarily confine this to one sex or the other. That's what grown-ups do. If they want to stay together, that is.

I doubt I could stay in a relationship with someone who never could admit they were wrong. Therefore, in justice, I can't be someone like that either if I want to stay in a relationship/married with anyone else.

But here is the tricky part. Apologizing when you are not wrong is only effective when the other person doesn't know you are doing it. If you are seen to give in just because you are tired of arguing, that doesn't count.

This is an area where I have struggled to grow. Those of you who have interacted with me on this messageboard no doubt will be flabbergasted to find out that I am somewhat more stubborn in my opinions than the average. Hard to believe, I know, but true. There have been times, many of them, where my wife has apologized, not because I wore her out, nor because she was humoring me exactly, but because the relationship was more important than the need for her to be correct. I know this because there have been a couple of times where I came later to believe that I was wrong. And over the years, slowly and with many set backs, I have started to be able to spot those kinds of situations in my wife.

This is quite different, in my experience, than becoming a doormat, and also from humoring anyone. It isn't always a good idea to apologize, but it is not always a good idea to insist on having the other person acknowledge that you have "won".

If it is important enough, and if my reasons are good, I can usually talk my wife into what I want. But if it is not important, sometimes my reasons aren't good enough even if they seem that way to me.

YMMV, etc.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:41 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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My credo for relationships is that the person who apologizes first, wins. This isn't to say that the person has given in, it just means that the person is willing to do what it takes to deflate the situation and talk about it and come to a solution.
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:05 PM
Malthus Malthus is offline
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I suspect it is a matter of perspective, or rather observer bias - ask a man, he'll say he's always agreeing to make peace; ask his wife, she'll be under the impression *she's* the one who agrees to make peace. The reality lies somewhere inbetween. Where exactly varies from couple to couple.

I'm a married dude.
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  #17  
Old 10-04-2009, 05:24 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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I don't know about everybody. I am almost always right, my husband never admits it, and we are not particularly happy or unhappy.

The thing is, this only applies to things where there is a right answer--not opinions. For instance early in our marriage we had a long knock-down drag-out over whether Dale Evans' horse was named Buttermilk (I said) or Buttercup (he said). We did not have the Internet to solve this, and I was right. Instead of admitting he'd been wrong, he claimed that he'd said "Buttermilk" all along and I'd simply misheard him. How could I not be pissed about that?
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Old 10-04-2009, 05:44 PM
Manda JO Manda JO is online now
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I think the advice comes from dealing with a certain personality type that occurs somewhat more often--but by no means exclusively--among men, and that is the personality type that needs to Always Be Right.

Most men are not the Always-be-right type. Neither are most women. But people of this type, in my experience, tend not to realize they do it, nor realize the damage it does in their relationships. These are the people for whom being right trumps everything and for whom there is no proportion--who played the bellhop in an episode of Law and Order is exactly the same as whether or not God exists. These are people who will question other people's opinions (But there's no reason for you not to like that movie. Let me prove it to you). These are the people who, even when proven wrong, will twist the situation in such a way as to show that the other person was wrong as well. They often (especially when young) do not realize that they aren't really winning arguments--people around them are humoring them and stopping the conversation, not actually changing their minds. Living with an always-be-right type can be annoying and lonely, because you can't discuss anything because the meta-issue of "who's in the wrong here"? hangs over everything.

For whatever reason, the always-be-right types often realize how destructive their behavior is in a sudden epiphany. I swear it's a physiological thing or something. In the best cases, they actually realize that other people are right sometimes, too, but more commonly what they realize is that it's ok for other people to be wrong, and it isn't the always-righter's job to be the accuracy police. Once they've made the leap, it's like they become True Believers, apostles of this amazing paradigm shift. Their lives shift from roller-coasters of confrontation to much smoother sailing and they tend to go around preaching to others about what an amazing system this is. They are over-correcting from the previous extreme, and yes, it can be condescending and certainly counter-productive to real problem solving.

Now then, I think this is more common among men than women, as women are more likely to have this sort of thing socialized out of them at an early age--for little girls, part of "playing nice" is taking turns being right. However, it's not only men that have to be right all the time, nor is it the majority of men. It's a certain personality type that has become a stereotype.
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:17 PM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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1. Do you think the above axiom for happy marriages is correct?
No, Male, living or married to my wife 9+ years.

2. If the axiom is correct is there a way to interpret it and not have women come out in a bad light? N/A

3. If the axiom is incorrect, why has it survived for so long?
There are a lot of tired beliefs and stereotypes that have survived for thousands of years. This is one of them, it reinforces a paternalistic view of the husband as being superior to the wife.
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:26 PM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
There are a lot of tired beliefs and stereotypes that have survived for thousands of years. This is one of them, it reinforces a paternalistic view of the husband as being superior to the wife.
It's not about being superior, it's about a certain personality quirk that is definitely prevelant in a lot of women that has become a pretty well-recognized punchline. For those of you saying how insulting it is, good for you, you are either a woman who can admit when you're wrong or you're married to one.

But don't pretend there aren't people like that and don't pretend those of us that believe it are sexists.
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  #21  
Old 10-04-2009, 06:36 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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If I think I'm really right about something that really matters, then I'll say. An awful lot of the time, it's not something that matters, and it's not worth fighting about.

I also think that my wife gives me my way in unspoken ways a lot of the time, even though I know she thinks I'm wrong.

Although it's exaggerated for satirical effect, the meme is true that the key to a peaceful relationship is being willing to surrender on things which are more important to the other person than they are to you, even if you think the other person is wrong.

I think this is a lesson that women understand intuitively, while men have to be taught it. That's why it seems to men like they're letting their wives be right all the time, even though the truth is that the wives are letting them be right just as often, they're just more subtle about it.

I'm also not really down with the insinuation that me choosing not to fight with my wife about things which I do not think are important somehow makes my wife an unreasonable person. She isn't like that. She's more than happy to discuss and listen, but I would rather just skip it, let her have whatever it is, and get back to watching the game.

Last edited by Diogenes the Cynic; 10-04-2009 at 06:37 PM..
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  #22  
Old 10-04-2009, 06:37 PM
astro astro is online now
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"Wife is always right" is a cartoon characterization of what people will use to describe their relationships, mostly for the sake of amusement, as I'm sure the OP of the link you used was doing. IRL men will often defer to women on a number of typically female centric social choice issues. It's not that they actively oppose the wife on these issues, it's simply not important enough to take the mental effort to debate the pros and cons, and will simply go along with what their wives want.

However, and it's a big "however", if the wife has a history of making really fucked up or poorly thought out decisions this "go along" dynamic will often end pretty quickly. A lot of the "wife is right" meme generally depends on how "right" the wife is over time. If a husband can't trust the wife's decsions then every little thing has to be evaluated, and honestly, that's just exhausting. Same goes for women relying on a husband to make decisions that wives often leave to husbands.

Tolerance goes a long way in a marriage but at the end of the day for both men and women if you are married to a congenital fuck up it's like you have another child to care for, and that's wearing. Relying on someone to take care of something and actually having it taken care of with minimal fuss is an amazing feeling. Having to micro-manage an incompetent spouse is a not so amazing feeling.
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  #23  
Old 10-04-2009, 06:44 PM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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The way I understand the dynamic, when couples argue about who is 'right', rarely is it about a resolving a straightforward question of objective reality. Thus, acquiescence isn't really a lie. The man or woman may stand their ground on a factually weak position due to some other subtext at play. With men it's about making sure they aren't losing control... sometimes when you acquiesce too much, it feels like you're eroding future possiblities of getting your way when you feel like it. With women, the subtext centers around whether their ideas, preferences, and needs are valued. The man says "no, that won't work", and what she hears is "I don't care what you want."

My strategy as a man is to give in on nearly every trivial matter. When it comes to the big stuff, rather than arguing about whether strategy A or B is better, first I make sure I understand and restate her concerns before we go into details. If I feel strongly that she's wrong, I make sure she knows it's not because her ideas aren't important. If it's something I want just because I really really want it, then I say that instead of trying to pose an obviously self-serving factual argument. Women can easily detect that, and it's insulting.

Well, that's the goal anyways. I think we're batting 50% on agreement which I think is pretty good.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 10-04-2009 at 06:48 PM..
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  #24  
Old 10-04-2009, 07:00 PM
CrazyCatLady CrazyCatLady is online now
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I think the axiom is correct for a certain type of person, but utter, utter horseshit for anyone who isn't a total asshole.

Now, I'm not saying that my husband never says "yeah, whatever" just to shut me up when I'm being muleheaded. I'm sure he does from time to time; I'm human, and I have my cranky and inflexible days just like everybody else. But the operative phrase here is "just like everybody else." And I do mean everybody--men, women, children, and housepets included. There are times when I say "yeah, whatever" to my husband just to shut him up when he's being muleheaded. I frequently say it to my (male) boss, to my dad, to my grandfather, to the old codger across the street who wants to instruct me in the fine art of lawn care. Painting it as a purely or even primarily female failing is lacking in awareness at best and deliberate intellectual dishonesty at worst.

Why does the meme live on? Well, because the kind of guy who perpetuates it will cling to it in the face of any and all evidence that it's not true. You show him a woman who can and does apologize, and she's obviously an outlier. All such women you show him are statistical outliers, no matter how many of them there are, because he's right, goddammit. People realize that there is nothing to be said or done that will convince this guy he's wrong--they just shrug and say "yeah, whatever" to shut him up and have some peace.
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:05 PM
Orr, G. Orr, G. is offline
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I skimmed a few of the posts, so my apologies if any of this is a repeat.

I've usually seen this meme expressed (mostly) facetiously. I've occassionally suggested it myself, tongue-in-cheek, in situations where I felt the complaining man was probably in the wrong anyway (the thread linked in the OP does not fit the criterion for me). I probably could have given a better piece of advice in those situations.

Of the times IRL that I've seen people use it, or used it myself, with even a teensy bit of seriousnees to it, it seemed to include a component of face-saving for the man amongst his peers. Sort of an "Of course I'm never wrong, har har, but her precious ego can't handle that, so I do the gentlemanly thing and pretend she's right."

I'm surprised that any Doper would offer such advice without intending at least some irony or facetiousness, but I'm naive like that.
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  #26  
Old 10-04-2009, 07:17 PM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin_Bailey View Post
It's not about being superior, it's about a certain personality quirk that is definitely prevelant in a lot of women that has become a pretty well-recognized punchline. For those of you saying how insulting it is, good for you, you are either a woman who can admit when you're wrong or you're married to one.

But don't pretend there aren't people like that and don't pretend those of us that believe it are sexists.
It's treating a wife like a child who can't be reasoned with. Stereotypes exist for a reason and can be culturally reinforced over generations. That does not mean that they would exist if they weren't constantly reinforced through the continued application of bigoted behavior.
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  #27  
Old 10-04-2009, 07:41 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post
I think the axiom is correct for a certain type of person, but utter, utter horseshit for anyone who isn't a total asshole.
That's a bit of strong invective there, and totally wrong. Maybe it's right in your experience, but it's patently false and morally offensive in my experience.

Former friends: The wife was one of those type of people, limited neither to males or females, who was a bull-headed know-it-all, arrogant to the core and in her mind ALWAYS RIGHT. If she had an opinion about anything, and she almost always did, it was impossible to hold a different opinion around her without an incredible amount of disdain on her part. Her husband was incredibly pussy-whipped. They'd occasionally butt heads, but if he didn't give in very quickly, she not only would make his life incredibly miserable, but was quite open (and proud!) with everyone that this was the way it worked.

I can only point straight at that woman for a prime example of this axium.


Another couple I knew, the wife wasn't near as bad, but if she wanted or thought something ardently enough, she took it as a personal insult and threat to their relationship if her husband didn't go along with her or believe the same thing.


My own ex-wife was mentally unstable and it would completely unbalance her if she decided something without telling me and I would then oppose it. I suppose I could have given in much of the time to make her happy, but unfortunately, far too much of her "logic" was based on fantasy and paranoia and thus was not even slightly grounded in reality. Going along to get along was going along with madness.
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  #28  
Old 10-04-2009, 07:51 PM
CrazyCatLady CrazyCatLady is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
That's a bit of strong invective there, and totally wrong. Maybe it's right in your experience, but it's patently false and morally offensive in my experience.

Former friends: The wife was one of those type of people, limited neither to males or females, who was a bull-headed know-it-all, arrogant to the core and in her mind ALWAYS RIGHT. If she had an opinion about anything, and she almost always did, it was impossible to hold a different opinion around her without an incredible amount of disdain on her part. Her husband was incredibly pussy-whipped. They'd occasionally butt heads, but if he didn't give in very quickly, she not only would make his life incredibly miserable, but was quite open (and proud!) with everyone that this was the way it worked.

I can only point straight at that woman for a prime example of this axium.


Another couple I knew, the wife wasn't near as bad, but if she wanted or thought something ardently enough, she took it as a personal insult and threat to their relationship if her husband didn't go along with her or believe the same thing.


My own ex-wife was mentally unstable and it would completely unbalance her if she decided something without telling me and I would then oppose it. I suppose I could have given in much of the time to make her happy, but unfortunately, far too much of her "logic" was based on fantasy and paranoia and thus was not even slightly grounded in reality. Going along to get along was going along with madness.
So, it's your position that these three women aren't total assholes? Cause they sure sound like it.
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  #29  
Old 10-04-2009, 07:59 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Ok, perhaps I misunderstood you. I thought you were implying that only assholes would think the axium was ever true. My apologies.
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  #30  
Old 10-04-2009, 08:01 PM
TheMadHun TheMadHun is offline
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I think marital squabbles should be sorted out by contests. If you have nerves of steel, a staredown. Good biceps, arm wrestle. A good eye, crossbows like Robin Hood. The winner's arrow will split the shaft of the other bullseye. Then you take a video and start discussing how to get it viral, and forget what you were arguing about.
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  #31  
Old 10-04-2009, 08:21 PM
bengangmo bengangmo is online now
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I remember reading one of those "men are from mars" style books, it claimed (from memory) that one of the biggest differences between men and women in the workplace is that men tend to make up their minds faster, but are also more willing to change it when new facts come to light.

The same book also claimed that women are more emotionally vested in their arguments - meaning to say that if you criticise her facts, cite or reasoning they see it as criticisms of themselves - whereby men are more able to separate person and argument.

I would suspect that this feeds into the meme of "women not liking to admit they're wrong". From my own personal experience with my wife, I know that if I try to "prove" her wrong, I am being a bastard and mean to her.

Often, I also find that she will put forward arguments of opinion stated as facts. Things that I can't ever "disprove" and if I even try, my life becomes miserable - so its easier just to go along with her - particularly when it doesn't really matter (as in whether we have beef or chicken for dinner) or if she is the one being affected.

At the end of the day - I think that there is at least an element of truth to the assertion, and that what it means to guys is that you have to pick your battles and not sweat the small shit.
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  #32  
Old 10-04-2009, 08:38 PM
CrazyCatLady CrazyCatLady is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
Ok, perhaps I misunderstood you. I thought you were implying that only assholes would think the axium was ever true. My apologies.
Why on earth would you assume I was implying that the person who didn't insist on being right about everything all the time was the asshole, rather than the person who is only bearable when everything goes her way? That's insanity.
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  #33  
Old 10-04-2009, 09:01 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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No, no. I assumed that;

Quote:
I think the axiom is correct for a certain type of person, but utter, utter horseshit for anyone who isn't a total asshole.
was saying that... if you believed the axium was true, you were an asshole.

Based also on things like

Quote:
Why does the meme live on? Well, because the kind of guy who perpetuates it will cling to it in the face of any and all evidence that it's not true.
Personally, I think there are a couple of things that reinforce the axium. Those being;

Quote:
From my own personal experience with my wife, I know that if I try to "prove" her wrong, I am being a bastard and mean to her.

Often, I also find that she will put forward arguments of opinion stated as facts.
and that some women will admittedly (and sometimes willfully and proudly) make their man's life hell over difference of opinion or a failure to acquiesce, where you don't commonly see the same kind of emotional abuse out of men.
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  #34  
Old 10-05-2009, 02:10 AM
Polerius Polerius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
It's treating a wife like a child who can't be reasoned with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dio
I told her I wasn't trying to defnd porn per se, but was only trying to explain the First Amendment.

My wife said fuck my First Amendment. She said I could go downstairs and fuck my First Amendment on the couch. She said I could go live with my First Amendment in the car.

So I had to cave on that really fast
[Bolding mine]
madmonk28, do you think the wife in the above case can be reasoned with?
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  #35  
Old 10-05-2009, 02:28 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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I do think that it isn't the same to say "always, always back up your wife against other people (ok, 99% of the time)" as "always say yes to your wife." I expect wifes to back up their men in front of third parties as well; I expect the second one from neither spouse. My mother is always getting angry when Middlebro backs up his wife "against" either of their mothers, I'm always asking her whether Dad ever refrained from backing her - all she can answer is "harrumph!", and I can certify that she backed him up so much I thought they were like an inverted hydra, one head with two bodies (adult age and his death have finally revealed which parts of the hydra belonged to whom).

In the example directly above my post, the child counts as a third party, but it is important for her to know that her parents weren't born being in agreement and it is also important that Dio and his wife be able to discuss the issue calmly without the child present. Whether Dio's wife should get her head inserted into a bucket of cold water, I already expressed in his original thread.

It seems to me that there are two axioms here, one 99% correct and one extremely incorrect.

The 1% is in cases when your spouse's being wrong can have very bad consequences; also, there is a difference between backing them and never giving your own opinion. A situation when the couple is using friends or family as a sounding board or think-tank in a civilized manner (and where everybody is pretty much thinking out loud) is totally different from one where someone has just told your spouse "you're a bloody ass;" in the first one people should disagree until they reach an agreement, in the second one there's nothing to disagree about.

Last edited by Nava; 10-05-2009 at 02:32 AM..
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  #36  
Old 10-05-2009, 02:42 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Originally Posted by waterj2 View Post
How do people in same-sex relationships know who's right, then?
Well duh... they're both in the wrong. Fred Phelps sez so.
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  #37  
Old 10-05-2009, 02:56 AM
Polerius Polerius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
Former friends: The wife was one of those type of people, limited neither to males or females, who was a bull-headed know-it-all, arrogant to the core and in her mind ALWAYS RIGHT. If she had an opinion about anything, and she almost always did, it was impossible to hold a different opinion around her without an incredible amount of disdain on her part. Her husband was incredibly pussy-whipped. They'd occasionally butt heads, but if he didn't give in very quickly, she not only would make his life incredibly miserable, but was quite open (and proud!) with everyone that this was the way it worked.
In the interest of balance, is anyone familiar with a couple where the guy is the one behaving like the woman is behaving above? Of course not all women are like the above, but most people I know who are like the above are women.
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  #38  
Old 10-05-2009, 03:10 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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I know several, yes. Examples that pop to mind:

My SiL's parents: he was Always Right, she quietly did whatever she felt like doing inasmuch as she could get away with it. He's now dead (good riddance), but she behaves the same way with everybody; you never know whether she agrees with you or not - and sometimes the way you find out is when she does the exact opposite of what you wanted.

Several other couples where the husband is in Lowly Authority Positions (foreman, cop like the one above, sergeant and crawling up slowly).

One of the couples in my parents' old Couples Group (Teams of Our Lady); they're farmers.

SiL's brother is headed the same way; when he met his (now ex) girlfriend of several years, she was the head window dresser for a Spanish toymaker, now she works as an interior decorator for Ikea; he'd constantly demean her taste and anybody asking her for home decorating advice. He'll tell me (a chemical engineer) that I don't know anything about chemistry, his sister (a doctor) that she doesn't know anything about pharmacology, Middlebro that he doesn't know anything about construction and Lilbro that it's not possible for Navarra to have a different tax structure than the rest of Spain. I'll leave it to the reader to guess my brothers' professions

Last edited by Nava; 10-05-2009 at 03:14 AM..
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  #39  
Old 10-05-2009, 03:22 AM
BigT BigT is online now
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I can't answer the actual questions, but I can give my opinion on the meme.

It unsettles me. Not because I shouldn't always have to be right. That's obvious. What I hate is the idea that I've got to lie to pull it off.

I actually wonder if this perception (that women think they are always right) is one of the reasons there's so much misogyny in Fundamentalist marriage. The guy knows that he'll go to Hell if he lies, so he can never give in to his wife as stated above. Ergo, he has to make sure he marries someone who is submissive enough not to challenge him, so he'd have to lie to make the marriage work.

I, for one, hope it is possible to have a marital relationship without the lying. Not just because I'm ethically opposed to it, but because I am a really, really bad liar.
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  #40  
Old 10-05-2009, 03:23 AM
Elysian Elysian is offline
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1. Do you think the above axiom for happy marriages is correct? (Are you male or female?)

Not at all.

If you always acquiesce on everything you will begin to resent the other person. That doesn't make a happy marriage.

Also, people who tend to insist on being always right need to have someone stand up to them, or their personality will run away with them. The other partner does their spouse a disservice by always nodding and agreeing, because they aren't helping their spouse to be a better person, or a happier person.

I apologise far more than my husband, to the point where he dislikes it when I apologise. I admit, sometimes I apologise simply because the issue is of no importance to me, and to admit fault cuts it off before it becomes a much larger issue. However, sometimes I am truly sorry and definitely see that I'm in the wrong. On the flip side, I think he only apologises to me when he really is sorry.

That said, if I really think he's wrong I'll tell him, and he will certainly tell me. Google is a really good thing in those situations.

2. If the axiom is correct is there a way to interpret it and not have women come out in a bad light?

3. If the axiom is incorrect, why has it survived for so long?

I think it's survived mostly as a joke and a cultural meme. You see it in sitcoms and commercials, where the woman is so smart and just railroads over the husband. In real life I've seen it in a couple of occasions and that's just because the woman is kind of a terror and the husband is trying to dodge her more crazy side. That doesn't mean I haven't seen that situation in reverse.
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  #41  
Old 10-05-2009, 04:25 AM
Polerius Polerius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
I know several, yes. Examples that pop to mind:

My SiL's parents: he was Always Right, she quietly did whatever she felt like doing inasmuch as she could get away with it. He's now dead (good riddance), but she behaves the same way with everybody; you never know whether she agrees with you or not - and sometimes the way you find out is when she does the exact opposite of what you wanted.

Several other couples where the husband is in Lowly Authority Positions (foreman, cop like the one above, sergeant and crawling up slowly).

One of the couples in my parents' old Couples Group (Teams of Our Lady); they're farmers.

SiL's brother is headed the same way; when he met his (now ex) girlfriend of several years, she was the head window dresser for a Spanish toymaker, now she works as an interior decorator for Ikea; he'd constantly demean her taste and anybody asking her for home decorating advice. He'll tell me (a chemical engineer) that I don't know anything about chemistry, his sister (a doctor) that she doesn't know anything about pharmacology, Middlebro that he doesn't know anything about construction and Lilbro that it's not possible for Navarra to have a different tax structure than the rest of Spain. I'll leave it to the reader to guess my brothers' professions
Maybe the gender balance is different in Spain, i.e. the "the wife is always right" is a meme that is more applicable to couples in the US?
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  #42  
Old 10-05-2009, 05:32 AM
Marienee Marienee is offline
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It is unclear to me why you think you can extrapolate something lacking in the character of women from an "axiom" uttered by men to men. Possibly you can get to something about the outlook of men.

However, if you look quickly you will find that this is also said about men. And not just in the US.

A long term relationship can survive at most one partner who must be right and have that acknowledged. A happier long term relationship contains none.

Realistically, in the situation that Dio presents, his wife is obviously right: the child should be allowed to write whatever she likes. She is after all ten years old and unlikely to consititute a serious threat to anybody's right to view porn (yet). I could just as easily maintain that the way Dio behaved with his daughter is just another example of how fathers dominate and oppress their female children, taking as evidence the fact that she has abandoned a subject in which she was really interested for something safe and noncontroversial which will not rock the boat. What does this say about the character of men?

Nothing of course, because I just made that shit up. You are making this up. Indeed, your need to make this up says very bad things about your view of women and your need for men to be better.

Whoops, I just made that shit up, too.

Here's the truth: men and women are more alike than unalike. Surprise! No, seriously, try to go a whole day without deciding/cogitating on/attributing something about Men or about Women -- in your own head or out loud. Just a thought experiment. You don't have to tell anybody. But you might be surprised.

And I think you are being a little overly earnest with your claim that one cannot reason with Dio's wife based on her telling him to go f*uck the first amendment-- she has after all been living with Dio for twenty years now and has probably at some time in those two decades been made aware of his position on this matter at some length.

I frankly thought it was hilarious. Nice rhythm on that rant. And he told it well, too. Here's a tip: when I tell my spouse "fuck you and the horse you rode in on" I am not actually proposing any sexual act of a human or bestial nature. I am usually suggesting that the basis of his argument rests on something I do not give a tiny particle of damn about and which therefore is not going to get anywhere in (at least) my decision making process.
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  #43  
Old 10-05-2009, 05:40 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polerius View Post
Maybe the gender balance is different in Spain, i.e. the "the wife is always right" is a meme that is more applicable to couples in the US?
The meme exists in Spain too, and I do know couples where "she wears the trousers" (direct translation from Spanish).
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  #44  
Old 10-05-2009, 05:51 AM
Marienee Marienee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
I actually wonder if this perception (that women think they are always right) is one of the reasons there's so much misogyny in Fundamentalist marriage. The guy knows that he'll go to Hell if he lies, so he can never give in to his wife as stated above. Ergo, he has to make sure he marries someone who is submissive enough not to challenge him, so he'd have to lie to make the marriage work..
No, the main reason there is so much misogyny in fundamentalist marriage is Biblical and cultural. Like this little poem in the Bible:

Submit to one another
out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, submit to your husbands
as if to the Lord.
For a husband is head of the wife
as Christ is head of the church.
He is saviour of the body.
Like the church submits to Christ,
wives should submit to their husbands,
in everything.
Husbands, love your wives
like Christ loved the church.
He gave himself for her
to make her holy,
cleansing her by washing her
with water and the word (Ephesians 5:21-26).

Or this little number: "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7).

That sort of thing.

Last edited by Marienee; 10-05-2009 at 05:54 AM..
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  #45  
Old 10-05-2009, 08:09 AM
Lust4Life Lust4Life is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marienee View Post
No, the main reason there is so much misogyny in fundamentalist marriage is Biblical and cultural. Like this little poem in the Bible:

Submit to one another
out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, submit to your husbands
as if to the Lord.
For a husband is head of the wife
as Christ is head of the church.
He is saviour of the body.
Like the church submits to Christ,
wives should submit to their husbands,
in everything.
Husbands, love your wives
like Christ loved the church.
He gave himself for her
to make her holy,
cleansing her by washing her
with water and the word (Ephesians 5:21-26).

Or this little number: "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers” (1 Peter 3:7).

That sort of thing.



Yeah,yeah,for gods sake your RIGHT,any meme about women refusing to admit that they're ever wrong is misogynist B/S spread about men who are thickies anyway and can't dress themselves without help.

Now leave me alone for five minutes,
oh and I apologise for being a man ...and insensitive...and I prefer THAT dress,oh I dunno the first one....and yes I've been listening to every word you said.......NO I've only had ONE beer.of course I love you.......


Just SHUT UP,SHUT UP!

No,no I'm sorry I didn't mean it ,Idon't know what came over me,sorry,sorry,sorry..........
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  #46  
Old 10-05-2009, 08:38 AM
Marienee Marienee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lust4Life View Post
Yeah,yeah,for gods sake your RIGHT,any meme about women refusing to admit that they're ever wrong is misogynist B/S spread about men who are thickies anyway and can't dress themselves without help.

Now leave me alone for five minutes,
oh and I apologise for being a man ...and insensitive...and I prefer THAT dress,oh I dunno the first one....and yes I've been listening to every word you said.......NO I've only had ONE beer.of course I love you.......


Just SHUT UP,SHUT UP!

No,no I'm sorry I didn't mean it ,Idon't know what came over me,sorry,sorry,sorry..........
Yes, dear. And I got some more of that beer you like, let me get you one. There you are. And the paper.
So, how was your day?
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  #47  
Old 10-05-2009, 08:52 AM
adhay adhay is offline
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Men and women simply are wired differently. The major difference, imo, is that women just can't forget. I'm reminded of a NYer cartoon by BEK.

Wife to man about to leave the room:
"Wait a second ... you and I still have a lot finished business."

The corollary to the OP is, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

So smile, say "Yes, dear." and don't get caught rolling your eyes.

But seriously, faced with the question, "Would I rather be right or be happy?", what's to choose?
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  #48  
Old 10-05-2009, 09:55 AM
Lust4Life Lust4Life is offline
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Originally Posted by Marienee View Post
Yes, dear. And I got some more of that beer you like, let me get you one. There you are. And the paper.
So, how was your day?

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  #49  
Old 10-05-2009, 11:24 AM
overlyverbose overlyverbose is offline
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My two cents:

1. Do you think the above axiom for happy marriages is correct? (Are you male or female?)

Absolutely not. I'm female; I often concede to my husband (sometimes even when I think he's wrong) because I'm not infallible and because sometimes eating my words is worth the trouble it'd save to argue something meaningless.

2. If the axiom is correct is there a way to interpret it and not have women come out in a bad light? N/A

3. If the axiom is incorrect, why has it survived for so long?

My personal theory is that women have run the household for so long - making financial decisions, balancing books, decisions on raising the kids, planning, cooking and purchasing food, cleaning and supervising, etc. - that perhaps the saying came about because women used to be far more experienced than men at what happened in the home. So, in a sense, in her own domain, maybe husbands deferred more to women than vice versa because women were more comfortable navigating that particular area. Even now, my husband has to ask me how to clean the sink (what cleanser to use, what rag is designated for it, etc.) or do something as basic as cooking rice, even when the directions are on the package. That's certainly not true for all men, but for some, it still is.

However, if you were to challenge a woman from the 1920s on how to run an office, I doubt anyone would've come up with the answer "women are always right."

In my opinion, the saying that women are always right is based on the situation and also outdated (though I don't think it was accurate in the first place) since men are more involved in the day-to-day running of a household.

Last edited by overlyverbose; 10-05-2009 at 11:25 AM..
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  #50  
Old 10-05-2009, 11:43 AM
anu-la1979 anu-la1979 is offline
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1) People who write posts in the heat of the moment about how they're always conceding to their harpy-shrew probably neglect to consider everything their harpy-shrew does for them, including conceding just to get everyone to STFU. This is because they're pissed about a single issue and develop tunnel vision and go online to commiserate.

2) If in fact, one person, male or female, is always giving in to the other party while receiving nothing in return, I would hardly extend that to be a damning statement on the entire gender of the dominant person. Rather, it reflects some sort of power imbalance in that relationship. Could be money, one person feels to pathetic to leave etc. etc.

3) This thread reminds me of the general meme on this board, which is that women are horrible b*tches (except for all Doper women who are high-minded and polyamorous and never friends with women, just men, because women are catty b*tches). It's kind of strange for me to then turn around and read the next "Why don't women realise what a catch I am?" thread du jour.

YMMV

Last edited by anu-la1979; 10-05-2009 at 11:45 AM..
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