Straight women: have you ever had relationship problems with men threatened by your competence?

Recently a troglodyte neighbor of mine was surprised and dismayed to learn that, in the Rhymer household, I do the cooking (or at least that cooking more complicated than "open package, cut slit in plastic, insert in microwave for 20 minutes) while my wife does the auto maintenance (or at least that auto maintenance more involved than putting air in the tires). He commented vociferously that he’d never allow his wife to emasculate him like that. I didn’t argue because I have this new rule about not arguing with idiots; also, the dude’s on his third divorce and this attitude partially explains it. (How he’s gotten three women to marry him is still a mystery.) Mostly I just silently laughed.

Which brings us to the thread topic. Straight women of the Dope: Have you ever been in a relationship with a man who was threatened by your competence, particularly in stereotypically male fields? If so, did he ever get better?

No, I haven’t. Men are usually charmed/impressed by my competence and correctly understand that it reflects well on their good taste in female companionship.

Two comments:

  1. Tell your neighbor that if he is so easily emasculated, then his dick must not be firmly attached and hand him a tube of superglue. (No, don’t do that.)

  2. What frozen food (“cut slit in plastic”) goes in the microwave for 20 MINUTES??? That’s a really long time in Microwave Years. Are you sure you’re cleared to operate a microwave oven?

Banquet–at least I think it’s Banquet–sells frozen salisbury steaks that are supposed to cook for twenty minutes.

Also, why would I talk to the trog neighbor on this subject again? I can’t see anything in it for me.

LOL, that’s too funny, but if his neighbor happens to be John Bobbit, it could come across as a little cruel.

Psst—you’re supposed to turn it on.

Yes, but it has been a blessing in disguise. Often in new relationships where I start becomming emotioally attached or even just interested in a possible relationship I will have performance anxiety and it results in poor performance. Uusally by about the third time in bed it resolves itself.I have experienced relationships being suddenly curtailed because of this on several occasions.

Many years ago, my now ex-husband once took a week-long guided hunting trip which involved riding horses and leading a pack mule into the mountains. He believed that this, along with what he considered his rugged, Marlboro Man good looks, his love for western movies and the simple fact that he was a man, qualified him as horseman. His logic was, “They call them cowBOYS.”

I, on the other hand, had actually owned horses for years, taken riding lessons, and successfully shown horses. I’m good at only a few things in this life and one of them is horse handling and care. When I got a horse while we were married, he was furious to discover all the stuff he didn’t know made the horse, who was docile and tractable with me, virtually unmanageable for him. He resented having to ask me how to do things and could not accept that I was better in this particular arena than he was. It wasn’t long before he launched a campaign encouraging me to get rid of the horse.

Wisely, I decided to get rid of him instead. I still have the horse.

Sorry I didn’t see the woman only part!

One ex-boyfriend. Less in ‘traditional’ male competencies, unless we’re counting intelligence, research skills, and general scientific awareness as specifically male areas of expertise.

I think it had more to do with his overall self-esteem. He thought that if he made me look worse, he would look better. He never did realize that him making me look bad on purpose (or trying to) didn’t do much for making him look good either.

He’s apparently on drugs and therapy now, is much happier, and has a strong, smart, capable, stable girl who will physically waste his ass if he tries anything like that with her. I’m actually very happy about that - he always seemed like he wanted to be a good guy, just never quite made it there.

I do regularly have patrons or customers who absolutely refuse to believe that I am the person in charge of my establishment. I’ve been called honey or babe more times than I can count, and one notable ‘gentleman’ refused to acknowledge me at all, insisting on seeing ‘the real manager’ until well after closing. I had to have the cops escort him out. I later found that he was less than pleased to find that my own boss, and the head of the library, are women also. His life must be very hard.

Yes. Unfortunately, my experience has taught me something that is true all too often: Men like a smart woman–until the woman turns out to be smarter about something; and men like an independent woman–until the woman won’t do as she’s told.
I’m sure that’s a generalization, but unfortunately I’ve seen it several times.
It drove my ex-bf crazy that I understood things like “how a toilet works” better than him. He found it insulting somehow.

I have also found this to be true. The variant I have run across is that men like an independent, interesting woman – until she refuses to give up her independence and her interests to cater to them. Then she’s a selfish, cold bitch.

The more she is able to do, the less I have to do. Win-win.

No, none of my relationships have been threatened by my competence. Some, however, have been threatened by his cro-magnon attitude toward women.

Thankfully, my husband doesn’t seem to feel threatened when I can do things better than he can. And fortunately, our abilities seem to complement each other - for example, when we would go boating, he knew I was a much better navigator and I knew he was much better at boat handling in close quarters - we made a good team.

I don’t think my abilities have ever contributed to relationship problems, but they’ve contributed to my lack of patience with “manly men” who feel they have to tell the little girl how it’s done. Years ago when I was an active private pilot, I decided to do some night landings for practice, and one of the guys in the Navy flying club came along for company. As it happened, he was an honest-to-goodness Naval Aviator and he showed up in the Cessna 150 with his big ol’ navigation bag. I guess he was going to step in and rescue me if necessary. OK, whatever…

I wasn’t the world’s greatest pilot, but I knew how to handle the mighty 150 :smiley: and I was very familiar with the local flying area. I headed to the practice field (we weren’t allowed to practice on the base - that was reserved for the Navy aircraft) and got in the pattern to do some landings. Mr. Naval Aviator was going to bestow his wisdom upon me, so to be a good sport, I let him talk me thru a landing. We came down a lot harder than I was ever taught - then again, he flew a carrier-based plane, and they don’t touch down gently. Anyway, we went around, and he kept talking, telling me what to do, but I did what I’d been taught to do, making a softer landing, as it should have been.

He never flew with me again - I wonder why??? :rolleyes:

My thoughts were WOW what a find a chick who fixes cars to boot.

I think my academic accomplishments in my younger days probably put a few guys off from wanting to start a relationship with me in the first place, if that counts. Fortunately, I have since outgrown that demographic. But I’ve never had problems with a guy in this regard after we started dating.

Yep - the ex-husband. The one who taught me that whilst physical abuse is no picnic, emotional abuse outstrips it by a country mile. I am smarter, nicer, more sane and more successful than him and he couldn’t take it. Never never never again. In the relationship I have now, we share in each others’ successes and delight in each others’ competencies.

Though berating an husband for doing traditionally “women’s work” like cooking is pretty stupid, it’s not unusual for a man to feel threatened or inadequate because of their SO’s success. In fact, in a marriage in which the wife earns more divorce, infidelity, and sexual performance issues (for men) is more likely.

I’ve also heard this little anecdotal observation someone made. Strictly in terms of earning potential, an “A” man will marry a “B” woman, a “B” man “C”, etc. So what about the “A” woman? She’ll end up with a “D” man many times. Often significantly younger.

I am not married now, but I plan to get married some day and if my wife earned more than I did, that would probably make me feel shitty. If that means I’m a troglodyte, so be it but I’d rather be honest with myself rather find myself in an unhappy marriage, even if that unhappiness stems from irrationality.

Oh and if I found out my SO was better at traditionally “manly” stuff, like um… Carpentry? I really couldn’t give two shits. In fact, I remember my mom would always take the lead in making Ikea furniture because my dad has really shitty fine motor skills, which I’ve inherited. Oh yeah and my SO works in accounting so is probably waaaay better than me with finance, money, math, whatever, which is traditionally male territory I guess and I don’t care.

Below are articles that discuss the issue:

Yes. It’s actually a very rare man who can handle being an equal partner in a power couple, rather than the cossetted Type A to a nurturing caretaker.

Basically, if he doesn’t already have: a) a housekeeper, b) strong well thought-out opinions, and c) a favorite hammer, we’re not going to get along. Not because those are the things I want in a man, but they seem to be the reliable symptoms of a man who wants the likes of me.

Can a man answer too? Competent or not, they start lowering their standards as the clock ticks. Lady friends working in a big multi-national company; well-paid managers in their early 30’s and still single have this motto: “Any living, breathing man will do.”