Compatibility for a couple arises from finding mutuality in the primal urges and motivators described in articles 702-706 and 1199-1200 and in chapter two of Where Did all the Good Men Go? However, maintaining compatibility depends on another primal urge, namely the need not to lose one’s self-respect.
Compatibility may weaken in many ways, such as insufficient money, persistent irritants, ingratitude, anger, unreliability, irresponsibility, depression. Such ailments need not be terminal. However, unrepaired loss of self-respect implants the anti-compatibility virus. It invades a couple’s mutual heart, clogs the arteries of masculine integrity and sense of responsibility, and clots the veins of marital comfort for him and marital convenience for her.
You can view their respective primal urges—individual drives, needs, wants, fears, and time focus—as their boat of compatibility. Their prime motivators provide propulsion, namely her need for self-importance and his need for self-admiration. Then, imagine self-respect as the water on which their boat floats. Once a couple achieves compatibility, shallow water and grounding of their boat threatens if a mate is criticized, ridiculed, put down, embarrassed, or suffers repeated personal failures. His or her self-respect shrinks. It takes just a little for him but more shrinkage for her to cause the boat to go aground on the shoals of inattention and ignorance about sustaining one’s marriage.
Before the anti-compatibility virus attacks the mutual heart of a couple, their individual hearts function primarily from natural pressures in reaction to spousal pressures:
- With the former more important than the next, a woman’s sense of self-importance generates self-love, out of which arises her self-respect. She can lose a little self-respect without endangering marital compatibility. But, let her self-love begin to deteriorate from losing too much self-respect, and she suffers extreme discomfort and looks for ‘relationship maintenance’. Let it deteriorate such that her sense of self-importance weakens, and she begins to look for something else. Weaken self-importance further and she looks for someone else. (When you get right down to it, whom the man is doesn’t matter. She will most likely respond like that to any man. It’s natural and called self-interest.)
- With the former more important than the next, a man’s sense of self-admiration generates self-respect, out of which arises his self-love. He can lose a little self-love without endangering their marital compatibility. But, let his self-respect begin to deteriorate from any cause, and he recognizes his discomfort and seeks to withdraw from the source. Let self-respect deteriorate such that his sense of self-admiration weakens, and he looks more quickly for something or someone else to make him feel good about himself. (Whomever the woman, it doesn’t matter. He will always respond in his self-interest, usually in favor of another woman, because new conquests restore self-respect better than most things.)
She protects and enlarges her self-respect to insure against loss of self-love. To him, however, self-love is a byproduct of self-respect. Self-love doesn’t insulate his self-respect as well as self-respect protects her self-love. Consequently, self-respect registers as roughly equal in importance to both sexes. Loss of self-respect by either spouse becomes the anti-compatibility virus that infects the mutual heart. (Since men lean more easily toward break up, women face another disadvantage to overcome with their relationship expertise.)
You can’t respect others more than you respect yourself. Don’t expect others to respect you more than you respect yourself. The same goes for love and loving someone. But there’s a big sex difference. A man’s love is based on a foundation of respect for women generally and one in particular. A woman’s love is based on the promises that she sees for brightening her future, both her caring for him and his providing/protecting her and hers.
If a man’s self-respect declines, two things happen. His self-love has already collapsed, and so he can’t love her as much. As his self-respect falls or shrinks, his respect for her also falls, which further shrinks his love of her. If his self-respect sinks further and her presence weakens his sense of self-admiration, he’s likely done with her.
In the absence of his wife’s respect and gratitude for who and what he is, a husband loses both his self-love and self-respect. He questions his worth to her, which means he questions himself. Consequently, she undergoes a double whammy, when she doesn’t undergird, uphold, and promote his self-respect.
Other ways also threaten compatibility. For example, consider these causes and likely effects: She thinks that showering him with affection is the same as showing respect for him, so she does some relationship maintenance with ‘smother love’. She goes too far for what he perceives he has earned, his respect for her shrinks, and his love weakens. Her failure to produce the effects she desires shrinks her sense of self-respect, which reduces the respect she shows him, which makes him more inclined to flee than stay where his self-respect can’t flourish to his satisfaction. All of it arose out of her good intentions.
The shrinkage or tear-down of a woman’s self-respect produces consequences that drive her man away. With her no longer respecting who he is and what he does as well as before, his self-respect diminishes. To protect or preserve it, he withdraws and ultimately drops her. Whereas women easily fall into a depressed funk as their self-respect dwindles or shrinks, men are not so vulnerable to depression. They take action more easily than women to restore their self-respect. Hence, they tend to leave more quickly and often before women even perceive the loss of compatibility. (The foregoing suggests a tip for women: You can smooth waves of incompatibility before they become tsunamis. Develop your own compatibility index and pay more attention to it than to showing or expecting affection, proving your love, or yielding your self-respect in order to please him.)
You can hold a man better with respect than with love. Respect enhances his self-respect and pressures him to show integrity and greater responsibility. The normal expressions of female love loaded with affection please a man’s ego, enlarge his self-centeredness, and invite him to think of new ways to feel good about himself. However, men also tire rather quickly from too much of it one-way from her. They escape tiredness. Some get another source, another woman, to please their egos. The more respectable remind themselves that their self-admiration and self-respect depend more on responsibility, integrity, and marital vows and promises frequently confirmed by wifely respect and gratitude.
Without respecting your man, you can’t hold him with your love. You can’t love someone more than you love yourself. A man can’t love you more than he loves himself. However, a man’s love is built on the foundation of his respect for someone. So, when every day you use ‘pretty time’ to please yourself, you build self-respect and it encourages his respect and sets the stage for being more deeply loved by him.
In the natural order of things, a woman’s expressions of love have far less benefit to men than to women. Showing her love is both natural and essential for her. Showing his love—as she expects it—is unnatural and not essential for him. That’s why women complain so much about their husbands not showing enough affection. It’s also the reason women should pay more attention to their husband’s endeavors. He quite naturally expects her to show respect and gratitude as recognition for his way of expressing love of her and for earning whatever rewards she chooses to deliver for his providing, protecting, etc. Thus, love as women commonly think of it plays but a minor role in keeping a man facing family responsibility.
Summarized, inoculation against the anti-compatibility virus comes this way. Show respect to husband and reinforce his self-respect; it’s more important than his self-love. Show gratitude for his efforts and you doubly confirm his self-respect first gained by doing what makes him feel good about himself, which is taking care of you. If doing that doesn’t uplift your own self-respect, self-love, and self-importance, you may be doing it wrong or with the wrong man. (Courtship testing of your ability to forego dependence on love and substitute displays of respect and gratitude may help determine if marital compatibility has a chance with a particular man.)
For simplicity of understanding and living with a man, you can virtually forget his self-love and deal with him as if only self-respect is vital. Uplifting the self-respect of both mates deepens the waters of their marital cruise. Women who succeed at sustaining at least and hopefully uplifting their man’s and their own self-respect actually inoculate their marriage against the awful virus of anti-compatibility.