In a husband’s mind, he won the Battle of the Sexes when he proposed marriage. She became his when she accepted what he offered. If not conquered before, the wedding night confirmed conquest. No battles left to fight or even disagree; he’s in charge but innocent of what wife has likely laid out for the days ahead.
It means that whatever battles ensue are most likely caused by wife’s desire to make things different than existed in premarital times. He marries expecting to continue as before and for her not to change, but she does. She marries expecting him to change, but he won’t. He continues his presence by filling his premarital role. She continues her presence with him with thoughts of fulfilling whatever her marital dreams have become.
His marital expectations arise automatically out of natural dominance, his commitment to obligations for which he accepts responsibility, and conviction that their relationship is steady and in no need of change. From day one, their marriage is okay, so he seeks few or no changes. The marriage runs well as is. He envisions none of the changes or improvements that she intends to make.
A man’s interest in marriage can be boiled down to one specific objective. Is he satisfied with who and what he is and who he does it with? Regardless of what she does and who she is, is he satisfied with her, living with her, and thus satisfied with his marriage? He may or may not be happy as she visualizes it, but his satisfaction with himself is more important anyway.
He bundles his mind and heart into marriage. His attitude reflects that he perceives things to be somewhat like the list below. Perception is reality; whatever appears to be, is, and so he acts accordingly. Here’s a ten-pack bundle about how the male nature works as the result of being born different from women.
- If she’s smiling, all is well with her. If she frowns or complains, he blames himself. He’s responsible to keep the marriage going well, but he takes personal her complaints about it. Men don’t easily accept blame or guilt from their mate. Unless his desire to please her exceeds his desire to get his way for each incident, he responds defensively, shifts to offense, and institutes competition with every intent to win. (He can’t win without her losing and vice versa once competition arises.)
- He’s the ultimate boss but she’s the governor over marital matters. Her authority to act on their behalf rests with his respect that she earned previously or on the job as wife. Even more so than his love of her, which makes it hard for her to both understand and accept. (He works with his mind and she works with her heart to win battles.)
- Their relationship is okay as is, so nothing needs managing. A relationship is good or bad, on or off, yes or no, okay or not. To him, no need to fix anything, because he can’t comprehend how except that it’s her fault and for her to correct herself. It may not be the final outcome, but that’s where his thinking begins (and competition worsens it for wife).
- She’s free and expected to handle those things of which he has little or no interest.
- He’ll let her know when things aren’t right or acceptable. Direct is his strong suit for he expects her to follow his lead. (Indirect is her strength for she finds him willing to please when she leads indirectly.)
- He accepted her competing with him before they married, but he expects no more of it—just her cooperation as needed.
- He owns their sexual agenda. Convenience, frequency, willingness, and readiness are expected. Lack of welcomeness insults him.
- He expects her respect, gratitude, and dependence on him for producing, providing, protecting, and problem solving. It’s his primary role in marriage.
- He expects her to remain his bride for life. He can accept aging as cause of changes, but her careless changes in appearance and habits disappoint him unless he endorses them specifically.
- He doesn’t view love as the glue of their marriage. Satisfaction with her likeability is more glue-worthy with him. Her presence outweighs her love offerings, which are great, however, to confirm her loyalty (and make her feel extra good).
It happens easily for new brides. She feels shortchanged by his actions that don’t promote her importance in their life together, such as lack of attention, affection, and appreciation. He harbors the view that he paid her price to win her, what more does she expect? Whatever he showed before marriage was part of the price he paid to win her hand. Men view such special considerations necessary before but not necessarily after marriage; she’s easy to take for granted once he’s won her over to his side.
A husband’s battle of the sexes is to prevent changes to their marital arrangement that cause dissatisfaction with who he is, what he does, and who he does it with. If wife can alter marital arrangements without dissatisfying him in the process, she can probably have her way in most matters.