In a long-term study of 130 newlywed couples, Dr. John Gottman discovered that men who allow their wives to influence them have happier marriages and are less likely to divorce.

This critical skill is not limited to heterosexual couples. It’s essential in same-sex relationships as well, but the research shows that gay and lesbian couples are notably better at it than straight couples. See The 12 Year Study for more on this.

I want you to meet Lauren and Steven.* While Steven believes an equal partnership is the key to a happy and lasting marriage, his actions speak differently.

Steven: “The guys and I are going fishing this weekend. We are leaving later tonight.”
Lauren: “But my girlfriends are staying with us on Friday, and I need help cleaning the house tonight. We talked about this. How could you forget? Can you leave tomorrow morning?”
Steven: “How did you forget I have my guys trip? I can’t change our departure schedule. We are leaving in a few hours.”

Lauren’s anger boils. She calls him a “selfish asshole” and storms out of the kitchen.

Feeling overwhelmed, Steven pours himself a glass of whiskey and turns on the football game.

When Lauren walks back into the room to talk, he stonewalls her. She starts to cry. He announces he needs to work on his truck and leaves the room.

Arguments like these are full of accusations, making it difficult to determine the underlying cause. What is clear is Steven’s unwillingness to accept Lauren’s influence.

Rejecting Influence

It’s not that marriage can’t survive moments of anger, complaints, or criticism. They can. Couples get in trouble when they match negativity with negativity instead of making repairs to de-escalate conflict. Dr. Gottman explains in The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work that 65% of men increase negativity during an argument.

Steven’s response doesn’t show that he hears Lauren’s complaint. Instead, he responds with defensiveness and sends a complaint right back: Why didn’t she remember his plans?

The Four Horsemen – criticism, defensiveness, contempt, stonewalling – are telltale signs that a man is resisting his wife’s influence.

My point is not to insult men. It takes two to make a marriage work and it is just as important for wives to treat their husbands with honor and respect. But Dr. Gottman’s research indicates that a majority of wives – even in unhappy marriages – already do this.

This doesn’t mean women don’t get angry and even contemptuous of their husbands. It just means that they let their husbands influence their decision making by taking their opinions and feelings into account. Data suggests that men do not return the favor.

Statistically speaking, Dr. Gottman’s research shows there is an 81% chance that a marriage will self-implode when a man is unwilling to share power.

What Men Can Learn From Women

There are books that say men are from Mars and women are from Venus. While this isn’t literally true, men and women often do feel alien to each other.

This starts in childhood. When boys play games, their focus is on winning, not their emotions or the others playing. If one of the boys get hurt, he gets ignored. After all, “the game must go on.”

With girls, feelings are often the first priority. When a tearful girl says, “we’re not friends anymore,” the game stops and only starts again if the girls make up. In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. Gottman explains, “the truth is that ‘girlish’ games offer far better preparation for marriage and family life because they focus on relationships.”

There are plenty of women who are unaware of these social nuisances and men who are deeply sensitive to others. In Dr. Gottman’s research, however, only 35% of the men were emotionally intelligent.

Two Roads Diverged

…and I took the relationship-focused one.

The husband who lacks emotional intelligence rejects his wife’s influence because he fears a loss of power. And because he is unwilling to accept influence, he will not be influential.

The emotionally intelligent husband is interested in his wife’s emotions because he honors and respects her. While this man may not express his emotions in the same way his wife does, he will learn how to better connect with her.

When she needs to talk, he’ll turn off the football game and listen. He will pick “we” over “me.” He will understand his wife’s inner world, continue to admire her, and communicate this respect by turning towards her. His relationship, sex life, and overall joy will be far greater than the man who lacks emotional intelligence.

The emotionally intelligent husband will also be a better father because he is not afraid of feelings. He will teach his children to respect their emotions and themselves. Dr. Gottman calls this Emotion Coaching.

Because this man is deeply connected to his wife, she will go to him when she is stressed, upset, and overjoyed. She’ll even go to him when she is aroused.

How to Accept Influence

Dr. Gottman suspects men who resist their wives influence do so without realizing it. Accepting influence is both a mindset and a skill cultivated by paying attention to your spouse every day. This means building your Love Maps, expressing your fondness and admiration, and accepting bids for connection.

And when conflict happens, the key is to understand your partner’s point of view and be willing to compromise. Do this by identifying your inflexible areas and searching for something both of you can agree to.

For example: Steven understands that Lauren is stressed about having company when the house is a mess. While he may not be able to delay his trip until the next morning, he can push it back to later that evening so he can help her around the house first. Maybe instead of Steven vacuuming and wiping down the counters (typically his task), Lauren could wipe them down in the morning before her friends arrive so Steven could leave a little earlier with his buddies.

Accepting your partner’s influence is a great strategy for gaining more respect, power, and influence. Want to have a happy and stable marriage? Make your commitment to your partner stronger than your commitment to winning. If you do that, your marriage wins.

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*Author’s Note: In the example provided, Lauren’s negativity is realistic (and understandable) because her needs are not being met. There tends to be criticism and frustration from both partners in these relationships. With that said, if Lauren had softened her start-up, Steven may have received it better and accepted her influence.

In all marital conflicts, both parties have responsibilities as a speaker and a listener. The listener’s role is to listen non-defensively for the emotional bid for connection, even if the tone used is harsh, while the speaker’s role is to use a soft start-up by complaining without blame.

More in Emotionally Intelligent Couples
Emotionally Intelligent Husbands are Key to a Lasting Marriage
Kyle Benson

Kyle Benson is an Intentionally Intimate Relationship coach providing practical, research-based tools to build long-lasting relationships. Kyle is best known for his compassion and non-judgemental style and his capacity to see the root problem. Download the Intimacy 5 Challenge to learn where you and your partner can improve your emotional connection and build lasting intimacy. Connect with Kyle on Twitter and Facebook. For more tools visit

  • Steve

    I think the overall message is spot on, but I have some issues with the example given. I object to suggestion that the Steven character is the one who amped up the negativity in their disagreement. Lauren opened with “…I can’t believe you forgot about my friends coming…” when apparently they BOTH had made an error when they scheduled their plans. She was equally at fault but she ignores her own culpability, blames him, and demands he make changes in his plans so her plans can go interrupted. I don’t think you can get more self centered than that. Furthermore unless they discussed him helping out cleaning up before her friends came into town she has effectively become angry with him and demanded he change his plans because she made her own plans and she had committed him to work as part of these plans without his consent. That is crazy. Maybe she should consider his feelings in the matter and not lead with “how could you forget about my plans…” Or with demands that he delay/ruin his own plans while she makes zero concessesions of her own in the matter….

    • Yahhhmon

      And the assumption that “most wives do this” is assumption.

      Yes, there are some wonderful women who are skilled at deescalation just as there men who do that too.

      This article seems overly gender biased, which is no surprise.

      However, saying that, yes, men should be influenced by their wives more and some women could choose to be a little more too (not all are even if many are).

      • Bender Rodriguez

        Most women DO do that. You just don’t notice because those times went smoothly.

        • Yahhhmon

          If the theory is most men don’t and most women don’t we can choose to believe it.

          Reality is many men don’t, many women don’t. There are a lot of broken people in the world or ones with psychogical problems.

          The women and men whom who show E.I. traits, and there are many who do, stand out. I’ve been blessed to know some.

    • PsychDr

      An error in thinking I see all the time with my couples/husbands in therapy is the assumption you just made which is of course the housework is HER responsibility. It’s not “helping out” which assumes her job, it’s sharing the load. That right there is not sharing influence as running a household is really the job of both adults even when one person is staying at home with small children. Note that the husband in this article “goes back to watching football”. Imagine what might have happened if he just started doing some of the work needing done before both people had their plans begin. When men share the load they find that not only do their relationships run smoother but they also end up with more and better sex. Just a thought.

      • Thank you for this

      • Steve

        I had interpreted the anecdote in a different way – that because there was company coming over the woman wanted the house in “company” form so to speak. I would whole heartedly agree that housework in general is both of their responsibility, but this seems to fall into a different category in my mind. What I mean by this is that there is kind of a “regular” steady state that a household will oscillate around from a neatness standpoint and presumably both parties contribute equally to maintaining such a state – however when friends or company come over maybe one or both parties changes what their threshold is for an acceptable level of neatness – maybe the woman in this instance is embarrassed by any amount of untidiness, but maybe the gentleman is OK with there being a little grout in the bathroom. Presuming that the house is at its “baseline” tidiness level and not a complete wreck, I would suggest that it’s an appropriate expectation that the responsibility for any tidying above and beyond a baseline cleanliness falls on her. I know that if I wanted to have a social get together I certainly wouldn’t expect my significant other to have to do extra tidying because I wanted to have guests and I was self conscious about the state of the household. Now if the house was a mess because people were behind on chores, etc., then yes, I agree her certainly has a responsibility to make his fair share of contributions.

        In reality, I think he should want to help out regardless of the state of the house because it’s a nice thing to do and people who care about each other should be happy doing nice things for each other.

        Lets think about this the other way around though and I think there are some other biases that may emerge. Let us suppose that she had agreed to help clean up the house because a group of his friends were coming into town. Coincidentally she already had a girls trip planned for that weekend which both partners were aware of. Then she comes home and says oh shoot, I forgot that I was supposed to leave tonight, I won’t be able to help clean up anymore.

        If I were in that situation, never in a million years would I get angry at my partner… It was a oversight plain and simple – and in this case the oversight was made by both parties because both knew about both scheduled activities when they had this discussion about cleaning. I think the reasonable response in that situation would be – “oh you know what, I totally forgot you had this event too when we discussed cleaning up. We probably should have made plans to clean the house yesterday so there wouldn’t have been this conflict.” Furthermore, I think I would almost certainly WANT my partner to go on their trip on time – maybe it’s extra work for me but so what, we both made an oversight (and even if only she made the oversight – who the heck cares – *unless of course this was some sort of pattern of behavior.) Regardless, I think I would be happy to do some extra cleaning just so my partner would not miss out on a big weekend trip planned with close friends! Why wouldn’t I want my partner to be happy?? I certainly know I wouldn’t want them to miss important time spent with close friends that may not come around too frequently.

        This incident was really just a function of an unfortunate oversight by both parties – that when they discussed cleaning the house up that nobody realized there was this scheduling conflict. Both parties had all the information – and regardless, even if he just made a mistake so be it. Mistakes happen! Clearly there was no ill will on his part… Given all that, me it seems incredibly unreasonable and downright selfish to ask somebody to miss out on part an important trip with close friends because she doesn’t want to have to do some extra work cleaning up. Really, to me it’s an overreaction from the very beginning when she complains, “how could you forget?” – incinuating that he should be blamed for this mistake, Then to have an expectation that he leave the next morning? That’s crazy in my mind. Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to say, oh shoot we both forgot that our schedules clashed, can we figure out a way to problem solve this? Can we do as much cleaning as possible right now? Maybe I can push our ETD back a few hours so I can help clean, etc. That seems like a reasonable response and problem solving effort from both parties where no blame is placed – as opposed to this scenario where the woman is quite eager to blame her partner and has extremely little regard for how important this trip may be for him. In fact, instead of being willing to do some extra cleaning herself or instead of taking the chance of suffering a little social embarrassment (BTW if these are her good friends, they probably shouldn’t care if her house was a mess anyways) she would rather have her partner miss out on his important weekend (about half of it) so he can contribute an equal amount to a task which debatably he isn’t even responsible for in the first place. To me, this kind of expectation typifies the sense of entitlement that some (not all) women unfortunately have – that the world revolves around them.

        • PsychDr

          A lot of assumptions are being made. I believe the point within the Gottman framework is that the husband’s immediate response was defensive. Defensiveness sends the message of “that’s not my problem, you are on your own”. I’m not saying that it was ok to call him a selfish asshole but that is how the dance can get started. I’ve found in my practice that people are often very unaware of the myriad ways defensiveness shows up. The reaction to defensiveness is very often anger. The other point is that when the other partner’s feelings aren’t counting for anything…which clearly they weren’t for the husband when he pours a whiskey instead of trying to problem solve or help in any way in the time he does have…..that’s when resentments build. In general (and there are always more within group differences in things than between group differences) I’ve found that women more automatically tend to allow influence and respond to their partner’s feelings than do men who often only *think* they do. Gottman’s research kind of bears this out when the effect of allowing influence is not bi-directional but only occurs related to whether *men* allow influence. His research data show women already generally allow influence at such high levels that there is what’s called a ceiling effect….no difference in the explanation factor. Further, I would just challenge you to see that you are not seeing entitlement in the husband’s behavior where if I were to see it at all (vs just conflict and feelings), it would be in BOTH not just the wife. Food for thought.

          • Steve

            Fair enough, interesting discussion regardless.

          • MackeyDIngo

            Perhaps because the woman’s immediate response was accusatory? I know this is an example, and I think the ultimate solution is a good one, but the fault here is being put on the guy for his response to her accusation.

            And let’s be honest, unless she specifically said I need you to help me clean up before my friends come over, he did nothing outside of what they talked about, and was therefore attacked due to her failure to communicate.

          • Bender Rodriguez

            “Perhaps because the woman’s immediate response was accusatory?”

            No, it wasn’t. It was normal human interaction stuff you even see in regular friendships. To wit…

            Roommate Pal: “Work guys and I are going fishing this weekend. We are leaving later tonight.”

            Buddy: “But my girlfriends is staying with me on Friday, and I need help changing my brakes so I can pick her up. We talked about this. DUDE! How could you forget? Can you leave tomorrow morning?”

            Pal: “Ohhhh I forgot!”

            Buddy: “Yeah!”

            Pal: “Alright. If we start now well get the hard parts done, then you can do the rest… put the wheels back on and whatnot.”

            Buddy: “OK. I got it all in the garage. Lets knock it out…”

            See? It’s very easy to cast women as histrionic villains when they are not. Its because of the biased lense you evaluate them with, one that tells you to interpret everything she says as menstrual.

            Her: “Can you pass the salt? … [nothing]… Excuse me… [nothing]… excuse me, hi! … Hi, can you pass the salt?”

            Anyone and everyone: “Alright already!”

            Another way…

            Jim: Pass the salt… yo… hey man… hey man… pass the salt.

            Steven: Sorry… Didn’t hear ya…. Crunching in my jaw [points to chewing jaw] There ya go.

            *It’s like magic!*

        • Bender Rodriguez

          “Then she comes home and says oh shoot, I forgot that I was supposed to leave tonight, I won’t be able to help clean up anymore.

          “If I were in that situation, never in a million years would I get angry at my partner..”


          That’s just it… she was not in that situation. Do you see how you manipulated the situation to being a respectful acknowledgement of one’s own culpability and then loftily said you’d be ok with it, thereby casting her as a shrew (for not being magnanimous like you) in the actual situation? The actual situation is NOT a respectful admission of culpability. The actual situation is him turning tables and trying to make HER the guilty party (like your own instinct is to do) to avoid admitting letting down… THAT is why she is upset. She’s ultimately not the most upset at the hiccup in plans. She’s mostly upset at his letting her down and instead of finding a way to repair the damage, he then shoves a prybar into the rift torn into her trust for him to make it worse.

    • Bender Rodriguez

      You’re making stuff up. It’s a made up scenario that does not allow what you’re saying. If he had a guys trip that was leaving before he could help, then why did he agree to help? It doesn’t make sense that she forgot because he would have reminded her before he agreed to help her. The more likely scenario is that he (like you) is making up her culpability to defend the indefensible. That was an escalation of negativity and it perfectly explains her feelings of betrayal and his guilty

    • Caroline Snider

      With my husband nothing is forgotton or forgiven for 28 years of blackmail, coercion and armed force trying to get him in line with the needs of others, both in the community and on his job. For myself and everyone else time passed so much differentlythan it did for him from 1982 to 2009 when he let himself get so depressed over thevway we wanted him to be he let his immune system quit, and he developed MRSA in a abscess in his spine.

      When he went into surgery that October 24th 2009. He had spent most of the last 9 years hating me, his father and the community for the way he had been forced to pay attention to everyone else’s needs before his own. he had not had but six days off from may 28th 1985. and all of them had been after another surgery, a brain tumor removal off the top of his brain stem.

      He was supposed to have sixty days off for his recovery but his surgery came right in the middle of vacation plans. even though he broke a keyboard over one mans face none of the five that came to take him to work that day did not come out of his room not bleeding. He was yelling at me to call federal authoraties to report his abduction. They were just taking him back to his job after six days. I felt that what he wanted was harsh against my friends and his father.

      I did not consider that the things he had in store for us was very harsh the next 8 years.latter that fall we did not know how bad he could cause pain. When he would not discuss the problems he would create when he used his seniority to take a job bid. It was a job wanted by four men that stood higher in the communities social structure, he did not care in the least when he used his knowledge of combat hand to hand. on four of them. leaving them dying on our porch for daring to lay a hand on him. They just wanted him to back off the job bid. I had spent the day before on my knees begging him to back off and promising him ifhe did that everything from vacations, to sex that he had wanted the last 16 years would be his. I remembered his actions for having him arrested on December the 23 1999, and how he had embarrassed me and his family. When we returned from Bavaria on his birthday January the fifth 2000. All because we got him to work the time over the millinial holidays he gave me a box of dog excrement for my Christmas gift.

      His parents got a wagon wheel set in their yard with rawhide wrist ties and a bull whip and sign telling the community they wereinvitewd to come beat the uppity slave on his 45th birthday. He made me and his family look like slavers fotr getting him to do what was right for everyone. We bame nack with a peace offering, Christmas gift, and birthday fift of a clock that changed background scenes of all the worlds celebrations on the millinial and it could be programed with his music watching it. We were going to suggest he take the next 11 days off and do any as the replacement for the time off and let him choose a time latter that spring to go any where he wanted with his four weeks vacation thing he wanted was on the table as long as he did not mention what we had done to him the last 15 years. We wanted a peace with him but he wanted total war with us.

      the next 9 years it was force and counter force ending with the orient express vacation in 2009 when he dislocated my shoulder, and tried to strangle his father to death over that trip, We had canceled his reservations and taken his passport. Yo fet him to stay and work in place of a man with 32 years less seniority so he could gave a honey moon then. We had started the arrangement for a vacation for him starting on January the second 2010, it was just 210 days away or seven months. The vacation was five weeks in St Croix, and we could get him another month with personal time.

      That orient express trip was the final straw with him after 28 years. He became ill. then 3 years latter he came home from rehab with no intention to even try to talk things over. He told me the evening he came home with that cane that he was the final and only judge and arbiter, in what he was allowed under his roof and the rest of us could go to hell if we thought we had a dam thing to say. We were going to try and take him for a nice dinner that Saturday so everyone could find a way to make amends for the 28 years of abuse, work him into social and home situations in baby steps. He was sent home three days before expected on an evening there were other plans made.

      I was going with his father, mother and his fathers best friend to a invitation only fund raising dinner.. When I steped out of the bedroom after hetting ready to fo I was instantly on the defensive running into my husbands chest. A man that was supposed to be in a wheel chair. since the surgery in 2001 it was easy to tell when my husband was angry. His eye color changed from hazzle to steel gray, usually ending in somebody hurt very badly.

      I started crying before the first words were out. He was being sarcastic, He said good I was ready to go out. that he had not even been to a movie in 31 years, where were WE going to celebrate his homecoming. I was reaching into my purse for a 100.00. I said I had promised the evening for a dinner event to his father, It was to late to change plans for that evening . I had promised his father. He knew I was not ready to go out with him and he shot the plans for the evening to pieces the next 45 minutes. He sais that how many promises were kept to him over the last 31 years, he counted, out of hundreds, that he was promised the score stood as me wiyj many and him with none. I was crying just pick a place to meet me in four hours, I would het there with his mother father and his fathers best friend and call other people that had things to say in their defense.

      He said he did not care about what any one wanted to say even me. He said if I went through the door with his faher I was staying with them and never setting foot in our house again. my things would be on the deck to collect ands I had less than one minute to get out, or he would consider it my tacit permission to do as he pleased, and he would consider that I was going to start being a wife. Mot just the person that helped steal his life.

      I was crying still telling him that the time before MRSA was not meant it was just the only way to secure his cooperation, I said we had offered many times a way to have time off, just not when he wanted, the only thing I had when he came home from the navy to ge his cooperation was to promise a sex life, He just would never willingly cooperate, So I kept having to make the same promise, just to get him to be nice about things. I said the last 11 years there had not been one time he was nice, he hurt people over interference.

      I said it was not a rational thing to hurt people over rights. He said then he was bot rational and cared less about any thing I wanted, I was not going out to a dinner that evening. I was staying home and being the wife I had promised to be 31 years before. I was crying even harder by this point, I said I was 48 and we could start living in just peace and grow old as we should from that point, just live in peace now.

      I could see he was not buying the goods I was selling.. He was in front of the phones so I took off for the door to yell for help. He shredded my dress and backed me into the living room yelling he was my husband and I was going to be a wife with my mouth shut. I was five minutes past the time. Therefore I was his to do as he pleased, I was begging that evening did not have ro be this way we could work things out with some discussion. He threw me the phone told me that I was to call 911, don’t clean up for the kit, sont pick up for scene photos and lets see who walked out of court with there head high.

      He was not continuing taking it in the teeth just to keep the peace. his fathers friend threatened him to let him talk to me, he ended up in the ER..

      I had a little boy 9 months six days latter my husband invites himself to every family function, In 2014 2 were very bad, first memorial day when he refused to go away for the cookout on our porch. I was just going for drinks, but my husband felt that he was the only one that had the tight to escort me. He would not let me go with his fathers friend chasing him from the cookout and taking the reservation ticket with me away from him, His own father was angry that my husband would overife the traditions of 302 years and invite himself as my escort. I also felt the way my husband forcedthe issue was in bad taste, maybe it was not my right to go for drinks with someone else but my husband was forcing change to his way again. So his father slapped him in our kitchen for being rude, my husband backhanded his father breaking his jaw.

      He shoved all the gurstrs out andf locked the house and took me to the club.. his father had somone call ahead and offer the doorman 100 to keep my husband out. He played a cripple to the hilt letting the doorman push him into the street before he reacted I felt so sorry for the people and the doorman when my husband tool him down.

      Over the fourths cookout somebody slipped several ketamine into my husbands coffee I thought he had gone to lay down when suddenly seveal deputies and the state police walked in two hours latter and searched my guests, They found two with the ketamine, Ny husband was at the hospital getting cleaned out of an overdose. He had been taken from the cookout and dropped 30 miles away on the side of a country road. He had stumbled up to a farm house and asked for help.

      The police said that according to the ER doctors it was lucky they had not given more. Instead of abduction it could have been murder. The men that dropped him said it was just a joke we were going out to get him in another hour. Even after his mother, father and others begged him to drop charges my husband said he was tired of people, deciding he was not to be accorded the same decency we enjoyed. We had moved to Wyoming the year before we were just back to complete the move and sell the house. His father was at the end of his patience and so was my husband.

      I was asked to go to a breakfast to discuss the next tri year vacation to cancun in the spring of 2015, They needed to think of a way to get my husband to not go, To have our conference without my husbands input they held him at pistol pount to let me go without him, That just succeded in my husband hunting us down and he ripped the faces of the two men open with his cane in front of a horrified restraunt full of people. After that it was impossible to keep things low key. .Since 2013 my husbands war ruined many traditions. Where he worked the contract rules not needs. people in social positions are not given any better consideration. I feel that even with the political and good old bot system that was used to keep my husband from having time off, and my own blackmail ir was not needed to get violent over such things as sex, vacations, holidays, weekends, shift and job choice, We could have somehow sat down and hammered a way everyone got their needs met. We might not have liked giving up but we had to any way.

      • DC

        if any of this is true, you are married to a psychopathic superhero in a wheelchair.
        if this is fiction, then i suggest getting an editor.

        • Caroline Snider

          My husband was supposed to be in a wheel chair after MRSA caused his spinal cord to be partially severed and crushed when his backbone slipped. Part of his occupational therapy was relearning to use his hands.

          One of the nurses had a red oak branch she took out of her yard kiln dried and she bought it in for my husband to carve on just to see what he could come up with. he worked on iit the entire three years he was there with his father saying what would he ever need a cane for, since he had no nerve impulse in his legs/ This cane when he was done weighed 13.5 pounds. stood 4’4″ tall toped with a dragons head with titainium teeth my husband had filed out of drills. that were used up from his plant; and finished in black laquer with red crystal eyes also donated by nurses. The last four years that cane is the great equalizer. He came home that week the end of januray the first of February 2013. He did not care about things that he would have to be worked into over time, he did not care that I had been extremely lonely. and after the prior 8 years his going after everyone when they interfered in vacations and holidays he wanted off. we always felt that’s what retirement was for.

          Let everyone else have their time needs met then when he was seventy with all the time in the world he would also have the money laid back for what he wanted to do play golf, bowl, go on overseas trips as long as they did not cross the group vacation. ust be patient and he would get his way after a while, There was no patience in him. he wanted the rights under the UAW contract that he had earned. Eventually I gave up trying to get him to give up on those rights. That was over a job bid in 2001. His father and others wanted him to take a different bid going up in two weeks any shift. job and department just not the bids that went up that first week for the new plant leave the job for several men that had better social. political and family connections.

          Yo get him just to wait 2 more weeks I spent the week of November sixth 2001 we started by asking him to back off, and when I mentioned the social connections that was like waving a red cape in a bulls face, We were shut out , I spent the 5rh offering myself, the holidays and to stop interfering in his vacation wants. all he had to do to make this happen was wait two weeks.

          He told me that he would accept this promise then expect we would live up to our end and he would be told he had another promise to accept that also would not be lived up to since none of us had any idea how to jeep our word since 1985. he told me to take his pimp father and my tramp self and step in front of a semi. he was going to start living his life as he wanted.

          The next morning I thought they were just going to talk to my husband when I bolted him out. I was listening that 4 am of November sixth 2001, they followed him onto the porch and their ultimatum was either go under his own power and remove his bid or they would carry him in and he would still pull his bid. my husbands counter was get off his porch and out of his face or die where they stood. The county commissioners son took the first swing. They were not counting on someone trained in the army in martial arts, and then nuclear weapons security in the navy, A man that took 200 pound bars and loaded them in his machines one handed. He was like a train going through those 4 men including the man that earned me the name of tramp from my husband, I had a fast fling with him in Bavaria in 1999’2000 while my husband was being escorted from jail to work over the millinials that was the year we tried to come home holding the olive branch out only to be slapped in the face with it and I was again holding it out in 2001. this time everyone litteraly was slapped in the face with it. my ankle was broken and four men turned into trauma care patents and even his father was laid at a deputies feet when he slaped his son.

          The next eight years was intimidation and my husbands reprisals. then in 2009 we were going on the orient express my husband made our plans and told me the first interference with that vacation he would break both my arms We thought he would not do anything more than insult us in the arport when we told him he was not going. he did not break my arms he dislocated my shoulder throwing me getting the refund check, to get his passport from his father the intention was he was going to be dead before he had a chance to board.

          The last eight years my husband to get his way had gone from insults to being willing tp murder someone. to keep from working another holiday or vacation, then he wanted to die by October mrsa was in his spine. Nobody knows how to handle a man who does not beleive in the axiom patence is a virtue

        • Insidious Sid

          It seems that as professional victim-hood infects more and more women, the stories get more shocking by the day. I have to go buy my daughter a handgun now – I just heard 9 out of every 6 women will be raped on campus this year.

      • StanUlam

        Are you sure you’re not married to my ex-wife?

  • elliefrost

    Or the wife always gets her way because the husband doesn’t want to suffer the consequences if he disagrees with anything.

    • Bender Rodriguez

      So he’s not an adult and is not responsible for himself and she’s not in his team? I know your goal is to put down women to score points from men. But the whole “Yes dear” weak male cliche is a huge insult on men, though many UNWITTINGLY enjoy using it as excuses and jokes about the wives.

      • elliefrost

        I have no interest in currying favor with men. I know a few of these couples and yes, I consider the men weak and the women overbearing. Neither are emotionally intelligent. I do however know more couples who have healthy relationships.

      • elliefrost

        No reply huh? Because there’s egg on your face. You come here making all kinds of assumptions and criticize people for what? An ego boost?

        • Insidious Sid

          I’m frying bacon over here… to go with them eggs! 😉

          • seniorpoliticaljunkie

            I wasn’t talking to you.

          • Insidious Sid

            Oh noes!

          • seniorpoliticaljunkie

            Attention suck.

      • StanUlam

        No, it’s a reflection of the legal and financial privilege women have over men in a marriage due to the deep sexism of family courts and domestic violence law.

        • Insidious Sid

          You forgot using sex and intimacy as a form of coercion by doling it out like a dog treat for good/approved behavior. Interestingly, men using coercion to have sex is domestic violence according the Southern Poverty Law Center. But women can coerce USING sex and all is well – it’s just an accepted part of culture.

          • chomps

            Those are very different things. I’m not sure how they can be confused.

          • Blondie02

            Totally different. Once is physically forcing someone to have sex, the other if true is witholding or granting sex based on a man’s behavior. But what men don’t realize is that if you are not treating a women well, she has no sexual desire for you. It’s not that she is withdolding sex as a punishment, it’s that your behavior makes you wholly unattractive to her.

          • Decantrix Vino

            It is very interesting how a discussion, following an article about the statistics of general gender behavior and its effects—positive and negative— on a long term relationship (regardless, of gender, actually!), rapidly devolves into an extremism, woman-bashing narrative. I’m rembering back to countless other data-driven pieces I’ve run across over the years, that generally suggest women might lean toward one approach, that may not be best in the big picture, while men, generally, instinctively lean toward the better option, and in those instances, cannot recall a single reader-response negating males for acting in the overall well-being of a dynamic/situation. And, simply because the piece was suggesting, perhaps, that women might be able to learn, or draw-from the more male approach, at that!

            I’m a feminist, which actually means I’m extremely sensitive, aware, and am an advocate for men’s justice and wonen’s justice. That does NOT mean ‘girls rule; boys drool,” or i advocate for women’s rights over and above a man’s, as it has been deliberately twisted to mean in the cultural dialogue over the last 3 decades. I advocate for human rights. We are not the same—men and women, but we deserve the same rights, including in family courts across the country. That’s one of deepest passions, is to seek change for fathers, because our children bare the brunt of this failing institution. But, that isn’t what this relationship data is talking about—it’s got zero to do with ‘gender wars’.

            Generally speaking, culturally and biologically, the genders sometimes approach problems from different angles. In some instances, a majority of women have a natural advantage for approaching a thing in a way that leads to a successful outcome. In other cases, men do. The research shows, this piece clearly, fairly and eloquently states, that in this specific area of relationship, women are conditioned (and, perhaps have brains more wired in this direction, too) to act in ways that produce more successful outcomes, and it then goes on to offer that there could be lessons taken from that approach that may help some men achieve relationship success. Actually, it doesn’t even say it quite like that. It suggests that *anyone*— male or female—seeking long-lasting, happier relationships, learn to empathize and care about their partner’s needs, desires, dreams, and well-beings. And, if you refuse? Your chances of having lasting happiness & contentment in relationship go way, way down.

            Radical, yes. An excuse to beat up either gender? Hell, no. Pointing fingers, a great diversion from looking at oneself.

            [aorry to make this longer, but wanted to say this is not aimed in response to any specific poster here, i just am not sure where to respond in the layout on my phone.]

        • Blondie02

          What does domestic violence have to do with this?

    • Sophie Zackery

      I’m with a man like that. He holds his anger and lets me “get my way” until he explodes over the tiniest thing. He’s thrown trashcans and even kitchen countertops at me (he is very physically strong).
      But it isn’t because of my consequences for refusal, but the consequences of his mother. She would react with abuse and hostile rage at him as a child for nearly any transgression on his part. The trauma he suffered is continually played out in this way against me, which is a very sad thing to be a part of. It is difficult to support him, but I know it is not easy to be him, either.

      • seniorpoliticaljunkie

        I’m sorry. Hope you two will work it out.

      • Jeff K

        Best to leave for a few hours if that happens (or forever if you’re had enough) If it leaves any marks or bruises, take pictures when he’s not there, and save to a secret cloud storage, then delete from your phone. Obviously – don’t provoke to TRY getting such photos, just saying if it happens again… I know you feel sorry for him, but you might need that later on, if things get worse. He ought to be in therapy, and if he already is, I hope for the best.

    • Jeff K

      I hear what you’re saying seniorpoliticaljunkie – yet I find this example difficult, because we don’t know the full conversation/backstory. Sounds like maybe they did work out an arrangement earlier and he’s being stubborn and going back on his word.

  • Marisa Ulrich

    Wow. As a wife, I would never be as demanding or selfish as the one in the example. Sheesh. While I see a point or two in this, I am getting rather weary of the blame being laid almost solely on the man. I have known many a woman who runs roughshod over men’s and even fellow women’s feelings and many a man who is kind and compassionate. Of course, it all depends on your definition. For some women I have known, kind and compassionate really means bending over backwards.

    • Eve Salazar

      Being disappointed your husband is about to back out of previously agreed-upon plans in order to facilitate his own plans is not selfish, it’s acknowledging a dilemma. Did she express that disappointment in the best possible way? No. However. One of the other commenters made a good point: then why didn’t he get off his butt and offer to help THAT NIGHT, seeing her in a jam? I liked this article because both parties ARE responsible to each other but the escalation occurred due to his reactions and unwillingness to participate in resolution. So, is HE being an active and emotionally intelligent partner willing to find a resolution quickly and kindly? Or is the onus on being the emotionally intelligent partner always laid at the feet of us “selfish” women who need to simply figure it out, swallow our needs, and avoid bitching about it in the process? Me thinks the latter.

      • Marisa Ulrich

        It’s been so long since I read this, I had to reread to refresh my memory. Thanks for your thoughts but my view of the matter pretty much still stands. They both have a lot to learn about emotional maturity, no doubt, but she had a moment to react with patience in the very beginning and did not. I think, in this case, where I might be disappointed, I would not demand he change his plans to suit me or call him an “asshole”. I would just clean the house myself for my friends and go on with life. But, that’s just me. I don’t sweat this kind of stuff. Life’s too short. God bless. 🙂

        • Bender Rodriguez

          You do sweat it. You’re lying. How do I know? Without second thought, your emotions cast her as a villain because of OTHER women. (Women she is not responsible for).

          She didn’t DEMAND anything. She began a negotiation so that he could keep his word. And you call that demanding and selfish? “Can you leave tomorrow morning?” is a fair opening to respectful negotiations.

          You ARE bothered, but your bother is on the opposite side of things. You merely mask it with a holier than thou facade.

          I can speculate why. I surmise it’s because you’re one of those competitive women who needs to see other women in the presence of men as faulty, thereby making you alpha female.

          • Bender Rodriguez

            Exciting! “One other person is typing…”

          • Madame Butterfly

            It has been so long I no longer even had an account and had to make a new one. Totally forgot about this discussion. You used the word
            ” speculate”. Perfect. Because that is all it is. You don’t know me or my experiences. I am sorry if I offended but was merely offering my perspective as I saw it. Yes…you saw one person typing. Likely me, who was trying to decide whether it was worth engaging in foolishness, particularly on a day of celebration. I chose to shut off at that point to focus my heart where it ought to be-my Lord and Savior. And I intend to shut off now no matter what you come back at me with. Internet wars are time wasters at best, and, at worst, can stir unnecessary ugliness. God bless-and, yes, I mean that. We all need Him.-


          • Bender Rodriguez

            Oh stop it. You’re not sorry.

            You called a person DEMANDING AND SELFISH. The scenario as depicted does not illustrate either. The scenario is hypothetical, yes, but AS DEPICTED, it does not allow for your nasty leap of insult and holier than thou self-congratulations.

            I don’t know you, but for some reason, you find it PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE to judge others (even the real ones).

            You, madam, are FOS and you know it, hence your posting and then running away doing internet equivalent of “lalalala I can’t hear you lalalala”

          • Bender Rodriguez

            ps. What a big fat theistic style slight of hand LIE to say you saw my post right away (it had to have been on your Ulrich account to see it minutes after I posted it on a 3mo comment), start typing, Discus recognize you were typing… But you had to start a new account to finally reply 5 hours later?

            I see through you like a freshly washed plate glass window.

            God bless.

        • Bender Rodriguez

          Nevermind. Really you should have disclaimed that you have Aspbergers. You’re not on the same psychological playing field as those with normal social interactions. Before you protest that, let me remind you that you are using a psychological designation that necessarily says that.

          And really, how dare you shame normal women for normal social behavior? You cant even identify with them on a valid level, but you say bigoted things like “selfish and demanding”?

          I’m apt to believe you don’t really have aspbergers, but like to say so because it makes you special.

          • Harriet Blythe

            I heard a holier than though moral high ground too. Relationships have to have compromise but not martyrdom. I can’t and am not prepared to take it anymore. How many times do you forgive? I don’t forget but I wish I could. Yes we all stuff up but it’s best to try not to do it or be too complacent as to believe close enough is good enough. I don’t know anymore how to avoid that horrible place I am in now. Where closed door bickering and fighting becomes a habit on both sides because of repetitive negative behaviour and thoughts. It is hard to believe” I’m sorry’ if the same kind of dismissive angry abusive behaviour continues or if it is sarcastic in its delivery. I don’t want to be the one copping all the frustrated anger when it doesn’t involve me in the first place, I’m
            drawn in as an easy target to be the sounding board and punching bag. I am now quite numb and sad that is all I have become after 3 decades. I don’t think I have anymore forgiveness left and I can’t get those disgusting names I’ve been called out of my head and being tossed around and verbally threatened. I have resisted back in defence and stood my ground because I am in too much physical pain to take the abuse anymore. The funny thing I think it started when I couldn’t do the menial house tasks I used to do automatically without thinking and the housework was left. I then realised the amount of work I did that went unnoticed yet I was always thankful of the maintenance part and even assisted with those chores too and yes I worked full time too. I can say it all started when one person realised that they were taken for granted. I get so frustrated at all the things that need to be done. I was so predictable and reliable and all the housework was magic. l
            Like a comfortable old shoe. Now I am just an old broken uncomfortable shoe edging towards the junk heap because I dared to disagree and push back and stand up for myself. I am very sad I didn’t see the marriage was merely a facade to boost a fractured ego. Financially now I am stuffed as I didn’t say no to the sale of an investment I made many decades ago for my financial security. Yes love can be blind
            I don’t know if that’s why I am still here or I just don’t know any differently. I am not that brave to walk away with nothing much in my pocket so I suppose I only have myself to blame for not being self preserving. I’m with the perfect person, so nice, so lovely, so generous,so patient and helpful and giving in everyone’s eyes until the phone is hung up, the house is empty and the car door or house door is closed and yep, then there is only me. A different person emerges.
            Financially and medically now I am unable to walk away. Such is life and hindsight and all that jazz. Perhaps I can only say watch each other’s backs and more importantly don’t forget to watch your own as well. And near enough is not good enough, it is just lazy and thoughtless and irritating especially if it can be easily avoided. Otherwise there is compromise.

        • Bender Rodriguez

          Psst… I replied.

  • Gilgamesh

    Get a shared calendar.

  • netreality

    She started with a complaint, but he responded with another one. That’s called escalating the negativity, rather than looking for at least a partial solution. He could have phrased it better, such as “Oh, no, I forgot, and can’t change my trip right now. What would be helpful in the hour that I have left?”.

    Then later she returned to the room to talk, which is making an effort, but he refused to talk to her. That’s twice that he made it worse. She made errors too, obviously.

    This article is trying to explain that couples should aim to de-escalate issues, and look for commonality, show some empathy, rather than heaping on criticism. It would be helpful to give a good example.

  • Vanessa Keitha

    Typo: There are plenty of women who are unaware of these social ‘nuisances’ and men who are deeply sensitive to others.

    I think u mean ‘nuances’… 🙂

    Great article, Thanks.

  • Kamis Dewey

    I think it’s weird he committed to help her clean up before her girls’ night (Friday) and forgot *his own schedule*, then blames her for it without apologizing for his mistake of overcommitment. It sounds like this conversation takes place on Thursday (since her girls’ night is Friday and she asks if he can leave “tomorrow morning” and it wouldn’t make sense for her to ask him to be around for her girls’ night). I don’t think it’s necessarily reasonable for assume that saying, “I’m going on a weekend trip” means the other will know “That means I’m leaving Thursday night.”

    In a healthy relationship, people need to have room to express dismay when their needs are forgotten, without the other partner 1. blaming them and 2. shutting down. That kind of behavior leads to emotional abuse and gaslighting.

    • Sophie Zackery

      Ah, I can tell you have experience with being the focus of gaslighting. As a fellow traveler, I appreciate your comment.
      If you do not have direct experience, then you have an high amount of empathy… which is also cool!

    • Jeff K

      Right on Kamis, so true on the emotional abuse point. In my opinion, I really don’t like how this article focuses on men instead of just saying some immoral people gaslight in relationships and using that as the example.

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  • disqus_GB8lUuziuG

    I think from the examples given here the couple is simply best to divorce. Any wife who would be so selfish, disrespectful and controlling has no business being in a relationship. She attacked her husband, now when he needs time to sort it out and deal he is now the “bad guy”… Same old Feminist hate mongering as always.

  • Max

    The point of the article is, understanding your partner’s point of view and being willing to compromise.

    Being right or wrong is irrelevant, because the goal is a strong emotional bond, not justice. One partner can be completely wrong and the other partner can respond with empathy. The goal should be to meet your partners needs, not to be “right” — because we want love, not justice.

    By the way, since we do not know the circumstances about their agreement, i.e., who agreed to what when, we cannot not know definitively who is right/wrong. And like I said, it does not even matter.

    • Portland guy

      (responding a LONG time later, I understand) while you are correct that the goal is a strong emotional bond and not “justice,” that only goes so far. If justice isn’t ever considered a factor, then after a while there will be no bond to strengthen. One-sided relationships aren’t very appealing either.

      • Blondie02

        So you think a relationship is like a court of law? One person wins and one loses? That type of thinking is what the whole article focuses on and is a huge problem. Stop bean counting. I did 10 things wrong but she only did 11? What exactly is justice to you? Come on now. If you see your partner as an enemy how will that work? The problem is that men are socialized that they need to win, it’s all about being competitive. A relationship is not a competion and often times there is no right or wrong person, it is not black and white. Here’s a typical scenario. Husband it makes me upset when you look at other women in front of me. Husband’s thought process “All men look at other women what I am doing is perfectly normal, I have no reason to be sorry for this. My behavior is justified, I am right. I would not care if she did it with other men. So I am not going to apologize and I am going to keep doing it even though I know it hurts her because I am right.” You are actually wrong. Not wrong because you hold the opinion that its normal for men to look at other women, but because you refuse to see that your partner holds a different one that is just as valid as yours and respect it enough to stop doing it. What men don’t realize is when they act like this they may “win” an argument, but they will lose the relationship. What is worth more to you, your partner being upset or being right. If you answer the latter, you have some serious work to do.

        • Portland guy

          I don’t want to get into a harsh-words flame war, but would rather have a gentle discussion about varying viewpoints. So… to reply very quickly here, no, relationships are not legal battles, and I am not suggesting such. And I also understand your point saying, in essence, what’s more important: your’re being right or your partner being happy. I’m just saying that relationships (that I have observed) where one person is ALWAYS giving in, or not standing up for themselves, usually become lopsided, and frequently collapse. And a relationship where one person (man OR woman, because I hand around lesbians and gay couples too) is always getting their way isn’t going to pan out in the long run.

          And I also just wanted to add that of course my partner’s (or any partner’s) viewpoint is valid. I wouldn’t suggest otherwise.

          • Blondie02

            I understand what you are saying but the term justice is not really something I associate with relationships. “I got justice I’m right!” You can’t look at things that way. If you are with a person who does nothing but criticizes you then you need to leave. If what you do is so bothersome to your partner you are just a bad match or he or she is just mean.

            Often the people you speak of are the martyr type. They never express how they feel. I dated someone like that. I did things that bothered him we all do that’s normal but he would not tell me so I had no clue. Then all of the sudden he would get mad and tell me things from years ago. You have to communicate with your partner.

            There is a huge difference between getting your way and apologizing when you hurt someone. Getting your way is I want Mexican she wants Chinese. But when one partner engages in a behavior that is clearly hurting another are you saying the partner needs to stand up and say no you are not hurt and keep doing it or is the other hurt partner supposed to pretend they are not hurt?

            Someone being hurt by your behavior is not about compromise. You can’t compromise someone’s pain!!

  • Deborah West

    WOW. This article is very negative towards the wife. But yet it was clearly stated that by the wife that they had ALREADY talked about her plans BEFORE he made his plans. It appears he just simply ‘forgot’ that he had already committed to helping his wife and instead made plans of his own. Something better came along for him so he jumped on it. This is called ranking. The husband ranked his wife and his commitment to her as LESS important than having his own fun. He could have easily told his friends that he couldn’t be there that night because he had already made promises but that he would join them later. Period. Men need to stand by their word. Period. That’s what caused the escalation.

    • Bender Rodriguez

      Hey! I’ll have you know men take great pride in their name, their handshakes, and their word!

      [Fine print. Read fast: Between themselves only. Women not included. Exceptions to these terms is not an agreement to expand such exceptions so as to make the exceptions the norm.]

      • victory song


    • Insidious Sid

      Yeah. Men need to stand by their word. That will fix all the marriage problems in the world. Women walk away from vows and promises like they were never said. Don’t demand accountability from men when you have none yourselves.

      • Sophie Zackery

        It seems the point of the article that women are (overall) already far more likely to accept influence and give in to their husbands desires than the other way around.
        So, I don’t think the point you are trying to make has relevance here. This is by my assuming your point is that women are trying to point the finger at men and take no responsibility. Is that what you meant to say? According to the science, women already are taking responsibility. Thus is the point of this article.
        Not to say there aren’t exceptions to women behaving in a ‘relationship focused’ (versus ‘me focused’) way. I’m guilty of quite a few exceptions myself.

        • Blondie02

          His response is typical from men who lack emotional intelligence. Women are more open to influence. If my partner says I am hurting him and asks me to stop that action, I am going to stop. I am not going to argue with him about how he should not be hurt, because I don’t think he should. I am going to listen, understand and apologize. What happens to many men is they look at women who leave marriages and say I don’t understand what went wrong? But they have been telling the men for years, they just won’t listen.

    • Madison Hogan

      Both of them can do with better commutation skills. I think missing a mans or womens trip so you can clean is pretty lame. (Unless your moving or it happens every weekend). Women often put themselves last, which is why we get so angry, if we were more selfish and honest about what we truly want (rather than thinking the man can mind read) we would not get so upset.

      The better plans should take preference. Ladies, would you miss a girls weekend to help your husband clean? I hope not! But yes, I get the point is they should try to compromise and come up with a solution together rather than be defensive. They totally could’ve cleaned the apartment in that sulking time instead. Laura didn’t need to call him a a-hole either or said sorry once she calmed down. If it was in reverse would he have got so upset and called her a ‘b*tch’? Or said ‘thats awesome, I’m glad we are both going to have great weekends! I’m a bit stressed because we were going to clean the apartment together first? Did you forget about that part? Fair enough because cleaning probably isn’t your top priority for this weekend, now lets get this apartment clean ASAP! He could’ve said, I’m sorry I forgot that bit! Please don’t call me a a-hole let me do as much as I can now before I go!

      • Deborah West

        Meaning no disrespect – but – you said “the better plan” << that in and of itself is a communication stopper. What person is NOT going to claim 'their' plan is the better plan. The whole point is he gave his word, and then 'ranked' her because his 'better' plan came along. Besides, one should always put their spouse first – ABOVE their friend, not below them. Gentlemen – you just need to 'man up' and stand behind your word.

        • Hank Titus

          It seems weird that you appear to be “ranking” what you consider a binding word or contract over a possible successful resolution to the conflict…

          Obviously there is a lot of history bubbling up in your responses but perhaps trust is built through relationship more easily than by strictly legalizing every commitment made?

    • sgallen

      If a woman wants to be ranked first, she should be worthy of that ranking

    • Jeff K

      I think EVERYONE should stand by their word, but in my opinion you’re very correct about the situation/who’s right, etc. If they already agreed to the changes, what’s this guy’s problem? I don’t know if it’s as complex as not having emotional intelligence, or just him being selfish and in denial that he couldn’t move plans. “Ranking” can happen both ways, in my opinion. I really don’t like these types of generalizations though. Men, women, trans, gay, whatever, are all capable of gaslighting BS like this.

  • Desiree Mulligan

    Not sure about the example given. I assume that Steven and Lauren had made this agreement and that Steven simply forgot about it. Lauren attacking Steven could indicate two things….that she is emotionally immature also, or that she is exasperated because this is not the first time and won’t be a last. Could he be ‘forgetting’ a little too often for her liking?

    I do agree with the overall theme of the article but suggest that part of ’emotional intelligence’ is to understand and make allowances for those around us who are not as emotionally intelligent, through no fault of their of their own. Although this could get tiresome as it’s usually the women who are making allowances and nurturing their partners AND their children as well.

    I think that the whole concept of Dr Grey’s Mars and Venus, has merit and that both partners need to understand and make allowances for the other, given their differences.

  • TrueLoveIsSelfLove

    You can’t save a marriage with a mind-blind spouse, via Asperger’s….Emotional intelligence is a concept they don’t even understand for themselves.

    • Marisa Ulrich

      Not to be rude, but as an Aspie married to an Aspie raising Aspies, your assessment is rather dismissive and unkind, honestly. We are most capable of emotional intelligence. It’s a matter of how we are approached. It takes time to get to know us and understand what is inside.

      • TrueLoveIsSelfLove

        I think Aspies are perfect for each other. You say it takes time to get to know us and understand what is inside, yet the same is not done for us neurotypicals…That’s been my experience….And if I sound rude, you should hear the Aspie I’m living with.

      • Marisa Ulrich

        I understand it can be a struggle. And I’m so sorry it is for you. I should say just as with neurotypicals, there are Aspies who are kinder than others. I just didn’t want us all painted with the same brush. It’s hard trying to be understood as more than what the world seems to see. We do have hearts and feelings-sometimes very intense ones. The tough part for many of us is in how to express them in a world that can be rather frightening to us. Perhaps Aspies are indeed well-suited to one another. Everyone needs someone to understand. I hope things work out for you. I didn’t mean to come down hard. God bless.

  • cherie

    I appreciate the overall message in this article; defensiveness. We could all go on and on about the semantics. Bottom line though, defensiveness is the main culprit. And also to note, using semantics in a heated emotional discussion, is a type of defensiveness. Perhaps the definition of “a defensive remark” needs more clarification. Research, not opinion, has shown the destructive nature of always being on the defense. It’s no bueno and has no right to be justified, especially with a semantic argument.

  • Stephanie Showers

    Rejection of influence. I like it. Makes sense to me. I think rejection of any kind makes women change the way they interact or accept the interaction with their partner. It changes the approach, it changes the interactions, and then it changes the resolution of the negative interactions. I think women began not trusting when to much rejection in the relationship begins. It starts with the rejection of influence and then before you know it distance and indifference permeates the interactions..

    • Blondie02

      This is so spot on. Men think the little things don’t add up, but they do and it slowly erodes away at the relationship.

  • Tim Golden

    There is so much garbage in this post that I cannot adequately discuss it in this comment. I will blog about this poison and will comment again with the link to my blog. Meanwhile, don’t believe everything you read. And please, whatever you do, don’t believe the nonsense in this post.

  • Really

    It is important for both parties to be told this when they go to counseling before a marriage. Many are blind sided and have no clue on how to handle the situation successfully. Thanks for sharing.

    • Insidious Sid

      By the time a woman is considering marriage counselling, she has usually already made up her mind and just needs either validation from a female therapist, or she just needs to list “marriage therapy” under her “tried everything” column. When the wife wants therapy, go, but get a divorce lawyer immediately.

  • Well, that’s all good and well. But what is a wife to do when hubby is not interested in her emotional responses? How does the wife keep from becoming an angry, bitter person?

    • Renske de jonge

      Focus on Jesus. Forgive and bless my mom always said. My dad could treat her like crap, it did not influence her mood and she’d happily do what he told her to, ’til he saw that was quite egocentric and he helped her clean. Now he says: You go sit! Cleaning up the kitchen is my task. Amazing, I couldn’t do it. I just stay alone. The more of this stuff I read the more I’m like: nooooooooo!!!! never again! Why on earth do people get married if it’s not going absolutely swell anyway?

    • Blondie02

      That’s exactly what I see here, because I feel the same way. If this scenario has repeated itself over and over with her feelings being dismissed, then yes she is going to react with anger.

  • Caroline Snider

    It happened again today: I was throwing a cookout and because my husband stressed so many of my friends out I asked him to go any where else, I would save him a dinner in the warmer for when I called him home> HE flipped me off and stayed any way. Many of my friends came and decided to leave because my husband would not. I don’t know how to have my friends when my husband is just so set on his way now.

  • Tammy Sprague

    Have trouble finding out what your spouse or children are up to with their phones because devices are secured with a password?or you constantly suspect foul play in your relationship?i have been through this as well until i met Pete,hacked all my patner’s social network and let me know where i belong,you can try as well,tell him its from Tammy,mail him at or text 940-247-0650,thank me later,ciao…..

  • JJ Thomp

    Also displays a stereo type male and female roles. I guess most couples fall into these roles still.

  • Jason Stone

    I sense a strong bias in this article. How can you insinuate that husband should accept wife’s influence and also speak about equality in the same breath. It’s hypocritical. Who would not like to get their influence asserted upon and be accepted with out question – be it man or woman. You should replace Steven with Spouse A and Lauren with Spouse B and then judge. You will soon realize how skewed this article is.

    A marriage is like a car, it’s wise for one to be at the steering wheel at one point of time. If both of them grab the wheel and steer it according their “influence” then the car is surely headed for a wreck. It’s exactly this acceptance of influence that borderlines on being treated or feeling like a doormat.

    Although I agree in the previous ages, it was hard on women, the trend now is male bashing than trying to find the middle ground.

  • Geneva Maynard


  • Geneva Maynard


  • A single incident cannot tell you enough about the people and their relationship. Oftentimes, how a person responds to a situation or even an accusation is a result of several emotions that may have built up over a period of time. These emotions, left unrecognized and unaddressed, can create anxiety, which can manifest itself in anger, defensiveness or even avoidance.

  • Squidday

    99% of arguments can be prevented by de-escalating and also being willing to compromise. When both you and your partner start thinking about each others needs (instead of caring about who’s right or wrong) good things start to happen.

    The only thing I disagree with is the title of this article. I don’t think a lasting marriage is solely reliant on one spouse. I believe a lasting marriage is a team effort which ultimately comes down to good communication. It’s really worth giving Brad Browning’s marriage guide a read. His techniques are different, but really help create an amazing bond with your partner. You can find it at:

    There needs to be a healthy balance in any worthwhile relationship.

  • Denny_Lilly1


  • baines_harry

    I agree with the overall message of this article. It’s about learning to de-escalate situations and also be willing to compromise.

    However, I’m not so sure I agree with the title. I don’t think either spouse is solely reliable for a lasting marriage. As cliche as it sounds, it’s about team work and good communication. I’d recommend giving Brad Browning’s ‘Mend The Marriage’ guide a read. His techniques are all about strengthening the bond between you and your partner. He has a section called the 3 marriage murdering mistakes which is particularly useful. You can find it at:

  • Cibouwat Horsifomidom

    Men bad, women good! We know, and it sells a lot of seminars and workshops and books.

    • Insidious Sid

      Yep. To WOMEN. Hmmm… maybe they’re pandering to their target audience (market) just a wee bit?!

  • randy

    fuck you.

  • The Mills

    I think this is a great article, that really shows how important it is for men to be emotionally intelligent in their relationships and allow their wives to influence them.

    In relationships, there are always going to be competing agendas. Is the husbands agenda more important? No. Is the wifes agenda more important? No.

    Compromise is the key to any relationship. The solution at the end of the article is awesome, because it accounts for the feelings of both parties involved. Steven doesn’t have to cancel his trip & Lauren doesn’t have to be stressed out about having a dirty house when her girlfriends come over, because both parties sacrificed a little bit for the greater good of the relationship.

    In my opinion, effective communication could have stopped this before we even got to this point. The fishing trip and the party didn’t just all of a sudden pop up out of nowhere. Someone should have spoken to the other party to remind them of what was going on and that would have opened up a dialogue of compromise much earlier in the week.

    The post is great don’t get me wrong, but I would much rather deal with a situation earlier in the process before things hit critical mass.

  • Donna Carson

    Love, Romance and Patience are the keys to a successful marriage. I speak from experience. When you can hit the “happy medium” you have it forever. So have a good honeymoon.

  • Vikas Sheth

    Hi all!
    The concept stated above is beautiful! Just one problem, it only happens in fantasy.
    I agree to wife influencing the husband and vice versa, but in the long run, it never works, because women subconsciously start thinking the husband as weak as women always want to seek a man who can outwit her, control her to some extent and sets the rules. And when a husband begins to be influenced by her, slowly but steadily, he’ll start to loose his identity, and in time, his self respect. And for a man, his respect and for a woman, her emotion is of great importance. I have seen so many instances where the husband changes his life for the wife, and she just takes him for granted! The husband literally looses his self identity and in time his self respect. And when that happens, all hell breaks loose. Women, if you want your man to improve, respect him as your husband no matter how dumb he maybe, complement him for the changes he brings in him for you, and never hurt his ego. Do these things, and you’ll see that he starts to do all that you ever wanted! The 2 feelings that destroy man→1) Not able to provide enough for his woman, 2) His woman not considering him a worthy man for all he does for her.

    • Blondie02

      I do not want a man that outwits or controls me, and I don’t know any women that do. I respect a man who treats me as his equal. I also am the main provider. And a man’s role even assuming he is a provider is not solely that. Women need a lot more than a provider and those of us who do not need one, this applies even more so to. I think that is the problem here. In the past men could be just providers and that was okay. But now that women are providers men are being asked to do things much differently. Instead of listening to what their wife need and working on things, they just get angry and block it out. That will never work.

  • Reina Diego

    I never knew people still have powers and make things happen this way. My name is Riena Diego my Husband Alexandra left me for another girl for three months ever since then my life have been filled with pains sorrow and heart break because he was my first love, A friend of mine Stephanie told me she saw some testimonies of this Great Prophet Akeem Spell Temple that he can bring back my lover within some few days, I laugh it out and said i am not interested but because of the love my friend had for me, She consulted the great priest on my behalf and to my greatest surprise after three days my Husband called me for the very first time after three months that he is missing me and that he is so sorry for everything he made me pass through. I still can’t believe it, Because it’s highly unbelievable it just too real to be real. Thank you Prophet Akeem for bringing back my Husband and also to my lovely friend who interceded on my behalf, For anyone who might need the help of this great priest you can contact the great Herbalist and a spell caster on, For more info view his Website:

  • Hi Kyle, thank you for this post. You’ve presented a very interesting idea. I’d like to add a tip for those looking to for a happy and successful marriage It is to define your immediate family and divide your routine for individual, couple and family time. Each partner must also rekindle their connection with the family of the others origin.

  • Emily donna

    I never believed in Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster called Dr Osakum which email is ( ) . The man i wanted to marry left me 3 months to our wedding ceremony and my life was upside down.he was with me for 4 years and i really loved him so much..he left me for another woman with no reasons..when i called him, he never picked up my calls and he don’t want to see me around him…so,when i told the man what happened. he helped me to do some readings,and after the readings he made me to realize that the other woman has done some spells over my Husband and that is the reason why he left me..he told me he will help me to cast a spell to bring him back. At first i was skeptical but i just gave it a try…In 4 days, My Husband called me himself and came to me apologizing..I cant believe he can ever come back to me again but now i am happy he’s back and we are married now and we live as a happy family..Am posting this to the forum if anyone needs the help of this man.Can contact him through this email address ( )

  • StanUlam

    What Women Can Learn From Men: …….

    If your client base is 85% female, then you better toe the line and keep the feminist narrative going.

  • victory song

    I think this whole scenario is ridiculous. The woman would never have had to respond to her spouse if he was mature and a man of his word. Divorce is eminent, as no self respecting human would allow themselves to be treated in such and undignified manner. Men who have loyalties to each other that interfere with keeping their promises to there significant other will soon have a need for a new significant other. If you value anything or anyone above your partner then you are not deserving of that partner. Here it was obviously the man who had made a promise and either forgot about it or decided he would disrespect his mate to fulfill his own desire . Later when the wife’s objection arouse he manipulated and distorted the facts and turned his error back at her. This is an emotionally immature individual; it could have just as easily been a woman who did this to her man. The conclusion of the matter is this:If you want a happy marriage or relationship of any sort and you want to keep that person in your life, show them respect , honor and above all else unselfish love. It takes two good givers and two good forgivers to make a relationship last and just one taker and one grudge holder to destroy it! This is just my opinion though.

    • StanUlam

      Yes, just your bizarre opinion.

      • victory song

        you must act in the same manner as the boy who pretends to be a man…you know the one who disrespected his wife. I believe this man/boy to displays narcissistic behavior in the treatment of his spouse. Obviously he was not an emotionally intelligent husband . My opinion may be bizarre to you, but really that is just your bizarre opinion.

    • Insidious Sid

      Yes, divorce is always eminent. That’s why I tell all men to never get married.

      • victory song

        This was not a man,but a boy in a man’s body. A man would have kept his word for that is an identifying mark of being a man. He was not emotionally intelligent i.e. mature . I think it is great you tell all of your male compadres not to get married…that will leave only the emotionally intelligent ones for marriage and those are the ones deserving of a spouse. Gracias , te saludo

  • Anon47

    If only 35% of husbands qualify as emotionally intelligent, does that mean at least 65% of wives are royally screwed?

    • Blondie02

      I think so, unless the man is willing to learn to be emotionally intelligent, but most are not.

  • Andros

    I agree with the overall message of this article. It’s about learning to de-escalate situations and also be willing to compromise.

    However, I’m not so sure I agree with the title. I don’t think either spouse is solely reliable for a lasting marriage. As cliche as it sounds, it’s about team work and good communication. I’d recommend giving Brad Browning’s ‘Mend The Marriage’ guide a read. His techniques are all about strengthening the bond between you and your partner. He has a section called the 3 marriage murdering mistakes which is particularly useful. You can find it at:

    • Sophie Zackery

      It seems men are overall far less likely to participate in the strength of a lasting relationship by refusing to share power.
      I think it’s perfectly reasonable to focus the article’s title on men.
      The assumption that we are making here is that women are already better at this skill than men. The research shows it to be true.

      • Blondie02

        This is very true. I see a relationship as a team, but my partner and many men see it as a competition. They want to be the head of the relationship and the reason is because they are insecure, too insecure to share power. I find this particularly true with highly education women, women who are very indepedent and/or women that outearn their partners. In years past men felt secure in the fact that women would not leave as they were the primary bread winners. All that they had to do was work hard, and provide and the women would have no choice but to stay with them. They did not have to involve them in all of this emotional stuff that women want, because their confidence came from the power they had at being the provider. These days that’s not true. Even if a woman is uneducated and not working, she has the power to do both, men know that. Women therefore are asking for more than money and security, they want an emotional connection. Men have for generations not known how to share power or emotions and so they are ill equipped. The only thing I can hope for is that the men coming up now, will have these tools. I see it now, in men that are in their 20s, their is a shift and it is because of how they grew up. Many with fathers and mothers that teach them how, and show them a relationship that is a team.

        • Earl Mardle

          My (third) wife has long enjoyed referring to me as a “kept man” because for most of our marriage she has earned the vast majority of the money. I enjoy being the kept man for its shock value, and because it reminds me that I cannot afford to forget that the person earning the money is NOT more important than the one looking after the home, and in my case the cows, chickens, fruit trees gardens etc. As a lifelong arrogant asshole it still takes some cognitive resources, when it comes to a debate, to insist that money does not buy my wife disproportionate power. She has no problem with that, its my internal voice that I need to overcome.

          Yes, men need more emotional intelligence, but we all need to realise that, while our female partners may embody or express a better idea, the cultural norms are deeply rooted in both of us and the ones inside our own heads are the hardest to reform.

      • Earl Mardle

        Agreed that the focus on men is reasonable, I agree with Kyle, Lauren needed a better response than “BUT”. Part of the problem is that these people already have separate lives. He goes fishing with the boys, she has her girlfriends over and, presumably these things happen on a regular basis. They are locked into a 50’s style of relationship and if they want to engage their emotional intelligence they need to break that for a start.

  • Andrew Gohring


  • Caroline Snider

    My husbands idea of compromise is to plant his foot in our rears and tell us he’s given up enough to our wants, the last 16 years I have seen this time and again over Rights to positions, Over Rights he was denied for a vacation Many times by force It finally degenerated to every situation he wanted and was denied he was Forced at weapon point to make him, and that even got people hurt in ambush, He would try to strangle his father to death and he dislocated my shoulder Simply because we canceled his trip on the orient express to Let a young newly wed couple go instead of him. He actually threw me across a Conference room begging him to Let us explorer options that he would take for time off after not having a day off since 1982, Just keep it nice for everyone and Try and control his anger over not getting his way. Where were sure that In seven months just 2109 days away we could find something just as nice as going to Europe.He would not consider options he had that would stay out of the way of other needs in the community> we had tried for decades to get him just to take, The Time from the End of his jobs holiday shutdown To Valentines day and use personal time to make up for the holidays he would work through, We felt what was the big deal about when he had the time off just as long as he had the oppertunity to take it I remember one Christmas eve I opened the door to his father and his friends so they could force him into work that day. That was Christmas eve 2002 a nd he told me to not let them in the Man that was supposed to work that year holiday shutdown was going to work it because he was not taking his place, I let. And he would not let us make that decision. BY 2009 He Was throwing people around them in and he Actually betted me in the face since they had weapons to force him in, I went that holiday with a black eye because he did not want to work HE di have the senio0rity to reuse the week But the man that would have been forced by union rules Had a brand New daughter.

    He said if I was a real wife I would have given him the oppertunity to have his own family.

  • jefferson lovely

    I agree with the concept of de-escalating situations, the example provided is too simplistic and superficial and is not a realistic representation of the confluence of emotions that stream through a person at any given moment nor does it even address the larger overarching themes and patterns that govern and guide an intimate committed relationship. There is no context to the situation and thus it is just really a straw man situation.

    Looking at the situation realistically you would need to determine past history and other elements that would come into play. What if Steve has been working 10 days straight and he’s planned this trip for weeks? What if Lauren had apologized for calling him an asshole when she first came in, maybe it would have soften Steve. Is it not rude and inconsiderate to ask a group of people, male or female, to alter a schedule group trip last minute? Are they flying or riding together? Is everyone just supposed to change their flights because Steve has to help Lauren clean-up before her friends come over?

    What if Steve does all the housework normally or is the stay at home parent and he needs a much deserved trip out because Lauren just went to Vegas with said girlfriends two weeks ago? What is their relationship dynamic? Does Steve often schedule these trips out with the guys without telling Lauren or does Lauren attempt to delay these trips every time because she doesn’t like him leaving? All of these things are just examples of the things that actually govern one’s response.

    Life and relationships don’t really happen in a vacuum like the author here tries to portray to give a simple pat answer to fit a bigger theme of something. Just STFU Steve and help Lauren clean because the article is about men not being emotionally intelligent.

    It mentions that Lauren’s needs are not being met but doesn’t address Steve’s needs or even perceive to allow for them. What a joke.

  • Sarah Mark

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  • eat_swim_read

    Sometimes the Gottman approach mislabels male privilege as EI. This example is one of those times.
    The husband ducks his agreed-upon chore sked, then issues an unspoken ‘talk to the hand’ with a cocktail and TV football.
    How often do women pull this? I “forgot” and then go away, I’m busy doing what relaxes me?
    Fewer times.
    Pulling dude rank….again.

  • Veronica Baker

    Similarly. Wife has booked and confirmed a certain type of thing. Husband goes and picks it up. He brings home a completely different thing to what was ordered. The salesperson gave him the wrong item. He assumed it would be alright even when he knew it was different. Close enough is good enough. He liked the replacement well enough and did not call to see if it would be okay. Wife angry her advice and instructions were totally shelved when a phone call to communicate could have fixed the whole situation. It is not right that a wife’s expectations are shrugged aside as unimportant. The details do matter and close enough is not good enough ever without discussing. Assumption is a nasty thing.

    • Blondie02

      I see what you are saying and I think part of it is that men have a really hard time putting the relationship and someone else above them. So a woman in this scenario would think I should call my husband and ask him if it’s okay that I bring home the wrong thing. Because women tend to think of others before them. They understand that not everyone feels the same way they do and so they respect it. A good example is a partner who books a plane ticket to go on travel for work, never thinking that his wife who also works may need to get additional child care, or miss work. He does not ask her, he just makes the decision. For whatever reason men have a really hard time with this. My partner took me to Paris as a surprise for my birthday, that was awesome. I told him I wanted to go. But he also booked us tickets that were pricey to go to the very top of the effiel tower. I have a very serious phobia of heights. He knows that, we have discussed it and he has observed it multipe times. when we get there he surprises me and I tell him I cannot do it, I am sorry. He then becomes angry at me for becoming ungrateful, and says that he has done it before and knows I would enjoy it. Except he should know I won’t enjoy it. He never thought about me or my feelings when he booked the tickets. He buys me expensive watches knowing I don’t like them and will never wear them, because he likes them and thinks I should like them, then gets mad when I don’t. I cannot tell you the number of times he has bought me a gift and bought himself the same thing.

  • Blondie02

    My fiance is like this and it drives me crazy. He has this idea that if what he did would not upset him if I did it then it should not hurt me, and if it does well oh well. So he keeps doing things he knows hurt me, but dismisses my pain because he thinks I am being unreasonable. Whereas I as a woman can see and understand that other people don’t think or feel like me. If something I do hurts him, even if it it would have not hurt me, I don’t do it again, I apologize and understand. He keeps doing the same thing, and says since he did not intend to hurt me I have no right to be hurt. If I press he shuts down, and actually says he is not talking anymore, refuses to answer questions and then gaslights. I do think it is i a power struggle, but I don’t think it is going to work. He was married before and told me that one day his wife up and left and he did not know why. I know why. We have conversations and it’s like we never had them. It’s insane. I don’t know what to do. Nothing I do gets him to understand my wants or needs.

    • jxb103

      My guy didn’t learn after 8.5 years. I finally had to move on. It’s been painful but had to be done. I’m guessing your guy will never get it either.

      • Blondie02

        Thanks agreed. I think although many men have this issue, some are more extreme than others and if they are unwilling to even open their eyes up to the fact that something they are doing needs to be changed, they never will.

  • jxb103

    How is it that the guy is going away for the weekend and reminds his wife only a few hours before departure? I think the woman has every reason to be upset!

  • Reeta Saba

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  • segura

    My husband has been in the cage of this Thai woman since October 2016. He has forgotten me and his daughter, I have prayed and prayed and God answered my prayer by linking me with this great helper called Dr John, Everyone needs to know about Dr John, I can’t tell how long it took me to find a trust worthy helper like Dr John online, I am a very satisfied and happy person today. I used many spell casters but none of them could bring my husband back but Dr John did. After his spell was done, My Husband came home and we have started a new life. I want anyone who wants his or her lover back to choose Dr John for help because he is the right choice to go with. His love spell was excellent. Contact;

  • joyce

    My ex borrowed 1500usd from me by lying to me that he was gonna use it for his sick mom’s health. and the time he promised to pay back reached, yet he was unable to pay. If I could have tell him to leave the money, but after i found out that he use the money to abort his other girlfriend pregnancy. And spend the rest on her and yet he asked me for more. When I heard this, I was so mad at him. And I painfully and angrily broke up with him. He begged, and begged, but I refused and because of that, he decided he won’t pay me back my money he borrowed. All effort I tried of getting my money back from him failed. I later got he arrested but the judge freed him and tell him to pay back in 6months. Till the last 3day before I got to meet maa osa sunlight yesterday morning. He didn’t and wasn’t ready to pay back. I saw maa sunlight details on the Internet on a testimony just like I am sharing mine now and I contacted for help. And she replied me and ask me my name and problems?? I told her everything. And she replied again and said, do you still want him back?? I said no. I just want my money. Then she requested of his name and picture and also she told the amount of the spell that will make him pay me back every dime he owns me. Of which was very affordable to me. but I still have this little fear, whether he will really pay? But something just told me not to worry i should try and see what Maa Sunlight really can do. Then, I paid for it. And the spell was carried out 8:12pm last night. And after the spell, I was still messaging her even after she already tells me goodnight several times I just don’t want to leave her midst. Cause I feel this safe talking to her. Then, Early this morning, I heard a knock on my door while I was sleeping. I opened the door, then I saw my ex boyfriend. When he sees me, he kneed and started to beg me forgiveness with the money. I was just so surprise and speechless with the way things were just working spiritually for me more like a dream. Then he paid me my 1500usd and wanted to pay extra with pleading. I give all thanks to mother sunlight for helping me recover back my money for my business. I’m happy to the fact that I feel like doing anything for her. Indeed…she is a mother of love and full of understanding.Queenof the universe. Mother of the world. I thank you so much mother for helping. My dearly beloved readers, pls, join me in giving thanks to mother sunlight. And I will help you by leaving you her contact address below if in case you need her help. She is tested and trusted. She is truthful and she is reliable. Pls don’t end this comment without helping me say thank you mother sunlight. And as you do may God bless. Pls if you need her help, contact. and pls once you contact, follow her instructions. And once she have done yours, pls share let’s hear from you for others to also know about this good woman who have come to rescue. All problems is assured solutions. So whatever problems you might be having, there is a solution for you. Pls feel free to contact and join us in praise. And most of all, thanks you mother sunlight.

  • sky simone

    This was a great read I appreciated it.

  • Jamb runs 2018
    Thanks for the posts

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  • sgallen

    He needs a new woman