Repairing Relationships

Building intimacy and joy into your relationships

Getting In Touch With Your Feminine Side

Everything old is new again!

Last week we discussed author Suzanne Venker's controversial statements about the War on Men. Ms. Venker ignited a internet firestorm with her statement that men said women have a role in the decline in marriage and that her solution was for women to get in touch with their feminine side.

Ms. Venker was nice enough to expand on her solution this week. She said that although men and women are equal, they are different. She said that, in general, women are more the nurturers and men are more the hunter/gatherers. Yet in 2012, women are enjoying unparalleled success in providing for themselves. Ms. Venker says the big conflict between men and women in 2012 revolves around the ability for women to reconcile their desire for love with their desire for independence.

Ms. Venker says in her new book, "How To Choose a Husband and Make Peace with Marriage", that women are driving men away with their defensive attitude, best summed up in movie star Sandra Bullocks' comment, "I'd always had this feeling that if you got married, it was the end of who you were." Ms. Venker's solution for Sandra Bullock and other independent successful women is to Try Vulnerability.

For Ms. Venker, tapping into the feminine side doesn't mean reverting to old, oppressive, patriarchal sex roles. But it does mean voluntarily submitting yourself to your spouse in love, because Ms. Venker says in her book that this is required by both the husband and wife in a long-term marriage.  This could mean something as simple and  practical as allowing your spouse to have some roles in the marriage in areas they excel at, even though you might be able to do them yourself.

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Ms. Venker urges women to realize that men take pride in caring for their families.  She suggests that women should let them do it instead of interpreting it as a patronizing sexist insult. Just because women are fully capable of running all aspects of a household, raising a family and bringing home the bacon, doesn't mean they have to when there is a willing partner available to ease the burden. This is the ancient concept of a couple each contributing complementary skills to a marriage creating a unity greater than either could accomplish by themselves. We urge careful selection in the courtship process so that couples can select for partners who bring such skills into the long-term relationship.

J.R. Bruns, M.D., is co-author of The Tiger Woods Syndrome, a book about repairing relationships.


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