The self deprecating husband

One of the big things that continually irks me is the self deprecating husband because it is so prevalent in not just today’s society but also the Church.

It can be blatantly obvious such as:

My wife is my better half

Or it can be more subtle such as:

I’m lucky to be with her

or

I want to honor my wife for putting up with me

Lucky? Putting up with you? Really? Is that how you think about yourself that you need to be put up with?

I’m not sure whether it’s false humility like shallowness, or a genuine misunderstanding of the importance of the roles and responsibilities of a husband, or an unconscious belief that the wife is actually leading the marriage, or flattery, or a husband thinking he needs the permission of his wife to be a man. Could be a combination.

Why do you think husbands think that they need to put themselves down when honoring or talking about their wives?

It’s obviously not godly, so there needs to be a reason behind this ungodly behavior that satisfies the lust of the flesh.

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30 Responses to The self deprecating husband

  1. Looking Glass says:

    It’s always bothered me. These days I just correct Men with “she’s the prettier half, not the better half”.

    As for why, I think it’s a combination and the specific reason leans heavily on the Man himself. But always remember the Fall: deferral to Woman (or a Wife) is a very natural trap for a Man.

  2. Wizard Prang says:

    I have been guilty of this in the past. Though to her credit, my wife has never gone along with it.

    These days I tend to take the opposite tack. “She has excellent taste and knows awesomeness when she sees it”. Eyes may roll, but again, she has never disagreed with me on this.

  3. Robyn says:

    I’ve also heard this comment, “we are a good fit, no one else would have either of us.” Would you categorize it in the same vein? I have only heard it twice, but both times it made my nose crinkle and I was not sure why.

  4. Jacob says:

    Did you mean “self-deprecating husband”?

  5. Scott says:

    I’m not sure whether it’s false humility like shallowness, or a genuine misunderstanding of the importance of the roles and responsibilities of a husband, or an unconscious belief that the wife is actually leading the marriage, or flattery, or a husband thinking he needs the permission of his wife to be a man. Could be a combination.

    I was guilty of this in my first marriage. It can be for all of these reasons, even all at once. It is a twisted version chivalry and within-marriage lift chasing. Looking back now, it is embarrassing.

  6. theasdgamer says:

    It’s called “pedestalizing pussy.”

  7. Coastal says:

    Before I took the red pill, I used to think that husbands did this to show humility. Looking at it now, it’s pretty cringe-inducing. I put this in the same category as people that can’t accept a compliment without self-deprecating; it shows a lack of confidence. I think men do this to either supplicate women or to avoid looking arrogant, which are both silly. It’s not too often that you see a husband confidently walk in his headship role without worrying about what others might think, even among believers.

    @Robyn

    I’ve also heard this comment, “we are a good fit, no one else would have either of us.” Would you categorize it in the same vein? I have only heard it twice, but both times it made my nose crinkle and I was not sure why.

    Yeah, comments like that show a lack of confidence. Instead of knowing your worth, you make it sound like you settled for the first person that accepted you.

  8. @ Jacob

    Yes, oops. I’ll fix that.

  9. @ Robyn

    I’ve also heard this comment, “we are a good fit, no one else would have either of us.” Would you categorize it in the same vein? I have only heard it twice, but both times it made my nose crinkle and I was not sure why.

    Yep, that falls under the same category except now the husband/wife is putting both of them down. Ew.

    As Coastal says… both of you “settled for each other.” How excellent…

  10. Robyn says:

    OK, “Ew” is right. I felt for the wife(s) and was mentally scrambling as to how I could help her recover from being yanked down. Thought better of it and just asked H. in private instead.

  11. nick d says:

    Easy to answer this. I can’t remember where in the bible but it does say that most women will try to rule over men.

    Another reason could be we are nearing the end of the age when christ returns. He says cowards and effeminates wont inherite the Kingdom. There are also others that wont in that list.

  12. Husbands Biblically could say “This is my weaker half”, or” this is my helpmate, I am her head”, or to shake it up a bit among the prudish “this is person I have sex with exclusively whenever either of us desires”.

  13. Robyn says:

    @ Jonadab-the-Rechabite

    Hahahaha, love shock & awe!

  14. Anonymous age 73 says:

    I remember a panderer here in Mexico who one day said in front of my wife that he believed it was an honor for his wife to be married to him. Hee, hee. This was just before he got drunk and had a wreck which crippled her for many months.

    But, he did make a good point backwards. If you marry the correct person, it should be an honor for BOTH of you to be married to each other. At least that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

  15. donalgraeme says:

    Yeah, I cannot stand that either these days. I suspect that my dislike has been noticed too, I don’t have much of a poker face.

  16. @ Anonymous age 73

    But, he did make a good point backwards. If you marry the correct person, it should be an honor for BOTH of you to be married to each other. At least that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

    If anything I’d go with the “I’m blessed”

  17. feeriker says:

    Husbands Biblically could say “This is my weaker half”, or” this is my helpmate, I am her head”

    That would indeed be the perfectly biblical thing to say – which is why in response you would hear screams of offended indignation that could be heard all the way to the moon.

  18. CHero says:

    I think it’s guys trying to be funny or false humility. A lot of my humor is self deprecating and I’m starting to realize that I should ditch it/keep it to a minimum (I think it’s important to be able to make fun of yourself but it depends on the the current company and it has to be in good taste). Socializing isn’t my strong suit so I heavily rely on humor to not only communicate but to deal with anxiety to the point where it becomes a crutch. Also, if you’re constantly joking, it’s hard for people to take you seriously.

  19. Robyn says:

    @ CHero

    Well said.

  20. LeeLee says:

    100% agree. I have a friend who has a doctorate, has traveled the world, is just brilliant and wise in so many ways yet is always doing this self deprecation routine where he doesn’t know anything, he’s just going along with what his wife says.

    Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a “joke”, and a popular one, though it’s almost never funny at all. A way to cope with feeling defeated and lost, joking about it, and to connect with other men in the same position.

  21. Pedat Ebediyah says:

    I meet with a group of brothers once a month. “Bibles and Breakfast”. I’m the only single guy of the group, and I was the first to get married and only one to have been divorced.

    In fact, ALL of my male friends are married. I have ZERO single male buddies. I chuckle because I like to tell people that I have ‘couples’. They are all my couples 12 in all.

    And of the 12 couples I have, only about 4 of the women truly seem to respect their husbands. The rest just tolerate their asses, and the men go right along with it, which just pisses me the hell off, and….don’t get me started. Every day I feel less and less weird about being MGTOW, even though I might hang out with a female occasionally. I’m not giving my heart to anyone who doesn’t have clean hands and the strength to hold it. I said I wasn’t gonna get started.

    Anyhow…their supplication and false humility and goofy talk about their wives gets on my damn nerves.

    We can’t get through a breakfast without someone having to leave early or take a phone call where they are getting summarily bitched out because they “forgot to do or say or fix or get the stamp of approval on something”. Grrrrr…

    You know, the thing about it is that marriage supposed to be comprised of two WHOLE people anyhow, so what the hell is another HALF?

    Just dumb.

    And in ethnic minority communities they love to talk about somebody being their “Queen” and “Inspiration”. GTFOH with that crap.

    Some time ago on POF I had this ratchet tell me: “I’d submit to my King but only a King can be my better half ’cause I’m a Queen you know. You more like a Prince from what I see, so what?”

    I told her, “well there are several things that I can tell you that make you SO NOT a Queen. You have 3 kids. If they are by your ex husband that might help you, but if they aren’t by an ex husband then you sure as hell ain’t nobody’s Queen. You have 4 visible tattoos. Your skirts are so short in your photos that someone could get a glimpse of heaven (or hell most likely) and in half of your photos you have a drink in your hand. Pretty discerning for a “Prince”, aren’t I? Beat it, you Bohemian hoodrat!”

    No woman is or ever will be my Queen or better half or significant other. IF I ever get married again (which isn’t likely) she’ll be my wife and help-meet. Meaning she’ll not bring me any shame and she’ll help me advance the kingdom and do God’s business. Period. Da hell with all that other mess.

    I get so annoyed with my brothers.

    “Dang, P, why you always throw shade on your sister like that?”

    “My sister is your wife, and she gets on my nerves. You don’t feel that wedgie you walk around with every day, brah?”

  22. Chris says:

    “Every day I feel less and less weird about being MGTOW, even though I might hang out with a female occasionally.”

    It was a few short years ago that I was very depressed and very mad at God for not bringing me a mate; now I’m thanking Him for not bringing me one. (I’m also apologizing for bearing false witness against Him for so long.)

    People shouldn’t seek a mate just to fit in or to make their Facebook pages look like others’. But even if you don’t subscribe to the whole jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge thing, single people now outnumber married people in the West.

    Maybe our gender isn’t nearly as oblivious as we’ve been told.

  23. CHero says:

    @Chris. Keep in mind I’m not entitled a wife. You’re not either. Romantic relationships can be fantastic if done right but they’re completely optional. 1 Corinthians 7, yo.

  24. Robyn says:

    Can someone please define what MGTOW is. If it is what it seems to be then we are going to have a problem. My husband and I have diligently raised our daughters to be keepersofthehome. To be submissive wives. We have fought very hard to keep them out of the feminist mindset (and it out of them). It is sad that if ‘real’ men are ‘going their own way’ … well, then isn’t all our sacrifice and work to model a godly marriage and to line our home and life up with biblical principles … just been a big waste of time. And not only that, but then haven’t we actually done them a mis-service and wouldn’t it have been better to not follow God’s ways in parenting them?

  25. CHero says:

    @Robyn It means ‘Men Going Their Own Way’. Basically dudes who are all like, “Forget this relationship biz!” and staying single and stuff.

  26. jack says:

    Robyn-

    There are so few quality women that your daughters should be able to find a good man with little trouble. But will they be able to resist what the culture will push them toward? Women are not very good at defying the cultural herd mentality. Approval from other women in their age group will come from defying morality and playing along with the worldly roadmap.

    Will your daughters actually WANT a good man, or will they do what 95% of young women do, which is to try to missionary-date a charming bad-boy, and eventually falling into sexual sin due to a lack of will and thinking they are “in love”? Because “nice guys are BORING”! (I heard that a million times).

    This is especially true if you insist that they attend college and establish a career prior to marriage. If you do not marry them off early, the chance of them staying on the correct path is very low. College has in most places become the training ground where – separated from parental influence – young women are encouraged to experience “empowerment” through licentious behavior.

    Good luck.

  27. Robyn says:

    “There are so few quality women that your daughters should be able to find a good man with little trouble.”

    Thank you Jack, I will take that as encouragement. How many daughters do you have?

  28. Cassie says:

    I just figured that when a man refers to his wife as his better half, that he is just utilizing “an expression” without really thinking about what is behind it. Like, it’s not that he intends to talk bad about himself (or even realizes that such an expression comes across that way) – he’s just intending to speak highly of the woman he loves, and isn’t really thinking it through. Not that I’m defending the use of that expression, because I agree with the post in that it’s not appropriate to down yourself in order to lift someone else up onto a pedestal.

    I won’t engage in an argument on this thread about the subject in the remainder of this comment. I’m just going to “say my peace” and drop it:

    There are so few quality women that your daughters should be able to find a good man with little trouble.

    Says someone who hasn’t walked in the shoes of the women that he’s referring to.

    What Robyn needs to be doing is to work very hard at helping her daughters to hopefully get married asap; not sitting back and thinking “this’ll be simple – with so few quality women to go around, the young men will be beating our door down to have a chance at marrying the rarity of a good woman. Piece of cake!”

    No Jack – it’s not anywhere near as trouble-free as you mistakenly think it should be. And the more that misconception gets spewed out as truth, the higher the chance of said quality women (and especially their parents) thinking that it will be easy enough to do that they won’t grasp the gravity of the current situation. And that leads to many of the problems that get talked about in the ‘sphere.

  29. jack says:

    It’s relatively easy to find a good man.
    What is difficult is to find a good man that hits all the right notes in terms of worldly status, looks, and approval from the social rule-enforcers of “popularity”.

    Really, really good Christian women will have some challenges, because they will be pulled in two different directions. Seen it a million times. A woman who refuses to participate in the promiscuity rodeo of modern college will lose out on a lot of opportunity to “fit in”. It is up to her to see this as a good thing. And that leads me to elaborate further:

    —————————————————————–

    The biggest problem Christian women face:

    The flip side of the coin is that the Church, over the last few decades, has been turning men into a bunch of emasculated, weak, supplicant, squeamish little twerps. Most Evangos are such slaves to the women=good/men=bad narrative that they are scarcely distinguishable from actual feminists.

    That leads me back to the original post, the self deprecating husband. I’ve decided to call this “Wife-Knighting”, lolz. It is a subset, though no less toxic than white knighting in general.

    The chief culprit in this is money and status-hungry preachers who enjoy the cheap gains to be made by lowering the value of men, polishing the pride and resentment that women have, and preening like a peacock before the congregation. Why fight feminism for real, when you can re-sell Christo-feminism in a slightly different package? Browbeat men and tell them how they fail to measure up. Men seem eager to play along, hoping to “prove” themselves, not realizing the game is rigged.

    This leads to the dynamic where the pastor and the wives are equals, and co-collaborators in the task of “fixing” those fallen, fallen men that they so indulgently remain married to. Most wives cannot see the disastrous sin of pride they are walking into with this dynamic.

    My #1 mission is to assist in the re-installation of backbone in Christian men, and to get it through their heads once and for all that they answer to God, and God alone. Not the pastor, not the wife, The wife is out of bounds and over the line when she decides that God placed her in a position to judge, train, or scold her man into Biblical compliance. Only a man can inspire a man to be a man. And peacocking pastors DO. NOT. COUNT.

    Oh, jack – sounds like you really don’t like women…

    Nope.

    I don’t like weak men, and I don’t stand for it. Guess what, women don’t like weak men either. My mission is to teach men to recognize and deflect all attempts to use soft Christo-feminism to shame or control them into a weak state. Most women will choose a strong man whose righteousness is questionable over a weak man whose morals are upright. Here’s the real ugly truth – both of those are disastrous decisions, for differing reasons.

    The church has to change, and the men need to retake the leadership role, against any and all opposition. The church is failing, and we can no longer afford to kowtow to the false narratives and pet resentments that feminism has craftily sown into the church body.

    Once the light goes on for the majority men and they see that wife-knighting and playing the sensitive fool is counter-productive, you will see very, very fast change. They are still trying to play the game by the “old rules”, but once patience runs out with that, expect change.

  30. A Visitor says:

    My money is on that they don’t know any better; think for a second, how many of us were given real relationship advice by our parents? So, it’s natural that a man would make self-deprecating jokes about himself and his wife. He doesn’t know any better. It’s like another blogger once said about liberalism (you could apply this to feminism, limp wristed men, etc.) , “It’s in the air we breathe.”

    Nobody escapes unscathed. Minimize the damage done by exposure and begin to heal the damage.

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