The two dysfunctional mindsets that men suffer from in relationships

Been busy with Thanksgiving and traveling! Back to writing.

One of the things I’ve discussed before although not extensively is that men and husbands often fall into the trap of thinking that their girlfriend or wife should love them for who they are. This is one of the more difficult concepts to understand because it means having a firm knowledge of the differing roles and responsibilities and the attitudes that come with them.

There are multiple instances and people in your life that will generally love you for who you are:

  • The Father because He created all of us in His own image. This includes Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
  • Our parents will tend to be the role models for showing us that we are loved.

In general, love is interrelated with authority. God is love. God is good. God has the ultimate authority. Therefore, He that is all authority, all good, and all love displays it in all ways.

The trouble begins when men and husbands believe that their girlfriends and wives should love them for who they are. There is a general command that Christians love one another. This is good. However, it is not specific to the husband-wife relationship and is instead a general Christian command.

The reason why wives are commanded to respect their husbands and not to love them because that is the important part of the specific roles and responsibilities of the wife. Indeed, respect/fear and trust is what leads to submission. Respect and fear in particular are key to fixing dysfunctional marriage relationships. Headship/authority and submission bring about order within the marriage relationship as the two are one. Thus, the specificity of particular relationship commands has priority over the general commands. Indeed, the problem with mutual submission has been well explored.

I am not against women or wives loving their husbands. Women and wives will often express that romantically in a relationship. However, it is important to note that respect is more important.

Love does not feed and nourish men and husbands. However, women and wives can nourish their men and husbands with their respect.

  • Men are to love women
  • Women are to respect men

This is a key for relationships between men and women. If a man is feeling unloved by his girl or a husband is feeling unloved by his wife he should check his priorities. It is more important to be concerned about a lack of respect than a lack of love from a wife. There is an interesting subtlety of this dynamic that you can only see in hindsight.

The two relationship dysfunctional mindsets

Now that I have laid a bit of the groundwork lets move on.

Dysfunction #1: If a husband is feeling unloved by his wife that that means he has already seceded headship to her by some measure because he is in the wrong mindset.

If the primary relationship was for wives to love husbands and for husbands to respect their wives which is often the case in dysfunctional relationships, then this will lead to obvious conclusions.

  • Husbands that respect their wives will submit to them.
  • Wives that love their husbands will be the head over them.

We already know how the attitudes of love and respect accurately convey the nature of headship and submission. Thus, it only proves how you approach the relationship out of a particular mindset will lead to a dysfunctional or good dynamic within a particular relationship.

Dysfunction #2: On the the other hand, if a husband feels disrespect by his wife that should lead him to the opportunity to exert headship by admonishing her. Fearing the response of his wife in admonishment is a sign of a dysfunctional relationship.

What is missing in this case is often that the husband needs to get over his fear of his wife. Note that this “fear” of the wife is the same type of fear of authority. If you fear your own wife that is the same as putting her on a pedestal and setting her up as the head of the relationship.


This leads to two conclusions:

  1. If you see a lack of respect from your woman or wife you can see your own failure. You fear your woman/wife and how she will react because you have put her up on a pedestal and head of the relationship.
  2. If you feel unloved by your woman or wife you are deceived. You incorrectly believe that in a relationship your woman or wife is supposed to love you when that simply is not the case in a godly relationship.

Both of these dysfunctions may result in a myriad of different dysfunctional relationship patterns. Identifying which dysfunctional relationship mindset you are in will go a long way to fixing it.

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12 Responses to The two dysfunctional mindsets that men suffer from in relationships

  1. Pingback: The two dysfunctional mindsets that men suffer from in relationships |

  2. Hi Deepstrength,
    This is a very timely post for me, as I’m currently reading “Love and Respect” for the first time.

    To be honest, I can recall times my husband has said both “You’re being unloving” and “You’re being disrespectful”. (Separate times, to clarify.)
    I’m not sure the former is a sign of dysfunction, however.
    What he seemed to be getting at when he said I was unloving, was that I was being respectful and submissive out of a sense of duty, but with no warmth to it. They were times when I was “going through the motions”, so to speak, but not feeling it.
    And I wonder if this is partially what it means in Titus 2, where older women are to teach the younger ones to “love their husbands”… Perhaps it is that aspect of “warmth”.

  3. @ seriouslyserving

    Correct. There is a command of wives to love their husbands but it’s not the specific agape love.

    Titus 2 says wives should phileo (not agape) their husbands and their children.

    I would term it “affection” but “warmth” works as well.

  4. Looking Glass says:

    A lot of this still rolls back into the “Identity” issue that you’ve written on several times. It’s the basis on which the “Why” you have your position that can easily get messed up. That’s really where the evil that’s indoctrinated within our Western cultures causes the most problem for the Christian Man. Especially with regard to Authority positions. (The reason of “You’re a Man and God assigned you that position” goes over oddly badly among Christians. 150 years of indoctrination will do that.)

  5. Pedat Ebediyah says:


    Yes, I thought about the Identity topics by DS as being some of the best stuff in the Christian manosphere.

    If we don’t know who were are, then how we function will be completely lost on us.

    I’ve had to check myself far too often “..wait..this is now how I was designed and not what I’m supposed to be doing.”

    It hasn’t always been easy, by any stretch.

  6. Looking Glass says:


    One of the easiest mental traps I’ve found (and something that hits a lot of guys) is their ability to make money is the “rock” upon which they build their identity and sense of self. That’s where the indoctrination really does the damage. As Christians, the “rock” we are to build on is Jesus Christ. (Matthew 7:24-25)

    It’s pretty obvious why it happens (culture + performance mentality), but it’s still a nasty trap that causes a lot of problems. We are all tempted to fall into the trap, so it’s something I find to be very important to think about. Keeping one’s “head” straight, with regard to the Lord, is very valuable. It let’s you put Spirit & Mind over the Flesh when it’s really easy to go to your instincts.

  7. Pedat Ebediyah says:


    Great stuff…thanks for your thoughts.

    So…we’ve been taught, traditionally, that the gist of our utility as men is our role as “hunter/gatherer”, and that we should do this at all costs.

    Hell, even the Christian MGTOWs who have befriended me have even come out and said, “if people complain about you working too much, ignore them. Adam worked like nobody’s business. He named all the animals. If you’re not working, then you’re worthless. Keep working until you’ve named all the animals”. (huh????)

    Then they quote Steven Pressfield on me about “resistance”, and that “your work is all you have”.

    Now I agree with “resistance” being a hindrance to creativity, innovation, and motivation, but in spite of being MGTOW, I’m going to enjoy time with my daughter, my family, and the people in my circle. I’m not working another Thanksgiving or New Years – ever again.

    This need to impress people by saying, “I’m on the grind”…”I’m getting my hustle on”…is, like you write…broadcasting people that you are “performing” something esoteric.

    In with respect to brother DS’ topic, I’m geared towards loving myself more and having more self respect. This will be my implacable focus.

  8. @ Pedat Ebediyah

    Yep, understanding how to love yourself is the corollary of loving others: Love your neighbor as yourself.

    Just gotta understand that the ultimate goal is to learn how to love your neighbors which is the most difficult part… but you can’t understand it effectively unless you learn how to love yourself and build up your character.

  9. Crux says:

    “If you see a lack of respect from your woman or wife you can see your own failure. You fear your woman/wife and how she will react because you have put her up on a pedestal and head of the relationship.”

    If people do not respect God, is that the result of his failure or fear ? Did the prodigal son leave because the father placed him on a pedestal?

    Women attempting to usurp their man’s authority isn’t always the result of the man having incorrect thinking and fear. She may be in rebellion, plain and simple. Otherwise it sounds like you’re assuming it’s his fault every time. If you feel that way, you need to ask whether God was at fault whenever Israel abandoned him. Eve’s curse belongs to our women alone and can’t be “fixed” by us no matter how much we men don’t fear them. We can lead in a way that makes it easier or exasperates their struggle; but ultimately it is their struggle independent of us. Just as our curse and struggle is felt independent of the presence or absence of their submission.

  10. @ Crux

    It’s certainly a possibility, although typically unlikely as most men don’t confront it and just take it. Many wives don’t know what “disrespect” is to their man… because their man hasn’t taught them about it.

    I agree if you confront it then she is explicitly in open rebellion. However, before then it’s often hard to tell because there simply is no communication about it.

  11. Crux says:

    @Deep Strength,

    I agree if we are talking about simple miscommunication or unintended slight, which left unchecked and when made habitual can grow into disrespect or rebellion. I just worry you’re missing the catch 22 or conflict of interest. A person doesn’t listen to someone they don’t respect.

    There’s a reason Titus 2 tells men to behave in ways worthy of respect, while instructing the older women to urge the younger to respect their husbands. It doesn’t instruct the husbands to demand it for themselves.

    When you call it a husband’s failure if his wife disrespect him, you’re asking him to shoulder both of their responsibility in the relationship. If a wife disrespects her husband that is her fault alone. It may also indicate that he is conducting himself without dignity, but that is a separate issues, even if the content overlaps.

  12. @ Crux

    I agree with that, but it’s not the scenario that I’m discussing, I admit that I may not have clarified the OP as much as it should have been.

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