I don’t think I’ve made a post specifically on this, but I’ve discussed it a bunch in the comments and book. This usually helps a lot of men understand at least some of their marital woes. As we all know, wives can be rebellious even if it was Jesus leading the relationship/marriage.
The creep and romantic dynamic is thus:
- If an unattractive man gives a woman flowers, he is a creep
- If an attractive man gives a woman flowers, he is romantic
This also corresponds to marriage in an almost predictable fashion:
- If an unattractive husband gives his wife flowers, he is seen as trying to curry favor with her and the wife may get even more dissatisfied and discontent.
- If an attractive husband gives his wife flowers, he is so charming, sweet, and the wife gives him that “I wanna do you” look.
This can be expanded out to several more things that a husband does for her:
- If a wife complains about laundry and the unattractive husband does it, he is seen as trying to curry favor with her and the wife may get even more dissatisfied and discontent
- If the wife complains about the dishes or any other housework and the unattractive husband does it, he is seen as trying to curry favor with her and the wife may get even more dissatisfied and discontent
- The one-up-manship of many things like engagement proposals or expensive dinners or acquiescing to demands.
This is the total futility of trying to love a wife by catering to her feelings. Her feelings are not something that can be bought, negotiated, or otherwise transacted by doing things for her.
It’s really amazing how the exact same action is interpreted in different ways by women and wives. Of course, the same exact scenario in reverse could be true of an overweight woman/wife versus a fit woman/wife wearing lingerie. A husband may get turned off by the former but turned on by the latter.
One of the mods on RPChristians reddit has a good analogy about this: hardware or software issue?
Most of the issues with “hardware” tend to stem from a lack of care or complacency about one’s own life:
- A man may not be engaged with His mission for God and putting God first
- He has a lack of care about his own spiritual life and is neglecting God’s marital roles and responsibilities toward her (to be the head and to love her toward sanctification).
- He may have gone from muscular and fit to overweight or obese during the course of a relationship
- He may have become a “yes dear” type of man over the course of the marriage
- He could have gotten lazy over the course of the marriage and given in to lack of discipline over various areas of his life or work
All of these deficits in lack of care or complacency are things that typically make a man less attractive. Instead of embodying the traits that are attractive to women such as being confident, charismatic, masculine, ambitious leader, he is instead into an unconfident, bumbling his words and indecisive, feminized, complacent follower. Instead of being someone she respects, he is acting unrespectable.
A few things of note:
- Obviously, if none of these or few of these things are true, you could just be dealing with a straight up rebellious wife which is certainly the case when culture and even the Church, friends, and family can sow discord in marriages nowadays.
- Yes, it’s true that while wives should still respect their husbands when they act unrespectable, it’s true that it makes it significantly more difficult and they often don’t. It’s a stumbling block. Same with a wife that gets obese or constantly disrespects her husband and expects her husband to want to do her a lot. It’s a stumbling block.
- This is the common is versus ought fallacy from the previous post that many in the Church make: because God wants to us to be godly, they think that godliness must be sexy. It isn’t. Just because we know wives ought to respect their husbands doesn’t mean they do, and it should not prevent a husband from fulfilling his own marital roles and responsibilities and be filled with the fruit of the Spirit in the face of a rebellious wife.
It is only those things done without any transactional mindsets that truly bring about any influence to change things. The focus should always to be on honoring God with what we do and not on trying to buy or alter someone as changing someone invites disaster. A husband that gets caught up in covert contracts (“if I only do this, she’ll come around or give me more sex”) or the mindset of “tit for tat” whether in a good way or bad way will always come to failure.
All this is to say you only have full control over yourself which means you can only wholly change yourself to be more like God. Focus on obeying God because He is the one we answer to in the end. Make sure your life is defined by excellence toward Him and strive for “well done good and faithful servant.” This leads to your own spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental transformation that God can use to influence a rebellious wife. Not because of anything you did or are doing for her but because of who you are becoming in Christ. Out of the heart flows actions that allow transformation and influence.
Attraction, like faith, is not primarily based on any external thing but by the reflection of your identity. If you strive to do everything you do as you do for Christ, that becomes visible externally.