In my previous post, The Dreaded List Again, I examined one of those “husband lists” which so many women seem fond of creating these days. Actually, examination is too soft of a word, excoriation is more like it. Either way, I wasn’t exactly gentle.
As I see it, there are two principal problems with such lists. The first is that they are not grounded in reality, and create unrealistic expectations in women. Very, very few men can ever meet the requirements on most of those lists, even assuming that most men tried their hardest. Second, those lists are almost never accompanied by a counterpart list of what the woman has to offer to a potential husband. This dynamic, sky-high expectations without any concept of reciprocity or need to match performances, leads most women to develop an entitlement mentality. They expect men to give them everything, while they themselves must give nothing. Needless to say, this isn’t exactly a recipe for healthy marriages.
So with this post I have decided to turn the tables, and will try to figure out what a counter-part to the “husband list” would look like. I imagine that many of the points will be the same, but there will be some major additions as well, as they will be driven by scriptural understandings of the role of Christian wives. What I find interesting is that many men do this already, create a list of what they have to offer. Typically they tend to be more “Beta” and less “Alpha” (terms I dislike), or to borrow Vox’s terminology, tend towards “Gamma” tendencies. Less common from men, save perhaps here in the manosphere, is a list of expectations from a future wife. My suspicion is that prevailing feminist tendencies in our culture are responsible for this disparity.
The Log in My Eye
“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that I have my own “List.” Now, I happen to think mine is fairly reasonable, but it would be hypocritical for me not to address my own list and create a counterpart. So before I go over the counter-part to Mrs. Wolfe’s list from my last post, I will examine the log in my own eye.
My “List” has seen a few adjustments since I created this blog, but I think the latest version, elucidated in Some Assembly Required, works well enough: 1) Chaste, 2) Devout, 3) Attractive, 4) Feminine.
1) Chaste- A woman who has maintained her chastity her whole life. A virgin in the actual sense of the word, not a “born-again virgin.”
[Side note: I am always struck by how vehement some women get when a man qualifies a woman as a potential wife based on her sexual history. I find it especially amusing, in a dark way, when such women say that a woman is entitled to the same thing from the man, and yet are still indignant when the man does meet that criteria. A correspondent of mine happens to think that there is an aspect of Natural Law in women which causes them to know deep down inside that promiscuity is wrong. If she is right, and I increasingly suspect she is, this reaction could be a sort of projection on their part of their understanding that they have done wrong, and their fear and self-loathing at that realization.]
2) Devout- A practicing Catholic, or a Christian from another faith tradition who is willing to convert.
3) Attractive- At least somewhat pleasing to the eye. Not as difficult as some think, as most young women who take care of themselves can be at least a “6”. Also, it is relatively easy for men to find something attractive in a woman.
4) Feminine- A quiet, gentle spirit who is pleasant to be around and acts very “girly.”
Well, that is what I expect of a woman who wants my ring and my name. Again, I think these very reasonable expectations. But they do not speak of what I have to offer in turn. What does a woman gain by marrying me? I think that the easiest place to start is to flip those factors around:
1) Chaste- I have been chaste my whole life, which in manosphere terms translates into N=0. For PUA types, this makes me an especially pathetic loser, but I frankly don’t care what they think. What it means to a potential wife is that I won’t be comparing her to another woman. She will be the number one lover in my life, because she will be my only lover. This also means that she doesn’t have to worry about catching a STD from me. Or that I have some child born out of wedlock waiting to cause drama.
2) Devout- I am a practicing Catholic who takes his faith very seriously. That includes all of the verses from scripture pertaining to marriage. So a potential wife don’t have to worry about me thinking infidelity to be no big deal. Or that I will frivolously divorce her when she gets older. I will cherish her, honor her and love her as Christ loved the church. And yes, that means die for her and the children if need be.
3) Attractive- Since masculinity is an aspect of male attractiveness, under the Power category of LAMPS, I will fold it here. I am no Brad Pitt or Channing Tatum; I will freely admit that. I’m not really handsome, but on the other hand I’m not ugly either. While I may not be built like a line-backer, I have been working out regularly for a long time, and have a good BMI plus have been building up a good amount of muscle mass. So a potential wife can count on me being in good shape that continues to improve. I may never win a weight-lifting competition, but I won’t be a scrawny weakling either. I’m not rich, and probably never will be, but I’m a hard-worker. My natural talents and educational background mean that I should be able to maintain a stable middle-class lifestyle through much of a marriage. I’ve ditched most of my unmasculine behaviors, and am becoming increasingly comfortable with being unapologetically masculine. Which means that a potential wife can count on me being a bedrock of steady masculinity to rely upon in the turmoils of life. Lastly, I may never achieve fame or stardom, but I have a solid reputation which I have every reason to believe will only increase as time passes. In addition, my career/professional path is respectable and translates into one that is respected in the community as well.
So, that is my counterpart list. I could create a more detailed list if I wanted to spend the time, and risk the chance that I might ruin my anonymity. But it is a good starting point, and enough that I think I can safely move on to flip the script for the original list.
Here are the original 12 “non-negotiable” points from Mrs. Wolfe’s list:
1. He is a practicing believer.
2. God is the center of his life.
3. He has integrity and does not put himself in tempting situations.
4. Seeks mentorship and counsel.
5. He is slow to anger.
6. He holds strong conviction on the sacredness of fidelity.
7. He is honorable of your heart and emotional well-being.
8. He is disciplined in living a life of integrity.
9. Has solid work ethic.
10. He pursues and loves you passionately.
11. Romances you.
12. He is humble and can admit when he is wrong.
A counter-part “List” is about what you have to offer, so it is of necessity a different sort of list. Still, many of these can be flipped around and moved into the first person. For Mrs. Wolfe, this will be from the perspective of a woman trying to convince a man to marry her. Combined with some relevant parts of scripture, and you get something workable. Starting with just the original points that can be flipped, you get this:
I am a practicing believer.
God is the center of my life.
I have integrity and do not put myself in tempting situations.
I hold strong conviction on the sacredness of fidelity.
I am disciplined in living a life of integrity.
I have a solid work ethic.
A good starting point, at least. But using some of the other points as baselines, and throw in some “manosphere knowledge,” and you get these:
I keep my emotions in control and don’t let them run my life.
I will never speak about you disrespectfully in front of other people.
I will never deny you my body unless I am seriously ill.
I will never act like I am better than you.
I am loyal and will never seek to undermine you.
Lastly, let’s throw in some Biblical commands about duties of a wife:
I will submit to your authority as the Church submits to Christ.
I will respect you as my husband.
I am kind and have a gentle, quiet spirit.
I will be loyal helpmeet eager to assist you in whatever tasks God has for you.
And that completes the counter-part list. If anyone can think of anything that should be added to the “Wife List”, please mention it in the comments. I believe that the attitude engendered by creating a list of what you have to offer in marriage is one that is beneficial to everyone, even if you don’t necessarily make it or your expectations public. The effect of examining what you have to give is an important step in grounding yourself in what you can or should expect from a potential spouse. Sadly, in our entitlement culture I don’t expect this to be a trend that catches on.