Must It Be A Man?

*Both Men and Women Permitted*

Today’s post is a follow up to my most recent Masculine Monday post, found here. Therein I stated the need a man has for a good and honest friend. As part of my argument I explained that this friend needed to be a man. My specific words:

No man can be right all the time. We all make mistakes, we all err (as an aside, they are not the same thing).  So it is essential to have someone in our life who will tell us what we need to hear, even and especially when we don’t want to hear it. Naturally enough, that friend also needs to be a man.

If a man has a wife, she cannot be that honest friend. If she is truly devoted to him and reveres him, then she cannot be unbiased when he is concerned. She won’t be capable of the brutal honesty required. And if she is not devoted to him, and reviles him, well then, her words cannot be trusted there either.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, a female reader objected to this argument. She felt that a wife could fulfill the role of objective imparter of the the truth. And unsurprisingly, I disagree with her. I felt a discussion on that particular subject was worth having, but the previous post was not a proper place for that discussion. Therefore I have created this post instead.

So tell me readers- must that friend be a man? Can it be a woman? A wife specifically, or a woman in general? Feel free to let loose in the comments.

 

Advertisements

23 Comments

Filed under Blue Pill, Femininity, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill, Women

23 responses to “Must It Be A Man?

  1. Novaseeker

    Theoretically I think a wife can do this (tell you what you need to hear), but in practice it is very difficult because the relationship of husband and wife has so many other components (sexual, emotional, practical), these very easily muddy the water and create conflicts that impede the kind of “truth-telling” that you are describing there coming from a male friend. In addition, in the marital context, you can’t just “walk away” (or at least not as easily as you can in the context of a same sex friendship), so that also tempers and muddies things. The whole point of having the male friend who keeps you honest, in a way, is precisely that he isn’t entangled in the complex marital web of relationships-within-a-relationship where things get muddied due to the complexity of the relationship on both sides.

  2. Neguy

    If “the two become one flesh” then having your wife try to be your friend and give you honest counsel is like trying to self-diagnose.

  3. Generally speaking, there are many times you want impartial advice. Wives cannot give impartial advice for a variety of reasons such as sexual, emotional, practical, and personal biases like Nova said. Solipsism is another factor that I would take into account. This is not to say advice from a wife is *bad* but merely incomplete in the greater scheme of life.

    The husband and wife are not supposed to go it alone anyway. That’s what the Church and community is for. That’s what tribes were for. Humans are social creatures that need more than simply family to do well.

    Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.

    Proverbs 15:22 Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed.

    If “the two become one flesh” then having your wife try to be your friend and give you honest counsel is like trying to self-diagnose.

    Neguy, good point.

  4. The concept seems disastrous and humorous. Like the man trying to do surgery on his spine.

  5. Cannot be a wife because that is not a wife’s role. If she successfully takes up the role of friend she had left her post.

    A woman cannot be the sort of friend described in the posts without trouble. There should be an affection between friends that is non-sexual. Affection between a man and a woman who are not married is going to be frustrated. If it’s not frustrated, then it must change. Either way: It cannot last.

  6. Chevalierdejohnstone

    But of course a wife IS her husband. The two are “one flesh”. A wife is not distinct from her husband, she is part of him and he a part of her. This idiocy is like saying a man can be his own best advisor.
    Your female reader’s response is thus seen as logically incoherent.

  7. Sometimes the best action for a man to take will incur short-term pain of some kind, be it financial, physical, emotional or social. He might need to change jobs, start a business, move across country, or abandon unworthy friends.

    A wife will be reluctant to suggest action to her own possible detriment. It does happen, but the conflict of interests means her objectivity is compromised.

  8. Ok, pause. Start over.

    As the female reader that expressed disagreements with a portion of the Monday post to Donal, I need to clarify what I meant and what exactly I was expressing disagreements with. It’s clear from reading the comments here that classification is needed. Please check back in a little while for said clarification.

  9. Michael Kozaki

    So tell me readers- must that friend be a man? Can it be a woman? A wife specifically, or a woman in general?

    I question the original premise. Yes an objective friend would be great. But he don’t exist. Church teaching, conscience, and prayer life does. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

    Regarding a wife? It’s a different relationship. A leader gotta lead. But she can certainly be a help in making decisions. “First mate” analogy, etc.

  10. Ok, time to clarify what I was disagreeing with. I did/do agree with nearly everything in the Masculine Monday post, including the part about how *that friend* needs to be a man. The only part I didn’t agree with was this:

    If a man has a wife, she cannot be that honest friend. If she is truly devoted to him and reveres him, then she cannot be unbiased when he is concerned. She won’t be capable of the brutal honesty required.

    Here’s what my response was to Donal that he decided to make this post from (copy and pasted word for word):

    (After quoting the above quote here): I don’t agree with this. In order to be devoted to him, she can’t tell him lies if she sees the truth. That would be to do him evil and not good. She should revere him, be devoted to him, and follow him, certainly. But that doesn’t mean she won’t be able to see the truth and to pass it along to him (respectfully, of course). If she’s truly devoted to him and wants good for him, she’ll *have* to tell him the truth as she sees it. For the record, I’m not saying that men don’t need male friends like you said, because they certainly do. Just meant that a wife can be brutally honest if need be, and must be so if she really is devoted to him. Not in a brutal way, but honest in a loving and respectful way.

    I was trying to say that a woman isn’t incapable of seeing the truth that he doesn’t want to hear just because she’s devoted to him. Nor would she be incapable of expressing it to him without losing her reverence / devotion to him. Brutal honesty needn’t be brutal in word and tone, it just needs to be brutally accurate and straightforward, not telling them “pretty lies” in an attempt to avoid a possible conflict just because it’s not telling them what they want to hear.

    To give an example of what I mean, here’s an example I recall of a time when I told a man something that he needed to hear but it wasn’t what he wanted to hear:

    This man was looking to move out of his parent’s house. He was looking at places online and considering which ones to go check out in person. There was this one house that he liked the looks of online, until he noticed it’s location, which was right on the edge of the ghetto. He said that it’s not worth having a nice front porch to sit on if he’s gonna get shot while sitting on it. Days went by, he looked at a few places, but either didn’t like them enough, or his applications were denied, depending on the place. He was so anxious to get out of his parent’s house by the end of the month that he started talking about how he was gonna try and get that ghetto house, just so he could have *something* to move into by the end of the month. I KNEW that if he did this, that he would regret it, especially since he’d be stuck in a year long lease. So out of a place of love for him, and wanting to “do him good and not evil,” I HAD to speak up. I reminded him of what he had said just days before (about getting shot on the porch) and encouraged him to keep looking, for just a little bit longer, that he might find something more suitable to what he was looking for if he kept looking, and that he would regret it if he moved there. I made sure to keep my words and tone of voice as sweet and respectful as possible so that he would see that I had his best interest at heart. I knew I was telling him something that he didn’t want to hear, but I couldn’t claim to care about his well being and *not* say something. He ended up deciding to keep looking and in a matter of days he found a more suitable place (whether it was my talk that pushed him to change his mind, I don’t know. He never said either way.) And the fact that I knew during that talk that I love(d) him didn’t stop me from being able to 1) see the truth that he didn’t want to hear, 2) tell him the truth even though I knew it wasn’t what he wanted to hear. In fact, it was love for him that prompted me to do it.

    Ok, un-pause. Go…

  11. @ Michael

    “First mate” analogy

    Exactly. A first mate isn’t doing her job correctly by only telling the captain what he wants to hear.

  12. Ame

    i think this is one of those things that one has to prepare for when needed most. i believe that there are times when the wife *can* be that person for a man. but there will come a time … sooner, or later, or intermittently, when he needs that male friend(s), when his wife cannot be that person. the relationship and pattern need to already established.

    from the pov of a wife who has many years and seasons of marriage behind me … i *need* my husband not to *need* me all the time. i *need* him to have someone else to go to. there are times where this is not a burden, but there are times and seasons where it is.

    —–
    Michael Kozaki
    June 8, 2016 at 10:36 PM
    “I question the original premise. Yes an objective friend would be great. But he don’t exist. Church teaching, conscience, and prayer life does. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”

    it is not either God or a male friend. it would be unwise for a man to put any person or thing before his relationship with the Lord. his male friendships should be in addition to, and should support and encourage, his relationship with the Lord …. because we are not to put any other gods before Him … and because pure objectivity does not exist in humanity.

  13. Can a woman/wife be the honest friend? No.
    There are some things that should probably be kept between the husband and the wife, in those cases wife should strive to be as objective and honest as possible. But those are issues relating to their relationship.

    She cannot be honest about how he needs to improve/change as a person. Because the changes that he would need to make are unlikely to be comfortable for her. It’s the difference between what she thinks she wants and what she actually needs from her husband. I mean, the stereotypical situation of the woman changing the man and then leaving him because he’s a different person exists for a reason. Even if she is honest, that fact that she holds enough sway over him to cause him to change can potentially cause issues with attraction. Bluntly, it isn’t very dominant of the man to change at his wife’s direction/suggestion, even if those changes are positive.

    It’s not that the wife can’t or shouldn’t help, it’s that she is limited in how she can help.

  14. Maea

    My husband and I are that honest friend for each other. He doesn’t know any men he can have that kind of honesty with, because many people (including self-described Christians) believe in many worldly things and he isn’t interested. Secondly, no one has demonstrated their trustworthiness to merit that kind of friendship.

    I believe in a marriage with this kind of honesty, you have to be willing to be charitable and accept the changes that come. It works both ways.

  15. He doesn’t know any men he can have that kind of honesty with, because many people (including self-described Christians) believe in many worldly things and he isn’t interested.

    My husband found that in much older men rather than his same generation peers. He has an uncle he looks up to enough to go to with man stuff that is inappropriate to share with me or that is out of line for discussion with me. My father was a second.

    I know how this sounds (and so does he because he’s recently had to deal with it), but most of the many men in his life look to him for an example and a sounding board and he doesn’t feel any more comfortable taking criticism form them than many of you have expressed with regards to your own wives.

    Because he knows full well that I am extremely hesitant to offer criticism to him and that the idea of asking him to change makes me physically ill, he trusts my motives on the very rare occasion that I have felt compelled to offer anything like that. He would be irritated to think that I would hold back an honest thought because of a misguided notion that our positions act as a muzzle of some sort. The thought of a shrinking violet wife makes him ill.

  16. Oh, and for the record, my dad wasn’t in any way compelled to defend the indefensible in me. He had no trouble correcting me if he noted even a hint of my being out of line as a wife. It was one of the things that knit my dad and husband’s hearts, that my dad treated him and advised him as he would his own son from the day we said “I do”, even if that meant my little feelings got hurt.

  17. Michael Kozaki

    Ame, it is not either God OR a male friend.

    I agree. As I said: an objective friend would be great. But he don’t exist. For me, at least. Perhaps my failure. But don’t think so. Just our era.

    So I have had Maea’s experience to some degree. Look, being a family leader is a lonely job. A man can’t expect support, but take whatever he gets, without letting it interfere with his fidelity to the truth. On that, trust no man. Or woman. Or confessor. Only Church.

  18. Maea

    A man can’t expect support, but take whatever he gets, without letting it interfere with his fidelity to the truth.

    This is where my husband is at.

  19. Hmm. I’m shocked that not even one man decided to argue with my clarifying comment. I fully expected that I’d end up having to defend my thoughts…

  20. https://therationalmale.com/2014/12/30/mutiny/

    There are no ‘First Mates’ in a marriage.

    A strong male leadership role is very appealing to both men and women, and I’ll be the first to cosign the need for a man’s ‘captaincy’ as it were in his marriage and his life in general. This ‘Manning Up’ into a headship of his relationship hits the right buttons for a man predisposed to Beta complacency (not to mention it gives him a faint hope for resolving a sexless marriage), but also for women who are encouraged by the ‘new’ Alpha-ish husband they hope will take the lead (usually from her) and potentially generate the tingles he’s never quite been able to do for her.

    Unfortunately, this push for ‘captaincy’ is self-defeated by the equalist-mindset compromise of allaying a woman’s inherent insecurities by giving her assurances that she will be the “first mate” in this new arrangement. Even in a position of instated headship (relinquished or otherwise), men predisposed to an egalitarian equalism still want to ‘play fair’ and offer an appeasement for being allowed to be the head of the home.

    Her voice will be heard, her input will be considered, because he just “loves her that much”; this is the self-satisfying rationale for being allowed to direct the course of his marriage and family. The problems inherent in this are rooted in the compromise of his assuming all accountability for the failures of that arrangement while still granting her his magnanimous assurances that he’ll always have her best interests in mind.

  21. Michael Kozaki

    Rollo, allaying a woman’s inherent insecurities by giving her assurances that she will be the “first mate” in this new arrangement. Even in a position of instated headship (relinquished or otherwise), men predisposed to an egalitarian equalism still want to ‘play fair’ and offer an appeasement for being allowed to be the head of the home.

    The dividing line between the “Rollo” philosophy on male-female relations and the “traditional” one is merely fertility. There is no “equalism” in a big family. Or being “allowed to be head”. Dad is king. Or mom better prepare to reap the child whirlwind. She is dumb, but not that dumb. Seen many Amish family headship issues of late? Me neither.

    When a woman has lots of children there is no “reinstated headship”. Only the desperate need for iron-fisted male headship. Wife is required to be a first mate. Regardless if she likes it. Because family. She can feel the looming chaos breathing down her neck.

    The Rollo philosophy? Quite sound for a 1-2 kid family of leisure where the woman is footloose. Unfortunately, this <2.1 TFR family is a Darwinian dead-end, and, like any other cultural pathology, can be safely ignored by cultures not vanishing into the dustbin of history.

  22. @Cassie

    I fully expected that I’d end up having to defend my thoughts

    Patience Cassie, patience. You said

    to tell him the truth as she sees it

    .

    The thought that tough to defend is in bold. Its that little qualifier, “as she sees it”, “in her opinion”, “as she feels led”, worded many different ways, that qualifier has been sprinkled throughout common scripture and scripture exposition that relegates things like submission to “if she sees him worthy”.

    All are guilty of seeing truth as we see it in some instances. it is a plight women are unfortunately subjected to as described in scripture.

  23. @ empathologism

    The thought that tough to defend is in bold. Its that little qualifier, “as she sees it”, “in her opinion”, “as she feels led”, worded many different ways, that qualifier has been sprinkled throughout common scripture and scripture exposition that relegates things like submission to “if she sees him worthy”.

    I agree, and that’s not what I had in mind when I wrote the part you quoted. A better way for me to have worded that would’ve been “when she sees it” instead of “as she sees it,” since I wasn’t talking about stating opinions, but was pointing out that a wife might not always recognize that her husband is wrong and in need of hearing the truth, even if he is and does. I know, there’s a difference between Truth and Opinion. Oftentimes opinions can be the truth, but not always. And just because someone has a strong opinion on something doesn’t mean that it is the objective truth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s