Dominant Males

This goes out to Sarah’s Daughter and STMA.  Elspeth, I’m expecting your input.  Anyone else with an alpha-wolf hubs, feel free.

  1. My version of alpha is based on the one I live with, the one I’ve known and loved for the past 29 years.  YMMV.  It’s not exactly the same as the manosphere version.
  2. You are accountable to God for your actions and attitudes.  To Him be the glory.   We are *commanded* to certain actions and attitudes towards our husbands.  Since emotion is never legislated, that means that we’re talking about choices.   If life is giving you lemons right at the moment, that means that you respect the office even if the man is making you crazy.   Obedience in the face of difficulty is an honor, and it says a lot about your character.  Nothing written here is to be construed as a reason to disobey or disrespect your particular husband.  If you need help rummaging up respect for the man, there are tools to help you along, and I’d be happy to share those.
  3. People is people.  Don’t, please, categorize any human and leave them in a box, don’t “other” them and see them as something completely different from yourself.  It’s foolish.   Your husband is on his own path of sanctification, he’s got his own baggage, his own past, his own dreams.   He has to deal with God on his own, he has to make his own choices – just as you do.  We are all accountable to the Lord.  You can’t make anyone do anything.  Don’t try, it’s ugly and likely to backfire.   Let your husband be who he is.  This is written to help you understand him a bit better, hopefully.

The manosphere writes about alphas as the be-all, end-all way to be male.  It’s not.  Alphas are meant to be the leaders of packs, not just the leaders of their own households.  If everyone was supposed to be just as aggressive, just as possessive, it would be really hard to develop a team over the size of a household.  How much of a pack your male needs to lead will vary – some need to lead huge packs, some need to lead just a wife and children.  They tend to sort this out amongst themselves, and we should let them do this.   Your loyalty is to your man, end of story.

I have zero respect for most of the “alphas” I hear written about (usually enviously).  It’s a poor shepherd who eats fresh mutton every night – if you’re in the game for what you can get for yourself, you’re a menace, not a leader.  Rank hath its privileges – but it heavy is the head that wears the crown.  One goes with the other.

What makes a confident guy who has a backbone into an alpha, or a dominant?  Some of it definitely is that soupcon of aggression, the willingness to fight for his own.   Some of it is the need to control.

There is a huge difference between being dominant and being domineering.  Dominants want to protect the ones under their care, and make them the most they can be.  Domineers push the ones under them down in order to lift themselves up.   They act out of fear, out of wounded pride.

Dominants attract other males because of their leadership abilities – the other males want to be around them, want to join in teams with them, want to be part of the pack.   Domineers refuse to be around other men, because they are afraid those under their control will leave for greener pastures.

So, what do I know about dominant males?

  1. There is usually a reason that they developed dominance.   Charisma might have come easily to them in youth, but the “I must control/protect/provide” urge is something that is forged in need.
  2. They need to lead others.  It is not about pride (although they can often be prideful), it is a visceral need to provide/protect/control those around them – for their good.  They take the needs of their pack very seriously.  They spend time thinking about how to help their packmates, and they will go to great lengths to do so.
  3. Especially when young, putting family over pack can be… problematic.  A wife can feel the bite here.  This is something that can (and should) be pointed out to your dominant – that his priorities are out of whack.  Then you drop it.   (That’s what a good second-in-command DOES – she tells the Captain the consequences of his actions, then she lets him steer where he will, and deal with what comes).
  4. Let him deal.  Let him direct.  He doesn’t mind, he really doesn’t mind being in charge of all the things, and being the heavy.  This is something you can rest in, and once you rest in it, it’s lovely.  But take care of the tasks he’s set you – that matters to him, that he can trust you.
  5. Dominants are ridiculously strong.  They may expect you to be proportionally strong, and ask you to do more than you’re able to do, or handle more emotional strain than you’re capable of carrying.   This is, if anything, a sign of respect.   That’s fine… but you have to tell them when you’re at your limits.  You belong to them (dominants take ownership very seriously) and you are their problem.   This communication and the fallout are unpleasant for all involved (can I get an Amen, ladies?) but the cycle of doing your best while you’re crying inside and then snapping is worse.   BTDT, got the tshirt.  I’d prefer not to see anyone else wearing one, so just be honest.  Although in the face of a displeased dominant male, that’s not so easy, because…
  6. His anger is scary.  I’ve never had one millisecond’s concern that my husband would hurt a hair on my head, but that doesn’t mean I’m not scared of his anger.   There’s so *much* of it.  It’s so intense.
  7. They like honesty.  Loyalty.  Integrity.  “Like” is much too mild a word.  These are huge for them.
  8. Being linked to a charismatic male who instinctively protects means that you are constantly going to have to deal with women throwing themselves at him.  It gets old.  Real.Old.Real.Fast.   If you didn’t have anyone at your wedding in a black minidress and fishnets… well.  I have *stories*.   Learn to laugh at their hijinks.  He won’t mind telling you about them.
  9. Because he doesn’t lie, and he’s totally confident in himself.  So why wouldn’t he share that stuff?
  10. He wouldn’t have married you if he didn’t want you as a wife.  Line forms to the right… he had plenty of options.  He might be tough on you, especially before you sort that whole, “I’m can’t carry that” thing – but he *likes* you.  He wants your company.
  11. Don’t be bothered trying to act less than you are.  He’s stronger than you are – so be as strong as you can.  He’s more confident than you are.  Go ahead and be your best, he’ll put you to better use.  He’s totally fine with that, and he’s completely unthreatened by you.  You don’t have to play games.  See #7.  He *hates* games.   If he wanted a flibbertigibbet … see #8, he could get one.  Or two.
  12. You belong to him.  You know that in theory, he knows that in his gut.  Go with it, it’s pretty awesome.  And he takes his ownership very, very seriously.


So.  If you’re married to a dominant, alpha male kind of dude, the best thing you can do is be honest, obedient and loyal.  If you’re going through rough seas, you turn your eyes to the Lord.  (Well, have your eyes on the Lord all the time).   You can’t change any other human, but you *really* can’t change a dominant – don’t try, it makes him mad.  Pray.  Have faith.  Do what you’re supposed to do, be right with God, and let God sort things out.

A mature relationship with a dominant is incredible, you cannot imagine how cherished I am.    Then again, I’d make another man absolutely crazy, I’m not exactly Mistress Mellow.

Questions?  Els, Maea, chime in please.  (I would have written this earlier this week/sent it ’round to E, but I was sick, so I didn’t).

72 thoughts on “Dominant Males

  1. sarahsdaughter2

    Thank you for writing this, Hearthie. It’s very informative. The young man who wants to date our daughter is coming over later today to talk with my husband and ask if he can date her. I suspect this all describes him. From what I’ve learned and witnessed of him so far it certainly does. I’m going to have my daughter read it and talk with her more about it. I really don’t think it will deter her or matter to her at this point – I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. What young woman would *think better* of continuing a relationship with a guy like you’ve described? Especially when she is already very attracted? Her brains barely work right now as it is. The girl hasn’t been able to eat and seems to be in a constant state of blushing.

    The low hanging fruit are plentiful and have already begun to take stabs at her (to him). She’s not too concerned about them, she seems to know that she won’t be liked because she has his attention. She has just never experienced this before and I can tell it’s surprising to her to hear that other girls that don’t know her, and who have never talked to her, will just tell this young man “she’s NOT cute,” “I don’t like her” etc.

    We gave her permission to text with him but when we saw that it was becoming a non-stop thing we told her “it’s time” (for him to talk with her dad). I think she thought, and we (mistakenly) thought that he’d find that weird and pass her up for the much more…available girls. Instead he had no problem with it, turned up the respect toward her dad (RLB is one of his coaches and a teacher at her school so he sees him everyday) and his interest in getting to know her has intensified.

    I think, from what you’ve told me, she’s about the same age you were when you started a relationship with your husband. What was the dynamic like between your husband and your father/parents at the beginning?

    1. hearthie Post author

      Oh you want stories! 😀 None of this will be helpful, but I’m good with stories. 😀

      DH and I first interacted sometime in 5th grade. Neither of us remembers talking, but there are pictures to prove that we were in the same Sunday School play. First time I remember talking to him was in 7th grade. Convo made an impact, but was a one-off. He randomly escorted someone trick-or-treating by my house in 8th grade. In 9th grade we actually started going to school together. I remember him giving me a compliment in first semester… but it wasn’t until mid-way through second semester that we started talking and “going together”. (You remember HS?) That’s where the “29 years” starts – freshman year of HS.

      We “went together” on and off through HS, mostly on. But no proper dates, and I don’t think he met my dad until senior year? Our first date was prom. (As I said, not helpful, just a story). (He was dealing with his own stuff, like losing his dad to cancer). By senior year, it was all “on” and during our first two years of college, we were well-nigh inseparable. (I went away to school the second two years, and we married a year after I got home).

      I wasn’t exactly the most closely supervised child in history. Ah, the 80s. It was normal back then.

      But you wanted to know how DH interacted with my folks. Always, always respectfully and helpfully. Especially my dad. My dad is not good with tools, my husband fixes things for a living. My husband has fixed more things around my parents’ house, and never said a word about my dad’s not being handy. (The state of the tool options, yes. My father, never). He’s built things for my folks – he and his buds built an arbor in the back yard, they’ve hung a couple doors.

      My husband respects my father’s superior knowledge and raw intellect – and he respects him as a person. When we made our engagement public, he got down on one knee to *my father* to ask him his permission to marry me. *

      Had there been rules to courting me, DH would have either followed them or broken it off. Most of the alphas I know like and respect rules, they know why they’re there. They “get it”. The extremely high value they place on loyalty includes respecting the loyalty of a daughter to her father.

      As for the other girls – there is no armor that makes it not hurt. Laughter helps bleed off the insult and sting. She needs to understand that this is never, ever, ever going to stop. I’ve been married 20 years, the women around DH know that he is happily married. He still has offers. Not subtle ones either.

      * Alpha Moment: DH proposed to me when I got home from college, but wouldn’t permit me to tell *anyone*, start prepping for the wedding, or give me an engagement ring – until I got and held a job.

      1. St. Thomas More Academy

        “He still has offers. Not subtle ones either.”

        You’ve got to be kidding. He has a wedding ring, doesn’t he? Don’t any ladies act appropriately anymore…..

        Of course, I assume he very sharply informs them of his status and tells them they’d be best off going home and learning how to behave themselves….

        Unbelieveable. Doesn’t happen in my situation, though; although I don’t know anybody at my husband’s work at all. But my husband is both a deeply religious man and a man of character, so I don’t think I have anything to worry about. However, even if I did (which I never will have to do, because I know his character well enough to know this would never happen), I would probably say nothing and just put it into perspective — i.e., he is financially supporting us, that’s really all I can reasonably ask, and confronting this one would jeopardize the entire structure of the family. It wouldn’t be worth it.

        My heart aches for some of those manosphere men who think that it is perfectly appropriate to flirt with other women directly in front of their wives. I can just imagine how those ladies must feel. But of course, as they’d say, those are “feeeeeelings” about “not being haaaaaaappyy” which are to be disregarded.

        Good points on what you touched on, although I disagree with a number of your conclusions, based upon my own experiences and what I know is futile in relationships and what the reality is….but that’s the point of forums such as this where we can discuss and share ideas and thoughts, finding what works and leaving the rest.

      2. St. Thomas More Academy

        “My heart aches for some of those manosphere men ”

        That should have been “my heart aches for the wives of some of those manosphere men”. Ooops.. 🙂 Although I feel sorry for them, too, because they are putting themselves right where the Devil wants them….and sooner or later flirting around with something like that’ll lead to you know where.

      3. hearthie Post author

        I am pleased and impressed by your innocence in these matters. The only thing more attractive than an alpha is an alpha with a wedding ring. And my county has a 70% divorce rate. So no, they don’t think twice. If they can take him from me, it’s just a coup for them. I don’t worry about it, but it still sucks.

        DH said that reading the Five Love Languages would be helpful for you… and everyone else. He didn’t read it for a decade after I did, but when he did, he immediately put it to use – and being alpha, that means he uses it to affirm the guys on his team at work and learn about people around him. Worth a shot, it’s a short book.

      4. St. Thomas More Academy

        Yeah, southern CA I think you said you’re from….just living in California you are bound to find people with a bunch of ideas about how cool it is to try to snag a married man….pathetic….oh, well. As you already know, I was not only pretty sheltered, but I was raised in such a way that I find myself shaking my head in bemusement at 99% of the stuff I read in these parts.

        Read the five love languages some time ago. My husband’s primary love language is acts of service turbocharged. 🙂 Secondary love language, the second one, the one of doing things together, I forget the exact words Dr. Chapman used to describe it, quality time? Whatever it was, but it is the second one he writes about in there. I had that nailed about six-seven years ago.

      5. St. Thomas More Academy

        Aaaak….one of these days I’ll remember to FINISH something before hitting “post”….okay, he has two secondary languages, the doing things together one and receiving gifts one. Although receiving gifts is more dependent upon our status at a given time. Obviously he does not expect major things, but he does feel hurt if someone forgets his birthday, unlike me, as I am at the point in my life where I do not one more thing to find room for. (I’m not like most women in that I really don’t care much if someone forgets my birthday and doesn’t buy me a gift or something. It’s nice if they do, and my husband and kids always remember, but it is not that big of a deal for me — we acknowledged birthdays in my family of origin, but as we got older we mostly commemorated it by going out to lunch/dinner; we weren’t gift-givers and I am not a gift person — although I started gift-giving when I realized it was important to him and he got pretty hurt when I didn’t do it one year. So I have made sure not to make that mistake again since.)

    2. hearthie Post author

      Okay, more helpfully: You are going to have to watch your daughter like a HAWK. Young Alpha is very unlikely to ask her to do something over the lines (once he knows where the lines are*) but he’s also completely ignored the cultural tendency to deny the fact that he has desires. He will communicate to her that she is desirable to him … and the force of personality is such that it will be very difficult for her to do anything except kneel and offer whatever it is that will please him on a platter. Her mind must control her actions – not her heart. And you need to know that no matter how good a girl she’s been up until now, the level of internal pressure is crazy. Her desire to please him is going to overwhelm her. So, don’t freak out … she’s not being a bad girl, she needs you desperately to help her hold strong.

      Idolatry has been a real problem for me. So, I’m telling you to tell her to set this in her will, and do it now. God first. Young Wolf will respect her for having that priority (they don’t pay attention to words, action over time is another thing). He will test the edges, but he won’t break the rules. They never break the rules. Even her rules for herself. They just stand there at the border and look at you and … -ahem- It’s hard. She’s going to have to develop a backbone.

      He will know her better than she knows herself. My husband can sniff the back of my neck and tell me, more accurately than my calendar or my own indicators, when my cycle is going to show up. He can tell me how much endurance I’ll have. He can tell me … well, you can only laugh.

      *DH said you might want to get a notary for the rules. -snorts in amusement- Yeah. It’s like that.

  2. hearthie Post author

    DH read this (which he mostly does not) and said, “gee, this makes me sound like a monster!” -snorts- I told him being with an alpha didn’t warrant any more advertising. Anyway, he said that it was accurate. Not very flattering, but accurate.

    He wants to add that the control thing lends itself to being a perfectionist in at least one area, not being terribly creative because you cannot abide failure, and being an excellent troubleshooter. He also said that the essence of alpha-ness is that there is no plan B. There is plan A until plan A fails, and failure is *extremely upsetting*. Then you make another plan. There is no fallback. There is going forward, at whatever cost. And *that* is why when he works in the yard, my job is to bring him beverages – because he will go forward until the job is done, taking no thought for his own needs. Alphas require support crew.

    If you want on a ship with a Captain who knows where he’s going, how he’s going to get there, and will get there *no matter what* – pair with an alpha. There will be no indecisiveness, there will be no wishy-washy nonsense. You will be cherished and cared for and known inside and out, in ways I don’t think you generally see outside of a romance novel. But you will *not* be allowed to manipulate, go your own way, or be disloyal. It’s a good life, and it keeps getting better.

  3. Elspeth

    but he’s also completely ignored the cultural tendency to deny the fact that he has desires. He will communicate to her that she is desirable to him … and the force of personality is such that it will be very difficult for her to do anything except kneel and offer whatever it is that will please him on a platter.


    My husband can sniff the back of my neck and tell me, more accurately than my calendar or my own indicators, when my cycle is going to show up. He can tell me how much endurance I’ll have. He can tell me … well, you can only laugh.

    LOL, yes. No time for a lot of input. Just wanted to let you know that it’s well done and will be able to add more tomorrow.

  4. sarahsdaughter2

    We all read your first two responses before he got here – more very helpful information, thank you. It all went very well. He seemed pretty nervous. Especially when we were all done eating and our daughters were cleaning up and he asked what he could do, RLB said, “you can come outside with me.” That was when the rules were discussed. 🙂 He handled it very well. RLB told him that in our family dating is a path towards marriage not a path for… and the guy finished his thought “just having fun?” – yep, that’s right. He told us that this wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be, that he likes how close our family is. And, it didn’t scare him off, he stayed for six more hours and texted her right away when he got home saying “your family is the shit!” “Do they like me?” He knows he still has big brother to meet next weekend. Heh.

    9. Because he doesn’t lie, and he’s totally confident in himself. So why wouldn’t he share that stuff?

    This was very apparent. I told our daughter how I could tell he doesn’t hide anything, just a very straight shooter. Even things that would cause others embarrassment he had no qualms about telling us. She’s like that with him too. When they first started talking he had asked her something and then told her if it’s too personal she doesn’t have to answer and she let him know she has no secrets. I think all men like honesty but it seemed that her telling him this really locked in his interest level.

    He knows the line is drawn at alone time together. He can meet her in public places but there is no “driving in cars with boys” – yet.

    RLB talked to his parents before hand. This is his mom’s favorite subject and it’s been a long time since there have been new relationships/marriages in our extended family so she is more than a little excited (is already planning to come watch the guy wrestle). She reminded him of what her dad said, “If you want to keep an eye on them, make sure your door is always open to them – that he is always welcome in your home.” She also volunteered, “I was the same age when I met your father and I couldn’t hold out until we got married. (she was pregnant when they got married 😉 ) Just keep that in mind.” Oiy.

    Hearthie, could you shoot me an email. I do have a few more questions for you that include more personal information about him that I’d rather not have public. Thanks!

  5. Elspeth

    Okay, got a few minutes. I like most of what you said here, particularly to SD about watching her daughter. My husband is big on honoring the right way to do things but by the time my father got even a hint of the fact that I was involved with him he was already in the habit of showing up at my apartment most Saturday nights at 2AM (from heaven knows where).

    I was 21 and had been on my own and away from my father’s strict supervision ( he missed that 80’s memo) for a grand total of 3 or 4 months when I met my husband.This is the advantage of being in on this sort of thing with your kid from the ground floor. You need to get a good feel for this young man’s character.

    My husband and my father got off to a very, very rocky start but that was 99% my fault as evidenced by the fact that as soon as they got to spend any amount of time together they were more like father/son than father-in-law/son-in-law. Had my husband even the smallest relationship with my father earlier on, things might have been quite different.

    Hearth is right that if this young man is the leader he seems to be he will get on well with your husband or will call it off if he finds the boundaries too restrictive. I hesitate to even offer any advice since Hearth is much better at that sort of thing than I, but if I had any to give it would be stay out of your husband’s way. Period. If it’s meant to be, let him determine that.

    I had a chuckle Hearth at your hubs fixing things for your dad. My husband does that too. we never (and I mean never) shop on black Friday. Friday at around 3 PM there was some sporting even on that my dad wanted to watch and his TV started acting up. He called our house and asked if SAM could come and look at it. My husband asked how old the set was, decided it wasn’t worth the hassle, found a decent deal on an LG. We braved the madness, went out and bought it for him, then went and installed it at my dad’s house. My brothers wouldn’t have even thought to do that and my dad was more than pleased.

    Men tend to get on better with one another as a general rule, but I am truly blessed by my father’s relationship with my husband. I have seen wives ruin that for their daughter and son-in-law with their interference so…

  6. sarahsdaughter2

    stay out of your husband’s way.

    Great reminder. 🙂 Seeing them interact last night reminded me of RLB with our son when he was younger and the awe I was in back then seeing our son’s response to RLB’s very straight forward advice (that sometimes made me cringe) but that my son showed much respect for.

    Had my husband even the smallest relationship with my father earlier on, things might have been quite different.

    RLB being one of his coaches has already provided for this. The young man is one of the team captains and they were able to talk at length about wresting and where the team is headed. Needless to say, they’ll be spending A LOT of time together over the next couple months.

    1. Elspeth

      @ SD:

      Taking the opportunity to gauge some things at this age is not a bad idea. When I was high school dating was off the table. Period. My leash was short. My first date was to my senior prom, and my older brother accompanied the girl next door (who had not been asked by anyone else), to make my prom date a double date, LOL.

      Our girls didn’t date in high school either and in the years since my husband’s and my non-negotiable requirement of a devout man has made for very few prospects. When you’re dealing with adult men, we are not of the mind that conversion should be a part of the equation, and should have already been established from the outset. Again, I think you are doing very well with prepping her early, but with the understanding that youth, passion and sometimes folly are close companions.

      @ Hearth:

      There is so much in your post that I could respond to but for the sake of time and so as not to wear out my welcome, I’ll stick with a few points.

      Obedience, loyalty and honesty are ever and always non-negotiable. And honesty (which I am still after 2 decades fine tuning) comes in the form of “burdening” your husband with your needs, distress, and limitations. Yes, there are men who don’t wish to be bothered with women’s emotions, but dominant men are not among them. My husband takes his responsibility for his family very seriously and he does not like it when I deny him the ability to do that.

      Any man who blusters and controls but refuses to be there for his wife in her distress is domineering, not dominant. Keeping it real with him is a part of the honesty clause. Oh, it’s part of the ownership contract as well. A lot of what I have to say about the ownership model can be found in this old post I wrote at TC:

      Hearth’s DH is right that to women (and many men) unfamiliar with the blessings a woman receives being led by this kind of guy, he might sound like a monster. I can see why he said that reading it apart from the experience of it. Outsiders don’t get it. They don’t get that the high expectations and demand for his wife to *be* the wife he needs her to be has a flip side. She’s well loved, truly feels cherished (not the same as being fawned over, blech), and wouldn’t trade her guy for a softer, less rigid model for anything in the world. That is, once she gets it.

      1. hearthie Post author

        Agree with everything you said. And it is not possible for you to wear out your welcome, I was hoping you’d “blog the comments” a good bit. Although I think it’s tremendously amusing how similar our hubs are. And we are.

  7. St. Thomas More Academy

    “When I was high school dating was off the table. Period. My leash was short. My first date was to my senior prom, and my older brother accompanied the girl next door (who had not been asked by anyone else), to make my prom date a double date, LOL.”

    That was us at home, too. My sisters could go nowhere (and I mean that literally) without being accompanied. I was usually sent to tag along, I remember (I’m about ten years younger than my sisters), as we were homeschooled and it was in the eighties, so there weren’t other homeschoolers to go around with in our area. And we were all required to wear mid-calf skirts; pants were forbidden after about age eleven or so, and we never wore shorts. So it was super-strict…..hey, we didn’t even know about *ahem* “you know what” in any entirety because of concern that it would “ruin” us. With no brothers and my parents having divorced, there were no males around to provide dynamics, so Mom could keep us ignorant for as long as possible without us getting even an inkling…..only I sneaked some church books that were meant for parents as help in covering those things and I was nauseated and disgusted (I was too young still and most of the material wasn’t age-appropriate for me at the time.) I learned later that my oldest sister (the “good” one in the family) knew NOTHING until the day before her wedding when Mom decided rather tardily she’d better fill her in on the details. My other sister and I had been sneaking the church books my mother had lying around, so at least we knew something…..yes, it still existed in the sheltered pockets even in the eighties. But at what cost.

    1. Maea

      I grew up with the “you’re not allowed to date until you’re 18″…followed by turning 18 and being asked “when are you getting married? You’re getting old.” My parents had no clue how to supervise and facilitate courtship. None. Not allowed to cut our hair, but was allowed to watch The Matrix. We all knew what sex was because of sex education (public schools here). We could wear shorts. We weren’t allowed to go over our friends houses except for birthday parties, friends didn’t like coming over to our house, and my parents weren’t interested in anyone else’s influence save for theirs (not even relatives).

      It was after I became Christian as a teen where I formulated my own expectations on how courtship and marriage should go, albeit skewed with lots of misses. (Christian friends and Christian bookstores.) I was glad to have more insight with age for dating, but it made the prospects really, really slim.

      It would be accurate to say I was sheltered because of the lack of experience, but I was a lot more knowledgeable than most and wasn’t impulsive. I can’t say if my siblings got a better deal, as the rules were significantly reduced for them (dating, friends, going out, etc.). I didn’t think it was justly applied because I was more mature stayed out of trouble…but was the oldest girl.

      However– my sibs aren’t Christian and think morality is for chumps. If morality and virtues is chump-food, then no amount of rules is going to do it for those people, IME.

  8. sarahsdaughter2

    Have any of you ladies read “The Sacred Romance”? My copy is buried deep in a storage unit until be move again. I remember it helping me with my relationship with God but that was several years ago so I’m not remembering it looking through the lens I look through now. Was thinking of getting the Kindle version for my daughter. Thoughts, opinions?

    1. Elspeth

      I’ve never read The Sacred Romance. John Eldridge’s use of language is not my style. It’s prose but not in the style of Lewis or Chesterton. It’s flowery in the manner of Ann VosKamp who I can take in short posts but found almost intolerable at book length.

      That said, from what I understand, there is something to be said for understanding how the wounds we experience color our approach to our relationship with God.


      I wore shorts and attended public schools. Even watched movies and listened to popular music. My father’s strictness was almost solely in the arena of making sure no one got inside his girls’ pants as long as we lived in his house.

      We frequently attended church and were taught right from wrong but nothing about our upbringing was so peculiar or out of step with the dominant culture that we raised many eyebrows. People noticed the strictness, but there were other girls (mainly the daughters of preachers and single Pentecstal mothers), who lived under even more strict guidelines with regard to dress, music, etc.

  9. Maeve

    Thing is, very dominant men need women who are up to them. There are many women (and I include myself in this group) who are not – who would not thrive with such a man, and I truly believe that a woman need to be extremely discerning regarding the personality type of the man she intends to marry. Lots of women really do need a more laid back guy. It’s very important to know what type of man you’re best suited to. (I think if I had to do it all over again, I’d marry a long-haired surfer dude, LOL. Or an archaeologist).

  10. sarahsdaughter2

    That’s true, Maeve. When I got married, I was in the same group as someone who would not thrive with such a man. I was so relieved to uncover RLB’s natural tendencies very early in our relationship. However, this was because of my background and the mess I was bringing with me – I think it’s safe to say insecure and emotionally distraught women wouldn’t do well with a dominant.

    So, ladies, tell me about what the women who are up to these kinds of men. Anything that stands out that you can recognize in yourselves and others who are married to dominant men? Anything that is recognizable in a young woman my daughter’s age?

    1. hearthie Post author

      I don’t know. I mean, what did 14yo me bring to the table? The one thing I can think of is that I love my husband for himself. Not for what he does. For him. It nauseates me to consider a mercantile marriage. Alphas get the “I want you for what you are” just as much or more than regular guys. It doesn’t take too long to figure out that *this* guy ***can*** fix your life for you… and will if you let him… and that’s very VERY attractive to flutterheads who can’t run their own lives. Or who like drama and someone to ride up and rescue them. Or who want the status. I didn’t want any of that, just him. I love him, I’m loyal to him, and what I want is… him.

      I suit him fine. I really like being married to someone with whom I can be my zaniest, my most intense, and he can handle it. I *look* like a squishy marshmallow person, but I’m only that on the first few layers. On the inside, I have a backbone, and I had a backbone back then. I will do what needs doing, just like he will. I work hard when I’m working.

      What else am I/was I? I am cheerful. I am book-smart. I bounce around doing what I do, and it’s difficult to stop me once I get going. I think when I’m awake. I am creative. I am stubborn. I’m intense. Um.. Y’all know me, right? I’m not a HBD 10 and I never ever was. Not even close.

      Els, what can you offer? Maea?

      1. Elspeth

        Hmmm. When I met my husband I was attracted to what I saw. Bare chest plus killer smile equaled weak knees. It took a while (9 months I think) before we went out and by the time that happened I’d gotten to know him a little and he was everything like and nothing like I’d assumed he was. Everything as in confident, hard partying and not easily impressed. Nothing in that he was hard working, competent, and forward thinking.

        I brought nothing to the table that he needed, to be honest. But I was eager to please, willing to follow, and head over heels. With everything about him. Didn’t care about rings, ceremonies, any of it. Just wanted to belong to him.

        He appreciated that I worked hard, went to school, read books (LOL) and was fairly independent. But I don’t know that he looked at me and thought, ‘She’ll add XYZ to my life.” I don’t know that we do that at early ages unless it has been taught us to do so. We were not in the market for immediate marriage. The whole courtship (short though it was) was very sensual, and by that I mean driven by all the senses, not just sex.

        We were a refuge to one another from the madness that was both our lives at the time.

  11. Elspeth

    There are many women (and I include myself in this group) who are not – who would not thrive with such a man, and I truly believe that a woman need to be extremely discerning regarding the personality type of the man she intends to marry. Lots of women really do need a more laid back guy. It’s very important to know what type of man you’re best suited to.

    I agree with this 100%, Maeve. Most men are not aggressive, possessive leadership types anyway, which means that despite all the ignorant posturing you read about being “alpha” (which I still say my husband is out of step with many of the Internet stereotypes regarding such men), people are people.

    To answer SD’s question: I was raised by a dominant, take charge father who is used to people coming to him for wisdom, guidance, counsel, support. My formative years saw me raised solely by this man, with three older brothers in the house, absent feminine balance. When he did remarry (I was 10) he married a woman who really and truly IS less emotional with a strong constitution. Not like the current generation of women who portray themselves as less emotional on the Internet. He clearly loved her, but he also didn’t coddle her and she seemed to do great with it.

    So even when I was tempted to give in to my emotional side I had been trained that “crying doesn’t get the problem solved” and so learned to see anything less than dominance and the appearance of control from a man as weakness.My understanding of what a man was had been permanently imprinted on me by my father. There was a desire for someone who would tell me where he was going and invite me along for the trip rather than ask me where I wanted him to go.

    When I was 19 a very sweet Christian young man made his intentions known. I wanted to like him. Actually I did like him, but his sweet, laid back (often supplicating) demeanor read as weakness to me, and I just couldn’t bring myself to continue to leave him thinking the thing was going anywhere. I knew then that despite all my protestation to the contrary, I wanted a guy like my dad.

    I still wasn’t initially suited to it, and I found that out right quick after the wedding. We have dreams about how marriage is going to be (especially when we are quite young) and they don’t include being told what to do and when with the expectation of obedience. They don’t include the expectation that being yourself is fine…within the confines of the mission. They don’t include being spoken to with a complete lack of tact, LOL.

    Once I settled in to the reality that this man truly loved me and was not going anywhere (it’s nerve wracking when women who knew him when brazenly disregard your presence*) it was easier to see that a lot of his brusqueness was a sign of honor. He thought I could handle it and that I didn’t need kid gloves.

    So if you need the freedom to do things your way to stay sane (and some men are cool with that) avoid dominant men. If your love language is words of affirmation, you might want to avoid dominant men. They do not praise lavishly and they do not temper their criticism. When they do praise it’s real and not flattery but you’re not going to get points for doing your duty. If you have a fiercely independent spirit, avoid dominant men. I’ve seen a marriage like that and it’s like two bulls with horns locked. Not pretty.

    * Of course, there were no mini dress, fishnet wearing women standing off to the side glaring at me at my wedding, like Hearth. I’ve seen the picture myself, and…whoa. ROFL.

    1. St. Thomas More Academy

      “If your love language is words of affirmation,”

      That’s my love language. I have solved this problem by never confiding in him again. I did it a little too much and paid the price. 🙂 He complains sometimes about it, but I just put on the poker face and sort of pretend I’m not listening — a matter of survival. What with five different grade levels and the toddler coming up — I just can’t handle my husband on top of it all (you see that I find homeschooling OVERWHELMING.)

  12. Elspeth

    I think the lie is that most women want a dominant man. I don’t know that this is true. There is a particular allure about a guy who isn’t needy or shy about expecting that you’re going to follow him wherever he leads. It feels safe, with a side of trepidation which makes for quite an arousing experience- emotionally as much as physically.

    The problem is you can’t live in that state day in and day out for years on end. You get used to each other and the rush gives way to the reality of married life. And unless you know yourself well (and how many early 20-something women have a clue?) the fall from the clouds can be especially hard. Quadruple if you’re not suited to that type of man. So I think many of the single women who stumble onto the sphere would do well to understand that 1) their definition of a dominant man woefully neglects the weight the man carries and 2) Marriage is not like courtship.

    1. Maeve

      I agree with you, Els. Most women probably don’t want a dominant man and would not be happy with him. I rather believe that most want a partner, rather than a leader and they make the mistake of believing that they can change a dominant man into a partner – they don’t understand the nature of such individuals. Women want confident men, but they err in thinking that all confident men are dominant men – and that’s not really true – I’ve know many extremely confident men who are actually quite laid back (which is the personality combo I find most attractive, personally, LOL).

    2. St. Thomas More Academy

      I think I went that direction because my parents were divorced. Not sure. I also had no clue about men in general; they were sort of exotic creatures that were “out there” when I was growing up, except my grandfather, but there was an eighty-year age difference between him and me.

      I have no ultimate regrets. We all get the spouse God wants for us. There’s a reason for everything. You make the best of it all. And my kids would have been different. I wouldn’t want them any other way.

      The distance between us is my own doing, put there by my own free will and choice. If I have problems with the kids, I usually go to the pastor or to a fellow homeschooling mother. If we have academic issues (we’ve had several), I consult one of our “veteran” Moms in our group. The blunt criticism is so offensive to me and ruins my day so thoroughly that I can’t see the point of deliberately “begging” for insults, so I have carved him into the place in my life where I can handle him. He also has no understanding whatsoever of OCD disorder and the need I have to keep surfaces clear. So I do my decluttering when he’s not home. 🙂 Get the house the way I need it to stay sane. I’m not unreasonable as far as I know. I’m just asking for the right to make my home in my own way, so I do it now without any apologies. If he has a question, I answer it, but in the fewest possible words.

      I went to Codependents Anonymous and also Love Addicts Anonymous (my CoDA sponsor suggested it and I went to a couple meetings, but it wasn’t addressing my issues) for a little while and I did my grief work to get over it. Now I am basically content with the way things are and have reduced my expectations to financial support. That’s all I expect. And I have made a point to tell him I appreciate it. We stay very polite and mannerly towards one another now. It’s a good example for the kids, and I have made a commitment, I made it for life, and I’m honoring that commitment come hell or high water. 🙂 He is the only one for me, even if it did not turn out the way I thought it would. He’s hardworking, religious, faithful, generous, honest, loyal and every other good quality so lacking in today’s world. So I focus on that and learn.

      My secondary love language is physical touch, but I have two little ones who love hugging Mommy, so that helps.

      I, on the contrary, did want a leader, but I just didn’t think that it would be the way it actually is.

      1. hearthie Post author

        ((hugs)) I’m assuming he knows that it’s words that matter… well enough. These things happen and God is faithful one way or t’other.

  13. Psalm1Wife

    Just wanted to pop my head in and say how grateful I am for such amazing role models lending their wisdom to the up and comers, this post and the thread below will be forever bookmarked. Hope all is well with all of you and that you are enjoying this season! Much love, Crystal

  14. Elspeth

    I feel as if I should clarify what I mean by the love languages because I would hate to tempt anyone to reduce their marital satisfaction to what is in essence psychobabble. Yes, the template resonates because we can relate to it, but still. It helps that we both get a great deal of solace and satisfaction from physical touch. It is a primary way we both give and receive love.

    If I had to pin point a secondary LL of mine, it might be words of affirmation, but deciphering the things that my husband does to show love works just as well toward affirming me. Rather than try and change him, I studied him and figured out that when he does things for me (he’s really strong on acts of service as well) or if he saw something that reminded him of me and he takes a second to call, he’s affirming his love for me.

    One of the things you learn to do in marriage is adapt and grow in the marriage you’re in rather than lament the marriage you thought you’d have.

    All that said, my heart goes out to you STMA because sometimes life is hard and you have to do the best you can to live well where you are. Hang in there.

  15. sarahsdaughter2

    This has all been very helpful and enlightening!

    We joke around here that when we play Pictionary my youngest daughter and I will always be on a team together even though we lose every.single.time. (last time we got skunked, didn’t even make it off of start) because even though she is excellent at the game, both of us know it is not good for us to be on my daughter’s team – only RLB can handle her. And he does quite well. My youngest and I would walk away emotionally damaged if she was on either of our teams 😉 – I’m only half joking.

    I told RLB that I’m happy to think that she won’t have to place her light under a bowl. I think of the contrasting marriages I’ve seen of a domineering man and his wife – I really don’t want that for her. But, I also don’t know if she’d have the patience with a more laid back, Delta man like her father used to be when we got married. See, RLB and I are chatters. Our vacations are not to go *do*, they are to go sit, chat, have cocktails. We don’t rock climb, or travel to new places to ski. We go fishing. She’s definitely more high energy than we are. She even kicks our butts fishing – always catching more than we are because she’ll go where ever to find the fish. RLB and I – once we get set up we stay put. (both of our love languages are quality time)

    I’m going to have her read the book. It will be very interesting to me to see which LL she identifies as having and then to have her start thinking outside of herself – naturally these last few weeks have been all about how she’s been feeling affirmed and chosen by the guy. It will be good for her to consider right away how he receives love best.

  16. Pingback: Something more on dominant males | Julian O'Dea

  17. Maea

    I don’t really have a lot to add to this, but think the lack of male mentors is one of the driving forces behind the “alpha male, be-all, end-all.” Without healthy and masculine male models for children and young men to learn and emulate from, men nowadays are grasping for what they believe will help them most. They’re piece-mealing what they think is best, based on their experience and those of others. It’s why the manosphere has gained the traction it has.

    I’m hoping the younger generation of men– my generation and younger than me– are able to bring back the days of where men mentored organically, when they fixed vehicles, built houses, did hard work, etc. And can become more visible in the community. People don’t learn by osmosis, and they need direct leading and examples. Have them be in situations where they can establish a natural hierarchy without the involvement of women. IMO, that’s why dominant men are rare, and why the lack of dominance in marriage is so problematic.

  18. Kate

    “So. If you’re married to a dominant, alpha male kind of dude, the best thing you can do is be honest, obedient and loyal. ”

    Like a Labrador Retriever!

  19. Anonymous

    Commenting anonymously for personal reasons.

    You say:

    “His anger is scary. I’ve never had one millisecond’s concern that my husband would hurt a hair on my head, but that doesn’t mean I’m not scared of his anger. There’s so *much* of it. It’s so intense.”

    For this reason, I put up an immediate barrier when I realized this. Also, he believes his anger is right and justified. If there is no reasoning with this, then up goes the barrier. Whether or not it is taken down is really his choice; I am terrorized by displays of intense anger and also do not trust after a certain decibel level of his voice is raised. I do not believe that they are past physical harm to anybody after a certain point. There are certain things I won’t discuss here, but suffice it to say that there are a number of issues (very frightening ones) from the past that have never been resolved. He now needs to do something to remedy the terror before I can trust him. My first obligation is to not only my physical safety, but also to my mental and emotional safety (those do exist, and I have been traumatized by the events).

    Anger is real, it is dangerous, and I know it is definitely dangerous to me, my mental health and my sanity. I have had sleepless night upon sleepless night just shaking over an anger event. I always do a quick face scan when he enters at night, and if I read even a twinge of “anger” anywhere, I RUN. I listen hard for his voice levels and if it raises over a certain level, same thing. RUN.

    “honest, obedient and loyal. ” Like a Labrador Retriever!”

    If he were to think of me as a dog, I would be seriously offended. I am not a dog, I am a human being made in the image and likeness of God. On times when the word b—h has ever been used, this is a reminder that the person using it is in reality comparing me to a dumb animal without an immortal soul. This does, as a matter of fact, speak volumes about their possible views and teaches me important lessons regarding trust.

    Please respect my anonymity. Thanks.

    1. hearthie Post author

      I won’t out you. I usually can’t be bothered to look up email addresses on my comments, unless you were to repeatedly be abusive or threatening – or if you ask me to contact you.

      That said, you are in a very bad place mentally/emotionally.

      Some of the readers here seem to think that I’ve written this as critical of dominant males. It wasn’t meant to be that – I happen to love my dominant husband and am thrilled to be married to him. I *would* drive another man absolutely screaming insane. I like to be asked to improve, to make myself better, to go to a higher plane. It’s hard though, and not for everyone.

      Since you’re married – my best advice is to pick up the book Sacred Marriage. Next advice is do what you have to do to speak the truth to your husband. He will be mad – when you mess with their worldview, they get mad – but he might make changes, and he at least will have the information that he needs. I know how hard this is. Believe me, I *know*. But the truth can set you free.

      It’s a process, though, and not for the faint of heart. I don’t think it’s even possible without God. But the Lord is our strength, our shield, and our protector. Trust Him.

      Saying a prayer for you right now.

  20. Anonymous

    “Dominants are ridiculously strong. They may expect you to be proportionally strong, and ask you to do more than you’re able to do, or handle more emotional strain than you’re capable of carrying. This is, if anything, a sign of respect. That’s fine… but you have to tell them when you’re at your limits. You belong to them (dominants take ownership very seriously) and you are their problem. This communication and the fallout are unpleasant for all involved (can I get an Amen, ladies?) but the cycle of doing your best while you’re crying inside and then snapping is worse. BTDT, got the tshirt. I’d prefer not to see anyone else wearing one, so just be honest. Although in the face of a displeased dominant male, that’s not so easy, because…”

    Displeasing them in ANY way is VERY dangerous. Their voice levels raise and raise to horrific proportions. When the voices start to raise, it’s only a matter of time before the anger erupts (if it hasn’t already), and that’s when I RUN. I run as far as I can get until I deem it safe to return.

    If he wants to care for those under his care — which I doubt — then he has to show it appropriately. I know….we are supposed to respect him and not tell him what to do. I don’t. But he has to know by now that his way of so-called “caring” isn’t caring at all, it is terrorizing. I no longer confide in him, tell him anything, or do anything to try to get closer to him. Unsafe to do so. The possibilities of yelling are too high, the possibility of anger too high. I am not willing to take that risk. I am too emotionally fragile to handle him, so I avoid him as much as I possibly can. It would do some of the dominant males well to consider the fact that perhaps they should TALK to their wives and find out what they may fear the most about them, how certain things sound, how certain things could influence the way they think. I do not like my husband. I love him because I wake up each morning and make the intellectual decision to love him. But I do not actively seek his company, I stay away as much as possible and many’s the evening I have hunkered in a corner of the house somewhere hoping he won’t find me because the decibel levels of his voice rose too much and I had to escape to a safe zone.

    Counseling? Dominant men don’t do counseling. Go myself; yep, done that. Problem is, it’s not much help if both parties aren’t there.

    Stoicism is the rule of the day.

    1. Maea

      Anonymous, from what you’ve described it isn’t dominant. It’s domineering and controlling.
      I’m actually of the camp it’s not always good to speak the truth to a husband. Women are always reminded about how we’re supposed to sway our husbands without a word…so not sure there. Sometimes, it is better just to shut up. IMO, I speak up when something has to do with my medical health or finances, but other than that I don’t bother.

      I’m personally not okay with doing things to incur the wrath of others. Yes, people are responsible for their own anger, but if you happen to do something to incur their anger you’re responsible for provoking it. I don’t blame you for retreating into a quiet space for some reprieve. Do remember, the Bible does talk about righteous indignation (a type of anger) but anger can be sinful if it’s from pride, is unproductive, and lingers.

  21. Elspeth

    For what it’s worth, I didn’t interpret this post as being critical of dominant men. I happen to enjoy being married to my husband as well. I like his dominance and have even grown to enjoy his occasional moments of stoic aloofness that used to drive me insane! I don’t know that I would have the inner drive to do what I do (and certainly not with the verve that I try to do it) without him. I know full well that I would drive another man insane as well

    That said, I can appreciate the trembling that a man’s anger can cause, as I am a lot like Hearth in this regard. I am afraid of my husband’s anger even as I know he would never hurt me. It sounds contradictory but it’s true.

    The distinction between dominant and domineering needs to be made because the differences are stark. The fact that no one is capable of loving us perfectly needs to be remembered, and the reality of our marriages is what it is.

    If you can’t talk to your husband without the possibility of a serious blowup, then find someone you can talk and try to do it in a way that preserves the dignity of the man you married and vowed to show honor.

    1. Anonymous

      I don’t believe anybody was writing critically either. But the situation in my case is, that my husband expects me to be 100% honest with him at all times, in all things, no matter what. And a lot of the time, when I was, it was a matter of look out, thar he blows. After a while I was so jumpy and nervous I couldn’t take it anymore, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t function. It was just easier to keep my mouth shut. So I did. And then comes the accusation that I’m lying. Things continue to get worse. I felt like I was spinning in circles. I was on and off anxiety and depression medications, in and out of therapists’ offices. Finally a therapist said that there was really no point in my coming back and spending money if we both weren’t there together, because she had done all she felt she could do to help me alone. I appreciated her honesty, and discontinued, but I do go back to her occasionally if things start to get very challenging. But it’s sort of like “buying a friend”, if you know what I mean. I do attend CoDA and Love Addicts Anonymous (because I theorized that I am a person who is “holding a torch for an unavailable person”, namely, my husband, because he isn’t available to me at all under any circumstances, and I need to mentally/emotionally move on, although while still married and still raising children with him.)

      Through the counseling and the 12 step groups I was finally able to get off the medications — the side effects were no fun, but they kept me sort of dazed and I was numbed to most of the drama — but I wanted to get off them because the side effects were not good. I had to get back on them for brief periods of time when I stopped counseling or 12 step meetings because the fear would become debilitating and I would get sick again. I have to make sure I keep in close contact with my sponsors and support system because if I don’t I would end up back on meds.

      When I have read the manosphere folks (I don’t anymore), it just curdles me that they pooh-pooh all this and say it’s all “emotions” and “feelings” because if they were stuck on meds and dealing with anxiety disorders, you can bet your life they wouldn’t be dismissing it as “emotions” and “feelings”. But if you tell them about the side effects of the excess anger, they only dismiss it. Everything is dismissed. It’s enough to make you turn feminist on them. They don’t care. Their anger simply kindles more….and more….and more….until you are dead. There, I said it. I truly believe they want us to die of terror.

      These men NEED to understand just how horribly destructive their anger is. I guess Hearthie and Elspeth have managed to deal with it, and that’s great, but I HAVEN’T. It has permanently damaged my hearing receptors, my involuntary muscle response and I now have a number of neurological issues, as I now have involuntary shaking when there is too much stimulation (I used to be able to handle multiple stimulators on the outside, With a large family dominated by boys, this is a serious problem for me. When I taught school, I could handle the noise of children, I reveled in it, I could handle the boys and their noise and rambunctiousness fine. Now I cannot handle even the slightest noise. I often will hide in a walk-in closet, cover my ears and start to rock back and forth — it helps to minimize the stimulation. I go into the walk-in closet and hide if my husband yells as well, to handle it and keep it manageable.

      These problems all disappear if he’s gone for any number of days, as he was gone for five days earlier this month, and I felt fine. The day he came back, I was looking forward to him returning, but a few hours after he came home, he exploded again, and I found myself in the closet. I’ve been on the crazy cycle ever since trying to make it.

      Have any of you ladies shared with your husbands how their anger terrorizes you (if you are terrorized by it, that is)? Do they ever bother making any changes, or do they simply dismiss you and tell you it’s your fault? How do you manage? What can anybody do? In strict sense of the word, I’m not in danger — but traditional men and women only acknowledge physical danger, emotional and mental danger is only fabricated by the feminist movement, of course.

      1. hearthie Post author

        1) Sharing your emotional responses to triggers is included in “telling him the truth”.
        2) Telling the truth is difficult. It’s hard on you to do the telling, it’s hard on the one who’s doing the listening.
        3) Change is rarely immediate. You give truth, you go do something else. Standing around and waiting for something to change right away is a recipe for disaster on several fronts.
        4) *Dominant* males (not domineering ones) take their ownership and stewardship of their wives ***very seriously*** and cherish them and take care of their needs. They ask a lot, they give even more.
        5) All us in this culture have a hard time when we get to the realities of women being the weaker vessel and how that plays out in daily life. It’s not what we expect, even when we know better.

        Frankly – other than urging you to give the information and then go into 1 Peter 3 mode, I don’t have any *advice* for you. I do have instruction, however. The only One who knows all the truth is God. And it is HE who is your rock and your shield, it is He who has promised to defend you. Not me. So – you go to Him.

        Go into your room, and spill all the hurt on Him – God can handle it. Spill the anger. The tears. Spill what’s going on *today* that’s hurting you so badly. Spill what went wrong so long ago that left you scarred and scared. And you open your Bible and you read and you listen to God tell you what to do. Accept the help that He will bring you, and have faith that He will provide you with what you need. Watch for it. He *will* bring you good things.

        That doesn’t mean that going and praying and waiting on the Lord is going to get you into happy overnight. Or ever – I can read history, and so can you. But it puts your concentration where it belongs, on God. Ultimately, you live the life you live to bring glory and honor and praise to God. So concentrate on Him. Get right with Him. Find joy in Him. And let God sort it out. Your obedience is the sacrifice He asks, and He loves you.

        He is enough.

        PS It was God kicking me in the tail that got me to tell the truth when it hurt. It is God who gave me the strength to do so. You have to obey TOO.

  22. sarahsdaughter2

    Elspeth said
    Any man who blusters and controls but refuses to be there for his wife in her distress is domineering, not dominant. Keeping it real with him is a part of the honesty clause. Oh, it’s part of the ownership contract as well.

    I’m glad I went back and reread that. It sounds to me like we are hearing about an outlier and not a dominant (Alpha) type of husband who prefers honesty rather than *more submission* – that is how this all got brought up isn’t it? It’s just not fitting that husbands like yours Elspeth, Hearthie, would be satisfied with a cowering wife who doesn’t like him. Men like your husbands seem mostly Choleric in their personality. As a choleric myself, something that feels incredibly disloyal and manipulative to me is when someone holds back and isn’t fully honest with me.

    If you can’t talk to your husband without the possibility of a serious blowup, then find someone you can talk and try to do it in a way that preserves the dignity of the man you married and vowed to show honor.

    We were writing at the same time, I’m glad I refreshed and read what you wrote before posting, you’ve stated this very eloquently.

    If what we say about our husbands is purposefully meant to give the listener a negative impression of him, we need to brush up on what respect and loyalty actually are and what rebellion to God’s instruction to us as wives looks like. If your coping mechanism includes rebellion against God, it is destined to fail.

    1. Anonymous

      It’s meant to tell THE TRUTH, SD. And oftentimes the truth is negative. We are told over and over, always uplift, always honor, and that almost always means only say positive things about him…..while we pop pills and shake and hope we don’t pass out. It’s a lose-lose situation.

      One thing I have considered doing is keeping a log and telling him that I am keeping it; that every explosion event will be documented for my safety. He knows I’ve been on medications and he knows I’ve been to counseling. I am of a melancholic temperament. One thing men need to educate themselves on is the temperaments and how different personality traits handle different things. It’s not one size fits all. Most men pooh-pooh this also, and claim it is “pop psychology” (it’s not, it is from ancient Greece), but if a lot of people are into something, they will usually dismiss it. Coming from the background and community we are in, many of our acquaintances have utilized information regarding the temperaments, which means that he automatically dismisses them.

      I’ve also been admonished and shamed by many women that my job is “to understand him better”. I am now past that point. I am too sick and too debilitated to “understand” him anymore….the ball now has to be in his court and he is responsible. He has nearly destroyed my stamina, my brain and my nerves.

      1. sarahsdaughter2

        What truth is it you want me to know?

        Hearthie wrote: If life is giving you lemons right at the moment, that means that you respect the office even if the man is making you crazy. Obedience in the face of difficulty is an honor, and it says a lot about your character. Nothing written here is to be construed as a reason to disobey or disrespect your particular husband. If you need help rummaging up respect for the man, there are tools to help you along, and I’d be happy to share those.

        You then proceed to write a lot about your situation, telling your truth, without consideration of this. I have yet to see you ask Hearthie for the tools she has mentioned she’d be happy to share with you.

  23. sarahsdaughter2

    Have you read “Sacred marriage”? Any appreciation at all for Hearthie recommending that book to you? Seriously, when you spend so much time trying to convince us that your husband is horrible and terrorizing you, at the same time ignoring practical advice you’ve been given and giving no regard or appreciation to the women who have said they’d pray for you it becomes very unconvincing that your challenges are all about your husband.

    1. Anonymous

      I’m reading it, as I got the book from the library this morning. However, I am done with respect and it is now time for action. My line is going to be at this point, “Since telling you the truth would only result in a traumatic incident for me, I will not be discussing anything until a neutral third party is present, and additionally, any altercation between us will be documented — in ink.”

      I am sorry you think that I do not appreciate all that has been given. I do. Your response has been typical of most, more scolding and admonishment, which Hearthie and Elspeth did not do. That’s what most of the Titus 2 ladies do — they scold, rebuke, and I am done with that. I have been scolded and rebuked enough, thank you, so don’t bother to do it because I am no longer an audience.

      I did NOT tell you that my husband is horrible. In his mind, and probably in the mind of the rest of you, he is and probably would be fine. Perhaps you could handle him fine. Most people probably do. I, on the other hand, do not. It is the responsibility of all, not just wives, to learn how to live in understanding and in giving what the other needs. But, unfortunately, most male-oriented blogs do not discuss this, or if they do, only as a passing side note. We are the only ones who do. There are some men who you have to “love where they are” and let the situation alone. You take matters into your hands, work out a situation that works for you and your children, and let him be in his way. Obedience is often used to make you crazy. Trust me. That is how obedience was used. It wasn’t very long before I couldn’t make the tiniest decision. In fact, it was obedience that put me on meds the first time around.

      What I respect: he has always financially supported us. For that I am grateful. I have told him so. I will continue to tell him so. What I do know is that if I were to go back to “obeying” him in all things, I will end up right back on medication. We’ll be back to total mind control. That is never going to happen again.

      1. sarahsdaughter2

        Your response has been typical of most, more scolding and admonishmen

        Heh. So, you go to a lot of places, publicly disgracing and disrespecting your husband looking for just the perfect woman who will give you the magic pill that will work for your situation with your “not horrible – likely fine in our eyes” husband? Got it. I wonder just how many times you have poured out your story cementing in your mind – the *terror!!*

        Gravity works every time you drop a stone. God’s laws work the same. But you go ahead, keep throwing that stone thinking that one of these days you’ll be just so blessed that it will float away. BTW, that is an awful insult to the women who actually took the initiative to take every thought captive, stopped spewing negative about their husbands, and started acting on changing themselves – that is likely why your stone will NEVER magically float away, dear, God does not favor one for the other. Like I suspected, you have work to do to grow closer to Him. You have held your contempt for your husband as your idol.

      2. Anonymous

        Sorry you feel that way. As you can see, I outlined above my plan which I decided will work out for me….documenting. That’s what I’m going to do. I know that it doesn’t go away; it hasn’t for many years, and I’m not expecting miracles. When I have enough documentation, I’ll have the material necessary to be able to stand up to him.

    2. Maea

      I feel bad for Anon after reading this.

      As someone who’s been told the same things that SD said– making my husband look bad, being a brat, etc.– I can empathize with the frustration Anon’s experiencing. I’m guessing it’s become one of those situations where her husband does expect her to tell him the truth, but along with that she’s probably expected to somehow fix it. Unfortunately, wives can’t always fix them but nonetheless it does not eliminate the frustration and anger experienced by both sides. Just because she’s telling us what isn’t working doesn’t mean she’s being insincere or the problem has now become her. Sometimes advice doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. Been there, done that, still kind of experiencing it. May I ask, where else should wives voice their grievances, if not at a blog aimed to Christian women? At the bar with some work friends? With people who aren’t invested in the preservation of marriage at all? I suppose many women choose not to voice their grievances at all, and just harbored resentment and contempt until they divorced.

      I believe people sometimes lose perspective when they no longer are in the storm. After time, you forget you were in a storm because everything’s growing and looks great, but the damage isn’t visible. For many wives, the damage is always visible because there’s always a storm, and not much can be done when all you’ve got to weather it is a flimsy tree.

  24. Elspeth

    Couple of thoughts. First, in response to SD:

    I’d say my husband is 1/3 choleric, 1/3 melancholy, 1/3 phlegmatic. He really doesn’t fit neatly into a personality box. In work mode, he’s highly choleric. We have some goals we’re working toward in 2016, and to the extent that he needs me to step it up, not forget things, be on board, work with intention he’ll run pretty choleric. And I’ll either get with the program of wither.

    When he’s not in work mode, he’s quite phlegmatic,and when he’s resting or socializing, that’s where he is, and he wants me with him. I need to get my work done while he works. period, LOL.

    As for the tools to help a wife respect her husband, I fully defer to Hearth here as she is (trust me) divinely touched an ability to speak encouragement and truth in equal measure without watering down the latter. When I was at a point where my feminine nature was having difficulty reconciling with my husband’s way of relating, I went to the Scriptures. This is just a very small part of what I came away with that changed me and by extension my marriage:

    Of course, and since nothing goes without saying anymore, I am not trivializing a very difficult marriage at all. Some marriages are just plain hard, for whatever reason. Mine had rough patches but thankfully they never lasted for very long even when it was a serious issue causing the rough seas. But (and this is a big BUT), once you’ve hardened yourself to your husband, it becomes exceedingly difficult to find a way out of that quagmire.

    To the whole honesty thing: I’m wondering how hard it is to just remain silent, or how hard it is to say, “If I give you an honest answer, it’s just going to cause problems, so it might be better if we didn’t talk about that right now.”

    Is there anyone ever on the face of the earth that didn’t like their spouse’s honest answer to a question? I think not. But if you reality is that you really, truly cannot find a way to be honest without it being disagreeable, I’m not sure how to handle that.

    1. hearthie Post author

      You’re too sweet. You have the same giftlings.

      Has anyone else here been Pentecostal enough to *ask* for the filling of the Holy Spirit on the daily and/or spiritual gifts/more gifts? I was soooo skeptical for so long, and I finally thought, “what could it harm?” and… it makes a difference. When I ask, I get. When I don’t ask, I don’t get – mostly, anyway. Y’all should give it a go. We need each other, badly.

  25. sarahsdaughter2

    I believe people sometimes lose perspective when they no longer are in the storm.

    I assure you, perspective has not been lost in fact it is clearer than ever having watched predictable (and biblical) outcome after predictable outcome. I know not ONE wife who has bettered her situation by rebelling to God’s instruction to wives. If the instruction is not known by a wife than she needs to be directed to stop talking and start listening. Women do not successfully “get things off their chest”, instead they get revved up the more and more they tell their challenges.

    You certainly are not the first to not like the manner in which I talk to women, you’ll notice however, that for one moment we heard from Anon: “I did NOT tell you that my husband is horrible. In his mind, and probably in the mind of the rest of you, he is and probably would be fine. Perhaps you could handle him fine. Most people probably do. I, on the other hand, do not.”

    The next sentence she writes is the heart of the issue:
    It is the responsibility of all, not just wives, to learn how to live in understanding and in giving what the other needs.

    I don’t know what might come about that her husband will understand her or give her what she thinks she needs. Your husbands might be so different than mine that this doesn’t apply but I can guarantee you RLB would have no interest in coming to understand me if I was hopping from blog to blog speaking of him this way. Saying “I don’t like him” and telling people I hide from him in closets. I suspect Hearthie is correct in what this woman needs to do. Her faith, however, is not strong enough to follow Hearthie’s advice. That can only be changed by her. She’s simply too focused on her pain and won’t look up at the Physician.

    1. Anonymous


      I am sorry to have to contradict you, but you say the following: “Women do not successfully “get things off their chest”, instead they get revved up the more and more they tell their challenges.” This is an untruth when you put it generally. It may be true for you, or within your area of experience, but it is not true in all situations. For example, within 12 step programs, this is not the case at all, nor is it true in good counseling. You are misinformed.

      It is the responsibility of all to learn to live with one another in understanding, and frequently it is the case that many women are the ones who are obligated to do the changing, to their detriment. It is important to understand that frequently lines have to be drawn in the sand, and all too often women are not encouraged in their journey to draw the lines for their own sanity and protection. To also then say that my faith is not strong enough is also an assumption which you do not have the authority to make. On the contrary, it takes a lot of faith to get up each day and make an act of will, would you not agree? Nor am I saying my faith is very strong, we pray for an increase of faith daily. But you are making assumptions, and you do not have sufficient information to make them. You are speaking in many ways like some of the more “pushy” Titus 2 bloggers, who often give unacceptable scoldings and shamings to women who already have lost a lot of their self-confidence.

      “Stop talking and start listening” is a trap, as it encourages the communication of husband does the talking, wife does the listening and says, “Yes, sir”. This is not acceptable. I’ve done that, and you don’t need to reiterate that which gets many a wife like myself into the mess we’re in now.

      This conversation is now over as far as I’m concerned, because it is getting dominated by Sarah’s Daughter, which is all too familiar with what I have gotten time and time again — with worse results each time. I wish you all the best, but you are not sufficiently informed to give good counsel.

      1. hearthie Post author

        No, none of us is sufficiently informed enough to give good counsel. This isn’t a forum, this is my blog. And mostly this blog is about more spiritual things. Once in a blue moon, I talk about gender relationships because something needs saying. We couldn’t possibly give you more than general counsel, because we don’t know you, we don’t know your husband, we don’t know … well, anything.

        Anon, you should know if you don’t, that at most of our blogs, whenever this subject comes up (traditional marital roles) someone comes around and complains about their husband. It gets old. So, nothing against you personally – but you’re not the first person to go there. USUALLY what happens, folks give good solid Biblical advice and it’s ignored.

        You came to my “house” and sat on my couch and told me your tale of woe. You’re wearing the badge of anonymity… I can tell you that I’ve been in some major straits in life, and I’m going to give you a prescription. Then we’re *all going to drop this*, because arguing back and forth in the absence of information is pointless. What do you care what a bunch of strangers on the internet think, anyway?

        I want you to get on your knees in that closet, and I want you to pray. I want you to get absolutely real with God – ugly real. You don’t have to make nice for Him, so don’t.

        Let us return to what we know to be true.
        1) God loves you.
        2) God permits suffering in the life of all His children. However, because He loves us, this suffering is never wasted. *All* things work together for good! Might not be your good, but all things work together for *some* good.
        3) God loves marriage. He created it.
        4) Obedience is the proof of our love for God.
        5) You can’t change anyone but you. You’re not responsible for the walk of any other adult believer. That includes your husband.
        6) Therefore, you need to figure out what *you* need to learn from this situation. Ask God. What should *you* be doing? Ask God. How can you have the strength to do those things? Ask God to provide. He is faithful.

        I don’t know what you need. I don’t know you. I do know that God can sustain you through anything. He has sustained His children through torture. He can sustain you in your tears. I have cried my own river, once upon a time – so I’m not saying it will be easy. Timeline? Promises? I got none.

        What I have is the insistence that you obey God *for the sake of God*. Not for what it will get you. You obey for Him. That’s it.

        You will get one thing – you’ll get a closer relationship with God.

        Or you can not. I’ve prayed for you, I’ve advised you, that’s as far as I can go.

        Back to the OT, everyone. I’ll have new bloggage after Christmas Insanity calms down, I have some good ideas floating around in my head. Not that my ideas usually pop out like I think they will.

  26. Anonymous

    Hearthie et al,
    First off, please allow me to thank you, Hearthie, for your kindness. I have tried to seek the company of like-minded ladies as the 12-step meetings are not always in line with my core beliefs, but I tend to go to them because they are free.
    However, it is obvious that the person in my situation is very irritating to many of the women involved on these forums, and it is best that I not participate. Having said that, you have given me the impetus to try to start up a Christian based 12-step program in our area for women only who are in these types of seemingly dead-end situations.

    The one thing that the steps provide us that many of the Titus 2 forums do not is a nonjudgmental place where we can work through our situations, we know we are not alone in the world, and — this part is the most important — where we are not scolded and shamed on daily basis. I don’t know about you ladies, but the scolding, shaming and rebuking that goes on on many forums does not encourage me, it only makes me very depressed to the point I cannot really do anything but wish I could find a place to hide. I would be willing to bet there are other ladies who have similar responses.

    So I want to thank you also for the stepping stone to at least see if such a program can be started and implemented. You gave me the courage to try it. Maybe because of you we can get something like this going.

  27. sarahsdaughter2

    Is the takeaway here to warn women off of marrying a dominant because he might become a domineering man leaving the wife hiding in a closet? Is it really Russian roulette?

    Anon, so much of what you assert is anti-biblical it is alarming to me that no one else is calling you out on it. I am not shaming you. I am calling you a liar.

    It is the responsibility of all to learn to live with one another in understanding, and frequently it is the case that many women are the ones who are obligated to do the changing, to their detriment.

    Who is lying? You? or 1 Peter 3?

    Frequently? This is feminist crap.

    “Stop talking and start listening” is a trap

    Shall I list all of the Bible verses relating to this to prove you’re a liar?

    1. hearthie Post author

      SD. All respect – and I don’t disagree – but this isn’t going to produce useful fruit. Anon is either too hurt to hear this/understand what she’s saying or she’s a troll of some sort. Either way, time to chill. You have my email if you want to continue in private.

  28. Nonya

    About dominate men – I am married to one so it pains me to see that yelling, anger and rudeness are just seen as part of the package when married to a dominate man. My husband is dominate but he also has self control. He doesn’t yell at me but if he did and made a habit of it I would gently remind him of Galatians 5:19-21 or one the dozen other verses about anger.

    I have a friend whose husband frequently loses his temper. He’s lost jobs and friendships over it, he’s embarrassed himself and his family in public and he just completely lacks self control. He is working on it and since he isn’t physically abusive I encouraged her to stay with him and pray for him because some people struggle with anger more than others. Another friend however has a husband who only yells at her. He controls his temper at work when dealing with difficult employees, he’s not yelling at the cop who pulls him over or the girl who got his order wrong at the restaurant. He manages to control himself when there may be serious negative consequences to anger then comes home and then loses his temper when his wife makes a mistake. Basically yelling at and being rude to the one person who can’t do anything about it. IMO he is worse than the first man. I find that abuse of position and authority almost as disgusting as when parents scream at children. I guess we could call them “dominate” parents, but really they’re just mean.

    I would encourage anyone looking for a husband dominate or otherwise to be careful not to marry a man who lacks self control or has a mean streak.


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