Why is my husband such an asshole? This has been asked many times, by many women, across the world. If you will forgive my language for a moment, I will try my best to explain to you why the significant other in your life drives you mad. And just a heads up, the ladies might not like this one.
Men and women are different. We all deserve equal opportunity, but we are different – and not just because of our genitals. Psychologists have been looking at the differences between men and women’s brains for years and as science has developed, so have the theories. It was initially believed that women had smaller brains and were therefore less capable of reasoning. The 1970’s saw studies theorizing that men and women’s brains just function differently. For example, women were scored as having higher verbal intelligence and men as having higher mathematical intelligence due to differences in the two halves of their brain.
More recent studies however, suggest that there is not all that much difference in the brains of men and women and that a lot of our differences can be explained by hormones. There is no “male” or “female” brain. So why then, are we so different?
It’s as complicated as it is annoying. Let’s look at it from an evolutionary perspective.
In nature, it is almost always the case that male species are expected to do the wooing. In most cases, the female decides on who will contribute to her offspring. The natural process of evolution shows us that the strong survive. The biggest, strongest male who is most capable of impregnating and providing is chosen by the female. No flowers or candle lit dinners needed – besides for a display of colourful feathers. Of course, we are very different to animals and our advanced brains require more interaction but the premise remains the same.
We want the strongest, the healthiest and the most capable. This evolutionary view point also shows us why men seem to like young, curvy woman. They are seen as being fertile and able to bear healthy offspring. So, the evolutionary perspective says to us that males need to be strong (able to fight off other males) and females need to be fertile. We will then be attracted to each other and boom – marriage and babies. Still, you ask, why is my husband so stupid?
The 21st century man is very different to the 19th century man. Men needed to do two things: provide and impregnate. To be seen as a successful member of society a man was encouraged to marry, have children and be able to provide for them. Masculinity was celebrated. The ‘alpha’ male was tall, hairy, plump and carried a weapon. He was to protect and provide for his family, and country, at all costs – as can be seen by the devastating effects of war. The modern man however, is very different to his ancestor. He is expected to moisturize, change nappies and buy his wife flowers. He should bring home the money, offer foot massages, be able to colour co-ordinate his outfit and go curtain shopping.
Nowadays displays of masculinity is “having too much testosterone”, desires for physical affection is “thinking with the wrong head” and a night out with friends is “escaping parental duty”. In other words, the modern man is being feminized.
Have a look at many sitcoms – the husband is often painted as a bumbling, sex obsessed, anniversary forgetting idiot (I’m talking to you, Modern Family). The wife is beautiful, thin, smart and demanding. We are now celebrating women more than ever before (and rightly so) but it is coming at the cost of our men.
The media floods us with information that sensitive, caring and passionate men are the ones that we want. The ‘alpha’ is now hairless, muscled, rich (I guess that one will never change) and always puts your feelings first. That’s a far cry from the gun-slinging, sword raising hunter that came before. And just to complicate matters, our sensitive and nurturing husbands need to protect and provide as well as their ancestors did. So even if he has to put in long hours at the office to bring in an income, he needs to be home by 5 for family time. So really, what is a man to do? Who is he supposed to be?
Society pulls him in one direction and nature in another. He desires to hunt and flex his muscles but the woman around him want him to bring them flowers. So he has to adapt, he has to woo – that is his job after all (besides for all the providing and protecting of course). But most problematic of all, is in order to not be an asshole, he has to think like his wife. So at the risk of offending my female readers even more, I present the following.
Your husband is an asshole because he probably thinks your high heels are impractical because how will you be able to run from a lion? He looks at your friend’s boobs because he thinks they could provide nourishment for his children. He revs his car because it is the prized stallion he displays to other males. Your husband is an asshole because society tells him he is, when really, he has the heart of a lion wanting to fulfill his desires and provide for his mate – you.
Never underestimate the power of our primitive brain when it comes to relationships. Inside the man who you think doesn’t understand you is the heart of a hunter, a provider and an overwhelming desire to be the alpha. When the media is telling him he should buy his wife diamond earrings for her birthday, his instinct is telling him to install the security alarm first. He is now so insensitive.
Modern society is cruel to its men. We don’t have to be. Give him the space to be a hunter and let him know he is your alpha. Do not be afraid to stroke his ego, let go of the fact that he did not compliment you on your amazing hair today. Acknowledge that he brought home dinner (yes, even MacDonalds counts) and tell him you are proud of the man he is. Watch him shine.
This will lead to equal opportunity for you to show your ability as a woman. Just kidding.
“I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men; they are far superior and always have been” —William Golding