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A 10-Step Beta Husbands Guide To A Better Marriage

There is a shift going on in marriage today. The rise of the beta husband. As a man, I know you might not have expected to be in this distinct group, but let me help you understand you aren’t alone.

The last study done in 2013 by the Institute of Family Studies showed that among married, heterosexual couples in the U.S., a quarter of wives, or about 15 million, are the primary breadwinners in their family.

There are many challenges that can come with this marriage dynamic. For one, we as men are taught to hang our badge based on what we do in life, not on what we do at home, as well as women who don’t usually get rewarded from bringing home the bacon. In our society, it’s the exact opposite.

Another issue is the assumption that the other partner may have a better situation. The husband may think his wife is going out enjoying lunch and happy hours with fellow co-workers, but not see the stress getting those same co-workers to take her leadership seriously. The woman may feel he’s just hanging out after he drops off the children, but in reality, he is struggling with his self-esteem and identity.

One thing we do know, this new dynamic isn’t going away. As women are given more opportunities to excel corporately and as entrepreneurs, husbands, if you have the ability to stay home, or take a lesser role at work for the benefit of the family, you will have to identify the best way to excel individually and in the marriage.  

If you are having a hard time figuring it out, here is a Ten-Step Beta Husband’s Guide to loving a Type-A wife.

  1. Identify your comfortability with your role reversal. I’m sure when you got married, you didn’t expect that you would be scheduling playdates and managing the home. If you don’t like it, or if you are struggling, then be honest. Tell your wife, but even more importantly you will have to come up with a plan. If you don’t you will be stuck in an untenable situation.
  2. If you are comfortable with the way the relationship is going, find something you are passionate about and pursue it while managing your other duties. Your alpha wife doesn’t care so much that you aren’t the primary breadwinner. What she does care about is that you’re actively doing something to make you strive to be the best person you can be. giphy[1]
  3. Make sure the relationship doesn’t become parental. If you hear phrases like, “You’re like my 3rd child!” or “Do I have to ask you again, Can you please…” then sit your wife down and ask her, “Do you feel like you’re my parent?” If she says, “Yes, sometimes,” then it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship because if she feels this way then you know that sometimes, she’s going to treat you like a child. And the needs you have as her husband are not going to be met. giphy[1]
  4. Avoid being isolated. Having a social network is critical to being a beta husband. You just don’t want to feel that you’re managing your life alone and you totally on your wife for support. If you were ever in the situation where your wife is now, remember how that felt. Most of the time, you needed some space just to relax and you wished she had friends to talk to. You need to find the same people in your life that will do the same. And to top it all off your wife is still probably doing more work around the house than you are. So you can’t get angry when she falls asleep from exhaustion. giphy[1]
  5. Appeal to your wife’s feminine side.  Your wife may be kickin’ ass and taking names outside the house, but she is still a woman and needs to be reminded of that from time to time, so it’s up to you to do it. So what does that mean as the beta husband you have to put your wife first. Be spontaneous, buy her a gift, or schedule a date for lunch at her office if possible.
  6. Push back when warranted. In the office, an alpha woman doesn’t exert her will onto men as they cower in the corner, she is  constantly being challenged, but stand up to their beliefs. At home, they want the same thing. In other words, she wants you to have an opinion. Being a beta husband doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice. Remember marriage is about a partnership, teamwork. If you have a conviction about an issue, share it so you can discuss it together.
  7. Remind her that you are dependable, responsive, and supportive. In other words, you are there for her, something that her more alpha fantasy man might not be.
  8. Figure out the best way to get more chores done. It’s no secret that even when women make more money than us, they still do more housework. That has to be corrected. If you don’t it will cause your spouse to become resentful because in her mind she will say, “You’re not pulling your weight around here.” So figure out the best tool that will help you get projects accomplished. Either create lists or use a project management app whatever works.
  9. Create an atmosphere of romance. If romance and sex are important to you, you’ll have to make it a priority. So she makes more money than you, that doesn’t mean she is also going to be the aggressor in the bedroom. You will still have to do those things that put her in the mood. Take note if she is no longer doing those romantic things you need as a husband you should let her know that it’s important to maintain a healthy sex life.
  10. Step up so she can step back. No matter what the situation is, whether she has expressed her displeasure in your current situation or not, she is just looking for you to take the pressure off.

In the end if you can figure out some of these details you and your relationship will be headed in the right direction.

Keith Dent is a certified relationship coach and the author of In the Paint – How to Win the Game of Love .  If you need help regaining the respect you have for your spouse, contact him at info@keithdent.com.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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The Smart Woman’s Guide to Falling in Love With a Narcissist

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Every one has to fall in love with a narcissist one time in their life. It’s the best way to experience the total emotional spectrum in a relationship. It will provide everything from the opportunity to be charmed beyond your wildest dreams to eventually getting to the point where you can no longer stand this person.

So what are the steps to finding the narcissist of your dreams?

Step #1 – Make sure you are always dressed like a million bucks

A narcissist believes life is always about him. His appearance will be impeccable when your eyes meet. He will also be very quick to flatter your beauty and intellect because he is envisions the two of you together. So make sure the hair, clothes, nails, etc. are on point.

Step #2 – Be empathetic

Since a narcissist has no real empathy for anything or anyone he will be drawn to the mere fact that you can show that type of emotion towards them.

Step #3 – Let  his shame tug at your heartstrings

Most of the time when you are with him everything will be perfect. But be on guard. There will be a few times when he lets his hair down and talks about his shame. Be prepared to have it tug at your heart. Let me caution you, don’t try to help him acknowledge his shame, though. It may result in a fit of emotional rage.

Step #4 – You must have a fond appreciation for actors

Your narcissist man will be able to emulate anything you want them to be. If it’s a family man, he will dote on his kids and spoil them in all the ways that make him look good. Don’t worry about disciplining them, that will be your job.

Step #5 – Be prepared to move on

No matter how rocky the relationship will be and just when you think your relationship is about to turnaround, he will be out. According to an article in Psychology Today The narcissist loved being in a relationship—but only on his terms.

In the end you will gain clarity on the fact that your narcissist lover has severe emotional issues that you will eventually walk away from so the emotionally healthy one can find you.

Keith Dent is a relationship, life coach at Strive2Succeed Coaching. He is the author of the In The Paint: How to Win at the Game of Love and appeared on sites like The Good Men Project, MamMia, and The Real Dad’s Network. He also cohosts a FB LiveStream show called CouplesConversation.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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When You’re a Real Man…A Real Woman! (Love Tune Tuesday. Vol 9.20.16)

I am a real man
Lord knows it’s hard
Sometimes I just need a woman’s touch
Sweet affection, love and support
When it’s real it’s unconditional
I’m telling y’all

You’re a real woman
Lord knows it’s hard
You need a real man to give you what you need
Sweet attention, love and tenderness
When it’s real, it’s unconditional
I’m telling y’all

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Posted by on September 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Are You a Man With Dreams?

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Are You That One Man Out Of 4 That Is Abusing His Wife. Get Help While You Still Can!

We have to do better by the women we call mom, wife girlfriend, sister cousin. Too often, we hear stories about how they are being murdered or abused by a dad, husband, boyfriend, brother or cousin and powerless to do anything about it.

You will always hear about how the victim’s family noticed something that was wrong, or rushed in to take her to a hospital or a shelter.

But what about the abuser’s family. Do they not see the scars of the victim? Do they not see how their male relative wreaks havoc onto his wife and children?

Maybe a blind eye is turned only to come back later with tears and apologies because they did nothing more. Or perhaps, they just didn’t know the signs.

This past week I attended a Domestic Violence Symposium sponsored by the YWCA of Union County, NJ and was startled by some of the things I saw and heard.

One of four women are victims of Domestic Violence and every day, at least 3 women are murdered every day by a husband or boyfriend. So if I had to break this down to its smallest form, all I would have to do was think about a dinner party I attended that same night with the brothers that lived across the street from me. One of their wives’ could possibly be a victim of domestic violence.

How Does It Start.

First there was Joe. He was the oldest brother and we had known each other the longest, thirty years. He was an easy-going guy, the life of the party. His wife on the other hand was very outspoken almost to the point of being mean. How would domestic violence happen in this case? It would start out by verbal altercations that would lead to a slap or a punch. Physical abuse wouldn’t happen right away.

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In fact, Denair Huggins, the keynote speaker, at this event explained that’s how her abuse started. If I had heard this was the case with my oldest friend, I would feel compelled to say something if for nothing else to keep him from killing someone and going to jail for the rest of his life. And what do you think he would say? Probably one of two things. He would admit to me, “This will never happen again.” Or tell me to get lost. With this confrontation, the episodes may die down, but without serious intervention or support the violence will only escalate.

I just need to keep my family together.

The I think about Jackson. He was the youngest brother, but he had been married the longest. He had two beautiful children by his wife Diane whom he had dated since college. Because there are children involved and I was their Godfather, it would take every fiber of my being to keep me from inflicting that same punishment he unleashed on his wife. But knowing her, she would not want that. Coming from a family where her parents have been married almost forty years, she would see this as a failure if her family fell apart.

That’s the same reason, Natalie Saveedra used in a recent article in the New York Times only to be stabbed in a murder-suicide by her husband that resulted in her children being raised by relatives instead of their loving home.

I have no Income, what am I going to do.

I finally think about Jameson who is now the sole income provider. 98% of domestic abuse cases also involve some sort of financial abuse. This type of abuse takes on 3 types.

  • Economic Control where the abuser makes all the important decisions when it comes to finances.
  • Employment Sabotage where the abuser makes it impossible for the victim to maintain employment because the abuser consistently makes a scene or several until she finally quits amidst embarrassment
  • Economic exploitation where the victims credit gets destroyed because the abuser ruined it by taking out lines of credit in their name.

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One of the scenarios may be impacting your family right now. We can’t sit by and watch our sister’s-in-law, mother’s-in-law fall prey the males we are closest to abuse their spouses.

We have to help our men to understand and admit their behavior is a problem. Not only for them, but for their families and our communities.

They must take responsibility for their actions and put the work in if they want to change their behavior. And just like we stand by the victim, we must also stand by the abuser and get them the help they need. Before it’s too late.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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In the Trenches – Never Give UP!

Just when you think the game is all over, a miracle happens. Yesterday, in the region of New England, the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots pulled out the most improbable wins in their games yesterday. According to ESPN Boston, with 1:20 seconds left in the game, the New England Patriots had a 5.3% chance of winning the game, while the Boston Red Sox after not even remotely scoring a run had a 3.8% chance to win trailing the Detroit Tigers 5-1 in the 8th inning.

In dating, I am sure there have been times where you decided there was no hope in finding a partner and felt that it was time to give up. In fact , according to the 2012 study by the National Center for Health Statistics, over 40% of women and 16% men will have never marry and get the feeling that it’s time to just focus on my career or being the best aunt and uncle I can be. When you are In the Trenches and feel that way, think about these two games and these 4 tips that will help you to never give up.

Tip #1 – Have a game plan and stick to it.  

If you are dating on your own, or have turned to on-line dating, have a game plan for the type of partner that compliments you and not completes you because you are already complete, and stick to it. The longer you go without a partner the tendency you have to stay with the first one that shows just a little interest even though he/she isn’t right for you. This weekend I came across a Amy Webb from a Ted Talk episode that did made sure she stuck to her guns.

Tip #2 – It takes only one.

We always think that we have to meet so many men/women in order to find the one. In reality, you only need to meet one, but he/she just has to be the right one. So if you put your best foot forward, and over time if you can minimize your anxious/avoidant behavior. (See my Attachment Series)

Tip #3 – Never Give Up.

031021soxfan2Despite what the your fans (family & friends) may it will never happen, you have to keep believing it will. It may take months, or years, but once it does, you will be overjoyed when it does. Just ask the RED SOX and Patriots Fans last night.

If you are in the trenches, can you remember a time when you thought there was no chance you would be in a relationship?  I would love to hear your story.

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in In the Trenches, Uncategorized

 

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The Secure Couple’s Guide to Conflict Resolution.

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In the final installment of the Attachment series, we will deal with the subject of conflict resolution. One misconception about marriages & great relationships is that these couples’ don’t have conflict. Quite the contrary! It’s not the that they don’t have conflict, they just have the right tools to handle it. According to Attachment researchers conflict can serve as a way for couples to get closer and deepen their bond, not drive them apart like in anxious/avoidant relationships.

Individuals have a distinct way to deal with conflict that could be helpful to individuals that have a different attachment style.

These five distinct practices can help diffuse and resolve conflict.

  1. Show basic concern for the other person’s well-being. (Our happiness is dependent on the other and vice-versa.)
  2. Maintain focus on the problem at hand. (When there’s a willingness to resolve a specific problem, people feel that they’re being heard and it brings both parties closer together.)
  3. Refrain from generalizing the conflict. (By keeping the argument restricted to the topic they avoid making disparaging remarks and blowing things out of proportion.)
  4. Be willing to engage (When you are both willing to stay and deal with the issue do you find a resolution that you can both live with and the process helps them be more in-tune with each other.)
  5. Effectively communicate feelings and needs. (Effectively expressing your emotional needs is even better than the other person magically reading your mind. By being an active agent it opens the door to a more emotional, richer dialogue.

Why can’t insecure couples adopt these practices.

Individuals who are anxious, or avoidants have several aspects that make it difficult for them to adopt these conflict resolution principles.

An anxious partner will have their basic concerns about their partners responsiveness to their needs about being rejected or abandoned. When a conflict arises, they experience many negative thoughts and react by using any behavior to get their partner’s attention. Their response is often dramatic, but ineffective.

An avoidant person is also concerned about their partner not really being their for them, but they will deal with concerns in a totally different way. They will suppress their need for closeness by shutting down emotionally and adopting a sense of independence. The more personal the conflict becomes, the stronger their urge grows to distance themselves from the situation.

Secure Principles can work for any relationship.

If you or your partner has an anxious/avoidant attachment style, you will have to work harder to make the relationship work especially when conflicts arise. Being centered on your own needs and hurts can cause a lot of trouble. You must keep these truths in mind when dealing with conflict.

  • A single fight is not a relationship breaker.
  • Express your fears! Don’t let them dictate your actions. If you’re afraid that s/he wants to reject you,say so.
  • Don’t assume you are to blame for your partner’s  bad mood. It is most likely not because of you.
  • Trust that your partner will be caring and responsive and go ahead and express your needs.
  • Don’t expect your partner to know what you’re thinking. If you haven’t told him/her what’s on your mind, s/he doesn’t know.

I hope that this series will help you restore your faith in relationships and that they shouldn’t be left to chance. Relationships are one of the most rewarding of human experiences above and beyond other gifts that life has to offer. If couples can understand that a mismatched attachment style can lead to a great deal of unhappiness in relationships and work hard to tend to each other’s relationship well-being, you will give yourself the best shot at finding deeply, gratifying love.

Coach Keith

 

Material based on the book Attached. The New Science of Adult 
Attachment and How It Can Help YOU Find and Keep Love.
 
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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in Attachment Series

 

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