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Marital harmony: the three F's vs the three C's

We posted an article recently about cohabitation — it contained suggestions on how to avoid the transition from boyfriend-girlfriend to roommates who spoon and fart a lot once you move in. And it set off quite a debate in the comments section about what exactly men vs. women (or is it men and women?) need when it comes to sustaining romance amid piles of bills and laundry. We’re excerpting the debate here to see where the rest of you fall when it comes to the three F’s… or the three C’s. (There has to be at least one guy out there who wants chocolate-chocolate-chocolate…right?)

SS: I [a woman] have been reading a bunch of books on marriage lately (from the men’s point of view: completely fascinating, literally cannot stop reading these, it’s like behavioural science for some other species!) and they all seem to say the same thing, from either a politically correct, or not so much, point of view. Basically: Don’t make every interaction a complaint. If one stays home and one works, allow the one who’s just gotten home some time to unwind (no immediate unloading and venting) and respect, respect, respect. If there is one common thread running through these books, it’s that men need respect from their partners (followed closely by sex and food.) Or, as one book so neatly put it: “Just follow the three F’s: Food, Flattery & Fucking.”

The women’s version of that would be, “Just follow the three C’s: Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate.”

Dannie: I, as a woman, would much rather have food, flattery and fucking than only chocolate. And, respect is a crucial ingredient to any interaction with me. In fact, if anyone, regardless of sex, is disrespected in a relationship, it’s not a good relationship. I despise the whole, “Men need respect” paradigm, because it usually translates into “Pretend to be submissive to boost his ego, and don’t contradict him openly to keep his poor little man brain from feeling stupid.” Respect is respect; both need it, not just the man. And, guess what — men and women are in fact members of the same species! We have far more in common than we do different. In fact, if we were more different than alike, one of us would be a banana.

SS: We actually share 50% of our DNA with bananas, not sure if the percentage is that high re: the amount of DNA I share with my husband…

Yes, yes, obviously if you’re with a guy who doesn’t respect you, you shouldn’t be with him, but I disagree that a woman who treats her partner with respect is submissive, or somehow kowtowing to his “poor little man brain.” My point was that women often belittle their husbands without even realizing it, questioning their judgement about every little thing, whereas I don’t notice men doing this to their wives as much (this is what I have observed, at least, in 23 years of marriage, and watching friends – divorced and not). Perhaps your relationship experience has been different.

Spes: 50% is not a lot considering we share more than 90% with fruit flies.

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