Thursday, May 20, 2010

Communication, not manipulation, is key

Marianne Murciano, the woman with the How to Train your Man website that I wrote about here sent me an email. Here is part of it:

If you take the time to read what this is really all about, you’ll realize that it’s far from being demeaning and degrading. Although the phrase, “Train a Man” can be upsetting to some men, it actually gets them whatever they want. I’m giving people sound advice; encouraging women to be honest about their relationships, and showing them how to ask for things they want while giving their partners what they want as well. I don’t need to apologize for talking about mutual respect, or creating a great relationship out of a mediocre one. In the process I’m hitting some hot buttons.

Along with the truth, I’ve tried to incorporate a sense of humor. Have you personally seen the videos? Check them out. I hope you’re in a good relationship and that you and your mate are able to get a few laughs! What you’ll see are the issues we all struggle with. I didn’t make them up.


So, I watched the video I embedded below entitled, "The maid's on strike." A husband was referred to as "a child" for not helping enough with the housework and there seemed to be a lot of manipulation going on. Ms. Murciano (I'm going to assume that was her in the video) was telling the woman not to be the person that her husband expected if he did not do what she wanted--that is, she should not be an organized, detailed person who made his life easy.

Silly me. I thought relationships were supposed to be about two adults who communicate their thoughts and feelings to each other. I didn't know that one spouse (the woman) is supposed to treat her husband like the puppy dog she picked up at the pound last week. I get a bad feeling when one spouse tries to control another one with "training techniques." That does not seem humorous to me.

How would women respond to a video by a husband to "train" your woman to put out more? Or what if a husband was upset because he felt his wife did not appreciate the money he was bringing in from working? Instead of communicating with her, should he "train her" by being the bumbling free-loader that stays home, drinks beer and scratches his crotch? Maybe so.

37 Comments:

Blogger TMink said...

"Although the phrase, “Train a Man” can be upsetting to some men, it actually gets them whatever they want."

A non-appology appology. No thanks.

Trey

12:08 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Der Hahn said...

...telling the woman not to be the person that her husband expected if he did not do what she wanted--that is, she should not be an organized, detailed person who made his life easy.

In other words, her contributions to the relationship are optional, his are mandatory. As more men get wise to this formula (I think younger men already are as evidenced by the declining rate of marriage) these sort of techniques are going to be come a lot less effective.

12:47 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger blahga the hutt said...

"Silly me. I thought relationships were supposed to be about two adults who communicate their thoughts and feelings to each other. I didn't know that one spouse (the woman) is supposed to treat her husband like the puppy dog she picked up at the pound last week. I get a bad feeling when one spouse tries to control another one with "training techniques." That does not seem humorous to me."

Well, we have a society that worships both the freudian id and severe adolescence. Is this any major surprise? And no, I did not find that humorous either. Ms. Murciano had a pretty flippant response to you.

On a side note, I believe that site gives money to her whenever you go to her site (I remember reading something to that effect on one of the comments to her posts there). You may want to keep away from the site, since she'll be laughing (or giggling) all the way to the bank.

12:51 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

I'd go back even further and challenge the premise that the wife's expectations for cleanliness and tidiness are the correct ones.

Most men I know are not as concerned about clean and tidy as most women I know. I like clean and tidy but I am involved in so much life-enhancing stuff I don't have enough time to keep everything in its place all the time.

Methinks this is about keeping up with the Joneses. Having a well-manicured home interior is not the purpose of life!

If you expect your house to be clean and tidy all the time, rather than manipulating your spouse into it, hire a maid.

12:56 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

BTW, another study came out saying that couples are happier when the man contributes more to housework. (Let's avoid the standing criticism that these studies usually discount durable-goods housework like fixing appliances and unclogging gutters).

Regis and Kelly used this to tell men to pick up more to make their lives happier. I think this is putting the cart before the horse - shared housework is a sign of a good relationship in a shared space, not a cause.

That would also be my advice to the shrieker in the video...if you think getting your husband to do the dishes is going to make you happy, it's not. You two probably have bigger problems.

1:00 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dr. Helen
RE: Marianne Murciano

She's either totally 'dumb' or much, much worse. And, based on what I've seen from her web-site—wherein my comment pointing out her rank hypocrisy never made it past 'moderation'—and the videos....

....I suspect it's the latter.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. She reminds me of Amy....and some others....

1:05 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Topher
RE: TARGET!!!!

That would also be my advice to the shrieker in the video...if you think getting your husband to do the dishes is going to make you happy, it's not. You two probably have bigger problems. -- Topher

These are just 'excuses' for hating the man. I've seen it often enough that when a woman in a 'relationship' starts complaining about this, that and the other....

....she's rationalizing a way to get out. Something her girlfriends will nod in acceptance. It's an indicator....when she cares more about what her girlfriends think of her than she does of her man-friend.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[If youth only knew. If age only could.]

1:11 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

Chuck,

Relationships ebb and flow between doing things for positive reasons (joy, happiness, contributing to the other person's life) and for negative ones (avoiding the other person getting upset, censoring yourself for whatever reason).

If it's constantly the latter,
one of you is doing the wrong thing and whoever it is you're probably better off apart.

Unfortunately many couples have a good initial period, then move into the negative-action zone and never get out, riding on the fumes of "it used to be so good."

1:24 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger geekWithA.45 said...

>>was telling the woman not to be the person that her husband expected if he did not do what she wanted

So, is *that* the transaction being held up as a gold standard for how happy and honest relationships work? "I'll pretend to be what I think you want me to be if you pretend to be what I tell you to be?"

This is "encouraging women to be honest about their relationships"?

The secret to marital happiness is for men to "load the dishwasher" to get "the fantasy girl that he wants"?

If it doesn't start with fundamental honesty on who you are and what you're about, then it's a game of manipulation, but then again, I guess a lot of people never get past a high school mentality, no matter how smoothly they coat it over.

Flipside, if who you are and what you're about is being a miserable, manipulative harpy, then trading naughty nurse outfits for laundry's pretty much all you've got to work with.

1:37 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

You know, my wife does appreciate it when I help more around the house. But I really appreciate it when she just ups and asks me instead of tries to manipulate me into compliance. I HATE it when people try to manipulate me, and much of my love toward my wife is how she does not do that. In my gratitude and love, I am sure it makes it easier for me to help with household chores.

Trey

2:14 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

This is of a piece with the notions of Leslie Bennetts. The two of them should get together and compare notes...and stay away from the rest of us.

2:28 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger HMT said...

TMink said...
You know, my wife does appreciate it when I help more around the house. But I really appreciate it when she just ups and asks me instead of tries to manipulate me into compliance.


^^^ THIS ^^^

This lady is selling passive aggression not solutions. I'd put money down that she ruins more relationships than she saves.

Years ago when our kids were toddlers my wife said to me "I can't take all this laundry anymore. I can't keep up. Between washing and folding and putting away I'm always falling behind. I need you to do something to help out" She was obviously frazzled. I said "What if I collect it and run it through the machines?" she said "That would be great!"

She got noticeably less stressed over the next weeks as we implemented the new process. On Friday I'd go around the bedrooms and collect all the clothes and they would all be washed and dried by Sat night. Seemed easy enough, the machines did all the work. My wife would fold and put them away over Sunday and Monday.

A few weeks later she mentioned to me as I was picking clothes up out of the closet,
"I feel guilty...".
I replied, "Why?!".
"You're doing my job. Picking up and washing the clothes"
I said, "Well I feel guilty. You fold and put away all the clothes. I can't stand doing that and it takes forever"

A few minutes later in the kitchen she kissed me and said "I don't feel guilty anymore" and things got even better.

State your issue honestly. When you hear an issue accept that it exists and offer to help. Communication. Seems simple enough. Somehow my wife and I still get it wrong sometimes but when we get it right it always works.

4:00 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dr. Helen, et al.
RE: I Have to Wonder....

....what stay-at-home men 'complain' about with respect to housework and their working wives.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[No laborer in the world is expected to work for room, board, and love - except the housewife. - Letty Pogrebin]

P.S. Letty OBVIOUSLY is 'ignorant' and belongs with Mz Murciano's lot....

4:05 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Tether said...

"No laborer in the world is expected to work for room, board, and love - except the housewife."

------

Frankly, no other laborer in the world gets a one-half interest in the assets of the company, is not required to provide services in a professional manner - or even at all when she doesn't feel like it - and, after a few years of doing whatever she feels like, can strip the company of its assets - and continue getting her salary in a monthly payment - without doing any further work.

There is a reason why most career housewives eventually grow into petty, lazy, bossy, demanding fat bitches. Because they can get away with it.

4:39 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Topher
RE: You Left One Out

Relationships ebb and flow between doing things for positive reasons (joy, happiness, contributing to the other person's life) and for negative ones (avoiding the other person getting upset, censoring yourself for whatever reason). -- Topher

That's the one about 'doing things' because they should be done....not matter WHAT the 'reason', i.e., 'rationale'.

I do the bulk of the cooking and kitchen clean-up. I also do the home security. Albeit she's a more practiced shot than I am. However, in a fire-fight, I think we'd both acquit ourselves well. The Robot does most of the cleaning. We BOTH do the gardening. The hired guy does the lawn.

I'm retired military. I'm the stay-at-home guy. She works because she likes to.

I dink around with computers. Because I like to.

She helps people get a better education....after they didn't learn anything in their K-12 experience.

What's my point?

That I don't think guys who are at home more than their distaff whine as much about sharing of household chores as these women do.

You do what needs to be done. It's called 'division of labor'.

Some of us learn to...wait for it....'Work smarter. Not harder.'

The additional point I'm making is to reinforce my earlier observation that the women who are whining about their 'man', are casting about for an excuse—ANY excuse—to dump him. I saw it on a personal level TWICE.

The first one was my 'friends and associates'. HEY! I was a combat arms officer in a mech infantry battalion. She wound up marrying her boss, the senior partner in a CPA firm who left HIS wife of 20 years for her.

The second accused me of being an 'alcoholic'. So I didn't drink for over a month....after which she left. The reason for leaving wasn't my proving her wrong. Rather it was that I'd become a REAL christian, and she couldn't cope with THAT. She was a Scientologist.

Since then I've heard it reported from other men who ultimately wound up being 'dumped'. It's a pattern of behavior in-breed into them. And if I were one of the men associated with those women in the video....

....I'd have a 'care'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. It's disrespectful to 'run down' your loved one in the public venue. And NO ONE should disrespect those whom they allegedly 'love'.....

4:57 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Tether
RE: Good Point....

Frankly, no other laborer in the world gets a one-half interest in the assets of the company. -- Tether

...THAT!!!

If we ever encounter Letty, or another of her ilk, I recommend we comment that to her.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out....if we only keep looking for it.]

5:00 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Stormbringer said...

"...while giving their partners what they want as well." Perhaps I'm taking this the wrong way, but when women like this who want to control men will "give them what they want", I tend to think that men are considered slaves to their sex urges. Yes, many are, but not to this extent.

"Fix the patio door, or no num nums tonight!" Sex as a manipulation device. When it's a reward or a bargaining chip, frankly, she's become a prostitute.

6:02 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Dr.D said...

Stormbringer has it exactly correct: At that point, she has simply become a prostitute. Most men do not want their wives to be prostitutes, so there is a problem there. Women, even that ditzy counselor, should be able to see that.

6:19 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

I am also suspicious that these men who are victimized by "trainers" didn't just stop taking out the trash one day halfway through the marriage.

It all smacks of the typical attempt to cajole and change men into what you wish they were. It's not just unproductive, it's also not fair to blow somebody's minor failure at housework into your steaming unhappiness. (As Chuck and I both note, fixing it won't make you happy.)

Then again, given the "changes" that happen to a lot of women when they get married (i.e. they are off the market and don't have to compete anymore), perhaps a lot of men DO

Come to think of it, one of the fallacies of marriage is the idea that once you've done it, you can stop trying so hard to be on your best behavior to the outside world - "they love me for who I am." Either side thinking this way is setting up a fall.

7:43 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

cut off a thought..."perhaps a lot of men DO stop keeping up their living space...but I doubt it. I think it's more he was always that way and she doesn't want to accept him as he is."

7:44 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: MANipulation

Fix the patio door, or no num nums tonight!" Sex as a manipulation device. -- Topher

What was it some wag said.....

Men are predatory. Women are manipulatory. When the set aside their proclivities when the go into the bedroom, THEN they make Love.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth! It's out there....]

8:04 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Obviously, the lady doesn't understand the true nature of relationships but sees it all as a set of manipulations to get what you want while giving the other person what you think they want. But, a person who bases everything on a system of bartering services isn't giving anything.

I like Robert Schuller's take where he says a person shouldn't expect a 50-50 relationship but a 60-40. You give 60 and expect 40 in return. If you both do that, you'll have a successful, happy relationship.

9:08 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Stormbringer said...

DADvocate, Schuller's suggestion lowers the expectations, but I have heard it said that each party should expect to give 100 percent. That outta do it.

9:53 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger alexamenos said...

My ex was (is) an alcoholic who, upon finally sobering up, cheated on me with one of her AA associates.

I'd take her back before I'd shack up with one of these fat nagging bitches.

10:49 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Drew said...

I think this woman's strategy has a sense of logic to it: Both sides apparently contract for a set of duties and rewards, and then if either side fails to perform then the they lose their expected rewards.

But the problem with her strategy is that it puts the woman on equal footing with the man. It turns the whole marriage into a continuing business negotiation -- one that is not only competitive, but that is competitive between equals. I think a better strategy would be the more traditional route -- where the woman is responsible for choosing a noble man whom she loves, and the man is responsible for leading the relationship.

11:14 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Evan M. Thomas said...

If marriage or a relationship is just an extended contract for services that can be amended at any time, why bother with just the one person, who will succeed at some things better then others?

Why not go a la carte? Hire a maid to clean the house, a chef to cook, a partner for sex, someone to watch the kids.

The answer of most people is that marriage or a relationship is more than a set of duties to be performed and judged. Approval seeking is not the basis of a good relationship, it's the beginning of the end of one.

11:54 PM, May 20, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

"That I don't think guys who are at home more than their distaff whine as much about sharing of household chores as these women do.

You do what needs to be done. It's called 'division of labor'.

Some of us learn to...wait for it....'Work smarter. Not harder.'"

The modern American woman "makes a virtue of necessity" of everything, in the sense that she wants to be congratulated and swooned at for things people just do without expecting a trophy. If she works, we can't hear enough about how men are "intimidated" by a successful woman. If she stays home, we can't hear enough about how difficult her job is; newspaper analyses will "measure" the market value of her "unpaid labor."

Keeping a house clean is not a 40 hour/week job. It's a classic example of Parkinson's Law - work expands to fill the time allotted.

8:29 AM, May 21, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

Hahaha, a commentor at the HTTYM site gives voice to Chuck and my concerns and says this:

"Actually, MM, they have done studies on this over the years, and the most common reason men don’t help around the house is because the woman wants things done exactly the way she does it...first teach women to stop criticizing every move a man makes. You show few signs of understanding men. "

8:34 AM, May 21, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

I do 100% of the breadwinning and 100% of the housekeeping - cuz I live alone.

I'm a double victim. Who can I complain to?

8:56 AM, May 21, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

JG,

You can come over to my place to have a beer and watch the game.

9:21 AM, May 21, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

And smoke cigars.

After the flood I came up with a new slogan: Ruined Denon receiver, $1500, lost appliances, $3000, smoking a cigar in my house after it is bare to the studs downstairs, priceless.

Trey

9:36 AM, May 21, 2010  
Blogger Jeff Y said...

Oh jeeesh. The old "household chores" canard.

Men do stuff that's more difficult. Who does the heavy lifting and really dirty work?

Women do more, easy tasks. Men do fewer, more difficult tasks. It's at least equal for women.

Training. I've written it many times. Women have been trained to think that "sassy" is a compliment. Impudence is no virtue.

Gain some independence. If your woman bosses you around, dump her.

Dump early. Dump often. Do it politely. Escort her to the curb and pat her ass gently goodbye.

It's easy to get another woman. It's hard to regain self-respect.

10:31 AM, May 21, 2010  
Blogger Eleanor said...

This one's for Marianne.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBrBzdTLjig

12:39 PM, May 22, 2010  
Blogger Eleanor said...

This one too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h3ocCmOZ18

12:40 PM, May 22, 2010  
Blogger br549 said...

Not even if she fetches the beer, and scratches my crotch for me.

3:24 PM, May 23, 2010  
Blogger twiceuponatime said...

Frankly, no other laborer in the world gets a one-half interest in the assets of the company, is not required to provide services in a professional manner - or even at all when she doesn't feel like it - and, after a few years of doing whatever she feels like, can strip the company of its assets - and continue getting her salary in a monthly payment - without doing any further work.

Amen and amen.

Sorry, this is what happened to me. My wife actually said one reason she left me is that I was "untrainable." Also, her mother was constantly pointing out my flaws and telling her she needed to train me right.

Of course, when I lost my job, she left me to go live with her parents. Now, she has no rent, full time babysitters, and she gets a monthly salary from her still unemployed ex (not to mention most of the stuff and the kids).

Perhaps I could have been better, but given that it was all about me being "untrainable" and then not having a job (she also said that divorcing me made sense, since the courts would force me to pay child support and alimony, regardless of whether I had an income or not - so she gets an income regardless of my financial situation, whereas I get every higher amounts of debt. Luckily, it looks like I may have a job soon).

12:04 PM, May 24, 2010  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

i work from home and do less hourly than my wife who is a child care worker with children`s aid.

she leaves me small lists of things that need ot be done domestically.

i asked her to do this because she would ask and i would forget.

i want to do the simple things around the house to keep things clean, but forget.

i`m not passive agressive, i`m not resentful and i don`t think housework is for women.

i just get distracted and down rabbit holes and if i don`t have a reminder she comes home and then she begins...which isn`t fair on both of us....so we had an adult conversation about how best to keep things relitively tidy around here (duct tape her daughter....) and we have time for eachother on an evening to walk and talk and do the things we like to do with eachother.

12:22 PM, May 26, 2010  

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