Tuesday, August 25, 2015

An Emotionally Abusive Wife

Speaking of emotionally abusive wives (see yesterday’s post), Emily Yoffe shared a letter from a man asking the advice of Dear Prudence:

About a year ago, my wife cut meat from her diet entirely and has since become completely vegan. I fully support her dietary choices, but I don’t share them and I am beginning to resent the way in which her choices are becoming my choices. She complains bitterly when I cook meat at home and increasingly passes judgment on my diet and even choice of clothing. (Leather is taboo.) I love her dearly, but I’m feeling cornered, persistently nagged, and incredibly resentful. I find myself “acting out”; for example ordering tartare or massive steaks at restaurants, and increasingly we eat apart so that I don’t have to hear the negative comments or put up with the schoolgirl behavior (hissing between the teeth, goggle eyes, gagging, etc.). I’ve tried talking it out but am not getting through to her and am seriously contemplating divorce because my home life has grown so unbearable. I struggle to understand how one issue has taken us from two decades of happiness to utter misery. Is the situation salvageable? Am I insane to put steak over love?

An astonishing story. Allow me a couple of observations.

First, marriage is a contract. It sustains itself on the consistent performance of routines. When one spouse abrogates the contract unilaterally, the marriage is pretty much over. One hopes, with Yoffe, that this woman can be brought to see the error of her ways, but, one does not have too much hope.

Second, Yoffe suggests that there might be an underlying issue. That’s a nice way of saying that this woman might have an undiagnosed medical condition. Without knowing anything more about her situation and without knowing anything about medicine, I would suggest that she consult with a physician to see if she is not physically ill.

When someone changes her behavior radically, without provocation, it’s time to see whether the underlying issue is an illness.

Otherwise, her veganism might reflect something like a religious conversion experience. More prosaically, it might signal something as banal as falling in love with someone who is a vegan. For all I know she is trying to save her marriage by turning her lover into the man she has recently fallen in love with. For all we know, there may be method to the madness.

Before the psychological explanation, she ought to try to rule out illness.


priss rules said...

"Second, Yoffe suggests that there might be an underlying issue. That’s a nice way of saying that this woman might have an undiagnosed medical condition."

It's called Tribal-Moral Deficiency Syndrome.

In all healthy communities, there is some degree of fusion of tribalism and morality.
Pure tribalism is animal pack behavior and pure moralism is impossibly idealistic(as with the sermons of Jesus Christ with 'turn the other cheek' and 'love thy enemy' and all that).

A healthy society finds the balance of tribalism and morality. So, Amish are into Amishness but also into proper behavior. Amish may be Christian but they form their own strict community. Jews are into Jewishness but also moral laws. Chinese are into Chinese-ness but also good manners.

But white folks these days are not allowed any tribalism cuz it's said to be 'racist'. So, what is left? Universal morality? But that is problematic because multi-culturalism says Western style of universalism is 'Euro-centric'.

So, white folks feel tribally deficient and morally deficient. To compensate, they tag onto ridiculous causes like veganism which fills them with moral righteousness. And then, they go on the attack with tribal fury so as to feel a sense of us-versus-them vehemence.

Veganism if of course stupid because people need some protein.

But I think people should stop eating pork because pigs are too intelligent. That is a clear wrong, like killings dogs and cats.

Save the pigs.

priss rules said...

I think one problem these days is too many guys are dorks and gorks.

They don't have any manhood left in them. They are into dweeby SWPL hipsterism.
They are girly boys. In the past, having a beard made a guy look manly. Today, beards are groomed so as to make the guys seem even dweebier.

Part of the problem was a whole generation of boys were raised without instructions on manhood.

Ralph Kramden and Fred G. Sanford knew how to stand up to women.

Today's boys don't.