Cold Service is the Revenge Dish of Vanity

Two more emails have I received after my last legitimate post and the comments it garnered. The second email (of the three total) didn’t reveal much except to say that the plaintive wife claims to have been twice sexually abused previous to her marriage. I responded that I am suspicious of the claims. While sexual misconduct absolutely fits in the puzzle of the wife, it is impossible to judge the actions from this distance of time and space.

But let me be frank: I do not believe it, and it doesn’t matter if it is true. The facts surrounding the sexual misconduct are largely irrelevant but for one reason: It is a powerful weapon to wield against investigation by family and friends; a sonic beam which knocks down all incoming questions, and scrambles all signals. It is statistically much more likely that sexual misconduct on her part interferes with her desire for her husband than abuse she suffered, and that she is now lying about the part she played.

The third email, however, is worth dissecting, and will sound very familiar to a lot of men. You’ll see shortly why I have waited so long to post. This’ll take forever. It is a list excerpted from an email from the wife to her husband; which she forwarded to the woman who emailed it to me.

Let me bring back to bear a couple points. In the first email the husband was characterized as a binge-drinking escapist, and a domineering-yet-disorganized provider who griped about petty costs while ignoring a budget. Yes, the numbers are in the original email sent to the husband.

1. I fear your blame for any bills.  I believe you will blame me for any bill that is high.

With good reason. We’ll see shortly confession after confession of money leaking like a sieve from this family.

2. In September I asked you for some of my settlement money.  This was to be sure there was enough to cover both the __________ check for the _________ ad and also your credit card.  I firmly believed you would blame me and then curse me.  I fear and hate the cursing, swearing and raised voice. The emailer wrote that: “Settlement money refers to an insurance settlement she received from a car accident. He wouldn’t give her any, but she did not tell him what it was for ’cause she was afraid.”

My interpretation is that she didn’t want to be accountable for what she decided to do with the money; some here, some there. That is: She didn’t want to be held to spending it only on the claimed items, and nothing else. This provides her the ability to blame him (in this list, or in another future argument) for “thwarting her noble actions”. All the better to paint his as a petty tyrant. It is an example of grossly unfair fighting. In response, he has figured out he can yell and curse to get her to shut up; which is what he has decided to settle for.

3. I believe that you see me as worthless because I do not earn money…or don’t earn very much money.

Probably projection mixed with some poorly-executed criticism from the husband. Women’s expectations have become so over-inflated that they have a hard time realizing that housework and homeschooling are honest and rewarding hard work for women. All signals are that she stinks at it, and mostly quits when (surprise, surprise!) her kids give her the same poor attitude and begrudging service she gives her husband. I’d bet dollars against doughnuts on that. Then he comes home and sighs or yells “What have you been doing all day? What is so hard? etc.” He’s saying that because he doesn’t want to do what he needs to do; which is step up the micro-managment. Men hate it, but this woman needs it. He ought to be performing surprise inspections in the middle of the day, or use his vacation days to spring a surprise day home with the family while he watched how they operate and correct them. Women are to be honored as the weaker vessel. Often that means recognizing that jobs husbands find simple are surprisingly difficult for wives. Sometimes you gotta lead the donkey along the way, and sometimes you gotta pull the donkey around.

4. I tend to eat when I’m stressed out.  Milkshakes, sweet food, fatty foods, etc. are the things I end up craving when I feel hopeless, helpless, depressed and lonely.  I long for companionship, but the next best thing is food.  That, in turn, ends up being another expense.

She wastes a lot of money on foods that make her fat and lazy. Everything else is an excuse meant to make her husband feel responsible for her choice to do things that make her fat and lazy, and the family poor and indebted. See how she equates pleasure with genuinely satisfying things like hope and companionship? That’s because her whole concept of good revolves around pleasure.

5. I am full of self-hatred.  I hate the way I feel, I hate the way I look.  I have finally learned to believe that I am a fucking bitch, a hateful witch and a Satanic whore.  It worked.

Self-esteem cannot be fooled, but it can be lied about. She does things that reflect poorly on herself, and then (essentially) blames her husband for not changing himself to make her poor decisions bear fruit, and for not sufficiently hiding his displeasure at her selfish and immature choices. She’s only three-quarters wrong here, though. This man’s wife is spiritually sick, and he can exert some serious influence over her. Again, calm and cheerful micro-management (AKA: walking with her) will have some good effect.

6. I feel worthless because I can’t cook the way you want me to.  No matter what my day has been like, I’m worthless to you, and I’m becoming worthless to my children.  So I buy M&Ms and a milkshake and eat them.  I don’t need a lecture on how I can cook better.  I don’t have time for this anymore.  I’m bushed, beat and zoned.  I need you to accept what I can give and love me.  I need a warm, kind look and a real hug.  I need a loving backrub, not the slap-slap-slap on the back like you’re whapping a dog.  I’ve got kids to teach.  Sometimes it takes all day.

What do I mean by calm and cheerful micro-management?

“You’re exhausted, but you aren’t getting things done are you? You’re spinning your wheels, and no one is happy. We’re going to start by getting the kids into bed earlier. Then we’re going to get into bed earlier. (Be prepared to physically take electronics out of her hands, as one would a disobedient child.) Tomorrow, we’ll go through your day together and see where we can make improvements.” What he’ll find is that they start on, say, spelling, but the kids drag their feet until the wife begins to give up and ignore them. (It doesn’t take long.) That’s when he says, “Why are you letting this drag on, woman? Children, why are you being disobedient to my wife? Do you need me to inspire you?” The idea here is to be positive, and positively on her ass about her responsibilities. Wives HATE this in the moment, but a husband cannot be deterred by a wife’s immaturity and carnality.

7. I buy wine coolers to self-medicate when I am desperately longing for love and affection.  I believe if I come and ask, you’ll roll your eyes and slap me on the back like I’m a dog, or you’ll give me a quick side hug – or you’ll give me nothing and just ignore me.  So I go buy sweets and wine coolers (they taste better than regular wine).  Or I take myself out to lunch or dinner.  Then I feel better.  With the wine coolers, I feel numb and happy.  Then I don’t bug you and don’t incite your anger.

The alcohol problem in the family is really her problem, but she projects it on her husband. She is drinking on a regular basis, and now we also know that she is regularly spending the family treasures eating out; which can be incredibly expensive even at lower-middleclass eateries. “I take myself out to lunch or dinner.” Haha! How selfish and foolish is that? She phrases it as if she’s being kind…to herself! The farmer needs to get this cow out of the wheat field before she eats them out of house and home.

8. I get therapy when a holiday comes around because I am afraid of what happened in the past.  I know nothing but fear when it comes to a holiday.  I’ve been horribly punished for not doing a good enough job for Christmas Eve dinner, and for the leg of lamb being done before the vegetables at Easter dinner.  I’ll plunk $100 down to a therapist rather than go through a holiday without support and a backup plan in case you decide to punish me for something.

She gets therapy because it makes her feel special; which triggers her pleasure centers. This is more money burnt up for her pleasure.

9. I don’t want to end up in the State Hospital.  I remember when we would go to the punishment Mass (that was when the FSSP was at _________ in the afternoon) when I was in trouble for not getting everybody ready fast enough in the mornings.  Our route drove right by the State Hospital.  I was sure one day I’d end up in there and wouldn’t be able to get out.  My whole life would be up in smoke.

This guy really needs to get more involved in his wife’s business. It is sometimes as necessary and silly as following her around while she follows the kids around. I also recommend A LOT of slapping her on the ass.

Make no mistake: Unless she’s been hospitalized against her will before, she’s now straight-up fantasizing about resisting her husband as he tries to have her committed to an insane asylum.

10. I’ll never end up at the State Hospital, nor am I going to end up terrorized every holiday.  I deserve better.  I also deserve to be able to talk to my husband like a human being about making our budget, not crushed like a worm.  I have the right to have my wants and needs considered and given some credibility.

The saga continues. Not only will our heroine fight against The Men in White Jackets, but she has some wants and needs that are going to be addressed, or else the family funds get it! The idea that she has been actually restrained from anything is ludicrous. She chooses when and where she eats out; against his wishes. She buys herself junk food and alcohol; against his wishes. She procures and pays for “therapy”; against his wishes. Has this woman ever heard a hard “No” in her entire marriage?

11. Our kids are good kids.  They are awesome kids.   They are not bad and they are not behind.  I am a decent human being and I have talents.  I have something worthwhile to pass on to them.

Pure posturing. A shameless attempt to steal her children’s beauty for herself. A previous email stated that there were some issues getting one of their children to read before age eight; with no explanation for the trouble. Bearing in mind that she is their teacher, she has some responsibility for that. She doesn’t like that.

12. I can’t help it if I talk indirectly.  I need to know I’m safe.  If I’m not safe, I tend to test the waters until I know I am.  I am not a man.  Please don’t try to turn me into one.

Translation: I will say whatever I want to get whatever I can, and any effort to elicit the truth is foolish, you stupid man.

13. MY SAFETY AND MY CHILDREN’S SAFETY IS MY NUMBER ONE PRIORITY.  If I perceive myself to be unsafe and unloved, I will flee until I believe the environment is going to be safe for me.  Safety means no yelling, no anger, and no terror or intimidation.  I’ve been unsafe long enough.

More posturing and more stealing of her children’s glory. When first recognized, the shamelessness of piggybacking on one’s children is breathtaking. It’s like watching her eat them.

Anyways, this “safety” talk is coded warning of a coming separation; a testing of the divorce waters. “Unsafe and unloved” really should be heard as “unsafe OR unloved”. She already feels unloved, but he won’t make the mistake of actually being unsafe. In other words: Since he refuses to actually abuse her, she’s making dislike interchangeable with abuse. Later, she’ll just start calling it emotional abuse, and that will satisfy her sense of indignation. Indignation at what? At the fact that he dared to under-appreciate her choice to put herself before her kids and especially her husband.

14. I deserve to look beautiful and to be beloved by the people I’m close to.  If I can look beautiful, it makes it easier to be beautiful inside.  I can be more beautiful inside if people verbally affirm this.  I used to spend a lot of time trying to tell my students how much potential they had, how they were so wonderful inside.  I was able to do this with Boy and Girl for a little while, until I no longer had that ability.  I had been depleted and had no more left to give.

Nobody deserves these things. She told others lies, and and now she won’t recognize the truth. That’s how it works. Boy and Girl are their children. Notice how she admits she can’t be bothered with their kids. I thought she had lots to give the kids, and that she gave them their best during the reading crisis? Everything is just lies, lies, lies all the time. This woman has no interest in the truth whatsoever.

15. I can’t give anymore because I have nothing left to give away.  I don’t have the qualities anymore.  The qualities have been replaced by fear, loathing and depression.

The lie here is that she omits that she purposefully replaced them; that she chose to bring in fear, loathing, and depression because she was bored, and desperately afraid that she, herself, is boring and petty. Which it sounds like she is. Why? Because SHE thinks mothers are boring and petty. Teaching children in a school was real work to her, but she finds raising her own children lame. Her husband must confront that as he’s micro-managing her. He won’t be able to encourage her out of it either; at least not in the beginning. He’s going to have to get her to admit that she believes being a mother is lame; that she resents it. Only then will the poison come out.

16. I don’t need new appliances.  I don’t need anything that costs money.  I just need your love, your warmth, your affection and your understanding.  You’ll have given me the moon and the stars if you would be willing to give them.  If you’re not willing to give them, that’s OK because you should make that choice yourself.  But if you don’t give them, then I need the money for more therapy, because I owe it to myself and to my kids to be able to pull myself out of the mud pit and become whole again.

New appliances mean more matronly work; which she hates. She’s right that she needs love, but she will not like it. What she is trying to express is that she wants him to like indulging her rampant waste, fatness, laziness, and general disregard for anyone except herself.

All I know to do is self-medicate, curl up in fear and stay far away from you.  What is it you want me to do?

Having said all I have, this last question is key…key to the whole thing. The husband really needs to answer this honestly. For all her lies and ugly selfishness, she is still a woman, still his wife, and still wants to be pleasing to him. She wants his instruction even if she hates it, she cannot deny that she wants it.

I’m afraid.

She’s ramping up the drama for the sake of ramping up the drama. Watch out, husband, and if you love your family: Tell her what you want her to do; piece by piece, and moment by moment.

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17 thoughts on “Cold Service is the Revenge Dish of Vanity

  1. 5. I am full of self-hatred. I hate the way I feel, I hate the way I look. I have finally learned to believe that I am a fucking bitch, a hateful witch and a Satanic whore. It worked.

    She is quite full of herself. But to be full of one’s self leaves no room for Christ. The problem is not the image in the mirror, whether narcissism or this inverse, it is that you will sit there in front of the mirror and contemplate yourself – who’s the fairest of them all? or who’s the ugliest of them all? makes no difference. You. Not your children, not your husband, not God. Excepting -lessness, self- anything is the cardinal sin of pride. You can obsess either by love or hate. We are to be indifferent to ourselves.

    Thomas Szasz is a libertarian psychologist and doesn’t believe in medication or institutionalization. In one passage he describes a schizophrenic and says the way to handle it is to tell them to ignore the voices and just go to the store or whatever. This situation is similar.

    The hard part of the husbands task – if he wants it – will be shattering the mirror. She will just point and say she’s bad, incompetent, etc. Oh, I’m a bad donkey and my leg is broken so I can’t do anything! Like Topsy from Uncle Tom’s Cabin that just keeps saying “I’ze Bad”.

    I’m not sure quite how, but every bit has to be about changing the focus and frame away from her. “I wasn’t talking about YOU, I was talking about the …” “I don’t care that you forgot, and instead of talking about yourself, just go do the task now”. And not taking the bait when she wants to turn it back. You can’t just ignore her completely, but you have to ignore the mirror and keep turning her head away from it.

    Getting angry and yelling is playing her game. You are echoing her saying “Ize bad”. The first time she presses your hot buttons and nothing happens it should create an opening.

    In one sense, this is one huge “fit-test”. She needs to know you love her even when she is a witch. But it has become “I can only know he loves me because I’m so unlovable”. And escalating.

    Micromanagement needs to be directed so it doesn’t end up affirming her self-focus, so she doesn’t just keep saying “Ize bad”. It has to be about distracting her from her favorite pass time of self criticism. Shutting down her “feelings”.

    Like dealing with the schizo – “I’m not talking to the voices, I’m talking to you”. “We’ll deal with your claims of royalty later, after the carpet is vacuumed”. Don’t confirm or confront, deflect and stay focused yourself.

    This is the hardest part: You must show you love her as a person, unconditionally, as your wife – coldly, permanently. Not because she does something right. Nice and nasty are distractions to agape love. So are feelings. If she asks for feedback, it has to be in this cold but firm “I will to love you, so I do and will always”. No more.

    Initially She will take any feedback toward her actions or words – good or bad – right back to the mirror. It will be tricky until the mirror is finally shattered.

  2. The problem is not the image in the mirror, whether narcissism or this inverse, it is that you will sit there in front of the mirror and contemplate yourself – who’s the fairest of them all? or who’s the ugliest of them all? makes no difference.

    In “Perelandra” there was no mirror on unfallen Venus until introduced by the Un-Man.

  3. “I need you to accept what I can give and love me”

    I’ve seen this response before – why does “accept and love me” seem to mean, “don’t require of me accountability or expectation to change any of my obsessive, destructive, rebellious ways. Let me destroy you, myself, and the kids in peace and with your approval. If you don’t, you do not really love or accept me.”

    Also, what do you think is at the root of all the self-pity responses? It’s almost as if she can generalize it (I am a terrible person, everything I do is wrong), she doesn’t have to deal with the specifics. There is a self-loathing along with an arrogant pride all rolled up into one.

    Her husband has a monumental task with a woman he probably doesn’t like, and may have come to despise. May the Lord give him strength, because he is going to need it.

    Cane, thanks for this review.

    8 in the Gate

  4. @tz

    I’m not sure quite how, but every bit has to be about changing the focus and frame away from her. “I wasn’t talking about YOU, I was talking about the …” “I don’t care that you forgot, and instead of talking about yourself, just go do the task now”.

    This still plays into her self-referential pattern. The response needs to be specific to the task she is avoiding (through neglect, wine coolers, etc.) and to his direction.

    “Get the kids moving. They won’t manage on their own.”

    “Just finish the laundry, and we’ll talk about it afterwards.”

    “Get back in the kitchen so we can enjoy your cooking.”

    “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

    @8itG

    Welcome. It was my pleasure.

    Also, what do you think is at the root of all the self-pity responses?

    The presence of sin in her heart, and the absence of loving discipline from her parents.

    Her husband has a monumental task with a woman he probably doesn’t like, and may have come to despise. May the Lord give him strength, because he is going to need it.

    Yessir. But no matter his feelings, men must love our wives, neighbors, and enemies. She is all three rolled into one. Lots of opportunity there for him to express the power of the Gospel…that is: If he can accept the Gospel himself.

    That doesn’t mean that she is without responsibility until he acts. If she chose to be quietly submissive, she could win him by her example. Someone besides me–a woman–will have to help her with that.

  5. @ tz

    That was close to the first thing I noticed as well.

    There’s literally no room for God in her responses, much less is she actually thinking about God at all most likely. Her feelings have become her source of Truth rather than her relationship with God.

    Cane pointing out that she values other children above hers is particularly disturbing.

    In the context of the “unsafe” and “unafraid” comments in the post:

    1 Peter 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and [a]respectful behavior. 3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; 6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right [b]without being frightened by any fear. […] 13 Who is [f]there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?.

    Contrast this with the previous post which was talking pretty much about blaming the husband her for the finances and not adhering to the budget: https://canecaldo.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/do-not-serve-cold/

    Why does she feel afraid and unsafe in that she is making feeling based excuses for being disobedient [financially]: “So I buy M&Ms and a milkshake and eat them.”, ” I buy wine coolers to self-medicate when I am desperately longing for love and affection.”, “I’ll plunk $100 down to a therapist rather than go through a holiday without support and a backup plan in case you decide to punish me for something.” and then the ironic hypocrisy: “I don’t need new appliances. I don’t need anything that costs money.”

    That said there is probably enough blame to go around for both sides. The ironic solution is that the husband HASN’T been overbearing as per the wife’s words: it’s that he needs to set stronger boundaries, and she needs to be obedient and to find her peace and joy in her relationship with God. Cane’s commentary on the last two points being the main thrust of what needs to happen.

  6. “Lots of opportunity there for him to express the power of the Gospel…”

    Agreed. This marriage healed and whole would be every bit as miraculous to me as a lame man walking.

  7. Two words that comes to mind as I have read Cane’s summation of the emails are “bitterness” and “unforgiveness”. Both have fervently set in.

    Oh, and on the part of the wife, I sense a lot of despair, and a bit of sloth. She has unequivocally not been much of a help-meet at all in the areas where it would have been of the most impact.

    Woefully far from even being close to complementarian.

  8. Funny how she doesn’t realize that this…

    “I tend to eat when I’m stressed out. Milkshakes, sweet food, fatty foods, etc. are the things I end up craving when I feel hopeless, helpless, depressed and lonely. I long for companionship, but the next best thing is food.”

    …is incompatible with this.

    “I just need your love, your warmth, your affection and your understanding.”

    If a woman wants love, warmth and affection from her husband, the very first thing she needs to do is make herself sexually desirable to him. Why is that so difficult to understand?

    Also, this dude seriously needs to put his wife on a strict budget. And by strict, I mean cut up her credit and debit cards, and leave her an envelope with enough cash to cover groceries between paychecks. He also needs to balance the checkbook and pay the bills himself.

    This situation is dire. I get the feeling she’s about to pull the trigger any moment.

  9. @Oscar

    Also, this dude seriously needs to put his wife on a strict budget. And by strict, I mean cut up her credit and debit cards, and leave her an envelope with enough cash to cover groceries between paychecks. He also needs to balance the checkbook and pay the bills himself.

    That’s a start, but it’s more than that. My suspicion is that the only thing this guy is doing is ignoring her, gritting his teeth, and then exploding; utterly reactive. He’s a miser with his attentions. The fact that she ended her list with “What is it you want me to do?” testifies that all is not lost if he will put his own feelings aside and do what is good for her instead of just hunkering down.

    So, for example, it’s not sufficient for either of them if he just takes away the checkbook. He doesn’t learn how to love and lead, and she doesn’t learn how to do anything.

    “Come here. We’re going to go over the checkbook. Now, write a check to the electric company for $200. Good. Now write a check to the gas company for-”

    “Oh, we need to pay-”

    “Peace, woman! Write a check to the gas company for $100. How much do we have left?”

    “Oh, can I talk now?”

    “Sure. How much do we have left?”

    “$500.”

    “$400 is spent on this, this, and this, so really only $100.”

    “That’s what I was trying to say before and you interrupted me.”

    “We weren’t ready for that yet. Stick with me.”

    Same thing with school. Same thing with chores. Same thing with family prayer. Everything. He’s got to get in the game at home.

  10. “Lots of opportunity there for him to express the power of the Gospel…that is: If he can accept the Gospel himself.” If he can accept the Gospel then he will not fall into Satan’s trap of thinking that he does not ‘deserve’ this. If it is settled in his mind and spirit that ‘deserve’ hasn’t got anything to do with anything, then he can do what is most important immediately. He must not allow the children to spend all day with his toxic wife. Get them in a Christian school right away. With that burden off his wife he can then in a less stressful environment help his wife, if she even wants help. Some times people must sink to the lowest levels before the seek help. If the husband must do all of the housework himself, so be it. Pulling someone out of the fire is very hard, it is even harder if they fight you.

  11. @Bobbye

    If he can accept the Gospel then he will not fall into Satan’s trap of thinking that he does not ‘deserve’ this. If it is settled in his mind and spirit that ‘deserve’ hasn’t got anything to do with anything, then he can do what is most important immediately.

    Very well-said.

    He must not allow the children to spend all day with his toxic wife. Get them in a Christian school right away.

    As their finances are already disordered, this would be a bad idea. But you are onto something. Formal schooling can wait, and is a secondary concern in every mind except a modern one. Financial woes or not: They can afford to put nearly everything to the side to work on working together; by which I mean him leading and her following.

    If the husband must do all of the housework himself, so be it.

    Likewise, housework can be delayed while they learn to live the mystery of one flesh. No degree or career can show the most important work ever; which is the Gospel. A Christian marriage does.

  12. One thing I have noticed, he needs to get through to her that he doesn’t and will not punish her, full stop.
    He definetly should correct her, but punishing her is going against the Cross. Jesus paid the punishment for her sins at the cross and forgave, even as he still corrects. For him to punish her is to say that the Cross isn’t enough for him. Even if he isn’t punishing her he needs to correct that frame of reference.
    i.e. “I’m not punishing you, this is just the result of action whatever, and we both have to deal with these consequences”
    This may be one thing he should even apologize for if he has been punishing her. Then get to the correction in love, no punishments, that will help to get her to stop punishing herself. Go to the cross together thats the only answer.

  13. @Deep Strength

    Agreed. From here, I can’t tell, but in the original post I was taking her word that the bills would get behind if she left them to her husband. (It may be that he isn’t good at sorting through and tracking the mail for the bills – I don’t like to do so and had to create systems so that I wouldn’t miss something). Maybe they need to work together – she can track the expenses, and he can pay the bills or something like that. I’m smart enough to do my taxes, but not diligent and I don’t like it enough so I hire a CPA to do it. They may need something analogous.

    She complained about HIS drinking, but she does the wine coolers.

    And here is likely a case where the husband needs to man-up and take care of the wife, with some tough love.

    A while ago in a different forum, I noted as far as obedience went, gammas might have the most perfect marriage. The husband orders the wife to treat him as an equal, not as a head. And she obeys that command perfectly. But that doesn’t really work.

    There may also be something where he has to convince her that simple is enough. It is possible she thinks dinner should be a 5 course meal on table-linen with centerpiece and all the right forks and that is what her husband wants or what her husband SHOULD want. But just a properly cooked steak, vegetables, and such are likely enough. Most men I know prefer simple to elaborate. When I grew up it was a pot of chili or stew (in the cookware), or a plate with the steak or chops and a bowl with green beans. My father was very happy with it.

    ““I need you to accept what I can give and love me”

    I think some of the grief might be the same here as might be with MitS’s cousin over at DG. Instead of serving her husband, she wants to be supermom and is measuring herself against some abstract unattainable model of perfection. She wants to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but everyone would be happy with her jumping over a low hedge. This is also part of “the mirror”. She gets a glimpse of supermom but then it shows her as she is. I think her husband might well be able to accept what she can give (if she stops with the self-pity and bad behavior), but the question is whether she, herself will accept it. The other variant is that she wants her husband to say (lie) that she is, indeed, supermom. He can love her, but until he worships her in her perfection (which boo-hoo, she isn’t), it won’t count as him accepting or loving.

    Yes it was the un-man that introduced the mirror. The strange thing is if much of the series was transposed to 2015, it might work better with an un-woman. I.e. a feminist. Doing her job of “liberation”. The narrative is perfect. My immediate thought is that Lewis would probably have Ransom do exactly the same thing – the un-man had long sharp nails but wasn’t strong – and the comment “this is what the emotion of hate is for”; it would be nice to have a storyline where one can do more than just hit a woman without any fear or regrets; the more I think of it, a reboot with a Woman Weston is likely to be in improvement – even better than Fairy Hardcastle.

  14. tz,

    Perhaps. The thing is, Weston WAS a feminist. He was all about empowerment for women and looking good for Yourself And Not Your Man and about female pride and all of that type of thing. So I guess the Un-Man as the Un-Woman is a logical re-imagining.

    Reading what Lewis wrote about marriage in “That Hideous Strength” is practically shocking.

  15. This may be one thing he should even apologize for if he has been punishing her. Then get to the correction in love, no punishments, that will help to get her to stop punishing herself. Go to the cross together thats the only answer.

    Insidious truth.

    Whats insidious truth? Its statements like this one that have unequivocal proclamations and yet function in this day to dilute truth and buttress rebellion.

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