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[FIELD REPORT]A thank you of sorts, or recovering from a "feminist" marriage (self.RedPillWomen)

submitted by rpwhelped

I made a post here a long time ago that I unfortunately cannot find now. I had found RP a few weeks before. I considered myself feminist. First, I was angry. Then I realized the more I read this sub, the more things made sense. I posted because I was worried about my marriage. I could not figure out how to get my husband to take the lead. I had been the type of woman who was proud to make more money than my husband. I would brag that my job was high pressure and that I didn't have time to do domestic things. He had settled for a terrible job that totally demoralized him and he lost all ambition to do better with me taking the role of the breadwinner. We stopped having sex. We would go out to eat and I would always pay because I'd tell him he couldn't afford to pay for dates. I fell into a mother role where I would constantly nag him. All he did was play video games. When I posted, the vast majority of the ladies who responded said I had basically ruined my marriage and that it was over. I was angry. I tried to forget about RPW.

Then something amazing happened. My husband lost his job. In the past I had expressed that I thought if he lost his job, he would simply stay unemployed because he was so unambitious. But the moment he told me he lost his job, something clicked. This was our opportunity. I immediately told him that I couldn't wait to see how he would do in his next job, that this was great news and it was time for us to make a change anyway. I didn't suggest that I would support us on my salary alone(which I had always said in the past). The first few days were really hard. He had a hard time looking for a job. But I gently made suggestions and then pulled back, and eventually he came to me with ideas, thoughts on what his next steps were, etc. I was unequivocally supportive. I told him how smart and capable he was and that I knew he would be able to get any job he wanted. Every time he went to a job interview, I told him how proud I was and made sure to shower him with physical affection that I had withheld for so long. He works in a very in demand field, and within two to three weeks he had a job for double his previous salary.

We went out and he bought all new clothes -- dress shirts, nice pants, etc. His wardrobe had become basketball shorts and video game t-shirts prior to this. I started ironing his clothes for him before work. I felt the urge to complain, and I didn't. I would make sure he had food to take to work, which I "didn't have time" to do before because I was so busy with my job. Within two months, he had gotten a raise. He was excelling at his job, and his confidence was through the roof. I gave him all the support I could at home to make sure he only had to worry about his success, as he had lost many potential career advancement years while we were stuck in a rut.

Anyway, this has been stressful at times but I had kind of naturally fallen into this better pattern and did not really think of RPW again until recently. I was passed over for a promotion, in favor of a male colleague. I was very hurt and upset. I worked harder than him. I'd been on the team longer than him. Then I stopped and thought, "I have worked so hard, sometimes at the expense of neglecting my husband, and where has it gotten me?" I pulled back from work. I stopped checking my email outside of work hours. I stopped being available for every emergency.

I put more of my focus into my marriage and self improvement. I exercise almost every day. I dress better. I clean more often. I make sure we always have food prepared, I'm always trying new recipes and making sure his favorite foods are onhand. What prompted this post is that I found myself ironing our sheets before work today, and I felt happy. It was almost meditative. I had always enjoyed "domestic" activities before, but I felt ashamed of it and like I had to be a strong woman who could support herself and didn't have time for frivolous things. Here I am now, giddy at the thought of my husband coming home and seeing our bed made up with our new mattress, sheets, and pillows that I set up while he is at work. I can honestly say I have never in my adult life been happier.

These are some of the things that have happened:

  • Our sex life has improved immeasurably. I stopped treating him like he was a monster for wanting me. I would snap at him all the time before when he wanted sex. Now even if I am not in the mood, I am open to it. But I find myself in the mood MUCH more often anyway due to the improvement in our marriage.
  • He has expressed pride multiple times in the things I do for him. For example, he told me when people compliment his shirts he thinks about how I always make sure they are ironed and ready for him. I feel so happy when he tells me this. Knowing that the things I do for him are present throughout his day and make him think of me is very gratifying. There was no equivalent to this feeling before when I was the "breadwinner."
  • He takes me out on dates. He's taken me shopping. I can enjoy these things guilt free without complaining that he can't afford it. It feels so good to get dressed up and be treated by my man. We hadn't done this since pretty much the first year we were dating.
  • I feel so much more attracted to him. He dresses nicely even on the weekends now. Basketball shorts are no longer regular attire. This also motivates me to dress more nicely. When we walk into a restaurant or a party, I feel a sense of pride and feel good about our image as a couple. I'm sorry if that sounds shallow. But I used to want to disapper, I felt bad about myself and about him.
  • I make time to exercise and take care of myself now. I'm running a 5k for the first time in a couple of weeks. I feel awesome! My husband tells me all the time how proud he is of me for sticking to my running routine.
  • We almost never fight anymore. This is the big one. Before we would fight almost every day, to the point that I started to avoid interacting with him. I was so lonely I would just lay in bed and cry, feeling like I was so far away from my husband and that we couldn't interact without being ugly towards each other.
  • With stress from the marriage gone, home has become a place where he can retreat from a stressful day. In the past, during really bad fights, he stated he didn't even want to come home because I just stressed him out. The difference is night and day. Now I am the place he retreats after a hard day.
  • Edited to add a major one I forgot: I had always said I was childfree. Now with the stress of overworking myself gone, and with our marriage being in such a better place for almost a year now, I actually feel open to having kids. We have already had talks about it and are planning our travel over the next year or two so we can get our pre-kids bucket list done and then get started. I actually... feel happy about the idea of being a mom, which was a totally foreign concept to me, but I feel even more excited to see my husband be a dad. When I see him with our niece I just picture our kids and how wonderful he would be with them.

There are other changes I'm sure I'm missing and this is already a little bit rambly, but just overall my marriage is amazing now. It's everything I wanted. And I know he is so much happier too, because he has said so more than once. I never would have thought this was possible, but it's like RPW planted the seed I needed to make these changes and I was able to undo years of nagging, abrasive interactions. When we disagree on something now(something that doesn't matter to our marriage, like our opinion on something political that doesn't affect us), I gracefully change the subject, where before I would hammer my opinions into his head. I would rather be happy with my husband than be right.

Anyway, my reason for posting this is two-fold. First, as a thank you to this community for giving me the ideas that helped me steer my marriage in the right direction. Second, for any other feminists out there who lurk here and like me have molded their personalities to what we are so often pressured to be, which is essentially to act like a man. If you are having doubts, take some of the advice from this sub and apply it to your relationship. It can't hurt. You're not compromising yourself. You're not betraying other women. You're not being shallow. You are not a "bad feminist." This was a big concern for me at first. But in the end, you have to do what is right for you. You can believe in equality and accept that things work better for you when you fall into a certain role. It's okay to reject the current wave of feminism that encourage promiscuity and having 1000 partners(I feel embarrassed when I think about fights I had with my husband because he was "slut shaming" someone, when he was just observing destructive behavior). It's okay to do things to help your marriage, and there is hope even in situations that are seemingly not salvageable... my marriage is proof of that.


[–]StingrayVC 18 points19 points  (2 children)

Well done.

A bit of advice if I may? Things will get hard again. Something will happen. It's life after all. You might slip. He might slip. That doesn't mean failure. It simply means you pick yourself up and keep on keeping on with what you're doing.

This post makes me happy. :)

[–]rpwhelped[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Thank you! I will definitely remember that. There are hard days still, but now I'm more motivated than ever to make our marriage work.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Why do we fall? So we can learn how to pick ourselves up again.

[–][deleted] 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Thanks for taking the time to write this up. It has been added to the Insightful Field Reports thread. :0)

[–]cloverdust 18 points19 points  (2 children)

Yay! So happy to hear this!

I had always enjoyed "domestic" activities before, but I felt ashamed of it and like I had to be a strong woman who could support herself and didn't have time for frivolous things.

I hear my former self echoed in this statement! Like growing up it was all "You can be anything you want to be when you grow up, anything at all!....EXCEPT FOR A HOUSEWIFE, THAT'S SHAMEFUL AND IT'S HURTING THE MOVEMENT."

I would rather be happy with my husband than be right.

Beautifully said!

[–]littleteafox 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Yes, me too! I always felt like I owed it to women everywhere to become an astronaut or surgeon or break some sort of world record. Not that I'm saying that women shouldn't do those things, but the pressure I felt was real.

Honestly I would be soo much happier being a housewife right now, and after having/raising children finding a special cause that is close to my heart and working or volunteering there. Not that I don't enjoy my job and my career - I do - but it just doesn't feel as fulfilling or like it's what I am meant to be doing. It doesn't light me up with joy. I want to create a family and a home filled with love, I want to love a husband and dedicate myself to lifting him up. Love, love everywhere. I know too many unhappy families, I want a home filled with light.

[–]freebumblebeeendorsed woman 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Agreed, that line really resonated with me. Before finding my SO I didn't think a traditional marriage was even allowed, and before finding this sub I had so much shame for how much I enjoyed being domestic and taking care of him.

[–]InsertUsername_Go 11 points12 points  (1 child)

This gives me hope. Thanks for sharing.

[–]rpwhelped[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I'm glad it gives you hope! I saw your post, keep your head up... I bet if you hang around here you will find some ways you can start taking steps in the right direction. Remember you can only control what you do... so you have to make changes first if you want things to change. But it's worth it :)

[–]RPDameendorsed woman 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Congratulations, from one reformed naggy victim to another :)

Now you can see what you were told. Good on you for taking that new perspective when your husband lost his job. You turned things around at a moment when most couples split - the man loses his job, the woman wonders why she's bothering anymore, and the divorce gets set in motion. Instead, you saw it as an opportunity. Kudos to you for that.

I never would have thought this was possible, but it's like RPW planted the seed I needed to make these changes and I was able to undo years of nagging, abrasive interactions. When we disagree on something now(something that doesn't matter to our marriage, like our opinion on something political that doesn't affect us), I gracefully change the subject, where before I would hammer my opinions into his head. I would rather be happy with my husband than be right.

And isn't it amazing how dramatically things change when you make this switch? I'd stay it takes time and consistency before husbands and SOs believe that we won't revert back to shrewdom, but the change is pretty instantaneous and it provides us with positive motivation to keep going.

Get out of your man's way, and you may be surprised that he is capable of leading the relationship. He just couldn't do it before because you refused to get out of his way, which further emasculated him.

Second, for any other feminists out there who lurk here and like me have molded their personalities to what we are so often pressured to be, which is essentially to act like a man. If you are having doubts, take some of the advice from this sub and apply it to your relationship. It can't hurt. You're not compromising yourself. You're not betraying other women. You're not being shallow. You are not a "bad feminist."

Is it more important to live a happy life and have a lasting relationship than to sacrifice your marriage to some cause that has limited need and applicability in the times in which we live?

Feminism used to be about equality; now it is about maintaining entitlement, and it creates women who expect to be treated like queens or they are being mistreated. This is harmful to everyone, women included. So if you'd like to tear down your marriage, your husband, and yourself, such that you don't betray some nameless/faceless entity, go for it. I'm not really sure what you're winning in that case, but it's your prerogative.

You can believe in equality and accept that things work better for you when you fall into a certain role.

I do take issue with this. Men and women are not equal. They have different strengths and weaknesses and they compliment one another. To believe in equality means you miss one of the central tenets of RPW.

It's okay to reject the current wave of feminism that encourage promiscuity and having 1000 partners(I feel embarrassed when I think about fights I had with my husband because he was "slut shaming" someone, when he was just observing destructive behavior).

What about the current wave of feminism that extols that men are stupid beasts and women are the enlightened wise ones, and if a guy is unhappy it's because he hasn't gotten on board with the woman's agenda? That one is ripping apart interpersonal relationships all over the place. This was feminism ripping apart your relationship, and you don't seem to have questioned it yet (or if you have, you've omitted it from this post.)

It's okay to do things to help your marriage,

... Why wouldn't it be okay to do things to help your marriage? That to me is crazy talk.

and there is hope even in situations that are seemingly not salvageable... my marriage is proof of that.

Okay, now I'm back to agreeing with you.

[–]rpwhelped[S] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Well, I definitely don't mean equal in that we're the same... my experience is proof that trying to be like a man will bite you in the ass. I do still feel passionate about equality for people in bad situations in third world countries that people like me in the first world will never experience. There's still inequality out there in the world, just not in the way modern feminism has us believe. But that's not too important to the overall point :)

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This was an amazing read. He sounded miserable before and I don't blame him, but I'm glad things changed for the better. I'm glad your relationship is going great and I love your new dynamic. Hopefully with your new outlook and less stress this continues! I'm saving this post for the future if I ever need it. Good luck on the traveling and kids! :)

[–]freebumblebeeendorsed woman 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you so much for sharing. A lot of your thoughts on how difficult the social pressures can be really resonated with me. I came into this place very similarly minded to you, and it's always fascinating to see others' journeys. Good luck in the future.

You're not compromising yourself. You're not betraying other women. You're not being shallow. You are not a "bad feminist."

This especially.

[–]nietzsche_was_peachy 1 point2 points  (1 child)

This is wonderful! Congratulations!

[–]rpwhelped[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you!

[–]ThorsdaySaturnday 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Bravo for having the courage to be supportive of your husband! RPW is about being that nurturing "soft landing" for our men, and in doing so, they do so much better.

Your story illustrates an important point: A common question that comes up is some ladies are concerned that they make more money than their partners. As long as you don't belittle the man by using the fact to lord over him or continually brag about it around him, like you previously did, it's not an issue. Instead, you helped him along in his career by following RPW principles. When I first met my husband, I made much more than him. But now he is catching up quickly to my salary, because I made a safe, comfortable home for him to recharge so he could take on the outside world.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

i am so happy that you have found ways to live and communicate and love that have worked for you, your man, and for your marriage. good on you and good on your husband!

like stingray said, life is life. of course it will get challenging again, and then amazing again, and over and over. savor these brilliant moments and approach your life and love every day as a practice or journey. we can only learn and improve and move forward.

best to you, always.

[–]RPAlternate42 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I keep RPW on my front page. This happened across today and I found it enlightening as it has flipped the "Happy Wife, Happy Life" idiom on it's head.

I shared my interest and interpretation with the guys at /r/marriedredpill.

https://www.reddit.com/r/marriedredpill/comments/3imz4a/happy_wife_happy_life_an_old_shitty_tale_with/

[–]rpwhelped[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks, it's interesting to see it from a man's perspective since I haven't openly discussed it with my husband and don't plan to.

[–]young_x 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Congratulations on your turnaround.

With your current perspective, what would you say about how you reconciled being a feminist with your desire, back when you were having problems, to have him take the lead in your relationship?

[–]rpwhelped[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I could not reconcile those two things. Looking back, the way I have felt about relationships in my heart and how I was expected to act as a feminist were incompatible and made me very unhappy. I am someone who naturally likes to do things for others and likes to feel needed and appreciated for the things I do. The attitude I had tried to adopt with feminism is that being an independent woman was enough and I should be valued for that, but it never really made sense to me on an emotional level. I was trying to act like how my friends and the communitiea I frequented influenced me to act in order to be a good woman, while ignoring my feelings about what it is to be a good woman. I have struggled with depression and I think that was a huge contributing factor.

[–]IVIaskerade 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I'm sorry if that sounds shallow.

Don't be. Humans are quite visual creatures. To repress this is to do a disservice to yourself.

Looks are fundamentally important to a relationship. They're the first real impression of the other person, and they're oftentimes the first thing you notice of them in the morning.

This is not to mention the benefits to yourself.

[–]alclarkey 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I have to ask. You felt like your husband was a monster for wanting you? Can you maybe expand on this somewhat? Do you have some insight in to why? Was it something to do with your feminism? Or was it more primal? Like not seeing your man live up to his potential turned you off?

[–]rpwhelped[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sorry for the late response, hadn't been back on this account. To be frank, all attraction was gone and I had an involuntary visceral response when he awkwardly approached me for sex. Nothing to do with feminism directly, but more with the negative patterns we had fallen into and my inability to express how I felt without lashing out.

[–]Rougepellet 0 points1 point  (0 children)

How much easier and more natural everything is when the two genders do what they were best designed for. When masculine and feminine energy coexist in harmony. If only feminists would stop trying so hard to rebel against "gender roles".