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RELATIONSHIPSThe captain-first mate dynamic (self.RedPillWomen)

submitted by loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor

The concept is often discussed here, I will add some of my thoughts on the matter.

Dynamics of marriage

Traditionally, marriages were mostly captain-first mate situations. This was very necessary for many reasons. The man shouldered the most responsibility in terms of keeping the family sustained and protected. It was the man who earned the money and fought to protect his family. The wife was responsible for all the in-house tasks. She'd cook, clean and raise the children. She worked with whatever he brought home to her. Naturally, his word was law within the household.

Much has changed in modern times, both inside and outside the house. A man doesn't need to haul everything on his back anymore and a women doesn't need to spend hours washing laundry by the river. Many dynamics changed even before feminism came to be, how much more so since it's inception. These changes brought about many good things and some bad ones as well. Many traditional gender roles became obsolete while others were purposefully shamed and ridiculed. However, certain things are in our DNA. We need them to be a certain way. The current mixed up state of gender dynamics leaves many men and women confused.

Submission

Naturally, men are dominant and women are submissive. Of course there are dominant women and submissive men and if that works for you, wonderful. But many of us are here precisely because we learned the hard way that it doesn't work that way. What does it mean to be dominant or submissive?

In short, it's all about who's in the drivers seat and who's in the passengers seat, who's the owner and who's the manager, who's the pilot and who's the copilot.

Being submissive isn't the same as being passive. Not at all! A passive person just lets things happen to them. Being submissive is about trusting your husband to make the right decisions and to lead your family in the right direction. You have an opinion and you have a say, but the ultimate decision is in his hands. Why? Because you submit to his authority, because you respect him, because you trust him. Your trust for him is so deep, you trust him with your life, how much more so that you'd trust him with important decisions.

Needless to say, a captain must gain your trust to be trusted to this degree. This should be done before ever getting in bed with him.

Dominance

Being trusted to this degree is a huge responsibility, one no quality man will take lightly. The more you trust him and submit to him, the more seriously he will take this responsibility and the more confident he will be. The more serious and confident he is, the more likely he is to actually make the right decision. The more he's criticized, the less confident he will be, the more likely he is to make knee jerk decisions and the more likely he is to mess up. You can influence the upward spiral and reverse it if it's already in a downward spiral.

Needless to say, a captain with this level of responsibility will always look out for what's best for you. In my last post i spoke about my grandparents. My grandfather was a true dominant and my grandmother is a true submissive. I can assure you that he never manhandled her, ever. He was the gentlest, most courteous, most yielding person, but there was no doubt that he was in charge. There was no doubt that she submitted fully.

Dominance without submission is abuse, submission without dominance is dysfunction. Both are needed for a healthy dynamic. It's a balance.

Conclusion

Dominance is about responsibility, being in charge and making you feel safe and protected. Submission is about total trust, yielding to his authority and receptiveness. Balance is key!


[–]Rivkariver2 Star 12 points13 points  (3 children)

Very good. Adding that rigidity in roles is bad. The Captain might need you to make a decision for him at some point, or say "just tell me what you want." Replying "whatever you want hon" is not helpful at those times. He will need you to be strong when he is weak, and you must.

You are not play acting at being in the 50s. (Of course you can wear cute dresses and bake if you want because that is awesome!). But this isn't playing house or a role. I tried that, doesn't work. This is a real symbiotic thing where you give what is actually needed, not what you think is the right line.

Letting him lead isn't because your ideas are bad. They may be great. It's about a functioning family.

[–]tempintheeastbayEndorsed Contributor 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Yes, love this. Captain does not = making a certain % of the decisions. Maybe your Captain truly doesn't care about 80% of the things it takes to run a household/family/etc. and you're very opinionated. Maybe a lot gets delegated to you. Maybe your ideas get implemented a lot. That can happen and IMO you can still promote a capt/first mate dynamic

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Very well said!

Thank you for your input.

[–]pinkdrawings 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Love this addition! Sometimes he may just NEED you to take over. My favorite relationship quote is "Relationships aren't always each person giving 50/50. Sometimes it'll be 90/10 or 70/30."

Obviously we all know that each person should be giving 100/100. We also know that one person giving in effort isn't the ideal. But in extreme cases (death of a family member of his, etc) - he may need you to take over and lead!

Things should not ever be super rigid. Sometimes women won't be able to wait for their husband either. Sometimes decisions need to be made in that moment.

[–]SouthernAthenaEndorsed Contributor 7 points8 points  (6 children)

As always, well said! The captain and first mate dynamic is about leadership and harmony. It says nothing about women being simple or incapable. No one thinks the soldier is stupid for following his general, and everyone knows that if two generals are trying to call the shots at the same time, things will go wrong no matter how good the ideas themselves are. As a ridiculous example, garlic hummus and caramel corn are both great snacks, but if you mix them into one bowl, it is a disaster.

"Captain" is such a perfect metaphor, because the man steers the ship. But he could not do it without a first mate.

Dominance is not the same as coercion. Submission is not the same as abuse. Both words have been stigmatized as traditional gender rolls have been demonized. Exerting power is seen as abusive if you are a man, and relinquishing power as weakness if you are a woman.

Another great metaphor I have used to explain this idea to people who are very resistant is this: "The man is the head of the household but the woman is the neck." Clearly one is calling the shots, but neither would work without the other, and the neck can certainly stop the head from turning if she needs to.

I really hope traditional gender roles make a healthy comeback. Strong societies are built on this foundation.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Very well said. Especially this.

Dominance is not the same as coercion. Submission is not the same as abuse. Both words have been stigmatized as traditional gender rolls have been demonized. Exerting power seen as abusive if you are a man, and relinquishing power as weakness if you are a woman.

[–]HobbesTheBrave 0 points1 point  (4 children)

"The man is the head of the household but the woman is the neck."

Is the next line something about she being good for him, is like being a crown on his head? The one after that, something about she being bad for him, that's like rot in his bones?

[–]SouthernAthenaEndorsed Contributor 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I didn't actually know there were more lines! That would throw off the whole analogy.

[–]HobbesTheBrave 0 points1 point  (1 child)

No, I'm just pondering if it's from Proverbs. And your analogy is good.

[–]SouthernAthenaEndorsed Contributor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

From what I can tell, it's just a folk saying. The Bible has many phrases along the lines of "Christ is the head of man, man the head of woman, and God the head of Christ."

[–]SouthernAthenaEndorsed Contributor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Or was that a joke I was too dense to get?

[–]Landry86 3 points4 points  (1 child)

"A man doesn't need to haul everything on his back anymore and a women doesn't need to spend hours washing laundry by the river"

This kind of brings me to a point I want to make about modern-day SAHM-hood. I think people think that just because technology has sped chores up, it means women don't have to stay home as much. But I think what people forget is that when women work a lot, they spend less time with their kids. It's really more about raising children than getting chores done. I know so many families though where the mom works a lot and the house is always messy and the kids are poorly-behaved. Maybe she has no other choice but it would def not be my preference...

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Very good point! The main purpose of staying at home is raising children! Absolutely!

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (14 children)

I also want to add that it is a blessing that women are not the naturally dominant ones, I mean just imagine the burden and the responsibility it takes to be head of the household. I think it's why you see a lot of miserable women these days, duped in to thinking that the dominant role is the way to go, force fed to them by 3rd wave feminism, thus leaving them tired, spread thin and ready to give up. In my opinion, women thrive best being submissive, it makes us happy to have someone we trust take care of the hard things, and in turn it makes men proud to provide for us. What feminists often get misconstrued is that its not about women not capable of being the dominant ones, they certainly are. It's that its far from the best option, and women often really take the role when no one else is, its literally the shitty, last-picked option.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Thank you very much for your anecdote and input.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No problem! :)

[–]Willow-girl -1 points0 points  (11 children)

it makes us happy to have someone we trust take care of the hard things,

I think women were made to be more than some man's idle plaything. I like doing hard things. Yeah, I'm usually tired at the end of the day, but so what? Tired is a good feeling when it comes from honest work.

JMO; YMMV. It's a free country and to each her own.

I'll add a bit more to hopefully head off the risk of being misconstrued. As an example of what I have in mind, look at the Proverbs 31 woman. (I'm not a Christian, but I like this example anyway.) There is a woman who is out there kicking azz in her own right, solidly in the feminine sphere -- not a shrinking violet vaporing about how awful it would be to be tired.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I agree somewhat, but it makes things easier to have partner to bear the burden with you. Trusting your SO to handle things you may not have the ability to take care of/ don't have the time for (ex: maybe you have kids to take care of, or you have something big coming up at work, any other issue that could come flying in would further distract you from your main goal/further stress you out, so your SO handles it knowing it is something that will help you). Having your SO handle things is not being a shrinking violet, sometimes you need to let people do things for you, instead of refusing help and trying to prove yourself by "doing it all". That isn't good for women or men. Each person in a relationship trusts the other to "handle" things that they may not be the best at taking on spontaneously.

[–]Willow-girl -1 points0 points  (1 child)

Well, sure, as long as it cuts both ways, as long as the wife is helping her husband, too, and not just enjoying a free ride at his expense.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No one suggested the wife getting a free ride...

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (7 children)

"Hard things" doesn't have to be hard work. There something that's hard for you that your man does for you, could be balancing the check book, killing spiders, whatever. Look hard enough and you'll find it. No one suggested you be a man's idle play thing. You've been here long enough, you should know that about RPW.

[–]Willow-girl 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I'm sorry, but I guess that post struck a nerve with me because mainstream culture tends to paint traditionally-minded women as being too dumb and/or lazy to shift for ourselves, so we need a man to take care of us. "It makes us happy to have someone we trust take care of the hard things" -- taken at face value -- kinda plays into the stereotype, and it irked me. I understand now that that wasn't the OP's intent, and I apologize for snapping at her.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That's ok, I misunderstood the tone in your comment, I apologize. The internet gets in the way sometimes.

[–]imanewwoman 1 point2 points  (4 children)

I understand u/Willow-girl's comments. I think that because of the way it was phrased, u/tofuobsessed's comment did sound a bit like letting him take care of ALL the hard stuff, which could be interpreted as being lazy and avoiding hard decisions. On the other hand, I infere than she actually meant "don't try to control all the hard stuff".

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I see what you're saying!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

yeah :) that is what I was getting at, sorry guys for not being clear!

[–]Willow-girl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sorry I misunderstood!

[–]tempintheeastbayEndorsed Contributor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thats my interpretation too. Life is tough....I'm sure there's more than enough hard stuff to go around for everyone ;p

[–]ReddJive 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Submissive isn't subservient

dominate isn't domineering.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's true.

[–]akanachan 6 points7 points  (7 children)

As always, thanks for sharing your insight!

This dynamic has been something I've always had in my relationships (probably greatly influenced by my religious roots), and I learned one thing the hard way (through various live-together LTRs) :

  • This dynamic only works well when both partners are always healthy (mentally and physically).

Temporary health-related problems would require some blurring of the roles/responsibilities to help each other, and long-term health-related problems are likely to dismantle this dynamic, depending on how adaptable both partners are.

While division of responsibilities are efficient when all is going well, it's good to be involved and informed about what your partner does, just to know what to do when you need to step in when they are incapable of the task (especially when hospitalized).

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 5 points6 points  (6 children)

You're very welcome!

You raise a very good point. Lack of health can greatly impact this dynamic in the most negative ways. This is even more true if the lack of health is due to mental illness.

However, this dynamic can still be maintained even when good health isn't present. I'll go back to the example of my grandparents. My grandfather was semi paralyzed for the last few years. The dynamics didn't change at all! If anything, they got stronger. But you're absolutely right that this is no small feat.

[–]SouthernAthenaEndorsed Contributor 3 points4 points  (5 children)

I agree that health may influence things, but it doesn't have to change the dynamic! Someone who reads my posting history may know that my SO has sadly been bed ridden for two years with a mystery illness (he seems to be on the mend, but that is another discussion). Even though he is no longer physically dominant (which he was in spades in the past), he still guides me and is indispensable​ for looking out for my well-being.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you for sharing your personal story!

[–]tempintheeastbayEndorsed Contributor 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Glad to hear he's on the mend! I remember reading your last post and it's such a tough position you're in. All my sympathy!

[–]SouthernAthenaEndorsed Contributor 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Thank you. It's tough, but I've just had a gut feeling that he'll get better. Right now it's looking up, and I'm hoping it continues to do so.

[–]tempintheeastbayEndorsed Contributor 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Someone I knew had POTS (super hard to diagnose, took years, weird symptoms, was bedridden) and following theor journey...it takes so much strength and faith to deal with complex, multi-faceted illnesses. I really applaud you two for it!

[–]SouthernAthenaEndorsed Contributor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Oh my God it's so true! I am so proud of how brave be has been this whole time.

[–]lidlredridinghood 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Often I'm responsible for deciding logistics. My captain tells me what needs to happen, and I decide what order, time and swapping back and forth of cars. This works for us, because I know our city better... how traffic flows at what time. I have a significantly better grasp of time and space. I think about the finite details of what car will be best for a job. And lastly ... I care more about being on time than he does.

Captain and first mate is about balance and delegating to each of our strengths.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Absolutely, it's about working as a team.

Thank you for sharing!

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Leaders don't handle every decision, so I'm curious where that line is drawn between captain and first mate. For example, if you want to start a new hobby or new class, do you provide your reasons and he can allow or disallow it? Or is you starting a new hobby entirely outside his purview?

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

You're thinking in terms of micro managing and controlling people. This isn't the point here at all.

The point is that with regards to anything that involves the marriage, the family, the kids, etc, the buck needs to stop with one person. It doesn't mean they control every last thing. On the contrary, the first mate is often the captain in certain areas of life such as decorating the house and keeping it neat and clean, cooking etc.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

That's true, I do misconstrue it as micro managing. And your illustration of "first mate is captain in certain areas" is very helpful, thank you.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You're welcome.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify.

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

this should be required reading for all engaged couples. it would at the very least spark discussion if one party feels strongly one way or another; but it clearly defines and lays out the basic framework for what i consider to be healthy marriage dynamics.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you!

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I've been thinking that we needed a new 'dynamics' post, you beat me to it! Fantastic!

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you!

[–]Wissenschaft85 1 point2 points  (2 children)

In any relationship there will be a Dominant and a Submissive. Its extremely rare to have a truly equal relationship. The key is to figure out what roles each partner is most comfortable fulfilling. Career women who want to climb the corporate latter would probably be happier with letting go of control in their relationships. Let the man decided where/when your going out on dates, plan out vacations, who does what house chores, etc.

But the key here is flexibility is needed to adjust roles when needed. A partner should not feel forced into a role or it will cause resentment that can breakup the relationship.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Very good points.

I'll just add - it's extremely rare for a relationship to be successful and happy when the woman is dominant and the man is submissive. In theory, it can work, but in practice it hardly ever does. This is why we assume the dynamic to be with a dominant man and submissive woman. Because this dynamic has worked for thousands of years and still works today.

[–]Wissenschaft85 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I agree but its not impossible. I'll give an example from the BDSM subculture. There are women there that seem to just love submissive men and even have LTR with them. The key to making that work seems to be they are far more open about their sexuality than most couples. Consent is always asked for and given before anything is done. Sometimes a partner wants to switch roles temporarily and the woman is open to that. The key is that both the women and men are openly focused on satisfying each others sexual needs. Sex is never a one sided affair with a partner passively taking whatever is given out.

[–]Willow-girl 0 points1 point  (23 children)

In short, it's all about who's in the drivers seat and who's in the passengers seat, who's the owner and who's the manager, who's the pilot and who's the copilot.

I don't "get" this at all. Why does a relationship need a driver, manager or pilot? Isn't the goal to be harmonious partners? As in the old concept of 'the two shall become one'?

The right eye isn't boss of the left eye; the left hand doesn't control the right hand; the right foot doesn't rule over the left foot. They work together! Shouldn't a relationship be like that too?

JMO.

[–]Rivkariver2 Star 4 points5 points  (11 children)

The buck has to stop somewhere. It's not about inferiority at all. Companies don't have two CEOs. Catholics don't have two popes.

As is often said, the husband is the head, but the wife is the neck who can influence where the head turns.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

The neck also influences what gets transmitted between the intellectual head and the emotional heart.

[–]Willow-girl 2 points3 points  (8 children)

The buck has to stop somewhere.

Do most couples have conflicts so deep and wide that the only way to settle them is for the husband to make a unilateral decision even if it's contrary to his wife's wishes? I can't remember a situation in which my man and I didn't mull over our options and come up with a mutually agreeable plan.

Most things aren't even verbalized; he has his work for the day, I have mine; if either of us needs a hand with something, the other is happy to oblige. If I'm not doing anything (like that ever happens, lol) sometimes I'll track him down and see what he's up to and pitch in to help. And vice-versa ... I was just mowing the lawn and he came out with the weedwhacker, went behind me and did all of the trimming. Then I was going to run in the house for a snack but he was hungry too so we decided to just have dinner. That's how our days go ... they just flow. I honestly don't "get" this authoritarian stuff. It would be totally weird to have someone ordering me around ... to tell the truth I'd probably hurt myself laughing!

Edited to add: thanks to all three of you for the following explanations!

[–]Rivkariver2 Star 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Authoritarian is the wrong word. That's totally not what it is. Maybe you don't struggle with this, but many women get tempted to sometimes second guess their man for no particular reason, it's often a control thing, and our culture strongly encourages this attitude. See any modern tv commercial with the "mature genius wife who handles everything with flying colors" who then laughs at the "bumbling oaf husband" trope.

So this is something for those times when it's like not actually a huge deal at all, when you may well just be quiet. Many women struggle to let things flow, and this dynamic helps.

The epitome is driving...there is an old stereotype about women freaking out when in the passenger seat with a man driving and saying slow down etc and gripping the door. If your guy is actual a fine driver and you know that, you can choose to constantly doubt his ability at every turn, or just relax and trust. Many women are inclined to do the former. It takes work to relax and trust. (If he's legitimately a dangerous driver don't date him, seriously.)

A lot of this is about survival. Women on their own can't be as daring as men out in the world due to physical weakness etc, plus there's the maternal instinct of protecting. That's just theory though.

Pls see my top level comment on this thread about how rigid roles are dangerous and not what this is about.

When things are a huge deal, it absolutely must be talked out and both sides heard, and in a good marriage the man would make his decision completely with favoring and honoring his wife's feelings--unless they were self destructive or something. This is a loving relationship with radical trust and respect.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

and in a good marriage the man would make his decision completely with favoring and honoring his wife's feelings--unless they were self destructive or something. This is a loving relationship with radical trust and respect.

This is an extremely important point!

[–]tempintheeastbayEndorsed Contributor 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Do most couples have conflicts so deep and wide that the only way to settle them is for the husband to make a unilateral decision even if it's contrary to his wife's wishes?

This Q is really interesting to me. To me, there are 3 buckets of disagreements.

Bucket 1: So minor that they're resolved in the natural flow of conversation without a formal decision-making process. I think most healthy couples end up resolving these in such a way that they don't even know who "wins" most of the time - they're able to reach mutually satisfying decisions. Example: "what do you want to do tonight?"

Bucket 2: So major that IMO both parties have to be fully on-board. This isn't a captain/first mate thing, this is a "both of us have to be mostly in agreement" or we probably can't be together bucket. For instance, "Do you want kids?" Or even "Do you want more kids?" If the wife truly does not want any more children, the husband really has no power, captain or not, to insist they expand the family.

Bucket 3: The stuff in-between! For instance, one partner loves their hometown and the other partner wants to move away for an exciting new job. Or, one partner wants to quit their job to go back to grad school, but the other partner is really unsure if financially that's feasible. These are huge life decisions but for a very serious LTR not worth breaking up over. To me, this is the interesting bucket. Who systematically gets the final say in situations like this?

I would never say a woman should defer to her man for "bucket 2" decisions. And for each woman, what constitutes "bucket 2" will differ.

[–]SouthernAthenaEndorsed Contributor 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Also, do you have kids? Because I think kids are the most important factor for one person to make the final decision.

[–]Willow-girl 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Nooo, no kids! That part of my anatomy is reserved for recreational purposes only! :-)

[–]SouthernAthenaEndorsed Contributor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Haha sounds good. I think children are the most important factor in the ultimate veto power being necessary. As a child of parents where ultimately my dad had the final say, in retrospect I think it was good for my development to have to consistency of parents always being on the same page. Squabbling over whether to paint the walls bone white or peach, or disagreements on whether curfew should extend to 9 or 11 just makes the kid question the authority of both parents.

Most of the time the way this worked would be my mom was unsure about a decision and would then consult with my dad. My parents have lots of shared values, so it was very rarely a fight or even a disagreement. I'm sure there were times when my mom didn't really love the decision, but she trusted that my dad had the family's best interest in mind, and she knew that without a 3rd party judge, the decision was still going to have to get made. They've been happily married for 30+ years and raised two reasonably functional daughters.

I will say there's one decision my parents have been going back and forth on for years... whether to move out west to live with and take care of my dad's parents. My mom's parents are dead, but she is a city gal and they live in the sticks. TBD how that one is going to be solved. But honestly, I think that's the first decision in my entire lifetime where they are truly butting heads.

For contrast, in my BF's family, mom rules. This is woman who is incredibly intelligent and wise, but somehow, when she is calling the shots, it ends up as his dad walking on eggshells and never being able to please her. Now I say this with lots of reservation, because I am so not of the "women are nothing but emotional hurricanes" camp, but she is definitely prone to moods and temper tantrums as well as playing favorites between children which affects her decision making. Though we are all prone to moods. Honestly, I think the problems really just arise from the fact that she doesn't respect her husband because he doesn't take charge. It really has nothing to do with her choices themselves most of the time.

Just my two cents.

[–]HobbesTheBrave 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Do most couples have conflicts so deep and wide that the only way to settle them is for the husband to make a unilateral decision even if it's contrary to his wife's wishes?

You might not have seen how couples, marriages turn awfully sour when she isn't submissive and deferential enough. Or when he doesn't 'rule' enough.

Remember that 'AWALT' isn't 100% true; it's homespun, rhetorical wisdom. So is Captain and his obedient, loyal First Mate.

Yes, a marriage is an union between two hearts and two heads. Men who marry dumb sluts, they're the dumbest of men. Better men pick don't just pick the women with the hottest bodies, they also look for brains. Make no mistake, marrying men despise men who pick awful wives. Because they love their wives too much to let them have to suffer the company of dumber wives. Among other reasons.

But, haven't you seen how vain men are? Haven't you noticed how much men need to be revered and honored and respected by the women around him? Haven't you noticed how shitty men feel when women don't give that token respect? Haven't you considered that when you're dating your man, that's you respecting him like that 24/7?

I honestly don't "get" this authoritarian stuff.

Have you considered that you might not be the kind of girl who men need to think for? You know, how some girls do the thinking for their dumber brothers. Sort of how big, strong guys protect their smaller, weaker from danger. And smarter people protect their dumber from stupid choices.

It would be totally weird to have someone ordering me around ... to tell the truth I'd probably hurt myself laughing!

It's doing the dumber friends a favor, if they're humble enough to accept help. For the smarter, it's an insult. Or a joke. Or both.

[–]SouthernAthenaEndorsed Contributor 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Whether or not you agree with this theory, I think calling it authoritarian is a misunderstanding. The captain/first mate dynamic reminds me a lot of our 3 branch government system in the US. The branches balance each other out and cooperate most of the time on decisions, and many decisions are made by one branch without any interference whatsoever from the other branches. However, the president retains veto power, and in rare instances can use executive orders.

Now these executive orders should only be used in rare and dire circumstances like war, and anything more is an abuse of power (this would be what you termed someone ordering you around all the time. If he is counting your bites of food and monitoring your phone calls, that is an abuse of power.) That being said, the other branches can override the presidential authority, for example by a vote to overthrow a veto.

Most functional captain/first mate situations work like this I believe, where both a say, but at the end of the day there is a head of state/household. Most people in the US don't consider our political system authoritarian, and I believe it closely resembles this relationship dynamic.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 3 points4 points  (3 children)

Good question.

The right arm is the dominant one. It doesn't control, but it is the dominant one. The right leg is what you'd use to kick a ball but at the same time, the left leg grounds you. Both are very important. You can't have one without the other, but one is more dominant and prominent.

You're thinking of harmony being achieved through the concept of two people standing side by side. As I said in the post, if that's working for you, than wonderful! I'm not being sarcastic with that. I truly mean it. It's a wonderful and beautiful thing to achieve such harmony. But many people can't maintain harmony through this dynamic. The dynamic I describe here is more workable, sustainable and fits better with the "old" version of marriage.

[–]Willow-girl 3 points4 points  (2 children)

And that's fine, if it works for other people. I'm not one to argue with success! Mind you, I'm not criticizing "your way," it just seems so foreign to me.

[–]vanBeethovenLudwigEndorsed Contributor 0 points1 point  (1 child)

What would be an ideal dynamic for you, then?

[–]Willow-girl 1 point2 points  (0 children)

See my posts elsewhere in this thread.

[–]akanachan 5 points6 points  (6 children)

I don't "get" this at all. Why does a relationship need a driver, manager or pilot? Isn't the goal to be harmonious partners?

That's probably because you're lucky to have met someone who is what people mean when they say "soulmate" (cheesy concept, and people who have not met such a person will say it's a myth because it's something no rational person would believe until it happens to them).

Most people don't have fully-compatible relationships, as far as I've observed, and you need to compromise when there're conflicts of preferences/etc. Mutual agreement on someone having the final say will eliminate the conflict.

In my past relationships, having someone take the lead means I almost never have arguments and definitely don't have fights with my partner. I always bring their attention to problems and communicate about it in detail, then note their feedback, and leave it at that. But that also means I'm the one that usually ends the relationship when I clearly see some glaring "inconsolable differences". My ex'es all tend to say: "But we're so happy together!?!" when I told them I wanted to break up :p My ex'es seem to assume that just because we never have fights, any problems I bring to their attention is inconsequential to the relationship.

I'm already in a relationship (with someone who is always on the same page with me), some time before I came across RP stuff. I find a lot of RP advice to be great advice for making the best of less-than-ideal relationships (like the ones I had with my ex'es).

And of all the regular posters in this sub, I tend to relate best to your posts, so I'm always happy to read your views.

[–]Willow-girl 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Why, thank you!

In my past relationships, having someone take the lead means I almost never have arguments and definitely don't have fights with my partner. I always bring their attention to problems and communicate about it in detail, then note their feedback, and leave it at that. But that also means I'm the one that usually ends the relationship when I clearly see some glaring "inconsolable differences".

I can really relate to that. I've always felt it isn't wise to try to change another person (or another adult, anyway). The compromise is either acceptable or it isn't.

OTOH, silent resentment can really drive a wedge in a relationship! In fact I can't think of anything that will kill love faster or deader, lol.

[–]vanBeethovenLudwigEndorsed Contributor 2 points3 points  (3 children)

I'm already in a relationship (with someone who is always on the same page with me), some time before I came across RP stuff. I find a lot of RP advice to be great advice for making the best of less-than-ideal relationships (like the ones I had with my ex'es).

Can you explain how RP advice helped your relationships? If I'm reading correctly, you followed the lead of your ex boyfriends but then those relationships didn't turn out successful. Isn't RP advice to follow the lead?

[–]akanachan 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Can you explain how RP advice helped your relationships?

It didn't :p RP stuff is just what I've always done in relationships, but had no idea what it was called, nor how/why it worked.

u/loneliness-inc wrote a lot of good posts about marriage and LTR (in this sub) that helped me understand why I craved a certain dynamic, and how others made it work for them, and such.

RP is more of a revelation/fascination for me. My relationship priorities (as you can tell from my flair) are not a good fit with "standard" RP guidelines.

If I'm reading correctly, you followed the lead of your ex boyfriends but then those relationships didn't turn out successful.

It wasn't the fault of the dynamic.

Even the best relationship advice/strategies cannot make an incompatible partnership magically become compatible. Sometimes you don't realize you're incompatible until after years living together, or after some self-reflection, or you simply change too much that you're no longer compatible with your partner.

[–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

:)

I'm happy you enjoyed and found my posts to be useful.

[–]akanachan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks for posting them, they are a great resource!

[–]isabeavis 1 point2 points  (0 children)

And of all the regular posters in this sub, I tend to relate best to your posts, so I'm always happy to read your views.

Ditto that!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (4 children)

Good post. Hate the analogy but I agree with the point. Perhaps it is semantics. But personally, if I got on a boat and the first mate was a woman, I would lose respect for the captain. I posted about this but I guess.it was removed as unpopular opinions here are.

[–][deleted]  (3 children)

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        [–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

        Thank you kind lady.

        To be clear, I'm all open for discussion as is well known around here, but discussion has to be above the table, not below the belt. It also has to include an explanation of the counter points, not just a statement of disagreement.