The Luv Doc: A Lot More Alpha
The whole gender role system is built mainly on bullshit
Dear Luv Doc,
My husband and I have been married four years and together for a year before that. He's an uncommonly sensitive man – something I was very attracted to when we first met. I was touched the first time I saw him cry, and I thought it was romantic when I learned he'd kept the condom wrapper from the first time we had sex. Five years later, though, his sweet sensitivity strikes me as incredibly emasculating. His willingness to give in during any argument makes me think he has no convictions. What I thought was a quiet nature I now see as a lack of confidence. And the way he stares unblinkingly into my eyes when we have sex is just creepy. I need a little less beta and a lot more alpha, but I'm afraid it may be too late. What do you think? Is there any hope of breaking him out of his delicate shell and coaxing him to be less of a tree hugger and more of a lumberjack?
If your husband turns into a lumberjack, how are you going to tell him apart from the legions of other puffy-handed, Moses-bearded, latte-sipping woodsmen running around Austin? Every time I pass a coffeehouse or a brewpub it looks like a casting call for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – minus the seven brides, of course. These days anytime I see a lumberjack I start wondering if he is going to try and tell me where my chicken was sourced or what kind of weird, sugary shit is in my $18 cocktail. At least tree huggers sometimes smell gamey – like they just ate raw salmon off an ancient, dirty Birkenstock. The reality is, if your husband starts acting like a lumberjack, you're never going to trust that shit. You're always going to be checking his hands for calluses or wondering why his French-Canadian accent is slipping. That's no way to conduct a healthy relationship.
Secondly, that condom wrapper thing, while mildly disgusting, is actually romantic as fuck. It almost made me cry. Then again, I cried watching Toy Story 3 ... several times, so maybe I am a little bit biased. If he had saved a tied off, used condom, I would have suggested you check his lampshades for human skin, but just the wrapper is kind of adorable – especially if he got really craftsy and framed it. Everybody likes to hear the story of how a condom got unwrapped. In fact it's a multibillion-dollar industry online.
The not blinking thing though. That's a red flag – even if he's practicing hypnotism. He might as well be wearing a ventriloquist's doll on one of his hands. Maybe he's in training to become a Death Eater. Whatever the case, you need to flip that sitch and go reverse cowgirl. Giving head is one thing, but giving soul is at least a Silver Anniversary-type occasion.
As long as you're flipping positions, some overall role reversal may be in order. Have you asked yourself why you need an assertive, manly man? The whole gender role system is built mainly on bullshit in the first place, but it sounds to me like you're seeking some characteristics you might feel you're missing yourself? Is your husband uncomfortable with his sensitivity and sweetness? Instead of lacking conviction, does his unwillingness to argue maybe mean that he sees the bigger picture? That maybe he's smart enough to not get hung up on the small stuff? Have you considered that maybe you're the alpha and he's the beta and maybe that's truly what you want out of a relationship? Perhaps you might like to picture yourself in a submissive role in a relationship, but ultimately you're unable to give up that position of dominance.
If that's the case, why not own it? And if you don't want to own it, maybe you should communicate to your husband how you would like to be taken care of – how you would like for him to take charge and be the alpha male you want him to be. Would it be so wrong to help him become an assertive, confident, manly man by sincerely communicating why you need him to become one? I have a feeling he might surprise you. Here's the thing: We all slide into roles in relationships, but those roles aren't immutable. People can change. Who knows? With a little encouragement, your husband might become a huge cocksure alpha male asshole ... just in time for you to figure out that's the kind of guy you hate.