Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Primal State of Things

In the old “Spouseclub” message board (a long-defunct online hangout for corporate househusbands), a member who signed himself “Mr. Louise” spoke frankly, and proudly, of the “blessings” of living in a matriarchy:

“My wife is the absolute center of our home. I have learned complete submission of our finances (though I work, I get an allowance), our home (which means my wife decides all with my loving help, and gives me maternal discipline), and our sex life (which means she decides when, where, and how, which for me as for all submissive men is a thrill). This has led to the blessings of matriarchy: greater harmony, peace, and togetherness… Any one of our friends knows just what I mean when I jokingly say I am under her skirt and that our marriage is a petticoat government. They can see her obvious maternal/matriarchal control over our house and accept us. It is no secret.”

In my book I use terms like “wife-worship marriage” or “courtship marriage” instead of “matriarchal marriage” or “matriarchy.” Likewise, I advocate a man “court” his wife, “pamper,” “adore” and “respect” her, even “defer” to her, rather than, say, “submit” to her.

But in the final chapter, “Happy-Ever-Aftering Takes Work,” you will find a fess-up: “If this sounds like modern matriarchy, so be it. According to many husbands who live this lifestyle on a daily basis, it can also be likened to heaven on earth.”

Ideally, I should stop relying on euphemisms and drag some of these forthright terms out of the linguistic closet. After all, a WLM, or Wife-Led Marriage, is clearly a matriarchal marriage, in which the husband “agrees” to submit to his wife’s authority. And some degree of matriarchy is clearly the governing principle of any FLR, or Female-Led Relationship.

However, I may not be quite ready to embrace that degree of candor, at least in this blog, which, for a number of reasons, I intend to be strongly vanilla-scented and -flavored.

But I will say this. Even the most macho husband, if he truly cherishes his wife, knows that, in a very real sense, he is enfolded and protected by her in the maternal embrace of marriage, just as the developing babe is enfolded and protected in the maternal womb.

“For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh.” (Matthew, 19:5, KJV)

So the man is to “leave” one woman only to “cleave” to another, the wife who will replace his mother. Man was obviously not designed to be on his own, however much he may strut about and assert his primacy.

In the wife-led, wife-centered, wife-worshipped marriage, the man fully recognizes this primal state of things… and revels in it. To underscore that point, I yield back to that most devoted spouse, “Mr. Louise”:

“Now boys, if you will excuse me, I'm going to go and draw Ms. Louise a nice, long hot bath with rosehip and sandalwood oil and fix her tea. She's spent all night at the office and is waiting for my attention. I, as I hope all matriarchal men, would rather wash and massage her body, shave her legs, get her silky robe, spray her aroma therapy, put on her soft music and just listen to her day over chocolate and sparkling wine than almost anything else in God's world.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I find that I prefer the word 'matriarchy' and 'matriarchal marriage' because I believe in 'calling a spade a spade' so to speak...