Sunday, October 12, 2008
Girls Night Out
Awhile back I wrote a couple of posts about “Boys Night Out,” that sacred male-bonding ritual by which some husbands intermittently recreate bachelorhood with the kind of frat-boy behaviors celebrated in beer commercials.
Boys Nights Out can run the gamut from watching an occasional big game with one’s buddies at the corner sports bar to cashing out the weekly paycheck at the county-line strip club.
Wife-worshipful husbands, on the other hand, learn to forgo or at least minimize these adolescent excesses, either of their own volition or in compliance with the wishes of their spouses.
All things considered, they much prefer to bond with her.
Some wife-led marriages take things a bit farther. They practice she-he turnabout, where it is the wife who is at liberty to step out on the town with the girls, while hubby stays dutifully behind.
An example would be the FLR union of Nancy and Dennis, chronicled in an earlier post: “Nancy and her friends often have ladies night out,” Dennis writes, “where the husbands stay at home with the kids or clean the bathroom.”
Another husband similarly confesses his stay-at-home status: “My wife and her friends often have ladies night out where the husbands stay at home with the kids or clean the bathroom.” Do you detect a complaint there? I honestly don’t think so. It is, for these made-over males, the new status quo.
Some role-reversing wives actually take their husbands ALONG on their girls night out: “Of course,” as one such wife explains, “they had to walk behind us and they were not allowed to talk unless we gave them permission.”
“[My wife] goes out a fair amount of nights,” writes the oft-quoted Au876, a perfect poster-boy for this lifestyle. “After dinner she went to check her email while I cleaned up the kitchen. When she came down she put on her coat and started out the door, saying she was going out with a couple of her friends to a movie. She saw the disappointed look on my face. As she left, she told me not to wait up for her. Guess I better go iron her blouse and maybe find some surprise chore to complete that she will notice. One thing is for sure, I can't complain to her because that isn't allowed.”
At first I thought Au876 was bragging about the inequity of his domestic arrangement, but now I’m wondering if there isn’t just the slightest tine of resentment as he reaches for the steam iron. Just wondering, mind you. Certainly there is a tone of mild protest in this letter to Ken and Emily Addison, co-authors of the provocative Around Her Finger books and website materials:
“[My] wife and two girls from her work usually go out one Friday a month. They just go to a local tavern that has a decent happy hour and draws a nice crowd.” The husband gives quite a few details before getting around to voicing his complaints about these “girl's nights" after which his wife “almost always comes home much later then she says she will.” The husband admits “that jealousy is also a factor here,” but eventually talks himself into the idea that what he really needs to do is “to chill out and allow her more freedom.”
Ken Addison agrees: “Once you acknowledge that [your wife] is in control and that your first responsibilities are to obey and serve her, you will achieve both a peace of mind and a ‘peace of relationship’ that is worth many times more than simply getting your way on minuscule points… The next time [your wife] comes home from one of her nights out with the girls, let her know that her new freedom is permanent.”
“Social freedom was something I had insisted on even as an undergrad,” a young woman attorney writes about her own decidedly wife-led marriage, “but this was generally limited to a girls' night out two or three times each month until my senior year. But once I became a junior law partner and wrested financial control of my marriage, this situation underwent a fundamental change. As a partner in the firm I now had increased social contacts, and hence increased opportunities, with numerous prominent attorneys and clients. The exercise of my social freedom thus increased as a matter of course. In my husband’s complete acceptance of my new status, I saw there would never be resistance to me or to my authority.”
Some perennially lovestruck husbands even boast about the dramatic disparity between the liberties enjoyed by their wives versus the restrictions placed on themselves: “My wife can go and come as she pleases, do what she wants. She knows I will ask no questions, and while she is gone I will be home either resting or tending my chores awaiting her return. In my book that is the way it should be and she thinks so, too.”
Not surprisingly, perhaps, such unequal arrangements can slide into outright cuckoldry, consensual or otherwise. The varying results of these marital and extramarital experiments can be studied in the monthly installments chronicled online by female supremacist Elise Sutton.
Whatever else may be said about cuckoldry, it is risky business, on multiple fronts. Some people like to play with dangerous and combustible materials, others do not. It is decidedly not one of the current or even contemplated steps in turning marriage back into passionate courtship.
At least not in my book
But a loving and worshipful husband might well enjoy seeing his wife flirt a bit in public, or encourage her to spread her wings socially, to go out more often with her friends, especially girlfriends.
What I have found, in my own marriage, is that my wife comes home after such nights out happier and quite often more amorous. Alcohol may or may not have been poured.