Monday, October 28, 2013

CTNAHM-Mr.Steady Part 2 (Michael Explains About Women's Monthly Cycles!)

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Last post we introduced Mr. Steady. According to Michael, he typifies Jesus Christ, but I've disagreed. Today we're talking about...wait for it...women's periods, and how they affect husbands. Yup. You read it here first. Michael's biology lesson isn't to help husbands understand the hormonal reactions so he can empathize with his (possibly) PMS-ing wife. Not. At. All. Michael gives us this section to help men "deal" with their wives hormones. He even offers a few "good" suggestions. I know y'all are as excited, so let's jump right in.
Text is in purple

Steady Man Positives and Negatives
Being a Steady Man has its positives and negatives. On the positive side, you are a good husband. You would never put pressure on your wife or make unreasonable demands. You don't expect her to be your servant as may Mr. Command. And unlike Mr. Visionary, your wife will never deal with emotional fires. You rarely make your wife feel hurried, pushed, pressured, or forced. The women married to Visionary men look at you in wonder because you seem so stable. The wife of Command Man marvels at the free time your wife seems to have. You seem so balanced.
   Stop the cows. Apparently being a Mr. Steady automatically means you're a good husband. Which is odd, because I'm fairly certain that being a good spouse or partner to anyone takes work. Not just "Oh, aren't you lucky? You were gifted with a personality type that makes you great at relationships. Just sit back and enjoy it, you lucky dog!" Also, it's a bit odd that he just assumes that Steady husbands don't make unreasonable demands. Who is Michael to decide what's unreasonable? People have different ideas of what unreasonable means. For me, an unreasonable request would be "Don't enroll at the community college next semester. Stay at home and keep house." For somebody else, they would hear that and think "Well, duh. Why would I want to go to school?"  And just because somebody is married, doesn't mean they always know what their partner considers unreasonable.
   Oh, and I pulled this from Debi's book. Apparently the Pearl's like to copy/paste with minimal editing.
Your husband never puts undue pressure on you to perform miracles. He doesn’t expect you to be his servant. You do not spend your days putting out emotional fires, because he doesn’t create tension in the family. You rarely feel hurried, pushed, pressured, or forced. The women married to Visionary Men look at you in wonder that your husband seems so balanced and stable. The wife of Command Man marvels at the free time you seem to have.
   On the negative side, it is that very balance that some women find boring and un-challenging  Like a rock, there is less movement in the Steady Man. He is not as likely to seek glory and praise. He is not going to be out front. There is less mystery in him, less intrigue and drama. He is slow to change and slow to make decisions. His spirituality is revealed in practical ways rather than in outward expressions. Not being a leader, he may appear to be less interested and involved than the Visionary and Command Man. A Steady Man, slow to make up his mind, may wait so long he misses the boat while others get the cabin with a view.
   Well, I really have nothing to say about this paragraph, except if Jesus is the inspiration for Steady Men, I think Michael may have missed the boat here.

Ocean Tides
Women, like the ocean, are given to tides, storms, change, and upheaval; they are unpredictable  their moods changing unexpectedly. Like the tide, it's the moon's gravitational pull that sets a female's monthly cycle, making her hormones go amok. When her hormones are off balance, your life will be also.
   Ok. I am giggling like a maniac right now. Mostly because last section, Michael said this about Mr. Steady (and Jesus) : He is not a tornado or a hurricane like the Visionary; he is a constant tide, predictable. And like the tide, he is in the majority. So the tide is predictable in men, but unpredictable in females? Interestingly enough, according to the marine bio website,  "The ocean's surface rises and falls predictably due to changes in gravitational forces originating from the Moon and the Sun." Clearly even science thinks tides are predictable, Michael.
   While it is true that women's hormones are regulated by their cycles, I want to be perfectly clear. HAVING HORMONES DOES NOT MAKE WOMEN CRAZY.  Sometimes it makes them emotional. Sometimes it has no effect. And Michael makes no mention of men's hormones causing emotional upheavals. Google "male periods". Oh, and it is possible for a man to be calm and balanced while his wife is having a difficult time. Just saying.
   It takes degrees in chemistry and several of the soft sciences to even claim to understand the ladies during that time, and anybody that claims to understand them is lying.
   Um...no, not really, Michael. Though, to be fair, he doesn't really have a good grasp on understanding women during the other 3 weeks of the month. I could sum up understanding women (or even people in general), regardless of what time of the month it is. "People want to be respected, loved, be treated like they matter and taken seriously." The end. That's just a basic list, but it seems to me I'm understanding people just fine. If I'm not, do tell me so.  Also, wouldn't that degree need to be in Biology? Or possibly BioChemistry?
   Early in our marriage it came to my attention that when my wife pitched a hissy fit, it was during her monthly cycle. So, being the smart fellow I am, I simply used a little logic and explained to her that she was not really upset at me; it was just her hormones.
   I can see it now. "Deb, you're not mad that I didn't call before bringing home 7 hungry men, and you only had 1 pot of soup. You're mad because you're having your period. You're hormonal and off balance. Nothing I did is to blame. Now stop acting like a maniac and give me my dinner!"
   It is considered bad manners by anybody to assume that just because a woman is having an emotional (any kind of emotion) outburst, that she is surfing the crimson tide. It is perfectly normal and OK for people in general to feel and express a wide range of emotions, at any time.
   That is when women really became a mystery to me. I thought she would be relieved to hear that I was not as bad as she was making me out to be, it was really just an uncontrollable physical fault in the female as a result of the fall-part of the curse, you know-punishment on the man for listening to his wife in the first place.
   O.o I just can't...oh my.
   What I'm getting from this is: 1) Adam listened to Eve about the fruit (silly Adam, letting his wife have a voice). 2) The Fall came and women were cursed. 3) Part of that curse was the physical "fault" of menstruation. 4) Women act crazy during this fault-time. 5) Michael isn't a bad guy, his wife is just hormonal.
   Honestly, it sounds like Michael needs a good course of sex-ed. In case anyone is curious, menstruation isn't a curse (though it sometimes feels like it!). It's a natural, biological process. You can find explanations online, or even in books. But please don't listen to Michael's take on it.
   Wow, she would go ballistic, denying that it had anything to do with her hormones. But it was clear to me, once a month she had a discharge and I was it.
   Of course she denied it, Michael! You invalidated her feelings and told her it was just her hormones talking! Why wouldn't she go ballistic??  And WTF is that discharge bit? I feel squicky just thinking about it.
   In my smooth logic I called her attention to the fact that the last three explosions were exactly one month apart, on about the third day of her cycle. She just got more irate, telling me all my faults.
   Alright. Clearly Michael needs to be counseled on how to handle big emotions. Number 1: Do not trivialize the person's feelings. This goes for dealing with small children, too. Acknowledge that other people can have emotions and concerns. Empathize with them and validate their feelings.
   Is anyone else noticing the same tone in this section as in the honeymoon section? Kind of a "Well, I don't know why she's upset. I'm the good guy. Look, I'm using logic!" It seems like even 50 years later, he can't acknowledge he might have handled something the wrong way. Can this really get any worse?
  It was then that I learned a woman has a lot better memory than a man. They can remember the smallest things, like when you failed to clean up after yourself 22 days ago, or when you said you were going to fix the door 19 days ago and never got around to it, or how insensitive your remark at church was two weeks ago. None of this stuff had bothered her until now, so it was clear that the devil took away her patience and left her with a critical spirit.
   Yup. It got worse. I had a thought. Maybe during her period was the only time Debi really felt like she could voice her anger/frustrations.  I mean, if that was the only time where I felt safe enough to say what made me mad during the month, you bet I would save stamps and cash them in!  How sad.
   But seriously, Michael. Bringing in the devil? You're really going to go there? Growing up with Mormon culture, boys weren't taught much (outside of school) about women's cycles. But they knew enough not to assume the devil was in charge! I mean, how old-fashioned is that thinking? Not to mention how damaging it is to women!
   I eventually learned my lesson: keep her pregnant and hang in there until she goes through menopause.
   Oh my stars. This is his solution? Keep her knocked up? I am bashing my head against the book right now, because it is just so absurd.  
   I would like to point out a few things. 1) The Pearls have 5 kids. That means 45 months of pregnancy, or 4.75 years. Not really a lot of "keeping her pregnant", considering women on average have periods from 13-54. 2) He doesn't even mention pregnancy hormones. I have only been pregnant once, for 11 weeks, but there were PLENTY of hormones in that time. And not always the rosy-glow inducing kind. 3)Please, Michael, tell us how to "hang in there" until menopause. Please.
   Although I have heard menopause makes some women crazier than ever. But not mine; it only turned her into a sweat machine. Every time I get near her, she breaks out into a sweat, but at least I know my presence makes her hot!
   Wow. Michael just takes almost every stereotype about women and runs with them, calling them doctrine, doesn't he? Can you imagine men reading this book? Men who have very little info about sex, especially the opposite sex. Then they read this book (It's from the Pearl's, it's got to be true!), and think their wives are taken over by the devil 1 week a month, and that their women are crazy, and will get crazier in 30 years? Gack.
   At any rate, you younger men can keep a calender of your wife's cycles and about two days before she starts, take her out to eat, fix something around the house, and apologize for anything you can think of.
   While a date is nice, a date to preemptively prepare for a "red-X" day (if you will), sounds terrible. And the fixing something and apologizing sounds fake and forced. When will Michael advise genuine concern or empathy?
   If my mature wisdom hasn't shed much light on this great mystery of the female, understand this: Females can only stand a certain amount of calm waters before they create a storm of their own. It would seem a Steady Man's greatest error is providing days and days of calm water.
   Holy cow. He just keeps going, doesn't he? Not only has he stepped in it, (metaphorically speaking), he dug a hole, filled it with manure and went swimming! And then tries to convince people he is covered in gold.
   When you take a week to make a simple decision without ever so much as talking about what's going on in your mind, you will drive your lady crazy. The simple fact that a Steady Man doesn't talk about the weird guy at church and doesn't even seem to be disturbed that his crazy brother is leaving his wife, is mind-boggling to a Stead Man's wife. To her you often appear to have more in common with a rock, than with a live human.
   It is true, at least in my life, that when my husband doesn't tell me what's going on in his head, it drives me batty. And it's not that I want him to gossip (which is what it sounds like Michael is insinuating). I just want him to include me in his thought process, maybe ask my opinion or something. I want him to LET ME IN. Does Michael council this?  Nope. He just sticks to his guns that men and women are separate things.

   I was going to continue, the next session is called "Drama, Drama, Drama", but I'm too irritated to go on. I just can't believe that such toxic material like this is packaged as truth. I'm seriously speechless at how evil these thought processes are. 
   

4 comments:

  1. So here's the thing about PMS. Some women do experience emotional upheaval and in rare cases even have psychotic episodes relating to PMS but most actually do not. If a woman is bothered by physical symptoms such as cramping or bloating then obviously that can make her more irritable just the same as a headache or any other type of discomfort can but that doesn't make her unreasonable or imbalanced. Also, PMS can become a self-fulfiling prophesy. When women expect themselves to be unreasonable while on their periods then they will be.

    Even taking all those things into account though there have been multiple studies documenting that for the majority of women there is no significant variation in their mood associated with their monthly cycles. I don't necessarily like comparing adult women to infants but in some ways I see parallels between PMS and teething babies. There are also studies that show that the fussiness that supposedly accompanies teething is greatly overestimated by most parents. Also, the more parents believe that teething causes fussiness the more likely they are to miss other problems (like an ear infection) because they simply attribute any unexplained crying as "teething." It sounds like Michael's doing the same thing here however I find it even more inexcusable because unlike babies his wife actually is able to verbalize what's wrong and he STILL dismisses it.

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    1. Yeah, but her feelings don't matter-especially when they contradict him!

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    2. Oh myyyyy...and not Takei-style! Michael starts out as what could be performing a valuable service to men-not just the steady type-if he had just stuck with letting them know that some (not all) women get more emotional than usual during that PMS time, told them not to take it personally if she was irritable or downright grouchy, and give a little extra TLC to help get them both through it. Instead he makes women out to be psycho bitches, thinks that men should approach it with Spock-style logic, then wonders how anyone could possibly have a problem with that! 'Dug a hole, filled it with manure and went swimming' describes it perfectly.

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    3. "I'm so logical. You should listen to me because I (who has never had a period in my life, because I am not a weak womenz) know best."
      That seems to be his philosophy here.

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