Women!! What’s Wrong With Them Anyway??

 woman hits man

 


Women! What’s Wrong With Them Anyway??

by Cliff Mazer, Ph.D.
 
“The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer myself, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is ‘What does a woman want?”

In addition to the above often repeated quote, Freud also referred to women as the “dark continent”. It seems he may have died not only with cocaine residue in his nose and throat but with women firmly stuck in his craw. No doubt his whole “penis envy” idea didn’t exactly endear him to legions of women either. 
Question: As a man, as a Clinical Psychologist and as a Pirate crazy blogger, would I be committing social or even literary suicide by offering up a somewhat similar sounding generalization that many women are often not that easy to understand or get along with in serious relationships?  Did I just trigger some hidden microaggression alarm or APB alert in the PC governed blogosphere? Did I stumble over an invisible social justice tripwire by sharing such an obviously subjective gender bias in mixed company and not just among my beer swilling man code observingnbowling team bros? Given the permanent magic marker nature of the digital universe now I probably cant even take it back or claim it was a typo. Perhaps I could double check my white man privilege at the door or lie about just having  suffered a brain far. Lastly, following social trends I could go to rehab for a week or two with Josh Duggar, Anthony Weiner and every other clueless men who needs professional help to introspect and eventually own their elusive inner douche-bag.
 
 At least allow me to amend my bold statement and clarify that I really mean that women are not always easy to understand and get along with for extended periods of time, especially in long term romantic relationships (which often includes marriage) and that there are many clear exceptions to the rule.

One potential problem is that many women seem to think that they are the clear exception. Ladies, if you happen to believe that you are without a doubt the exception I speak of then I apologize to you profusely, altho to be brutally honest I harbor certain suspicions that you are either lying outright, fooling yourself or suffering from a sub-clinical delusional disorder.  Also, please dont just ask your sisters, best friends, deer-in-the-headlights boyfriends or browbeaten husbands to provide confirmation of your exceptionalness (my word) because such testimonials are flawed. First of all, that wouldn’t be scientifically objective and sisters or friends  would be subject to obvious bias. In the latter two cases of boyfriends and husbands…well that’s akin to asking cowering bank hostages with Stockholm Syndrome if they “like” the bank robbers. Before you freak out and conclude I am some Donald Trump misogynistic cretin, please note that most of my best friends are women and they are exceedingly easy to get along with. I think that might be because they know me so well (including most to all of my personal weaknesses) yet never take advantage of me because of my imperfections. They also accept me for who and what I am and understand that my idiosyncracies and foibles are part and parcel of who I am. In essence they readily forgive me when I behave poorly or act without thinking (or good sense) and trust that I feel genuinely bad about it.  As a result, these lifelong female friends remain steadfastly in my corner and I’m confident they would lovingly defend me to my main critics and various detractors. Finally they know I’m not perfect but realize I have a good heart, which I really hope that I do.
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So what the heck happens to women in marriage and many loving relationships?  I cant say I know for sure but probably I should admit for the sake of my good friends, family, female readership and cohabitating flame that it may well have something to do with me. Let’s face it. It’s a lot easier to be someones friend, favorite co-worker, or bff from high school than the “lucky lady” who has to come home every day to my spider den of convoluted inner-conflicts and complex dualities. Even tho I like to view myself as a super “nice guy” and overall mensch, I realize my psychological closet is overflowing with other not-so-very-nice personas and hidden subtexts. These include but are not limited to a well-worn cluster of highly narcissistic behavior traits, annoying personal habits like farting a lot and picking my nose, and a plethora of psychological mind games, interpersonal tests and Indiana Jones-like relational sinkholes. Notice I’m not even mentioning the snoring, the relentless sarcasm, or the ADHD….

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Now that I think about it, it’s a lot like the Kobayashi Maru no-win training exercise at Starfleet Academy; a brain-numbing, PTSD-inducing test that is literally impossible to pass unless you purposely cheat like Captain Kirk did. To be clear, I’m not just talking about me leaving messy dishes in the kitchen sink or accidentally on purpose forgetting to take out stinky black trashbags to the outdoor waste receptacle, although it very well might include those things too… I’m really speaking about my still unresolved psychodynamic trash from childhood that lies strewn about my brain and my perpetually remodeled home, by proxy. Together thats a lot of unfinished business.  I’m also referring to my accumulated man-sized “war wounds” and unhealed psychic scars resulting from a painful failed marriage of 14 years, my many personal losses and self-perceived failures, the death of loved ones (including my beloved pets), the stress and strain of single-parenting three sons and a long glorious career as a Crusader knight in the never-ending fight against erectile problems, psychological disorders, family dysfunction, and managed healthcare.

As a Ph.D. anointed Clinical Psychologist and licensed sex and marriage therapist one might think such a background and education would adequately protect me from psychological harm like a shiny suit of armor… or at least boost my immunity against all the work-related cooties and stress-related shrapnel my clients come to me suffering from over the years.  Alas, I am not Superman and my private life (if not my private parts) has never really measured up to my private practice success. It’s the old “plumbers cant quite manage to fix their own toilets” analogy. Hmmm…now that I read through this last paragraph it looks as if I have significantly blunted the razor-sharp edge of my original assertion about women as well as my main piratey sword point. How about we all just settle for a generic, “Umm, nevermind”, “Can’t we all just get along?” or “Well, it certainly takes two to tango. ”  Maybe it really goes both ways.

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The funny thing is my wonderful female friends say the same thing about their male partners and my gay men friends typically concur. Men, it would seem are just as much a mystery and source of frustration to women as they are to other men that they are romantically involved with.  Apparently, the well-worn male maxim, “It would be so much easier if I was gay” holds little or no water. Still, there are plenty of remaining stereotypes about men to perpetuate the myth that women occupy the role of the complicated gender who not only overthink everything but also over pack regardless how short or far the journey may be. Men, on the other hand, continue to be viewed as light travelers, especially in the head and overall psyche. By the standard definition, the average male today is a simple bipedal creature and hunter/gatherer who spend most of this time playing video games, working out, playing sports, reading stock quotes or fixing cars. The truth is that depending on his upbringing and belief system a man can develop into an extremely sensitive and psychologically complex individual or an empty-headed lugnut. On the downside, if enough goes wrong in his life and no effort is made to treat or correct the problems, a guy may grow into someone with more crossed wires in his thinking, feeling and behavior than a 1970 Jaguar XJ12. Trust me, I had one of those once that I got super cheap at a car auction and tried to restore. I ended up giving it away to a female neighbor and last I heard she went insane trying to make it work. I think, at the end of the day, we should all agree that the very best place to start to  understand others or “fix” a relationship is on ourselves.  Meanwhile, I will be hiding in the ship’s galley right next to the cast iron frying pans.
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Cliff Mazer, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, humorist, and Pirate-centric web blogger living in Sandy Springs, Georgia. He has written articles for various publications including Good Men Project. Contact: 404-932-7193  He is all about being honest and maintaining a good sense of humor.

About captaincliff

Psychologist by day, insomniac Pirate blogger by night, this Child of God likes to share sarcastic social commentary as well as topsy-turvy observations about life, love and the pursuit of zaniness, a functional form of insanity in an increasingly insane world
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