Monday, November 11, 2013

The Dangers Of Ageing For Women

In this post I'm not going to talk about things like putting on weight or various health problems a woman can acquire as she is getting older, but about something entirely different. Have you never noticed, dear reader, that older women are often bossy?

Part of it is probably due to the (gradual) loss of female hormones as we are approaching menopause, but the most important cause is, in my opinion, just the fact that as people get older they naturally become more certain of themselves. After all, in our culture, we are still socialised to attribute the position of respect to the elderly, and they are supposed to possess the wisdom which comes with considerable life experience.

The fact, that many women in their late 30s and 40s have nearly grown-up children who are still under their authority as father spends hours away from home earning the living, probably adds to it. It is a natural process, but herein lies the danger of turning into a person resembling Hyacinth from Keeping Up Appearances. Have you ever watched this TV series? If not, you probably should, as it's very funny, but also has some cosy scenes of domestic life in it. I usually watch the reruns of it while knitting.

If you did, do you still remember the story line? Hyacinth bosses everyone around, and her primary victim is her unlucky husband who is the object of sympathy of all her neighbours, family and acquaintances, including the vicar. Have you ever wondered how did she turn into such a monster? In one part, her husband reminds her that after the birth of their son (which happened quite late in their marriage) she lost all (sexual) interest in him, and that's probably when their problems started.

Now, it's partly Richard's fault, too, as he is a total wimp who blindly obeys every ridiculous command of his wife, though sometimes he shows some weak signs of rebellion. The problem with men is that as they age, they get less dominant (due to the reduced amount of testosterone their body produces), while women get more dominant as I pointed out above.

The worst thing about it that the changes in the power balance of marriage usually start with small things, and it's easy to overlook them at first. The husband comes home tired from work and simply has no energy to engage in domestic conflicts and power struggles with his wife, who thinks by herself that she is "not a little girl anymore" and that she "has the right to her own opinion" and probably better knows what the family needs are at the moment anyway, since she is busy with the children and household management day in day out.

It's a temptation very easy to fall into for any woman married for a longer period of time, and then, before she notices it, a new Hyacinth is born, and the marriage relationship is completely ruined. The attraction will usually die on both sides, as women tend to lose the respect for wimpy husbands (as one of such ladies put it, nobody can get attracted to a kitchen*itch), while men, on the other hand, are seldom attracted to a dominatrix.

Granted, such couples don't always divorce. Richard and Hyacinth didn't and some couples I know in the real life who are like this, didn't, either, but you could never call them happy. Ask yourself is it what you really want?

Sometimes it's wiser to keep your mouth shut as a woman even if you know for sure you are right. Sometimes it's better to be kind than right. Several years ago I read an article by Michael and Debi Pearl about Jezebel, which I don't have time to google for right now, when they discussed the same problem from spiritual point of view - women who manipulate their husbands and assert the authority in marriage by pretending to be more spiritual than their husbands.

I know not everyone agrees with Pearls on all sorts of things, but I thought this article was quite good and I still remember one phrase out of it. It goes along the lines that men by nature need to be honoured by their wives and treated as someone who accomplishes great deeds. My own life experience teaches me that it's true.

If you want a happy marriage, don't turn into Hyacinth. At any age.


  1. I feel like the older I get, the less I know:)

  2. aah, that's probably wisdom which comes with age!:)

  3. Sanne, this is one of your masterpieces! May I suggest that you re-publish it? This is a great read and food for thought in every decade!