Mason, since you present yourself to know so much about men and their behavior, please explain to me why my husband of the last ten years has changed so drastically. When we first started dating, even through our first three or four years of marriage, he was his own man. He was loyal but he had an independent spirit. He was a nice but he knew when and how to be naughty. That's what I liked about him. I hate to admit it but what attracted me to him in the first place was his "bad boy" demeanor that I thought he had. Now, he seems like a complete pushover. Until recently, I was happy with that. I got my way. Things were good. In the last couple of years however I've grown more and more disinterested in the marriage. I'm bored. Is it me?
- Stephanie (Bay Area)
This isn't uncommon. But since I'm not dialed into the full details of your situation, allow me to make a few assumptions in my response. So it appears what we have here is a man who has lost his way. Your henpecked husband has been 'wifestyled'. This is some serious wackness that occurs when a man shreds every morsel of his pre-marital lifestyle (and self-respect in the process), so that he can lose himself in his wife's utopian view of a perfect marriage, effectively reducing what was once great chemistry to a bad experiment. And therein lies the problem, Stephanie.
In his good-natured efforts to appease you, he has bored you. He appears to be doing the right things, but none of the bad things that used to excite you. He's overwhelmed. One moment it's honey-do; the next moment it's honey do-it-harder. His equilibrium of expectations is out of whack. His instincts have been crossed up. Hence, the blank stares of helplessness like he's Denzel Washington
on a Tyler Perry
set – wondering how he was talked into this.
Here's the thing. You know and I know that you want it both ways. You want a "good man", as it were, but you want one with an edge. And he simply doesn't have it any more, if he ever did. He'll try to blame you for it, but it's not necessarily your fault that he's been domesticated and diminished to the point where his inner-bad boy has been snuffed out and left for dead. He allowed that to happen. He gave you permission to orchestrate the hit.
Granted, you sent mixed signals, but that's what women do. He has to know better. A part of you loves the amorous style and sensibilities of John Legend
. Another part of you is drawn to the sexually charged, yet decidedly anti-romanticism of hip hop. And he's providing you with neither, let alone a balance between the two. Instead, this poor bastard of yours is out in left field giving you a goofy rendition of Al Jarreau
, complete with the unintelligible asexual gibberish that's not putting the water in mama's pot. And I think you know what I'm talking about. He should have never tried to placate your every whim and you should have never encouraged him to. He's too passive and agreeable. It's a buzz kill.
Now, if you don't' mind, hand the laptop over to your husband, as I need to do some truth telling.
My man, do you see the problem here? You've been woman-handled. Yes, you gave her the change that she thought
she wanted. But dammit man, she comes from the same line of women who think changing their hairstyle, length and/or color every three months is acceptable. Need I say more?
But you're part of the problem, too. You're the same guy who thinks his new found interest in smooth jazz is some rite of passage. It's not. You're killing your inner bad boy with each sanitized R&B cover that penetrates your ears. Want jazz? Grow a pair and put on some Miles Davis. While you're at it, stop hitting the dance floor during wedding receptions to get it in on the Electric Slide with the bridal party and the family matriarchs. Not a good look potna.
Look, exceptions to the rule abound, but most women – whether they admit it or not – prefer their men to have at least traceable levels of bad boy pathogens in their system. Unfortunately, they're often reminded of this when it's too late – after you've fully detoxed your sensibilities and after they've convinced you that it's okay to pick up a box of tampons on your pre-game beer run. It's a gut-wrenching scene.
So what you have to do now is find the old you. Your wife is missing him. Grab the reins and get on with it before the next man does.
Mason Jamal lives, observes and comments. He writes about issues pertaining to the style, substance and sensibilities of men, women, and relationships. For more of his musings, you can visit www.MasonSays.com. To have his commentary delivered to your e-mail, subscribe here. Keep up with Mason's daily thoughts and observations on Twitter @masonsays.