By guest blogger Dr. Karen Ruskin, PsyD, LMFT
“House Husbands” as well as the belief that women desire to be dominated sexually are hot topics. This relationship expert; Dr. Karen Ruskin was brought in for my insights and wrap up analysis of statements articulated by guests Dr. Veronica interviewed on May 1st 2012 episode of Wellness For The Real World. The show offered the opportunity for listeners to hear varied perspectives. Provided below includes talking points from this psychotherapist’s mind’s eye.
- It is of concern to me that there is an inaccurate impression some have due to the popularity of books such as; Fifty Shades of Grey, along with the direct statement on the program that women have “submission and rape fantasies”. Rather it is my assertion there are women who wish to be “taken” not raped. Dominance, submission, these terms are not one in the same with rape. Women want to be wanted and there are many who want men to be sexually dominant showing their passionate desire for the woman they are with.
- Huffington Post writers Barbara and Shannon Kelley as guests shared; it is not the desire of men to be a house husband. As a marriage therapist it is my understanding of many women of this generation that they want to have it all and feel they need to be it all. Many women want to grow and achieve professionally/individually, also want children, an attentive husband, available/involved father who is masculine and also emotionally understanding, and financially contributes. It is these concepts in conjunction with the financial instability of this generation that I contend we are in a state of re-definition of what marriage and masculinity is.
- Guest Frank Ciprani (bdnews24.com) shared he became a house husband during the course of his marriage reporting their sex life suffered because of it. He explained the role shift was not successful for their marriage which led to divorce. His assertion is in sync with another guest; Reid Lance Rosenthal (author; Threads West: An American Saga) who stated; “A man is a man, a woman is a woman”. It is my analysis of Reid’s statement and verbalizations during his interview that it is this very difference why some believe; women want to be dominated sexually and a house husband does not work.
- Another guest; Tim Wikerson (author; Alchemy Astrology) stated he prefers to use the term “house spouse” rather than “house husband”. Tim reported that the struggle he experienced with his now ex-wife was having her be his “boss”. Tim shared his current wife appreciates him being a house spouse. From an analytical relational point of view, it appears Tim feels good in this role since his current wife feels good about it. Both the wife and the husband’s view of their relationship and one another plays a significant role in the success and health of their marriage. It was clear when hearing Tim’s story that in his first marriage the successful adjustment did not occur. As I explain in my most recently released book; Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual an important ingredient for a happy healthy long term marriage is to be one another’s biggest ‘fan’.
- Guest Dr. Paul Zak (author; The Moral Molecule) explained it is a “sexy turn on, someone who cares for us”. House spouse Tim verbalized several examples of how he cares for his wife. (Example; he takes care of the kids while she is at work). This fits with Dr. Zak’s theory.
- Dr. David Ley (author; Myth of Sex Addiction) shared; it is sexy to be desired by someone who is “aroused by you”. It is my impression this fits in with the notion of wanting to be wanted. At times the best way to show you want the other person is to take them. This infers a house husband is not a marital death sentence, does it not? Perhaps then the analysis one may take away from this is that the role of house husband is not the distinguishing factor of what is or is not sexy.
- Dr. Veronica asked this marriage therapist several questions about polyamory. It is my stance that making the choice and putting in active effort to grow and enhance your monogamous relationship can allow the wonderful opportunity to experience the beauty of what a fulfilling marriage has the potential to be.
- It is this expert’s perspective/wrap up that a successful relationship including a healthy sexual dynamic is not decided by nor defined as to whether the man works in or out of the home (some may disagree). The sexual style of the couple and the effect the spouse’s work status has on the couple – has everything to do with how each individual and how the couple unit views and handles their marital dynamic. Being mindful of your needs, wants, and desires as well as communicating them with your spouse is imperative whether it is about the work arrangement or the sexual relationship.
Dr. Karen Ruskin, PsyD, LMFT is a relationship/human behavior/parenting expert. Media guest expert: O’Reilly, FOX & Friends, America Live, Hannity, FOX Boston, and more . . . Author: Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual, and 9 Key Techniques For Raising Respectful Children. Interviewed for various national magazines/newspapers, radio. Columnist. Owner/Director: Dr. Karen Ruskin and Associates, MA