Occam and I were out last night and we ended up having a conversation with three gentlemen. Two of the men were married and one was engaged. For clarification, Occam and I know the gentleman that is engaged as well as his soon-to-be-wife. The conversation went a little like this:
Married Guy 1: "So how's the wedding planning going?"
Engaged Guy: "It's all right I guess, not really sure. I'm not that involved when it comes to making decisions."
Married Guy 2: "That's all right, just smile and say 'Yes, absolutely. That's the right choice.' "
The three men chuckle
Married Guy 1: "Yeah, that's the most important thing to remember: Your wife is always right."
PhantomDream09: "Unless she's not."
Married guy 1: "No, then she's just less right."
Phantomdream09: "No, sometimes I'm wrong. And Occam tells me when that happens. I need to know when I am wrong and why."
At that point, the married men were looking at the table or elsewhere, only the engaged gentleman sort of stared at me puzzled. I wasn't being harsh, I actually said everything with a smile and laughed quite a bit. Occam didn't say a word and simply observed. One of the married guys shuffled off, and the remaining one talked about the event that was going on with the engaged gentleman.
I talked to Occam about what had happened later, on the drive home. He commented that their discussion almost seemed like an opportunity to commiserate and express jokingly how powerless they are in their relationships. When I offered a radically different view, they completely shut down and would not talk to me. At the very least I would have expected a few questions, or some kind of acknowledgement (either verbally or visually) that they had actually heard what I said. It was the first time I had ever been so blatantly open about a very important aspect of my relationship with Occam to outsiders. I couldn't stand the fact that these men were covertly implying that I was the one in charge of my relationship. They were trying to assign me as the leader. I can't stand "gurrrrrl poweerrzzz" when women do it, and I learned that it's even more frustrating when men engage in that nonsense.
Occam remarked that had he been alone with the gentlemen and said those same things, the men would have responded. They would have asked if he was married, and when they found out he was only dating me - all of them would have simply explained "well, you don't know. Just wait and you'll see." The fact that I was a woman, telling attached men that they should absolutely call out their women when they are in the wrong was a completely foreign concept. The whole thing just made me sad.
It's important to clarify that I know the engaged gentleman fairly well, and his fiance very well. He is very intelligent, and has a severe case of "when I am right, I will tell you." He is not the type of person to agree for the sake of agreeing, and I have seen him dispute things with other people, both male and female. Yet the thought of telling his fiance that she's wrong about something is completely foreign to him.
Needless to say, I felt much better after Occam and I left.
Relationships have to be built on trust. I trust and depend on Occam to tell me when I am potentially making a mistake, or if I'm flat out wrong on something. I try very hard to consider all the angles, but I'm not perfect. Sometimes I miss the mark. He doesn't look for ways to cut me down or intimidate me, he has my best interests and well being at heart. It's infuriating to watch men castrate themselves and pretend that their behavior is good, expected and acceptable. They are only undermining and weakening their relationships.