Jan 30, 2014 at 13:18:40
“While I've had a few newbies over the years try to launch their blogs via mine, not one has done so with such blatant misrepresentation of almost every single thing I have said.”
bcmama on Feb 1, 2014 at 12:22:08
“Luckily, the Huffington Post allows this fabulous forum to defend your views and point out the "blatant misrepresentation." I am eager to read where Mr. Bellissimo went astray, because I thought he wrote an extremely thoughtful response to your advise column.
And, I was wondering why you call Mr. Bellissimo a newbie? Would he be newbie if he agreed with your opinions?”
Penny Kollar on Jan 31, 2014 at 09:47:08
“Sorry Debra, I am another women who feels this insulted both sides one way or the other. The survival of my relationship is dependent on the work me and my spouse put into it, papers or no papers. Life is longer now and I am glad the goal isn't to see how long we can suffer through it.”
kensp on Jan 30, 2014 at 16:32:18
“He quotes you directly and I agree that your view of men revealed by your quotes is pretty dismal and insulting.”
Charlie Eh on Jan 30, 2014 at 16:24:25
“Alas, I too was once a victim of terminal navel-gazing (as your blog suggests you are doing) and believed all the "rules" of relationships that were prevalent in my surroundings (very large metro area of California). Imagine my surprise when I moved to Montreal!
Most of the successful long-term relationships were not marriages at all! 20-30-40 year long committed relationships with kids, houses and very loving couples... all to avoid "the church".
Seems that the ideal of the "contemporary marriage" is a very recent construct and reinforced vastly outdated gender roles. Please, get some perspective on what real relationships are about before you toss people like Matthew softballs like your blog post... it's too damn easy to take your position and assumptions down.”
YankeeCanuck on Jan 30, 2014 at 15:56:30
“"Newbies?" Suggest you keep your day job. And I hope it is not relationship counselling.”
jaide b on Jan 30, 2014 at 14:39:56
“That blog post was so over-generalized and outdated.
I live with my boyfriend and since moving in together, our relationship has strengthened beyond anything it could have been if we didn't live together.”
Mools on Jan 30, 2014 at 14:20:04
“While I read your article and felt zero outrage or sexism towards men, I did feel a strong old-fashioned point of view regarding gender roles, especially when it comes to women.
For example, based on what you have written, you imply that women's primary goal in a relationship is marriage and "the ring". No real mention of love, compatibility, honestly, openness, acceptance, etc. All the things that make a successful long-term relationship regardless of whether or not two people live together.
As another example, by making the comment that men won't "buy the cow when they can get the milk for free" implies women should withold sex in order to manipulate a man into getting what they want. Manipulation and that level of selfishness may get you the ring, but it is definitely NOT the path to a long successful marriage. And further, it also has the underlying implication that women don't want or value/want sex themselves.
That may not have been your intent, but that is the impression your article left. The idea of the fairytale wedding. That once you have a ring on your finger your life as a woman is complete and forever happy. In truth, I would argue your points have nothing to do with living together and everything to do with lack of openness and honestly and even maturity is couples. But again, that willr uin any marriage regardless of living together in advance.”
averybliss on Jan 30, 2014 at 13:58:49
“Just wondering why you care so much that women get married? Marriage is a bit outdated now that men and women can live together without being cast away by society because of their sinfulness. I understand there are tons of legal benefits and for many its a way to really solidify the relationship but is it still something that must be worshipped to the point that you need to save up your special moments for marriage alone?”
Jay upnorth on Jan 30, 2014 at 13:31:46
“Debra, he hit the nail on the head...the blog that you posted paints all men in a rather sexist fashion. Maybe...just maybe you didn't mean for it to come out that way, however it's a rather insultive peice to any modern man.”
Jan 29, 2014 at 15:56:36
“As a divorce mediator, I can say from long and sometimes unpleasant experience that this article about HCP's is 100% accurate. And the author is completely right - when it come to these kinds of people, protecting yourself and your kids is the top priority.”
hp blogger Susan Valentine on Jan 30, 2014 at 08:35:07
“Thanks Debra. Like you, as a therapist I hear many different stories about divorce, but there are strikingly the same patterns in high-conflict situations (even if the details are different). And yes, one of the most difficult things is finding ways to protect yourself and not let it consume your whole life or the children's!”
Dec 7, 2013 at 09:51:00
“Hello folks, thanks for commenting. While online dating is popular, several studies have shown that the majority of daters meet through school, work, friends and social situations (in that order), so there is some familiarity. I would expect that people old enough to date online - and reading something like the HuffPost - would have enough common sense to consider their own safety. They have bigger problems if they lack that much judgment. That being said, there is no possible way to have a "better understanding" of someone after 2-3-4 hours of knowing them. Having sex with a stranger is AT LEAST as dangerous as getting into someone's car. They could be married. They could have an STD. They could be psychotic. They might not even be using their real name. They could drug your drink. They could be aggressive, refuse to wear a condom and impregnate a woman. The list goes on. I for one am baffled that people are up in arms about who pays for dinner and who drives, but find it perfectly fine for a woman to get naked behind closed doors with a complete stranger. And then we wonder why people are so unsuccessful in the dating world and in relationships?? Perhaps it's time to try a different approach. That was the point of the blog. Thank you again for commenting, and all best. :)”
pmboyer on Dec 7, 2013 at 13:59:26
“And by the way, you want the guy to pay on the first date but no sex on the first date though! Another double standard...why should I pay on the first date ?? Be at least coherent. If no sex on the first date, then no paying for both on the first date.”
pmboyer on Dec 7, 2013 at 13:52:30
“But again, for me the worst part of your article is the part of the man paying the bill. This is gotta be the worst possible undefendable position I've ever heard. There are absolutely no logical argument in 2013 to support that. And actually, as a man, I actually sometimes do it, but I DON'T want it to be taken for granted. And the women should aslo do it once in a while, even on the first date. It is also very sexist for the waitress to bring the bill directly to the man and insulting. Like I'm a bank.
For me what stands out in your article is that you have a generally narrow-minded vision of what should be in the world of dating; I agree that a certain code of ethics should exist, but besides that, wnating to impose rigid rules does NOT work for everyone. It reminds me of this book written by 2 american women giving the ''perfect recipe'' to find a good husband. They had absurd rules like ''don' accept any date for the week-end if he phones after 21:00 on the Tuesday'', of course ''don't sleep on the first night''. This is absurd. These kind of rules are designed for brain damage women who nee d a rulebook for everything and cannot exercise ant form of judgement. Too rigid rules should never apply, and lest also not forget the importance of our religious guilt-related background around sex that helped shape the kind of rules”
pmboyer on Dec 7, 2013 at 13:52:06
“I respect your vision of things and I acknowlege that a significant part of the population thinks that way. But I do think that it is a symptom of a somewhat insecure and maybe even a little paranoid perception of reality. Yes, a person could still be a ''stranger'' after 2-3-4 hours according to your standards, but then , when does he not become a stranger? It is totally arbitrary to say oh after 3 dates, 2 weeks, 1 month he is not a stranger? YOU can feel comfortable in a certain standard but another woman can feel comfortable on another standard, and that standard could be a first date.
It is not up to you to lay a judgment on that; everyone has it own personnal standard where they feel comfortable. Some women like you are more insecure and let a man inside their intimacy after a lillte more time. Does this mean that THAT way of dating is good for everyone and would solve all the problems in the daing world? I don't think so. I think it's very narrow-minded actually.
You can perfectly date someone for a month and not realize that they are psychotic or married you know...and as for STDs and pregnancys...ever heard of condoms??
Dec 5, 2013 at 21:13:26
“Thank you for commenting, Ahkenaten. The "get over yourself" point was directed at both genders, and examples for both were given. To be honest, it is this type of reactive behaviour - heavy on sarcasm and assumption but light on accuracy and self-reflection - that I find many people in the dating world complain about. A little humility goes a long way :)”
May 10, 2013 at 11:27:29
“Hello and thank you for commenting. I agree that you cannot control another person (read points 1 & 7 - you will see that I said as much when I chatted about narcissism, sex, infidelity and deal breakers). However, partners can't simply throw their arms up in the air and say, "If he/she is gonna leave, he/she is gonna leave, there's nothing I can do about it." Maintaining intimacy, showing appreciation, putting your partner first and having fun together....these kinds of behaviours, among others, increase the chances of marital success. And every now and then, most of us need a reminder (after 13 yrs of marriage, I know I do...).”
Apr 20, 2013 at 20:05:13
“You're making some fairly wild assumptions here...where in the article is it suggested that the perpetrators not be punished? Where does it say that "all" parents are failing? Every word this author wrote was 100% true. I say that as | parent doing the best I can, with my husband, to raise a boy who will turn into a decent man, a loving husband and a good father. We consider ourselves to be good parents and we feel that empathy is key in this issue; however, all parents - including ourselves - need constant reminders to be "on" as parents. This author isn't on a "high horse" or excusing the role of the rapists' parents. Frankly, I prefer his attitude to yours, as I feel yours has a more self-righteous and reactionary slant. Empathy and understanding - not defensiveness and irrelevant ramblings - are needed.”
sgillhoolley on Apr 21, 2013 at 17:37:05
“I actually quoted the relevent section. It did not say that some parents are not teaching their kids....it said parents. That implies all parents. I see this as part of that new trend of spreading the blame to everyone, therefore no one person is to blame. I teach my kids right, and the author implied that I do not. I took offense and made a comment. What is needed are enforcement of laws, first and foremost. ”
Jan 2, 2013 at 14:23:10
“Thank you for your comment. Of course she married for strategic advantage - my blog states that her marriages served her interests, too. Yet her long marriage to Antony was also a love affair, and that's my point. She used both her intelligence and her "feminine wiles" and, at least until the Roman axe fell, she had the life that she carved out for herself. I think that's a very relevant message to send to women today.”
“To some extent, I see the author's point - as a couples' mediator, I find that women often set the tone in a relationship...not always, but often. I do believe that women set the bar.
Interestingly enough, I wrote a HP blog a while back called "What Men Can Learn from 50 Shades of Grey." My intention was to present a timely, light-hearted look at the ways married men might make their wives feel "adored" and lusted after, since I think many women are missing that feeling. The comments on that article were just as nasty, from both men and women. I tend to think that the problem is a lack of humility on the part of both partners - they are too busy in a pissing contest, trying to blame each other for all their problems, that they blow a gasket when asked to look at their own shortcomings. Just my two cents. :) But I see your point about the ratio of women:men articles. I think it's time I wrote a blog directed at men. Happy 2013.”
Elliot Van der Heide on Jan 2, 2013 at 15:02:42
“The problem is actually the opposite. This website is overwhelmingly overall-im not talking about marriage maintenance, but overall overwhelmingly pro women and anti male. Every article in which a woman does something wrong-commits a crime, it is blamed on the man by posters. The vast majority of articles in this section, the narcissism one, the child custody article, are directed towards the idea that men are the badguys and women are the good guys. That idea is perpetuated throughout this website. Then of course when you have one lousy article which is pro male, you get an endless number of women complaining about how unfair it is and how the website is biased towards men...pathetic”
“Amy, I'm afraid that I can't make sense of your post. How does oversensitivity to special issues factor into the fact that twenty small children were shot dead in their school this morning? You said that we have to "stop placing the blame on an object which has no control..." Those of us who support gun control do not believe that the gun woke up this morning, got itself dressed and loaded, and hopped to the school to start executing children. The fact is, you will always have angry, hateful, dangerous, unpredictable people who care nothing about the lives of others. Giving them the ability to very easily acquire automatic weapons is absolutely insane. It makes us as crazy as they are. I'm sure you're a very nice lady and are heartbroken over this event, but it is your line of thinking that gives a nut like this the power to end multiple lives within a matter of moments.”
Dec 4, 2012 at 22:01:47
Thank you for commenting - something you said really struck a chord with me...you said, "just because you're married doesn't mean you have to hate one another." You are SO right about that. I've always been baffled at how hateful spouses can be toward one another. When I see people (whether on comment boards or during a couples' mediation session) immediately throw the problem, blame, etc. back at their partner - often very nastily while refusing to look at their own behavior - I understand why the divorce rate is so depressing. A little humility goes a long way in marriage. It is also far more likely to lead to a positive response from a partner, who in turn will improve his/her behavior. Thank you once again for commenting!”
Dec 4, 2012 at 21:35:54
Thank you for commenting on my post. As a former divorce mediator with over ten years' experience (my practice now focuses on trying to help couples avoid divorce), I have seen similar dynamics in many struggling relationships - that is, a tendency for spouses to avoid looking at their own part in the marital troubles while simultaneously shifting blame onto their partner. Nowhere in my article - indeed, nowhere in any article or copy that has come off my desk - have I advised women to be subservient. Asking a person to look at her own behavior to become a better spouse does not make her subservient - it makes her a mature, accountable person and a loving partner. Indeed, one of my "don'ts" in this very blog advises women to "not be a doormat" in their relationship.
I've also noticed a few comments here of the "why should women do all the work/take all the responsibility," variety and much of what I've said applies to those, as well. I've written many articles in my career that encourage spouses - sometimes wives, sometimes husbands - to "do their part" instead of automatically tossing the blame back into their partner's court. This article just happens to be written for women. That being said, I am encouraged by the comments who do seem to have interpreted the blog in the spirit with which it was written, and I do believe their marriages will be better for it. Thank you once”
Bellanova on Dec 5, 2012 at 01:56:16
“Debra, your post offers great ideas, but when can we then expect to see a similar article written for men?
I'm not trying to put you on the spot, but since you are an expert and one that engages with commenters, you may be just the right person to ask.
We, on HP, have been inundated with posts full of marital advice written supposedly from a gender-neutral stance; however, they turn out to always place the responsibility for marriage maintenance on women. It is peculiar, to say the least.
It would be helpful to see something similar addressed specifically to men, for a change. Perhaps you could repost one of your articles, or write a new one, that meets this criterion.”
Sep 14, 2012 at 18:49:52
“Thank you for your comment. This article expresses my opinion that loving, commited couples should do a better job of building each other up within a culture that tells them they are too fat, too poor, too ugly, too whatever. I was using 50 Shades as a springboard for this message, since many of my female clients have indicated that they wish they felt as desired as Ana. For many women - not all, but many - that is a big part of what attracts them to this series. Nowhere in this article did I "chide" men for fantasizing about thin sexy females. I simply pointed out that their woman might benefit from feeling lusted after herself in this way and, if she did, that she might make him feel sexier, too. I am baffled that you have somehow turned this into a negative message. And yes, I do understand the difference between lust and love. The patronizing tone was unnecessary; however, I have come to expect it from people who do not like what I'm saying. As for standards, nowhere in this article did I suggest women go out and find themselves a real Mr. Grey or a man who would take her dignity. Women certainly know they can do better. This book and its male lead are fantasy and women know that - unless you're suggesting that we can't tell the difference. In which case, I would slightly amend your question: are (some) men really this clueless about”
Tucker Jones on Sep 25, 2012 at 07:55:32
“I rethought a bit about the point you're trying to make, and I also apologize that I came off sounding patronizing.
It makes sense that women want to feel wanted, and I think you'd find that most men also want to feel wanted. Perhaps there's a bit of give and take that needs to be done to satisfy both parties. We do live in a society where women are constantly reminding men that they don't need them.
The nature of the 50 Shades fantasy is understandable, but what I object to is the narcissistic setting it takes place in. It starts with the premise that chivalry is dead and buried six-feet under. That's the sad part. What I wonder is how women can think that's such a great fantasy? I think I could give women a better fantasy, with all the elements of sexual lust found in 50 Shades, but with characters who portray the real spirit of chivalry. No idea why any woman would want less than that.”
are you kiddin on Sep 17, 2012 at 21:34:36
“You are absolutely right Debra. All we want is to be wanted.”
Randall Otis Chase on Sep 16, 2012 at 22:15:07
“You must be blind to how you are presenting your "opinion" Ms. MacLeod, or the hurtful way it is liable to be taken. I don't think "50 Shades of Grey" is a very good "springboard" for your message. Trying to talk about reality using a fantasy image, and criticizing men for women's lack of self esteem is misguided. Grey is not a role model, and women should not compare themselves with other, or younger, women. Men are NOT failing to desire their women so much as they are misguidedly trying to satisfy the financial aspect of women's desires. Want YOUR MAN to stop this? Tell him he works too hard, that you don't need all the "stuff" you keep "indicating" silently you want, tell him HE is all you really want, etc. etc. Their are a lot of tacit signals women give their men, and men usually have been trained to just follow them. LADIES, you can change this, if you are sure it is his desire, and not the stuff, that you really want!”
“Very well-written article. thank you. I was on the Jay Thomas show this morning (I am a sex writer and a couples' mediator) to talk about my latest book. Even though I have been married for 12 years and my husband and I co-author our books, Mr. Thomas, channelling a a bit of Rush, said that he assumed I would give him oral sex because that's what one of my books was about. He also said my son would be beaten up at school because I was a sex writer, and insinuated that I was a less than suitable parent (this from a man who gave up his child for adoption to pursue his celebrity career). My rambling point is this: It doesn't matter what a woman does or doesn't do, there are some men who will find something wrong with it. When men insult female sexuality, it's always about control. And when they feel a loss of control, they get mean and preachy. Whether you're into the hook-up culture (more power to you) or a one-man woman like me, there's a type of man (not all men, thanks goodness!) that will find a way to insult you. Again, fabulously well-written article.”
Yellowcab on Sep 23, 2012 at 09:22:28
“I hope the men who get dragged into your one sided "mediations" are able to read statements like this before hand to know what they are getting themselves into.
I can't imagine how much "help" you are.”
Bellanova on Sep 18, 2012 at 00:51:18
“"It doesn't matter what a woman does or doesn't do, there are some men who will find something wrong with it. When men insult female sexuality, it's always about control. And when they feel a loss of control, they get mean and preachy."
principessadrit on Sep 15, 2012 at 14:07:19
“I am so sorry that happened to you. I have a short fuse and would have probably punched the guy in the face lol. But I agree with you about how basically every patriarchal society tries to control women and one way they do that is by controlling their sexuality.”
“Hello! Thanks so much for commenting on my blog. You are so right about men also wanting to take a submissive role! On the jacket of 50 WAYS TO PLAY, it's the woman who is taking the lead - that's what I loved about the cover pic. Well, that and the fact that she has great nail polish.”
May 28, 2012 at 19:33:50
“Hi ladies. thanks for commenting...actually, the last paragraph was not a joke. Quite the opposite. Keep in mind that this article is about a marriage being in a bad mood - it isn't about the biggies like infidelity, disrespect, domestic abuse, overspending, etc. It is about a relationship where partners are getting on each other's nerves. In those situations, an unexpected, loving, fun gesture can put a smile on a partner's face. I don't think that's insulting, I think it's sweet. For some couples, this gesture might be a diamond. For others, it might be meeting him at the door in lingerie and stilettos. For others, it might be a date night or a couples' getaway. You have to do what's right for you. Right and wrong are completely relative when it comes to these kinds of gestures in marriage. Marriage can be a snarky place where spouses too quickly assume the worst of each other. My intention in this blog was to discourage spouses from making stupid mistakes during these negative times, and to encourage them to make a spontaneous romantic gesture of love and friendship, whatever that means to them. To be honest, it saddens me that people so quickly assume the worst about this message. I truly hope the fault lies with my transition into this last paragraph, as opposed to the message itself. Thanks again for commenting, I do appreciate it.”