• Mon, Nov 4 - 4:00 pm ET

This Man Says Marriage Isn’t For You (And He’s Wrong)

emotionally abusive relationship

Photo: Shutterstock

If you’re Facebook friends with anyone at all, you’ve probably come across the viral blog post du jour, “Marriage Isn’t For You.” Some people are touched, some people are inspired, and most of us at The Gloss are… creeped out.

Newlywed blogger Seth Adam Smith discusses his revelation that marriage is about prioritizing another person’s needs over your own, and I get that. It’s a really nice concept, and in a perfect world with perfect equality between the genders, it would definitely work. Unfortunately, though, we still get married in a patriarchal society, and it’s important to realize that when we preach selflessness as a virtue, it makes it harder for some people to leave abusive relationships.

“A true marriage (and true love) is never about you,” Smith writes. “It’s about the person you love– their wants, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, ‘What’s in it for me?’ while Love asks, ‘What can I give?’”

If there were a way to guarantee that Smith’s words could only reach an audience with healthy, balanced, respectful marriages, I’d totally be on board with this message. Ideally, both partners would be equally concerned with taking care of each other. But look at the headlines on magazines directed at men, as opposed to those directed at women. This month’s Men’s Health cover boasts “Sizzling Sex Adventures” and “Get-Rich Strategies,” while this month’s Cosmopolitan tells us to “Be the Best He’s Ever Had!” and “Be sexier by tonight!” Our culture puts a hell of a lot more pressure on women to nurture their relationships. Men get to sit back and enjoy the ride.

What movies are directed at women? Romantic comedies, stories about women making sacrifices for their families and for their husbands, stories about strong men in which women are bit players. Women don’t need to be explicitly told to put men first. We already get that message a thousand times a day.

So what message is “Marriage Isn’t For You” really sending? It’s telling women to put their own needs on the back burner, in the hopes that a man will do the same for her. But will he? Maybe. But the culture certainly doesn’t tell him he has to.

There’s a glaring problem with the words “The more you truly love that peson, the more love you receive.” That’s precisely the attitude that has repeatedly pressured women to stay in abusive relationships. It says that if he’s not treating you correctly, you’re not trying hard enough. It’s saying that his lack of respect for you is your own fault.

I’m sick of women having to be the bigger man. Treat yourself like a priority! Be giving and kind and selfless only when a man has proven time and again that he extends the same courtesy to you.

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  • Katie Sawyer

    So Courtney Stodden and Doug Hutchison broke up…. ANNND Go.

  • CMJ

    I thought I was the only one that rolled my eyes so hard at this and scoffed.

    http://gifatron.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/arrested-development-lucille-sure.gif

    • anon20

      The best!!!!

  • Samantha_Escobar

    Like you said, it’s the way that his mindset and mantras can so easily be applied to abusive relationships that bothers me the most. Marriage — and relationships, in general — need to be healthy, beneficial and respectful with regard to both parties. If you can’t take care of your own needs, having somebody else become fully responsible for them is not going to be a positive thing.

    • CMJ

      To me, that mindset (if only thinking about your spouse’s needs) just harbors resentment…and nothing good can come of that.

    • Samantha_Escobar

      Agreed so hard.

    • CMJ

      Have you noticed all the men here mansplaining the article to us womenz?

    • Sabrina

      So men don’t have a say in anything because they are men? They shouldn’t have an opinion or be able to voice their thoughts?

    • Karen

      Obviously, you’ve never been in love. Because that’s the exact opposite of how it works.

    • CMJ

      Only thinking about your spouse and what makes them happy and what they need is not how love works. It’s part of it, of course, but it is not the only thing that makes relationships work and last.

      Marriage is for both people in the relationship. If I can’t make myself happy, how can I make my spouse happy? And vice versa.

      And I love my husband…hard. He is the best thing in my life. Our marriage isn’t just for him though. Or me. It’s for both of us.

  • Benita

    There’s also the fact that it was written by a Mormon.

    • DJ

      Enlighten us with how this knowledge impacts the article as a whole…

    • KatherineCampbell54

      as Julie said I didn’t know that some people can make $5019 in 4 weeks on the internet. a fantastic read… w­w­w.d­a­y3­7.c­o­m

    • Mem

      Yeah. Crazy Mormons. Respecting their wives and all. The nerve…

  • Char

    I saw this article in my news feed and read it thinking, “Oh I can’t WAIT to see what The Gloss has to say about this!”.

    Of course, you hit the nail on the head. This article definitely left a bad taste in my mouth and had me questioning why my female facebook “friends” were the ones sharing & re-sharing. Glad I wasn’t the only one.

    • Sara

      Although I don’t like that this article assumes the original one was ONLY directed at women, I couldn’t help but notice not a single one of my male friends shared it on FB. But about 20 female friends did. Who knows, maybe some men read it and took heart but were too shy to share.

  • anon20

    Thank you!!

  • fireinthefudgehole

    I wanted to write on Facebook about how I thought it was weird to put your own happiness 100% in someone else’s hands, but I know every reply would just be “UR SINGLE U DON’T UNDERSTAND!!!”. I’m pretty tired of seeing that article.

    • Samantha_Escobar

      Because when you’re single, you have no idea how relationships, love or emotions work!

      Signed,
      Somebody who is usually single (i.e. a sociopath, amirite?)

    • Mem

      To be fair, until you’re married, you really don’t full appreciate the differences. Yeah, you can have a general knowledge, but it’s not the same. I’ve seen people play soccer, so I have a general knowledge of it. But I’ve never played it, so I don’t quite know everything about how to improve my game.

    • Samantha_Escobar

      While I see what you’re saying, I think people can understand serious dedication and partnerships with another human being without getting married. Otherwise, that undermines the relationships of anybody who’s ever desired to get married but has been unable to for one reason or another. And there are so, so very many people who are married who don’t understand how to have a healthy relationship.

  • Sabrina

    Ok…. I don’t think that’s what he’s saying… at all. He’s not talking about if you’re being treated like crap by someone because um… that’s not love. He is talking about if you want to see your marriage happy, healthy and ever-lasting that you need to not always be thinking me, myself and I. That when you love someone, you want to see them blossom and grow, to flourish, to achieve everything they want, and to be happy. And that you should take steps in your partnership to make them feel happy and loved. That’s all he’s saying.

    It’s your personal responsibility to not hold your entire happiness in someone else’s hands. You should be able to make yourself happy, always. And your loving relationship should be a bonus. Another person there to give you love, to be a rock when you need help, and to add to your happiness. And if you’re married, maybe just don’t be so selfish, it’s not always just about you. That sounds reasonable to me.

    • neenjo69

      Thank you. People seem so quick to invalidate anything that promotes love and selflessness. The blogger didn’t say anything about abusive relationships, because he wasn’t in one. Too bad some people are more focused on trying to find fault with others’ lives instead of working to improve their own.

    • Bex

      Totally agree with you Sabrina! That is soooooo not what he was saying! I think this negative reaction to being less selfish and more giving in a healthy relationship is truly sad.

    • Katie

      Right on, Sabrina! Couldn’t have said it better, myself.

  • FemmeFatale

    I think you’ve overanalyse the context beyond his intentions. He wasn’t scoffing at women’s right. He was self-reflecting his experience and what he realised about his own selfishness. The rest are general advice. Take it with a grain of salt my dear. You insert the ideas about abuse. That wasn’t what the content was written for or about. Maybe discuss w people who are married in your circle about their views before taking the high road on feminism. Your rant have consequences too if you’re smart and know what I mean. #singleandfemmefatale

    • neenjo69

      Thank you for being one of the few to recognize how slanted this article is. Taking a man’s well-intentioned revelation of his experience and twisting it into a debate about abusive relationships is completely ignorant of the context and hardly garners credibility in my book.

  • Brad

    I think the original article was written less about staying in an abusive relationship and more about preventing it. I agree with your sentiments about our patriarchal society and that women are given the bulk of the work in nurturing the relationship. However, the blog of discussion was written by a man. If men were to read this and follow through on the ideology it holds, there would be less abuse and both parts could gain from this viewpoint.

  • Lia

    After reading the complete”Marriage Isn’t For You” article, I’ve come to realize that if you’re marrying the right person for the right reasons, then he will also be thinking the same thing. You about him and his needs, him about you and your needs. Thus you balance each other out. :)

    Therefore, “putting your needs in the back burner” does not apply. Because your significant other is also thinking about you and your needs. And you about him.

    I’ve been in an abusive relationship. So I understand where you’re coming from. My mistake was thinking then that: “I needed him.” Where it should have been, “I needed me. If I’m blessed to meet a person to complement me, not complete me. Then that would be a bonus. I complete me. Thus together, we can make something new.” :) I’m glad to be with such a person (new) now. If we’ll go down that marriage road someday, then so be it.

    It’s about finding a right person: to build a marriage – grow old and build a family.

    Then again, not all people want to go down that road. Some are single and loving it. Some are married. Some have kids. Some don’t. Therefore, we should respect both differing opinions. :)

    Besides the wisdom came from “his old man”, he just shared his experience. It’s actually really thought provoking. Glad to see she didn’t quit on him, or him on her. In a world where divorces are a multitude, its heartwarming to see a story about a couple trying to make it work. And finding reassurance in their choice as a married couple.

  • James

    Smith’s article wasn’t just directed at females, it was directed just as equally at males.

    Can you disagree with the notion that if BOTH parties in a relationship (man/woman, woman/woman, man/man) practiced this amount of selflessness equally, it would foster a healthy and beautiful partnership? That’s what is so asinine about this retort by The Gloss. It totally forgets that the original article was meant for BOTH PARTIES. So, Mr. Seth Smith will be taking his own advice. So should every man.

    If Seth’s article was JUST directed at females, then yes, I’d have a huge problem with it, and it would leave a bad taste in my mouth as well. (I’m a guy, by the way). But it’s not. It’s for both the man and the woman. Neither are exempt from selfless love. The times I’ve been truly in love, most of my thoughts about my significant other really, truly were ‘What can I give?’ And those were the best relationships I ever had.

    So calm down, realize this is for both parties in the relationship, and instead write an article about how it’s so tough to find a guy that actually wants to give all that he is to make the relationship whole and complete. I’ll agree with that 100%.

    • OhioHeart

      Hallelujah, someone who gets it.

    • http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/ Belle Vierge

      Yes, it’s directed at both men and women. But Seth used the example of him behaving selfishly in his marriage, for MONTHS, and his wife continuously loving him selflessly. That’s frequently the beginning of an abusive relationship, and Seth holds it up as a model of how his wife’s selfless love transformed his selfish behavior. It’s great that it worked out for them. I don’t wish them any ill will or anything. But this is frequently modeled to women who are actually in abusive relationships, and they’re told they just haven’t tried hard enough. There’s a lot of, “See? This man’s wife helped him change! Your husband isn’t changing because you’re not selfless enough!” THAT is the problem. It’s a contextual issue, and in the greater context of the everyday messages women receive (ESPECIALLY within conservative Christian circles), it’s an unrealistic message at best and a dangerous one at worst.

  • Terry J.

    The article says: “My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one.” – This made me laugh! True That!

    I know people who does that EXACTLY. “Oh sorry we won’t work or damn this is just too hard, back to the shelves with you!” So wrong..

  • alec

    Thank you so much for this post! That article really bothered me, that sort of thinking, that if you just focus on the other person rather than yourself everything, is what kept my mom in an abusive relationship for /years/ It’s a wonderful ideal, but we don’t live in a perfect world, and ignoring yourself doesn’t make anything better

    • ryuu

      Who said anything about ignoring yourself?

  • OhioHeart

    That article precludes the idea that you have a brain and are able to choose an equally stable partner as yourself. Jesus Christ people.

  • Joe
  • a.penner

    I went back to reread the article to see if I missed something important that would help me understand why you were creeped out by it, but honestly I couldn’t find anything.

    I’ve witnessed an abusive relationship in my own home that went on for years and I didn’t see anything in that article that encouraged that sort of behavior.

    It was a story about a man who was expecting his future wife to make him happy which I would argue is an actual result of patriarchy and then he had it pointed out to him that marriage it is a two way street. That both people involved need to love each other and work together.

    The article was advice from father to son. Man to man about how you need to put your wife’s needs and possible future children’s needs before your own. In the article he clearly stated that this is how he thinks everyone should act not just women. If it was a woman talking to a woman giving advice on how to please your man maybe then I would agree with you.

    Also as someone who is getting married at the end of this month this is the ideal. My fiancé has shown me in so many ways how he is willing to let the small things go and sometimes even the big stuff and he does it out of love and I try to do the same. Relationships are about forgiving each other when it is hard and being there for each other when it is hard and that was all the article was trying to say.

  • BJ

    Well, way to set yourself up so that anyone who argues against you sounds like a “patriarchal” asshole. But it seems that if we follow your lead, put ourselves first and only give to the other person AFTER they’ve proven “time and again” that the other person (or the man in this case) loves you first, you set up a very one-sided relationship. I get that women need to take a stand for themselves and should be empowered to do so (especially when abuse is involved), but is the answer really to swing things to a matriarchal tyranny? After all, that can only be the conclusion that this type of thinking can get you to. If one tyranny is bad, is the answer really another one?

    The original article you referenced went, I think, too far in the “giving” direction. But you’ve now gone too far in the “taking” direction. If you can’t meet in the middle, then you’re probably going to stay “usually single”.

    Believe me, I wish I had known this wonderful middle before I got married. I almost lost my marriage because A) I did not assert my needs/wants and B) after feeling like marriage was all sacrifice, I became overly selfish as I felt I needed to “get mine” for once. But when things are healthy, yes, when you give love to someone, they will recognize this and be compelled to give back (like people who are given a second chance at life and start doing a bunch of charity work). However, no amount of “giving” will repair an abusive relationship.

  • Slave

    this is the stupidest follow up, you are a worthless piece of shit and hope you never find love or marriage Hayley.

  • T-LexRex

    Agreed! This article is problematic and super annoying. There are 1000+ hallmark cards sitting in CVS right now that say the general gist of his article so why is his post getting so much buzz? I believe that its because a guy is talking about feelings/ marriage/ caring which is for some reason novel (which is problematic). Then to top it off as Hayley points out in the article this set of ideals has already been internalized by women for a very, very long time. He is not saying anything new or profound. Yes wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all lived selflessly for the ones we love, sure except that people don’t and that exact message has been fed to woman for far too long now.

  • Chelsea

    Soooo, let me get this straight. A man writes an article on how we should love our partners better, and your response is: abused women stay in bad relationships…wtf?? Okay, you obviously glazed through the original article and looked for specific wording that validated your point. You missed the point of the article completely! That response would be like someone writing an article about hibernating bears and you respond: false, bears are being hunted…wtf!?!?

    Also, I’m confused by your extremely contradicting closing statement…
    “I’m sick of women having to be the bigger man. Treat yourself like a priority! Be giving and kind and selfless only when a man has proven time and again that he extends the same courtesy to you.”
    …You’re sick of women having to take control of their lives, so your advice to women is go take control of your life? Okay, cool, just wanted to clear that up… I hate when people go around blaming the woman for not getting out of bad relationships. The world is so F**ked up that we are constantly teaching woman how to be safe, take self defense classes and be a strong woman; we teach our women how to not get raped instead of teaching our MEN how to be decent human beings!!! We finally get a man who gets it and writes a beautiful article, and what do you do? You make it about women needing to be stronger in relationships. Well, I say bull s**t to you! I applaud the original writer’s father for raising a true gentleman; they are hard to find.

  • Chauntel

    I think you’re looking at it from the angle. I think that no one is more selfish than the abuser in an abusive relationship. The author is absolutely NOT saying or implying that the woman has to stick around and be selfless to make it work or make it better. I don’t think his message is dangerous at all. In fact, I think it helps to encourage healthy relationships and even could help a woman identify that her husband is not participating equally in the marriage in the act of making her his source of happiness, self-fulfillment, whatever – pretty typical for an abusive husband, hence why it is so hard to detach yourself from an abuser.

    If anything his article was a call to both men and women in marriages to participate equally and regard each other as equals.

  • Cassieleigh

    I hear ya and see where you’re coming from. But I think you’re missing a pretty big factor – it WAS written by a guy. Some guys really do get it. In fact, I’d say most of the men out there do – it may just take them a while longer.

    Clearly as you read women’s publications and see that they’re full of BS, wouldn’t you think the same holds true for men’s publications? I’ve read plenty of guy-mags and they’re all the same in terms of genuine personal enrichment (they’re all void of it.)

    I think your last point is good. Yes, everyone should value and respect themselves enough not to put up with being treated like crap. But even in “normal,” “equal” and safe relationships people can treat each other badly. It happens. But when that happens in my marriage, because we put the other first, our bad times are short lived.

    And I’d argue that your concern about women in abusive relationships, while valid and compassionate, is missing the fact that this post was written for guys. To help them grow past typical selfishness that we’re all afflicted with. If an abused woman read this, maybe she’d see not that SHE needs to keep loving the other person, but that she’s not actually getting the love she’s sending out there. It’s possible this should help.

    So let’s give this guy some credit. He gets it, he’s sharing it and it’s a good thing he’s putting out there.

  • Cassieleigh

    Just curious, Haley, but are you married?

  • Sarah

    I agree with the salient points here, but I think that being ‘creeped out’ is a bit excessive. It’s true that society puts more emphasis on women being selfless in relationships, but this is not a trait exhibited by Smith’s article, which as far as I can tell remains at least gender neutral and, if anything, leans slightly towards being male-directed (written by a man, on the subject of advice given by a man). I understand the concern that female readers may be more culturally primed to apply this advice to their own relationships, potentially with negative consequences, but that’s not really Smith’s fault; the explicit message in his article is ultimately that both parties, INCLUDING MEN (on whom it arguably focuses to some degree), should act selflessly. So, if our culture tells men that they can sit back and relax in their relationships, isn’t Smith’s article, if anything, contributing to a counter-culture?

    If his article is guilty of anything, IMO, it is of a) being oversimplistic (OF COURSE nobody should become a martyr to their spouse’s happiness) and also of b) being seemingly ignorant of the fact that advising people (especially women) to be selfless in romantic relationships is absolutely nothing new or ground-breaking (no matter how much people on Facebook are apparently acting as if it is…) – which, of course, backs up The Gloss’s point.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think the overall message of *this* article – that there is an unfair disparity between the messages sent to women and men re. relationships – is a valid and important one, but that using Smith’s article as a springboard for discussion is a little unfair.

  • Alex

    I get your point but I still think he was right. Your last line was completely off. Part of love is being those things even when your partner isn’t, cause I guarantee you aren’t always the perfect spouse. You treat others how you want to be treated, not how they are treating you. If they are abusing you, of course you leave. That doesn’t mean you stay with someone who abuses you, it means when they aren’t the perfect spouse because people are flawed, you stick with them and love them in the hard times, even if it feels one way.

  • Haley

    I’m not disagreeing that the article wasn’t for me. But I’m confused at how the article tells WOMEN to put their own needs on the back burner, when the article was written by a MAN who realized HE needed to put HER first.

    • Marty McFly

      But… it doesn’t… does it? All that Seth mentions about his wife’s experience is that she showed him selflessness, love, and forgiveness in the face of his selfishness.

      He doesn’t reveal or speculate any source of motivation for this Kim might have had, he just lays it out – ‘I was being self-centered, and she weathered through it with me and still loved me afterwards’ (obvious paraphrase). No where in the article does he suggest what a woman needs to do in a marriage, he only talks about his experience, how that compared to the experiences of his father, and how he interpreted that in a way to change his outlook on his marriage.

      He does reach out to people of either/any gender at the end of the article, but only to say that ‘the love you take is equal to the love you make’, not even exclusively within the frame of a marriage but in any relationship. I don’t see him specifically mentioning sacrifices, and certainly not going as far as suggesting that it is women who need to be making them.

  • Kay

    Except for the ENTIRE point of his article is that he IS a man… saying that he wants to put the woman in his life over himself.

  • Claire

    Ehh….I don’t know if I agree with this. Granted, I had different problems with the blog post. But I don’t think he is saying WOMEN need to be the selfless ones? He is saying EVERYONE should be more selfless in their relationships. I don’t see why this is an attack on women…

  • Dan

    This is SO ridiculous. Like freaking obviously Seth Smith wasn’t talking about abusive relationships when he wrote the article. If a woman knows she is putting her all into a relationship and getting nothing in return, maybe its time to move on. Marriage is not about “Treat[ing] yourself like a priority!” like self righteous Haley Hoover over here is saying. FINALLY theres a popular article that ISN’T about “Sizzling Sex Adventures”, “Be the Best He’s Ever Had!” and “Be sexier by tonight!” and you have to go and ruin it…awesome. You give me lots of faith.

  • gracie5290

    UGH! Why does every article that rips the original post take it that he was directing his advice to ONLY women. Even though he was using himself as an example as the more selfish mate that needed to work on it. He’s talking to both men and women. Also A) you are an idiot if you think he was talking about ALL marriages, including abusive ones. Obviously if your spouse is abusing you, you are not in a LOVING marriage. His whole post was about practicing the selfless act of LOVE. B) You are an idiot if you thought he was saying that you should completely neglect all of your own needs for your partners. Taking care of your own needs will make you a better partner, but by putting your own happiness first at the expense of your partners is being selfish and not loving. Just like the popular Bible verse says, “Love is patient, love is kind… it is not self-seeking…”

  • big dawg

    Hayley, i think you’r living a miserable life, no need to drag other people with you if they find the other article inspiring. go ahead and sleep with a different men until you find the perfect one which i doubt.

  • Random

    This is such a sexist article. Cute that your battling sexism with sexism. And that’s besides the fact that he was a man, being totally selfless, which you should be for…

  • Kat

    I think you miss the who point of his blog. He doesn’t just talk about women being selfless, in fact I’m sure he references himself as the selfish one (correct me if I’m wrong). I don’t see him reference his wife as anything other than selfless and he says it was he who needed to change. He is speaking about equality and having a stable marriage. I honestly don’t see how you get this from the article. Instead of always bashing stuff that men say and thinking that it is all bad, trying reading it for what it is: one person’s observations of their marriage. Equality does not start with revenge. I see this as a man who really honestly cares about marriage and cares even more about his. I just honestly don’t see how you get that. This guy understands equality in marriage more than you. Try listening to him rather than critiquing him.

  • Getmyfingersoutofyourthroat

    Great Gravy Glazed Gandhi I am sick and tired of this rhetoric being applied to everything under the sun by hipsters who want to earn their cool kid stripes.

    It’s offensive to me as a man, and you’re a hypocritical sexist for contributing to it.

    Half the world doesn’t have some fleshy boneless manifestation of lucifer between their legs, and the other half isn’t victim of some massive worldwide cross cultural international conspiracy keeping them from doing anything of consequence.

    Last I checked, my fingers aren’t down anyone’s throats.
    Would Joan of Arc or Cleopatra stay in an abusive relationship?
    Would Rosie the Riveter just go back to cleaning the house telling herself it was her own fault?

    Fuck no. Check your own ranks. No one’s keeping you down, your constituents just don’t want to grow some heart when it’s so much easier to let the annoying ones complain via social media until you’re all put on the endangered species list.

    You aren’t MLK, you couldn’t be farther from Malcom X. You’re Jesse Jackson at best. Probably closer to Kanye.

    This article is about love and selflessness, and is written from the point of view of a man who realizes the woman he loves has been selfless, whether or not she’s been conditioned to be, and is grateful and reforms himself to match his imput. He should be an example of equality and harmony to your cause, not some terrible preacher with a motive to keep women down.

    Abusive relationships are atypical. They are unloving. The women who stay in them are deluded, and are usually the weak type B personalities that have no ambition and undermine real feminists efforts. If a man abuses you, he doesn’t love you, and you aren’t being selfless, you’re giving yourself to subservency and need to leave. His article doesn’t apply to this dynamic. You are grasping at straws like the WBC grasps at straws when they picket soldiers funerals because the soldier worked for bush who tolerates gays that Leviticus alone said god didn’t like, which is ironic because your message is also one of hate and ignorance with no regard for collateral damage outside of your intended message.

    Stop villainizing men and playing the victim. You’re complaining about a glass ceiling, it doesn’t even have shingles. Maybe if you actually had any momentum or force whatsoever, and fewer free riders, it wouldn’t be that hard to shatter.

    • Sarah

      Wow. The majority of your post is ridiculous, but saying that women who stay in abusive relationships are “usually weak type B personalities that have no ambition” is particularly disgusting and ignorant.

    • Logan

      yup, that was the part that got me too. He has obviously never taken a Psych course. Women who end up in these relationships aren’t weak and dumb, they more than most likely come from abusive backgrounds. That part really disgusted me too.

  • Emily

    whoever wrote this has some serious trust issues and possibly has never experienced true selfless love from a partner before. If you’re getting married to someone I would sure hope you have already experienced the selflessness they provide to you and vise versa..otherwise you wouldn’t be getting married. this is an attack on trust and loyalty found in true love. I’m sorry, but I will never think love is something you have to earn time and time again.. love is a blessing for us all and shouldn’t be used so rarely.. as well as trust and selflessness.

  • mommy34

    Love is selfless. I’d like to address a point you made. “Women don’t need to be explicitly told to put men first. We already get that message a thousand times a day (Hoover, 2013).” You are absolutely right. When Apostle Paul wrote about marriage, he understood that women know how to love their husbands, so that is why he wrote that not only must we love them; we must respect them too. To husbands, he said to love their wives as Christ loves the church (which is selfless).

  • Tessa

    I liked the essay he wrote, but I don’t think he was thinking about his audience in terms of people already in bad relationships … What I took from the essay was that if BOTH partners invest in the other instead of themselves, the marriage benefits; of course, this isn’t a good message if only one partner is listening.

  • Suika

    Why on earth is this written as if he was directing the blog towards women? That’s actually very assuming of this author.
    He was directing it to both marriage partners, saying BOTH people should approach marriage with this mindset of putting the other first, and in that context, if BOTH people are doing that, it would be a healthy marriage. What is wrong with that? I am completely on board with calling things out that are sexist or putting women in a dangerous position due to domestic violence, but I think tying to view this man’s blog in that light and putting in to that box is misguided, biased, and blowing it way out of its original context.
    Firstly, he is writing that BOTH partners should be putting the other first, and in this context there is harmony in a marriage. But furthermore, seeing how this was a MAN writing his realizations that HE had not been doing this on HIS end in his relationship, don’t you think that is more likely to be seen as speaking to MEN that they need to be doing this in their marriages? It is speaking to both people, yes, but I think it is incredibly empowering for the cause of women for a man to be speaking up and saying he needs to be approaching his marriage this way, not the other way around as you seem to be claiming…
    He is speaking to both partners, and calling himself out particularly, as a man. How on earth is that being taken to be simply speaking to women?

  • Shifty McGee

    Except, silly woman writer, the article you are quoting was written by a man for MEN. Oops. It has NOTHING to do with women having to sacrifice for men.

    I have better comprehension skills reading a cookbook.

  • Marty McFly

    I feel like the whole problem with this is about perspective. The original article, as I understood it, was written by a man to other men, to combat the very “sit back and relax” attitude that married men seem to adopt so often.

    For some reason, this blogger takes offense because if the message “You need to frame your marriage more in terms of what makes your spouse happy” was directed from a man to a woman (which it wasn’t – I feel like an article written by a man to a woman telling them how to live out their marriage would be hard to relate to) when the article was clearly supposed to be a source of married male advice. It’s not as if the author of the article talks about his mother’s experience in marriage – he tells us about his father’s experience.

    I am not sure why the blogger understood this to be directed at women, but it was not, and that is where the confusion has set in…

  • nast

    This is a crock of sh*t…..if you get married as a man you’ve made the financial gamble of your life. The divorce rate is around 50%, when you get married you pool assets hence your essentially starting a corporation. What sensible businessman would agree to giveup at least half of his assest if not more just bc the partnership doesn’t work out that’s insane. Besides, id like to hear one thing outside of a tax break you can get married that you can’t get single.

  • sarah

    I would hope that someone who is in an unhealthy relationship, Male or female, has the courage, help and support form loved ones, to leave. I am getting ready to get married for the second time and when I read Seth’s article, I was truly inspired. In the trend of “it’s all about me” , we lose something. I gain far more by serving and helping others – the rewards are not measurable. So in a relationship, I do think that you get what you give.

  • James Dixn

    I agree with the author of this that Seth has a good idea, but with only one year in marriage he is delusional and does not have any experience. Even with my 8-9 years I don’t claim to know everything about a healthy good relationship. Through 2 deployments, multiple monthly trips apart, her alcoholism and mental problems on both parts. I feel that his advise is not on his happiness, or hers but, your own is important. Both Seth and this author have problems in their rational. Seth is not saying “she” should make hi happiness more important, but If he does things for her, he should also focus on his happiness, if she isn’t reciprocal in the relationship then GET OUT early and focus on yourself. This goes for both sides.

  • Lauren

    Ahh, here’s yet another young female in her twenties who thinks she’s using her own brain and being intelligent in her assessment, when in reality, she’s just allowed herself to be brainwashed by what feminism and gender studies courses tell her to think.
    Same stuff, different day. I’m moving on to try to find a blog from a woman who can think for herself now. I don’t think I’ll have much success, but I still have hope.