Do women and men have to obey different rules in life?

Soumyaguna asks: We have many small fights between us. I don’t want to fight but it’s like whatever he does is ok but if the same thing I do it’s not for him. And if I say that “you also did the same,” then he is like “so u want to do equal equal or what?” And whenever I cry he becomese very angry. He doesn’t want me to cry, but I cry because I can’t show my anger in front of him!

Hi Soumyaguna –


So there are two parts to your question.  One where he believes in a “double-standard,” where there are things he can do but not you.  And the other where he gets angry if you cry – and you cry because you don’t have the right to show you’re angry.


This is a drastic case of inequality.


Now I know what that feels like.  Handsome can get onto the couch, but I can’t.  Handsome can eat the good things on the table, and I’m not supposed to.  It’s not fair, but I love him so much I accept it.


But I’m not a human.  As a dog, I’m something that all of society says is not the equal to a person.  “Treat him like a dog” is a way of saying to take away a person’s rights and make them less than human.  So I’m not offended by this, just annoyed.


But you’re a human being!


Now all cultures have different roles for women and men.  In some, women should keep their heads covered.  In some, men should always walk ahead.  And I’m not here to say what’s right or wrong for those values.  But it sounds to me like you and this man have very different ideas about what you should or should not be able to do.  And this has to get resolved, the sooner the better.


I don’t know what the other things are that he says he can do and you can’t, but expressing anger is a BIG one!  Babies express anger with their first breath, two-year-olds express it by saying “No” all the time, teenagers do it through rebellion, and adults set the boundaries of their life by it.  (Not to mention us dogs – even the most cheerful ones occasionally give out a snarl or angry woof!)  Anger is part of life!  Sure, no one likes being around someone who’s surly or snappy all the time, but it’s not something you shouldn’t have in you.


Similarly, crying is great!  That’s something we dogs actually can’t do – and I wish we could.  You humans can transform your hurt or grieving feelings into tears and convulsions of energy – that’s amazing!


What it really sounds like, to me, is that this guy can’t handle you having any emotions or actions that disagree with what he wants.  If you do something that doesn’t serve his views or wishes, he says you’re wrong to do them.  If you feel anything other than happy about what he’s saying or doing, he says you’re wrong to feel it – and especially to express that feeling.


I’ll put it simply – this is not the key to beginning a happy relationship!


Now again, I’m not saying what rules and roles are appropriate for your relationship.  All I’m saying is that you have 50% say in what they are.  And (and here’s the important part) if you two can’t agree on what works, your relationship is likely doomed.


One of the wisest things I’ve ever heard about human romantic relationships comes from a man named John Gray, who wrote a famous book called Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, about how men and women interact.  He pointed out that some relationships between people of different interests can work, and some between people of different energies.  But that it’s absolutely essential that a couple have the same Values.  Especially if they’re thinking of ever having kids.  They must agree on the roles, on what’s important, and on what’s not a big deal.


So if you two agree that the man should generally be in charge, that’s fine.  But even if you do, you must have an equal voice, and make sure that he and you agree on what things you can do.  And you – not him, YOU – need to give yourself the right, for the rest of your life, to feel pain and anger, and to express them in appropriate ways.  Ways that you feel are appropriate.  Sure, throwing a tantrum in the middle of a family dinner might be dumb.  But angrily talking about what bothered you when you’re driving home afterward can be great.  And crying – for sadness or joy – is just part of life.


So again, my friend, I can’t give you specifics.  But if this guy is as excited about you as you’ve said, then he should be very willing to talk about all this stuff.  And if he isn’t willing, then maybe he’s not as right for you as it was looking.


You deserve to live.  It’s really that simple!


All my best,


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