Now that we have finished talking about how Command Men are servants, we'll talk about the REAL servants in the Command's life. Namely, the wife of a Command Man. Here goes.
Text is in purple.
The Command Man's Help Meet
If you are a Command Man, chances are you expect your wife to wait on you hand and foot. By choosing not to comply she may have broken you from your native expectation, but your need for a close subordinate remains. Kings need advisers and heads of state to carry out their wills. The Command/King type just assumes that those within his jurisdiction, especially his wife, are there to assist in his rule. What other purpose could they have...could SHE have? (Emphasis his)
Because isn't that the sign of a healthy marriage? Being waited on hand and foot. I'd understand if there was sickness or injury that required nursing, but Michael isn't talking about that. He is, literally, talking about being waited upon, pretty much forever. Why? Well, because he's a Command Man, and that's his nature!
The King analogy is silly, because the Kind's advisers and heads of state can actually make their own decisions. And their advice was actually heeded, because even kings (especially kings) need to delegate, and why put someone in charge if you don't trust their opinion? Even back in the day, the Lords and Earls pretty much ran their estates as they saw fit. And as long as the King was getting his taxes, and nothing too hinky was going on, he stayed out of it. So I think it's odd that Michael would equate a head of state with a wife, when Michael has been saying this whole book that women aren't logical, are too emotional, and can't be trusted to make the right decision (because of their wimmin hormonz).
Honestly, what Michael assumes are traits of a king, are more aligned with oppressive, tyrannical dictator.
Are you guilty as charged? I know I am, but I don't feel guilty about the drive, only the use I make of it sometimes. I am a Command Man first and foremost, and a Visionary second, so it is one type I know well, both strengths and weaknesses. And you can expect my bias towards the Command man type to come through in my writing. I can't help it; just ask my second in command-my wife. At 66 years old I have made my share of mistakes, and I have also seen the constructive things a man can do if he uses his leadership powers to organize others in the pursuit of a worthy goal. Working together we accomplish much more than the sum total of our individual endeavors. Without a strong leader, people don't rally or focus.
I know that throughout the book, especially the chapters on the 3 types of men, if the whole manuscript is Michael's justification of his actions. I read this paragraph, and I was chilled. He doesn't say that it's not OK to treat your wife as a servant. He doesn't really apologise for anything. Just "Hey, it's my nature. People need to be led."
Honestly, he's made some very disturbing points, but I think the worst thing he ever said is this paragraph. He is blatantly not sorry for...well, anything. Even when he admits mistakes, 3 words later, he's pontificating about how necessary and wonderful command men are. Not to mention he openly admits his bias towards Mr. C. Not that that was wholly shocking, having read the other sections.
How does being a Command man affect a marriage relationship? A Command Man doesn't want his wife involved in any project that prevents her from immediately attending to his interests. His endeavors are the most important thing going; everything else is a waste of time. he likes for his wife to stay busy and productive, but when he calls he expects her to drop everything and come running to his side. He needs and wants a helper and will value her greatly, exalting her to a place of prominence, setting her beside him on the throne.
Holy cow. I am so creeped out right now. Because Michael just assumes this type of relationship is normal, healthy, and great for everyone. I don't really see how this can be a relationship, unless it's the parasitic kind. The wife is literally on call every minute of every day. Can you imagine how frazzling that must be for her? She can't even count on having time to do her hobbies (as long as they are productive and husband-approved), because she knows she'll have to put aside her knitting to get him a glass of water-even when he just walked through the kitchen.
I just can't get over how awful this marriage sounds, nor how normal-or ideal-he makes this sound. I feel sick.
The Command Man can be the most principled and outwardly loyal to his woman of all three types. He will do everything he can to make her a queen in private and in public, but he does so on his own terms. Don't expect him to conform to the customs and amenities of that regulate others; he charts his own romantic course. But if his wife resists his authority and shuns his overtures, he of all the types is most likely to just move forward without her as if nothing is wrong. He will not come back to beg or apologize and make a third appeal. If he is a generally intolerant and immature person he can become very cruel to his unsubmissive wife.
I'm struggling to see how a tyrant is principled and outwardly loyal. And what is with the "outwardly" qualifier? Is he not internally loyal? Is loyalty something that can be turned on or off, depending on the environment?
Also, the more I read about Mr. Command, the more sociopathic he sounds. He does everything on his own terms, never apologises, conforms to his own customs, and takes no responsibility. The type of man that Michael is describing (maybe himself) sounds terrifying.
Michael doesn't explain what he means when he talks about the wife shuns his overtures. Does he mean not immediately come running? Gossiping or complaining to others? The vagueness of 'resisting authority' is worrisome, because it is open to interpretation. Poached eggs instead of hardboiled? Rebellion. Mother-in-law visited out of the blue? Resistance. This vagueness truly makes any decision the wife makes on her own a target.
Not to mention how Michael seems quite OK with the philosphy "If you're wife isn't doing what you need, just keep going. Don't worry about how she feels-YOU, sir, are most important." Plus the ease in which he assumes any Command who is cruel is immature and intolerant. Because cruelty and people's psyches are SOOO easy to boil down into simple explanations.
Of the three types of men, it is the Command Man that is most likely to shut the door on his wife and leave her behind if she does not share his vision. A Command Man will often demand respect, honor, even homage, whether he deserves it or not. When his wife, who might have been raised by a kind, forgiving Steady father, doesn't chalk his line, he will often walk off and leave her before she has a chance to realize she is even close to losing her marriage. When a man quits, he is a quitter. When a man shuts the door, he is not only shutting out his wife, he is shutting the door through which the blessings of God were to be delivered. He is relegating the rest of his life to second place or lower.
If something goes wrong in the marriage-it's the woman's fault. Really, no surprise by this point. You didn't share your husbands vision; you weren't submissive enough; you, Mrs. Command, deserve to be left behind. And what is up with a man demanding homage? One definition I found was : the relation thus established of a vassal to his lord. This is what Michael thinks is OK and normal in a marriage? It's a terrible relationship in economics or feudal systems. I can't even begin to describe how damaging it is to view one's wife as a serf, and then say that by serving him, he will "elevate" her to a place beside him on the throne.
If there's one thing that reading a bunch of medieval-period books have taught me, it's that a serf is a serf. To kings or lords, serfs are little more than animals. Animals that are expendable, interchangeable, and inhuman. (Yes, there are exceptions). This should not be how one sees-or treats!-their spouse.
I also think it's odd that while Michael compares the Command Man to God, the words "kind, forgiving father" are attributed to the Steady Man. Apparently the God Michael worships is petty, mean, and unforgiving. Which I suppose gives Michael permission to be the same? Poor Debi.
Considering how dreadful Michael makes divorce (or leaving) sound, I wouldn't be surprised if people interpret passages like this to mean "Stay in your marriage no matter what the cost!" As someone who grew up in an abusive, dysfunctional household, I can honestly attest that there are things worse than divorce.
Oh, one other thing I noticed. Read sections from Debi's book. It is really hard to determine the differences in the voices of the authors. There's been speculation that the same person wrote both books, and every now and again, I'm inclined to believe it.
Next post, we get to talk about the Command Man's great weakness. Because, apparently, viewing and treating one's wife as chattel, never apologising, and generally being a tyrant are the traits of a strong, well balanced person. Oh dear.