Ask Him: Why Do Men Want Dependent Women?

Q:  “WHY IS it that some men seem to actively want a woman with no autonomy or desire for independence?

Magazine Illustration of Husband Kissing Wife in Kitchen

A: I appreciate that you said “some” men. Because I would say (or at least hope) that the vast majority of men do not want a woman with no desire for autonomy or independence, especially in present times. Things have changed very much since the 1950s, and though gender equality is not really existent yet to the extent we all hope it will be, positive steps have been made to make it the only acceptable notion in the cultural zeitgeist.

I, personally, want to love a woman who has independence and autonomy and would only part ways with either if metaphorically pried from her cold, dead fingers. I don’t want somebody depending on me to provide everything for him or her. That’s a lot of pressure. The way I see it, you should be in a relationship with a person because you’re both alright on your own, but when you’re joined together you become better people, and also people who have sex regularly.

But there are dudes who want women who are submissive and not at all independent — women who will be homemakers (kind of) and greet them when they come home from a day of long hard work, often after spending some of his money on something that is not really a necessity. And that’s… fine, I guess, because there are still plenty of women out there who are living their lives with the sole purpose of garnering an engagement ring, getting married, and then living comfortably on their husband’s largish bi-weekly paycheck. At some point, she might give birth to children. Hopefully she will not pass her ideals along to her children, and if she does, they decide to go against the family grain.

Why do these boys want such a dependent woman?

There are a number of reasons, none of which I agree with or find justifiable, but there they are:

  • They grew up in the dynamic of male provider/domestic female whose job is only to raise children, something she does only at her convenience, and they just assume that this is the way things should be. And this seemed normal to them, and also kind of happy sometimes, so they are going to follow that same model when attempting to make a family of their own. They see no need and have little desire to deviate from the dynamic in which they were raised.
  • Feelings of inadequacy are often acted on in a way that doesn’t really solve the whole inadequacy complex, but delays having to solve it, maybe forever. I think a lot of men who feel inherently inadequate seek a woman who will depend very much on them. It’s much less easy to feel perpetually inadequate when you have someone in your life who is both encouraging AND dependent. How inadequate can you really be when you are providing the life and comfort support for at least one other human being?
  • There are men out there who are like Christian Grey. He’s a metaphor (and I may be way overstating the merit of the Fifty Shades series here, from an intellectual standpoint) for the kind of powerful, successful businessman who is unable to settle only for wealth and submission from his colleagues. He has a strange complex where he needs someone to need him, and to be submissive to his desires in exchange for his comforting support. I’m not saying these guys have a sex dungeon or even a desire to tie you up in the sack. I’m saying that many guys are concerned with submission and dependence out there in the real world.
  • Some guys believe (and not totally inaccurately) that by establishing their worth to a woman, and by supporting her in her needs and wants, they will latch her in for life, regardless of true love and marriage vows and all of that stuff that isn’t taken as seriously as it once was.
  • Not every man wants to live the rest of his life with a woman who is going to continuously challenge him to be a better human being, and a more positive contributor to society at large. These are the kinds of guys who tend to check things off their list and feel an all-encapsulating feeling of accomplishment, no matter how shoddy the execution was. To some of these fellas, finding a hot wife is one of those things they need to check off the list.
  • Being left by someone you love is a horrible thing. A thing that people do not ever want to feel. At the end of the day, a guy might seek a woman who cannot handle independence so that she will never leave him. It can be daunting to be with someone who is self-sufficient, because you know that if they ever fell out of love with you and decided to part ways with you, they could easily support themselves and live a fruitful life without you.
  • Guys can be idiots who tend to screw up everything, including deciding what they want and subsequent actions to acquire what they want.

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