Thursday, October 31, 2013

Is provision something we selected for?

What were women, who are in successful, long lasting marriages, attracted to in their husbands? 

If you can think back to what attracted you to him, was his provision something that you were attracted to? If so, is his provision still an indicator of your attraction to him? When the amount of money he makes declines, does your attraction to him decline? When the amount of money he makes increases, does your attraction to him increase?

Blogger, Donalgraeme has asked for more of my thoughts on this subject.  His post, The 5 Vectors of Female Attraction lists Money as one of those 5 vectors:
Money: This attribute includes both the amount of resources that a man can call upon in the present, as well as what he might be able to make or create in the future. This doesn’t necessarily mean just money; real property and other assets can be included as well. I view this as the second weakest attribute in terms of importance.
Relevance: This attribute is tied primarily to the provision impulse, and is probably the strongest indicator of a man’s ability to provide. It is the most “Beta” of the attributes here, but is also an Alpha attribute as well. From an evolutionary perspective, this is a fairly straightforward analysis. A man with resources is a man who can provide for a woman and her children during even harsh times. Also, in the past a man with a lot of resources available was someone who was probably quite good at providing, and thus probably athletic and high-status as well. So in this sense Money could serve as a proxy for other attributes.  From a biblical perspective things become a little more difficult to explain. In more than one section of the Bible money is considered a source of sin and/or something to be avoided, although it is never rejected in full. Perhaps one way of looking at it is that a man with money is a man blessed by God, and someone who finds favor in His eyes.
As I've considered this, I have thought back to what it was that I personally selected for and provision was not part of it. In fact, over the course of having known RLB for nineteen years, the amount of money he has made has not influenced my attraction to him, and it certainly had no bearing on my initial attraction to him.

Even when I think that perhaps part of my attraction to him was his potential to provide, it still doesn't hold. If that were the case, then one could only conclude I'd have lost attraction to him when he became injured and potentially permanently disabled. Which has just not happened.

Eight years ago, when he told me he was going to enlist in the Army, we had to fill out a financial waiver application because of our family size and the amount of money he'd be making as a Private First Class. While he was gone away at boot camp, I managed our finances without a thought of reduced attraction to him. Considering prior to this he was making four times what he made initially in the Army, there's no way I can associate attraction to him with his income. And, let me tell you, that first sight of him at his Basic Training graduation...yeah, no attraction lost. Quite the opposite actually!

Like most couples who have been married for any length of time, we have had several ups and downs financially. I have always viewed the down times as time to partner up and work together. I've viewed stretching dollars as a challenge I was eager to take on. "We were poor but we were happy" is a common expression by long time married couples. I know many wives who view the financially trying times of their marriages as times where their priorities came into focus, they remember them fondly.

RLB might argue this with me when he thinks back to when our son was an infant. He was working two jobs and still only making $8000/year. I was postpartum and bitchy and fretting over money. I needed diapers and formula and didn't have enough money to get them. My frustration was with the situation, it was not with him. If he reflects back, he'll remember he was getting more sex during that time than any 25-year-old broke dude could imagine. And let's just be honest, exhausted new moms who cry over everything are not prone to put out much unless they're very attracted to their husbands. (RLB's response to my money issues was to walk five miles in a snow storm to donate plasma. He returned, dropped the money in my lap and told me to shut up. Really, is there a question what I was attracted to? It had nothing to do with money.)

Are there women who are attracted to money? Of course. Are there women who have been married for fifteen plus years who hold money as one of the attraction triggers towards their husbands? This is probably unlikely. Most marriages that survive more than fifteen years have endured financial hard times. When money is foundational in a marriage, that marriage is as stable as a house built on sand.

Edit: I think it's important to establish what "attracted to" means within the context of a marriage. I'm hesitant to simply confine it to the number of times a wife has sex with her husband. I've known women who have sex with their husbands twice a week like clockwork because it is the terms they've established. While this may be healthy, it does not necessarily indicate her attraction level to him (and in one person's case in particular, it most definitely did not - she was not attracted to her husband much at all). We ladies know what it means to be attracted to our husbands, we want them. We want to be sexual with them, intimate with them, spend time with them, dote on them, serve them, make them happy, we enjoy seeing them happy and satisfied.

16 comments:

  1. Thank you for giving your perspective SD. The subject intrigues me for several reasons.

    For one, I have long suspected that Money was the weakest of the different male attraction attributes. Unless a man makes a ton of money, I don't think it really matters much at all. Or the environment is such that starvation/privation is the norm, and a man's provisioning ability literally means the difference between life and death.

    The second reason is that a number of folks in these parts have insisted that a man should be able to provide for a wife and children before he marry. Some men around these parts have taken exception to this (I haven't, at least, not like they have), arguing that it turns men into pack-mules. My primary inquiry into the subject was how much of an impact a man's ability to provide should have on his marriageability, but you raise a good point. Provision really doesn't have a big impact on a man's attractiveness, or at least it isn't for most women. My suspicion is that most of the demand for male provision as a necessity for marriageability is either academic (for a few), or something that parents insist on (much more common). And I suspect that this has always been the case. Parents don't care about a man's attractiveness when he starts to court their daughter, they care about whether he will be able to take care of her and their grandchildren. Provision obviously has an impact there. Parents care, young women looking to marry less so. Unless they have serious entitlement issues about what they deserve in a husband, of course.

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    1. There is a difference between a man being lazy and therefore poor (a bad provider) and a man going through hard times or paying dues and going to extraordinary measures to meet his family's needs.
      Provision is a measure of the willingness to self sacrifice and the amount doest change with his bank account.
      Just my 2 cents Donal.

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    2. Sorry "does not"

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  2. Oh, and addressing your update...

    I don't think its frequency that demonstrates a wife's sexual attractiveness to her husband, it is her willingness and eagerness for intercourse. In fact, her general desire to be around him, I suspect, is a manifestation of her attraction to him.

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  3. "(RLB's response to my money issues was to walk five miles in a snow storm to donate plasma. He returned, dropped the money in my lap and told me to shut up. Really, is there a question what I was attracted to? It had nothing to do with money.)"


    This quote is evidence that money is a proxy for something else. And that something is the male creative strength-of-will, the potential use of it in her presence and for her to possibly help him in that use.

    The conundrum is this, if she selflessly helps him the synergistic effect makes the outcome greater than it would be otherwise and they both gain more from the willing cooperation. He does more with her willing help and she gains more honor and possibly wealth by being associated with him.

    But if she mostly sees his strength as something she can use for her own ends, no matter how little of it she actually takes for her own use, then they are left with what he would have had anyway minus the attention she diverted and minus the never reached synergistic effect.

    And through this we know that a selfish wife is worse than no wife.

    The Proverbs 31 wife by helping her husband is helping herself. Just ask Ruth.

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  4. I think money is being equated with provision and they are not the same.

    As you said, your attraction did not wax and wane based on the amount of money he made. Because that does not equal provsion. Donating blood for baby needs is provsion. It is the willingness to provide for a family even to the point of self sacrifice.

    I dont know that this is initially sexually attractive. But it is what took me from pure physical sexual attraction to locked onto him and forsaking all others. It is heady to be sexually attracted to a man AND he is willing to protect and provide for you. Otherwise he is just good looking.

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  5. The second reason is that a number of folks in these parts have insisted that a man should be able to provide for a wife and children before he marry.

    Key word being should. Which goes back to the is/ought dilemma. Like you've indicated, as parents, if we are able to choose the man our daughters marry, we'd likely select for this. But is it something that is attractive to her (makes him seem physically desirable to her). And still I believe the answer is no. Perhaps it ought to be something make her attracted to him. I just don't think it is much of a contributing factor.

    @Carlotta
    I dont know that this is initially sexually attractive. But it is what took me from pure physical sexual attraction to locked onto him and forsaking all others. It is heady to be sexually attracted to a man AND he is willing to protect and provide for you. Otherwise he is just good looking.

    It is most definitely a comfort trait in a man - and might be one of the most important comfort trait in a man who is dominant/powerful/good looking. Like the icing on an already delicious cake.

    However, there are many men who have a lot of money, who can provide anything a woman and children could possibly need in life, the are strong and in good shape, they know how to hunt and prepared to survive in an economic collapse yet are not attractive to women. Many are not ugly, they are visually attractive.

    And, this likely being most disturbing to the men I've described above, there are men who still maintain a strong attraction from their wives who do not work, do not make good economic decisions, squander the money the family does have on foolish things, and often times are not ashamed of bringing their families to the brink of economic disaster. They will take assistance from others around them without doing anything necessary to improve themselves.

    @Athor Pel
    if she selflessly helps him the synergistic effect makes the outcome greater than it would be otherwise and they both gain more from the willing cooperation

    Absolutely, the outcome will often be many times greater. We see this all the time. A family whose cup is overflowing and there is only one income/one career in the family. Whereas a family with two different careers, different paths in life, different focuses, will often look like they have more money on paper but suffer deeply in true expressions of lifestyle. There are physics formulas to this that I am intelligent enough to understand but not explain. :) F = MA somethin' or another.

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  6. One of my friends broke up her relationship because he had TOO much money. She said the day she knew it wasn't going to work was the rainy day they spent together looking at the classifieds for a house to buy and develop, just because they were bored. She said her idea of a marriage was that it represented a future the couple could work on together - saving up for their first home, saving up for their first trip together, getting excited about planning their future life together. She said none of this was going to be possible with someone who had so much money he could buy a house on a whim, plus she would always be just the pretty handbag on his arm. So she went and found someone else.

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    1. Welcome Bodycrimes.

      You've illustrated something I've thought must be the case for some of the break ups I've seen and what has formulated my thought process that money isn't the attraction trait it might seem to be.

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    2. Let's be honest Bodycrimes, she wanted to stoop someone else and that was just a stupid excuse.

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    3. That's the point though, darling - it doesn't matter what the woman said (what her excuse or reasoning was), what matters in relation to my post is that the man with the money was not attractive to her.

      Women who are *attracted to the men they are with don't move on to find someone else.

      *see my edit on what "attracted to" means.

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    4. @Carlotta

      I guess you know her better than I do. Especially as some time elapsed between when she left him and met someone else. But even if your point were true, the question on the table was about money and attractiveness. In at least one case that I can point to, money could not only not buy a relationship, it was the money itself that was a problem. That may not hold true for many or most other people, of course.

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  7. I think that Provision, or the ability to provide, is more of a desirability trait than an attraction trait. Once a man is considered attractive then it becomes much more meaningful. But a man has to overcome that hurdle first.

    However, there are many men who have a lot of money, who can provide anything a woman and children could possibly need in life, the are strong and in good shape, they know how to hunt and prepared to survive in an economic collapse yet are not attractive to women. Many are not ugly, they are visually attractive.

    Their problem is that they lack Masculine Power. Their personality turns women off, and because Power is the most powerful of the "vectors", it doesn't matter what their other features are like.

    As you have stated SD, you kept your attraction to RLB despite hard times because he still had that essential quality of Power.

    Key word being should. Which goes back to the is/ought dilemma. Like you've indicated, as parents, if we are able to choose the man our daughters marry, we'd likely select for this.
    Which is why parental involvement is key. Women don't screen for provision, even when they should. Attraction comes first and foremost.

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  8. @ Donal
    Key word being should. Which goes back to the is/ought dilemma. Like you've indicated, as parents, if we are able to choose the man our daughters marry, we'd likely select for this.
    Which is why parental involvement is key. Women don't screen for provision, even when they should. Attraction comes first and foremost.

    Agreed. This speaks to parenting more then anything else. It is something that has to be TAUGHT to daughters and is something they learn by living it in their parent's relationships.
    A man who wants to get married should be willing to make adjustments to provide for a wife. Of course he needs to. Just like she needs to make immediate adjustments to live on what he provides and to provide for him in her wifely duties.

    My Husband, when he realized he wanted me and to keep me he had to marry me immediately went into the military. He said he was willing to leave college and all his plans to provide immediate provision. He was 18.

    Had he not had this mindset of excellence in provision I would not have been as attracted to him. Period. I wanted to rip his clothes off (and I was a virgin). But I had met very good looking men before. I have had offers before him and after him of marriage even. But I wanted him. I wanted him for looks but I considered him for marriage because of the provision and protection which he immediately displayed for me in the ways you do while dating.

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  9. Women don't screen for provision, even when they should.

    There is a very vocal group of men who very much disagree with what you just said there.

    My thoughts on this are becoming more clear. RLB and I just had a great discussion about it and he told me I should write up another post on it. Stay tuned.

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    1. Oh, I will. I've been considering writing on the topic as well, but I will wait for you. I really should be working on something else anyways.

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