I can’t help feeling like this is a lot more emotional work for me, on top of all that I already do in the relationship. This is actually a pet peeve of mine that I was recently talking to a friend about. When a man disappoints you, he gets mad at you for pointing out that he has failed to gain your approval. Not only do you have to deal with the shortcoming but also his inability to deal with it like an adult (or so it feels to me in those moments). It’s like adding insult to injury that I now have to deal with his hurt feelings on top of everything else.

I try not to criticize; I try to build constructive dialog, and I praise him all the time for what he does do. But when he’s really let me down, why do I then have to shore up his ego around that too? I can’t help feeling that it’s just one more way that women have to pay for male fragility and I’m not too happy about that. Also, this is completely socialized. There is no innate biology to this equation, which makes it even less acceptable. It’s a function of patriarchy, which is only 5K years old.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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