In This Week’s Podcast… White Glove Test, Hunting Buffalo, and the Container Store
In this episode AZ and Carla discuss how gender roles have changed so drastically in relationships. No longer is the wife answering the door after her husband’s long day at work wearing pearls and holding a cold martini. AZ shares how men need to empower their wives to become the best they can be, without limiting them in their success.
Carla opens this episode by discussing how she woke up feeling anxious about everything. She talks about how she was facing a full day, and immediately wanted to blame everything on AZ. Shoes and clutter everywhere in their bedroom and bathroom, and a mess left in the kitchen from the night before. AZ shares how Carla is always looking for the mess, the crumbs on the counter, and whether or not his closet is clean and organized. She was looking for a fight. Carla admits that she comes into his personal space, and can be crazy about having everything in order. AZ says that he is more laid back and not worried about the small stuff, more of a free spirit. He adds that Carla is organized and very different from him. His lack of organization at home irritates her. She has high expectations for the way the home is cared for while she is busy doing other things. Carla adds that she comes home and expects things to be done, and AZ is outside playing with the kids. Her frustrations from her day, come down on him and the trash not being emptied. AZ doesn’t understand her frustrations, because they have hired outside help for the tasks at home. Cooking, cleaning and caring for the house have been all taken off her plate of responsibility. Carla talks about how she wanted things done immediately, and AZ just didn’t see it as a priority at that moment, which further frustrates her.
Topic #1 The Divorce Card
- AZ talks about a recent article he read that states that divorce rates are high and that 80% of divorces are filed by women. Carla says that is because women are tired of men and their shit. AZ continues by saying that it is the progression of women. Gender equality, role changes, and more responsibility put on the women. He adds that men are conditioned to hunt the buffalo. He tells a story of when he made a bad investment with their money, he failed on a big business deal. He completely shut down, went to bed and put the covers over his head. Carla continued to try to motivate and encourage him during this time. She never disrespected him, never called him names, but she felt as if she was continuing with all of her responsibilities and dragging this grown ass man around behind her. She was not going to just let him curl up in bed like a little bitch. AZ talks about the progression of women. Increased pressure on them with the household, kids, workforce and everything moving at high speed. Carla reached her breaking point, thinking when is he going to get it together, trying to encourage him to keep moving; Man up, claim it , and then move on. She kept thinking about how she was carrying it all. AZ shares how he was just consumed in self pity, self loathing and being a victim of his circumstances. Carla just looked at him one day and told him, that when he loses they both lose. It wasn’t just on him. As the man of the house though, AZ felt the pressure of the loss on him alone.
Topic #2 Whiny is not the New Sexy
- AZ goes back to his point about why women file for divorce more than men. Women are finding in life and in marriage, it is less acceptable to be in a loveless, boring, selfish or abusive, one sided relationship. They are done. Women want a man, and men aren’t showing up. And if the damage to the relationship becomes irreparable, they are just done. They want a man that is not overbearing, a man that can create and carry the weight of the home, and not cower. Women have come to realize they can do it all alone, and they become exhausted and fed up with their men. Carla adds that when this happens, men also become very unattractive.When men lose their purpose, it affects the couples sex life. AZ agrees and adds that when men try to be authoritative, questioning how their wife does things, it does affect their attractiveness as a man. He adds that men are always complaining about not getting enough sex, he suggests that is when you need to stop and look at how your treating your wife. Carla talks about how women hold onto how they are treated. You can’t treat your spouse badly all day, and then come at her for sex. Men need to be respectful, show kindness and be passionate always, not just when you want some. AZ agrees and adds that men have to show up and not take advantage or take for granted their spouse. As men we have to invest time into our family and marriage. Carla agrees and says as a couple you become comfortable with the way you treat each other, and she would just see AZ as a whiny husband.
Topic #3 Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde
- AZ opens up about how Carla used to throw out the threat of divorce constantly. This put AZ in a position where he always felt as if he were walking on eggshells. AZ stated that as he became more aware of his bad behavior, choosing work or his “boys” over the family, he began to change. He wanted his marriage to work, and so he started shaming himself. The roles reversed and Carla now became the tyrant. AZ became tolerant of her berading him because she was angry over his past behavior and wouldn’t let it go. He created this new Carla by allowing her to treat him badly. She just wanted him to show up and be the man. AZ shared how he tried to do right but when her lashing out finally broke him, he stood up for himself. He was tired of being treated like that. Carla was shielding and protecting herself because she was so angry and was reliving the past hurts from the 10 years prior. AZ knew he couldn’t change the past, all he could do was show up and prove himself. Carla would consistently initiate confrontation because she was more confident in her role in the relationship. She also added that she didn’t trust the change in him.
Topic #4 Winds of Change
- Az opens up about when the turn in their relationship finally started to happen 4 years ago. They had a heated conversation one evening in their living room. The good times were few and the bad times were more common and worsening by the day. AZ had begun the process of improving himself, seeking self improvement, starting to appreciate, respect and love Carla. Carla felt how foreign this was, and it made her more angry because he was changing now, and not before when she needed him too. AZ shared how he refused to react to her “bullying”, even when she would just continue to poke the bear. She wouldn’t let up. AZ told her, changing the dynamic of the argument, that he wasn’t going anywhere and that he was man enough to handle her. He added that he made it clear to her that if she didn’t want this change than she could go, but he wasn’t going anywhere. He was committed to the process. After Carla cooled off and realized that this change in AZ was genuine, a new paradigm in their relationship occurred. It also revealed to Carla who she had become and she was broken. She had to ask AZ to coach her and put his role as her husband aside. AZ stated that he removed the crutch of blame she was using. He reaffirmed that he was changing, but if she wanted to tap out, he was there, with or without her. That statement gave Carla cause in regaining respect for AZ and he she recognized he was becoming the man that she needed all along. With that Carla was able to begin the process of fixing the toxic behavior she carried from her childhood. She had been dragging around, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts; AZ never knew his wife suffered with any of this. As AZ began to change and step up, it gave Carla the freedom she needed to focus on herself.
- AZ gave some shutouts to their listeners/viewers by reading some of the comments left for them.
- AZ spoke about keeping it raw and keeping their truth real, and never throwing out divorce or separation as an option. They both agreed that they still have disagreements, but have learned to give space to the other one when they need to process their anger and communicate in a healthy way. They both recognize how far they have come. AZ shares how he feels men sometimes suppress their women from doing well so that they as men don’t have to raise their game. Women tend to play into this role of suppression and don’t strive upward to be more. Carla overheard AZ tell someone that he empowers his wife. This meant the world to her because he didn’t know she could hear him when he said it. She agrees with the statement also as AZ encourages her to empower herself, to knock down her walls.
- AZ closes with this message for men. Men think because they support their wife , but continue to expect them to carry out all of their others responsibilities it is empowering them. What they are doing is limiting their wife in her success, and not supporting them, but belittling their contribution to the family. AZ urges all women to take a stand for themselves, don’t ask for permission from your husband. When you always put your man first, you are empowering only him and it isn’t being reciprocated. You are setting yourself up for hardship in the end. Be courageous and strong; It may get worse before it gets better.