For the first time in history, middle-class women do not need men in the traditional ways - for safety, for money, for a life. So they’re demanding instead what they always wanted but couldn’t ask for: emotional connection, presence, intimacy. Sex with enough foreplay, enough seduction, enough closeness to please them. Men are baffled not only because the needs they are being asked to fill differ so from what their fathers and grandfathers understood to be their jobs but also because full-fledged intimacy requires strengths and skills they’ve never learned. Moreover… they’re strengths and skills that were once left solely to women: Men didn’t have to develop them. This maturational mismatch may be contributing to distrust among lovers of all ages.
Married women are far more depressed than married men -- in unhappy marriages, three times more; and -- interestingly -- in happy marriages, five times more. In truth, it is men who are thriving in marriage, now as always, and who show symptoms of psychological and physical distress outside it. Not only their emotional well-being but their very lives, some studies say, depend on being married!
Women have been brought up with the false sense that they have all the options in the world. We don’t understand that the culture really isn’t offering us all of these options – there still are very strong pressures to conform. We have to step outside the culture to be able to make choices that will really give us what we want. But we lack the psychic mechanisms to do this, to really choose.