Stand By Your Man: No Matter What?

We all heard the report of a prisoner escaping after his wife shot and killed the correctional officer transferring him to another jail.

What would motivate a woman to kill someone and let her actions render her vulnerable to the death penalty - for a few hours with "her man?" Was he so incredibly special that death was preferable to living without him for a few years?

If the positions were reversed, would he have risked the ultimate penalty to aid in her escape? Or would he have shrugged and moved on to a new partner?

We are all aware of glaring differences in the psychological makeup of men and women (aside from the often enormous individual differences within any one gender). But where do these differences come from?

Men go to jail and women wait patiently, often for years, until they return home. Women regularly visit their boyfriends and husbands, traveling for hours, undergoing the humiliation of personal searches and pat downs, and wait with inexhaustible patience for a few minutes on a telephone in a cramped prison visiting room. For women prisoners, the only visitors after the first few weeks are family and that is infrequent. The men, who are often the cause of their incarceration, are long gone.

For several months, I worked in a State office building across from the County Jail. There would occasionally be some men seen entering on women's visiting days. But on the evening set aside for visiting male prisoners, hundreds of women formed a line encircling the block and spilling onto the side streets.

Why are we women so loyal? So faithful? So patient? So forgiving? So needy?

Biologically, we are wired for monogamy, stability, and singular devotion as a means to protect the young and allow the species to survive. Through centuries of cultural evolution, we have gradually empowered ourselves so that we no longer serve as the slave of our lovers and husbands and no longer have to settle for second-sex status.

Yet within our liberated midst are thousands who never took that step to independence. The victims of domestic violence who refuse to leave a toxic relationship. The Mormon brides who cheerfully share their husband with his other wives. The women who fight over scrawny, ill-kempt, and semi-retarded boyfriends on Jerry Springer. The bright students who give up their own career dreams to pour their energy into getting their husbands through Law or Medical school (and get dumped later when no longer needed).

For centuries, men left home to go to war, to explore the world, to find fortune, to pursue adventure. And the women waited.

Now, at the dawn of the Twenty-First Century, despite the continued expansion of opportunities and rights for women, we are still waiting.

Virginia Bola is a licensed clinical psychologist with deep interests in Social Psychology and politics. She has performed therapeutic services for more than 20 years and has studied the effects of cultural forces and employment on the individual. The author of an interactive workbook, The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a monthly ezine, The Worker's Edge, she can be reached at http://drvirginiabola.blogspot.com

In The News:

How to Have a Relationship and a Career  Harvard Business Review
The Key to Relationships  Psychology Today
Is Lack of Gratitude Dragging Down Your Relationship?  Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

Friendship - A Relation of Choice!

IntroductionHave you ever heard or have you ever seen, father-son;... Read More

A Kernel of Truth about Relationships: 4 Steps to Improvement

It's all about relationships! proclaimed my father during our recent... Read More

Religious Dating - Traditions and Values

Dating someone with the same religious beliefs as you, can... Read More

Relationship Advice: 6 Secrets for Great Relationships

The Law of ContentYou can get into trouble in a... Read More

Improve Your Love Luck with Feng Shui!

Are you tired of looking for love without success? If... Read More

False Forecasts Lead to Matchmaking Hell

False ForecastsThe typical methods for finding a partner are based... Read More

Choosing a Diamond Engangement Ring That She Can?t Say No To!

So you've decided to propose ? congratulations! This is a... Read More

Hold Em or Fold Em?

Like a great game of poker, knowing when to "Hold... Read More

9 Myths About Being Single

More than 48% of US households are headed by unmarried... Read More

Why Its Good To Be Alone

Have you noticed that there's an ebb and flow to... Read More

Holy Mantrimony

In the last couple of weeks, the catholic war machine... Read More

Little Help Finding Love Online

Visit the dating sites.If finding love online is what you're... Read More

How We Define Our Relationships?

We can fall into the habit of complaining about our... Read More

What Is A Boundary In A Relationship?

You might ask yourself, I have heard this word boundary,... Read More

What Till Death Do Us Part REALLY Means - Divine Source through Barbara Rose

Let me address this issue of eternity, this promise many... Read More

Relationship Advice: 10 Tips for a Blissful Relationship

1.Often in marriage, especially in the early years, there is... Read More

Romantic Tips ? Gift Giving

I believe that we have all heard of the standard... Read More

One of The Main Reasons Why Relationships Fall Apart

I had the priviledge to try out a BMW M5... Read More

How to Find Out If Your Wife or Girlfriend Is Cheating On You

What drives a woman to cheat may look a lot... Read More

My Broken Heart

I guess my soulmate wasn't all he was cracked up... Read More

Relationship Reality: Are Your Relationships Based In Reality or Fantasy?

Within the next two to three minutes, you will uncover... Read More

The Three Rings of Relationships

Glenna Trout is an international authority on face reading whose... Read More

Its Your Fault I Had An Affair!

When you read it like that, out of context, you'd... Read More

Relationship Red Flags Do Appear Early On

So often in the bloom of a new romance we... Read More

How To Save Your Marriage

Getting married (or beginning an intimate relationship) is, in a... Read More