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:


The Sting of Infidelity Isnt that Bad! Right? Is it?

1. Sleepless nights are part of a victims' experience... Read More

The Sponge Pattern

Relationships. They're complicated, right? At least that's what we've been... Read More

Emotional Investments

It is a given truth that there are people out... Read More

Your Next Argument: 10 Thngs to Consider Before You Get There

1. It's addictive. Fighting, and the anger that comes with... Read More

The Simple Facts About Falling In Love

We are meant to live a life of love. However,... Read More

Relationship Advice - 5 Sure Fire Ways to Mess Things Up

1) Stay committed to your "right to be right."Argue for... Read More

A Little Help Finding Love

A little help finding love online.Visit the dating sites.If finding... Read More

5 Ways to Tell Your Man You Love Him

Telling your man that you love him is part of... Read More

Cheating Husband/Wife: 6 Keys to Know if You are Ready to Handle What You Might Find When You Spy

When you spy on your suspected cheating spouse, please make... Read More

Living in Fear!

As we are aware, our relationships are that bigger part... Read More

Importance Of Background In A Relationship

Should coming from the same background be a major issue... Read More

Relationship Problems Begin With Poor Communication

Many relationship problems often begin with poor communication. Many couples... Read More

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places? - How to fine tune your relationship radar

I don't think a week goes by that I don't... Read More

Sound Seduction Advice for Dating and Romance Success

BackgroundSeduction is a subtle tool used with the ultimate goal... Read More

Three Qualities of a Good Relationship

All relationships have some adjustment periods, but being hurt shouldn't... Read More

Understanding Your Teen Relationship

Teen relationships are touchy things. Girls are often ready for... Read More

The Logic Of Females - Or Lack There Of

Many males complain that they don't understand females. Many females... Read More

Your Beloved Soldier Is Coming Home ? Now What?

Your Beloved Soldier Is Coming Home ? Now What?Laura anxiously... Read More

Affairs: What an Affair Really Is and What an Affair Really Does

We hear about it all the time - in magazines,... Read More

Typecasting, Candice Bergen and Family Relationships

I'm experiencing some challenges in my relationship with Candice Bergen.I... Read More

Is Your Mate Cheating?

You've been together several months, but something doesn't feel quite... Read More

Friendship - A Relation of Choice!

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

Yellow and Orange Flags in Relationships

It's been said that love is blind. It may also... Read More

The Three Levels of Soul Mates

From my own personal experience of being involved in certain... Read More

If You Love Me

If you love me, you will keep my commandments?In the... Read More