Have a Backbone, and You'll Reap the Rewards - This Is Trouble

Have a Backbone, and You’ll Reap the Rewards

This is a guest post from…a girl!

My friend Iris approached me about doing a guest post. She falls under the “traditional wife/life/etc” category — happy to take care of her husband. As far as I know, she does the majority of cooking, cleaning, and other wifely duties around the house. I was interested in seeing her story and her husband’s mindset.

I’m posting this here so YOU can see some of the foundational aspects of a healthy masculine/feminine dynamic can work.

Have a Backbone, and You’ll Reap the Rewards

Ryan was the first boyfriend who didn’t let me get away with murder.

He didn’t allow me to attend parties with out him or backpack Europe with my friend. He even earned the nickname “Ass” because he was viewed as controlling by my friends who walked all over their boyfriends.

Yet, he was an amazing boyfriend, and has been a wonderful husband. Ryan’s backbone is why I wanted to marry him and be his little traditional wifey barefoot in the kitchen with a baby on my hip. It was why I was drawn to him.

So, there I was blabbing away in the backseat of a Jeep as a college freshman — when this guy I didn’t know turns around and sharply says, “Will you shut up? You are the most annoying girl I have ever met.”

Um…. hello who are you?

I’d never had a guy talk to me like that. I had never been shut down. I was a likable person! People loved me!

The initial shut down was new, different, and I certainly wanted to prove him wrong. As I got to know Ryan I found he was like no one I had met and I wanted nothing more than to be by his side 24/7, a puppy curled up next to him. I was enamored.

There were a few key things Ryan did early on that really made me look at him as someone different. Things that set him aside from the rest of the guys I was going to university with.

His agenda was more important than mine.

Between working 40 hours a week at a large retail grocery store and taking a full course load in the engineering program he made it clear his time was more important than mine. If I wanted to be part of his day I had to fit into his already determined schedule.


In order for me to show him I was worthy I had to respect his time. Respect that he had more on his plate in terms of responsibility than I did. Respect that what he did today affected his future – which would, in turn, affect our future.


If a girl doesn’t respect your time today, she won’t respect it tomorrow.

(Kyle’s note: If a girl has texts from you saved YEARS down the road, you’re doing something right. Take note.)

He didn’t care what I did – but wouldn’t date a girl that did it.

It took about 18 months before I was able to reach the level Ryan wanted his girlfriend at so for all that time I’m doing the college girl thing. I was joining a sorority, I was making friends, going to parties, exploring Detroit. I think Ryan’s favorite phrase at the time was “I wouldn’t date a girl that did”.

  • I don’t care if you go to the party, I’m not going, I wouldn’t date a girl that went to those parties.
  • Yeah, study abroad sounds like a really good opportunity. I wouldn’t be in a long distance relationship though.

He knew by putting the ball in my court I had to either rise to his level or start abandoning my desire to be with him. It wasn’t about what I said, he was watching what I did. He made his standards clear, no party girls, no traveling without him, no embarrassing him when we were out together.

My future husband was setting the bar for a potential wife. He made his expectations clear. I could do as I please – I just wouldn’t be upgraded if I did those things. If I wanted the commitment I had to rise to standards he set.

He continued to hold me to these standards.

Even after we were “official” and Facebook pages had been updated and the sleep overs became more regular these standards continued to reign true.  My husband sets the bar for himself and right as he’s about to reach it he raises it. He does the same for me. He wants better from both of us. While it’s most apparent in how he approaches work these days it was very apparent when we dated.

What Ryan does is leads without micromanaging, with out telling me what to do. He encourages conversation and points out views I have yet to think of, then he sits back and watches his first mate come to the appropriate mature decision. There will be days when I will have to make decisions without consulting him – I’ll be raising his children, running his home. Ryan needs to trust that I can think through problems and come to the proper answer if he’s not around.

Ryan’s firm stance on his standards sets me up to know my place in the relationship. I have little doubt in what is expected of me, and because of this I’m eager to make him proud. His backbone got me here and his backbone will keep me here.


Iris blogs at Iris and Oleander. You can also follow her on Twitter here.

Are you a man who wants more out of your dating life? Wishing that you could have the woman, or women, you desire? Tired of feeling like you’ve settling for second-best?

Then check out The Harem Handbook, which is my new course designed to help you acquire, maintain, and manage dating multiple girls. It’s been called revolutionary and the best course out there for managing harems. Click here to check it out.

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