Backstory: College friend, nice girl, feminist chip on her shoulder.
I was somewhat interested in her and we were friendly, but we never dated because in a three second burst of anger she killed my interest completely. She came from a quite conservative religious group where women were banned from leadership… and she yelled at me, something about men in general, related to the specifics of her church.
The irony was that when she included in me the “evil men” group deserving of being yelled at, I actually agreed with her on the specifics of her complaint. So she took a current soft ally for her issue, demonized me and achieved nothing for her outburst other than the loss of my interest in her. As in even back in college days, I wasn’t going to submit myself to a relationship where I got randomly yelled at, for shit totally unrelated to anything I had done in specific.
Not that we were dating or anything, but ultimately her anger at a Societal issue, damaged her Personal relationships. I don’t recall her dating anyone in college.
That division of Personal and Societal problems is important. Most people come to MMSL with the Personal issue of their marriage sucking somehow. So that’s what I try and fix.
However there are wider Societal issues creating external pressures on your marriage – such as the economy, socialization of men and women, gender issues and marriage law. Seriously, I get it, there really are all sorts of problems making it hard to be married and otherwise a functional, productive happy adult.
Societal problems are worth dealing with, but the difficulties of resolving Societal problems are well beyond any one person. So if you are having an Personal problem in your marriage, trying to fix the Societal pressures on your marriage will not provide a solution. Even as you make some tiny sliver of progress on the Societal issues, your Personal issues will continue to worsen. We might get some social change over the next 20-30 years, but your marriage may not make it that long.
In addition, the frustration of trying to fix Societal problems can generate a lot of negative emotion. When you become an angry frustrated person, you become less fun to be with, which worsens your marriage decline further. If you then also begin transferring the frustration of the Societal problems directly onto your spouse, you become toxic to live with. So if your relationship is in trouble, now is not the time to enmesh yourself in wider gender politics unless you simply want the relationship to accelerate toward the ground.
It’s completely normal to see something unjust and be angry about it. It’s also normal to want to change it for the better. It’s also normal to feel defensive if there’s a chance that the same unjust thing might happen to you. However your emotional state is an important factor in your marriage.
You can’t let yourself become a darkly brooding cynic about the opposite sex, without that beginning to eat away your relationship from the inside.