My step-son got married last year; my son is getting married next year. I've found myself pondering on the nature of relationships, in particular how a woman chooses a man. It seems to me that when women seek a life partner there may be an unconscious testing process that goes on.
She is looking for someone who is capable enough to look after her and her family when the babies are small; wise enough to provide support and guidance when she needs it; empathetic enough to listen and understand her concerns; and strong enough to match her and hold her in check when necessary. The first three of these are probably conscious desires and she can look at the evidence to see if her man is doing the necessary. The last one is not.
My belief is that a woman subconsciously puts her man through a trial of strength to see if he is stronger than her – that is what she is looking for. Someone who can match her energy, contain her desires, stand up for himself in a fight but not hurt her physically or emotionally, who knows what he wants, and, to put it bluntly, will not put up with her shit. She is unconsciously testing him, and can become bossy, demanding and sometimes downright bitchy. Unbeknown to both parties, she is not wanting him to defer, she is wanting him to say ‘Enough!’ to hold her and say ‘I respect you, and you need to respect me too’. Then she can relax, knowing she has made the right choice.