Don’t Call Her “The Old Ball And Chain”

I was struck by this vintage Eric Stanton book cover illustration making visual the classic metaphor for a wife. You still sometimes hear some retirement-age lout call his wife “the old ball-and-chain” as if he were being funny — although in this era of easy divorces, it no longer makes much sense even as a joke. If she’s such a weight and a restriction and a drag, why is he still married to her?

ball and chain married couple

But there they are: chained wrist to wrist and weighed down by that heavy iron ball! He’s got a pair of lingerie cuties clinging to him; clearly the three of them have better places to be, like a hotel room with a jacuzzi and a really big bed. Meanwhile his wife is exchanging arch glances with a slinky “friend” and it’s clear they need to get moving pretty soon if they want to be gone in time to make their spa date at the exclusive place with the private steam rooms and the gay Finnish masseuses who are so ludicrously discrete they might as well be blind. This, clearly, is a couple who should not be married. Whatever they once had, it’s long gone.

That said, I purely hate the ball-and-chain metaphor. Funny talk coming from a bondage guy, right? Not really. Not when you stop to think about it for a very short moment.

I hate the ball and chain metaphor because marriage is fundamentally a voluntary association. You get married because you want to, and you stay married because you want to, in precisely the same way that a BDSM scene is only a BDSM scene (instead of rape or abuse or something else foul) because of constant ongoing free and mutual consent. Making shitty remarks about your spouse — remarks that suggest they are an impediment to your freedom — is like participating in a BDSM scene while saying stuff that calls consent into question. It’s slanderous of the other person in the relationship. It suggests they are abusing you. And that’s a nasty thing to do.

So here’s my take on being married: it’s excellent. If you agree, awesome! Find you a wife who makes you delirious with happiness. Use an online brides finder if you aren’t finding the wife of your dreams where you live. Whether you do it, or how you go about it is up to you, I promise not to judge your choices or your methods. But if you do it, and then you whine about it for the rest of your life in a way that makes the other person out to be somehow wrong or bad or abusing you when you could withdraw your consent at any moment? You’re an asshole.

Now of course if you do find a wife online, I highly recommend full disclosure of your kink interests early in the process. It’s honest, it’s fair, it avoids wasting her time, and it helps you avoid this comical scenario, on your wedding night or whenever your long-distance relationship finally stops being so long distance:

fetish compatibility mismatch

Yes, I called this “comical” but you know what? Stuff like this is always a lot funnier when it happens to somebody else!

romance compass banner

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
  • post on your Tumblr blog

One comment on “Don’t Call Her “The Old Ball And Chain””:

Fr. commented on May 11th, 2018 at 1:02 pm:

Thank you for this insightful post. It’s great food for thought. I will say, though, that as I was reading, I kept thinking the following: Yes, but there’s a difference between a choice and a “choice.”

I suppose one could argue that true freedom comes when one no longer distinguishes between the two.

Make a comment: