A generation ago, when a man "suddenly" woke up to a pot belly, a passel of kids, a life of responsibility and a few gray hairs, he freaked out, bought a penis-replacement vehicle, fucked his secretary and got hair plugs and flashy clothes. According to Details' Simon Dumenco, however, the mid-life angst of the modern male is the fault of females expecting men to spend their 20s and 30s stifling their urges to be douchebags.
Dumenco calls this phenomenon reclaiming your inner "asshole". Apparently, once a man notices that he signed onto a life of drudgery and touchy-feeliness that is completely opposite to his nature, he is going to start lying to his wife or girlfriend, drinking too much, going to strip clubs, getting jerked off by sex workers and ignoring his parenting responsibilities to, Dumenco says, start "snatching a bit of unapologetic selfhood — manhood, damn it — back from the clammy clutches of coupledom."
Naturally, because coupledom is all about sublimating one's true self, a man could never just suggest to his wife that he needs a couple of hours of alone time, or wants to watch football with his friends or have an individual existence in addition to his marriage. Nope, all women do is make men go shopping and hold purses, talk about the arts and spend every waking moment with them.
Recast as nurturers, some of these guys are finding themselves almost indignantly nostalgic for that time, not so long ago, when husbands got to be babied by their wives—and never had to empty the Diaper Genie.
Oh, yes, that time, when one's wife stayed home, always had a hot meal waiting, never complained, raised one's kids for him, worshipped the ground he walked on, cooked, cleaned and didn't have a separate identity.
The only cure, after years and years of putting up with what Dumenco terms "their emasculation," is for men to behave like petulant, selfish children who were forced into their life choices by someone stronger than them. That cure, in fact, is to rebel against one's wife or girlfriend as though she is his mother, lying and doing things that he himself knows are wrong and self-destructive, in order to prove that he is not ruled by anyone but his own penis and sense of self-entitlement.
[New guy archetype Guy] Ritchie was just subscribing to the contemporary credo that a good husband shuts up and gets on with it—while secretly nursing (and sometimes even acting on) elaborate escape fantasies. The average guy's reality, though, is more likely to involve Internet porn (hello, David Duchovny). Or a visit to a strip club on a business trip. Or run-of-the-mill emotional infidelity—investing a little too enthusiastically in, say, a nonsexual but ego-flattering "work wife" flirtation, whether face-to-face or Internet-enabled (like sending inappropriate IMs to the accounting assistant).
Because, of course, the only way to face the horrible reality that one married the love of one's life is to act like a dick.
Welcome Back, Asshole [Details]
Related: Have You Become A Pig [Details]