Out in the world, there’s this idea that the Masculine’s right role is to lead, and the Feminine’s is to follow.
That’s not true but I can tell you how it comes to look that way.
Yes, the Masculine thrives in the leadership role. But he’s an equally great follower. Truth is, the Masculine does well in either position. In the world of Masculine-Masculine, after some initial jockeying (and allowing for the occasional upset), all the players fall comfortably into their respective positions as leader/followers.
But in the world of the Feminine, what’s being asked of him–what’s being offered him–is neither leading nor following.
She’s pure power and he’s built for implementation. The relationship is one in which she runs her power through him. He has no idea how this works. Culturally there’s no role model. (Well, there’s a derisive model–”the woman behind the man”.) If he can overcome that, it can, at its best, feel like he’s wearing rocket boosters; everything he does feels turbo-charged and he can accomplish great things with ease.
To the degree he doesn’t get the concept of being the instrument by which her vision is realized, or a conduit through which her power can gain further impact the world–to the degree he sees the surface layer–it might look to him something like:
She just wants what she wants and she doesn’t want to have to do it, she wants me to do it.
And that will be all he can see.
From this vantage point it looks like the Feminine wants to be a back-seat driver. (Make that an insane, contradictory, impossible-to-please back seat driver, who manages to be both paranoid and reckless on the road.) Neither her role nor his makes any sense to him whatsoever.
And to the degree that some part of him actually believes that women are crazy and/or inscrutable, he will be stuck there.
In response to the Masculine balking, the Feminine reverts to one of two positions. The first is,
No you lead baby.
At this point she’s given up hope of getting what she wants, and lost faith in his desire for anything beyond using her to stoke his own ego. Confronted with the alternative of being on her own, she tells him he’s doing a good job and accepts whatever he gives her. This eventually leads to a man who’s both fragile and dumb, and a woman who’s fake, perpetually ungratified and dead inside.
Or alternatively, she takes the route of, I’ll do it myself. At this point, she takes the lead and he willingly follows, thinking everything’s OK, not realizing how resentful she is at his uselessness. She’ll tell him exactly what to do, he’ll do it all to a tee, she’ll still hate him and he won’t understand why.
In either case she’s had to resort to the Masculine-Masculine model of relating, his familiar territory.
As an alternative to all of this, the Masculine can fully take on the mantle of Implementor. This is different from leader or follower. It’s more like… the role of the sword in battle.
It may take him awhile to get into alignment with what this actually entails, and until then it may feel to him like the worst of both worlds. In the world of business there’s a concept known as “responsibility without authority.” This is considered the very worst place you can be. It’s considered a management blunder and a worker’s worst nightmare. And for the Masculine mind that is trying to use the same kind of thinking he uses in business deals and car repair in his relationship, and wondering why that’s not working out so well, this is what his role with the Feminine resembles.
But there’s something he’s been unconscious of his whole life: The Feminine herself is stellar at making things happen from this place that looks to him like responsibility without authority.
Because she’s likely been called upon to do this, and do it well, thousands of times in her life. She can knock it out of the park.
And since, as Arthur C. Clarke says, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” what she can accomplish looks like total magic to him. (If he ever wakes up enough to notice it.) Because she is masterful at manifestation that doesn’t rely on authority or force.
And so he needs to learn some of her magic.
Because if he has none, if he’s all concrete and tax forms and Ikea assembly instructions and I will never understand her, then they will forever be relating through prison glass with telephones. So he needs to cultivate an ounce of her magic within him.
And then from that place the Feminine no longer looks crazy or inscrutable. And what she has in mind for how she wants to make use of him is seen for what it really is. Once he steps into the role and lets her power channel through him it feels like peak performance on steroids. It’s like an effortless, superman state of grace. And he feels both well-used and accomplished. He is Excalibur itself.