Concubine, wife or matriarch?

Sunday Express UK

The Concubine Syndrome

Is your idea of femininity that of being able to please and to charm the man in your life? The concubine can see herself bearing the children of her partner, but they will always come second in her priorities. If you are a concubine, in your view of the world the man's role is that of the breadwinner. Thus he provides for you, keeps you in style, swathes you in diamonds and looks after your welfare. Your role is to please him in all ways and to pleasure away all the stress and pressure of his life. .

Women who identify with the concubine tend to be gossipy, crafty and astute. They are not necessarily submissive; they can be ruthless and scheming. Theirs is the typical "secondary wife" situation where ultimate survival depends on their ability to stay in favour.

In the old days in China when powerful men - ministers, generals and other strong men of the emperor's court, including the ruler himself - had many wives, the concubine syndrome flourished. Many of the women in the emperor's harem fell into this category, fully aware that survival at court and the rise to fame and fortune of themselves and their families depended on whether or not they found favour with the emperor - and retained it.

Psychologically, the concubine syndrome is still found today. Modern women with concubine mentalities appear in many guises, and they are usually aggressive or predatory, self-assured and confident of their attraction.

Test yourself. See if you have the concubine syndrome lurking somewhere deep in your subconscious. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

1. You believe that every man is fair game - even if he's married.
2. You believe that the best ticket to a good life is to find the "right" man.
3. You like being called "sexy", and you think of yourself as a femme fatale.
4. You prefer the company of men to women.
5. Your idea of luxury is being pampered by a man.
6. You believe that romantic love is for the innocent and the naive.
7. You believe that sex is the best way to keep a man interested in you.
8. You believe that being an expert in the art of love is probably the most important skill a woman can possess.

You may not even be aware you have it in you, but if you answered YES to at least five of these eight questions it is likely that your view of the male/female conundrum reflects a concubine mentality. You could well be a predatory female!

The Wife Syndrome

This could almost be called the principal wife syndrome. For you, the main role of the woman is to be a wife and raise a family. Your idea of femininity is to play the role of the consort. Your concept of happiness is closely tied to the respectability of being a wife who is skilled in being a home-maker, and sexual skills are not as high up on your list of priorities. Respectability is very important to you.

You see your role as being the force that pulls the family together. To you, sex is as much a wifely duty as it is a pleasure. You are, generally speaking, not a demanding lover and, unlike those with the concubine syndrome, you very rarely initiate the sex act. To you, sex is a part of life that comes with being a wife.

When the children arrive, the wife syndrome woman makes a caring mother, although in a somewhat detached way. Deep in the heart of a woman whose self-worth is strongly based on her marital status is the need to be loved and cherished by her man. She strongly believes in the sanctity of marriage. For her, separation and divorce would be a devastating blow.

Women whose view of femininity revolves around being a wife tend not to have an independent spirit. They are creative and epitomise all that signifies fertility and optimism. Procreation is a duty. Like the concubine, they too place the husband as their first priority, but unlike the concubine they identify strongly with being the husband's publicly acknowledged consort.

Women who have the wife syndrome are generally married by the time they reach the age of 25, and if they are not, marriage will be paramount in their minds. Even is they become their partner's second or third wife, they continue to see themselves as the properly recognised "consort". Women with a wife syndrome deeply embedded in their consciousness rarely participate in illicit love affairs.

Test yourself. Do you have the wife syndrome? See if you disagree or agree with the following statements :

1. You believe life is incomplete if you do not have a husband.
2. You believe that a woman's main role in life is to create the family unit.
3. You think of marriage as a sacred trust.
4. You like the company of men and women in equal measure.
5. Your idea of luxury is having your family intact and at home together.
6. Love, duty and fidelity are virtues you respect.
7. The family unit and children are the best way to hold a man's heart.
8. Your husband is the most important person in your life.

If you said YES to at least five of the eight questions, you definitely view yourself as wifely sort of person, and finding a husband is extremely important to your sense of self-worth.

The Matriarch Syndrome

You are the traditional earth mother, the compassionate and powerful matriarch. You are also the epitome of the independent woman - strong, firm and able to support everyone in your life. You take pride and joy in running your family and you enjoy mothering your partner, who you probably treat like your eldest son. You control the family finances and all aspects of your partner's and children's welfare.

Whether or not you are married, you are the kind of woman who can build a meaningful life for yourself. You might be a formidable corporate CEO, the matriarch of a big family or the powerful patron of a charitable committee - whatever you are, people look up to you for your self-assurance and confidence.

You will be naturally drawn to weak men. It is likely that you will have given up sex with your husband after about 10 to 15 years of marriage and you might even find him a concubine or a second "wife". If your husband were unfaithful, you would probably turn a blind eye. However, you would lay down conditions and would also have the clout to make sure your husband was discreet in his affairs, never bringing shame on the family. You choose the type of relationship that you desire, rather than conforming to anyone else's concept of what makes a happy marriage.

Though matriarchs may appear intimidating, they are also very kind-hearted and compassionate. Love, affection and family count for something in their view of life, but they are rarely overtly sentimental.

Test yourself. Are you a matriarch ?

1. You believe all women should be educated as they have the potential to become leaders and enjoy great success in their fields.
2. You are not a feminist, but you do believe that women are superior to men in many ways - if not physically then definitely mentally and spiritually.
3. You think of marriage as a sacred institution but not a necessity. Unmarried woman are perfectly capable of achieving happiness.
4. You believe that the best way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
5. Your idea of luxury is seeing every member of your family well cared for, and eventually having responsible jobs and being part of the family.
6. Compassion, nurturing and caring, as well as a sense of responsibility, are virtues that you hold dear.
7. You believe that women should become involved in social and charitable work.
8. Your children and grandchildren, as well as your employees, are important people in your life who deserve your care and attention.

If you said YES to at least five of these questions, you see yourself as a matriarch. Take note - the Chinese believe matriarchal women have the fire energy of strong yang and are more powerful than 10 men !

Extract taken from Discover Yourself by Lillian Too
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