The Scorpion and the Frog

Oil on canvas

In kindergarten I had heard this story about a scorpion and a frog, an Aesop fable. Aesop was a slave who lived in the 5th century BC who used to spread his wisdom by stories. This one particular story about a scorpion and frog goes something like:

A scorpion met a frog on a river bank and requested him to carry it across the river on his back. The frog refused stating that, how would he be sure that the scorpion would not sting him. The scorpion responded as they would be in the river, if he stung the frog, he would die too. The frog agreed and took the scorpion on his back and they started crossing the river.

In the middle of the river, the scorpion stung the frog. The frog got paralyzed due to the venom in the sting and started drowning. The frog just asked one question, “Why?”

To this the scorpion replied, “Because it is in my nature….”

I could not understand the meaning of this fable until recently when I met many men harassed by their wives. In majority of the cases, the method of harassment was similar –

1) Honeymoon Phase: The first phase was always the honeymoon phase where the couple had a great time. This phase was for about 6 months. I asked them what they liked during this phase and the common responses were, she liked what he liked, she loved listening to him, their thoughts matched and great sex. If we see the responses above the woman was actually mirroring the man. Having the same interests of the other person creates an immediate bond. This bond when sealed with sex creates an illusion of ‘love’.

In essence the men actually fell in love with themselves, as they were staring at their own personality all the time. The opposite party had a mirror mask on, reflecting back everything. This honeymoon phase is very important as this is the phase which the man looks forward to and tries to maintain / achieve in the future.

2) Segregation Phase: The next phase was the segregation phase, wherein dependency for her was created in the man. This phase mainly involved throwing anger fits with statements such as “I am upset that you donot spend time with me”, “I am bored at home”, “You have other important things to do”, “He / She is more important than me”. Ridicule and creating drama is also an important tool in this phase.

The prime motive in this phase is to segregate the man and cut-off his support system of friends and family. In most of the cases, the social circle of the man shrunk and their interaction and communications with their family (father, mother, sister, brother etc…) reduced. On delving deeper about why it happened, the common reply received was that the wife showed displeasure when they went out with friends or went to meet their folks. This displeasure also took the shape of fights, ridicules and outbursts.

3) Control Phase: This is the phase, wherein the man was emotionally controlled by the abusive wife. This control generally happened by way of

  • Regular fights with the husband and blaming either him, or his folks for the situation.
  • Throwing tantrums such as headache, being upset etc…
  • Refraining from sex as this becomes an important tool of control
  • Misbehavior
  • Drama and loud behavior
  • Physical violence: As per contrary belief the physical violence is female to male violence.

5) Defamation Phase: The next phase is the defamation phase wherein, the above fights, violence and family matters are discussed in a twisted way with friends and family. The primary motive here is to seal the segregation of the man. He is made to look like a villain as all the blame is shifted to him. He is made to reasons for all fights. In most cases it was seen that this defamation started even before any incident of fight happened. Men, like always, donot share their problems so the maxim ‘No news is good news’ holds. As the husband has never spoken about his family turmoil with anyone no one knows about it and believes the wife. Sometime this phase is coupled with self-inflicted wounds by the wife to prove her point.

6) Patch Up phase: As the husband is confused with a sudden transformation from the honeymoon phase to a defamation phase, without any fault of his, he sees a possibility of patch up when the wife or any friend from phase 4 come for help. As the husband longs for the honeymoon phase, he agrees for a patch up with certain changes in his nature or reducing interactions with friends or family.

In essence, the wife got her desired effect from executing phase 2-4. These phases then become a continuous cycle extending for years together. This emotional drain is too much on a man and he generally break down and changes in his personality are visible such as he becomes shy, introvert, indecisive, tensed and dependent.

I was intrigued with the above phases which were common to all cases. In diving deeper, I found that ‘Cluster B Personality’ disordered persons generally act in the above way. Cluster B Personalities are described in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV which are Antisocial Personality, Borderline Personality, Histrionic Personality and Narcissistic Personality. The women displaying the above behavior seem to resemble the traits of a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

The traits of a BPD are:

  • Unstable sense of self and their self-image changes suddenly. This leads to frequent job changes, goals, values and friends.
  • Relationship turmoil: Usually BPDs have a love and hate relationship with people. They have a black and white approach to things. They would be idealizing a person a moment ago and hating the same person the next moment.
  • Engage in impulsive and risky behavior. They may tend to drive unsafely or go on spending and gambling spree.
  • Strong emotional outbursts
  • Intense episodes of anxiety or depression
  • Inappropriate anger
  • Difficulty in controlling emotions
  • Non logical and circular thinking
  • Compulsive lying
  • Not taking responsibility for their decisions
  • Blaming others
  • Unnecessary arguing, to name a few.

These men in a relationship with BPDs feel like they are walking on egg shells always alert and trying to figure out when and where the next outburst would be. They always have their guards up, stressed and never letting their hair down. Always trying to be on the stated line as directed by the BPD to avoid unnecessary emotional drama. Further, these men try to satisfy the goals set by the BPD, I have heard all men stating that their wives saying “I will be better or my tension will reduce if you do this and this”; now these goals which had been set by the wife are always moving. Once you achieve them another goal is set, which follows the phases 2-5 mentioned above.

BPD ObjectsSeparation form a BPD is very difficult as they fear rejection. They will do all that is in their power to stay with the husband,  even though they emotionally and physically abuse them. Their fear of rejection is so intense that they may go to any extent such as even filing false cases. I have seen many men stating that their wife filed a false domestic violence or dowry case after years of separation. Their divorce petition is lingering, the wife does not want to live with the husband nor give a divorce. The ideology here, in my opinion, is that they see the judge all-powerful to punish the husband for leaving the wife (and all his wrongdoings in her head, as she blames other for the outbursts and cannot think rationally), hence filing of false cases is justifiable to them.

I really feel sorry and pity these men who were tormented by their wives at home, the misandric society trying to tell them to accept the abuse and ‘take it like a man’ and the years they need get their names cleared with the judiciary.

All the men I met were really confused at why their wives acted in this way. And my response to them is “Because it is in their nature….”

Are these men really Independent even after 66 years of independence? How do we help them?


Do feel free to share your thoughts and experiences.

Home Page: Stand Up for a Cause…


29 Responses to The Scorpion and the Frog

  1. JB says:

    What a great Article. “It is in my nature” and that inspite of a pre-nuptial agreement.

    One of the bestest analysis of life of man during a marriage.


  2. sarab1275 says:

    Absolutely true.. You have actually presented the true scenario on how the married life of a flows. The Onus / blame /shame is always put on the male.. Women always get away clean no matter whatever their behaviour , actions and unlawful acts may be.

  3. Anindya Chatterjee says:

    A very appropriate article…..and ofcourse society is always ready to help the ‘abla nari’……least should be said about the biased laws of our country.

  4. JB says:

    All this also extends to something called as Hooverism:

  5. Great article, truth of life. A story of every family.

  6. Vivek says:

    Great article, written scientifically. Will refer men who come for advice to this article.

  7. Dr.Nick says:

    Good & informative article.

  8. rituesh25 says:

    Very nice article and portray of today’s truth. Pity frog and pity man.

  9. lalit says:

    perfect. Can’t think of better analysis. superb.

  10. Suresh says:

    Nice article. It nicely portrays the plight of Indian Men today towards whom there is no compassion in our society and the women take full advantage of the sympathy factor. The Defamation phase is very wisely used by the Women camp to gain social support and weaken the Men & his family.

    When it comes to opportunities they say “Hum kisi se kum nahi” & when it comes to responsibility they show themselves as the most suppressed section of the society.

    Its high time that the Indian Society wakes up to the truth & leaves behind the old image of Indian women as “Abla Nari”.

  11. Vikas SS says:

    Fantastic Article. Such practical views and written so clearly and scientifically. Hope our lawmakers understood this while making one-sided laws. If at all..

  12. Akhilesh says:

    This is Cool Calm Composed Reaction to prolonged Torture that was perepetrated on an individual…. Seems somebody has interviewed me and written this article…. Kudos…. I am sure that this should go as a response preamble to all false cases in such matters…..

  13. Lavaish Agarwal says:

    Hey you r too good analyst, while reading, I was thinking how come you know my whole married life, I should have read the article in Aug 13 itself could have saved lot of things. Too Good, Apke charan kidhar hain

  14. Raj Vora says:

    Scientific approach and very well written! Reading it brings a lot of clarity in understanding why men change after marriage

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