Years ago, I heard a description of Alpha Male in relation to wolves. Every wolf pack has a leader. This leader is known as the Alpha Animal who dominates and leads the other members of the pack. The Alpha is the boss who makes decisions for the entire pack. The Alpha trait is to do what is best for the pack.
The Alpha wolf must rule with great strength. Usually the pack will have an Alpha Male and an Alpha Female. Where one male and one female fulfill this role, they are referred to as the Alpha Pair. Both male and female Alpha wolves exude confidence, maintaining control through body position, facial expression, and the occasional nip or snarl (sounds like marriage, doesn’t it!) at beta members of the pack.
In humans, the term “Alpha Male” often refers to a man who is powerful or high on the social ladder, similar to hegemonic masculinity. Good word, huh? Hegemonic masculinity, according to widipedia.org, is a normal “idea of masculinity that men are supposed to aim for and women are supposed to want. Some characteristics associated with hegemonic masculinity are aggressiveness, strength, drive, ambition, and self-reliance.”
I also read a research paper on the Alpha Male that said, “Humor is sometimes described as a type of social aggression since it can be seen as an application of assertiveness. Aggression is inherently manly, and thus, attractive. (Note that humor MUST be accompanied with assertiveness for it to count as an Alpha quality.)” Who knew?
So here we are with an Alpha Male and Alpha Female (see the female above, right? Coool). Of course I suspect that in any pack, being an Alpha Female means you choose to allow him to be the Alpha Male or it’s “let the wars, nipping and snarling begin” time! The aforementioned alpha wolf that will rule with body position, facial expression and the occasional nip or snarl? Any husband who tries that with an alpha female won’t make it for long. He’ll have to sleep some time.
When I married my hubby 20 years ago I sure didn’t know we’d become an Alpha Pair. He did constantly tell me he was drawn to my strength and that he was glad I was a strong woman or he would walk all over me.
So here’s the point. One day I asked hubby if he was aware he was an Alpha Male. He had NO idea what I was talking about. That was when I made a HUGE mistake in our marriage, huge. I told him what an Alpha Male was. And oh yeah, have I never heard the end of that. For sure, he has taken his Alpha Maleness to the extreme.
I gotta tell you, there is something to be said about being married to this Alpha Male. I’ve never laughed so much in my life! I enjoy a life that is very rich and passionate. I have never felt or been more protected, loved, and joyous. I live in a position of security and strength. More importantly, as he told me, unless I allow him to be The Alpha Male, his life would be one of misery. An Alpha Female allows the Alpha Male to rule. In turn, the rewards and benefits are outstanding. For both of us.
And if he growls at me? I send him to the Alpha Dog House. Yeah, yeah, you know – the one with the big-screen TV! Or I growl back.
Yeah, he IS my Knight in Shining Armor. I wouldn’t trade him for anything! After all, underneath he really is just a giant:
Hear the roar, baby!!