As with the Worthless Women post, I feel that some more strong words need to be said today. I’ll try to keep today’s post “less long”. I hope that by the end, the message comes together and these words will get both the men and women who read it to step back and at least think about a few things.
Because, we have a problem.
Men are scatter-brained. Men are stupid. Men aren’t capable of making good choices.
Men aren’t good enough in their religions. Men aren’t good enough in their spirituality. Men aren’t strong enough in their faith.
Men are terrible cooks. Men don’t help enough around the house.
Men are careless.
Men work too much. They also don’t work enough.
Men don’t bring in large enough incomes. Men don’t properly support their families. Men don’t give their everything for their family’s well-being.
Men only care about sex. They have way too big or way too small of sex drives. They’re overly concerned with how big their penises are. They have too little tenderness and concern for their sexual counterparts.
Men don’t appreciate their women enough. Men don’t love their women enough. Men don’t find their women to be beautiful enough.
Men are insensitive. Men don’t cry enough. Men act too macho.
Men are also too sissy. They are too girly. They aren’t manly enough.
Men are lousy fathers.
Men don’t play with their children enough. They don’t spend enough time with their children. The time they do spend is not good enough.
At the same time, men also give too much attention to their children and not nearly enough to their lovers.
Men don’t have feelings. Men are mean. Men are nasty.
Men are bad neighbors. Men are bad in-laws.
Men aren’t smart enough to make big decisions. Men aren’t caring enough to understand.
Men are, simply put, worthless.
At least, that is what women constantly tell men. Everything on this list is something that I, or one of my male friends or family members, have heard from some woman somewhere.
Today I am typing in frustration, for that I apologize. You see, I’ve come to understand (and was just reminded over the course of a phone call) that women often have no problem declaring everything they want their men to be, and then making absolute certain that it never happens.
Ladies, go through the list above and be honest, just as you were on the Worthless Women post. How many of these things have you thought about men or said to a man that you love? Men, you be honest too. How many of these things do you believe to be true about yourselves? How many of these things have you been personally told? How many of these things have you seen weigh heavily on other men?
I’d be willing to bet it’s close to one hundred percent. It is a serious problem, for which the cause is complex. And with the media constantly dumbing down or ripping men to shreds, how could it possibly not be a problem? Flip through the television for an hour, you’ll hear at least half of those things declared about men by the entertainment industry and the media.
Why? Because it’s okay. For some damned reason it’s okay. And often, it’s okay because somebody has declared that it’s funny.
A wife can bash on her husband all she wants. She can make fun of him, ridicule him, belittle him, and make him feel like a giant turd. But, the moment the man does it back, he’s a douche bag… and all of her friends, sisters, and even her mother are going to hear about it.
A woman can hit a man. She can physically assault him. She can push him. She can slap him. If he doesn’t take it “like a man”, he’s called a… woman. A girl. A sissy. How ironic. Yet, the moment a man so much as lays a finger on a female, he’s labeled as abusive.
Many women will read this and think, I don’t do that. If that’s true, good for you. Perhaps, though, you should watch yourself for the next few days and see just how often you actually do participate, even if in minor ways.
Watch how often you make a sarcastic or snide comment about something the man in your life just did.
Watch how often you “playfully” slap him when he says something “stupid”.
Watch how often you tell him something (anything) he did wasn’t good enough.
Watch how often you roll your eyes at him because he didn’t do something exactly the way you would have done it.
Watch how often he shuts off, groans, or says something snide back to you.
You see, men react to all of these things much differently than women do. We hide behind tough-guy acts. We move on as if whatever was just said had no effect on us. We pretend that we’re above caring. We often laugh it off.
But we do internalize it. And we hate it.
I promise you, it’s not just me. Every man hates it…
best advice my father ever gave me about relationships: men should never feel like they have to EARN your respect, just like you should never feel like you have to EARN his love.
Reading this post, I could really hear what the men were trying to say. My heart was heavy as I empathized with all the men feeling inadequate and isolated.
Personally, I believe men are hardwired to be driven by shame. All throughout a man's life he's taught to compete and win/be the best. That being said, he probably feels like he's somewhat replaceable if he isn't the best option available to a woman. After all, why would a woman want him if he's constantly disappointing her?
I've been with my boyfriend for 2 or so years now and I'm proud to admit I've never seen him as any of those things mentioned in the post. Alternatively, I remember he's a guy and guys communicate differently. They're motivated differently. They're different overall. For example, he wants to be intimate just as much as I do, he just wants to be intimate by playing a game together and not by having a 4 hour conversation about feelings.
Before I negatively label my boyfriend with anything, I always take time to understand him and he always ends up proving my label wrong. For example, he'll be cold or closed off and then lash out at me. Turns out, he was just upset that I was seeing my friends more often than him and he didn't really know how to tell me he missed me.
The most helpful thing I incorporated into our relationship is reassuring him whenever I start to get frustrated. A lot of times, letting him know I'm on his side or in his corner is enough to fix 70% of our arguments. I also make sure to regularly ask him about his self esteem because I know I sort of control that. When he says his self esteem is high and that he's capable of accomplishing anything, I know that I'm treating him well and doing my job as his partner.
There was a play in Chicago that delivered a light-hearted look at this dynamic, without covering over the darkness of it. It was called "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change". I have experienced this first hand over a long time with a wife who just will not respond when I explain to her how hurtful her criticisms and contempt are. The deal is this: the words you say become the house you live in. When you call me an asshole, a liar, selfish, and insincere, and won't listen to me when I tell you how this kills the heart, then don't bitch when I withdraw and want to have nothing to do with perfect little you.
30 years old, mother of 4 and two (yes two) divorces under my belt... Reading this post (more so all the posts) has brought tears to my eyes. They are all so true! and sadly so many people only see these things in retrospect when it is far too late to save their relationships. Have you ever considered being a counselor? You would certainly be a great one! Or even write a marriage/relationship help book. I know I would buy it.
There is a wonderful book my dad gave me once. It's called "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." While seriously gender stereotyped and generalized, it personally answered a lot of questions for me, who was someone that stood on the line in the middle and swayed back and forth between the behaviors. In fact, that's why my dad gave me the book: to help me understand the two sides of my personality that seemed to have developed.
He told me to ignore the "men do this" and "women do that", and just to read it to understand.
That book helped me understand that sometimes people need space. It helped me realize that some people need to talk about their problems open and honestly without it needing to be fixed. It also taught me that whether something is internalized or not, it hurts all the same.
I believe the book was published as a 'marriage help' book, and I highly recommend a read-through.
Wow, imagine if a man is going through some real issues in his life and the one person he can turn to for help or emotional support is actually driving the bs bandwagon. It sucks to feel alone. It sucks to be kicked by a person who swore they'd love you through the hard times in front of both of your families. Something like that is so overwhelming that the simplest thing to do to end the pain is..............leave.
Something to think about. Life is hard for everybody, it's really hard on men who don't fit the "standard". A person shouldn't have to earn a hug.
I think it's a simple matter of standing up for yourself. Although it is socially acceptable for women to abuse their husbands in a way that they cannot be abused in any circumstances, it is still up to partner to say Enough. It's not gender based its just that some people are out of control with their anger. I've known men who would not agree that slapping their wives is abuse, and women who act in a way that makes your hair stand out. I'm for stepping away from gender debate and just accepting that abuse is bad and acceptable from whoever it comes from.
I have thought a lot of those things, though said few of them out loud. I did protest the 4 times he hit me in front of our children, which my 8 year old remembers, but hopefully my 5 year old daughter doesn't. No matter how much I loved him, I couldn't stay with him after that. I realize now that he thought he was 'protecting the kids from me', but his behavior was incredibly damaging to them and me. He hates me know because the Army is forcing him to go to anger management counseling, but I am not responsible for his choices.
I did try to tell him what I wanted him to be in a positive way, but he was to traumatized by PTSD to hear it.
It's absolutely true, and it goes for our kids as well. Think about what you're saying about your kids- they hear it. My 3 year old daughter is a rough and tumble rambunctious little girl, and she inures us all the time wrestling and playing. When I had my baby, this was a real concern. So many times, I felt like she almost killed him, and I'd voice my frustration and concern to my mom, my friend, my sister-in-law. I'd say "She's NOT gentle at all!" Well, she's hearing this. She learns who she is from me. She lives up to what I say that she is. I learned instead to say things positively. "She is learning to be gentle. She is kind. She is careful." I noticed a difference in her behavior almost right away.
I definitely feel that this is a problem, but a fixable one. For my wedding, about three years ago, a friend gave me a book called The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. My friend told me this book completely changed her marriage. After I read it for the first time, I made a promise to myself to read it once a year to remind myself to be good to my husband. This past time, my husband and I read it together. As we read the different chapters, I encouraged him to let me know when we came across topics that I could do better on. I just listened to what he had to say. I'll be honest, sometimes I felt defensive, but instead of being angry, I just listened. This was a great experience for the both of us. Both of us have our issues and struggles, but somehow we work through them. I find that the more I listen to him, am kind to him, and cut him some slack, he does the same for me.
@Jfisk No happy and fulfilling marriage for you. Look at all of the things he does and welcome them in for the gifts they are. If you know that he doesn't like being told that he doesn't help enough around the house and you keep it up, what does that say about you? You dump this on him without any acknowledgement of where or how you can make the marriage a better relationship. Splinters vs. planks sweetie (Gospel parable if you didn't catch that). Make yourself a safe refuge for him and do things that please him and you will see you have nothing to bitch about.
See, this is one of those things that I just don't get! Why do people treat each other like this, then act surprised when the people they treat this way respond in kind?
(Sure, my husband and I give each other a hard time, we joke and tease and sometimes intentionally irritate the ever-loving poop out of each other... but it's never hurtful. And if we go too far, we trust each other enough that we can say "Hey, too far, that hurt" at which point the offender apologizes, maybe we talk about what hurt so we can understand each other better, and we move on.)
I mean, he's my husband, he knows me better than anyone, if I do something goofy (like walk into a wall, trip over nothing...it happens all the time, I am a klutz!) I expect him to smile, shake his head, and say "Oh honey..." because he knows I'm a klutz and he loves me, not in spite of it, but because of it.
But how can you be so cruel to someone and expect them to move on/not internalize it/ not react?
Worthless men and worthless women are absolutely made by the people who tear them down. I unfortunately grew up with a father whose parenting style was the 'tear-you-down' type. I am lucky though, because other family and friends have helped to build me back up. My husband knows my history, and his was very similar. So often, when we say something hurtful, or are hurt by something, this past is what it all comes back to. Things hurt us that might not bother other people, and sometimes we say things we regret because we are being defensive, out of fear of being hurt.
Think before you speak, focus on the positive. Do it for your spouse, your significant other, your kids, and everyone you know. It's the only way we are going to start creating better, more whole human beings
Dan, thank you for this.
I often catch myself doing some of the things listed in this post. I cringe and wish I could take them back. Why is it second nature to act this way sometimes? I know my household growing up didn't lead me on the path to how a perfect relationship should play out, but I've always wanted to rise above.
I show my love in different ways - remembering his favorite meal and making it just the way he likes, sending him articles online that I know he would enjoy, discussing our mutually favorite radio talk show and giggling. We get along great, but I pick.
This blog post really opened my eyes and forced me to come to terms with the fact that I need to change in order for HIM to change. I've always known it, but denial is so much easier than change.
Thank you, again.
My husband and I had a rough point around year three. I remember this one argument that started out about unwashed dishes. (We were both working a LOT of overtime.) Anyway, the hour long fight ended something like: me - "What do I need to do? What can I fix?" He listed dozens of things. me - "Wait, take a break. Is there anything you DO still like about me?" him - "Your hair is still pretty." me - "That's all?" him - "Yep, that's about it." me - "Fine. Let me get some clothes together." him - "Shut up and go to sleep. You're not leaving me. We're not getting divorced." For a while, I thought I had died inside.About a month later, a friend sent me a "marriage challenge." Basically, for 30 days you couldn't say anything negative to or about your husband for any reason. There were other things - for example, one day you were supposed to randomly buy him a new tool and thank him for doing the 'manly' stuff around the house - like fixing lose legs on chairs or stopping dripping faucets. I took the challenge. Oh, it was hard. I wanted to complain about him to friends. I wanted to confront him for things. But, I stuck to it. In that thirty days, it was like he transformed. He became more than I could have asked for. I changed a lot, too. I really had never intentionally just put him down - but I did complain. I did vent about him to friends. After a month of practicing "letting it go" I saw that so many things weren't such a big deal.Three years later, our marriage is so close to perfect. HE is as close to perfect as possible. He helps with things. One particularly long week, he did the laundry for me. I went on and on about how much I appreciated it (and I did). Now, I have to beat him to it - he's a laundry washing regular. He took me out for the first time in our marriage sometime during the fourth year. (I'm not kidding - not once did I have an excuse for high heels in four years.) I dressed to the nines, thanked him emphatically, and posted a fb status about our "date night." Now, he takes me out every week or two. I make a huge deal out of it every week or two, too. :)He might be a little "puffed up" but I even think that's cute, now. Because, really, he's a great guy and he deserves to feel like he is. A positive attitude is contagious. Why would I hurt him, if I don't want him to hurt me? I just hate that it took so long to figure that out!
My husband and I had a rough point around year three. I remember this one argument that started out about unwashed dishes. (We were both working a LOT of overtime.) Anyway, the hour long fight ended something like: me - "What do I need to do? What can I fix?" He listed dozens of things. me - "Wait, take a break. Is there anything you DO still like about me?" him - "Your hair is still pretty." me - "That's all?" him - "Yep, that's about it." me - "Fine. Let me get some clothes together." him - "Shut up and go to sleep. You're not leaving me. We're not getting divorced." For a while, I thought I had died inside.About a month later, a friend sent me a "marriage challenge." Basically, for 30 days you couldn't say anything negative to or about your husband for any reason. There were other things - for example, one day you were supposed to randomly buy him a new tool and thank him for doing the 'manly' stuff around the house - like fixing lose legs on chairs or stopping dripping faucets. I took the challenge. Oh, it was hard. I wanted to complain about him to friends. I wanted to confront him for things. But, I stuck to it. In that thirty days, it was like he transformed. He became more than I could have asked for. I changed a lot, too. I really had never intentionally just put him down - but I did complain. I did vent about him to friends. After a month of practicing "letting it go" I saw that so many things weren't such a big deal.Three years later, our marriage is so close to perfect. HE is as close to perfect as possible. He helps with things. One particularly long week, he did the laundry for me. I went on and on about how much I appreciated it (and I did). Now, I have to beat him to it - he's a laundry washing regular. He took me out for the first time in our marriage sometime during the fourth year. (I'm not kidding - not once did I have an excuse for high heels in four years.) I dressed to the nines, thanked him emphatically, and posted a fb status about our "date night." Now, he takes me out every week or two. I make a huge deal out of it every week or two, too. :)He might be a little "puffed up" but I even think that's cute, now. Because, really, he's a great guy and he deserves to feel like he is. A positive attitude is contagious. Why would I hurt him, if I don't want him to hurt me? I just hate that it took so long to figure that out! lol
You are such a thoughtful man. I just stumbled across your blog earlier this evening and I am hooked. You have such a way with words and an understanding. Such Grace and truth to your posts. You have challenged me to be a better fiancé.. And I know that by doing so, I'll be a happier, less resentful one too.
Thank you! This is a message I definitely think needs to be heard. My grandma has nagged and criticized my grandpa incessantly as long as I can remember, to the point of me avoiding bringing up many topics as to keep her from tearing him down again, I know she loves him and over the past couple of years she has started to tone it down, but he's still a very strong man for sticking with her through all these years. My mother isn't as bad, but I've definitely watched my dad give up a few times with defeat. He always told me "every man wants a cheerleader." I swore to myself I wouldn't be like that... but of course, I'm not perfect and every once in a while my husband has to remind me to play nice. I love that he speaks up when I'm being a brat and we can move past it quickly.
One thing that has helped me significantly is the book/audio series Light His Fire (and respectively, Light Her Fire). It discusses a lot of the things you talked about here, like encouraging the things they do right and focusing on the positive.
since I arrived here after reading the Worthless Women post, I can't help but ponder: which came first - the chicken or the egg? Did we lose our respect for men when they stopped treating us with real love? Or did they begin to love us real women less and seek out the fake, although glorious looking, replacement because we didn't give them the respect they deserved? or was it all just one long, slow fade? Is there even any point to figuring out how we got here...since that is likely to only lead to more discussion, accusations and angry words.....but where do we go from here? Who moves first?
My husband and I went to a Love and Respect Conference and I love how the speakers answered that question: "the one who considers themselves the most mature should move first." I so love that motivation! And thus, I treat my husband with respect - even in disagreements, and he responds in love. It's really a very simple concept. If you consider yourself mature.
4. I have said exactly 4 of those things. But, they were the worst ones. Esp. that MEN are worthless. Worse, I know they aren't true. My best friends are men. Men who are good fathers, good brothers, good people. I know they are not like that. As a women, it gets depressing sometimes when it seems like all the men you let into your life romantically are just out to get whatever they can, give nothing, and bolt. I am gratefull to the men in my life who prove time and time again that MEN aren't those things, just some male individuals act that way.
What breaks my heart is that I love a wonderful man WHO BELIEVES EVERY ONE OF THESE THINGS ABOUT HIMSELF. It hurts to hear him say he is bad with children, or worse, that he is an asshole. I have spent 11 years telling him how wonderful, how good, how caring, how amazing he is. Even when we argue, I try not to hurt him, not to say things I don't mean or he *might* take as my seeing him as less than he is. And yet, because of the other women in his life, he never believes me. He yells at me, and does every last one of the things in the post on Worthless Women. 11 years later he doesn't understand why I no longer want to be his partner. I still love him, but I no longer think that he believes I am good enough for him in any way.
As far as never saying yes, and always holding out.... I'm holding out. Why should I say yes? So you can have what you want without regards to what I want or need? So you can treat me like dirt or a commodity? So I can be with someone who won't respect me because he believes I said yes because I was *settling* for him? I can't make a healthy relationship out of that and neither can you. Instead of being bitter that the hot young thing at the end of the bar isn't interested, why not try being grateful that she was honest and didn't try to play you for what you could give her? Grateful that you aren't dating someone who wants the man on tv and not you? There ARE women out there who don't give a fig for the guy, or the house, or the social lives that the media crams in your face. All they want is a man who loves and cherishes them and works everyday to be the best person and partner he can. True, they may not be 18 or hot. But they are real. They exsist. I know I can't be the only one.
Yet a LOT OF women constantly these days hold out hold out hold out, they think there is this "somthing" better, she see's that guy on tv and thinks if only she holds out says NO to every SINGLE GUY, she's somehow going to get "that GUY". Not gonna happen!! TV IS TV that's FANTASY even the so called "reality" TV. "reality" TV is NOT "REALITY"!!! Man it would be SOOOOOOO nice if a lot of would could understand real REALITY vs FANTASY BS!! There is NO "perfect" guy or "perfect" woman!! YOU'RE NOT EVER GOING TO GET YOUR WHOLE "LIST" OF "REQUIREMENTS" NO MATTER EVEN IF YOU CONSTANTLY HOLD OUT!!! IF YOU JUST HOLD OUT HOLD OUT, ALWAYS SAY NO TO EVERY GUY, YOU WILL GET NOWHERE!!!!
You're right. My husband is a good caring father to our newborn, he's stepped up his game and is being a better partner after so many years of asking, and yet I'm stuck in a deprecating cycle where I do nothing but criticize and belittle him. I wasn't always this way. I was encouraging and kind and generous, but I feel he took me for granted and now I'm too stubborn to compliment him for fear that he'll take advantage of me again. Breaking him down constantly certainly isn't motivating. At some point, his efforts are going to seem futile if all he ever gets is a harsh tongue from me. I just don't know what to do. Try another path, perhaps and see what's the worst that could happen? I don't know if I could take being in that position again if things go awry.
to finish what i was saying, i live DOWN THE SHORE. and the women down here have that SHIT DON'T STINK OF AN ATTITUDE PROBLEM. VERY COLD CRULE BITCHES that are now out there today, and i certainly can't BLAME MYSELF since i did not do anything WRONG on my part. then again where i live, many women now are LESBIANS. such a WASTE OF HUMANITY they are.
excuse me, it is the women that have become so damn WORTHLESS NOW, with their very ROTTEN ATTITUDE PROBLEM that many of them have today. you can't even start a CONVERSATION with them, because they will walk away from me. such LOW LIFE GARBAGE WOMEN that exist now, VERY SAD.
you sir are wise! both the worthless men and worthless women posts are so true. i don't understand it! why i spent ten years (on and off) working to make it with one man. I was so in love with him. i told him all the time how much he inspired me, how much i loved everything about him, how much i cared for him, how amazing he was, but he continually left me for a the woman who belittled him and beat him and treated him like crap. why? i thought that was what men wanted so i started treating my guys like that. i wasn't outspokenly cruel, it was the little things. and it still never worked. i was lost. the guy im dating now. we just started dating a couple weeks ago and he lives a few hrs away from me. after our first date i messeged him on facebook and told him i missed him and i missed him because he made me smile, and laugh, and i missed his hugs and kisses because they were the best! he messeged me back to tell me thank you because no one ever told him those things before. and its so nice to be seeing someone who appreciates my worth as well. he tells me im fun and crazy and i make him laugh. he tells me my smile brightens his world. its a GREAT feeling.
I read this post, and immediately asked my husband if I'd ever upset him with the things I'd said. Specifically, it worried me that in your account, you were not differentiating between joking 'jabs' and actual complaints. I make jabs at my husband a lot, but he does the same to me. He told me he wouldn't expect me to read his mind in this particular way. He would let me know if something I said was upsetting him.
Maybe if a man is feeling that his wife is emotionally abusing him but she seems to just think it's funny or playful, he can have a frank talk with her about the fact that what she's doing is upsetting him. If she doesn't change after that, it's on her. However, as you pointed out, every relationship is different - so no woman should just read your post and assume she's doing this. Couples need to communicate, end of story.
Gotta admit, when I was reading through that list I was alternating between "**** you" and "Wait, this reminds me of those annoying posts that single women put on facebook about how they need to be treated like goddesses when really they need to learn some basic mate-selection skills."
I want to say that what I have read has been very helpfull. I am currently having a rough marriage with young children involed.
Dan, I'd like to offer some feedback on this post, both appreciative and constructive criticism.
First, you make VERY good points on how both people in a relationship need nurturing. I'm very lucky in that, after a series of physically and emotionally abusive relationships, I'm now with a man who, after years of anger management and therapy, is emotionally healthy enough to be such a nurturer. Believe me when I say that I watch him for cues on how to be a better mate! It's wonderful to be appreciative of a good man who deserves my love, and values it instead of taking it for granted.
Second...hoo boy, did you step in it. In this post, you have completely ignored the power differential between men and women that has existed in the last 3,000 years of patriarchal society, and how that influences interaction between men and women. You and I both had the misfortune to be raised in LDS families. Do you not remember the expectations placed on women in that culture? Our job as women is to sit down, shut up, be grateful for the "protection" of men, be the perfect homemaker and mother, be physically attractive while doing it, and woe be unto the woman who wants to be valued as a person rather than a trophy! In your post about "Worthless Women" you described rape culture to a T. Rape culture is a culture in which sexual violence against women is normalized by making women nothing more than bodies to be possessed, and in which men are entitled to those bodies regardless of the kind of person they are. IOW, patriarchal cultures.
That power differential, the propping up of patriarchal culture, is alive and well in the media. You said, "Flip through the television for an hour, you’ll hear at least half of those things declared about men by the entertainment industry and the media. Why? Because it’s okay. For some damned reason it’s okay. And often, it’s okay because somebody has declared that it’s funny." Have you not noticed that those men who are made out to be so stupid, slovenly, bumbling, etc ALWAYS have decent jobs, hot wives (they're inevitably straight), great kids, and a fairly privileged life (see "Home Improvement" or "Everybody Loves Raymond" as examples)? You complain about the media making men out to be stupid, but that same media makes it okay for said men to be so! They still have it all, they're still in the same positions of privilege they always were.
You talked about how women can hit their husbands, and never be called on it. You seem to have forgotten that only until the last few decades it was legal for men to beat their wives, because their wives weren't people. They were property. You forget that a woman punching or pushing or slapping a man is going to hurt him a lot less than he'll hurt her when he knocks her across the room or puts her through a window (as happened to me).
You talked about how woman can rag on men and tear them down, and not be called on it. You forget that up until the past century, men who didn't like their wives for whatever reason could not only publicly berate them, but could throw them out of their home without a court order, deny them access to their children, or have them permanently institutionalized on the men's word alone.
Well into the 1960s, women had no redress against the myriad kinds of abuse perpetrated by men. We are still living with the effects of the laws and culture that allowed such things to go on.
"Women, there is one thing us men have, and that’s serious doses of pride." Yes, we know. See, in our patriarchal culture, men are not only allowed to have pride, but are expected to have it. Men are expected to get pissed when a woman says douchey things to him. But when a man says douchey things to a woman, she's supposed to shut up and take it, and apologize for not living up to his expectations. Remember the double standards at play:
Men are assertive. Women are bitches.
Men are studs. Women are sluts.
Men are confident. Women are snotty.
Men are ambitious. Women are gold-diggers.
Men are sensitive. Women are hysterical and overemotional.
Men take pride in their appearance. Women are shallow.
Do you see what I'm getting at here?
"Both sides do it!" rings rather hollow when one side has had 3,000 years of recorded historical utter dominance over the other, to the point of actual legal ownership, and complete impunity to dehumanize and hurt the other party. It would be helpful to consider context and history when writing about these things, and remember that women are only just recently in a position where we can legally and socially be considered actual people.
Every girl I let get close to me in life has cheated on me and said all of the above. I'm still reeling and recovering from the lashes that I took at their hands. And a year later, I still find myself unable to work up the courage and confidence to start something new with someone because of the way those two girls made me feel and the damage they inflicted upon my confidence and self worth.However, I have not read the article you wrote about women. And i'm going to read that now. I'm positive that I probably degraded them in similar ways, and it breaks my heart to say that, because I really did try and give my all in the two relationships i've been in that ended in such sorrow (At least for me) disaster.Thanks for writing this. I hope it helps out people.
Your post doesn't anger me. I've done a lot of that and maybe even all of that but I'm too afraid to go back and check the list. Chunk cheese. DH will/might never get me flowers, but he gets me chunk cheese, those bite sized chunks, from the store and I see that gesture as a little love note tucked into the fridge. The painful truth is that we ALL are guilty of not treating our mates properly. We hurt those we love the most I think because it's so easy to. We know their weak spots. We know what their buttons are. True strength is to not exploit that which we were trusted with knowing.
DH did something after eight years of predictable behavior. The new mantra "Be the Change". I'm thinking, "what the...?" Without getting explicit, because ThAT's what it would be if I got into details, he totally changed his approach, his whole demeanor and I was thrilled. He's always talking about the "upward strokes" and I never really took them seriously because I believed he was just too sensitive.... shoot, I never realized, though, it was exactly what he was practicing on me all along... upward strokes. Very rarely did he ever say anything that hurt me. On my part, however, I always said things that hurt him and he never let on until one time he blew up and all this stuff came out. I never knew. Women talk. Men don't... usually. I remember thinking, "why had he not said anything in these eight years or so?" I remember thinking that I don't want the responsibility of being a mind reader in our relationship because there will be times I don't see... What I didn't realize is that consideration for our partner's feelings is basic. Nobody should have to be told. The value, the worth of it, needs no explanation.
So I am working really hard to practice the upward strokes and quit the verbal abuse..... that's what it is, plain and simple. I even have to ask him periodically if I've been critical lately because, well, he IS overly sensitive and a lot of the things i say that affect him, I don't really see what's wrong. Messed up, right? I've not read your post about women, so guess I'll go find that now.
This is a great post. I forwarded it to my hubby with an apology. In the past couple of months i knew things had to change for the sake of our two little boys and I have been identifying the times when these kinds of unkind words come up and trying to cut them off at the pass as well as find other outlets for my stress and anger that are not directed at anyone...working out, getting a massage, taking a long shower, going to church.
I tell my husband every day what a wonderful husband he is. And that he can do anything he puts his mind too. Sure he has his moments, don't we all? It took me a few marriages to get this and maybe the right man for me. We make sure we let the other know at LEAST once a day how much we appreciate and love each other. And we're doing fine
I love this and my relationship with my husband is proof that being kind and building them up does work.
Wow. Amazing. I'd never read it before, but the part about being kind...I said almost the exact same thing to my ex-GF a couple weeks before she walked out. Deja vu I guess...
I love this! It is all about respect! And...for those of you Proverbs 31 women, the Lord requires us to show respect to our husband. Little things (like not nagging, picking fights, criticizing, etc) really do make the difference. I am far from perfect, and do struggle with respecting my husband's feelings, but because of my love for him....I bite my tongue and pray!
Interestingly, when I read parts of this post, I had my 12 year old son in mind. I never really realized how rough I was with him, even when I was meaning to be loving. Hugs often ended with a hard back "slap", I would give him a little "loving" punch in the arm when walking by him, sometimes a love pinch. Then one day he said, "Mom, just because I'm a boy doesn't mean that doesn't hurt". That went straight to my heart. I realized in that moment that I was teaching him that because he was a male, he didn't need of gentle, loving touches. While I"m still often rough & tumble with him, I am very conscious of rubbing his back gently at bedtime, hugging him with the same gentleness I hug my daughters and even kissing him on the cheek. He softens when I do these things and I hope that I am now showing him that he deserves sweet, gentle love from the females in his life...and that it's ok to accept it.
This has to be the best relationship advice I have ever read, stated simply enough for everyone to understand and follow... And as a licensed counselor, I've read a lot of advice and given plenty as well. The people who are reacting negatively are probably unable and unwilling to see that when relationships fail, it is always the fault of both parties, not just one.
And by the way I'm saying all this as someone who's done the full-time-employed-outside-the-home mother gig. You go to work for 40 hours a week, come home and it's you stuck with most of the messes. I was lucky though. My then-husband was willing to cook and help with childcare. That was awesome. Lots of moms are not that lucky. And it's not like the average boyfriend or husband spends a lot of time saying "I appreciate what you do," any more than women do.