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The need to be men
There has been a move in society to strip men of their masculinity. To domesticate them to some extent. Look at the TV shows and sitcoms. All portray the man in the home as an idiot, that can’t do anything with out his wife. As a knuckle dragging cave man type that can’t express his emotions and is unable to change in any way.
I will say that there are bits of truth in some of those. But that’s no reason to make us feel bad for being men.
Can we as men do better in relating to our wives? Sure, just as she can do the same for us. There is always room for improvement.
All that said, men need to be free to be men. When I say that I don’t mean it as the dominate, mean, caveman. I’m talking about being with their buddies and spending time doing manly things. Hunting fishing, watching sports, shooting or what ever it might be. He needs that time away just like his wife does with her “girl time”
The biggest threat I have seen is that the push has been for men to become more like women. To be emotional and to be like her girl friends…. I get it but he will never ever be that for her. Can he open up more and get in touch with his emotions, yes and he does need to but it will never be like your best girl friend. He will never read all of your none verbals like other women are able to do. He is a man, let him be one. Things that are important to you are probably not a priority to him. Not that they can’t be but he will be doing them for you and not because he all of a sudden puts the same importance his wife does. Examples are, getting the right brand of butter, the right toilet paper or the right kind of cheese. All are not a high priority to him. Can he learn which ones need to be bought? Sure he can, but I would make a specific list and the reason is if your expecting him to buy a certain kind of butter, but all you wrote was butter on the list then chances are it wont be the same. If your expecting a certain thing, speak it out loud or write it down. That’s one of mens biggest issues with their wives. We don’t read your none verbal as well as you want us too. We can do better and get more tuned in but if you want it known, you better speak it or write it down.
Basically Let him be a man, he is going to do manly things that you might find uncouth. He is going to wear clothes that may not measure up to your ideas. You know why? Because to him the clothes are not as important as the time spent with you. It is not that he doesn’t care about his clothes but he values the time spent with you much more than what he is wearing. So help him out in a kind loving way, don’t make him feel like a failure, because after all he is actually valuing your presence more than his clothes.
Another thing. He would love to include you in on one of his hobbies. BUT!!!! Yeah theres a but. Don’t take it over. If it is a activity he usually does with his buddies, let him have that time. Don’t move in and insert yourself into that activity. He does want you to be included but not to take it over. I know many guys that were really excited that their wives went hunting with them, but when she kept going, it because a burden. Let him have his guy things. Ask to see it or experience it but keep your distance and make sure to allow it to be a buddy activity.
Guys…. We can be men and still be civil and respectful and loving husbands. We can learn about our emotions and learn to read her none verbal. We can do better as men, leaders and husbands. But please don’t try to be like her best friend. You are a man and that’s ok.
Ok this is another one of those areas that women have a hard time grasping. Remember, I’m speaking in generalities here. I know we don’t always meet the stereo types but this is for general purposes.
Men love a challenge, we love a job to do, something to focus on and pour ourselves into.
And yes we even love that in our relationships, but here is the difference. Look at all of the things men like. Sports, games, hunting, our work, video games. What is the one common thing with those? Rules. There is a defined set of rules that we play by and if you ever listen to a boys backyard game of football you will here the rules over and over and anytime someone breaks those rules they are called out immediately. We as men function best when we have a standard set of rules, it doesn’t mean we will always follow said rules, but they are there and we know them. That being said. We want to succeed in our relationships. We really do I swear, cross my heart. Most men want nothing more than to be his wife’s hero and put a smile on her face 24/7. But I am going to tell you a little secret that some of you may not know…… women have no rule book. I know shocker right? Everything in a woman’s life is ever changing. Even her surroundings with kids and schedule changes. Then add in the emotions and over thinking and multitasking. Its pretty much the antithesis of how a man works. So it is very easy for men to step out of the emotional side of communication because we have no idea where we stand. If we are “winning” or if we are sucking at it or even how or what to do to do better. We can say one thing one day that puts a smile on your face and we will remember that. Only to use that again on a different day and get a negative response. In a guys mind this is alien, it just makes no sense to us.
So the question is. How can we use this knowledge to build better relationships? I think its pretty clear. Men….. look at your relationship as a challenge, use this as a call to be a better husband. What will it take for you to succeed? Its going to take you climbing into the emotional ring with her and getting your toes wet. Remembering that we are different and not expecting her to respond like your best bud would. Ladies…. Don’t expect him to just become your best girlfriend either. He will not respond that way and it will disappoint you every time if you do. Look for the effort he is making. Help him, don’t leave him stranded there floundering. If he is making some efforts tell him encourage him, make him feel like he is winning. Remember us men like to win at things. If something doesn’t quite work right, let him know you saw his effort and encourage something different.
The biggest thing is he needs to get to know you, your favorite things and colors and movies tv shows and basically learn the little things about you he might have missed or forgotten. Ladies if he is looking to learn more about you, welcome it. Let him encourage him and don’t be close mouthed about things, If he is asking he really wants to know because if he wins in this completion then so do you. BIG TIME!!
Trust me, if he can consistently put a smile on your face or get you to laugh of cry with happy tears he knows he is doing the right things.
Lets turn this around a little. Ladies what can you do that communicates love and care to him? This completion is not to be done alone. It is not a one sided thing. You have got to jump right in also. Lets start keeping score here. Not of the bad things but of the good things… If he does something nice for you, you should be thinking… hmmmm those flowers were really nice, what can I do to repay him? It can be a simple as a note in his lunch or on his car when he gets out of work.
What you do is up to you but I hope you see the turn around from the stereo typical TV relationship here. Instead of counting the negatives, you are not counting the good things and looking to repay them. Now you tell me how this can end badly if both people are playing this same game???
So to sum up, a man functions best when there are rules to follow, he likes structure and consistency in all the things he does. How can that be brought into your relationships a little more?
Its really that simple. Looking at your relationship and seeing how men do things and how women do things and finding the comparability in them. Its going to mean you both have to move to the middle. Ladies do not expect him to come all of the way to your side if your not willing to meet him at all. Men don’t expect her to move all the way to your side if your being stubborn and pointing the finger at her all the time. It takes both people moving together to build something great.
Ladies this is one area that we are totally different than women. But it will be a short chapter in the over all article.
As men we have our buddies and friends and best friends right? Just like women right? Well yes and no. Most women think of their best friend and see a confidante or someone they can tell everything too. They see a companion to share parts of their life that no one else does.
For men this is totally different. We have a group of friends, buddies and pals. But the way we communicate with them is different than women and their friends.
I will say this as simple as possible. If you have a man in your life and he loves you…. YOU are his best friend. You are the only one he tells his most inner parts of himself too. He will tell you things he has never told anyone. Yes even his best friends. You see men do things with their friends, we go to a movie, we go hunting we go fishing. It usually revolves around an activity of some kind, but the biggest difference is that we just don’t talk that deeply with our friends. We don’t confide our deepest parts to our buddies. You have seen the TV shows that have 2 men in a room and there is something deep resting inside of them…. Time passes nothing is said……. One looks up nods his head and the other does the same and everything is good. That really isn’t that far off the mark. So what I am saying ladies is that you are his best friend. He doesn’t have the outlet that you have in your friends. You are that outlet for him.
The other thing I hear a lot is women wanting their man to be their best friend like their girlfriend is. I will tell you right now that’s a loosing battle. We were never meant to respond to you like a woman does. We wont respond to you on the emotional level your girlfriends do. Its not that we are being rude or uncaring its that we are men and we are different than you. Its not a bad thing its just different. So don’t expect your man to relate to you like your best girl friend. But also remember that you are his only friend (usually) that he will tell his deepest and sometimes darkest parts of himself too. It maybe hard for you to believe this but it is very true. We may have great friends that we do things with but when we do, we laugh we poke fun at each other, we tell stories from years ago that make fun of each other but we rarely communicate on a deep emotional level with each other.
I hope your catching onto the importance he has with you and just how vital your friendship is in your relationship. You, as his girlfriend or wife are his best friend. With this comes a whole new set of things that are new to most men, which goes back to part one of this series. Emotions. If you don’t give him a safe place to open up too he wont allow you to be his best friend. He will only become open and willing to explore this unknown place with someone he feels safe with. He needs you as his best friend if he is to ever test the waters of his emotions.
Part 2. Fear of failure.
I have got to say this is one of the biggest, yet least understood things about men. We hate failure. We especially hate failure in front of our families and loved ones. Even more so in front of our wife. The one person we love the most, it drives us to stay inside of our comfort zone, where our chance of failure is less. That’s one of the reasons you don’t see many men tackling the emotional connections with their wives very often. They are on shaky ground and unsure of themselves therefore have a high risk of failing.
The fear of failing in a mans life is a constant looming beast that many don’t want to admit is there or something they feel is always breathing down their necks. What does it mean or end up looking like in his life and how he reacts to it in his family and with his relationships?
Usually it means shrinking back. A man will retreat back into a place he is sure of if he has failed at something or perceived failure. Here is a great example. A man is laid off his job and can’t seem to find work to provide for his family. His wife is complaining that he has become distant and she doesn’t understand why. A man prides himself on being the provider, even if his wife works and is making enough to keep them going. He feels like he is failing and dropping the ball. What does he do? He retreats inside of himself, he may become short or a little quicker to anger. Because in his minds eye everything said about his job or lack of is a slight to his ability to provide. It can come out many ways. Many will fall to old bad habits, drinking, drugs or anything that provided comfort in their past.
Ladies you have to understand that the ability to provide for his wife and family is a huge corner stone to who we are as men. Yes its probably an ego thing to some extent but we see it as one of the things we are called to do and are usually good at. When we fail at that it can send us for a loop. If we pull back a little, understand that its not you. We may not even understand why we pull away, we just feel like crap and the more its talked the more we have to face the ugly side of failing.
So how can you help him past it? Don’t be critical. That’s the last thing he needs to be hearing. Remind him of the great things he has done and is capable of. Remember his confidence has taken a big hit and he needs that back to get back on his game.
Men usually take way more risks than women do, but you have to think in what area? We will risk a lot of stuff in the areas we feel strong. We may fail there but we have the confidence already to take that hit. It is in the times we have no confidence that we don’t risk much. Like emotions, those things are usually alien to most men. It’s not that we don’t feel them its that we don’t understand a lot of the structure that is under them. We deal with the outside effects, anger usually. But that isn’t the issue. Anger is not an emotion, it is the result of an emotion, and that is usually the issue we are not used to digging into. We know we are out gunned when it comes to emotions and women, so most men just bow out. Add failure to that and for us it’s a double whammy. Nothing that can’t be over come, but it has to be done with love and understanding, not a critical spirit.
Remember most men really desire to be his wife’s hero. When we really make the effort and fail, we feel horrible. We feel like we dropped the ball when we were honestly trying to do the right thing. If not approached the right way he may never try again. He gets the attitude of… “well I tried and apparently I didn’t do it right so why keep trying if all I do is screw it up.” This usually happens after his wife has wounded him after a failure. Usually being overly critical with no love in the approach. So I hope you see the importance of keeping your love connection on even during times of failure, that is when he needs your support more than any other.