Last week, I wrote about Why Your Wife is So Mad. I’ll be honest, it pissed some people off (and it wasn’t your wife). It was called feminist bullsh*t, among other things. Funny, as I’ve never really considered myself a feminist necessarily. Meaning, I’m not pro-female as much as I’m pro-people and pro- healthy relationships. And pro- deal with your stuff so you can be a better human -kind of gal. So, if that makes me a feminist bullshitter, then um, ok I guess.
But I digress:
I get a lot of messages and communication from men looking for relational resources, and as I mentioned last week, I can’t quite speak to the needs of men – but I can speak to their questions from a woman’s perspective and perhaps shed some light that way.
Last week, we talked about connection. I ran out of time (and room) to finish what I wanted to say, so, as promised, here’s a follow-up with three things I know we women want from our men but won’t tell you.
Sometimes we don’t tell you because this stuff is just too vulnerable for us to admit, but sometimes we can’t tell you because we don’t even know we need it - which is tragic and evidence of the epidemic of our lost souls and sense of self.
Again, we’re getting real. Here goes…
Do what you say you will do. It seems simple I know. But I’ll tell you, I’ve dealt with countless men (both personally and professionally) who struggle with this. Now, I’m not sure why this happens exactly but I can tell you how it normally plays out.
I’ll use an easy example. Let’s take for instance, taking out the garbage – if you tell me you’ll take out the garbage on Tuesday, I will actually believe that’s what will happen. So, when Wednesday rolls around and the trash is stinking up the garage, I’m going to be a little irritated. And when I ask you about it, you will sense that irritation and wonder to yourself (or aloud) what my problem is… it might even escalate to you claiming I’m being a nag (or worse).
Situations like this can escalate quickly depending upon the EQ of both parties involved – it’s not my intention to get into the nitty gritty of domesticity, but I can tell you the garbage is not what it’s all about. To us, it’s about much more because…
We want to trust you – because we want to feel safe. We want to know you have our back. Giving us lip service is such a betrayal of the trust we crave so deeply. This one’s tricky because a lot of us didn’t have this in our families of origin – we intuitively want it, but we’re not sure what it looks like exactly. And if we’re not aware, we’ll deny we even need it. This puts you in a tough spot because depending of the situation, it could appear that the target is always moving or worse, darting in and out of hiding.
Which is why it is so important for both parties to grow and mature emotionally.
When we feel like we can’t trust you in the little things – then we might tell ourselves we can’t trust you in the big things (like with our hearts) and on and on and on… the crazy spin cycle resumes in full force,, which puts the focus on the garbage instead of on the connection in relationship and the state of our hearts – which is where it probably should be to effectively solve the real problem.
Whew – that was a lot. Let’s finish this so I can go take an Advil…
Here’s the third thing – something I never thought I needed but totally do…
Express how you love her beauty. It doesn't matter how old she is, the women in your life want to feel beautiful and nobody can speak to that more than you. The whole world can tell her she’s beautiful, but when she hears it from you, it means everything. Remember again, no lip service, please. Lip service is betraying. Instead, find the beauty in a place from your heart. It can be from anything – her physical appearance, her motherhood, her heart, her character. No matter how talented and strong, the women in your life desire to be cherished. And cherished by you.
That’s it my friends – a little something for you to chew on today. Hope it helps.
Let’s make it great.