Recently, a friend of mine posted a link to a blog post that got me thinking about the dynamic between married men and women. I offer an opposing view to Denise’s position on the lack of effort put out by married men.
Denise makes a long point to highlight the efforts she, and most women, put forth in a family relationship. She also points out that despite the faults of her husband, he does things that she appreciates. As a married man myself, I can’t emphasize how much that last part goes a long way.
While much smarter people than I have written plenty on this, it bears repeating: Men and Women are different. There is no escaping that women excel at things men statistically do not, and vice versa. Embracing this difference is key to a successful relationship.
This speaks to the nature of any successful relationship – Empathy. While my wife does a number of things that drive me crazy, I get nowhere with her if I don’t first recognize why she’s being the way she is. She feels the way she does for a reason. Making the effort to understand is like opening the door before entering the house.
I bring this up, because while Denise mentions how her husband is still good to have around, the bulk of comments on her page suggest otherwise. Most comments on her page are women ranting about the worthlessness of their husbands. One even offers divorce as motivation. I take offense to this. While plenty of men could use a lesson in gumption, the majority of men I know do not
I don’t recall seeing anything detailing a typical married man’s frustrations. So, here’s a few things I’d answer these women with.
I’m a man, so I don’t multi-task well (as well pointed out by other posts). My day however, consists of quite a lot of that. I have to do plenty of that at work. When I get home, I have to do even more.
Switching between the demands of employees and employers, and the demands of a wife and twin kids is difficult. Quite often it highlights the inadequacies that I’m terrified define who I am. Reading the comments of these women hits me between the eyes: I am not enough, I am never enough, I have never been enough.
There are so many indirect assaults on the fears of male inadequacies in American culture it’s difficult to even start to complain about it. Between jokes about male sexual failures, the lack of efforts put forth in family life, and jokes about a husbands mechanical abilities. All of these common jokes in society only tell men one thing: You are not enough.
The way men respond (typically) to these messages, is withdrawal. If you’re wondering why your husband doesn’t help with certain things around the house, it’s likely because he doesn’t feel he’s doing it right. Think of the last time you were told how badly you were doing something. It didn’t encourage you to try harder, did it?
I’m sure there are plenty of similar messages our culture sends women. I think there’s quite a lot more documentation of those complaints though.
Ladies: If you want more from your men, encourage him. Berating him will get you nowhere.