Sunday, May 8, 2011

I shaved my mustache for this?!!

My wife and I were having this discussion about this article I had read the other day and I got to thinking about one of the comments she made in response.

I was complaining about those insulting articles written by women about men about how to shop, act, dress, behave, comb your hair, stand up & sit up straight, say, "yes, ma'am, no ma'am." No I made last those three up. Seriously though, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Those TV commercials, sitcoms, and women's advice articles to men for this and that.

Her response: "Well, if men would listen to their wives." Mine: "Whoa, whoa...I don't agree. I think if they wouldn't tell us so much stuff to do we wouldn't either forget it or get it jumbled up."
For a while now more and more so called "advice" articles instructing us men and fathers on the do's and don'ts on each and every holiday as if we are incapable bumbling idiots who aren't even allowed to succeed before we are deemed a failure.

Here's how they generally go: buffoon of a man, usually a husband, struggles to have a clue as to what something is all about. Sure enough, an all-knowing woman (usually the wife), rolls her eyes and shaking her head in pity, is there to help the stupid buffoon of a man not utterly ruin everything. And, by the way, did I mention that the man is ignorant? In an alternate version, the children who are all-wise, and they help the idiot father figure things out. And of course we’re all supposed to laugh: “Ha, Ha, Ha look at that stupid guy. What an idiot!” The pivotal role of every sitcom.

New Year's we're told how dress and don't embarrass you at dinner or the party. Valentine's we're told what to buy, where to buy it, what to wear, where to take you, where not to take you, etc and don't embarrass you. Thanksgiving and Christmas we're told when and we are going and what time to eat. And it's not that we men don't welcome your advice and suggestions. We just don't want to be talked to and treated like a bunch of dim-witted idiots.

Here's a tiny portion of that article which was written for dads, with my thoughts included:
"What Dads Should Do For Mother's Day" (the author should've just said "Mother's Day is the second Valentine's Day and dad you're an Idiot")

"You're (mothers) in for oodles of homemade cards and crafts, sticky breakfasts in bed, brunches, pedicures and presents, presents, presents. That is, if your husband/partner does his job right.  WTH? "Does his job right?" Sure she can hold me accountable as long as I can hold her accountable on Father's day. I don't recall of any rule book until today. What happened to "It's not the gift that count, it's the thought that matters?" Or what about giving from the heart?

"He’s probably done a thing or two for his own mom but chances are good, his efforts were guided and financed by his own father.  Now that he’s the dad, he may not know exactly what he’s supposed to do.  After all, you’ve never been the mother in his life before." Um, what did you say about my daddy? I'll have you know he taught me better. And, I don't mean to brag but, if I remember correctly I did a whole three things for my mom in my younger days by my big self. WOW! How presumptions and condescending of this woman. 

She goes on explaining every little point to men about Mother's Day so we understand what it is all about, as if we have never heard of it, and the only way to recognize it is with presents, presents, and more presents. This is the way to do it right. 

I hope you're not thinking by now that I'm anti-Mother's Day or even resentful towards women. Absolutely not! As a father it's my job to teach my son's to see and treat women with the upmost respect. I just find that attitude and material offensive. Men and women need to communicate with each other their wants. But that's one of the problems when it comes to holidays. Wants are in much more demand.

But hey I got to thinking, what's the best way for any mother/wife to really feel appreciated, respected, and loved on Mother's Day by the father of her children? To know what her husband needs and from her. What!! Yes I meant what I said. It's Mother's Day. Not Father's Day! I know that. Read what I have to say before you judge. So going against the grain this Mother's day, I'm writing to you mothers. I'm writing to you a list of things your husband/partner wishes for you know about them.

I don't have to explain that men and women are different, but how different most do not know, especially the inner workings of the minds and hearts of each. What little we think we know of each is more than likely wrong.

I found information from thousands of men that were interviewed and the following is a just a small consistent sample of what I found. I wanted a list of what men wanted and needed from their wives. I know, a bit unusual for Mother's Day, to give a list of the father's/man's wants and needs. But read them and hear me out.

Husbands would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected. Husbands desire to know our wives respect us both privately and publicly. By far the most important need. This was the first and foremost need men desired. We thrive when we know our wives trust us, admire us and believe in us. Research indicated that we would rather sense the loss of loving feelings from our wives than to be disrespected by them. As our wife and the mother of our home you hold the power to whether or not we feel like a true man.

Dad's want to be his children's hero. We love it when our children run to us, but we know there are things only you can teach our children. A true hero needs a sidekick who is no less than us, but an equal partner. We desire to be acknowledged for what we contribute, including what we do at work. We shouldn't get more praise at work than at home. The job isn't a place for empowerment while the home is for ridicule. What is it about being a hero?  It's what gives us fathers the encouragement to our children's hero. It's that validation that we are protecting what you gave us.

A man’s anger is often a response to feeling disrespected by his wife. No I'm not talking about abusive anger. When a husband becomes angry with his wife, we may not come out and say, “You’re disrespecting me!” But, there is a likelihood that we are feeling stung by something our wife has done which we consider disrespectful and humiliating. And I'm not talking about treating her with disrespect either. It's out of hurt. It's only those that you love with the greatest compassion the cut you the deepest.

Men are insecure. Yes ladies, we are insecure. We are afraid that we just aren’t cutting it in life -- not just at work, but at home, in our role as a husband and as a father, especially as a father.  We may never vocalize this, but inwardly, we are secretly vulnerable. To us, affirmation from our wives is everything! You truly have no idea the strength you hold on us in our security. If we don’t receive this affirmation from our wives, we'll seek it elsewhere. When we receive regular and genuine affirmation from our wives (not flattery, by the way), we become much more secure and confident in all areas of their lives. Even your approval as a mother is important to us.

Men feel the burden of being the provider for their family. Intellectually, it doesn’t matter how much or little we make, or whether or not our wife makes more or less money in her career. We simply bear the emotional burden of providing for their family. It’s not a burden we chosen to bear. We are simply wired with this burden. As such, it is never far from our minds and can result in the feeling of being trapped. While wives cannot release their husbands from this burden, you can relieve it through a healthy dose of appreciation, encouragement and support. Assuring that our families are never lacking in any form of provisions is a thought that plagues our minds constantly and if so it would lay more burdens on you.

Men enjoy romance, but doubt their skills to be romantic. "Are you serious?! True, many men appear to be unromantic clods, but it doesn’t mean that they want to be that way! Men want to be romantic, but we just doubt our ability to pull it off. We are plagued by internal hesitations, perceiving the risk of humiliation and failure as too high. Wives can do a great deal to increase confidence in our romantic skills through encouragement and redefining what romance looks like. And here's the thing, we want romance, come to think of all the famous romantics whether in history and a celebratory have been men, we just find it difficult when we're talked to like we're in kindergarten and bombarded  with options.Other than for the sake of our own relationship, men as fathers, would like take their wives out for a time out from being a parent.

Men care about their wife’s appearance. This isn’t saying we want our wives to look like the latest supermodel. What we really want is to know that our wives are making an effort to take care of themselves (and not letting themselves go) because it matters to us. Husbands appreciate the efforts their wives make to maintain their attractiveness. And don't wear the same style every single day. You think we want you to look good for us. But we know for a fact that when you look good you feel good. You feel more confident. Your mood is happier. You are good to yourself and others.

Men want their wives to know how much they love them. This was the number one response of men. Men aren’t confident in their ability to express this, but they love their wives dearly. Men want to show how much they love their wives and long for them to understand this fact. It's not just how much, it's "why" also. It's part of the insecurity, but the concern is about you and you never doubting our love for you.

Husbands want private time with their wives. Not just for sex, although that's important--but also to do activities together on our own. This is where making time for a "date night out" every week or so is important. Then the husband and wife can see a movie they want to see, not uninterrupted by the kids, or have a peaceful meal at a restaurant. They can go bowling or dancing or get together with friends and keep their identity as an adult couple, not just as parents. A husband truly does want to be alone with you. It's when the business or comfortableness begins to creep in when that desire fades. But your undivided attention is like a lure reeling us in.

Husbands want their wives to know they are very emotional. Studies show that women tend to be more emotionally open than men....and I think women ARE more comfortable with their emotions. But REAL men do have REAL emotional needs. It is just that it is harder for most men to express them. Women tend to see feelings and behavior as the same. They act on their feelings. If a woman is angry, she behaves in that way. If she is elated, it's expressed in her behavior. Usually a woman's behavior is an open window to her emotions. But most men are not that way. For years, as long as you yourself can remember, professionals have told us men tend to embrace the philosophy that says that real men....macho men...are MEN OF STEEL...always in control of their emotions. I disagree. Psychology and psychiatry both tells us that anger is a secondary emotion meaning it's the response to a primary emotion. It has a cause. We get angry because we got hurt. We get angry because we got disappointed, etc. There is a psychological cause to a man's anger and it's a hurt, some kind of pain in the relationship. 

We fathers, or men, display our emotions as actions rather than words unlike you moms. Plus most of the time when you ask, "Is something wrong" and we answer, "Nothing." Nine times out of ten we're answering that because we just don't understand. You understand your mind's better and we understand our bodies better. But as we learn how to deal with each other's shifting emotions and communicate, we fathers become more supportive to you.

Why the insight on Fathers for Mother's Day weekend? Because it's you moms that teach your children so much more than what you realize by your unspoken words with actions. They possess wisdom from God for us, and He has chosen you to impart the qualities of biblical womanhood.

You have no choice about whether or not you are an influence on your chilren - the choice is what type of influence you will be. Your actions and words will either shape your children for good or for bad. And your silence also speaks volumes: when you are too busy or too tired to take the time to talk to your children, the message that comes through loud and clear is that they are not important.

Just as fathers, you moms are teaching your children to be leaders. Maybe you have never thought about mothering as a leadership position. A leader is someone who has influence over others. A mom definitely fits that definition. You were chosen by God to lead your children, and  he desires for you to depend on his direction in order to do a good job.

You are a teacher mom. In a society where men are targets for labels as idiots, crudes, foolish, lustful, and just plain stupid, it's you mom that has the ability to teach the contrary. Children can be taught to appreciate their father's contribution to the family and to use the respectful speech to their father and other adults. A mother teaches her children to be thankful  for his work and effort and to appreciate his desire to provide for them. I'm not all this to be about us fathers. To say what you wives need to do for us. It's you moms that teach your daughters by word and example what kind of husband she deserves. It's you moms that teach your sons what kind of wife they deserve. Simply teaching children to say thank you and for their father's work helps children learn value of hard work and earning money. So way to go moms for all that you do, for the spoken and unspoken lessons and examples you speak to your children with your love to their fathers! Happy Mother's Day.

Yes, you would be surprised how much influence a wife has on her husband with their children. How a mother treats and/or meets the needs of their father is a gift to her children....the love of a mother.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Where my inspiration comes from

A Recycled-Dad with Bipolar & Parkinson's, reflections on fathering and family life and other stuff thrown in'll love my Soap Box Rants

Blog with Integrity\\ Auhor Lupe Picazo

Why I call myself a Recycled Dad

I call myself a Recycled Dad because of the struggles with remarriage and being a step-parent and weekend dad. This is also about my life living with bipolar and how it affects me personally, my family and my job. It also reflects on the grace God has poured out on me throughout recovery from alcohol and an eating disorder. Recycled Dad is about my reflections on the wisdom God teaches daily on fatherhood and being a better husband in spite of being bipolar.

Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome them