Women may agree with an assessment I’ve come to conclude–men just aren’t ready for marriage or committed relationships until they’re at least 30 years old or so.
The seed of these thoughts emerged while I was showering this afternoon after my treadmill workout. And please forgive me, there may be exceptions to what I speak, however, I’ve yet to meet one: A man, who is a true asset, a compliment to his wife, mature enough to journey in lock-step with his bride–without causing grief, sadness or disappointment – regularly. Maybe its circumstance, maybe a combination of a lack of instruction, poor communication skills, or that we’re really as fragile as the fairer sex are accused of being?
When I reflect on my own relationship with my wife, I can honestly say that I wasn’t fully prepared for the reality of dealing with young children. I knew that I wanted a family, and was in love with the idea of being a dad, but man is there a lot of work, repetition, and challenge with caring for our young. NOTHING in life, except experience prepares you for the reality of being one hundred percent responsible for the care and health of another human being!
During the child-rearing years of family, both husband and wife, dad and mom need to be a team–on the same page! Too often because of the tolerated and accepted stereotypes of testosterone carriers, we’re let off the hook, excused from particular parenting chores and responsibilities because we’re ‘not used to it’ or ‘not as good as it.’ The new world of parenting and navigating the emotional landmines of decisions often lands squarely on the woman. Late nights with sick children, taxi service and household management when the husband is away on business trips; more on her plate. The laundry service, the menu planning, cooking, baking, doctors appointments, clothes shopping, parent/teacher conferences, enrollment in clubs and athletic teams…it never ends. Parenting is the boot camp of independence for many women who learn in the school of unfair and hard knocks that they can stand on their own two feet and don’ t need a man to be a success. Frustration is the bitter wine shared between the lonely stay at home mom and the dad who all too often puts self before the family.
In many respects, we’re like a young Labrador pup! You know how they are? Running through the house, playful, cute….and destructive! Lordy, the trash isn’t even safe in a home with one of these best friends! One morning, you’ll awaken to find your favorite slippers torn and soggy; or groggily walk down the stairs to get your morning coffee and step into a pile of puke on the last stair step. Don’t get me wrong, they’re fun, look adorable in pictures, even more serene and attractive when asleep. The commitment level associated with the care of a young pup is a long-term endeavor. Notice any parallels ladies?
While finishing up my shower with these thoughts racing through my head I felt great compassion for my wife and this same story that is being played out on life’s stage throughout the world every day. It DOESN’T have to be this way, but it won’t change until our theories and instruction for future generations are shown that gender is not an excuse for poor communication skills, respecting boundaries, being consistent or holding true to our commitments. I really think the whole marriage vows practice should be re-examined and revised, that interpersonal relationship skills should be a course taught in school and required for any couple who find out they’re expecting!
I have four older sisters, have been married for almost 19 years, and have two daughters and one son–been surrounded by estrogen my whole life–and think I have the inside scoop! I believe that civil society would be better off worldwide if both genders were on equal footing. Guys, we have so much to learn and much work to do within ourselves. It’s not all about toys, fun, fame, power or control! There’s a deeper purpose and meaning to our existence, its time we explore together and help each other be better men. Our wives and women worldwide deserve it.
- Gender Stereotypes (socyberty.com)
- Legal Rules for Playing The Name Game Around the World – What You Can (and Can’t) Name Your Baby (press.rocketlawyer.com)
- Emily V. Gordon: How Do You Regain Trust After Being Betrayed? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Family Interaction Patterns: Bullying and Victimization in Children (education.com)
- Announcing Her Existence (nytimes.com)
- Puppy without ears finds foster home (msnbc.msn.com)