Here at Bellows in the Berkshires, I tend to stay away from relationship advice, simply because I’ve only been with my husband five years now, four of them married and I don’t enjoy feeling like I think our relationship works the best; what works for us doesn’t work for everyone! I for one, love being a dependent, stay at home wife and mother. Not all women want that…and not all women who do want that can do it. So I try not to jump on those “10 Things Your Relationship Needs” or “What’s Ruining Your Marriage” bandwagons. Other bloggers enjoy writing them, I will read some. But as a whole, it’s not an area I am passionate about sharing.
Except sometimes, when things get my panties in a bunch. One of those things is this beautiful new trend I’ve noticed when talking to other women. It may happen to men as well, but I think it’s much more common as a thought about guys.
Nothing makes my skin crawl more than when I see older women selling the propaganda that men are not good, that it’s impossible to find one that comes home every night, to find a faithful spouse, or one that treats you right. Nothing gets my goat more than young women hearing they don’t have a chance to find someone who treats them well and if they do find one like that, they should celebrate, be grateful for, revel in their love.
To all my young ladies out there, let me make sure you know a few things.
Your man should treat you with respect. If you are with a man who does not, don’t allow yourself to fall into that area of thinking that’s just how men are. He should honor and respect you, whether you are a neurosurgeon or a stay at home mom. You should honor and respect him as well;but please know it’s not just how all men are. I am respected. I haven’t worked in almost three years and Josh still treats me as an equal. Not because I am “lucky”, but because I deserve and demand it.
Your man should be aware of your mental and physical health issues and support you through them. I hear this line all the time: “Men don’t understand mental illnesses and they lack the ability to be empathetic.” Um..no. They are as capable of understanding and more importantly, they are able to learn. I know my list of mental illnesses(my alphabet soup of diagnoses) is completely new to my husband. He learned. Men can learn about any mental illness you deal with. This does not excuse you being a poor partner yourself, but if you are trying to behave well and heal, you deserve that respect.
Your man should shower you with romance…or however you feel loved. My husband struggles with this. It’s okay, it’s not his area of expertise. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been surprised and wooed. The point isn’t that he succeeds with it though…the point is he keeps trying. You should be able to shower him with those things as well. Don’t accept the belief that you shouldn’t expect a man to do romantic things since it’s not in their nature. Don’t accept that you just won’t get those things.
Your man should do his share of parenting. This is another one that kills me. People hear about Josh being a parent 100% of the time and they talk about how I got lucky. Their boyfriend/husband/whatever hates to watch the kids. They are HIS kids too and even if they aren’t biologically, he chose to become a parent the moment he chose to be with you. Don’t settle for guys who aren’t willing to hold the child while you take a nice long shower.
Your man should be faithful. Cheating happens. It does. I believe good people can, and will, make this choice sometimes. I won’t act like anyone is beyond the possibility. But you should find someone who shares the same values of faithfulness as you do. Men who have “side chicks” are not the regular or a necessity to put up with when looking for a partner. (I understand some people have open relationships and that’s fine, but that still requires an amount of faithfulness and honesty in my opinion.) If an act of unfaithfulness happens, you shouldn’t be forced to accept it as the norm. It’s not the norm.
I am not one of the “lucky” ones. My husband is not whipped or one of a kind. There are plenty of other good fish in the dating sea.
I want my daughters to marry people who believe all the things above. I want my sons to become them. I’m sick of seeing memes and quotes and jokes that reiterate this belief that all men are created equal and that equal means all men are allowed to be crappy partners. I’m sick of seeing and hearing these things that make it seem acceptable to settle for those who will hurt them. Or that young girls expectations should be lowered to such a standard. There are still good men out there.
So, dear young girls who are reading this(and men too, and those not in heterosexual relationships-I just extend this to young women because it seems to be over the top beliefs for them about young men.)-you deserve better. Don’t believe that all guys will do these things. Demand the respect you deserve; demand to be treated well by the person you love. And you need to treat them well.
I know what I’m mentioning here are stereotypes, but as I watch girls and boys I’ve known for years grow up, I see them accepting these as truths and living accordingly.
Find someone who loves you in the way you want. Love them in the way they deserve. They’re out there. I promise.