Yesterday, I was enjoying a day at the lake with my family when suddenly, we noticed a jet ski sinking in the middle of the lake.
A boat and another jet skier came to help the rider and the situation seemed under control, albeit unfortunate.
As I was walking back toward our picnic area, I saw a man and woman standing and watching the drama unfold. I quickly figured out that the teen boys riding the jet ski were their sons. From 10 feet away, I could hear this woman ripping into her husband, telling him how stupid and useless he was. She told him to, “f*ck off” and many other colorful expletives.
Stunned, I passed by them, yet even my presence wasn’t enough to make her cease her verbal assault and I was embarrassed for him. I could feel him shrinking, as his vain attempts to calm her were ineffective.
It bugged me because it reflects something I’ve seen a lot of lately—the emasculated male. It happens all the time—and it’s systematic. It’s not just women in relationships—it’s portrayed on television, in the media and in literature.
There seems to be this notion that men are mostly idiotic buffoons who simply can’t function without a woman to help them. We see it in commercials—where a man looks around cluelessly until his wife comes into rescue him and then shakes her head with an, “oh my gosh, can you believe how silly he is” look on her face.
And many women get into relationships with men, knowing there are certain things about her man that bug her.
Maybe he leaves his socks on the floor, squeezes the toothpaste in the middle, won’t ask for directions or always wears the same style of shoes every day (that she hates). The woman thinks that once she’s married to him, she will “help” him and make him better.
So, for six years, when he leaves his socks on the floor, she picks them up, puts them in the basket and waits to see him so she can chastise him. Over time, the chastisement becomes condescending and eventually, can completely erode the relationship.
I’m not suggesting that he doesn’t have some level of ownership in this—but I believe relationship is an “as is” proposition. When we commit to someone, we get them as they are in that moment.
We shouldn’t commit or get married hoping they might change. If they do something that annoys us and we don’t think we can live with it, don’t expect them to change. Either we change how we view it or choose a different partner.
What we shouldn’t do is treat our man like he’s a failure and a total mess.
Don’t speak to him like he’s less than you or like he’s your child.
Don’t talk down to him. Don’t disrespect him and for the love of humanity—definitely don’t do it publicly.
Take a deep breath and remember that this is the man you love and he’s the one you’ve chosen to be your partner in life.
And he’s human.
He’s going to mess up, make mistakes, say and do stupid things, hurt your feelings and screw up. Because he’s human and he may need a little grace now and then.
You would want him to do the same.