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May 17, 2024

What Not to Say to our Children.

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I am scrolling along my Instagram feed as I normally do for inspiration and I see these words:

“I asked my Dad how he knew Mom was the one. His response? ‘She was the girl who was always there. No matter what I did, she was there to love me even when I was less than loving. I took it for granted for a while. Then I realized she’s what I needed for the rest of my life.'”

My mind started screaming at me! I have seen this so many times; I am sure it is meant to be romantic and positive, but to me, it screams just the opposite. Can we please stop normalizing mistreating women? We are not playgrounds for boys and men who have not fully matured.

It is not about your needs. It is not about what she does for you. Your wife is not your mother.

I have absolutely nothing to say about what happens between a man and a woman in their relationship. Relationships are hard enough without some outsider putting their two cents in it. I have no room to talk. I was married and I tolerated a lot of crap. Why? Love? Joke. Tolerating goes both ways, doesn’t it…men? A rhetorical question. Usually, a man who never owns up to what they do when it comes to relationships will say, “…goes both ways…” that is it, no explanation. Just a statement. A woman will say, “It goes both ways,” after a man says, “Goes both ways.”

It is a cycle. All of it is a cycle. A woman will own up more times than not. I stayed married way past its expiration date. I know that it will have an impact on my children’s lives. It was a bad decision that I had to forgive myself over and over again. With each “event” that happens in my children’s lives, I have to accept the fact that my example may have impacted their highs and lows in life. So far, I have been forgiving myself for those lows a lot lately.

It is hard, forgiveness. Trying to forgive myself for not knowing better and attempting to make changes within myself so that it will not continue to happen. I am still struggling with forgiving myself for the amount of time and effort I invested in someone who did not deserve me. It was a reflection of my own self-worth. I made marriage tolerable and I was miserable. I see the impact on my children and it hurts.

Marriage is not a space to be tolerable. Marriage and children are the places where we need to be our highest self. We need to know who we are and what we want. We should be skilled communicators. The way we convey our feelings and how we comprehend what others are saying. We have to constantly keep our egos in check. Making the decision to share our life with someone requires responsibility. We are choosing to put someone’s needs in front of our own. We have to be highly skilled at prioritizing when to do that. Every decision we make should be made with our best intentions and not with the thought of, “She will forgive me.”

There is no room for being selfish. Even the slightest selfishness should be a conversation. If you want to go hang out with the guys, have a conversation. If she wants to buy new furniture, have a conversation. If either of you need time to be alone, have a conversation. No one wants to guess “what is wrong now” when nothing is wrong. In a marriage, you are a couple, you are an individual—a man and a woman. Can we please stop acting like marriage is the end of fun and the end of who you are? Having a family is a blessing. Children are blessings.

So please, please, do not tell your children—especially your sons—that you love mom because she put up with your sh*t and it took you awhile, but now you appreciate her. We are telling them that women who tolerate mistreatment are keepers and do not deserve respect, love, and appreciation. Our sons will never give their best and our daughters will always be accepting of bad behavior.

If you are not a man who knows a woman deserves your best from the start, then be by yourself for a while. Get it together. Stop teaching our sons how to mistreat women with actions and now with a misogynistic tone. Stop teaching our daughters that real love from a man is mistreatment and that tolerating it is giving love. Let us all—men and women—do better

I hope that man realizes how lucky he is and is now treating that woman like a queen. For his children’s sake. You are a mirror to them, don’t forget. Let’s celebrate all the women who love without question!

~

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