Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

Male Bashing ~ Rae

on December 3, 2012

wedding_rings

Be honest ladies, we all have done it. Get a gaggle of gals together and almost inevitably the conversation will often turn into a “listen to what my husband/boyfriend did now!” fiesta.  During which all the mademoiselles will nod their heads in sympathy and patiently wait their turn to vigorously voice all the vexations their men have caused (apparently I am on an alliteration kick today).  These conversations, while on the surface may be explained away as “just blowing off steam” or harmless venting, in reality are cruel.

Ladies, imagine for one second a group of men getting together and talking about their women in the same manner that we do. If we ever heard our significant other spitefully spilling the beans about our imperfections we would be DEVASTATED (and probably run straight to our friends to gripe about it). While I am sure there are times when guys get frustrated and express irritation, they would never dare to engage in the type of conversations we have. Think about the language we use, and the words that come out of our mouths about the men we promised to love forever. Would you speak that way to your beau’s face? How in the world can we be sweet as pie to strangers on the phone, but then speak so nastily about a supposed love one?

Even in the media it has become OK to bash men and portray them as weaklings or nimrods needing their wives to be in control and tell them what to do. For instance, I loved the TV show Everybody loves Raymond but when I really think about it, the wife on that show was just down right MEAN to her husband. Yet he was shown always begrudgingly accepting her abuse, acknowledging that he probably deserved it; and all the while I watched and laughed . That show is not the only one, the list is long: Married with Children, Rosanne, Modern Family, Yes Dear, My Wife and Kids, George Lopez…need I go on? Ironically, I enjoyed all of those shows, often viewing them with my husband. Sigh. What happened to series like The Cosby Show where both spouses were equally successful, loving towards each other and STILL hilarious.  Evidently, it has become a norm to accept that women are allowed to speak harshly about men and men are just supposed to take it.

It is interesting to me how in the early dating stage of a relationship it is so very different. Come on veteran lovers, admit being nauseated by the sight of a newly formed couple hanging all over each other and calling each other “Boo-Boo”.  Truthfully sometimes I shudder and want to gag watching them mushily hug, kiss, and giggle. Most fledgling twosomes rarely think about the realities of long term relationships. Young women seem to be SO focused on finding Prince Charming and then having a grand ole ridiculous wedding that they hardly ever think about the day after the wedding, or the day after that, or the years after that when the MARRIAGE  relationship stretches on “until death do you part”. Maybe it’s all the Fairy Tales that end with “and they lived happily ever after” that have tricked girls into believing that once you have found your true love everything will magically be wonderful. Eventually the oxytocin induced passion fades, life sets in, and we women become bitter and resentful of the man who didn’t turn out to be perfect, never conceding our own flaws.  

Recently I enjoyed a lovely tête-à-tête with some amazing women I work with during a lunch after a meeting. There is usually one lone gentleman in this department (poor guy) but this day he couldn’t make the meeting so the talk became VERY girly. Yet this conversation did not turn snarky and cruel towards men. Instead we had the most wonderful discussion about relationships, family, and marriage.  During the exchange one of these wise women stated something that rocked me to the core. She shared her belief that, “Love is not a feeling; it is a commitment”. WOW! Think about that for a moment. I have always thought of love as an emotional connection between people, but her words made me ponder it in a new light.  What if we viewed love as an action verb instead of an abstract noun?  Others might be able to see LOVE in our actions and words! Your partner would know you love him by your words and deeds.  Maybe this is why there are so many divorces and why women think it is ok to verbally abuse their partners; people can only think of love in terms of “feelings”. How many times have you heard someone say, “I am not in love with him anymore”?  Now I do realize there are exceptions and very valid reasons for splitting up, but lately it seems as if many relationships are thrown away at the drop of a hat. Remember that at one point you picked this person above all others. You thought this person might be potential father material. For the wives among us, we even stood up before God and our peers to choose “him” above all others. What if we women started teaching our children that love is a pledge? Better yet what if we showed them? What if we showed them how to treat a partner, we showed them how to resolve issues and we showed them that while feelings may fluctuate, commitment endures.

My new guru of romance later shared with me another principle she has striven to uphold during her 31 years of marriage. This philosophy is based on a Bible verse: “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land” (Proverbs 31:23). For her this means that a man is known by his wife’s words about him. That even far away at the city gates, a husband has a good reputation because of his wife’s statements. She hopes that in her own life, acquaintances who have never even met her husband would have formed a worthy picture of him based on how she speaks about him and what she chooses to share about him.

This is where my thoughts today converge. What depiction have you created of your significant other? How do you think your co-workers who have never met him would describe him? More importantly, how do those girlfriends who have heard you rant and rave about him perceive him? Have you shared the positive acts he has done or just the negative? What reputation among others have you created for him? Is that the reputation you want him to have? What if today you chose to let only positive utterances out of your mouth about him and to him?  What would happen?????

May I tell you about my wonderful husband? This man starts up my car every morning before he leaves so it will be warm by the time I get in it. He will always plunge the toilet for me if it gets plugged up, because I hate that chore. He buys me red hot candies constantly (another one of my addictions along with glitter and Pinterest). Two weeks ago he brought roses to my work for no reason. He stands up for me in any situation even if I am wrong. In 2008 after a workout at the gym (and subsequent celebratory ice cream shake purchase) I was involved in a car accident. A man from out of state unfamiliar with the area and on his way to his own wedding (on a Tuesday afternoon no less) turned sharply into my car mistaking the freeway off ramp for the on ramp. I of course immediately called my husband. The driver of the other car was irate and angry while I was scared and sobbing.  Swiftly,  although he was a city away, my husband arrived in less than 10 minutes racing his white steed (ok it was really a white ford) to assist me. Which he did; he took care of all the details and me. I can always rely on him. Finally, let me tell you the best thing about him: he is an awesome father.

What will you say about your lover today? What reputation will you build for him? What actions will you take to show you love him?

Love is not a feeling; it is a commitment.

 

PS. Today is my wonderful husband’s birthday. Happy Birthday “Boo-Boo”!


7 responses to “Male Bashing ~ Rae

  1. Traci says:

    I enjoyed reading a post based on encouragement!

    Like

  2. Lisa says:

    I definitely agree. Love is a commitment, not a feeling. That is the only way a relationship can weather the storms. Both people have to live up to that commitment in order for it to work.

    Like

  3. This was better than any church sermon that I’ve ever heard. Thank you for having these kind of conversations with your lady-friends.

    Like

  4. […] that we NEED this holiday. That is also why we need a love revolution. We need to be reminded that love is a verb and  by demonstrating it we can cause it to be multiplied […]

    Like

  5. […] and I work on it. Instead of keeping score, I keep my own list. Most of all I try remember that Love is a VERB not an abstract […]

    Like

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