A few weeks ago I talked about things that women do that drive men crazy, or at least drive me crazy, in the best of ways. This time I want to talk about something a little different. There are things that men, good men, should never EVER do. There are things that are so important that they should never even cross your mind. Things that, because you love the woman you’re with so much, that show her the ultimate respect.
As a man it’s your job to protect your family, sometimes it’s physically. Sometimes it will be emotionally. Sometimes the things you do cross over to both. Here are a list of some of the things I strive incredibly hard to never let happen in my relationship with my wife. Some of these may cause backlash, but it’s okay. There are going to be people that disagree with me. There will be people that agree with me. That’s the value of being a human being. We can disagree on things. It’s okay.
1. Never Invade Her Privacy – Many times in a relationship you both have access to things you want to keep private. That doesn’t mean you’re trying to hide something from someone. It just means everyone has things that they keep to themselves. Everyone needs and deserves a private space, whether it’s a journal, a phone, a social media account or anything else.
New years bring new challenges. Everyone has those resolutions they make every year that within six weeks have completely fallen by the wayside. I’ve tried them all; lose weight, eat better, go to bed earlier. This year my wife and I have decided we’re going to do a lot of things together to help ourselves and our families better our positions. I may talk about those in a future blog entry. You never know what I’ll write about.
The one I am going to talk about is one that I think should be easy to try and maintain, especially if I keep constantly writing about it and having you (and my wife) keep me honest. It was inspired by a friend of hers who talked about all the books she read this year. We’re going to read more.
I love to read. It’s something that I’ve done since I was in school. For as long as I can remember I’ve had shelves of books. Dates with my wife inevitably end up at the bookstore and one or both of us is walking out with something new to read. She dreams of huge libraries in the house. I’m a fan of sci-fi and fantasy novels. She likes horror and books about homeschooling. We don’t read the same types of books, though there is some overlap. One thing we both hope to pass on to our children is our love for reading.
One of the things that means, however, is that when your child is interested in reading they need someone to read to them. Most of the time you’ll says, ‘Sure. Grab that book. Let’s read it.’ Then you realize that they’ll want to read it again. And again. And again. By the sixth time through the book you’re cursing whoever invented language and wishing death upon all the characters in the book. Okay. It might not be that extreme, but you’re getting tired of reading the same book over and over again.
I’m a big fan of puzzles; sudoku, crosswords, it doesn’t really matter. I like things that challenge my mind. One type of puzzle I’d seen, but couldn’t wrap my head around was Picross, or as they’re more commonly known nonograms. Nintendo has been releasing these games fairly regularly since the days of the Game Boy. I’d seen them numerous times, but never picked any up because they looked to complicated for me to figure out.
Before writing this review I had never done any kind of Picross puzzles, ever. I only had a basic knowledge of what they are. Essentially they are a number puzzle. You are presented with a grid of squares that has numbers along the left side and the top. The numbers correspond to the number of squares in that row or column that need to be filled. For example if the row has the numbers 4, 2, 1 you would have to fill in four consecutive squares followed by 2 squares and then a single square. There must be at least one empty space in between each set of numbers. Once you’ve completed the puzzle you have also created a pixel art picture.
Not everything about being a parent revolves around your children. You also have to have a close relationship to your spouse. From having open lines of communication to loving each other unconditionally there are things you have to do to show your spouse that you love them. Many of them you’ll do without realizing, but those are important too. These are some of the ways that you ladies out there can show your man that you love him. You probably don’t realize that you already do some of them. (These may not apply to every man, but they certainly apply to me and I would bet that most men out there would feel the same way.)
1. Laying Your Head On His Chest – You know those times when you’re curled up on the couch watching a show or you’re laying in bed together talking? Well lean over and lay your head on his chest. Not only do you get that closeness, but there are many reasons that men like this. #1 they feel protective. They get to pull you close and wrap their arms around you. That makes them feel like they are shielding you from the world, like no harm can come to you while you’re together.
In today’s world, filled with hustle and bustle, rising costs, and desire for equality, it’s not surprising that many families have two spouses that go out every day and enter the work force. At one time President Obama said that women staying at home was “not a choice we want Americans to make.” You can interpret that how you will. That’s not really what I’m here to talk about, but the fact is that many Americans do make that choice and it can be for any number of reasons. I have my thoughts on why he said that, but that’s for another time.
While we were dating and during the very early part of our marriage, we both worked. It seemed weird to make that change just because we were married. My wife and I eventually made the choice to have her stay at home while I go out and work. What were our reasons behind that? Well there were a number of them. It’s not a decision you can make lightly and it’s one that takes the full support of both people in the relationship.
One was the cost of childcare. We determined that it would cost about as much as one of us made to send them to daycare. Financially we weren’t going to gain anything by both of us working and having someone else take care of our kids. Two, as the kids began to get into school we realized that they weren’t really learning anything at school. The one child that went to public school was bored, even in kindergarten because she wasn’t learning anything. She knew everything they were teaching her. Three, we felt it was safer for our kids to be at home. There are others and I may get into those in another post.
I’ve seen a lot of articles on the topic of stay-at-home moms. Anymore the vast majority of people look down on SaHMs as lazy or dependent on the man to provide for them and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I was recently on a reddit forum where one woman honestly asked for people’s opinions on SaHMs. She was considering the possibility of being a SaHM when she and her husband had kids. One of the responses that stood out most to me was this:
“I want a partner not a dependent, thus I have no interest in having a stay at home wife or mother. I believe in splitting the work load as evenly as realistic and one partner permanently removing themselves from the responsibility of providing from the family while leaving the economic health and burden of providing to one person is fundamentally unfair.”
This is an attitude that many people have and they only look at things from the financial aspect of being a SaHM. She’s not contributing to the relationship so it’s unfair. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Many, though I imagine not all, SaHMs have things they do that help contribute to the family financially. My wife, for example, makes and sells quilts. The amount of money isn’t nearly as much as she could be bringing in from a full-time job, but she contributes to the monthly bank account (which we share).
Hey you! Yea, you, the guy (or girl) reading this. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Guys are pretty bad at expressing themselves. We can think of something we want to say and in our heads it sounds great. The second we try to express that thought out loud our mouths turn into mush filled oatmeal bowls that dribble down the front of our shirts. We’re bad at it. I get that. My wife would probably tell you the same thing about me. That’s what this blog is for.
I’m hoping to be able to express all those things that we, as men, are thinking and feeling, but can’t express in words that are comprehensible to anyone old enough to be able to hold their head up without help. Whether it’s those things we want to tell our wives about how much we appreciate the things we do or talking about the latest update to Minecraft that your son keeps babbling on about that you don’t understand. I’m here to hopefully help you express those things in your mind you just can’t seem to put into words.
Sometimes there will be topics I want to discuss. Maybe my wife will inspire the occasional post. Sometimes I’ll look to you for ideas that you want me to write about. I hope, most of all, that it’s informative, entertaining, and it helps you to express yourself to those around you. Let me know what you think.