Category Archives: Inspiring Posts

What A Man Wants In A Marriage

A question was asked, “Where have all the good men gone”, and answers were found – The good men are scared of marriage, they are scared of divorce, they are scared of losing their kids, they never wanted to, or never had to, grow up or they simply can’t find any good women. Pondering this, I began to wonder if I remarried again what would I want in a marriage. What would make me take that leap a second time, what would truly make me feel blessed in both good times and bad? I asked the old dogs, those who have been married for decades, those who should have an answer, not necessarily my answer though, and they responded; respect, support, tenderness, love, passion, honor, commitment, compatibility, intimacy, listening, communication and tenacity to weather life together. But these were not enough for me, it’s like describing a fish by saying it has fins, or a tree by saying it has leaves. Only I could answer my own question, a question I should have asked myself a long time ago.

So what am I looking for? I’m looking for my equal, someone who’s seen the harsh realities of life but someone who can still see the beauty in life too. I’m not a man who leads, and I’m not a man who follows either, I’ve always traveled my own path, my journey towards forever, and I’m looking for someone to share that with, someone who walks a similar path. In dating, a man is supposed to take control and lead, but this to me does not make for equals. In movies a man is supposed to be nagged because he does not know what to do, but this does not make for equals either. There are times that I should take the steering wheel, and times I am weary and my partner should take that responsibility too. There will be times we will both be weary and it falls upon us both to search for a romantic rustic cottage, a place we both can pause and recharge. I’m looking for an equal but I despair that the rules of this game are rigged.

I need to see that hunger in her eyes when my partner desires me.

Am I searching for love, passion, intimacy, tenderness? You bet I am, but I must feel it in return. As a man I need to be shown that I am loved, words are not enough for me. I need to be touched; to have my hair tussled playfully while I concentrate. I need to see the playful exuberance a woman is want to display from time to time. I need to see that hunger in her eyes when she desires me. I need to be shown what she likes in bed, I need to hear her fantasies, I really won’t judge. I want to be let into her mind and enveloped by what I find there. I want to catch her smiling when she looks at me when she thinks I can’t see. I want times when we do nothing more than enjoy each other’s presence. I want nothing more than to know that I touch her heart as much as she touches mine. But some of these things seem to be forbidden, as if some rule precludes too much, as if I must guess how much I am loved because if I knew I would somehow lose interest.

I want to share my dreams, they are important to me. They define every fiber of my being and I am nothing without them. My dreams are uncut diamonds and my worth is cut out from their shaping. The person that I marry, they can’t have me and not my dreams because that is not the person they met. I know they’re large and impossible but that’s beside the point. I want to fly through space, to show the world that beauty still exists and to see and feel that beauty every day. It’s why I study astronomy, why I write and why I dance. This is the journey that I will share, I need my partner to understand that I may well never reach these impossible heights but if I stumble I want to know I can count on my partner to offer me a hand up. The true ring on her finger will be set with the diamond that I shape myself into. I fear though that I live in a world where dreams are dismissed as nothing but flights of fancy.

What do I want most though? I want to know that my partner values our commitment together. I want to know that my partner honors and respects that commitment as much as I do. I know full well the costs that come with a failed marriage, I know full well how easily I can be left as a mere husk of a man taking years to heal, I know full well the power a woman can wield in those final days. For better or for worse you have been given this power so I ask of my partner with two things. It is our responsibility for our commitment, not all mine, not all yours, but ours. It must be maintained by both of us as equals. Secondly I can’t promise things won’t be hard, they will be, they can be very hard, but it is our responsibility to weather them, not all yours, not all mine, but ours. Please remember we are committed together, we are not enemy combatants, and we are not trying to be better or worse off than the other. Our Happiness, victories, losses and miseries have to be shared or our commitment will break under the strain. But I fear the media has taught us well how to see the green grass in distant pastures and commitments are abandoned, left to fallow, rather than fertilized and watered.

I have started to wonder if we have spent so much time perfecting what we are looking for in a partner that we have somehow forgotten to look at what we want in a relationship.

So I have started to answer my question. I am sure there is far more but these are some of the things that were missing, disappeared, or lacking in my past and I feel their loss even now. I don’t know whether I am a good man but I see my friends searching for good women and men. Somehow they rarely ever meet. I have started to wonder if we have spent so much time perfecting what we are looking for in a partner that we have somehow forgotten to look at what we want in a relationship. They seem to be very different things, traits in a partner versus traits in a relationship. I think there are still a lot of good men and women out there, but I think we spend far too much time looking for a perfect partner instead of what we should be looking for – a good relationship.

Originally posted on The Good Men Project

Photo: Flickr/Richard foster

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Hope, Beauty and Wonder

We look out at the world today and it can be hard to see the beauty and wonder in the world. Our media delights in highlighting the chaos and disorder. Our politician like to pretend they are our loving parents there to protect us from all the demons in the world. You could be forgiven for thinking beauty and wonder are fleeting and unnatural things, that our natural state should be that of fear and insecurity because there is no hope for this world.

The truth is that beauty and wonder do very much exist in this world. It’s the sunlit dew on the grass on a winters morning. It’s the smile a girl has when her lover crosses her mind. It’s the innocent laughter of a child. It’s the book a husband picks up because he knows his wife likes the author. It’s a teenager madly brushing their hair before their first date. It’s a friend who is there when you least expect it. Beauty and wonder are rarely big things, it’s only the ego of powerful passionate people who try to create beautiful and wonderful objects on an epic scale but for most of us mere mortals beauty and wonder exist in the spaces between the dark.

If you have heard the story of Pandora’s box you will know that when Pandora opened the box she let out all the evils, devils if you will, in the world, sickness, death, chaos, destruction and anything that rides the front page of a newspaper. As they left the box these evils stung her and hurt her. The story continues though because when she looked again hope was left in the box and out it flew curing her pain. The myth of Pandora does not go into how hope could cure her wounds, but I know. Hope has two hands, and in one hand there is beauty and in the other wonder.

Zeus in his godly arrogance forgot one universal truth when he put all the evil in a box and that was that the universe demands balance, always. In putting evil in a box he created hope. All that ugly evil carrying despair and pain, it can’t exist in the absence of it’s opposite, it can’t even be defined without it’s opposite. So hope, carrying beauty and wonder in each hand, was born. Even though Pandora was hurt and stung by this evil it’s opposite was there too. When she opened the box again hope flew out and her hurts and pain were healed.

There is another lesson in Pandora’s story, hope can not exist in the absence of evil. We have a tendency as people to try and capture hope and keep it locked away. To take beauty and wonder and keep it for ourselves but that wont work. In the absence of evil Hope, beauty and wonder wither and fade. They become meaningless without the evil they helped cure. Hope, beauty and wonder shouldn’t be caged or boxed. They need to be held up high and shown to the world so they can grow and reach others who need healing.

If you have found hope in your life, holding beauty and wonder, it is up to you to raise it high. It is up to you when you find people who are trapped in the dark, having faced the evils of the world and unable to see the light, to show them hope, to show them that beauty and wonder still exist. To let hope beauty and wonder heal their wounds. Hope, beauty and wonder are often small things, but the most powerful things in life often are. In the end the only thing needed to balance, to cure, the evils in this world is hope, holding beauty and wonder in its hands.

Photo: Flickr/Michael Hensmann