Archive for October, 2012

I consume Facebook at lot. I’m not all up there throwin’ up pics of lolcats because, honestly, that’s just not me. I use it to keep in connection with a wide and diverse host of people all over the planet, which is pretty sure what the original intent was meant to be – people chattin’ at people. Sometimes, however, this mine of the mundane produces a special gem. This was posted by the husband of a high school friend:

“Thank you God for getting me through this morning with twins! Also God please bring my wife home safely and SOON!

A prayer for his wife. What a great way to honor her, and more importantly, he wants his woman to return to him safely. 

Each year, there’s a lot of derision that comes up about Valentine’s Day and it kills me. However, living on the internet for the past 16 years has taught me that people will deride pretty much anything, so I shouldn’t be particularly surprised. The most common comment is something akin to “I don’t need a holiday for me to tell my wife I love her. We live that love every day.”

Except that most men don’t.

Now, I am sure the bulk of you manly men out there tell your wives you love them. Maybe several times a day; maybe once every couple of days. But you are not really steering off the designated path, are you? Not really taking the “road less traveled?”

I get it. Feelings. Not really the male arena. But we have them, so we should make them known. And we should use our outside voices. 

How many men out there tell their wives how beautiful they are? Lots? Perhaps. Take it one step further – how many of you notice when she wears new shoes, a new blouse or a new outfit? 

How many of you tell your significant other you are proud of them? That they really know how to mother your children? That they are damn good at whatever it is they do? At the risk of sounding like the 1950s, how many of your tell your stay-at-home wife or girlfriend that she’s incredible at keeping up the house. That she makes you feel like a king?

It seems innocuous, and women certainly don’t need us for affirmation, but it can be a day-altering event. I’ve seen people grab, bite into and suck the marrow out of a single compliment that keeps them going for a whole day. It’s not that they were weak or in need of validation, but they got it. It came, like a shiny, wrapped gift left just for them. It made them feel special.

And loved. 

I’ve never truly bought into the concept of the “emotional bank account” because I think that starts to overgeneralize the complex emotions of women. However, it’s built on a fairly simply concept. If you constantly berate someone, constantly tear them down, they will begin to see themselves as less than they are and worse, they will see themselves as less when you are present. The more you build someone up, the more they will see you as a light in their life, as a respite from the world. 

Isn’t that what we all dream of – the chance to be someone’s hero and build for them, even if its only emotional, a haven from the rest of the world?

Manly men use manly words to build people up and we need to do it every day. Not as a reflexive “I love you” habit, but through a sincere reading of a person that allows us to see how we can honor them. It takes so little to be a force for the positive and it will pay huge dividends in your relationships.