One of my daily reads is http://dsmoya31410.blogspot.com/
The post below started out as a quick response to her column from 7/27/06, but it got to be too long to include in just a little blurb, so I decided to post it here.
Leesa is asking for a balance of two personalities that most men can never live up to. Most women (OK - my wife) have so many unexpressed expectations that walking through the front door after work is like playing the lottery. Does she want me to listen, or give an answer? Does she want logic or emotion, strength or tenderness, discipline or playfulness (with our kids, you pervs... )?
I never know, NEVER KNOW, what she wants. I come into a home where she runs the house 12 hours a day while I'm at work, but that sense of control is never shared or relinquished. She sets down the rules on feeding the kids, bedtime schedules, how the dishes are done, and how the beds are made. She has a rule for everything, and then has the gall to complain that I don't act like a man and lead the house. Lead? I'm barely allowed to follow.
And as for sex, forget about "bend over and take this." If the planets aren't aligned just so, and "the Apprentice" is a rerun, and the dishes are done, and she's checked her e-mail, and if the phone doesn't ring, and her list is checked off, and if she's not "too tired" and if I haven't tripped on some emotional land mine that she left laying around the house, and if it's before 10:00, then maaaayyyyybe, just maybe we'll get it on, but nothing to aggressive, nothing "kinky", nothing new, nothing weird, just "come here and get it over with sex."
I've allowed myself to be completely neutered, and I'm miserable because of it.
In the past, when I go through these little epiphanies about life, I've turned to other women for the emotional feedback I've needed. Women who treat me as if I'm a man, as if what I say matters and that if I say something, it means something. None of these relationships have progressed to sex, yet, but the feeling of being wanted, of being respected, of being needed for who I am, for being manly, is intoxicating and oh so arousing. A friend of mine would come down to my office and talk during work, she was short, and beautiful, and recently divorced. Every time she came to see me, she'd close the door and give me a great big, long, hug and hold me tight. But the best part is that she would smell me. She would put her face in the crook of my neck and breathe in as deeply as she could. She'd give a big sigh, and tell me how much she loved the way I smelled. That gesture alone, her desire to be with me because I was a man, made me fall in love with her and want her in ways that my wife hasn't seen in years.
I am a male by birth, but am a man by choice. I do my best when asked to be a man, to be strong, to make decisions in partnership with those around me. I am not prone to share my feelings frequently but I have them and hold them deeply. I love strongly and passionately those who are in my inner circle. I esteem my friends as my most prized blessings.
I work hard. I commute an hour each way, every day. I put in 9-10 hours earning a living so that my wife, daughters, and son can be cared for. I put up with bosses, bad employees, long, difficult projects, bad traffic, and endless grief from clients and I do this willing so that my family can be at home together. I do these things because I am a man, and I want to be the provider and protector for my family.
When I get home I want to continue to be a man. I am not the nanny, the babysitter, or the hired help. I am the husband, the father, the dad. Let me be what I am best at being.
I do things differently than my wife. I play too rough with the kids so that they will learn to fall down and get back up. I ignore my daughter’s attention-seeking tears because the world will not be there to dry them. I tell them to clean their rooms on their own, and no, I do not help them because they are perfectly able to pickup “Mr. Bunny” and put him in the right box. I am the dad, and I need to teach them what the real world has to offer, fun, work, trials, struggle, hard won success and joyful serendipity when you sit-up and pay attention. I’m there to make them strong, to teach my girls that it’s a tough game, and that the rules aren’t always fair.
I also have the joy of teaching them about the amazing world around them, a world of creativity, risk, adventure, and wonder. I get to teach them about passion by taking them to the symphony, art by making them take sunrise walks, about joy by making them run their first mile and cross a finish line that they thought was impossible to reach.
As their father, I get to teach them about God, about faith and humility, about serving others and about finding peace by living honorably among their peers.
Because I am a man, I am different than my wife. I act different, I think different, I make decisions in different ways and based on different criteria, but my goals are the same, to be happy, to have a good marriage, to raise wise, caring, and strong children. This is what I am, because I am a man.