this is where I empty my head
I woke up this morning with that horrible feeling deep in my gut. The one that makes your hands shake because you know you can’t delay the inevitable any longer, but it’s still scary as hell.
My 7-year-old, ironically, is what set me off. It was innocent enough. The boy make a smart comment about something I asked him to do while I was half-awake and rolling over. But his words smacked of the sarcasm and condescension I’ve come to expect from my husband. And then I knew.
I have to get out of here. It’s way past time for me to go.
I want my children to grow up respecting, treasuring and adoring women. Not hating or fearing them, or treating them the way my husband treats me. Like garbage.
In the end, I won’t be leaving for me. Like so many other women, it will be my kids I aim to save.
• • •
Last week, I wrote about my frustration at the stark lack of intimacy in my life. In return, the universe handed me a gift of the highest order. John Wilder, aka marriagecoach1, commented and his insight was remarkable. (You should also check out the advice he offers for great sex.)
For clarity’s sake, John and I don’t know each other. I’d never heard of him until he commented on that post. We went back and forth a few times; I doubted him, but he was persistent. I came to see that he was right. And that really shocked me.
The gist is that men often complain that women don’t make it safe for them to open up. If they are truthful or remotely negative, they get attacked, so they cut off communication. Women tend to believe that men don’t have feelings because they don’t share them, he said.
John contends that men are actually very sensitive and need nurturing and intimacy as much as women. But that their No. 1 need is respect and admiration, which they get the least of in today’s world. And that was a real eye-opener for me.
As the mother of two boys, I have long-held the belief that this society does not value men at all, but rather looks at them as a decoration with no substance. It bothers me – a lot. But I never made the leap from my children to the older men in my life, be it my husband or New Guy, until John mentioned it.
He said that if I seek communication, understanding, time and transparency, then I need offer the same:
“About 30 years ago, there was a woman by the name of Marabelle Morgan that had a best-selling book and seminar called The Total Woman. It is now out of print, but she said that women need to give their husbands sex and admiration, and they would get all of their needs met . . . The feminists killed it because they attacked a suggestion in her book that women initiate sex with their husbands once in a while and suggested that she meet him at the door wrapped in saran wrap. Women don’t have to understand or approve it, but if they do it, it is amazing in the turnaround in their husbands. Men tend to live up to or down to their wives characterizations of them.”
• • •
I can totally get behind the idea of offering sex, admiration, and praise to men. But not if the man I’m dealing with is emotionally disconnected, like my husband. You can only offer up a loot of warm and fuzzy feelings so many times before the repeated response (rejection) makes you think twice about doing it again.
John said women need to provide a safe environment for men to be able to open up: “Men protect their feelings even more than they protect their balls, does that explain it better for you?”
And this brings me back to the beginning of this post. My gut says, ‘Don’t walk. Run.’ I can’t provide a safe environment for my husband any more than he can muster kind words for me. This marriage is over.
I think John’s advice is astounding in its simplicity and affect. I just won’t be implementing it here.