We had satsong on the topic of relationships one evening... I think relationships are all about compromise, whether or not it's a marital relationship, friendship, your children, parents, etc. And, for me it boils down to being aware, authentic, non-attached (to outcome, things and people), and being self-less.
Living with 10 other women in close quarters this summer- let's just say emotions ran the gambit. But here at home... I'm learning all over again the art of communication. Living with three males, I'm a little out numbered in the female department. However, I get enough female highs/lows from other places (almost all the people I work with or teach to are women)!
Here are just a few of my own observations and life "lessons" based on my own experience. This is in no way an attack or a critical look at men (or even a certain man). I'm really just looking at my own life and realizing, really seeing for the first time my own role in the undoing of a relationship. I feel that the more awareness I have... the greater the opportunity for change within me.
A man's actions speak louder than his words.
Men seem to need exterior motivation (or broken-ness) in order to be willing to change. On the verge of losing his wife, children or in pain or misery... what is he afraid of? Fear of change?
The way a man acts/patterns in the past...probably indicates how his patterns of behavior will be in the future. (Unless he gets that exterior motivation...)
When under stressful situations, flaws are only magnified.
You learn a lot about a man in how he interacts with others (friends, family, strangers...). Quick to anger? Quick to laugh? Humbled or insulted?
What is the root cause of... anger?
A man who doesn't take care of himself or his belongings shows a great lack of respect for himself and his loved ones.
When a man lacks confidence about something, is it based on fear? Then does he go into a cycle of the lack of confidence leading to avoidance, avoidance leading to lack of self-confidence, and so on and so on... This non-threatening lifestyle leads to boredom and discontent. Now afraid to take risks for fear of failing?
By not taking a leadership role in the relationship, he never risks making a mistake. Mistakes are good... that's how we learn, grow and grow together.
A man thinks that talking about problems is complaining. But, for a woman, this establishes a level of intimacy. Intimacy for a woman is 80% mental, 20% physical. For men, the opposite appears to be true.
For a man to be intimate, it requires (a lack of) pride or vulnerability. Trusting a woman enough to give her the power to emotionally connect or even injure (pride), is healing.
Accountability is critical. If he's not accountable to anyone, there is no motivation to evolve.
"A hesitant man is the last thing in the world a woman needs. She needs a lover and warrior, not a Really Nice Guy." J Eldredge
What I CAN do...
Act, not react.
Show respect. I think a man wants respect and admiration, more than to be told he is loved.
Show honor: requiring me to put others' needs ahead of your own.
I can use my influence to help him recognize and realize the consequences of his choices. If I keep sacrificing my needs for his, will he ever grow or be challenged?
Don't criticize his choices when he does decide to take the lead even if he doesn't do things the way I thought they should be done.
Keep it simple; only one topic at a time.
I cannot change a man's essential character- only he can do that. BUT I can enhance or diminish whatever qualities he already possesses. In other words, I can't "fix" a broken man, no matter how much I want to.
Timing... isn't life all about timing? Things will unfold when they are suppose to happen. The best things happen when we allow them to come to us rather than forcing it or trying to change the circumstances.
"A hundred times we will hurt ourselves, a thousand times we will tumble, but in the end we will all realize our divinity."
Pathways to Joy
Learning through experience.