I've been going through submissions to my blog Dear Men Of Tomorrow - which is all about helping young guys be more respectful in their first few relationships. I just re-read this note from Debbie in New Zealand. Wow. So much love her in note and wisdom that's been lived. This is not rocket science but we forget. I'm feeling a bit guilty about not doing some of the things Deb mentions. I think I need to re-read this every few months. It's beautiful.
I am a mother of three children, and have been married for 20 years to a man I still adore and love with all my heart. I feel this way because I have been treated with respect and love all these years, and I have been encouraged to grow and nurture my dreams. Because that has been my experience, my love for this man grows stronger, not weaker. Why? Because I feel important, I feel treasured, and even after all these years, I still feel beautiful and desirable - because he tells me so every day. These are gifts my husband gives me.
Instead of being threatening and controlling because he was afraid I might leave him, he has cherished and encouraged me, so why would I ever want to? Instead of yelling and complaining because the dinner is not ready, he joins me in the kitchen and helps finish it. Instead of cutting me down so he feels mighty, he lifts me up so we both are strong. Instead of treating his children like objects, he knows them, and spends time with them and does the things they like to do.
Young men of tomorrow If I could give you the advice I give my only son it would be this: A real man does not need to be violent, or abusive, or threatened by a woman's gifts or creativity. A cowardly man hits and belittles and chips away at his partner until nothing is left but fear or regret. A real man lifts his partner up, respects her and puts her best interests at heart. Because a real man understands that to truly love someone means you sacrifice, you give of yourself, you care and take the time to encourage that person. Because the rewards you will receive are these: You will come home to a woman who lights up when she sees you, she will look forward to spending time with you, she will want to hear about your day, because she knows you also want to hear about hers.
You will feel anger and jealousy at times, I'm sure you will, mine did. But sometimes the attention she may get from others is because they wish a woman would look at them the way your partner looks at you. And if you treat her right, then you will just know that no-one else can be better for her than you are.
You will encourage her creativity; you will take the children out while she is writing that book, or painting that picture, or helping a friend in need, because you know that when you return, she will love you even more for letting her have that time. She will adore you for being a great father, for taking time with your children, for really getting to know them. She will love you for being patient, for cooking dinner occasionally, for taking her out and making her feel like she is the most important person in your life. Because she will be, and you will be the same to her. She will make your life as wonderful as you make hers.
And, when your children grow, you will discover this: your daughters will not waste their time with a man who does not stand up for them, who does not protect them and nurture them. Your sons will treat their girlfriends with respect and dignity, and you will notice that they repeat the small things they have grown up seeing. They will buy flowers, they will cook dinner, they will care for the ones they love, but they will also be strong enough for fight for that person if needed. And then you will smile to yourself, knowing that not only do you have a woman that adores you, you have also shown your children that they are to expect nothing less. And you will be proud beyond words to see your son become a good man. He became that way because of what you showed him, the man he saw you to be. Being a loving man does not make you a weak man. It makes you a hero, and doesn't everyone want to feel like that?
Thank you again Deb for contributing your wisdom to help all men, young and old, becoming more respectful of the women in our lives.
If you wish to contribute advice to the project do it here at Dear Men of Tomorrow