Where have all the good times gone? I remember staring at my wife with uncertainty that a woman could love someone like me so completely. After 12 years of marriage my mind is cluttered with spitefulness, brooding over what happened to that woman. How did I fall from the face of her warrior to less important than a Facebook friend?
These stories are rarely written from the masculine point of view. When they are the basis is often an overly sensitive, nipple sucker who couldn’t hit the broad side of manly obedience.
Even for an authentic man who will reject passivity, accept responsibility, lead courageously and invest eternally, there is the discounted possibility of not being loved back. This definition of manhood is something I’ve personally strived to be for years since going through a Men’s Fraternity Classic by Dr. Robert Lewis.
There are several things that can happen when one person in a relationship disengages. Here are the ones I’ve been through over the past few years:
- Try to find out what you did wrong because you must have fallen short somewhere.
- Upon realizing that you can do nothing, try to fix it!
- When you can’t fix it, fight back. Lash out.
- No response from lashing out? Stop doing everything.
- This is a fun one because it goes against everything you want to be as a man.
- It left me terribly depressed.
- When all else fails, just power through.
- Powering through reveals your breaking point and ambivalence takes over.
- Apathy is the opposite of love. Not hate.
- Where do we go from here?
As a witness to redemption the simple phrase “love covers a multitude of sins” had come over me in waves. What love? My love? Not exactly … supernatural love.
Before I go too much further into “supernatural love”, the true awakening in me was the fact that my wife is an imperfect person who has the ability not to love me as much as she does to love me. My love for her must persist whether I get anything in return.
Why? Because if I recognize my needs aren’t getting met then I must admit her needs are not getting met either, whether she knows it or not.
With the exception of infidelity or her leaving on her own accord, I must be willing to love her, supernaturally, for however long I exist on earth. If I am truly the authentic man I claim to be I must do so without an expectation of receiving anything in return.
As I felt the door of compassion get slammed in my face, I forgot that there’s no eternal claim to leading courageously or accepting responsibility. True authenticity possesses the perseverance and resolve to permit these traits unfold within the man I can become. Men … I urge you to take a step back, ponder these truths and tell me how you plan to battle your wife’s apathy and contest for your marriage.