Monday, June 18, 2012
snips and snails and puppy dog tails
I've had a little writer's block lately, which is weird for me. Usually, if i just sit down and write, it all comes out. But lately, it's been sticky.
Twice in a row, i sat down to write, spent minutes and hours pounding something out, only to not publish it. One of those times, i was trying to illustrate the difference between a man's and a woman's response to frustration. I couldn't remember the real-life example that made me think of it, so i attempted to write a silly story to illustrate my point.
Turned out to be way too much story, and not nearly enough point, so i abandoned ship.
Thankfully, my though-having super hero gave me the quintessential example for modern day Americans, and i am back to writing.
My point (spoiler alert) is that men and women express emotion, often the very same emotion, in very different ways. To make it worse, they can respond to exactly the same stimulus, with completely different emotions.
The instruction (spoiler alert again) is that your marriage will benefit, if you, especially you wives, will allow your spouse to be how he is, no matter how completely uncivilized it may seem to you. Men need to be men. Women need to be women. We compliment each other. Kind of the point of marriage, actually.
The modern-day illustration i mentioned is September 11, 2001, or more accurately, the weeks following. For those of us who weren't a direct part of the devastation, do you remember how you responded? Do you remember how your spouse responded?
My husband recollects how seemingly every man under the age of 50 was ready to enlist in the armed services to go and fight whoever this was that would dare invade us. I remember considering eternity and wanting desperately to connect with my family and feel the comfort of knowing they were safe. We all remember the shock, the helplessness, the feeling of having been invaded.
The beautiful thing is that all of these responses were appropriate. All were necessary.
I think that one of the worst things a woman can do to a marriage is to try to squelch her husband's natural tendency to act like a male. It is true that inside every woman is a little girl. It is just as true that inside of every man is a little boy.
It is not so much true, i find, that men are less emotional than women. Men are better at not showing their emotions to their complimenting gender (if you consider that a good thing), but they are not less emotional. They simply express their emotions differently. Girls, ladies, women, wives, lend me your ears. Men need good male friends. Men need time away from women so they can be emotional together in the weird way that men do it. And men need to act like men. They need to go fishing and hunting and get dirty and yell at football games. They need to love all things that look like guns. And sometimes they need to yell when they're sad or go hit something (not someone) when they're frustrated or rough-house with their buddies when they're feeling lonely. And they need to be accepted and treasured, just as they are, by you, the kind and gentle, when they come back home.
Now men, women are weird too. Women need to sip hot drinks and tell overly detailed stories about things that seem entirely boring to you, for hours on end. They need to love things that are lacy and pink. They need to coo, in groups, over all things baby. They need to cry bitterly over things you wouldn't dream of shedding a tear over, and they need you, the strong and comforting, to hold them and "understand" through every tearful phrase.
This is my wisdom for you today, appreciate and treasure your differences and learn to compliment each other, for a more enjoyable marriage.