by Robert Maxwell
As you can most likely already tell from the title of this article, I’ll be departing somewhat from my usual subject matter here. I don’t claim to be a relationship expert. Far from it. I’ve only been married 4 years, and still have a great deal to learn. That said, I’ve picked up some things about the way men and women work in that time, and feel I know enough to offer some advice. The fact is, men everywhere are failing with women. It’s become an epidemic. Just about every time I turn around, I see men I know of all ages letting down their women and families in various ways. That’s why I decided to write this article sharing what I think should be done about it. Feel free to let off steam in the comment section if this gets you hot under the collar.
If You Haven’t Already, Marry Her
Although living common law without bothering with marriage is pretty common these days, it's not the best way. The stereotype is that men are afraid of commitment and are more often the ones who put a halt on getting married. Although there are exceptions, it’s been my observation that in general, a good woman will appreciate a strong commitment to her by the man she loves. There is no stronger commitment you can make to a woman than marriage. If you’re living together, and have taken every step to building a life together, but aren’t married, you need to examine yourself. Women will sometimes say they don’t need or want to marry their man, and are perfectly content continuing in the common law arrangement. Although I’m sure there are women who genuinely feel this way, I believe they're in the minority. If your woman really loves you, your heartfelt commitment in the form of a marriage proposal will most likely delight her. Don’t buy into the modern notion that strong, independent women want nothing to do with the institution of marriage. By and large, they still do. Don’t fall victim to convincing yourself you haven’t popped the question because of your woman, when really you’re the reason. Specifically, your fear of commitment. If a woman is worth living with, she’s worth marrying. If you don't want to marry her because you don't want to be locked into a life with her, do her and yourself a favour end the relationship. Find someone who you're not afraid to be with, 100 percent. Real men commit.
Be a Leader
Although modern feminism has the majority of men scared to take the lead on anything, many women still appreciate the kind of man with initiative. Passive men are not manly, and taking point on things doesn’t automatically make you an egotistical jerk who doesn’t listen to his woman. The fact is, lots of women value the kind of man strong enough to lead, without being a dictator. This starts by knowing exactly how you think or feel about something, and if it’s constructive, saying it. Practice being the first one to make a dinner or date suggestion. If she doesn’t like your idea, she’ll say so. But even if she has a different idea, she will almost certainly appreciate you taking the initiative to start the conversation with a suggestion. Fear of upsetting their women keeps many men silent, but this deterrent from action isn’t legitimate. There’s not much point in being physically strong if you're weak in your most important relationship – with the woman you’re spending your life with. Being a leader also means deciding on specific rules in your relationship with your lady, then following through on those consistently. Most importantly, all true leaders are self-sacrificing when need be.
Be a Partner
Being a leader doesn’t mean being a dictator, and choosing roles in a marriage doesn’t mean you’re only coworkers. If, for example, you’re in the traditional although increasingly rare situation of being the main breadwinner of the family, that doesn’t let you off the hook helping your wife with domestic chores, too. You both live in your home, eat your food, create mess, and enjoy comfort. Add kids to the mix, and your wife will definitely be overworked if she does it all alone. Earn your family's living, then help your wife with family life. Give up the foolish notion that she owes you three square meals a day a clean house, and total relaxation when you step through your front door just because you provide financially. No marriage works under a tit-for-tat arrangement. You And your wife may decide that the family is best served when she does the majority of household chores while you earn a living, and that’s fine. Just don’t use it as an excuse to punch out of any and all household duties. Real men bite the bullet and do what needs to be done, no matter how tough or long their workday has already been. That said, it's also possible for stay-at-home wives and mothers to take unfair advantage of their positions, not performing their chosen duties properly or consistently. This can be just as serious a problem as men who refuse to help around the house. Bottom line – find a fair, balanced arrangement that works for both of you, and stick to it.