What Women Want: A Special Note to the Men

A Special Note to the Men
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While making our way to Part One of What Women Want, I’d like to take a second and share some thoughts with the men.  Ladies, of course you have my permission to eavesdrop (I know you would even if I told you not to). 🙂

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Men, your woman needs more from you. You have to be more engaged with your wife; you are communicating even when you think you aren’t. Your passivity speaks volumes.  Your silence speaks louder than your words.

I have learned I need to make a conscious effort to actually speak out of my mouth what I’m thinking in my head. For too long, my life was lived in my head so my wife had no idea what I was thinking because I rarely told her. I still struggle to speak everything I’m thinking but I’m working on it daily.

Your wife becomes adept at reading your mind by watching your actions and sadly your actions aren’t saying a whole lot either.

We must open our mouths and verbalize our thoughts. We must push through the uncomfortable awkwardness of putting ourselves out there. Our wives are not responsible for our frustrations about how our lives have turned out. As much as we want to blame our wives for our mess, it’s not their fault. We project our frustrations about life and our feelings of inadequacy on our wives so we don’t have to feel the weight of it. Regrettably, though, the weightiness never goes away. We can’t escape it.

We try to escape our frustrations and our inadequacies but they’re always there, just beneath the surface. We escape into sports, hobbies, television, or work.  Instead of facing ourselves and confronting our inadequacies head-on, we shrink and look for excuses. We walk around every day with a knot in our gut because life hasn’t turned out like we planned. We saw ourselves as important managers, business owners, or sports professionals—more successful than we are—and it eats away at us. We’re getting older and we begin to wonder what’s the point. Our lives of quiet desperation erode little by little internally. It’s as if we have a parasite that is eating us slowly from the inside out.

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The first thing to realize is this feeling is not your wife’s fault. She is not responsible for this knot in your gut. She’s not responsible any more than the mirror on the wall is responsible for what you see in it. The mirror only reflects what it sees and your wife only responds to what she sees and hears from you. She serves as your mirror—a living, breathing mirror that projects back an honest portrayal of yourself. If you don’t like your wife very much, it could be you don’t like the reflection of yourself that she’s mirroring back to you.

This isn’t easy. It’s very difficult to admit we could be the issue and it’s not all her fault. Life seems easier when we have a scapegoat. Having to take full responsibility for ourselves isn’t fun.

Women are very intuitive creatures. They have an uncanny knack for feeling deep down what is happening in any given situation. Their men don’t have to say anything for them to understand they are not number one. She knows you are disengaged. She understands you’d rather drift through life without conflict from her. Unfortunately, she can’t sit idly by and watch you go through life depressed all the time. She nags at you because she cares. She points out you’ve been amiss lately because she longs to have the man back she fell in love with. She knows he’s still there deep down—she sees glimpses every once in a while—but she also knows the pressures of everyday life can get heavy. She’s not intentionally bothering you just to annoy you. She’s calling out to you in hopes that your true self will hear her.

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She wants you to know that it’s all right that you’ve changed over the years—she’s changed too. Life has a funny way of changing two people. It’s not the changes that concern her the most, it’s the drifting apart and complete lack of a connection—even once in a while—that eats away at her. She longs for you to turn towards her like you used to instead of turning away from her.

An important thing to remember is she’s just as uncertain about life as you are. She has doubts, insecurities, and regrets, too. She thinks about the course her life has taken and wonders if she went in the right direction with every decision she’s made. She doesn’t blame you for who she’s become. She’s made a choice to be with you and she still sees the good in you; so if given the chance 100 more times, she’d choose you 101.

I recently heard Garth Brooks’ Somewhere Other Than the Night and I think his words are appropriate here. Enjoy.

He could see the storm clouds rollin’ across the hill
He barely beat the rain in from the field
And between the backdoor slammin’ she heard him say
“Damn this rain and damn this wasted day”
But she’d been waitin’ for this day for oh so long
She was standin’ in the kitchen with nothin’ but her apron on
And in disbelief he stood and he stared a while
When their eyes met, they both began to smile

Somewhere other than the night
She needs to hear I love you
Somewhere other than the night
She needs to know you care
She wants to know she’s needed
She needs to be held tight
Somewhere other than the night

They spent the day wrapped up in a blanket
On the front porch swing
He’d come to realize he’d neglected certain things
And there are times she feels alone even by his side
It was the first time she ever saw him cry

Somewhere other than the night
She needs to hear I love you
Somewhere other than the night
She needs to know you care
She wants to know she’s needed
She needs to be held tight
Somewhere other than the night

To know she’s needed
She needs to be held tight
Somewhere other than the night

Peace and Love,

~Travis

 

PS. I’m intrigued to hear your feedback.

Imagine

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Maybe its the sun saturating my face while I sit on my new deck. Maybe its the wind wrestling with the trees all around me. Maybe its the water endlessly flowing by in the form of the Portage River before me. Maybe its the birds continuously chatting with one another. Maybe its sipping my freshly brewed coffee from my favorite John Deere cup. Maybe its the fortunate intuition to pull Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements off my shelf on my way to the deck. Maybe its having an innocently random thought of John Lennon stroll through my mind that caused me to watch Imagine. Maybe its one of these aforementioned things or maybe its all of them together; either way, I cannot help but feel completely enveloped and saturated and oozing with peace!

Please, I beg of you, listen to Lennon’s words and let them permeate through you. Don’t just listen with the attitude, “Oh yeah, good song, I know all the words.” Take some time to breath and prepare yourself for what he is saying to us. Peace is possible. Peace is available. Peace is a choice that is ours for the taking. All we have to do is accept it. Peace is already ours within us as long as we go within and get it. You will not find true peace anywhere except for looking deep within yourself.

The book I mentioned before, The Four Agreements, simply MUST be read if you haven’t yet. If you have read it, I urge you to reread it this week. Its a small book, 139 pages or so. Could be read in one sitting if you really wanted to. I like to buy books and underline sections I feel resonate with me so I can go back and reread what moved me. The first time I read this book, I think I underlined about 95% of the whole book so the second time I read it I started to put big asterisks along the side of the pages. After all the asterisks were there I would write little comments along the margins to call my attention to certain paragraphs. Needless to say, this book is cluttered with different colored pen marks, scribbles, and half-legible words. I would recommend reading through it the first time and just letting the message soak in. Then I would go back and reread it and start to apply the way of living he is describing in this short, powerful message. Its ideas are so simple yet so enormously profound! The first time I read it I felt like the old V-8 commercial where you slap your forehead with newfound information: “I shoulda had a V-8.”

My initial intent was to share some quotes from the book in order to make this point or that point but my gut tells me to simply, peacefully suggest to you the importance of Ruiz’s message. His book and Lennon’s song is more than enough food for thought for one beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Imagine Peace!

Not the over-commercialized-change-your-name-because-you-want-to-sound-cool kind of peace. I mean actual peace.

Peace within yourself.

Peace with your family.

Peace at your work.

Peace within your nation.

Peace on this planet.

Imagine!

Wishing You Much Peace!

~Travis

(Will you share this message? My desire is to be Freshly Pressed by WordPress in order to share this message with everyone. Attach it to an email and send it on. Relink it to your Facebook page. Forward it on Twitter. Let’s get the message out that Peace is possible and that Lennon’s words are still alive today! Thank you!)