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Where Have All the Good Men Gone?

January 30, 2011

The other night my soft-spoken partner shocked me by arguing my side of an argument in front of her ex-husband, his fiancee, and mother. She said, and I paraphrase, ‘Who we should really have compassion for is the men of today. As women are moving into their power, and excelling in traditional male roles, men are finding themselves asking, ‘what’s my role in this family? what’s my role in the world?’ ‘

She got it. She really got it. Okay, I guess it wasn’t that much of a revelation. After all she’d been watching me struggle with the question for six years. But it did feel good to know that she recognized what I was going through, and that it wasn’t a question limited to our household.

I couldn’t help but respond. “Then it’s up to the women,” I said, “Because if anybody can have a revolution without swinging so far to the other extreme as to be unhealthy, it’s womankind.”

It reminds me of a posting title I once saw on a personal ad. ‘Where have all the good men gone?’ Hey, honey, it’s not easy to be a good man anymore. Everybody has a different idea of what that means. I’ll tell you one thing: being a good man doesn’t mean conforming to your expectations. It doesn’t mean being who you want me to be.

It can take a while to find our self, in this world. To find our way. Nowadays when a relationship isn’t working most folk just walk away from it. But what if the relationship isn’t the problem?

We can turn away from the issue forever, but someone will have to address it sooner or later. If it’s not us it’ll be our kids, or theirs. So here it is: What’s more important, your idea of what a family is or your family itself? What’s more important, your idea of what being a man is or what you do with your own manhood?

I’ve heard some couples that have been together for multiple decades talk about how it took many years for them to come to like each other. At the time I didn’t get it, and wondered why they’d stayed together so long if they didn’t like each other in the first place.

Now it’s coming to make some sense. The first part of a relationship is magical; you get to know a wonderful new someone and have a lot of sex and maybe go on a honeymoon. But then reality sets in, it’s back to the grind, and eventually you realize that this person you’re living with isn’t the model of perfection you thought s/he was.

Used to be, you had no choice. Then for a while the buzzword was ‘for the sake of the children.’ Then most people just stopped caring and got married or divorced whenever they wanted and to heck with the consequences.

I’m asking you to go a step further. Instead of staying together for the sake of your children, why don’t you stay together and try to be friends? It’s amazing what a friendship can do. If you can just be open enough to learn about your partner without the weight of the relationship bearing down on your shoulders, you might find out something interesting. Don’t be tricked into thinking you know someone just because you’ve lived with them for a number of years. Haven’t you changed?

It’s too easy to give up these days…


From → Rants

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