Recently I came across the following article on my computer. I must have saved it several years ago. It resonates very deeply with me right now as I am going through some changes in my current relationship. Although we aren’t married (THANK GOD) it still applies.
The Role of the Man in the Family
According to Dr. Phil, if men want to be successful in their marriage and family life, they have to change and broaden their definition of what it means to be successful as a man. Being a good provider, protector, leader and teacher is a privilege that comes with responsibilities that many men aren’t aware of.
Most men believe that being a good provider means supporting a family financially. It means much more than that. A man should also contribute to the emotional, spiritual, physical and mental well-being of his family. In order to do this, he must recognize that there are other currencies, in addition to money, that need to be provided.
This means more than beating up the guy next door if he insults your wife. It means protecting her self-esteem and self-worth as well as your children’s. It can also mean protecting your way of life and guarding against any threats to the things that you and your family value.
Instead of waiting for your wife to take the initiative when you are having problems, take the lead. Get in the game and create what you want in your family instead of whining about your family situation. Marriage is not a 50/50 partnership. It’s a 100/100 partnership. That means you give 100 percent. And remember, you get what you give.
What are you teaching those around you — especially your children — with your behavior? It’s important to provide a good example for your children, loved ones and community with both words and deeds. Set high standards and teach by doing.
Let’s point by point analyze my current relationship, shall we?
1. A Provider ~ well…………not so much. He actually doesn’t contribute to the household monetarily. Our deal was for him to take care of the house and lawn, be around for the kids (who are 12 & 16) and cook, clean, etc since I work full time.
In the beginning, he did some cooking and cleaning. Recently, its sporatic. And he doesn’t interact with the kids in a positive way at all unless forced.
2. A Protector ~ he succeeds at this in the sense that I know we’re safe with him at the house. But only in that particular area.
3. A Leader ~ he wants to be the leader. He also wants everyone to respect him. However, rather than earning it, he demands it.
4. A Teacher ~ he wants to also be a teacher but I’m not entirely certain I want my kids to learn what he has to share.
So here I am, at 40-something, ready to start over again. Sigh. But after a year and 1/2 with nothing really changing, what choice do I have?
Tell me, what would you do?