Don’t dump your boyfriend/husband just yet! Read on:
The longer I’m married, the more I realize that I only have limited influence on what my husband says and does. Every talk show host and new age advice guru will tell you that you can’t change a person. And that may be true. Perhaps YOU can’t, but someone else certainly has that ability. Men by nature are for the most part pretty self-directed, and don’t respond well to nagging. (What they call ‘nagging’ is what we women call ‘repetitive inquiry’.) But they do respond well to suggestion. Think about it: When your man does something really stupid, who was with him? Another dude. Another dude who said: ‘Dude! Lets go hunting for strippers and make a YouTube video of it! That would be awesome, wouldn’t it?!?’
A man doesn’t like to be told what to do, because his testosterone or whatever it is that makes men tick tells him that he’s the ‘master of his own fate’. He likes to think he came up with the idea on his own…and when he does, you being his faithful idiot will be there to nurse his wounds after some muscular female bar keep beat him over the head for some unthinkable, disgusting act his boy suggested they undertake together.
If you’re in any sort of relationship, your momma could have spared you the trouble and head ache of discovering this on your own…but your momma hates you…and she wants to see you suffer through the process of discovery just like she did. Luckily for you, I’m here to help.
The only time a man is going to take direction is if it comes from someone he respects. That’s not to say he doesn’t respect YOU if you tell him to do thus and so, but it does mean that he respects you a little less by comparison. Women do not serve as good role models for men. They just don’t. No dude wants to throw a football like a chick. No dude wants to run like a chick. No dude wants to write literature like a chick. They. Just. Don’t. And that’s okay.
So what do you do when you want a man to do certain things like women do – like be more thoughtful, caring, compassionate and help out around the house? Why, you recruit another man! I discovered this quite by accident. Come with me down Memory Lane to July 2010:
*Light fading out*
*Slowly fade light back in*
When I was single, I used to make my bed every day with few exceptions. When my husband was single, he used to do the same. Now, whether he would make his bed and clean his bathroom just prior to my arrival, I don’t know – what I do know is that his apartment was spic and span every time I went over. But then when we got married, that all changed. Somehow, I was always the one making the bed and picking up shoes and clothes. After a few months, I said ‘screw that’ and for years (we’ll be married 6 this May) the bed would get made only under the most dire of circumstances – like when the sheets were on the floor after a rough week, or the kids had dropped eggs or granola in it. I had previously nagged (or repetitively requested) that he also make the bed and stop soley relying on me to do it for months and had gotten nowhere. And then Nelson Mandela stepped into our home and saved the day.
Last July, I bought Invictus for Marshall for his birthday. We rarely get to go to the movies, and by the time we had the chance to go, the film was already out of the theaters and on DVD. He loves that movie. He’s watched it at least 11 times, that I’m aware of. Sometimes he just has it on as ambient background noise while he does his web design. I was pleased with my purchase.
And then one day, about 2 months ago, something strange happened. I got up to take a shower and when I got out of the bathroom, the bed was made. Huh.
The next day, the same thing happened. And then the next and the next. Finally after 8 consecutive days of my husband making the bed, I thanked him for doing it and asked him why. Apparently, Nelson Mandela makes his bed every day, and Marshall was convicted by his example and made the decision to emulate it. I told my sister this story over the phone.
“I was inspired to make the bed,” he corrected. “Not convicted.”
Convicted, inspired, provoked, whatever. All I know is that man faithfully makes the bed every day and I didn’t really have to say a word. All I had to do was introduce him to a man that we both respected and by his silent suggestion, our bed magically gets made.
Now we’re all happy.
So if you’re man isn’t acting right, go get another man and invite him into your relationship. He could serve as mentor and offer insights and suggestions that could change both your lives forever. But make sure you get the right one now! You don’t want to be married to Carl on Monday and come back Friday only to discover you are now married to ‘Candy’.