Tuesday, April 10, 2012

5 Top Reasons I Love Men.

I wanted to title this post, "5 Top Reasons I Need My Husband" - but I couldn't bring myself to do it. These are the 3 highly sensitive camps I would have offended in but seven words:

1. The "rah rah women" crowd
2. The "yeah we get it, you're married now please stop talking about it" crowd
3. The "I thought you said we were complete without a man" crowd

I would just like to admit right here that I am both highly sensitive and also actively participate in all three crowds.

I do realize that I've been writing about marriage lately in the same way that babies hijack a woman's life and cause all her friends to only speak with her when they're prepared to handle a conversation about "the poops! They were so small and dry." (This is an actual line from Sunday's conversation, and those words actually came out of the husband's mouth. In reference, I might add, to SOMEONE ELSE'S baby. Not even his.)

This all kind of really sucks for me because I'm now stuck between rock and a hard place. I can either talk about how awesome marriage is, and make single people feel bad. OR, I can talk about how terrible marriage is, and make single people feel better. All I can really do is say,"rest assured, marriage is both awesome and terrible. Just like your single life."

I also wasn't prepared to be in this place, because my marriage was highly unexpected. (Yes. So very unexpected. I had fully embraced the barely-married-by-30 plan.)

Anyway, a lot of people seem to get very confused whenever I post pro-men things, because it seems to imply that I'm being anti-women. Like I'm betraying my own kind by cheering for the enemy. But holy crap! How did men get to be the enemy!

I know when. When he left your mother. When he left you. When Hollywood started building every single movie, show and poster off of "women are so capable and men just can't even pour their own milk into a bowl of cereal so har har har let's all laugh at him trying to feed himself without a woman to hold the spoon!"

This makes me super sad. And really angry. And kinda depressed. So, I'm going to write 5 Top Reasons I Love/Need Men/My Husband. Because I think men are awesome, and the better they are, the better we are, and the faster we can get onto having a great life together and stop beating the shit out of one another with the "who's the asshole/who's the crazy bitch!" game.

1. My husband keeps me grounded. No, he's not emotionally dead inside. In fact, he's the one who reminds me to process my own emotions. He's also a witness to my daily life, and gives me a second objective perspective to what's really going on. And he reminds me that hisemotions are just as important as mine - because we're two very real, very human beings. Sharing life. Give them the benefit of the doubt and you'll realize men are pretty great at having a solid grip on reality, and having emotional responses to it.

2. My husband is extremely helpful. It turns out my husband is fully capable of cooking all his own meals. I remember growing up as a child thinking that men sincerely were missing a special combination of cells that enabled them put together edible food. Max makes awesome breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. He's just as equipped as I am in the kitchen, if not more. And he does the dishes. And cleans the house. And the car. And is really great at it.

3. My husband is not clothing-challenged. On top of having a fantastic sense of style, he helps ME shop. He appreciates an awesome article of clothing that I get excited about (and no I'm not just talking about lingerie, silly, I'm talking about boots and jackets and things) and it's SO GREAT. I don't have to get him dressed, I don't have to help him match his pants to his shoes, and he isn't "sloppy just cause he's a man." It bums me out that we beat the "girls go shopping while the men watch football!" stereotype to death and back. Sure, girl time and man time is priceless and needed - but men like to shop too, and we like to hang out with you on Sunday afternoons. I guess what I'm really trying to say here is that my husband is a genuine friend of mine.

4. My husband understands. I'm so tired of seeing a group of women laughing about something and a retarded-looking male in the background. Sure, my husband might not supernaturally "get" every single thought that skips through my brain, but good lord, I don't telepathically "get" every thought he has either. I'm so used to explaining myself and signing off with, "but I get that you don't understand," and having him remind me that he does understand. Men have real feelings and have been through legitimate life experiences. Men have a past. And when any human being loves you a lot and spends the majority of their life with you, they really do begin to understand you - regardless of their gender.

5. My husband prioritizes my life. This is a weird thing to say, but I'm going with it. I've learned in 6 short months that men aren't the ones that have to be dragged around by women who have prioritized their relationships above everything else, and are desperately trying to "get the men on board." Men aren't "just" concerned with their hobbies. Men seriously love us. It's my husband that initiated marriage counseling, my husband who helped me set healthy boundaries with people in my life, and my husband who reminds me what my potential is and then helps me achieve it.

There we have it. Take my husband out of this blog post, and I just want to say that men are fully capable of being grounded, emotionally present, helpful, fun, understanding, caring, responsible and are good at being in relationships. And really, they're needed.

(I also will be publishing a Part Two for this. Because I have at least 5 more reasons.)

62 comments:

Jessica Shae said...

ohohoh. I'm a huge fan of men too...and I love this :) Thanks for publicly cheering on our teammates! :)

Marie said...

Thanks for your insight. I'm tired of seeing men portrayed as a nice but utterly clueless or emasculated "extras" to our one-warrior woman shows. I know as a woman I'm fully capable and don't "need" men in a clingy, desperate, overly emotional way. But they provide value and insight in ways that, as I woman, I simply cannot. And, honestly, sometimes, it's just nice to know that I can safely need them. Just like they can, hopefully, need me sometimes. That's why it's a relationship.

Jess Farrar said...

Love this. :) You are where I'll be one year from now. I'm already feeling the tension of talking too much about how awesome my fiance is and how hard preparing for marriage is and how much I wouldn't trade any of it, even if he is human and flawed and we fight sometimes. So often I find myself emphasizing our fights to my single friends so they don't feel so bad... I need to talk more about how wonderful it is too. I love the line "All I can really do is say, "rest assured, marriage is both awesome and terrible. Just like your single life.'" Amen sister.

Cara said...

LOOOOVE this, Lauren. Thanks so much for being pro-marriage AND pro-single, because God is pro-whatever-is-best-for-us-individually-and-brings-Him-the-most-glory. It's so awesome how our mindsets can change and how the Lord is so gracious with us when it happens. HE is good! Also, just had to let you know that this: "second objective perspective" made me giggle. Just read it out loud... yep, that's why.

Renee Johnson Fisher said...

Your #1 is the same as my #1. Can't wait to meet you :)

Emily Hornburg said...

I feel like sometimes the issue is more that marriage is talked about ALL THE TIME. Not necessarily about how awesome or terrible it is - just remember that there are other things in life outside of marriage? Does that make sense?

Anyways. I love this! I hate it when girls turn on all men. Yeah, there are stereotypes and sometimes they are funny. But men are NOT the enemy! Considering half of my VERY CLOSE FRIENDS are men, it really hurts me when I hear women bash them. Have there been times I've had to help the guys pick out their clothes, fold laundry, pick out flowers and jewelry for their girlfriends because they don't know what they are doing? Yup. But at the same time, there are so many times they have had to remind me how to be "girly". They help me keep in touch and process my emotions. Most of them also LOVE cooking. Which is great considering I'm horrible at it. Yeah, men make mistakes. But so do women. Men hurt women. But women hurt men too.

Lindsay-Marie said...

Love this!! Absolutely love it. I think I/women can emasculate men sometimes in an effort to feel more capable. But, you are right- they are not the enemy :)

Lindsay-Marie Yates
www.thehopeoftheworld.blogspot.com

Julie said...

I agree...this is great. I was in the poo poo men category for a while, but that was just because I had not met any guys that demonstrated to me the reasons you talk about in your post. Even the guys who leave still have things that are great about them. We're all broken in one or another by sin. The sooner we can encourage one another, the sooner we can live better lives together. Love this!

Daniel Wolf said...

Lauren - I always appreciate your willingness to break things down so concisely (though I've noticed you having to add some additional caveats these days).

There are a lot of men out there who are similar to your husband, Max. Men who are not afraid to care or express their feelings, who can dress themselves and cook and live on their own. But God gave people the desire for companionship, so we are looking for that person that who will be our best friend and we can share our lives and dreams with.

The same men are not intimidated by women who are similarly established in their own life, but want to see them acheive their dreams and are interested in hearing what those dreams are, not matter how long that might take. They are attracted to a woman who engages their intellect. The only time they become discouraged is when a woman refuses to step beyond her establishment and engage them.

As you tweeted back in Jan 2012, "One of the greatest things a man can do for a woman is encourage and enable her to act on her talents and passions."

Amen.
Love your blog and the Good Women Project.
Keep writing what you believe.
It resonates.

Sincerely,
Daniel

Alessandra said...

lauren this is really sweet! I often feel that my friends throw their "man" under the bus for everything and I want to stick up for mine...but just come off sounding sappy and self serving. I agree with all of these things and believe that my man is the say way!! Can't wait for part two! Love reading this blog!
- Alessandra
theorangelens.tumblr.com

Dan-o said...

Thank you! Everything you said is spot on. I get so tired of how so many people of both sexes buy into the stereotypes and start acting in ways that are completely opposite of who they really are just because they somehow learned that "this is the way I'm supposed to be."
I don't think you should be worried about offending anyone with your point of view. Your seeing life from a different perspective than you did before. That's all there is to it. That's still a valid perspective no matter who else reads it. It always meets a need somewhere.
Always praying,
Dan Bode

Caitlin said...

yaay. :)

Mrs. Pankhurst said...

Yes! Yay for men, I love it!

Nicole Cottrell said...

Love, love, love it and I'm gonna steal it (giving you full credit, of course).

I think many women are afraid to say that they love men, for fear of sounding like A. An anti-feminist or B. a weakling.

Neither is true. We were designed to love and appreciate men. I'm thankful that you wrote this and that you have a man you can so proudly proclaim.

sara said...

What Nicole C. just said. False dichotomy!

If anything, I appreciate the content you share via GWP; never got the sense from that or from this blog/your tumblr that you obsess about marriage ('cause you don't, really; or you do for someone who's still fairly newlywed).

You share/write about it and it soothes and seethes. No worries!

joseph cantone said...

Wow what an upper for the men. thank you lauren.
love your blog.

Lauren S said...

So true. #4 especially resounds. I have been processing so many emotions since being married, (first safe place in a while) and it's my husband that is encouraging me in it, while I am freaking out about being so emotionally unstable, and worrying I'm becoming one of Those Women whose emotions control their lives. He tells me, "Yeah, what you're going through would freak me out too if I didn't go through what I went through in the last few years." Never expected to have my emotions generally freak out on me. Certainly never expected that my husband would be empathizing and more understanding and accepting of my emotions than I am.

Leah said...

with the exception of number three, my husband seems to do those perfectly. he has really blown me away with how much he is capable of in the emotional category and sorting out feelings (mine in particular)

thanks for the post, very well written!

Meg said...

Well said! Men are awesome. Ladies are also pretty awesome. You are definitely awesome. We're all on the same (awesome) team.

Rose said...

"Because I think men are awesome, and the better they are, the better we are, and the faster we can get onto having a great life together and stop beating the shit out of one another with the "who's the asshole/who's the crazy bitch!" game."

LOVE this!! just found your blog. will be reading... :)

Claire said...

Hearing happily married people talk about what's awesome about marriage doesn't make me, a single person, feel bad at all. It's great to see healthy, well functioning marriages!!

With the implication that single people are rather upset with their singleness thus wanting to be in a relationship hopefully they would't be made happy by hearing how terrible someone's marriage is.

I'm glad you have such a wonderful marriage!!! It's encouraging to hear about!

Rosie said...

I really love this post. its exactly how I feel. lots of women seem to think equality means putting men down, which makes absolutely no sense. and I love my fiancé, but feel exactly the same as you abut being judged if you talk about it. I really admire you for writing this! x

Casey said...

What a refreshing view on men. Being a single woman I am so happy when friends share their happiness in marriage with me, it's like seeing clips of a hit movie before it even comes out- I get that little glimpse of what I have to look forward to. So thanks for being honest about having a kick ass husband and encouraging other women to value the men in their lives as well.

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