How to Become a Better Man (Women, Here’s What You Should Expect from Your Husbands)
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Somewhat weight loss related — more so personal development — just go with it.
The bar that has been set to be called a man is getting too low.
While I don’t like generalizing or using anecdotal evidence, it seems like “a lot” of men are weak (mentally and physically), lazy, and selfish. I see it when I look back at who I used to be at 344 pounds. I witness it directly with friends and family. I see and hear about it in public. I hear men talking poorly about their wives.
I hear women talking about their husbands like they’re little boys.
This same idea of what it takes to be a “man” all over television — think King of Queens, Married with Children, The Simpsons, Everybody Loves Raymond, etc. I realize these are sitcoms, but take a second to think about how many TV shows you can think of with a respectable, helpful, and loving husband. There aren’t many.
I love Al Bundy (pictured above), but I’d rather be more like Dr. Huxtable.
There are simply too many men today who:
- Lack any desire to be physical with their kids.
- Lack any desire to get in shape (usually after marriage/kids)
- Ogle another women’s (as in, not his wife’s) goods
- Choose ESPN over his wife
- Find it impossible to even fake an interest in his wife’s hobbies/interests
- Occupy too much of his time with a hobby/fun activity (fishing, yard work, golfing, etc) to get away from his spouse and/or kids
- Let his wife do most of the household chores (while working full-time)
- Only want to take (think bedroom) and never give anything back
It’s funny watching the things above on Everybody Loves Raymond. It’s not so funny if you’re a wife who gets to experience it on a daily basis.
For the men, below are some ways how you can become a better man, husband, and all around better person. And for women, this is a guide as to how you could and should be treated — and you shouldn’t settle for anything less.
Do ridiculously nice things for your wife, as well as friends, family, and even strangers without expecting anything in return. You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to buy that necklace your wife wants, either. The most meaningful time you can do something for someone else is when they’re not expecting it at all. Sure, it’s incredibly thoughtful to give to somebody when it’s time to celebrate or mourn an occasion, but it’s the occasion that prompts you to do the giving.
Spontaneity shows that you’re thinking about them without being prompted.
Try sending your wife flowers on a random Friday. Ask your neighbors the next time you go pick up a pizza if they’d like one, as well. Next time you’re in line at McDonald’s, pay for the food the stranger behind you just ordered.
Give and serve others without expecting to receive anything in return and don’t worry if people question your motives. Nobody ever died regretting that they should have given less of their time, love, and energy to those around them.
Love unconditionally. Love your wife in every way possible. Let her know that you love her when you’re out in public and when she’s least expecting it. It took me a while, but I even love the ways how my wife and I are completely different. For example, I cannot stand her taste in music, but it doesn’t annoy or upset me when we listen to it — I just love that she’s happy with it and enjoys her own thing.
Romantically speaking, I’ll give you the same advice the pastor who married my wife and I gave us on our wedding day: making love should never be “Wham, bam, thank you ma’am.” There really couldn’t be a better set of five words to describe how you should not approach your love life. You’ve got to get out of the mindset that you’re a race car driver headed for the finish line in the bedroom.
As I said before, give and serve others without expecting anything in return.
Take an interest in your wife.
There’s nothing wrong with not having the same interests of your wife — we all like different things. My wife likes math, Calculus even (she teaches it), and man, it’s hard to find an interest in it. But I try. I try my hardest to listen to her stories and take the math puzzles and quizes she gives me. I also let her know that the math tests she writes/designs look great –she puts so much work into them!
Math may not be my cup of tea, but it’s not just about math — it’s her passion.
Whatever your wife likes to do, take interest in it, whether it be collecting figurines, decorating, shopping, watching movies, photography, painting, going to the beach, or whatever else. Ask her questions. Get involved. Remember, it’s not about the activity, it’s about connecting with your wife.
If you don’t take interest in your wife’s passions, someone else out there will.
Playing video games is okay. Golf is okay. Going to the gym is okay, too. Drinking is fine, so is eating junk food, going out with the guys, and watching ESPN. It’s only when you do any or all of these things too much that they can become a problem in your marriage (and in your life in general).
I work a pretty regular schedule at the office — about 8 hours a day, Monday through Friday. I also work about 2-4 hours a day on writing/working for the blog, though, a unique situation that most people obviously don’t have to contend with. Instead of having these 2-4 hours take away from the time I get to spend with my wife and daughter, I just wake up obscenely early, usually around 4 AM, and get all my work done before they wake up. I also work a little after they go to sleep.
It wasn’t always this way, though. At one point in our marriage, I played video games probably 2-3 hours a night and worked on the blog while my wife was waiting in the wings for me to finish. I eventually wised up, sold the Xbox, and started waking up earlier to get the work related to the blog out of the way.
I realized that the things that get most of our time usually get most of our love.
Protect and defend.
Get strong. Get fast. Be ready to come to the defense of others.
Your wife may never need your protection — the majority of women are strong enough physically and mentally to take care of themselves. Regardless, I still want to have the ability to protect my wife from anything. It’s instinctual for most men to protect those they love against rude comments from strangers, criminals, grizzly bears, whatever. When it’s time, I’ll be ready to whoop that grizzly bear’s ass.
Also, while it’s admirable to be protective of others, don’t be overbearing. Let your wife have friends, even if some of those friends happen to have a penis.
Please don’t be afraid to stay in shape. Yes, even if you’re married with children.
It seems like I see a lot of my friends falling into the same routine — as soon as they get a kid or two, they trade in their hot rod for minivan, put on 25+ pounds, and find a cozy spot in front of the television to sit at for 20+ hours a week.
I’ll do anything I can to prevent that from happening.
Maybe I have the “luxury” of not being physical for most of the years I’ve been alive, but the last thing I feel like doing is slowing down and losing my desire to get rough and be physical. I plan on getting a fast, sporty looking car that can carry two kids and a couple of extra people. I plan on coaching and playing sports with my kids — not just watching from the sidelines.
And don’t worry, I still get my fill of Dora the Explorer. And yes, I’m exhausted after work too, but I’d rather force myself to play basketball outside with my little girl or chase her around the yard. Swiper no swiping, oh man!
Get a softer side.
Yes, I’m on pinterest.
While not many people know this, I also used to be a graphic designer. Because of this, I appreciate color palettes, shapes, and designs in general. I take an interest in decorating my house, maybe even more so than my wife. I also don’t mind playing with kids and am not above rolling around on the grass with my daughter, dancing in the rain, or playing with our neighbor’s two-year old at Chuck E. Cheese.
My favorite color is also purple. Does all of this make me soft? Maybe. Can I relate more with my wife (and women in general)? Absolutely.
I don’t worry about being called soft. I’ve got nothing to prove. I’m a mixed bag and no one thing defines me. As soon as I’m done picking out a new rug for the dining room, I’m just as likely to turn on some rock music and go outside to chop down a tree. When I’m done chopping down the tree, I’ll head out for some hot wings and end the night with a death-defying roller coaster ride (I’m a thrill junkie).
I’m not afraid to be a man and to keep trying to become a better one.