I’m not a huge Cheryl Crow fan, but thought this captured a little of what I wanted to hit today.
I was having a long conversation with Holly about relationship dynamics and different people we know. I asked her why she decided that I was the “dork” (her words) she wanted to be with, when there were other dorks pining for her. She basically said the rest of them were wet paper bags of young men that she could control or had other hidden or not so hidden character flaws that became apparent. Now at the time we met, I was doing my own thing and had a solid foundation of friends and roommates and was pursuing my own interests and goals. I have no idea if her assessment of her past suitors, or even me, is correct, but something must have set me apart from them.
I assume leadership positions if there isn’t strong one present, and had various roles on athletic teams, in the University and so forth. While I oftentimes “go with the flow” if I don’t have strong convictions or don’t really care, when I believe in something I’ll dig in for a battle of wills. I think some of that must have come out early on in our relationship, that I wasn’t going to be a pushover when things mattered. I don’t have a loud, dominating personality to show I’m strong. I’m much more the calculating thinker, evaluating the situation and efficiently executing my plan. I gather my strength from superior planning and will go to great lengths to fight for what I think is right.
My strength is also general tenacity and willing to grind to excel when being lazy or giving up is just so much easier. If anything, I’m too serious (STEM field, obviously), and am glad that Holly saw through this stoic exterior for what it is: someone who will be the oak against the storm. Many women today are way more into the YOLO (you only live once) philosophy so guys like me, who have more of a hidden wit and a calm, rationale demeanor, aren’t given much of a chance over the cocktacious in-your face drummer. On the contrary though, if you can see past the pocket protector, you’ll find a cold-deadly ninja ready to slice you with my Hatori Hanzo sword on behalf of my family, and only then will I relax and let down my hair and then have crazy sexcapades with my special lady friend. What is interesting is that I consider Holly to have a fairly strong personality, and I can totally see how she could wear the pants with someone else. In fact, I would say it was no coincidence that my more lackadaisical attitude toward most things in the middle years of our marriage contributed to the pulse of our marriage weakening. It wasn’t until I realized the need to be “strong” in this sense (taking the red pill) did things come back right.
Getting back to you. If you have issues such as being fat, having substance abuse, depression or major insecurity, you are weak. It’s ok to be weak, but you need to shore up the weaknesses by losing weight, getting help (it’s ok to admit you need help for substance abuse, it’s better than dying from a dead liver or lung cancer or an overdose), dealing with your depression, and finding a way to feel confident. If your wife or girlfriend is a storm of emotions…rather, when she has a storm of emotions, whether justified or not, you need to be the rock against that storm. Let it blow over, don’t engage the hurricane. If she needs support because something shitty just happened, give her a hug, tell her everything is going to be ok and do what you can to make it happen. Knowing she can lean on you when the shit hits the fan, or knowing you aren’t going to buckle when crazy comes to town will show her you are strong (when she comes back to her senses for the latter) and cut out to be her man.