Thursday, October 27, 2011

on men, part two

I am adding another short post to this topic that I have started a while ago.  I was planning on writing more, but life got in the way.  I was inspired by a recent conversation that I have had with a friend on the subject of service.  Service to others is an awesome, powerful way to enhance our lives.  We learn to share of ourselves, which makes us more open, more vulnerable but also more connected with the world around us. The time when I was the happiest are also the times when I connected the most with others.  In fact, if I don't connect with someone at least once a day through a conversation, a shared moment, a cup of tea, then I am prone to anxiety and sadness.  It is my social life that gives meaning and purpose to my existence.

Service to others can be difficult when going though infertility.  I remember being very unhappy, very closed off from the world at the worst times, and the last thing on my mind was giving, when I felt so dry and empty that a whole river of love could not fill me.  Sometimes giving was difficult.  Sometimes even impossible, or so it felt.  But the one person that I could always give to was my husband.  I wanted to be open and vulnerable to him, because it felt right to me, and service to him included many things, but in particular it included forgiveness.  I forgave and forgot my anger a lot of times.  I was often under the strong impression that I was right, in a discussion, or in an argument.  He was at times unfair, impatient, inconsiderate (but not very often really, just when he got tired and worn out).  My service to him consisted of forgiving and being the first one to make up, to say I'm sorry.  I still am the first one to make up most of the time.  I have noticed however that I am reaping the benefits of this behavior as well:  our fights don't last long, our sullen silence moments are very brief, and sometimes, more and more often, he even says that he is sorry (whoa! score!).

Men like a woman who serves them (yes, women also like a man who serves them, but I am willing to bet that men don't read my blog so I will leave that part out for now).  And women like having a man worthy of serving.  Serving is not about fairness, quite the opposite.  It is an action born out of the willingness to forget about what is fair for a moment, and focus on giving, and on the end point.  It is hard, and it feels unnatural the first hundred times, but it leads to a better relationship, and to more openness and vulnerability in the relationship.  And it invariably leads to the man wanting to serve back (chuckle...that is just a side effect...don't serve to be served back or you will often be disappointed).

Does this make sense to anybody?  I realize that in the age of equality of sexes, it might sound dated and wrong, but if your relationship is feeling strained and cold, and you are willing to try something different than usual, why not try this?


  1. It does seem that a relationship is most harmonious when one of the partners is willing to apologize first and to try to smooth over any rough edges.

  2. I know exactly what you mean! This past year, I have started to apologize quickly, even when I don't think I am wrong/in-the-wrong, just to avoid a fight or the prolonged silence/hurt feelings that follow a heated argument. I have found that it has made life so much easier, and our relationship has improved greatly.
    When we were first married, my great grandmother gave us a cross-stitch plaque that had been given to her and had hung on her bedroom wall. It reads:

    love wholly and selflessy;
    laugh often, embrace always;
    live always with love in your heart;
    forgive and forget - keep mistakes in the past;
    gives thanks to God and trust in his love.

    It now hangs on our bedroom wall, and if we ever go to bed angry, we always end up reading it before we fall asleep, and, inevitably, we make up first.

  3. Beautiful post, MrsH.

    And I love the thought of what serving means....I still find myself releasing steam from my nostrils when I and hubby have had a fight, and forgetting is a difficult thing for me. I must try your idea.

    Emma is beautiful. Remembering Adrian with you.

    Thank you for the beautiful comment you left me on my blog.

    (here from iclw)

  4. I agree. In the last few years I've changed 180 degrees. Previously I was set on equality. I've come to realize that services come in different forms. Therefore, while I may feel like my service for someone (e.g. a partner) is not returned, that may only be my perception. The return may be emotional support, my satisfaction for being able to do something good, and ultimately the chance for attachment. I think giving is a reward in itself and the less you expect back, the more you will appreciate any return when it comes.