Menstuff® presents here positive things that women have written about men. It all started when a "read" Veronique Vial and Pam Houston's book of photography called Men Before 10am. I was so moved by "listening" to a group of women talk in a positive, deeply touching way about men that I requested permission to reprint some of those messages here. I would recommend that every man get a copy of this book. It helps me during those times I don't feel so good about myself. It may do different things for you, but whatever the reaction, I've got to believe it will be a great one. (This will include other positive writings when I find them.)
Why We Still Love
Eight Things Women Can Do to Get Fathers More Involved - Part 1
Why We Still Love Men
A group of Pam's women friends gathered for a long-weekend at her
place in the Rocky's. "Before too long the conversation turned toward
what we still love about men. 'I love men when they cook,' Janet
said. 'They seem so strong in the kitchen - and free. I guess it's
because their mothers didn't teach them and so they just figure
anything goes.' 'I love to watch my man get absorbed in a project,'
Kelly said. 'I love when he sits in the middle of the living-room
floor, all his maps and books around him. He's so happy the, so very
much himself.' 'I love the way men remember to do things,' Jane said,
'like check the fire extinguishers and clean the chimney once a
year.' "I love to watch a man fix things,' I said. 'Love to watch him
drive nails or saw boards.' 'I know what you mean,' Julia said. 'I
have no use for a man that doesn't know how to use tools.' 'I think
you can tell a good man,' Anne said, 'by the way he treats your dog.'
'I love a man who can speak to a horse,' I said. 'I've known a few in
my lifetime. It's like a miracle watching them do their dance.' 'They
say that once a man can speak to a horse,' Julia said, 'he can't ever
make love to a woman.' 'I'm afraid I'd have to argue that one,' I
said. "I might even have to argue the reverse.' I looked around at
the faces of these six good women. We'd all loved out share of the
wrong men, and we'd loved some of the right ones badly. But there
wasn't a bitter face in that whole circle. There wasn't a voice that
didn't have as much hope as it had skepticism, not one that didn't
have more love in it that it had fear. 'I love the look my man gets
when he's accomplishing something,' Janet said, 'when he stops for a
moment his endless loop of self-criticism.' 'I love when I know that
I've made him happy,' Anne said. 'I know that it's an incorrect
thought these days, but I think that's one of the things I'm put on
earth for.' 'There's nothing,' I said, 'like making a sad man smile.'
'I love the way some men I know can be a kid with my kids,' Julia
said. 'Moms are genetically engineered not to be able to do that
anymore.' 'I love how the right man can turn me into a kid,' Leigh
said. 'I mean in a good way. It gives me confidence, makes me feel
like I'm in good hands.' 'I like how they bring out my masculine
side,' I said, 'how I get all macho around them.' 'That's funny,'
Leigh said, 'I was just going to say I liked the way they brought out
my feminine side.' 'Oh, that too,' I said, 'definitely.' 'They are
warm in the morning,' Janet said. 'And they life heavy things,' Julia
said. 'And just when you're convinced they don't have a clue,' Kelly
said, 'they'll come home with season tickets to the symphony.' 'Or
the poetry anthology you've been combing the used bookstores for, for
a decade,' Jane said. "Or a locket,' I said, made of Mexican silver
in the shape of a heart.' 'I love men when they fall in love,' Anne
said, 'how they get so silly and tragic about it. When a woman falls
in love she runs out and tells her friends, her co-workers, even
total strangers. A man falls in love and he mopes around the house
like he's wrecked his mother's car.' 'Men love women more utterly
than we love them,' I said. 'They love us so blindly, so fiercely, a
little ungracefuly...it's almost like they go temporarily insane.'
'They get so helpless,' Leigh said. 'I love that part,' Janet said.
'What I love even more than that,' I said, "is when they realize it's
not so bad after all.' 'When they stop spending all their energy
protecting themselves,' Kelly said, 'and get on with the business of
being in love.' 'When they get there,' Julia said, 'they are much
better at love than women, more patient...more tolerant, softer in a
way that we'll never be.' 'When they get there,' I said, 'they are
better than anything else on earth.' And that's just about how it was
that day on the ranch when there wasn't a man within a hundred square
miles of us...to hear what they had to say."
Eight Things Women Can Do to Get Fathers More
Involved - Part 1
A: For most couples with kids, one of the biggest stressors is the division of labor in the home, in part because even the most egalitarian couples tend to slip into traditional roles (meaning that mom does more of the housework and childcare than her partner). The more equitably domestic tasks are distributed, however, the happier wives (and husbands) are with their marriages. So resolving these issues may be critical to the health and success of your relationship. The following steps will help make the division of labor around your house a little fairer.
Look at it from his perspective. Women tend to measure what their husbands do around the house against what they do. Not surprisingly, on that kind of scale, many men fail miserably. Men, though, compare what they do to what their fathersor their male friends and coworkersdo. On that scale, most husbands feel pretty satisfied with themselves and their contributions around the house.
Dont ask for help. Asking him for help reinforces the idea that youre the primary parent. Of course, that doesnt mean that he shouldnt do his share. But using the word help makes it seem like whatever hes helping with is really your job and that you should be grateful.
Adjust your standards. When my husband says the kitchen is clean he means that the dishes are in the dishwasher, one mother told me. The counter can still be filthy, and the floor can still be covered with dirt. You need to be more accepting of his standards. After all, there are a lot of different ways to change diapers, play, teach, and entertain the children. Yours isnt always the right one. If you adjust your standards, your husband will be more involved in the household and with the kids. No child ever suffered long-term trauma by having her diaper put on backwards or by going out of the house with oatmeal stuck in her hair. Because you may begin to notice the unswept coffee grounds before he does, one of your biggest challenges may be to close your eyes to the mess and learn to live with it.
Go on strike. Let your husband know that you have limits. A well-timed your arms not broken, do it yourself may occasionally be a helpful reminder that men and women are partners in parenting. Your husband will certainly get the message when he runs out of clean underwear. But you need to stick to your guns. If he senses that youll give in before he does, hell never learn to do his part.
Be (a little) insincere. As a group, men generally dislike doing things that make them feel incompetent. At the same time, theyre suckers for compliments. So, one of the best ways to get your husband to do something he doesnt like to do is to praise himeven when you know you could do it better. Television characters from Lucy Ricardo to Roseanne Conner figured this out long ago, and the same applies in real life: sweet-talk soothes; nagging only irritates. Tell him what a great job hes doing already and ask him to do the same thing again. Indirect compliments are effective toolet him hear you raving to a friend about how well hes done something. Sound manipulative? Maybe, but it works. The more he feels that youre noticing and appreciating his efforts, the more hell do. Guaranteed.
Tune is next week for more strategies to get your husband to take
on a more involved role in your home.
I don't know why women want any of the things men have when one of the things that women have is men. - Coco Chanel
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