Posts Tagged With: happy

Seeds and Desire


I’ve had the privilege of knowing some awesome women, who over the years have given me an earful of priceless information from the female perspective.  Some of them are in great relationships, while others are still searching for one. Still others are enduring a bad relationship simply for the sake of being able to say they’re in one.

One thing that I find interesting is that in all of these cases, to be loved was of the highest priority.  I don’t mean sexually (it’s sad, but without that disclaimer some people would assume as much).  It seems that from childhood women will often seek affirmation through “expressions” of love.  Whether it be gifts, or letters, or time spent together…

…the underlying desire is to be loved.

What seeds were planted in your childhood?

Material things aside, many of the women I know have said that they would be very happy knowing that someone thinks they are the most wonderful, most beautiful woman in the world.  However, this love needs to be demonstrative, without any ulterior motives.  They want to feel needed and special.  They want to be a priority in someone’s life.

Some of the women I know have even said that any rebellion exhibited as teenagers had more to do with their feelings of being unwanted, unaccepted, and made to feel unattractive, more so than just wanting to get into trouble.  I was told that if someone had loved them, the way they needed to be loved… they would have most likely become very different people.

I recognize the effects on women who grew up without a father, or whose mothers were inattentive.  Some of them have dealt with it. Others are still struggling to come to terms with their childhood.  Unfortunately, this can deeply affect their current relationships with both men and women.  Some of my female friends have confided in me that it seems hard to find a good man, mostly because they tend to run at the first indication that any man possesses characteristics similar to their absentee fathers or estranged mothers.  Friends who exhibit these traits are unceremoniously dismissed as well.

Honestly, I think both men and women truly want to be loved, though we may act otherwise.  Men are just more prone to hide this fact than women.

WOMEN: What has been your experience, if any, with your childhood affecting your desire to be loved, and the way you receive love?

MEN: What things have made you reluctant, if at all, to communicate your desire to be loved? 

Categories: commentary, intimacy, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

DOVE NOTE #93: Self Worth


(from the forthcoming book “Dove Notes”)

While talking to my wife one evening, I was explaining to her just how deeply the issue of self-worth can affect a man, and how it will eventually penetrate every aspect of his life. A man who holds a low opinion of his own value will often have corresponding issues related to his work (motivation and ethic), his inter-personal relationships and intimacy (family, friends and colleagues), and even his health (physical fitness and diet).

One of my favorite original quotes is, “You don’t have to be all that you hope to be, in order to be happy with who you are right now”. See, for some men, when things are not how he wants them to be, it’s forever on his mind. He thinks about it…

Every.

Single.

Day.

Multiple times throughout a day.

He tends to think about it more often as soon as he wakes up in the morning and right before he goes to bed at night when there are fewer external distractions. There’s an irritating little voice inside of him that rehearses the ways he hasn’t measured up or has yet to achieve the success he desires. For some men it’s coupled with poor self-image and thoughts of “you’re too short/tall/fat/unattractive/loud/etc”. This inevitably affects his interaction with others, especially those with whom he’s in an intimate relationship. Partly because he doesn’t feel deserving of attention or affection until this distorted perception of himself changes. Because of this, there are men who unintentionally sabotage otherwise healthy relationships with this poison of their own design.

So how do men escape from this perpetuating cycle of misery?

It takes a certain degree of transparency and a willingness to be vulnerable to someone else. It’s important that he find someone he trusts and with whom he can be completely honest. Through this type of accountability, these areas of self-deception can be addressed and resolved to the benefit of everyone he knows. Unfortunately, pride often interferes with this process and some men stay stuck in this place indefinitely. Thankfully, when a man is surrounded by people who genuinely love him in spite of his flaws (because they recognize that we all have them), the trust between them can defeat this pride and finally get him to the place where his internal perception will align with the external reality of being accepted for who he is right now.

Categories: Dove Note, relationships, Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Love After Death


I remember one night after putting the little ones to bed, my wife and I settled into a relaxed time of snuggling and talking in the bed. We try to do this often because we realize the importance of making time for us to connect on a regular basis. This can be a challenge when your days are full with work, little kids and various other responsibilities. But the rewards are beyond measure.

So imagine my surprise when my always thoughtful wife says, “I’ve been meaning to tell you something. It crossed my mind the other day and I wanted to make sure I told you.”

“Okay,” I said, thinking it was more light pillow talk concerning a holiday gift or planning details for Arielle’s first birthday.

As her eyes began to well up with tears, she said, “I just want you to know that if anything ever happens to me, you are free to remarry. After taking whatever time you need, I want you to be happy.”

This caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting that… At. All. But I could sense the depth of her love for me. The look in her eyes was very sobering. All I could say at first was, “Okay” which felt so completely inadequate.

“I’m not saying that anything is going to happen to me. But I don’t want you to be alone. I don’t want you to feel lonely”, she said.

“I wouldn’t be alone. I’d have our children with me”, I reassured her.

“Yes, but you told me many years ago that you were meant to be married. And you are. I would never want you to feel bound to loneliness because of my passing”, she said, her hand resting on my cheek. “Just know that I would be happy to know that you found love again.”

I smiled and wiped away a trailing tear, telling her, “I understand. But in this moment… my happiness rests with you.”

I never really thought of this, to be honest. Perhaps I just assumed that she would know that if something happened to me, I’d want her to find love again. But she said that it’s not a given and she wanted it to be very clear for me. Yeah, that’s the kind of woman I married. Remarkable.

Categories: marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Limitations of Teasing


My captivating wife and I finally fell asleep in the wee hours one Sunday morning several months ago. This was after an impromptu trip down memory lane that last for hours after watching, of all things, the movie “Couples Retreat“. I won’t get into the movie plot in case you ever decide to see it, but suffice it to say that it made us very thankful for the kind of marriage we have, and deeply appreciative of one another.

When the movie ended, we started recounting the many things that led up to our initial friendship and eventual falling in love. It was interesting to compare the different perspectives of how certain events unfolded. For instance, she remembers the first song I wrote for her called “Happy” (I may upload it one day) that freaked her out because although it wasn’t a love song, she was certain that it was the closest thing to it. I, on the other hand, saw the song simply as my expression of how important she’d become in my life. I certainly loved her. But was I in love with her at that point? Who’s to say. In retrospect, I was definitely blurring the lines with that song. The heart can have a mind of it’s own at times.

Anyway, one of the most interesting things that we both noted was the drastic change that took place regarding playful teasing once our relationship changed from “friendly” to “romantic“. See, we were best friends in every since of the word. We were in a band together, hung out writing music, talked on the phone for hours, and shared opinions on everything from office supplies to long lost loves. As friends, we would take playful jabs at one another. It was the kind of verbal sparring that’s harmless in nature, but is usually good for a laugh in group settings. Such as the time we were rehearsing with the band and someone commented on the fact that I kept yawning. I jokingly said something like, “Well I wouldn’t be so tired if Dre hadn’t keep me on the phone til 4am.” 🙂  With all of the teasing, many people thought that we were crushing on each other. But nothing could’ve been farther from the truth. We were just close friends with no romantic interests whatsoever.

However, as time passed and we crossed a line in our relationship, the teasing came to a screeching halt. I think I made a passing joke about something to do with what she was wearing and everybody laughed. She came up to me later and told me that she didn’t want me to do that anymore.

 

I was surprised since we’d been teasing each other for years. So I asked her why she didn’t want me to joke around like that any more. And she said, with an honesty that hit me right in the heart, “Because before, the things you would say wouldn’t affect me. Now, everything you say matters.” Looking into the eyes of this beautiful woman who owned my heart, I melted… and never cracked a joke at her expense ever again.

Now this isn’t to say that we don’t have fun and joke on occasion, but I understand that my responsibility is to always present my wife in the best light. It’s a reflection of her value and importance to me. I realized that making fun of her, even jokingly, could come across as disrespectful. It might also give people the impression that they have license to do the same. And it’s never okay for anyone to make fun of my wife… most importantly me.

 

I think some people go overboard with making fun of their SO’s to the point of degrading them and traumatically affecting their self-esteem.

What do you think?
Is it okay to tease someone you love?
Or is it their responsibility to tell you to stop if they don’t like it?

Categories: marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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