The message society does it’s best to convey to our boys is….
Real men don’t cry.
Real men struggle to show love openly.
Real men just aren’t as eloquent and romantic as women.
Real men don’t wear their heart on their sleeve.
And if you do, you’re a lay down.
You’re a whimp.
You clearly don’t stand up for yourself.
Please stop telling my son this.
Because you see, it’s not at all what he knows to be true.
He knows better.
He knows more.
He knows love.
From the day I met my husband, he has oozed love.
I mistook it for weakness just a few times, and was reminded that kindness never means weakness.
This 6’3 man who looks as if he should be on a football field….loves harder than any human I know.
He never forgets to remind his family how much they are loved.
We always joke that our roles are reversed according to society.
You see, HE is the romantic one.
HE is the one who never forgets and HE is the one my kids count on for homemade instead of store bought.
When we met, I was a girl focused on action, not words.
I struggled with an apology, because “sorry” was just a word.
I once told my husband if he says “I love you” too much, it loses it’s power.
These were the thoughts from a broken girl.
A girl who had been taught that men lie.
A girl who had decided words didn’t mean much.
My hard loving husband is the man that changed every bit of that old story for me.
He ignored my wall…..and he pressed on anyway.
He began writing me love letters the first month of our journey together.
He always backed those words with action.
But, he never stopped saying the words….despite my efforts to the contrary.
He has written “I’m sorry” letters, “I love you” letters and “I’m grateful” letters to me throughout our 20 years together.
He taught me that words matter.
He taught me I deserve to hear them.
He taught me, I can trust his words.
He systematically rewired my brain to not be so hard.
He began writing our children love letters the minute they could read.
This man has never purchased a card written by someone else.
He writes all of us a letter each and every holiday or when we are in need.
He reminds us why we are so special, with his words.
We don’t need chocolate, we don’t need flowers, and we certainly don’t need jewelry.
We need him….and his beautiful words.
My daughter needs him to show her how a man truly loves.
My son needs him to remind him that love is strength not weakness.
I need him to remind me I am worth loving and need not be so tough.
This non-affectionate girl now melts into his arms.
My kids see this every single day.
We say I love you throughout the day multiple times, reminding each other and reminding our kids that this is their safe place.
My husband led the charge on our loving home.
He won’t settle for less than what we all deserve….wrapping each other in loving words.
Today, as I watch the news and the fear our world is wrapped in…..it occurs to me that the world needs our men to stand up and love.
We don’t need to see more tough men tell us we are too soft.
No, we need the real men to stand up.
We need to see more men cry, more men hug and more men lead.
You see, the REAL men lead with their love.
Never mistake that.
You will feel it when it enters the room.
You will not have to question.
You will not have to wonder.
It wraps you in it’s arms and it won’t let go.
It doesn’t sound harsh, and it doesn’t sound uncaring.
The real men know.
The real men love hard.
More by author Kerry Foreman:
Can the commercial producers just get a clue so they don’t give our kids the wrong ideas, please!
When a 13-year-old boy who could change the world has to constantly answer why he isn’t interested in sports, our society must re-think how we treat boys.
Photo credit: Actual love letters from the author’s husband to the family members; courtesy of the author