I had a conversation with a friend last week, who has a great relationship with his wife. His wife is a political leader, while he runs a consulting company. I always saw them as the ideal couple: they’re both fierce, loving, and supportive of each other’s dreams. They have gorgeous children, a loving home. They are everything I aspire to be.
I was surprised to hear him have the same concerns, worries, of many men I know who aren’t in relationships at all, or not in such strong ones. I wrote him this letter. While at the time, I was thinking very much about their specific relationship, it speaks to the challenges I know many women and men struggle with.
I hope I’m not stepping out of line. I heard you say “it’s tough” — to realize your woman doesn’t need you and I’d like to share what I’ve learned about being a woman a lot like your wife, committed, driven — who doesn’t need men.
I’m not sure, but I sound like this may be “tough” for you for two reasons:
- You doubt she’ll stay if she doesn’t need you.
- You doubt the value of what you have to offer her if she doesn’t need you.
So much about male identity is being superior. (Think about white people superiority sickness — they’re connected). So here’s my rant.
She doesn’t have to be below you to love you.
She doesn’t have to need you to stay forever.
She doesn’t have to stay the same for your love to get stronger
She doesn’t have to stay the same for you to feel secure.
You don’t have to be superior to her to be valuable to her.
You don’t have to be without fault for her to appreciate you.
You don’t have to be above her to be her knight in shiny armor.
Your discomfort, is that you’ve been stripped of your superiority, because her position, her prestige, her responsibility, the status and the sheer number of people she leads and who respect her seems “higher” to you that who you are.
But see. I know her. And I know you. She didn’t marry you for the pedestal you were standing on. She didn’t marry you for the car you drove, or the clothes you wore. She didn’t marry you for how many people you led.
She married you for your gorgeous, fierce, relentless heart. She married you because she can count on you no matter what. And every woman no matter how successful needs a nest to come home to.
Don’t allow your self-doubt to get in the way of your relationship. There is nothing she can do to make you feel a man. You must discover that for yourself.
So allow yourself to discover what it means to be a man who is not superior, but a real partner.
And as you do so, hug her harder, listen deeper, compliment her more. No matter how successful she is, she still needs that.
And once you’ve discovered what makes you feel how valuable a man you actually are, you’ll bring it back to her, with your beautiful open heart, loving her more fiercely than ever.
That’s why she loves you, because she can count on you to love her, live your values, and walk in the world righteously and generously no matter what.
Because that’s who YOU are.
And you can’t help it.
It’s just who you are.
That’s why she loves you.
Previously published on “Equality Includes You”, a Medium publication.
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