Men as Respectable Mates: A Mother’s Role
[Melinda Finch is a 30 something mother of two from Dyersburg, TN. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Social Work degree from Tennessee State University. Follow Melinda @sillymi09]
Being a mother to a soon to be man, I have decided to teach my child honesty and love. I have decided to drill the meaning of love deep within his understand. I have decided to do this because I believe that flower of the deceit and games that some men play stems from mis-educated female roles rooted in ignorance about the power of honesty and love.
I have many assumptions about why this is such a difficult task for some men to comprehend. I have no tangible proof to support my assumptions. One assumption is that many men have no model of “respectable mate” behavior. When it is time for them to have a relationship with a woman, they have to wing it and figure things out along the way. I feel a certain level of sorrow when it comes to this matter because I cannot understand what is really going on. This creates a problem for me.
Hope exists though. Even in homes with no male role models, women have an important role in creating respectable mates from little boys. Her first contribution is to unashamedly be who she is. The second contribution is to reject worthless men in her own relationships. The third contribution is to train the respectable mate by how she interacts with her son.
Here is what a GOOD WOMAN offers:
- EXPECTATIONS. She explains her approach to relationships, her needs, and her goals to her mate before confirming a relationship. She states what she is willing to accept, her expectations of him, and the importance she invests in the relationship. She engages her mate to do the same.
- FEELINGS. She is an open communicator. She shares her feelings, her fears, and her explanations all the time, especially when something offends her. Her logic is, “If I don’t tell you that you have done something that offends me, how would you know?”
- UNIQUENESS. She recognizes that every relationship has different dynamics. What has worked in past relationships is not necessarily useful in the current relationship. She shares her differences, her quirks, and her uniqueness with her mate aiding him to provide what she, specifically, needs to feel that she is first priority.
Here is what I have found of WORTHLESS MEN in return:
- Simple View of Women. It appears that women are just too complex for some men to grasp. As a sad replacement for engaging women, some men play games with the feelings of the women. When lies rise to the surface and the woman snaps in confrontation, the man responds, “She’s crazy!” I do not understand that at all. Exactly what could one expect when they have played with the feelings of another human being? It is like they picked the woman off a shelf at Toys R Us. Women have real feelings. When those feelings are crushed or they feel betrayed it is not a pleasant sight.
- Lies in their relationships. I am at a complete and total loss as to why it is so hard for some men to be honest with themselves and their women. I am a woman that has zero tolerance when it comes to a man lying to me. It seems that some men are incapable of the truth or are intent on half-truth as a badge of honor.
- Cluelessness. The sad part is that when worthless men have been caught in lies, they misunderstand the anger. When I catch anyone lying to me, I am not mad because of the lie. I am mad because the individual has taken from me my authority over my being: my power to decide for myself.
- Empty Promises. “I love you; I don’t want to lose you,” can be heard on the lips of worthless men. If a man can look into your eyes and tell you a bold faced lie, that is not love. But, to a worthless man, this is exactly what love is. In reality, this treatment demonstrates poor character comprised by greed, selfishness, and discontent with self. I do not condone it, nor can I respect it.
So, I will teach my son to be a RESPECTABLE MATE by:
- Modeling. Many men did not have model of healthy, loving relationship in the home they grew up in. If a father or father figure is available, great. But, a mother can model acceptable behavior. I am not your maid or your attendant. My son should not expect any woman to serve him. I am your cheering section, your instructor, your help. Similarly, a good woman will serve those roles.
- Honesty. I engage in adult conversation with my son even at his current age of 9. The point is to tell him the whole story. This demonstrates to him that Truth is the whole story—the parts that make us look good AND the parts that cast us in a less than favorable light. I model for him that every woman is willing to accept truth (the good and the bad) because she ultimately desires to feel that she made the decision for herself, based on real, complete information.
- Communication. When my son has done well or when he has delayed success, I ask him, “What were you thinking?” And, I require him to answer me. This often leads to a teachable moment—a conversation that can instruct both me and him. Sometimes, his logic is supported by the evidence, and I find out that he was right and others in authority were wrong. This teaches him that even disagreements with a woman are opportunities to improve communication and learn in the process.
- Love. Stated simply, love is doing what you have promised to do. In our relationship, I require my son to keep his word. If he endeavors to earn a gift by achieving a certain grade report, he is held to that standard. When he misses a mark, I share my disappointment. I engage him in discussion toward new supports or changes in our behaviors that may support success the next time. He learns that love, commitment, and honor are more than words. They are what you do.
I want my son to know that the secret to a long, healthy relationship with a woman is to engage her with the truth of who you are. With this information, she knows what to expect. Communicate with her and listen to her feelings. This encourages her to be open with you. When things are not right, she will let you know. Lastly, I want my son to treat every woman as a unique treasure. The one he chooses to be his mate must be respected above all others, forsaking all others. Valuing her is valuing the work he has invested in their relationship. Respecting her is respecting himself.