They Do Exist.

What No One Told Me: About The Honeymoon

Editor’s Note: I’ve learned that as women, half of us have put men on a pedestal, and the other half of us tear them down as the awful creatures we believe them to be. The problem with this is that we all end up throwing our words around, either convinced that we couldn’t pull them off the white horse if we tried, or that they deserve our criticism. Joy Eggerich’s made a fantastic observation this week in her RSOTU series that a woman challenging a man’s competency is arguably as devastating as him commenting on your jeans being a size too small. As good women, we are challenged to view men and woman as equals, encouraging the good in one another and bearing patiently with the bad.  Below, Arianna shares her honeymoon story & the lessons she has learned in supporting, respecting & encouraging her man. She blogs at A Vintage Bambino, and tweets at @ariannapatrick.

You know that big burly man that you love and adore? Or the man that you are waiting for to come and sweep you off of your feet? He’s handsome, strong, hunky, and invincible. He will provide for you for life and walk across fire to hold your hand. He’s the best lover and caretaker, but he has a huge secret.

He’s fragile.

He’s breakable.

And you, as his woman, are the one person who can knock him down the fastest.

I got married when I was 22 to the hottest, smartest, best guy I had ever met. He was my best friend and I couldn’t wait to start my life with him. We had an amazing wedding at the base of a mountain in Colorado. It was the best party ever thrown.

We left on our honeymoon as two crazy youngsters who couldn’t get enough of each other. After a few glitches due to hurricanes, we landed in Cabo San Lucas. I felt like I was floating. There I was, in Mexico with my new husband, and I had already set impossible standards for him to meet.

Women are bombarded day after day with picture perfect romances and vacations. We are trained to believe that every girl gets hundreds of roses, candles and exotic getaways. We expect our men to provide in ways that only a television show can do.

Cabo did not go down like an episode of The Bachelor. We waited for three hours to check-in, and we got a room with a broken toilet and two twin beds (not a good situation for newlyweds). The pool was grimy and full of men who brought their own boom box with techno beats blasting. My new husband wanted to make up for it and bought us a couple’s massage. We both broke out in rashes from the aromatherapy and spent the rest of the trip with ice packs in bed. At that time, things were not going as I had imagined them, or as society had told me they needed to go.

I quickly learned that my husband, in all of his manliness, as he was trying to provide for me, was being torn apart by my griping and frustration.

Nothing will rip apart a man faster than shame, guilt and a lack of trust.

Men are in a constant battle of trying to prove themselves. They feel the need to prove themselves to women, their buddies, and that construction project that has been looming. They struggle daily with striving to be the manliest man out there. As his wife, the last thing I should do is question my man’s authority, drive or decision for petty, selfish reasons.

In our home, the phrase, “I love you” is exchanged a lot. My husband doesn’t question my love for him. He knows I will always be there waiting for him when he comes home from work, but I also know that there are a few other phrases that may mean more to him than those three words.

I am proud of you.

I trust you.

I will follow you forever.

As women, we were created to be man’s helper: to build him up and care for him, not to tear him down if he fails. Because he is human, your man will fail. Your job is to encourage him in every circumstance.

Don’t baby him. Let him know that he is your man, your hunk, and the only man you will ever need..

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21 Responses

  1. Bravo! I feel so "not-alone" in my desire to bring about true equality and understanding of each of the sexes. Thank you for writing this.

    May 25, 2011 at 9:32 pm

  2. Kim

    Wonderful reminders. Proud of you, bestie.

    May 26, 2011 at 12:56 pm

  3. Very convicting.
    We were recently blessed to hear Dr. Eggerich speak on Love & Respect and ever since then it's been on my heart to really evaluate the way I speak to and treat my husband. It's easy for me to assume that only my husband can hurt my feelings and not the other way around, but there are definitely times where I am the discouraging, hurtful one.
    Thank you for the great reminders to encourage him.

    May 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm

  4. kaleighsomers

    For the first time reading this, it occurred to me that when you get married, you're probably both terrified. Neither of you knows what it's like to be married to the other person. And it seems easy to forget that you're both split trying to balance being as good as the other person believes you are and as vulnerable and fragile as you really are. I feel like you did a wonderful job helping me understand that.

    May 26, 2011 at 6:36 pm

  5. Andrew K

    I recently ended a relationship partially because of similar "griping and frustration." When my girlfriend complained about things beyond either of our control, it frustrated me. In many situations, there was nothing I could do. I began to care less and less about what she said, and our relationship spiraled downhill from there.

    I find myself especially sensitive to the woman who has my heart. At the same time, I don't want to be completely coddled. I know better than to consider myself flawless. I want someone to hold me accountable, but at the same time I do need lots of positive reinforcement.

    May 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm

  6. Good Woman

    To Him: You know that nice sweetheart you love and adore? Or the woman you are waiting for to come and sweep you off your feet? She’s beautiful, kind, loving, and caring. She will support you for life and put your needs before her own. She’s the best lover and partner, but she has a huge, not so secret, secret.

    She’s fragile. She’s breakable and you, as her man, are the one person who can knock her down the fastest.

    I’m in my mid to late 20's and in a relationship with the hottest, smartest, best guy I’ve ever met. I want him to be my best friend. He’s against feminists and believes in traditional gender roles. I used to be slightly feminist, but his amazing show of strength and his beliefs struck me deeply.

    May 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm

  7. Good Woman

    To Him Cont'd: My change of mind about the differences of genders is not a bad thing though. It’s how we were made. Through his beliefs I’ve come to know what I want and need to be happy. I support him, cook when I can, clean for him, do his dishes and I love every minute of it. I also defend him. He doesn’t always say the right things or do the right things, he’s human, and I tend to get an ear full that he doesn’t know about. As his woman, the last thing I should do is question my man’s authority, drive or decision for petty, selfish reasons and I don’t. I defend him. I can stand both behind and beside him. I’m willing to go down with poor decisions because we are a team. I’m not too proud for that.

    May 28, 2011 at 2:36 pm

  8. Good Woman

    To Him Cont'd:
    Yes, I’m bombarded day after day with picture perfect romances and vacations, but I’m not trained to believe every girl gets hundreds of roses and so on. I do have a brain after all. I don’t expect my man to provide in ways that only a television show can do. I only want an occasional show of love. I’m ok with a random single flower, one minute in a week where he just stops and looks at me like I’m beautiful and mean something really special to him, a random surprise make out session, or some time that’s all about me “in bed.” I would even like just a planned date night with my man.

    Yes, I can be guilty of not letting my man be a man, but I know this and am aware I need some reminding sometimes. However, I need to be treated like a woman and his high horse is what is keeping me from getting treated like one. I can’t express discontent with him because in his mind he never does anything wrong. His constant battle of trying to prove himself keeps us from communicating

    May 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm

  9. Good Woman

    To Him Cont'd:
    I like being treated as a friend, but sometimes it goes too far. I continually go in for a kiss and get licked in the face because he thinks it’s funny. I take a moment to look into his eyes and he gives me a goofy look back making it into some joke. I secretly long for the time when I wasn’t as much of a pal. When I was a woman and he treated me like one. I miss when he would turn on a romantic song and dance with me. Actually, I miss the more romantic instances of getting pulled up to dance without music.

    Women have emotions. They need to be talked to, made feel special, and loved even when you are fighting. When you think she is being stubborn or feminist you need to step back and look at yourself too. If she’s not acting like a woman maybe it’s because she’s not being treated like one! If she was treated like the sweet, special person that lights up your life maybe you wouldn’t run into as many problems from her

    May 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm

  10. Good Woman

    To Him Cont'd:
    As a man, you are created to be her provider, her rock, her leader. You need to provide for her in every way and that includes emotionally. She is capable of providing for herself to a point that she can live just as you can go through life without a woman’s support. However, she chose you to be emotionally connected to. She doesn’t NEED you just as you don’t NEED her. She wants you.

    As a woman, I’m created to be man’s helper: to build you up and care for you, not to tear you down if you fail. You are human and you will fail. You will fail when it comes to women because you aren’t a woman. The trick is to be able to step back and look at your situation. Occasionally baby her. Let her know that she is a woman, your woman, and the only woman you will ever need.

    Good Women: They Do Exist

    May 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm

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