Throughout the centuries, men (not humankind, but the male of the species) have often lost their way. This is not another attack at the fact that men are sometime navigationally challenged. It is a recognition that masculinity is being lost in our society.
Machoism is still present, but it is a far cry from true masculinity. Instead it is pseudo-masculine. Far too many men have opted to go the other extreme. Become “nice guys.” I know you’ve seen them. Maybe you’re one of them.
The “nice guy” is the poser. It’s the fake self that is put forward in order to fit in with those around you. There are a lot of “one up” stories with posers. I know you’ve heard them. A group of guys are talking about an adventure they shared while whitewater rafting. The poser, desperate to join the conversation, tells of the time he saved the lives of 2 other people while canoeing in class 4 rapids. The problem is he really only assisted 2 people whose canoe capsized in a creek that was four feet deep.
The poser isn’t necessarily a liar. He exaggerates. He doesn’t live from his heart. He isn’t confident in who he is at the core.
Our society, and more importantly, our marriages, need men to “man up.”
To “man up” means you don’t seek the easy way out of things. You are willing to roll up your sleeves and break a sweat. Whether this is at work, around the house, or during hard times with your wife. Sometimes it seems easier to check out. Disappear. Go hang out with the guys rather than stay in the discussion. Turn on the TV and disengage for the evening. To man up, seek out her point of view and listen to her with an open mind. Give her your point of view, but don’t beat her over the head with it.
A “man up” man is able to be accept his wife’s influence and incorporate it into his thoughts and decisions. “Nice guys” are often dominated by their wife in order to avoid conflict.
Over the coming weeks we will be addressing several issues in marriage concerning men and their need to “man up.” I look forward to your feedback and input in the discussion. If you are looking for more about the art of being a man, you can check out Brett’s work at The Art of Manliness.
If you have any suggestions on issues or topics you would like to see addressed in this series, please place them in the comments below.