Over on The Generous Husband I’m doing a series on becoming yourself and living your dreams. I’ll be warning the men to not live their dreams at the cost of their wife and her dreams.
Far too many times, I’ve seen women 40-50 years of age who are miserable and empty because they feel their life and dreams have passed them by. Our culture certainly plays a part in this. The fact women give birth and feel more nurturing is another factor. The one piece of this you have control of is speaking up!
When men work and play together, they compete. Even when we’re having fun, we are challenging each other as a way of challenging ourselves. When we share ideas, it’s a survival of the fittest thing; if I can’t defend my idea, desire, goal, or dream, it has no right to live. Yes it’s harsh, sorry about that. There are men who don’t do it or don’t take it as far, but it’s common.
In the past most men understood women were different, and didn’t challenge every thought their wife had the way they would challenge the thoughts of other men. One of the downsides of saying men and women are the same is men have stopped treating women like women. Today many men expect their wife to defend her desires, dreams, and hopes in battle to the death. A woman who doesn’t understand this may take his actions as disagreement, or even an attack. She withdraws, wounded and confused, and her dreams are taken off the table.
I’m not suggesting your dreams need to meet your husband on the battlefield. If you can do it without feeling beaten up, go for it, but it’s not what God intended. If you understand how he thinks, you can try to get around it. Tell him you want to share your dreams, not defend them. Tell him you want his feedback, not why it won’t work. Explain you want to share yourself, not do mortal combat.
If you work at it, he should get it. It may take time, and he will likely forget a few times, but he can learn not to treat you like a man.
~ Paul – I’m XY and I want my wife to live her dreams!