LELEMBA: In this day and age where women are emancipated, ambitious and aggressive with their careers, what is the role of the man in their life?
SANDRAS: The role of the man in their life is to help them grow to ever higher levels of achievement and wisdom. The man in their life whether husband or boyfriend provides supporting feedback and challenging feedback. When feedback is understood, it provides growth for the woman whose aim is to keep growing and achieving success in her life. The man in her life will also help her take care of things that she doesn’t like doing or is not good at.
Growth through Balance
The role of the man in the modern woman’s life will be expressed in different ways. If she’s overly aggressive, for instance, the man might take the opposite side to remind her to slow down and pay attention to her health and people in her life. If she loses steam and is not making progress in her career, the man might take the other side to remind her to push on with her career. So the man in her life will bring her to balance and growth. Of course this may be expressed in various ways starting from gentle reminders to complaining to outbursts.
A great man will tell you that you’ve done a great job, you look beautiful or that you were right and thank you. A great man will also do tough things like tell you that the dress you’re wearing is not looking very good, your breath needs attention, or that you need to start exercising again. That feedback is tough but necessary. If your man doesn’t give it, the guy at the office will! Of course a great man tells you tough things in a respectful manner. If a man just praises and is afraid to give you not-so-nice-to-hear feedback then he doesn’t help you. Similarly, if a man just criticises and never gives nice-to-hear feedback then he doesn’t help either. Giving both positive and negative feedback is true love.
If you don’t see how the man in your life is helping you grow, look hard and see the lessons before moving on because lessons are repeated till learnt. If the lessons are not learnt, the next man turns out to be like the previous one making you ask “Why does this always happen to me?”
Unrealistic Expectations and Fantasies
Having unrealistic expectations on the man in your life will cause disappointment. Some of the unrealistic expectations are that the man will complete you, he will always tell you nice things, he will take care of all your needs, he will make you happy and he will never disappoint you. These are unrealistic in that you are never always telling yourself nice things, you’re never always taking care of your needs, you’re never always happy with yourself, you sometimes disappoint yourself and others. If you’re never 100% reliable to yourself and to others, can’t others be left to be humans like you?
You will always be disappointed if you compare your man to the one night stand; the fling on Facebook; the guy in the movies or with the guy in your girl friend’s story. If you really want to know how the guy you think is so great is, ask his wife!
Unrealistic expectations and fantasies lead to marriage and divorce. Many single people think that if they were married they would be happy. Many married people think that if they were single they would be happy. Unmarried people fantasize that married people are happy because they have someone of their own, they don’t have to struggle to have sex, they can put their two incomes together and have enough to save and invest. Married people know that that is not always the case. Married people are also fantasizing that single people are happy, because they are not ‘trapped’ with one person, they don’t have to ‘beg’ for sex from the same person, and that because their income is theirs alone they have enough to save and invest. Single people know that that is not always the case. My point here is that know that both single and married lives have their own great things and challenging things. Don’t get married for the wrong reasons and don’t get divorced for the wrong reasons either.
Many people mistake infatuation for love. Infatuation is seeing only the positive and being blind to the negative. Infatuation which is the “in love” feeling doesn’t last long because the moment you get close to someone, you start to see their other side. Love is seeing both the positive and negative in your partner and still being with them. A great man will love you with your positives and negatives. Don’t compare him with the guy that is infatuated with you.
As a modern woman, list all your strengths and see how much power you currently have. On a scale of 1 to 10 how do you fair spiritually, mentally, vocationally, socially, financially, familially (family) and physically? In the area where your rating is low you will be challenged. For instance, if you concentrate on your career, finance and social, you will be challenged by others in family, physical and the other neglected areas. Make a conscious effort to empower yourself in all areas of life. Love yourself and others will love you. Be a great woman and you will attract a great man. The world is a mirror.