A lunch break blogger, just writing to hear herself talk.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


So I got some really sweet feedback on my serious-ish blog last week! Which is so kind, and unexpected, since my blog was a commentary blog on someone else's blog about the Bible. That's pretty 'Seven degrees of Kevin Bacon', so I'm glad it translated!

So, I mean, why not do it again!!! I read articles all the time that I think are GREAT and speak to me personally and help me. Instead of just sharing the link, from time to time I'll actually allow myself to write my own commentary about them here on ze blog. I get a kick out of it. 

I read an article that my former pastor Brother Steve shared on his Facebook. I read the majority of it with that same look on my face that Kanye gets when I catch him eating his sister's food. #busted 

Here's the article and I can't say it better than this guy did, so I'd highly recommend reading it. The message: Your man does not have to EARN your respect.

I saw a book one time called Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desparately Needs. I have no idea if this book is good, I just read the cover and it wasn't what I thought I needed at the time, but it has always ALWAYS stuck in my head. Just the concepts behind it because it rings really true to me. And while I was reading this article, I was thinking about that relationship between thoughtfulness and respect.

Now I realize there are some exceptions, but stay with me on this... I'm going to speak in some serious generalities here. 

One thing that women crave from their man is thoughtfulness. It's not the only thing they crave, but it's something men typically aren't naturally good at so it's something they feel a deficit in. Men have to actively TRY to be thoughtful while women are naturals. I bet men wouldn't say they crave thoughtfulness because they already get it. In spades! Women notice their man's shampoo bottle is a little light, and without having to be asked, pick him up a spare. Nothing ceremonious. Nothing out of the norm. Baby, we were born this way (Lady Gaga style). Men... not so much. Could you imagine how excited you'd be if your man noticed that, remembered the exact brand of shampoo and picked you up a bottle! Your little head would explode on the spot. Right?


Or would you think to yourself, "gah, my conditioner was running low, too. Obviously. I use both every time I'm in the shower, why didn't he think to get conditioner, too??" Thoughtfulness is something men have to be really intentional about and make a lot of effort on and still don't come close to how good we are at it.

Unfortunately, respect is the flip side of that coin but it doesn't get the news coverage that men's thoughtlessness gets. Men respect their ladies without thinking about it. It's something that comes very naturally to them and we probably take for granted. We don't sit around, chatting with our girlfriends, saying things like "man, I wish he didn't complain about my cooking so much" or "He rolls his eyes every time I tell a story". I mean... if those things are happening, you should definitely complain to your girlfriends. That's not very nice of him. With that said, yes. He's going to say things that hurt our feelings now and then... but that's generally not out of DISRESPECT, it's out of thoughtlessness. I think disrespect is a lot more intentional than thoughtlessness.

Thoughtfulness begets respect. Respect begets thoughtfulness. I'm going to be honest, I don't know what begets means, but I think that's how it goes.

Now to put my stuff in the streets, and hopefully y'all can't relate (no, hopefully you can't! Hopefully this is not one of your struggles!)

I can, without meaning to at all, treat D like a child. If I feel like he's talking too loud in a restaurant, I tell him "OMG, Daryl, you're yelling! Lower your voice" and he immediately gets defensive. Obviously. Because I'm treating him like a child. If he tells a story he means to be funny or entertaining and it falls flat, I'm the first one to laugh and say "cool story bro" to tease him about the story not being a hit. I could call it teasing, but it's not teasing. It's me not being on his team. Let one of his buddies be the one to crack that joke. They will! There is absolutely NO need for me to beat them to the punch. I'm guilty of telling embarrassing stories about him because they're mildly funny. If his buddies are teasing him, I've been known to join in rather than defend him or stay out of it. And my worst offense, for sure, is criticizing. He does something and I tear it apart, tell him how it could be done better, faster, easier. 

Okay, it's tougher than I thought to talk about my disrespect without mentioning things he does that provoke my disrespect. But I'm not going to put HIS business on the blog, so I'll just leave it at those vague examples and just stick with the imaginary shampoo metaphor.

I'm really, REALLY lucky because I do respect the heck out of Daryl. He's super motivated, he has a ton of talents, he's smart and makes great decisions... most of the time. Sometimes... not so much. Now, is he a master at being thoughtful? Not yet. (a girl can hope, okay!?) But he tries. His attempts don't always meet my standards. His attempts sometimes leave me thinking "if he'd just done it like this, if he'd thought to get conditioner, too, it would have been better." Or worse, I expect the infamous mind-read: "I had been working on killing that bottle of shampoo because I was wanting try that new brand, now I'm stuck with this bottle so I'm not appreciative that he thought to do this" or maybe I just plain not appreciative at all "I told him I was planning to go to Target later, it was on my list, he didn't save me any time or effort by doing this."

But in those instances, I have to remember my respect most of all. If I were to criticize his efforts (and 50% of the time, I just blurt out my disappointment, without thinking of the effects of my words), what is the outcome I expect? Him to magically think like a woman? To sit at his desk all day researching the hottest brand of shampoo for my hair type? No. He doesn't eve know I HAVE a hair type. The next time he feels my empty shampoo bottle, do you know what he's going to do? Sure as hell NOT buy me another bottle.

But what's a girl to do when, on a regular basis, the gesture just doesn't measure up to what it COULD have been? Uhm... I'm pretty sure the correct answer to that is 'realize you married a man'? And I don't mean that to be sexist at all. Shampoo/flowers/jewelry and, unfortunately, romance in general just aren't his strong suite (normally). But do you know what? When he took my car in, he got the right oil put in it. When he mowed the lawn, he edged and trimmed the hedges and put the tools away. And when he saw that weird pendant necklace that I wouldn't be caught dead wearing, he thought of his ladyfriend. I'm on his mind. He loves me and wants to make me happy. Like a dog bringing the most important person in the world to him a dead bird. The best of intentions. Instead of criticizing when he does it wrong, I need to just gush when he gets it right. Brag on him in front of him. The polar opposite of criticizing him. Positive reinforcement (which I hate to use the term, because it sounds like raising a child or training a dog) but it is what it is. To get him to narrow in on the types of thoughtfulness I love, I'm going to have to praise him when he gets it right instead of tearing him down when he misses the mark.

I expect him to be thoughtful and loving when I'm PMSing. When I am stressed and being snippy and rude. When I'm criticizing him. I expect him to love me at my worst, when I need it the most. When I'm not acting in a very lovable way, when I'm being difficult to love... THAT'S when I need his love and thoughtfulness the most.

He expects me to respect him when he's wrong. When he's had two too many beers and is acting a fool (we've all been there). When he is in front of his coworkers and when it's just the two of us, at home. When he's trying something he's not good at and feels vulnerable. He needs respect the most, not when he's just fixed my car and is puffed up with pride... he needs it during those times when, let's be honest, we're thinking in our heads, "What a bonehead". Those are the times that I have to dig deep and behave respectfully, even if I'm not feeling 100% respectful at the time. I tell myself, "You suck it up, buttercup! He's your man!" Respect is my duty to him, not a benefit that depends on if he's acting a way I like that particular day. 

Alright... this one got a little wordy, folks. I'll try to keep it more concise next time. I hope respect comes easily to you this week. I'm PMSing so I hope it comes easily to me, too! :) XO!


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