It starts with what Augustine calls “undeceiving ourselves”.
Men. If you read nothing else on this blog please hear this. If you wear a Speedo we need to be honest with you. It’s gross. It’s disgusting. It’s pretty much naked… and not in a good way. We can see your basket is full, no matter how small or impish. It’s time to let it go… to undeceive yourself.
You aren’t French. Let it go…
Many of us, myself included, have spent a lifetime learning to undeceive ourselves. Some of us grew up believing things would turn out differently. We believed in the fairytale ending that was promised, but not delivered.
I never talk publicly about my ex-wife, until today. We were together since I was fourteen and she was my god. I worshiped the ground she walked on and even today have difficulty thinking ill of her. I loved her to distraction. She had only one glaring flaw, she was completely closed off emotionally. People who knew her for years admitted they had no idea who she really was. She didn’t show emotions in public. She didn’t show emotions at home. By the time she ran away with one of my best friends I was a needy, pathetic, love-seeking man-boy. I kept the kids, the house, most of her clothes. She didn’t seem to want anything. Especially not me.
When she left I had no idea she had a problem, any problems for that matter. I assumed she was completely happy, I know I was. It didn’t seem to matter that I could be away on a speaking gig for a week and come home to someone who didn’t seem to realize I had been away. In my needy way I served and served, pathetically trying to be loved. When she finally left she wrote me a nine page letter. I believed every word of it.
I spent a great deal of time sorting myself out. I learned how dysfunctional I was. I had presumed I knew what my wife was thinking and feeling, but I was profoundly wrong. So I spent countless hours researching women – their emotions, their sexuality, their philosophies. I endeavored to become a student of the opposite sex. I went to counseling, with a very bad counselor. I tried to be mother and father to my boys. I learned to undeceive myself, it took years. By the time I met my someday-to-be wife I had sorted some things out. I continue to sort.
After more than a few years I am married again to a woman who reminds me everyday that I am loved and appreciated. I am no longer needy, although I deserve little credit. It is much easier to become healthy and whole when you have an amazing and brutally honest mate cheering you on. I believe profoundly that I need to share the message with women that not all men are pigs. Not all of us are emotionally unavailable. There are men who are willing to do whatever it takes to love you well, they just need to be taught. We are not dumb, we are simply not paper-trained. I also feel that there is a message for men. We were not raised to understand women, or each other for that matter. It’s time for men to suck it up, grow up, and live sacrificially.
The most important lessons are not learned in the classroom. The most important lessons are learned in pain.
I still believe in fairy tale endings. In real fairy tales, however, my tale is a little beaten up, more honest, and balder.
I still do not believe in Speedos.