Why he won’t lead the re­la­tion­ship

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Opinion - RE­LA­TION­SHIP STRATE­GISTS [email protected]­phindi.com

Mo’s per­son­al­ity is laid-back and he takes his time to make a de­ci­sion, while Phindi is a Type A per­son­al­ity.

Some of the many ad­van­tages in Mo’s Type B per­son­al­ity in­clude the abil­ity to go with the flow, not eas­ily stressed, pa­tient, less car­ing of what peo­ple think, calm, and able to work steadily.

These are ex­tremely valu­able qual­i­ties that Phindi’s im­pa­tient, go-get­ter, com­pet­i­tive, stress­ing, must-be-done-now per­son­al­ity needed.

Rather than hav­ing our dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties frus­trate us, we have learnt how to make them serve our re­la­tion­ship.

One of the most lib­er­at­ing things to do in mar­riage is for you to give your spouse per­mis­sion to be his- or her­self while you own your unique­ness, in or­der to serve one an­other in love.

We are ap­proached by many women who are frus­trated by men who just won’t lead their re­la­tion­ships. Even though they are suc­cess­ful in their ca­reers, many women want a man who will take con­trol of the re­la­tion­ship and lov­ingly pro­vide lead­er­ship.

We wish to ex­plore what causes men to seem with­drawn and not pro­vide the much­needed lead­er­ship in their re­la­tion­ships.

Firstly, it is be­cause of dif­fer­ences in per­son­al­ity.

Per­son­al­ity dif­fer­ences are man­age­able in re­la­tion­ships, es­pe­cially when they are met with ma­tu­rity. If your hus­band is too laid-back for you, then he is just the right per­son­al­ity for your driven, stress­ful and time­con­scious per­son­al­ity. He be­comes a needed equaliser.

To make a suc­cess­ful re­la­tion­ship in mar­riage, you don’t want a per­son with a sim­i­lar per­son­al­ity to yours.

God cre­ated you dif­fer­ent for a rea­son. And it’s in­cum­bent on both of you to nour­ish and cher­ish that dif­fer­ence so that after a while, you could be the best in­di­vid­u­als you each can be.

Hav­ing com­mon in­ter­ests and be­ing com­pat­i­ble is over­rated. In fact, such make a rela- tion­ship very bor­ing. When the two of you are sim­i­lar in per­son­al­ity and in­ter­ests, then one of you is un­nec­es­sary.

What makes a suc­cess­ful re­la­tion­ship is shared char­ac­ter. What you want is a man who is ma­ture and whose in­tegrity you can match. That’s what you com­mit to when you marry – char­ac­ter. You don’t marry his per­son­al­ity. So, let him be who God cre­ated him to be.

The worst thing you can do is be crit­i­cal of his per­son­al­ity.

When you crit­i­cise his per­son­al­ity, the core of his iden­tity as a per­son, he is bound to with­draw his love and emo­tions from you.

Se­condly, un­for­tu­nately a lot of modern men are raised in the ab­sence of healthy mas­culin­ity they can model in their own lives. In terms of the Gen­eral House­hold Sur­vey pub­lished in July 2018 by Stats SA, 62% of chil­dren born in our coun­try are fa­ther­less. This only speaks of phys­i­cal ab­sence as a re­sult of death, long dis­tance and ir­re­spon­si­ble fa­thers.

But there are fa­thers who are phys­i­cally present, but ab­sent in their mas­cu­line essence.

Boys raised in the pres­ence of these fa­thers miss the “rite of pas­sage” into man­hood. They learn to be with­drawn, un­in­volved, laid-back and silent.

They are taught to be ab­sent, and force their wives later in life to as­sume the lead­er­ship re­spon­si­bil­ity in their marriages. They sim­ply have no one to learn from, be­sides their moth­ers, who do not know what it means to be a man.

Men have so much push­back in the 21st cen­tury so­ci­ety. Women are el­e­vated on al­most all fronts, some­times at the ex­pense of men.

The re­sult is gen­er­ally men who don’t know how to dis­play healthy mas­culin­ity. They just don’t know how to be men to self-as­sured women – as many women yearn for.

Many men are con­fused about what it means to be a man be­cause they feel they’re work­ing against the tide.

Their voices and emo­tions are in­ter­nalised as no one is gen­uinely lis­ten­ing. And while they’re silent out­wardly, they’re scream­ing for help in­wardly. Un­for­tu­nately they ex­press that frus­tra­tion through toxic mas­culin­ity.

And so, many a woman in a re­la­tion­ship is now left to pro­vide lead­er­ship, when all she ever wanted was a man she could trust. A man who will take her by the hand, claim her as his woman and lead her; who will de­cide where to take her, knows how to sur­prise her and with whom she feels safe.

Phindi al­ways says one of her deep­est fem­i­nine plea­sures is when Mo stands full and steady in the midst of her emo­tional storms. When he stays solidly present with her, and loves her through her many lay­ers. Then she feels his de­pend­abil­ity, and she can re­lax.

When a woman takes the re­spon­si­bil­ity of lead­er­ship in mar­riage, es­pe­cially against her will, she be­comes more and more rigid, ex­hausted and un­ful­filled. She is likely to lose her­self, and even­tu­ally be­come re­sent­ful of him.

Praise him con­tin­u­ally. The man in him will want to con­tinue do­ing what his wife af­firms as he re­sponds well to pos­i­tive feed­back.

Yes, there may be times when he doesn’t lead ef­fec­tively. But find some­thing you can praise, no mat­ter how lit­tle.

Af­firm his pos­i­tive ini­tia­tive, his courage in tak­ing a step, and his de­sire to do right. As he steps out and leads, he needs to know you are sup­port­ing him and that you’re on his team rather than his critic.

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