By Matthew D. Della Porta , Ph.D.
First of all, we’re sorry. We’re sorry that although we look like men, we often act like boys. We’re not even sure what it means to be men anymore. As we grow up, we learn that to be happy is to be self-indulgent and self-centered. We try to make enough money so that we can have the right TV with the right video games in the right home. We want to date you and maybe even marry you but we are scared to focus on someone else instead of ourselves. Isn’t it sad that we see committing to you as a potential threat to our happiness instead of a wonderful opportunity?
Here’s what we don’t understand: True happiness comes from being true men. We think and act like boys who don’t want their toys taken away. We look up to “role models” in the media who teach us to get as much gratification out of life as possible. We may claim to be spiritual or even firm atheists, but pleasure is the god that we worship, whether we realize it or not. Unfortunately, women tend to be just another part of our hedonistic lifestyle. Please know this: True men won’t treat you like an irritating obstacle or a sexual convenience.
A real man understands that women are to be cherished and treated with care and honor. He sees marriage as the opportunity to be a real-life superhero – he leaves behind his old identity and becomes a new person, dedicated to serving his wife and children. Although he will struggle at first, a true man who marries eventually understands that he can’t fit through the narrow doorway to happiness if he tries to carry all of his toys with him. There is just enough room for him and his wife, arm in arm, committed to their marriage.
Women, you can help us become real men! Most importantly, we want to feel admired by you. Help us to know that you love us just as we are, even if there is room for improvement. Do this by giving us words of validation; praise us for the things we do well. This means more to us than we let on.
In return, we will make sure that you feel loved and cherished by us. We will learn to talk with you so you can be heard and understood, not so that we can tell you how to solve your problems. We’ll also try to learn to express how we feel without withdrawing or getting angry. With polished communication we can learn that what makes you happy makes us happy too! What a concept!
Once again, we’re sorry. We are to blame, even though good male role models are hard to find these days. We’ve ignored our calling to become true men and instead act like we’re in high school for as long as we can. Please trust that we are capable of more than this.
If you are frustrated with the man in your life, do your best to forgive him and start fresh. After a while, if it’s clear that he will not become a real man, leave him. You deserve better.
A healthy relationship will make everyone involved feel happy. When we are happy, we are capable of living meaningful and fulfilling lives alongside one another. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we journey onward to find happiness and become real men.
WYSK originally found this letter on the website YouBeauty, and reached out to Matthew to better understand the purpose behind it and what precipitated his open confession:
“I wrote this letter out of personal experience. At the time I had been married for a little over two years and I was slowly realizing that who I was as a man was not who I needed to be as a husband. I am not criticizing other men so much as confessing my own short-comings. My realization and acceptance of these short-comings came from my Christian faith… and that I was capable of being the man and husband that my wife deserved.
Today I am by no means perfect, but I am learning every day and feel motivated to continue progressing. I feel passionate about communicating what I’ve learned to be true manhood.”
About Dr. Della Porta
Dr. Della Porta is a Ph.D. graduate from the University of California, Riverside and a former student of Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, an expert in the scientific study of happiness. His research in positive psychology explored the strategies people can use to become happier for a sustained period of time.
Using his expertise in health and wellness, Dr. Della Porta assists business professionals in cultivating optimal employee performance, engagement, and organizational health while helping the bottom line.