In my rambling across the blogsphere I came across Haley's Halo. She falls in line with a lot of generally conservative blogs except that she blogs more about things from a "Game" perspective. (Short, possibly inaccurate version - Game is a theory/practice whereby men are able to project/accrue status in a way that attracts and retains a higher class of mate(s) and avoids "nice guy syndrome.") Anyway, it's not something I see a whole lot of women writing about, so I was curious. Well, she's come across some real gems - one of which being this post on the trend of men (particularly Christian men) acting absolutely amazing that their wives manage to put up with their sorry backsides. It's rather silly how much they go on about how they don't deserve these women and how they'd be a complete mess without them ad infinitum. It sounds all humble and servant-y and sacrificial when in reality it's just a bunch of guys running themselves down in front of the women are supposed to be respecting, following, and looking up to them. To which the guys might respond "Well, she knows all the bad stuff anyway." Sure she does, and the expectation is that she'll continue to deal with the junk and find a way to respect and love you through that just as you're expected to deal with her junk while still loving and honoring her. If you're running yourself down all the time it sets up two scenarios. First, you're just looking for her to come right back and tell you how wonderful and caring and inspiring you are and how actually she's the one who doesn't deserve just a crazy awesome spouse. Secondly, you really do think she's displaying extraordinary perseverance in the face of your glaring faults. If the first is true you're resorting to jr high levels of interpersonal manipulation and neediness, and if the second is true you're giving her the idea that your bad stuff is special and she does deserve special credit for putting up with you and that if she was with another man she wouldn't have to put up with all this junk because, as you've said all along, she really deserves a man who will treat her better and not put her through the rigors of his imperfectly sanctified humor. The first thing is annoying, but the second thing is toxic because there's a good chance that if you tell a woman this long enough she'll come to believe you. Oops! Now instead of being ingratiatingly humble you're being berated or sighed at for stuff that just happens in marriage - like not being able to read her mind and spontaneously bringing home pizza for dinner one night when she spent all day making lasagna. I know what I'm talking about guys - if you tell your wife often enough how bad you are at something she'll start to believe you. Instead, give her reasons to respect you. Talk about something you accomplished at work. Explain why some politician/theologian/mechanic is completely up a tree on some issue and what they should be doing differently. Look for chances to flex your integrity muscles and help your wife grow in character and righteousness. Fill up her respect tank so that when you do come home feeling utterly defeated and disparaged your wife can dish it right back out to you. (And by which I don't mean that wifely respect should be conditional - it's just that it's easier to respect a man when has respect for himself.)
Along those lines I'd like to share one of the most honest love songs on the air today.