A message to women: Being your partners emotional support system
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The myth vs the reality

Apparently all men are hard and have no emotions… this has to be one of the most absurd assumptions I’ve ever heard. In fact, my opinion is men are more emotional than women, they just don’t display it as much. Many women would’ve received the abrupt “Good night” txt at 9pm when the guy is clearly showing as online on WhatsApp at 11pm. That’s a classic emotional man move, you probably done something to upset him and that’s his way of letting you know. I’m not saying that’s the right way, but it’s just an example of ‘the man way’. Whatever rattled him was likely a minimal offence to you, however to him it was a big deal. If the roles were reversed a man would be encouraged to be sympathetic and understanding right? So why not in this scenario too? Now I understand I’m not addressing all women, but this is based on several comments, conversations and situations I’ve experienced.

A female recently told me this contradicts the bible as in 1st Peter 3 verse 7 it states that women are the weaker vessel. That doesn’t imply or mean that men will never get weak and it doesn’t dismiss the idea that there may be times when a woman will need to assume the lead role within the relationship temporarily. Again this is subjective as what does assuming the lead role look like and how long is temporarily?

The weight of society’s influence

Consider the ship above, manoeuvring it is no easy task, which is why it generally requires 2 people, the head Captain and their vice-captain. The Lead captain is likely to be more experience, possibly stronger and fitter than the other. These factors don’t mean they won’t get tired, weak or lost. There will come a stage along the journey where they require a break, and allow their vice to assist. The same principle is applicable for marriages. It doesn’t matter how strong you are, sooner or later fatigue kicks in.

Due to their position some captains even when weary will not seek help, even with limb arms and ineffective steering. Instead they’ll trooper through the exhaustion and pain causing damage that becomes progressively more difficult to overturn. A good co-captain should be able to identify and intervene when they see their Lead is struggling, again this applies to marriage.  Just like a Head sailor, being a man carries stature and stereotypes, we’re supposed to be strong, courageous and lead almost without error. If this is the pressure that is placed upon your shoulders it then becomes very difficult to share your vulnerabilities. A consequence of withholding your emotions is severe unhappiness and low moods, a subsequent outcome is mental illness. Men typically tend not share their vulnerabilities with others, but I assure you they would if they had a safe platform to do so.

I regularly visit prisoners and have Men who on the outside appear hard as nails break down and weep in my presence. It’s not that they have specifically chosen me to cry to or say how they feel. It’s more to do with them being provided with such a space to do so. They spend so much time pretending to be strong and brave around their fellow inmates, but inside they’re broken. I often hear women saying “I tried this and that”, but those things you tried who told you they were effective?

The key is to be open minded and attentive, when it comes to be an efficient support system, you provide the man with what HE NEEDS rather than what YOU THINK he needs.

Proverbs 31 reads 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. This includes emotional harm, irrespective of societies view of a man they are emotional and have days of weakness. Value is not only physical but spiritual, confidence is knowing he can trust her in most/all situations. In the Bible both Elijah and David suffered from depression. Elijah was a prophet who corresponded with God on many occasions, his prayers lead to extraordinary miracles. David, was a king, a giant killer and much more.

If these great men have their down periods, then why wouldn’t todays man? I would like to encourage all women not to baby their partners but to support them during their time of despair. If you ask what’s wrong and he replies “nothing” don’t get annoyed or give up, you can still show you care. Don’t tell him to man up or be brave, that won’t help and will make it even more difficult to disclose to you. Men need more than food, sex etc… they need to be emotionally pleased too.

In society today we always talk about the roles of men and women and how we believe they’re supposed to act, Biblically it’s very clear. We Know Adam was the first human created and through his rib God created Eve. The man is the head of home, he leads the family and as his chief support is the woman. In Ephesians 5:23 its says “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour.” A Godly man should lead in all areas and delegate responsibilities where appropriate. This is correct but you must remember every man is built differently. I recently had a conversation with a Christian woman, she said it’s the man’s job to go out and work and bring in the money while the woman looks after the house. I challenged this and said what if the woman is more educated? Or the man is limbless, or too ill to work, then what?

A Proverbs 31 woman is not just about being a woman of strength and dignity who provides food for her family. She’s a business woman who took care of the house but was also buying fields and trading. She contributes financially to the house as well as the other duties just like the father contributes to the raising of the children. I personally am tired of women saying men should bare the majority of finances in the household just because he’s a man, what if he earns less? Financial issues are the second biggest cause of divorce and one of the key personal reasons that lead to depression. It’s very important that you don’t burden your husband with unrealistic or stressful financial duties just because he’s a man.

To conclude I believe men need to open up more and tell their women what they require during their down periods and women need to be more understanding to men and their emotions even when they may not agree. Once you understand each other, then you can better one another.