As if we don’t have enough to do already, women are expected to fix their men. Why?
Watching my favourite (i.e. probably the worst) reality TV shows over the past few weeks, there seems to be an enduring theme of fixing people, particularly men. Many of the women in these shows often have a nice amount of money at their disposal, and they spend it how they see fit, possibly even fixing themselves when it comes to the physical. But no matter how much money, or whether they have built their own successful businesses or take care of their children, there is a constant question; how can they fix the men in their lives?
Now, from the outside, these women appear to be so loving, and so caring – I mean, all they want is for their man to be, look and feel like the King he really is, right? So they look beyond the facts; they ignore the fact that actually, him not proposing after eight years really, really does bother them. They ignore the fact that, despite dating X amount of months/years, he’s still not quite comfortable with labelling what they have. They ignore the fact that he has a one year old child with another woman, and rejoice in the fact that they too are now pregnant with his offspring. I could go on but I’m sure you get the point. (And no, I’m not saying that all of the above situations are cut and dried and that I’m over here being oh so perfect.)
It’s not just TV stars who are living in this ‘reality’; head over to your Facebook – go on, do it – and you will no doubt see your female friends and family members posting memes about what a good woman is. A good woman is there through a man’s tough times (okay, fair enough), but she’s also there when the man can’t quite decide if he wants to be there; she’s there when he isn’t working, because she knows he’s ‘finding himself’, while he’s sitting there on that couch. A good woman will ignore her man’s disregard for her feelings, because, well, maybe, he’s just as broken as she is.
And that is all FINE. But, if this man was to magically disappear tomorrow (and you know, some of them do), what would you be left with? Yes, you would be distraught, because the potential love of your life has left a gaping hole in your life. Those happy moments are over. But let’s look past that emotional part; what else is there?
You no longer have a project to work on. Now, instead of making him breakfast or asking him how his day went, you only have to think of you. But asking yourself how your day’s going, well that’s not quite so fun is it? Because for all these years and months that you have been working on Project Fix Him Jesus!, you haven’t had to focus on you. I’m not talking about the pounds you’ve gained (or maybe I am), or the nights out you’ve missed, I’m talking about: when was the last time you took care of yourself? When was the last time that you asked someone to help you with the kids, so that maybe you could read a book/take a bath or do something bigger, like start a course or even a new career? You’ve been fixing him because you can’t bear to take on the task of fixing yourself. And it hurts. I get it, I really do. But just like they tell you when you board a plane; please take care of your own mask before you even think about helping someone else with theirs. Love yourself, hug yourself, care for yourself – this is the way you will show the world, or the man, what you expect, and what he can expect.
Think of it this way: do you think the man in your life is sitting there thinking; ‘man, I just wanna fix her’? No, men are taught to aim high, get the best, expect nothing less. Now I am not reducing human beings down to accomplishments and material things, but I am saying, please don’t spend your time fixing someone when you are the one who deserves that love and attention. As they say, ‘real recognises real’. Be you, and be there for them, but don’t do the work for them.