Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don't Apologize To Me!

There is a phenomenon that I experience fairly often and I want to address it.

Women who know my background will sometimes say something and then backtrack.

For instance, a woman of my acquaintance will say something along the lines of "My husband is SO awesome! Last night he came home from work and sent me up to take a bath while he made dinner and watched the kids! I love him so much!"

Then she will stop, think for a moment, get this sad or embarrassed look on her face, and say "Oh, I'm so sorry, I guess that's not a very nice thing to say to you after all that you've been through."

And it makes me want to cry - because I was *thrilled* to hear what a good guy her husband is - it makes me happy for them, for their children, and for the world at large.

We are ALL enriched by good men treating their families well.

Unfortunately, I get this reaction on many occasions - on the announcement of a 20th anniversary, or a woman sharing about the date her husband took her own, or the cool thing he did with their children that weekend. The woman shares her good news with a glowing face, then she stops, her face falls, and she apologizes to me.

And it just breaks my heart. I am FULLY capable of feeling VERY happy for a woman who has a good husband. In fact, because of my experiences, I probably understand more than most what a treasure that man is to his family. I do not want another woman's joy dimmed because my husband turned out to be .... less than worthy of the the gifts he was given, shall we say.

My experience has been extreme - most women will never be abandoned to live in poverty with 6 young children like I have been [and Thank God for that!]. But my experience has NOT made me hate men, or hate marriage, or hate happy families.

Men are important. Husbands and Fathers are VITAL to their families. There is nothing in this world that gives me more joy or happiness than to see a man treating his wife and children well. I love it. It warms my heart and gives me hope for this sad world that we live in.

I devote a fair chunk of my childbirth education classes to the importance of fathers - if I can affect even just one single dad in each of my classes, if I can give him the encouragement to truly bond with his child, to take his job as dad seriously, to give it the place of prominence it deserves in his life and his priorities... then I have made a true difference in this world.

Because, you know, I worry about our world. I see very few men taking an active interest in their children - very few. [There are GREAT dads out there, don't get me wrong - I'm just worried that they are the stragglers of a dying breed]. I see a LOT of men abandoning their children - not just having a midlife crisis and divorcing their wives, but MOVING out of state for some woman they met online and literally *leaving* their children behind. I see this happening all over the place - I know so many women who are just like me.

This has become an epidemic. I heard some refer to this recently as a Facebook problem - but I don't think it is really Facebook that is to blame. While it is true that I know a scary number of women who were abandoned by their husbands after those husbands hooked up with some girl from 20 years ago on Facebook, the fact remains that if these men had not had access to Facebook, they would have picked up women in some other way. You can't blame Facebook because it is being ill used by men who have no loyalty to their families.

It is a very serious thing and something that I see happening more and more these days. Maybe this problem of male abandonment has always been there in these numbers and I just didn't know - but it is certainly pervasive these days.

So, I worry a lot. Children need their fathers - they really do. They need GOOD fathers who love them.

But then I read something like this guy, and it renews my sense of hope for our society. The world needs this message, and I'm so grateful to this Dad for speaking out to his fellow dads. Good for him! Good for US!

So, back to apologizing - don't apologize to me because you have an awesome husband, or because your children have an amazing father. Treasure him - because a man like that is worth treasuring. [And please, SHARE your JOY with me - by all means!]

You know who I wish would apologize to me? Women who have good men and don't appreciate them. I truly HATE to hear a woman bashing her husband. It is something that I just don't think should be done. [Even when I was married and in a very bad situation, I never bashed my Ex husband - I always spoke well of him to everyone who knew him. That is part of why it was so shocking to everyone when he left I guess].

I don't like to hear a woman being petty - a woman who has a perfectly good husband, who loves her and her children, and she's nitpicking or criticizing him for stupid or trivial things. THAT kind of thing drives me crazy - because a woman with a good husband should value that man, not tear him down.

THOSE are the women that I want to apologize to me. :)

God Bless you - and today, especially, I ask God to bless all of those fathers out there working so hard to do a good job and raise up fine children. Those guys ROCK!


  1. bottom line, i suppose it's just awkward for those apologizing-folks ;)

    I totally agree w/you about fb. i believe it presents another opportunity to be unfaithful (those old flames and all!) but it's not what *causes* the unfaithfulness. just as Money in and of itself is not evil.

    thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

  2. OMGosh!! This has got to be the best post I have read on husbands! Truly! Thank you so much for your perspective and articulating your thoughts so well on this subject. May God bless you!

    Oh, and speaking of Facebook, I'm going to go share this post there now. ;)

    p.s. I'm here from Danielle Bean's post over at Faith & Family live

  3. This was very insightful and so beautifully written. I am dating a great man, and I recently felt badly for a few seconds after telling my friend (who is single and struggling with that) about something nice he did for me. I think people (myself included) just want to be sensitive to others. You are particularly generous and loving - very inspiring.

  4. I'm glad to have found you Martian Mama. I too am a single mother. I read an encouraging article by a man the other day that told men that they should love their wives sacrificially, purposefully, absolutely, etc., like Christ loved the Church--He died for her. It was a beautiful reminder of why I love Jesus. He knows what the life of an authentic marriage is. It is awesome when it is actually lived!