Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Good Man

I've been thinking about Mr. Right, and Mr. Right Now for awhile and realized that what I'm really looking for is a "Good Man."

When a guy impresses me to such an extent I usually call him "a good guy" It's one of the highest compliments I can give. I used to think that I was looking for that "good guy", but now I realize that it's a man I want. A Good Man.

So I started to try to figure out what does that really mean to me. Is it someone who helps an old lady across the street, who volunteers at a soup kitchen in his spare time, or is it someone who donates a large portion of his money to tzedaka?

Although all of those things are highly commendable, I realized that it wasn't what made someone a "Good Man" least not to me.

It's the man who gets out of bed every morning and goes to work, but doesn't forget to kiss his kids and wish them good luck on their test that day. It's the man who sheepishly forgets the anniversary, but thanks his wife when he walks in to a clean home and dinner on the table. It's the man who gets annoyed when someone cuts him off in traffic, but will walk away from or even try to break up a fight. He's an ordinary man, but inside of him there is goodness, patience, and thankfulness that although his life is ordinary it's still special to him. He understands that it's the little things, a look, touch, note, or a joke that can be shared between us.

This "Good Man" is a grown up, but that does not preclude him from acting like a child and getting down on the floor and wrestling with the kids, dog, and cat (all at the same time). This "Good Man" loves life and what he has of it. He wants to give to his family things that he believes they will enjoy and his time also.

The most important part of this description is the fact that he is a man and recognizes I'm a woman. I've probably alienated a few of you out there with that statement, but I believe there is a difference and I'm glad for it to be recognized. And yes, I'm aware that I wrote above that he's thankful to have a clean home and dinner on the table, but that doesn't mean he won't make dinner too. It's just that I want to be at home with the kids so Mr. Mom is not what I'm looking for, but I know of men like that.

I respect them all the more because they are still "Men" even though they are many times viewed as less than by others of the same and opposite sex. Yes, this is my opinion, but I've recognized these feelings through other's treatment, condescension and ignoring of the father for the mother's take on a certain matter when he is the more knowledgeable one with regard to their children.

What am I really trying to say here while I ramble on and on? I guess I want a caring, loving individual comfortable in his own skin who is interested and willing to share his life, love and time with his family, and is grateful for the chance to be able to do so and deserves to be respected for his efforts the same way that he respects the many different people he encounters daily.

Hey!!!! Don't forget he's got to be good in bed too. C'mon, you really didn't think that I would write a post about men and not bring up sex? Did you????

btw-Since I haven't found him yet, I'm sure that there will be updates to this post in the future


JD Clampett said...

CR, this was a very heartwarming post, and I was touched by it. I think it was your best post thusfar (not an easy feat). I do hope you find such a person, and the sooner the better.

What's sad for me is that as I read it, I recognized the person you described. It was once me. Or I thought I was. It seems so long ago, I'm not sure. I still have some of those "qualities", but I am perceived to have lost others. How I feel about it will perhaps become relevant some day.

Many men come to a marriage as "good guys" in the Aristotelian sense. They are "good guys" in potentia, some having reached their potential to degrees greater than others when the marriage begins. What I think is as germaine to your comment, though, is what happens after marriage and that is a fate you seem ready to captain with your future spouse and that's great. You're hands on. Not all persons are ready, or realize their role in supporting their spouse or breaking them down (I suspect divorced ones do). It is the role spouses play in maintaining the right direction I want to address here.

You are probably assuming "shared values", "explicit expectations" and "reasonableness" in your "job description",CR, but isn't it worth stating these expectations with the others? Had I had these with my spouse, we'd still be happily married. Without a shared set of values for negotiating the conflicts, how long will it take until, in imperceptible increments time steals their couplehood and leaves them with a thin, fragile shell of "roles" and the equivalent of annual job reviews? "Roles" is what happens when the communication has ended, when the choices are no longer negotiated between the couple, when a person becomes a packet of responsibilities rather than the flesh and blood person you fell in love with. That, sadly, happened to me. Well, that's what I think - my ex didn't think that divorce was warranted. After all, "it's not good for the family" (she sees her "role" as such). She rarely expressed a concept like "this is what I want from you, for ME - I value YOU".

Within a marriage, good qualities have to be nurtured and appreciated. But more than this, they are values that have to be held supreme and in agreement, frequently discussed and if necessary renegotiated. If not, the status of "good guy" or a "good gal" becomes something that is reverseable when the rules for negotiating the compromises are not clear or change (as events often require) without discussion. Nobody can hit a that kind of moving target without a navigator, and that's what spouses are. They guide their partners to the target, if they're any good at it. Eventually "good guys" will despair of not being able to please their spouse without their guidance, or will feel that in their spouse's eyes their qualities have become disembodied from themselves as persons and as persons, they won't feel valued or wanted.

Eventually, what was in potentia, and for a time a threshhold reached, was undermined by apathy and lack of stamina and lack of communications.

I've said too more than I intended already - I'll leave it here. I don't think you will ever make my mistake, CR. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your blog. I learn a lot from you and appreciate your honesty.

Shabbat shalom.

jd clampett said...

Oops. I messed up the nomenclature. Substitute "Good Man" and "Good woman" for "Good Guy" and "Good Gal" in my posting.

come running said...


These are extremely important issues that you raise and I will add them to my description of a "Good Man".

Communication and support are key. I don't believe any marriage can survive without either of these.

Thank you for reminding me of them. I guess I should've outlined them rather than believe that my readers would understand implicity these characteristics are also necessary for any "Good Man".

Lubab No More said...

> he is a man and recognizes I'm a woman. I've probably alienated a few of you out there with that statement, but I believe there is a difference and I'm glad for it to be recognized.

Anyone who claims that there are no differences between men and women hasn't been married to a member of the opposite sex for any reasonable period of time. That, or they are just in denial.