Dear Men,

You don’t know this, but your relationships with women are in trouble. 

I know this because I am a woman. I hang out (online) with women from all over the world, every single day. And I can tell you that many women are deeply unhappy with the men in their lives. 

I first noticed this in a social media group that I was invited to shortly after the pandemic started. Made of only women, this group soon became a sacred place to post the truth. The truth about our feelings, needs, wants, and tragedies. The raunchiest of pure raunch, the best “that’s what she said” material. Throughout the pandemic – thanks to this group of women – I have felt seen and heard and uplifted. 

As the first month of the pandemic became the second month, and then the third month, and school was cancelled and we were strongly encouraged to isolate and work from home, I observed a theme regarding women and their relationships.

Men, you don’t know this, but your relationships with women are in trouble. Women are tired and, quite frankly, over your crap. 

These sentiments aren’t expressed only in this group, but other places on social media and in blog posts and articles and wherever else you can find women together online. 

The stress of the pandemic shines a spotlight on our weaknesses, especially in our relationships. Any tragedy or trauma will do it – a job loss, a death of a parent or child, moving homes or cities or states, a global pandemic that shuts everything down. If there’s a crack in your relationship, it is now obvious and can be easily seen. This crack is likely growing bigger by the day.

I’ve heard a wide range of stories, some of them quite shocking. Common stories involve men just like you not helping out. I know, this is probably a common theme in your daily life, but hear me out. Not helping with housework and kids and school and grocery shopping and cooking and the myriad of tasks that face us now that we are home and together, day in and day out.

But guess what? This is good news for you. M’dudes, this is your time to shine

I’ll get to that in a moment, because I want to review some of the more uncommon examples, just in case it applies to you. Just in case you don’t know that these are seriously dick moves. One woman told me how her husband ordered food delivered for him and got nothing for her. Didn’t even ask her if she wanted a meal. One woman told me that while she works, her husband plays video games all day instead of helping with, well, anything, and they have children at home trying to navigate online school. One woman posted about how her partner didn’t celebrate her birthday, not even one gift. 

Speaking of presents, many women have posted about having to buy their own Christmas gifts. This brings me to my point.

Men. Stop. If you behaved like this on a football team, you would have been cut long ago. If you played video games like this, you would be in last place. If you did your job like this, you would be fired. 

I say again, m’dudes, this is your time to shine. Let’s just talk about gifts you can give the women in your life. Your wife, sister, mother, daughter, and more. Because it’s time to stop doing the bare minimum or the literal least you can do. It’s time to step up and start giving women what they need and have probably been asking for during these last months of pandemic stress.

Here are some examples of gifts you can give to women. All of these are free and immediately accessible. 

  • Presence – Be present. In the moment, wherever you are. When you are present, you can see what your partner needs and respond, from hugs to conversation to rest to more.
  • Emotional Intelligence – Tune in to your own emotions, where you feel them in your body and what they are called and what they mean. Don’t know how to do that? Get into counseling. It’s like going to a doctor and getting viagra when your flag starts flying at half-mast. Therapy is relationship viagra. 
  • Follow Through – Do what you say you’re going to do. If you say you’re going to help the kids with school that day, do it. If you say you’re going to put the laundry in the dryer, do it. Literally hear your words and then do that thing you said you would do.
  • Consideration – Citing the example above, if you order food delivered, ask her if she would like anything. Pick up the crap you have laying around. Do some dishes. Ask her if she needs anything.

 

Most important for this time of year: 

  • Actual gifts – Christmas is coming up. Men, don’t make her fill her own stocking again. You have no excuse. Christmas is literally in your face, and this year has been so tough that people started putting up Christmas trees and lights on their houses as early as November 1st. You don’t even have to shop in an actual store, you can order everything online. If you don’t know what to get, look around (hint: no lotions or soaps or candles) and listen to what she talks about (see Be Present, above). 

 

Men, now you cannot say that you never knew, that it wasn’t obvious to you. Your partners need you. Like I said, this is your time to shine. Take advantage of it, or it will quite literally be your loss.

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