I made a god of men…
In general when the topic of being a wife to a husband emerges, the words “submit” “head” and “king” usually float around in there somewhere. The words are different and the cocktail of uses vary but they all give the same message: He [your husband] is God. He is more important than you. Live for his approval. Do what he says.
In the course of one of our conversations my own husband advised me to seriously evaluate my relationship with my father and how it affects my relationship with him. At first i was hesitant abd quite frankly, a little offended. “Excuse me? I don’t have ‘daddy issues'”.
After I calmed down and got over myself I thought about it and I cried. I allowed myself to be honest and I allowed myself to be hurt and mad at him –all things I had never done.
“You abandoned me.”
“Why didn’t my existence make you want to stay?”
“Why couldn’t you just love my mother?”
“What good reasons did you have?”
And even “how dare you be dead and not answer me???”
I’m pretty much left with a gap with a question mark in it when it comes to what a father and husband does.
After a couple more days and a more sober, less emotional evaluation of myself, I’ve further come to realize that all this time I’ve been filling that “gap” with men I’ve been in relationships with. Doing everything with them in mind. Seeking their approval even over my own fulfillment.
My husband has been no exception: His dreams, his goals, his thoughts, his feelings, his opinions–just going overboard in my quest to be a “good wife”. But I didn’t know what that meant because I had never actually known one.
And then the kids came…and I even began to love and handle them through him. If he wasn’t happy with me I found it hard to be happy with them. If he wasn’t there or helping the way I thought he should, taking care of them was a chore, or an extremely anxious situation that threw me into panic attacks.
I have been a mess.
I have been searching…but I now realize I’ve been at a loss because I missed a step. The security I now realize I should have gotten from my father in word and deed to me, and in the example I should have gotten from the way he should have loved my mother was lost. So I have been searching in every man I ever loved or thought I loved. I have made them my father and validated my worth through what they’ve thought of me.
And no matter how beautiful or talented or “worthy” I preach myself up to be, that initial insecurity makes confidence extremely fragile.
So I don’t know that I have all the answers now, but I have an understanding, I feel. Fathers love on your daughters in whatever way you’d feel her man should love on her…and love her mama, deeply. She needs to see that and to know what it’s like so she can understand herself and know how to demand, recognize, accept and appreciate love…and give her mama some hope to give her. And us little girls out here searching… Give us something to hold on to.