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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The One Thing That Matters

My grandfather used to say “Here is the secret to relationships: remember the one thing that matters, respond accordingly and the relationship will be fine.”

In my humble opinion, this may be one of the most valuable entries that you will read on this site. Why you ask? Because it has the potential to provide the secret to success in relationships with the men and women that you come in contact with. I can say with confidence, that in my life, this truth has helped me better understand the chasm that divides males and females; it has been the voice of conscience when I have faced daily interactions that challenge my patience, understanding and character. The “one thing that matters” is as complex as it is simple because it requires self-control to put a solution in to action…and self, as we all know, can be the hardest person to control, when it really matters.

For women, the “one thing” that they need to understand about men is that men desire to be respected. My grandfather would say it is because men are created with an ego, whatever the reason, it’s true. No man wants to be considered a failure; they want to be seen as “wearing the pants” whether it is in a relationship, a career or simply driving a car (without asking directions). It doesn’t matter if it is a challenge from a woman or another man, disrespecting a man tends to consistently produce animosity and eventually could lead to a display that will demand that respect he feels that he deserves. An elderly wife of a 37 year marriage said it to me this way when I asked her to share the secret to their resilient marriage. She simply said “I know that I run things, but make sure that he thinks that he does.”

For men, the “one thing” that they must understand about women is that every woman wants security. Whether it’s emotionally, financially, physically and any other aspect of life, they want to know that things will be ok and have some sense of control. Now I don’t claim to have unraveled the mystery of the feminine mind by no means, but I can say with certainty that in my experience a secure woman is a happier and a more peaceful woman. If you are a man, try this next time you can’t figure out what is “wrong with her”, simply ask yourself, does she feel secure right now?

When you think about it, this is not new news, why do you think advertisers gear their commercials towards a woman’s security (her youthful looks, time/money savings, etc.) and a man’s ego (sex, masculinity, etc.)? I know that this entry has merely touched on the potential enormity of this discussion, but what’s important is that we take a moment to remember the “one thing” that matters and do what we can to use this knowledge to strengthen our relationships. If you do, you can proactively diffuse potential issues before they create a cycle where insecurities are responded to with disrespect and disrespect leads to actions that challenge securities. Be Blessed.

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