confession: I watch the Bachelorette. and enjoy it.
after tonight's episode ABC held an interview with Jake (the most recent Bachelor) and Vienna, the woman he proposed to at the end of the season. they are in a tabloid war and are tossing accusations back in forth in a crazy he said she said whirlwind.
Girls, I suggest you find the interview when it's put online and watch/listen carefully. Regardless of what really happened between Jake and Vienna, the way they handled conflict was to me SO telling of the differences between men and women.
During the interview Vienna complained that Jake was not as loving, compassionate, friendly or touchy-feely as he was when they were first engaged. She said the man she fell in love with was all of those things. She said she enjoyed being around him, but now he is distant and she is lonely and has to beg for kisses. Jake responded by saying he fell in love with Vienna because she was supportive, fun to be around, smart. He felt challenged by her (in a good way). Now he says she is disrespectful, undermining, selfish. She plays games with him/tests him.
LISTEN UP. Women want to be romanced (in some way shape or form- hopefully she can communicate her needs and wants). We want to be pursued. We don't want to have to beg for kisses. Yet, as Jake pointed out, how can a man give a woman those things when he is feeling so disrespected by her? Men want respect! It's in the Bible-- God commands men to love their wives and commands women to respect their husbands. That is intentional. He doesn't command women to love (in that verse), or men to respect. Someone at church said "a woman can love an enemy, but she can't respect him/her. A man can respect an enemy, but cannot love him/her." Think on that!
It is so easy for women to disrespect the man she loves when she is not feeling loved, and for men to not show love to their wives because they are not being respected.
Vienna interrupted Jake constantly during the interview, even when he pointed out to her that interrupting made him feel disrespected. She continued to interrupt and when he blew a fuse and raised his voice, she burst into tears and said "see what I have to put up with?"
Sadly, that part of the interview hit waaay too close to home for me. I used to think to myself "is this really what I have to put up with?" I never thought back then that Andy was probably thinking the same thing! I used to be over-emotional, which only confuses and frustrates men. I used to think I was always right. I would pray that Andy would change because if he didn't, how would I go on living and loving him? It's almost laughable now. Almost. See, now I am able to recognize that I do things that hurt Andy too. I am wrong (most of the time). I can display my emotions and express my disappointment through carefully worded sentences instead of tearfests. I pray for changes to occur in me instead of Andy (and when I do pray for him I try to do it unselfishly).
maybe Vienna cheated. maybe Jake is a fame whore. regardless, their relationship was made up of a woman who needed love and a man who needed respect.
If you're reading this and thinking how can a woman show a man respect if he is not loving her? then you are asking a question I have asked myself. What I discovered was I had to focus on the large percentage of what I love and adore about Andy rather than the small percentage of what I don't.
If you were a man, what would you hope for in a partner? Are you giving those things to your man? Does he know what you need from him? Here's a conversation starter:
ask your man: what gives you confidence in our relationship? how can I better respect you? what is something I could change right now to make our relationship better for you?
have him ask you the same questions but replace the word "respect" with the word "love."