“Women replace their father and men replace their mother in marriage. I did not mean literal 2.0 versions you twits.When I said a man replaces his mother with a woman I meant her love, her kindness, her support and loyalty not an actual mother.When I say a woman replaces her father with a man I meant him providing protecting and caring for her. Not an authoritative father” – Shawn Swift
I saw this conversation this morning as I scrolled my timeline on Twitter. Apparently the original issue was that women mold and make men, not always for his benefit, but for her own.
Mr.Swift asserted that some women feel a sense of entitlement to love as well as the mans success after setting him on the path to achieve it, yet, however, the outcome rarely matches the expectations in that those men may not reach their potential or if they do, they don’t always bring the woman along with them.
Admittedly, I have a number of my peers that have fallen into the trap of “fixing” and helping men, myself included. I remember being 16 and thinking that’s what itmeant to be a woman: standing by your man and helping where he falls short. That seemed to be the right and noble thing to do, it’s what you do when you’re a “good girl”, it’s what you do when you love someone.
When my significant other hit a rough patch months back my first instinct was “how do I fix it”. I immersed myself in research on the issue trying to understand his problem and find a solution and even saught advice from friends who had more experience than me in relationship and life itself.
When I asked my friend, I’ll call her Britney, her advice was :
And while I LOVE my friend I can’t help but feel some her advice stems from her negative experiences with men, some of which included being exploited and used by her ex… resulting in the loss of her credit, car, and pride.
When I asked my cousin Nnamdi, he said:
In the end I settled on a happy median between “totally abandoning him” and “do nothing” and although I’m sure he appreciated my suggestions what really seemed to help was me simply listening and cheering him on( go cousin Nnamdi). Knowing I was on his side was more helpful than any suggestion, idea, or “help” I could offer beyond my presence.It was entirely new for my ideas to be dismissed like that but it afforded me a unique opportunity: I got to watch my man work.
From failure you gain knowledge. The only way that man will ever be a man is to fail and learn from it. Failure makes you uncomfortable, you don’t change or learn when you’re winning ’cause you’re winning – you’re good. But when you fail it makes you reevaluate. It makes you have to fight.
It is truly impressive watching a man pick himself up and do better, WITHOUT your help and it was in this time that I think I fell for him the hardest.
Seeing your man fail hurts. It’s in our nature to want to protect and preserve what we hold most dear and innately that “mothering” instinct kicks in and we want to fix the problem as quickly and painlessly as we can, either because its simply too hard to watch you hurt or because we feel a sense of obligation ( with the hope of reward ).
When I was young and more stupid than I am now I was head over heels for a guy who wanted to become a musician – my teens years were spent with men who thought they could carry a tune, don’t judge me. At this time I had a few contacts so I knew a guy who knew a guy who could do something for a young artist. Being the perfectly stupid wifey I was passed my “boyfriends” mixtape along…what I perceived as a simple gesture began a slippery slope: help him with the car, help him help his friend, help him with this help him with that blah blah blah bullshit. Lucky, my age at that time didn’t afford me the ability to do much beyond just texting a mixtape link otherwise, who knows how far the exploitation could have went. But in retrospect I am baffled at how comfortable he felt falling on me even before exhausting his resources simply because I had helped him before.
That was a weak man and needless to say he is still making beats in some bathroom in Houston so I won in the end and walked away with a good lesson in “helping” men, namely “DONT DO IT BIHHHH”.
My experiences set me on the same course as my friend Britney( out friendship was forged in the hurt bitch fires of twitter if I’m being honest) When things got tough for a man – I’d dip,pop back up when he was on his feet again or find someone who wasn’t laying face first in shit
I find it quite humorous that women will date a man solely off the idea of what she thinks he will be, [with] no hard evidence of it.
Imagine: A woman meets man. A troubled man, lies cheats maybe violent. But one day he shows a better side, caring altruistic humble…The second you show a woman the side she likes, she clings to it. Now she gonna try to change you into that man she saw briefly or die trying.
While smoking hookah with a friend, Alex, we bonded over how crappy men are, she said:
“I feel like I’m always the girl that sets him up for the right girl. Like he has to learn and mess up with me then he meets someone hes great for…after everything that we go through, that I did, none of that matters in the end”
Women sell themselves dreams in terms of men. So much of ourselves gets tied into creating the man we want out of whomever we’ve encountered at that time we fail to realize that man many not deserve our devotion…and that we should not have to exert so much of our energy to bring out the good in someone. Being in a relationship means sitting through the tough times… and resisting the urge to adopt your boyfriend as your son. In lie of demonizing men: they will use you, they will exploit you, they will take advantage – because that’s human nature. There’s men I’ve used for my personal gain, may it be momentary satisfaction or a long term progress, with or without malicious intent. Even among my friends, I only keep those I can use for something purposeful. But being “useful” does not equate to being loved.
I’m not saying to stop helping men, or to never offer a lending hand, although I love to advocate for the Useration of the Male Nation , that’s not love either. There should be a visible display of effort on his part before any life vests are cast on yours. I’ll go as far as to say asking for your help should be the option right after “selling a kidney” on the list of last resorts.
Swift closed his lecture stating that he never wants to be a “man made by a woman” and as gruff as it may sound, that’s how most men think. There’s no shame in saying you failed or asking for help but there’s pride in saying he got there on his own AND was able to care for his woman too.