Real Relationship Advice
As a woman I can’t imagine what my husband thought when I pushed a human being out of my body. I can’t imagine what he thought when I went through a physical transformation from wife to Mom. The throwing up, the discomfort, the pain were all witnessed by him. And, after pushing for 3 hours, turning around, asking for a shower and settling down to nursing and caring for our child. Sure, he didn’t sleep well for a few days but he also was not trying to operate on no sleep and stitches in his taint. So I wonder, what was he thinking when I brought forth his child from my body?
The miracle of pregnancy and birth is not lost on society. ‘How do you trust something that bleeds for several days without dying?’ is a stupid joke that has been told for a long time but every joke has a kernel of truth. Even when we understand the biological process of menstruation, there is something quite miraculous about it. We can reduce the monthly visitor to an internal cleansing but sub-consciously we understand that this process is meant to maintain the ability to bring forth life from our wombs.
Bleeding can be a scary thing and even more so for men. When they see or hear of a woman’s cycle they tend to cringe. Men are fixers by nature so seeing something that is perceived is broken and not being able to fix it is disconcerting. Men are born with a metaphorical tool box and to them everything is a nail and they have a hammer. Women are planners. We are born with a metaphorical date book. We are so good at it that we start planning a family nearly a decade before we even consider doing it! Menstruation, albeit uncomfortable, inconvenient and messy, is a means to an end that men cannot see.
A man’s reaction to a spontaneous miscarriage or induced abortion is similar. A man is helpless in the matter. He cannot hold a fetus in with duct tape and he can’t control the choice of the mother. Men do not like the feeling of helplessness so it usually evolves into anger. Anger motivates the man to control his environment and thus controlling the reproductive rights of a woman becomes a self proclaimed right of the formerly helpless man. He is even asserting his right over God’s will by blaming a mother for a miscarriage!
Ultimately, a man sees the creative ability of a woman as a helpless bystander. Sure, he can bring us our Hostess pies or take us for tacos (for the millionth time) but he can’t carry the load. He can’t control the viability of the fetus. He can’t ease the pain of labor or facilitate a one-push birth. He tries to control as much as he can. He tries to make laws about birth control, abortion and even makes the presence of the father a normal scene in a hospital delivery room but he can’t make a baby. He can’t control everything …so he controls us. The power of creation is ours and men get to watch on the sidelines. That is a hard pill to swallow for a fixer.
Maybe this is easier to understand: Women are like Superman with these inherent super powers. Men are like Lex Luther with no special powers just the ability to make life difficult for Superman. See? It is power envy and it will take a whole lot of work to make that helplessness go away.