What is a real man?
A good friend once confided that, last year, he discovered his wife to have an affair with another man. While stories of infidelity among women no longer surprise me as I have a few friends who, once or twice, I know to have cheated on their husbands, this one affected me quite profoundly.
This friend of mine would not fall under your definition of the typical "hunk" or "macho" or "ideal" guy who drives a sports car, adheres to the latest trend in fashion such as a fine Italian suit or a Louis Vuitton pair of shoes, wears a Rolex or a Panerai, flanked by an entourage of "macho" friends who take pride in their "conquests," plays golf or joins gun clubs. My good friend wears loose shirts tucked high up into faded pants and carries a huge backpack bearing his Macbook Pro and nerdy books, works from home or anywhere, and shuns the corporate world.
While I do not blame the wife for some of her frustrations (he, too, had flings in the past and he was a flirt; he got his now wife pregnant while he was still in love with another woman; he decided to marry her only a few years after she gave birth and the child was already of the age of discernment), the idea of her being with another man was unheard of for me.
Over the years that they have been together, I have seen my friend mature and decide with certainty that he will spend the rest of his life with her.
In the end, the affair ended (or was nipped in the bud), and they are still together. I am happy for them.
But this revelation has got me into a deep contemplation of my definition of a real man, and this is the answer:
You do not find a real man simply in someone who makes you laugh, who can effortlessly gather a horde of admirers and drooling fans with his charisma, including you, who comes bearing precious gifts, and who wines and dines you at high end places. Just because he can sustain a very interesting conversation with your friends or family members and someone you want to show off to the world, it doesn't necessarily follow that he is a real man. You do not find a real man in someone who sweeps you off your feet with his muscular arms, yet you need to spend extra money on sexy underwear, botox and lipo, an extra hour on makeup and choosing outfits that will make you look good whenever you go out in public (because, admit it, you do not want to be outshone and you think you are the envy of other girls when you have your arm tucked under his).
If you confine your definition of an ideal to only these traits, you are defining a trophy. Trophies are simply things that we hang up, admire for a while and then forget about as we go on with our busy lives.
A real man could all of these but, more importantly, he is someone who is not perfect, who may dress up in the most tacky way, someone you may not want to bring to parties and gatherings because he does not speak your corporate parlance. He may have hurt you in the past, he may have gone through a stage of confusion and indecision, but he has grown into the comfort zone that you have created for the both of you. He tells you when your choice of an outfit looks bad on you, he tells you when your makeup is too much or that it's too little because he wants you to look precious at your corporate events that you go to all by yourself - you are his priceless possession even as you have gained a lot of weight. He has learned to empathize with your feelings because, truth be told, he may not be flying high like those boys, yet you know that he is innately smart and can provide a good listening ear and sound advice when it comes to your career decisions and frustrations at work. He may or may not have a high paying job or may not be a business tycoon, but for strong, career women, a real man has learned to be comfortable in his place in your world with no complaints. mature wedding dresses
A real man does not have to wear your wedding ring all the time. I know too many married men wearing those rings yet they prey on single or married women - heck, even pursue them - with the ubiquitous ring as a caveat: enter at your own peril. Yet some girls still go for these losers.
A real man doesn't try to act attractive to other women. He treats them as they are - friends or business associates. He introduces his female friends to you and ensures that you cannot, and should not, be jealous of them. A real man is a true friend, yours included.
A real man does not talk about his problems about his wife and you are too gullible to believe it. And then you talk about your own problems with your husband and then you fuel each other's frustrations and therefore conclude that you are more compatible with each other. That, to me, is someone who is suffering from middle age crisis.
Once you have found - or transformed - a real man, do not let him go. For his past mistakes, pray for the grace of forgiveness and acceptance. He may not have been head over heels with you in the beginning, but the tables have turned. So, do not serve him on a silver platter to other women. Do not let them reap what you have painstakingly sown.
Dedicated to my dear friend E (everything is a blessing in disguise. Now you know your capacity for forgiveness and for accepting that moment of her weakness and still choosing to stay. Now you are fighting less and are in a stronger marriage than ever. Indeed, for better or for worse. God bless you both.)