Good morning, Gentlemen, please have a seat—this will take a few minutes. I’ve asked you here to explain something that is long overdue and could possibly be the most important advice you’ve received since your father told you to always carry a condom in your wallet just in case.
It’s about your woman, your wife, your girlfriend, the mother of your children, any woman involved in your life to the extent that she knows your trials and struggles and provides you emotional support. Yes, her; not you. So, this might be a good time for the first insight. You are not the center of the universe. She may make you feel as though you are—we’re good at that. It’s how we care for you, build you up and make you feel worthy and important. But it’s not true. Deal with it.
You see, we have created a protective bubble for you to fend off most of the realities of the world. We have wrapped you in our softness to protect you from the harshness of ever realizing that the world can be a cruel place that does not care one iota about your fragile ego. But we do. We devote a considerable amount of time and energy caring for it, making sure it is never bruised, and when perchance it is, we patch it up with compliments and accolades so you can carry on.
We’ve not only accepted this role, we are genetically programmed for it. For centuries, perhaps since the beginning of time, women have adopted the role by instinct or conditioning, thinking it was our place, our mission, and our purpose. We’ve served as the support team, running behind the marathoner, making sure you are hydrated, well fed, cheered on, and fortified to compete out there in your professional life, your career, or whatever you endeavor, because we have chosen you and we need and want you to be successful. We know your success is key to your emotional well-being and in turn our happiness. You see, we are attached to you. Yes, we are independent, liberated, and emotionally mature women, but we have attached our lives to yours. By virtue of our relationship, we are tangled up in you and must keep us both moving forward and safe or suffer the consequences.
For the most part, you don’t even notice as we subtly and silently go about the business of supporting you. You take for granted the cheerful greeting, the warm embrace, the soft chest on which to lay your head at the end of a trying day, those very special moments that always seem to be there for you. You don’t recognize the conversation that we hold with you always ends with you feeling better about what you must face, feeling confident and capable to handle the situation and knowing how to navigate your emotions around any situation. That’s not a coincidence. We are doing your emotional work, or at the very least guiding you through it. We are constantly reminding you to stay present, acknowledge what is happening within you, and express yourself as openly as you can so you are not only emotionally available to us, but also more dynamic and successful in the world in general.
We do this out of love. We want you to succeed, accomplish, thrive. We care that you are happy and fulfilled. We love you. But here’s the thing, guys: that love makes us vulnerable. We expend lots of energy and emotional equity doing all this for you and for us. And we risk running on empty, depleting our stores. You see, what happens to us happens to us and what happens to you also happens to us. We feel for you in a very empathic, emotional way, and it affects us deeply. We worry and we grieve. We take on your troubles and are spun out of our orbit when something catastrophic occurs. But most times we push through as we must, and it is the aftermath that is our undoing.
The emotional fallout of holding us together goes on beyond the event, way past the time when you have moved on. It can be a few hours, days, or longer, requiring adequate space and conscious effort for us to recharge. Pay attention to us. When we run out of life, when our light grows dim, we need you. Your kind words and tender touch will revive us and help us recover. Say thank you, say you’re sorry, hold us close, take a walk with us at sunset, share an ice cream, draw a hot bath, and just be attentive. It will bring us back to our powerful selves and your efforts will be rewarded exponentially.