Dr. Wall laments the dearth of real men and ponders what a real man might be today. He explores the theory that if men were men, women wouldn’t have to be nags. A win-win.

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.

Proverbs 4:1

One of the problems with writing a blog is that I can only say one thing. Recently, I wrote (click here) how it is amazing that some women think they can convince their husbands to change by telling their husbands how bad they are and that these women get the complete opposite instead. A man’s ego is very fragile. If he’s reminded day in and day out that he’s a failure, he’s more likely to live up to those expectations. Why try? I’ve even had some broken men tell me they really love their wives, but their wives keep reminding them what a complete disappointment these guys are to them that the guys finally go file for divorce. She didn’t want a divorce. Neither did he! She just wanted him to change. He thinks,

I obviously make her miserable. She must need someone else. She keeps reminding me I don’t measure up. I just want her to be happy. I’ll release her of her obligation to me so she can pursue her own happiness.

She brings him to therapy. We chat. He will not be dissuaded. She pleads with him that she really does love him and need him. He says, then you’ve been lying to me all these years? You expect me to believe that? What a crock.

And there you go.

So if I make the point that: Wives: you don’t want to be a shrew or you’ll chase your husband away, at minimum, emotionally and, tragically, for some, literally, I don’t really have the time to write about the fact that there are too many men who just can’t figure out how to be men. A man who hasn’t figured out how to be a man makes a complete mess of being a husband and a father. He certainly can’t blame his wife. If she’s tempted to remind him that he’s a jerk (or worse) it is likely that the reason she’s so tempted is that is because he’s a jerk (or worse)!

Now guys, come on. Your job, as a man and husband and father is to be a man and a husband and a father. The number one criteria for those roles is that you are to be SELFLESS. You are put into the roles you are by God to set an example to those under your care. Woe to the wife whose husband is not respectable. Woe to the child who dispises his dad because his dad:

Is never home for whatever reason

Yells all the time

Never picks up after himself

Drinks himself to oblivion

Is always right

Reminds his wife that her opinion is nagging and that she’s being negative

Only bosses his kids around and never listens to them

Only criticizes his kids and never builds them up (here’s a great combo: she tells him daily what a failure he is; he tells his son regularly without fail what a failure he is! Okay. Now lets have a TV show about that and make it really funny. Ha Ha! Wow. We are having so much fun!)

Constantly uses the F word in front of the kids

Buys all this stupid crap on credit and never saves a dime

Spends all his time taking care of all his stupid crap instead of taking care of his family who would just like to know that maybe he matters to them

Spends the rest of his time playing a sport or a hobby and reminds his wife that this is who he is, thereby releasing himself from actually BEING a husband or a father OR a man. No, he’s just this continual 14-year old who obsesses on something (like hunting or racing or softball or touch football or _______), which just happens to mean that he’s completely disappeared and he believes everyone that depends on him is out of line if they protest at all. “This is who I am.” Which, of course, is a bunch of crap and a total excuse to abdicate any type of responsibility at all.

Women: Be forewarned: If he’s a selfish, self-absorbed prick before you marry him, he will probably be one after you marry him. Your cute little smile is NOT going to convince him to grow up. And then when you can’t smile any more out of sheer frustration, your frown and furled brow is not gonna change him either. Sorry. And please don’t expect him to be a respectable guy if he wants to live with you without marrying you. If he is willing to do that, then the list of other things that he is willing to do to disrespect you is just below the surface and it will only be a matter of time before it will come to the fore. Of course, if he is willing to live with you for nothing and you are so desperate that you will let him live with you for nothing, then you shouldn’t really complain latter when it turns out that all your worst fears come true! So look, if he asks you to move in with you….RUN as far away and as fast as you can. HE’s NOT A KEEPER.

MEN: If she will live with you for nothing, she is a desperate, unhappy woman and she will hound you to your dying day to make her happy. You have a nag-in-training here. NO! You do NOT want to live with her for nothing. Stop it already.

Hey, look at this. I’ve made more than one point in a blog!

Men: If you are still 14, it time to put away childish things. You want your son to look up to you? You want him to listen to you (see the verse at the start of this blog)? Be lookuptoable. You want your wife to stop nagging? Nagging proof yourself by actually being a man!! Sit down with her and ask her to explain to you without the hurt and animosity in her voice and just tell you, matter of fact, what the deal is. Take her advice. She’s not stupid. If she was you would never have married her. And if you don’t know, here’s a brief list of what a man and a husband and a father is:

He sticks to his promises.

He NEVER lives with a woman for nothing. He honors her by marrying her.

He NEVER gets his sexual needs met BY HIMSELF or with anyone or thing else save his wife.

If he drinks any alcohol it is NEVER to excess.

He studies and reads to learn and grow and be a better person.

He’s respectable.

He loves his own mother.

He honors his father.

His blood family is important to him.

He is dependable.

When he says he’s going to be home at a certain time, he is. If not, he calls.

He responsible, dependable. He goes to work on time.

He works hard.

He finds ways other than work to invest his gifts for the benefit of his family and humanity.

He honors his wife.

He adores his family and counts himself blessed.

He worships God humbly instead of himself proudly.

His humility before God gives him a servant spirit for his family.

He does not take himself too seriously. He can laugh at his own frailty

He listens.

He listens.

He listens.

He asks what he can do to help and then does it.

He initiates helping and just does it.

He doesn’t keep score if he’s doing more than his wife.

He teases, but never cruelly.

He laughs heartily.

He’s gentle.

He initiates hugs. His hugs are warm and big and bold.

He cuddles with his wife without making demands.

He reads and learns. He develops his gifts and abilities. He grows.

He has goals and aspirations. He shares them with his wife. The two of them tweak with the goals and aspirations. He treasures her input and admires her perspective.

He never disciplines in anger.

He cleans the garage and fixes the leaky toilet. He doesn’t need to be reminded to do these things. He notices that they need to be done and does them.

He finishes the projects he says he was going to finish.

He NEVER says anything negative about his wife to anyone else. If he has a concern, he discusses it with her.

He doesn’t bear grudges or nurse wounds.

He asks his wife out on dates and initiates much of their fun activities together.

When he’s in his 20’s and 30’s he seeks out a mentor; when he’s in his 40’s and beyond he becomes a mentor. but he still keeps learning and growing.

He courts his wife. He flirts with her.

He conveys to her that he needs her, but he’s not possessive.

His outside interests remain outside interests. They do not BECOME his life.

He gets up in the middle of the night with his crying child.

He does the dishes.

He plays with his kids on the family room floor.

He’s gracious around other women, but never forward or inappropriate.

He tells his wife if other women are forward or inappropriate with him.

He sets an example to his wife and the next generation.

His children look up to him. His wife admires him.

He’s admirable and lookuptoable.

His son listens to his advice because it is worth listening to.

A man like this will never be shaken. He’s a keeper. Wouldn’t it be nice to be such a man where nagging is completely unnecessary?


Dr. Bing Wall is a marriage therapist with a practice in Ames and Urbandale, Iowa.  To set up a time to see Dr. Wall click here or call 888-233-8473.  For more information about Dr. Wall click here.

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