I am one. All you guys are too. Just admit it so we can move on. So, what do I mean by calling an entire gender, half the human race knuckleheads? Apparently, as men, we are only willing to consider change after facing trauma. Until something earth shattering threatens everything that matters to us, we will not for a moment consider we might be wrong. Prove it? Ok.
I married the perfect woman. She was everything I ever wanted and so much more than I ever dreamed I could have. Beautiful, witty, fun, always positive, always looking for the best in everyone, resilient to stress and quick to forgive. Gradually, over 20 years, I became an ogre. Not appreciating what I had. Blind to how blessed I was. Never satisfied, always complaining. I drove her away. She had all she could take. I had no idea that it was possible for me to be the bad guy. But I was. I was content to wander on just like I was until she informed me enough was enough. She couldn't live with me, she didn't love me or like me. We were not friends anymore and she didn't want to be. All she wanted was to not be married to me. Yes, she told me all that. Well.... I guess I had to do something.
Why didn't I see it sooner? Why did I let myself become a monster? Why couldn't I see what I was doing to my wife? Why did I wait until it was too late to change? No idea. Men are just knuckleheads.
Joel and Kathy ( BestMarriage.com ) suggested a book for me. Good husband, great marriage by Robert Mark Alter. Great book. Possibly my favorite book on marriage. It opened my eyes to so many things in our marriage that could be better. It showed me the game plan to make me a better man. Joel and Kathy also had me read their books, Man of Her Dreams, Woman of His. Awesome. They fixed the worst of the ugly in me and helped me understand my wife. We are doing good now, still married and making progress. But, the last 3 years were incredibly painful.
So why are we knuckleheads? Well. My closest friends know most of the story. They watched us struggle for 2 years. They knew I was sleeping in my basement for a year. They knew I was in so much pain at the thought of losing my family I couldn't eat. I lost 20 pounds in a month after getting the news. My friends watched me break down and cry in public. Some of them saw me collapse. Some saw me cry to the point of nosebleeds. Yeah. That bad. But when I try to talk to them about what it took to survive, the are kinda interested. When I invest in them and ship these books to them, they don't read them. They are going to wait for the trauma before considering change. I don't want anyone to hurt like we have. I guess it's like the line in the matrix... "No one can be told what the matrix is, you have to see it for yourself."
Humble yourself guys. Consider that, just maybe, you don't know everything. Let someone teach you something. Learn to listen. Everything can be better. Push to make your family awesome. Make them your priority. Love your wife the way she needs to be loved. Quit being a knucklehead.