My Tribute to Fatherhood

It’s easy for me to write a tribute to motherhood, because I feel blessed to be both a daughter and mother and have strong relationships with both. A tribute to fatherhood feels more mental rather than heartfelt, perhaps because of my hot/cold relationships with men who have been fathers and husbands in my life. I believe fatherhood gets second billing over mothers, because most mothers pick up the slack when fathers falter, but the reverse is not as common. This phenomenon has been true in my life.

My parents divorced when I was six, and my father chose to disappear, so my mother became both mom and dad. When I was 12, my mother entered into a long-term relationship with a man whom I lovingly called my step-dad. I married at 30, and we had a daughter together. Our relationship was tumultuous from the beginning and I filed for divorce after 15 years.  After dating for 5 years, I married my current husband who is truly a “mini-me”.  You could say the second time around in my relationships with fathers and husbands was much sweeter, and I ended well after a rough start.

My step-dad passed several years ago, and believe it or not, my now husband found my biological father, whom I decide to meet just a few short months ago. We flew up to Boston to have dinner with him and his girlfriend of 35 years. My bio father was not interested in visiting the past, asking for forgiveness, or making amends. He only wanted to focus on the future—a future where I would personally have to take the initiative.

My first husband suffered from personal demons that made it difficult for him to trust women and that’s just the start on the underlying issues that plagued my marriage. I believe that we all have to live with the suffering of our poor choices, but it pains me to know that my choice in a husband was also a decision on the father that I was going to give my daughter. Needless to say, my daughter doesn’t have a fairytale relationship with her father but that would be her story to tell.

My story continues to be written with my second husband who is the partner God brought into my life.  Not only does he represent what it means to be a husband but also a father. He loves me and my daughter, and although my daughter was 17 when she met him, he is like the step-dad to her that I had. She indeed sees how a man is to treat a woman.

I feel blessed to have my Darin as both a husband and a father to my daughter. Fathers serve an important role in their children’s lives at any age.  They show daughters how a man should treat them, show boys what it means to be a man, and models to both what a healthy and loving marriage looks like. Here’s to all the great fathers who take their roles seriously, and a special tribute to those men who voluntarily step into the role of father when they see a gap that needs to be filled. Happy Father’s Day to the men who sacrifice every day of the year for their families. Your gift of fatherhood is immeasurable.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and premarital/marriage coaching.  She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves.  You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossingsministry.com.

Why Some Wives Dominate and Their Husbands Submit


(Part 2 of a 2-Part Series)


Happy-Married-Couple


Relationships are complicated, and marriages can feel like a mystery that’s difficult to solve. Both husbands and wives can behave in ways that unintentionally undermine their marriages. The first part of this series examined what wives needed from their husbands, why husbands fail to lead, and why then wives take on the primary leadership role. This second part explores why women pick submissive men and why certain men choose dominant women.

Why Some Women Pick Passive Husbands

In some cases, women have a dominant personality that is reflected in all her relationships including her marriage. Picking a submissive husband allows a wife to continue acting comfortably on her natural tendencies. Unfortunately, what at first appears as a mutually agreed upon distribution of control ends up with the women disrespecting her man, because a wife has difficulty respecting a husband whom she can control.

A women’s dominate nature within the marriage can also be modeled from childhood. A wife, whose mother wore “the pants” in the family, at least subtly internalized that the wife leads the family. As is more frequent during these times of divorce, a girl who was raised in a single working mom home is likely conditioned to be the head of household and bring those expectations into her own marriage.

Some women have a fear of being controlled. If a wife experienced trauma or abuse as a child and makes a vow to never be in that type of relationship, she is likely to pick a passive husband whom she can control.  Her fear of being controlled manifests in her being the controller.

Why Men Sometimes Pick Dominant Women

In my premarital and marriage coaching practice, I encounter couples where the husband’s passivity in the relationship causes stress with his wife. Just as with dominant wives, passive men may have this personality preference or the behaviors could have been mis-modeled by his parents.

However, one of the more common reasons why men fail to lead in their marriages is because they don’t know how to as they haven’t practiced it. Their parents over-nurtured, and these sons are just continuing these submissive behaviors into their marriages. In some ways, these men were dominated by his parents—not allowed to grow in their responsibility and express themselves without parental influence. Submissive men were likely not allowed to make decisions and live with their consequences, because they were rescued when outcomes were not favorable.

When boys have reached adulthood without adequate leadership training and experience, they naturally gravitate toward living out childhood behaviors as opposed to taking on adult roles. These non-leadership behaviors are more comfortable.

Change Your Marriage by Meeting Your Husband’s Needs

If you’re a dominant wife married to a passive husband, you can change the dynamics of your marriage. Your marriage is under your control. Evans (2012) suggests that wives allow their husbands to fail. Failure is part of the learning process. In response, pray for him and treat him better than he deserves. Praise him for trying. A husband will rise to a women’s level of praise and honor.

As leadership is rebalanced within the marriage, husbands and wives can then focus on meeting each other’s primary marriage needs. Most men have a need for sex and recreational companionship. They want to be buddies with their wife. On the other hand, wives value affection and intimate conversation from their husband. Both spouses need to strive in meeting each other’s needs to create a purposeful and spiritually led marriage.

Reference

Evans, J. (2012) Marriage on the Rock: God’s Design for Your Dream Marriage. Dallas, TX: MarriageToday


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and premarital/marriage coaching. She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves.  You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossingsministry.com.