Dear Fellow Husband,

I’m right there with you, life is pretty damn tough. A rough day at the office, just yelled at the kids, someone left a scratch on my freakin’ car, my webinar just crashed with a couple hundred on it, and then there’s that debt that simply cannot be paid off.  Where’s the love?!? Ugh. I too, have a higher expectation of what life could or should be. I’m often disappointed with my level of performance at doing life right. No, I don’t need any help either, I’m the worse critic of myself.  God forbid, I let my wife or kids see that I’m weak. I work really hard at keeping up a facade that I have it all together.

Tomorrow will bring yet another disappointment and how do I respond? I run to the vices. They help me escape and numb the pain. Be it drinking, smoking, video games, online chat rooms, binge watching tv shows on Netflix, gambling online, porn, intentionally flirting with danger by (you can fill in the blank).  They seem comfort me in the moment, but then I get so disappointed with myself. Well, I guess I’ll have 2 more beers. 1184751_10201754025314733_204972035_n

We were created for connection because it gives life meaning. But I struggle with shame, afraid that if I’m really seen for who I am, I’ll be rejected. Growing up with ADHD, the common script was- you’re out of control, you’re not good enough to be in the classroom, you’re weird and you’re in the way. No wonder I grew up to be a pleaser. I want everyone to like me, so I build up this wonderful facade of being funny to mask the pain.

Guess what… I brought this right into my marriage.

I was terrified that if Meygan saw me for who I was, she would leave me. When she confronted me on an issue, I flat out denied it. I avoided any talk of me changing, because that meant that I was flawed. Rather than putting the hard work into our marriage, I resorted to simply being lazy. Yes, I’m admitting for the first time that I am lazy. I’m working 2.5 jobs and I’m lazy at the core of who I am.

If I’m meant for connecting with others around me, then why am I putting up so many barriers that allow for authentic connection? For me, I’m riddled with shame, that my identity is tied to how well I perform in life. Well I’m sick and tired of living this way. I’m tired of being paralyzed with fear. My new fear is to have lived my entire life wondering ‘what if’… whew, talk about a death bed disappointment.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”– Theodore Roosevelt
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I’m ready to get in the fight! Men, will you go with me? Are you ready to put on courage and be the first to say sorry, admit when you’re wrong, show love even when you can’t predict your wife’s response? Will you step up to the plate with me and take the leadership and initiative in an environment that you cannot control the outcome? Imagine what kind of a married life we could create for our wives if we lived this out. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. I’ll probably fail multiple times along the way.

I choose love. No, not love the emotion. It’s easy to love when it feels good.

I choose love the action. I am choosing vulnerability and risking it all to be seen for who I am. I’m ready to show myself some compassion, that I can give it more freely to others around me. I want to be perfect, but I’m not. There, now I can go admit that to Meygan. I make mistakes babe, will you be able to forgive me?

I want to dare greatly with love in my life and what better arena than marriage.

-Casey

 

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18 thoughts

    • mike

      I know you all too well. I face your words every day and yet no matter how hard I tried it seems I have failed. As I read your post I couldn’t help but weep, I want so bad to succeed at my marriage but find myself living alone in my shame, failed,broken, missing her smile. I am determined to grow and be the man my God and my Kerry Ann wants me to be.

  • Javi

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m glad to see you strong enough to admit your qualities are your faults. I’ve always believed ( solely based on what I saw) men may be flawed, usually are. But our job is to stay strong, stay devoted to what we believe. In other words become stubborn and stay that way. Like you just mentioned, it works but why am I living in a manner that doesn’t benefit me. Shouldn’t there be more ? There is. It’s hard to learn but harder to un-learn. How can I as a grown man who’s spent years training myself drop everything I’ve learned and become a new man. Discredit my time, strife, struggle to please another? Simple. Realize u just added an extra letter. U has become us. Which requires a new identity. It is our job as men to create that identity, but with our partners strengths and weaknesses taken into consideration. It’s OK to drop the “me” for a “we” becuz in the end we need each other. Me needs nobody and unless you wanna die alone. You can’t be alone.

  • Jeff

    Thanks for your honesty. You’re not alone. I can relate to so much of this, from the growing up with ADD to being a “pleaser” and even being funny to mask the pain. I’m thankful for my fiancé Jess who has been bold in sharing her weaknesses and mistakes. It’s made it so much easier to feel safe to share the areas where I fall short. I encourage wives to do the same for their husbands. It’s such a blessing.

  • Ryan

    Casey – Amen! Thanks for putting this out there and being bold and vulnerable. Strength is in weakness!! I am in this journey with you…

  • Manny

    Amen! And that pretty much summed me up. Terrified of my own flaws and escaping in the most possible wrong ways. Let’s get this journey started.

  • Brandon Burkett

    Thank you Casey. I HAD lost the trust of my wife over some mistakes I made, after deciding to save our marriage, we started following you two. All I can say is thank you. We are now almost 1 year since deciding to save us and we are doing wonderful. Thank you again.

    • Casey Caston

      wow Brandon, thanks for sharing. then it was all worth it!!! Think of the impact that your marriage will have on others around you.

  • Aaron

    More “we” less “me”…….I’m in. Growth is often uncomfortable but I refuse to stay in a place of complacency. I have to do better. Even if at first I’m not acknowledged for my efforts.

  • Stewart

    Thank you for sharing, Casey! My wife and I have been married 29 years, but have taken each other for granted for most of them. God opened my eyes 4 months ago, and I realized that we had lowered our standards of marriage so much, that we had not even noticed how terrible we were to each other! It’s easy to put kids before your spouse, and before you know it, you don’t even connect with your wife! So, men, put God first in your marriage! Second is your wife, kids come after her needs and the rest of life is after that! No exceptions, your wife’s needs come before yours, and you will see great rewards!

  • Jerome Roseborough

    “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown is awesome, you seem to be right in alignment with combating shame and vulnerability and of course, the great quote by President Roosevelt which is how the title of Dr. Brown’s book is derived from. Great article!!!!!

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