by Gladys Diaz
The other day I shared with you one of “The 3 P’s” most important to a man: Providing for the woman he loves.
Today I’d like to focus on the second “P”: Protecting the woman he loves.
It may seem a little old-fashioned to think that a man feels that he needs to “protect” the woman he loves. After all, we women have become very independent and self-sufficient, and we can take care of ourselves – physically, emotionally, and financially.
However, when you think back to the beginning of time, men were the providers and protectors. If they didn’t protect the tribe, people died. It was just that simple.
That need to feel like he’s capable of protecting you from harm is inherent in a man. When he has the experience that he’s not able to prevent something bad from happening to you, he may very well react with what appears to be anger. And, in the moment, it may seem like that anger is directed at you.
I remember one day I was sharing with my husband about a business deal. I had shared an idea and made a verbal agreement with someone about a program that we were going to partner together to create and launch. Eventually, it turned out that the person went ahead with the idea without me and offered me a role in the project, but not a full partnership. I, of course, was disappointed and hurt, and shared these feelings with my husband. I shared that I still wanted to be part of the project, because I believed in it, but I was very hurt that I had been informed about the change in plans after the fact.
All of a sudden, I felt like I was being “attacked.” Instead of comforting and encouraging me, he began yelling and telling me that I would be a fool to continue working with this person who obviously took an idea we had brainstormed together and ran with it on her own, without discussing anything with me. He kept getting louder and angrier, and I was completely confused and felt as if he was rubbing salt in my wounds.
Rather than say something I would regret, I went upstairs and laid in my chaise lounge chair, crying. On top of being hurt, I was angry! Why was he taking this out on me?
Then I asked myself a question that has helped me to move from anger to understanding in the past.
What would have him say something like that to me?
See, my husband loves me, and I know that he wants to protect me from harm, not cause me harm. As soon as I asked myself that question (What would have him say something like that to me?”), I was able to see it as clear as day: He was trying to protect me!
See, in my husband’s eyes, someone had let me down, hurt me, cost me what could have been a great financial opportunity, and left me out of a partnership I had been so excited about being a part of.
However, worse than all of that, there was nothing he could do to prevent or “fix” it for me.
He felt helpless because he didn’t and couldn’t protect me!
After I moved from anger to compassion, I then moved into a space of gratitude!
I was so grateful that my husband was so loving and protective – even if he didn’t express it the way I would express it.
I walked downstairs, stood behind the couch he was sitting on, leaned down, and whispered in his ear, “I get it. You’re upset because you want to protect me from being hurt or taken advantage of. Thank you for your love.”
He turned around and looked me in the eye. I don’t know if it was shock and awe at the fact that I’d figured it out, or just plain and simple relief that I got what he’d been trying to express, but I’ll never forget the look in his eyes. He just said, “I am upset. I love you and don’t like seeing you sad or hurt.”
I walked around the couch, sat next to him, and nuzzled my nose into the crook of his neck and cried a little bit more.
Nothing had been resolved, but I felt loved, protected and at peace, no matter what ended up happening with the business project! I had my hero next to me, and, right then and there, that was all that really mattered!
Think about it:
Has there been a time when you felt like your husband or boyfriend wasn’t being supportive of your dream or idea?
Consider that he wants more than anything to see you realize your dream and be happy, and is afraid you’ll be disappointed if your idea fails. And, because there’s nothing he can do to stop that from happening, he tries to discourage you from getting your hopes too high.
Has there been a time when he’s gotten angry at you for being friends with or associating with someone who has hurt or disappointed you in the past?
Consider that he hates seeing you sad and upset, so he gets angry, and directs that anger at you, because he’s afraid you’ll get hurt and disappointed again. And, because there isn’t much he can do to prevent that from happening, he tries pointing out how foolish it is to trust someone who was capable of hurting or lying to you in the first place.
Regardless of what your specific situation is, if you can try to listen for the love behind the words of anger, it’s very possible that you will also hear his his desire to keep you safe.
While you may not understand his approach, if you can listen for and hear his love and concern and his desire to protect you, you, too, will be able to move from upset, to compassion, to gratitude that you have a man at your side who wants nothing more than to be your hero!
Questions? Comments? Let us know below! We love hearing from you!