It seems that as men, one of the hardest things for us to overcome is our own selfishness. I have some theories as to why we are so selfish by nature but they are in fact theories and nothing more. As men, we are by definition, grown up little boys. As little boys and young men, everyone gets to tell us what to do. Our parents, our teachers, our bosses and many other authority figures.
As we become adults, our first opportunities to exercise our independence is to be able to do some of the things we want to do. As we gain additional freedom, we do more and more of what we choose. But time passes and we begin to take on responsibilities that limit how much of the time we can spend doing those things we want to do.
For many of us, as we get married, have kids, start careers, and take on all the responsibilities of adulthood, we can become overwhelmed. This brings back those same feelings we had as children and draws us back towards our selfish nature. This selfishness is our way to exert some control.
Unfortunately, there are very few places in our new lives that will allow us any real opportunities to coddle our selfish nature. Our careers are typically somewhat controlled by other parties. And our kids are so dependant on us that we have little say but to keep up our responsibility to them lest we be classified a bad parent.
But not so our relationship with our wife. Not only is this the easiest relationship to let slide, we often will find our wives doing the same thing giving us unspoken justification. Additionally, we can always count on our buddies to support us in our decisions to go out for a beer after work, catch a couple of games on the tube, and play a round or two of golf. All in the same week.
That being said, this is obviously the area we have to be most aware of. Again, I want to make it really clear, it is not required that you abstain from all personal activities and time with your friends. It is only required that you balance your life and keep your priorities straight.
One of the best opportunities to show your wife how much you love her is to cancel something you have planned for the benefit of doing something that is important to her. I suggest you do this right after she tell you she wants to do something, and you tell her you forgot to mention some plans you had made. Before she has the opportunity to question you about why you failed to mention these plans, tell her you would rather go and do what she wants to do. Immediately make the calls to whomever it is necessary you call to cancel your plans. And then tell her how much you love her. You will have averted the catastrophe you might have caused by forgetting to tell her what you were doing and more importantly, you will have demonstrated your love for her and your lack of selfishness.