The Power of Respect

This morning chaos erupted in my house around 5:00am. One of my cats started snarling and hissing from the window above my bed, my sensor lights were on, and I could hear my other cats running around in a half-panic. There was a strange car in my driveway.

I did what my instincts as a man told me to do, I got out of bed and started going about bringing calm to my home. I started by getting the cat our of the window, then, grabbing a weapon just in case, made sure all of my doors were locked and there was no one in my part of the duplex.

I checked the car and realized it was one belonging to the friend of the boy who lives upstairs, which explained the unfamiliar sounds I was hearing: x-box. I guess the neighbours left him to fend for himself overnight. After that it was a matter of finding the panicky and anxiety-ridden one of my cats who otherwise might hiss and start fights all night thanks to his sister’s growling. Running around my apartment in my underwear before dawn searching dark nooks and crannies for a black cat is not my idea of fun.

Last night was nothing, just idiot animals responding to idiot teenagers acting out at idiot hours, but I didn’t know that. I was fully ready to face intruders, wild animals, or an emergency like a fire. That is my job as Husband.

When I climbed back into bed after everything was said and done, my wife said the exact three words every husband secretly longs to hear:


 You are my hero.


I don’t think I have all the words to describe what effect those words have on a man. A surge of calm warm easy energy rushed through my body, my muscles un-knotted, and all the frustration of the previous forty-five minutes washed away. I felt incredibly respected and wanted. With that comes a sense of being profoundly loved that I don’t think many men get to experience.

Men are simple beings. What we need most in life is to feel like we make a difference and people appreciate it. Hearing worlds like those are all we need to feel whole, to forgive almost anything, and to keep us going no matter what is out there in front of us.

I don’t think that our culture understand just how powerful, and how motivating those sorts of words can be, whether they are from wives and children, co-workers, or the people we have helped with charitable work. If we really did, I think it change everything,

This morning my wife told me I was her hero again as I made her breakfast and did some housework (I am picking up the slack as she recovers from her operation.) I made sure to tell her how much that meant to me. After all, the most important part of maintaining a good marriage, is making sure we know what makes one another feel loved.