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By Heather Piedmont

7/31/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

From military husbands to Pastor husbands, to true God-fearing husbands, society may scream negatives, but the reality is different

It's 6am on a Monday morning. As I just start to rise, my husband is already showered and shaved, and stands clipping his flight instructor wings to his lapel.  While other men in their mid-30s are quietly accepting their position in life, my husband is working to realize his childhood dream.  He is my hero.  When I think of who my husband is to me, I'm irritated and disturbed by the sour images and negative connotations of "husbands" widely presented in our culture.

In the end, Good husbands do exist and they are not in the minority, nor are they what the media portrays them as. Isn't about time we praise our husbands and declare their worth?

In the end, Good husbands do exist and they are not in the minority, nor are they what the media portrays them as. Isn't about time we praise our husbands and declare their worth?

Highlights

By Heather Piedmont

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/31/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Heather Piedmont, husbands, marriage, good husbands, Christian marriage, love, honor respect, hero, family life


NEW YORK, NY (Catholic Online) - It's 6am on a Monday morning. As I just start to rise, my husband is already showered and shaved, and stands clipping his flight instructor wings to his lapel.  While other men in their mid-30s are quietly accepting their position in life, my husband is working to realize his childhood dream.  He is my hero. 
 
When I think of who my husband is to me, I'm irritated and disturbed by the sour images and negative connotations of "husbands" widely presented in our culture. Comedians, especially female, talk about husbands as a consistent pain in their necks who, if not following certain rules, are somehow broken.  Our television shows are no better.  From The Haves and the Have Nots to The Good Wife, men are presented as philandering, incompetent, weak and narcissistic cheating liars who care about nothing more than power and what they want - until they get caught.

Even reflections of female focused empowerment texts -- such as Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In  -- attack both husbands and the need for them.  One response to Sandberg stated that in order to really get ahead, marry another woman  because they are the ones that will take care of the house.   Once again, and even more outrageously. Husbands have a bad reputation, deeply embedded in the collective cultural ethos.

The dominant images in the culture are a lie: Husbands are a great gift to their wives, a partner, a friend, an adviser, a lover.  My husband is not only a man who financially and emotionally supports me, but he is an example for me to emulate in my own life, of WHO I want to be. Despite being over 35, he is about to get his Associate's Degree and is working toward the career he has always wanted. Because of his example, and his support, he helps me to do my best and improve my life. He has encouraged me to finish my Masters degrees in Government and pursue a freelance writing career.  He is neither a liar, nor an incompetently weak philanderer. Though my husband appears to me to be an exception to the rule, he is not.

From military husbands to Pastor husbands, to true God-fearing husbands, society may scream negatives, but the reality is different.  In fact, can you imagine the reality of being a man in this world, let alone a husband?  Think of this: men, despite women entering the workforce more and more, are supposed to be the reliable breadwinner.  In this economy, you are lucky if you are able to provide the barest essentials. The increased foreclosure rates are a reminder that most of these homes were once owned by families whose husbands surely lost their esteem with the loss of their homes. 

The reality is that being a husband is as stressful as being a mother or a wife.   I recently found an article written by a man in Kansas where he discussed not only the pressure of being a husband but also how the world teaches men, "not to cry, or admit fears and unhappiness. They mostly keep it inside and don't think about it". They are told that admitting it is weakness.  If this is true, and society is the one that places such stress on husbands, why are we not only ignoring this responsibility but wrongly demeaning the work many husbands do with such a negative connotation?

In fact, when examining the culture's attitude on husbands through this media lens, it's clear that the images of incompetence and weaknesses are influencing the self-images husbands have of themselves.It also influences their actions.  Shouldn't we be concerned with that old homage "Monkey see, monkey do"?  In fact, if they do respond this way, who is really to blame?

To me, it is the diminishing Christian vision of what we should be, what we should aspire to, and how our society should be ordered. Husbands, the Bible says, should not only be breadwinner, but also one that nourishes, cherishes and assures that the wife and he become one flesh, "as his own body".  Does this sound like someone who is weak, incompetent or dependent? While there are bad husbands in this world, should media aspects within society place such as spotlight on the agendas of horrid husbands?

I am learning disabled, a bit messy, not beautiful but pretty, and more Jackie O than J-Lo. I can be argumentative, stand my ground sometimes a bit too strongly, and forget to take my vitamins.  However, when that certain Italian flight instructor I married that October day looks at me, he sees what America saw when they glanced at Princess Diana or Nancy Reagan: an amazing woman.  Don't get me wrong, I know I have my positive attributes.  However, in the eyes of my husband I am something more, and that something more is a great gift to me, a gift that inspires my life and changes my future.

In the end, Good husbands do exist and they are not in the minority, nor are they what the media portrays them as. Isn't about time we praise our husbands and declare their worth?

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Heather Piedmont is a freelance columnist and legal/political commentator. She is also a marketing media strategist and writer for small businesses and experts.  For more information on Heather, visit her website at Heatherpiedmont.com.

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