My parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this week. Congratulations Mum and Dad!
They’ve had a great relationship. It’s had its ups and downs of course, but they never flat-lined or became complacent. They maintained their zest for life. And as I often say: you’ve gotta love life to have a love life.
What I do want to talk about is how much my father loves my mother, and what a positive impact that has had on me. You see, as a girl, having a father who loves, respects and admires his wife, your mother, is the best thing possible for growing up with a positive self-image.
To the girl, her mother represents ‘woman’ and her father represents ‘man’, so when her father truly loves and respects her mother, she learns deep in her soul that ‘man’ loves ‘woman’, and therefore relating sexually becomes a positive and desirable thing.
So guys, for the sake of your daughters, love your partner. Then, no matter what challenges you have with the parenting, your underlying respect of ‘woman’, will ensure that your daughters grow up feeling positive about being female.
Hopefully your partner grew up with a father who respected her mother. It's often not the case though, so you need to do what he didn't: relate to her with such a balanced respectful masculinity (not a wimp, not a macho prick) that you reprogram her underlying beliefs. Then she can find her sense of equality and worth as a woman (something my father did for my mother, as her parents had a very troubled relationship).
To be like this means you need to be a good, strong loving man. If your own father wasn't like this, well, you've got some work to do on yourself too. You have to break the generational dysfunction in your family. You have to become a man who is fully, positively in his masculinity, so you can help the women in your life, particularly your partner and daughters, to be wonderful women.
Even if you are no longer with your daughter's mother, you still need to show her this respect - for your daughter's sake if not your ex's.
Girls need fathers who are loving, confident men; women need respectful loving men who are their equals; the world needs men to be all they can be.