Chopping wood (even if it's just making kindling) for your fireplace is a masculine, manly thing. Yes. Manly.
What do you see in this picture?
Chopping wood in the winter is not every man's thing. It sure is mine.
Each of us, men and women, has both masculine and feminine qualities. Some people are more masculine (typically men). Some are more feminine (typically women). And some are in the middle. Most of us (about 85% of all men and women) are either more masculine or more feminine. And here's the beauty of relationships: we tend to attract our sexual opposite. And this attractive force is just like a magnet, flowing between the two opposite poles. It's the juice in a relationship.
Many men have strong feminine qualities: we can wear jewelry; we write poetry; we sing and dance; we express love; we cry. Many women have masculine qualities: they have political power; they can be aggressive; they fight in the military; they play sports; they are CEOs. We know this to be true.
However, if you want real passion in your relationship, you need a strong "masculine" and a strong "feminine," a ravisher and a ravishee, and aggressor and aggressee. I'm not talking just about sex. I'm talking about life, and living with someone in all of its ways.
This attractive force in modern relationships often dies, because people think that relationships are built upon equal 50/50, politically-correct type of sameness. And that's not true. Neutrality and equal respect and treatment is expected in the workplace, but in a relationship, you need sexual attraction. Otherwise, the juice dries up.
We have made great progress in economic and social equality between men and women, but it has resulted in a lot of sexually-neutral relationships. The love is there, but the sexual polarity is faded. Not just in moments of sexual intimacy, but the entire relationship is dry. The passion for each other and with each other is gone.
Good, strong, healthy attraction is based upon sexual opposites. In your relationship with your woman, you want to keep this dynamic alive and abundant. If you want real passion, you need opposites - energetic polarity, an attractive difference between the masculine and feminine. Without that, you just have two friendly people touching each other here and there.
Petruchio is the male romantic character in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. Petruchio is a fortune seeker who enters into a marriage with a strong-willed young woman named Kate and then proceeds to "tame" her temperamental spirit. Petruchio's methods and Kate's fifth act soliloquy are controversial for many men and women.
Petruchio is strong, rough and unyielding. He looks for a wife in haste and finds Kate. Kate is beautiful and young, but a shrew. She's sharp-tongued and defiant. But Petruchio stands firm and approaches Kate with kindness. With each of Petruchio's attempt at getting closer, Kate snaps back at him. But he ignore it and calls her "sweet Kate, gentle Kate." And finally he wins her. And they get married.
Petruchio proposes to his friends a contest to see which man has the most obedient wife: All three will call for their wives to see which one responds. Of the three women, only Kate comes, and Petruchio is the winner. Petruchio then orders Kate to bring the other wives and give a speech telling them to honor their husbands always.
Most people today would oppose Petruchio's behavior toward Kate, particularly how he expresses his "possession" of her. The story, however, does bring out something special in Kate. Petruchio's firmness and masculine determination, combined with his kindness and love for Kate, brings these two characters together in love, joy and matrimony.
In the final scene, Kate defends her man's position as the leader, guide and provider.
Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee
And for thy maintenance; commits his body
To painful labor both by sea and land,
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
Whilst thou li'st warm at home, secure and safe;
And craves no other tribute at thy hands
But love, fair looks, and true obedience--
Too little payment for so great a debt.
Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
And not obedient to his honest will,
What is she but a foul contending rebel
And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
I am ashamed that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace,
Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
Whey they are bound to serve, love, and obey.
Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth,
Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
But that our soft conditions and our hearts
Should well agree with our external parts?
Come, come, you froward and unable worms,
My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
My heart as great, my reason haply more,
To bandy word for word and frown for frown.
But now I see our lances are but straws,
Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,
That seeming to be most which we indeed least are.
Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,
And place your hands below your husband's foot,
In token of which duty, if he please,
My hand is ready, may it do him ease.
It's up to two people in any relationship by deliberate decision and proper arrangement how to live together. Marriages are successful because each partner fully understands and embraces the role and responsibilities of that role in the relationship. Nothing, nothing, ever just works out on its own. It takes a conscious, thoughtful discussion about expectations and responsibilities that are often not clearly defined in a marriage relationship.
Marriages fail for three reasons: sex, money, and communication. If you're both rich and having lots of sex, great! Your marriage won't last 2 years. You have to communicate. I find that husbands in long-term successful, loving relationships have done the hard work of talking things through and being clear on what they're responsible for and what their wives expect of them. The specifics are up to the couple. For me, my wife and I fully understood that I was to be the leader, provider, and protector. And that understanding, deliberate decision, and proper arrangement has worked very well for us. See you in 40 years. :)
You may be interested in reading about how to strengthen our relationships.
Within men is the desire for personal fulfillment. This is derived in the following three ways:
Fulfillment in life can come from many different things in which you apply your energy, abilities, skills and produce valuable results. An artist, writer, politician, teacher, investor, technician, or any worker receives some measure of personal fulfillment, especially when this work contributes to the world. What the work actually produces is not important. It could be simple and ordinary work, or technical and complex. If it means cleaning the toilets, that would qualify as a worthy contribution.
A man's greatest fulfillment, however, is when he works at being a guide, a protector, and provider. When this man provides for his family. He is unselfish. He solves problems. He overcomes obstacles. He character develops as he grows into his masculine roles more fully. If he has weaknesses, he overcomes them. He builds strength, not just physical but also mental. He is inspired by things that were unknown to him when he as immature. As a man matures, his inspiration comes from within, not from without.
As a married man, he doubles in size, fully understanding how two become one. As the head of a family, he lives as a great example, and he attains the greatest rewards that life can offer. His children are his kingdom, and his wife his queen.
As his children grow up, a man can enjoy the fruits of his labor. He delights in the company of his children. You'll often see a father simply watching, listening, and smiling as his children swirl about him. And in the center of this joy is his wife. The two are the center of the family, and the children are orbiting about like little planets.
When a man fails at making his marriage or family life a success, his children will be painful reminders and his wife a heartache. When this fundamental area in his life is not successful, his greatest fulfillment has not be realized. He may be tremendously successful elsewhere, he may have achieved great things outside his home, and he may have great honor and recognition from others, but that success does not compensate for his failure at home. By failing with his wife or children, he has robbed himself of the greatest fulfillment in life.
When a man reaches the age of around 40, he tends to reflect on his life and assess who and where he is. If certain goals in his work and finances have not been reached, some men will start to feel devastated and troubled. They have devoted themselves to many years of work, but it has not amounted to much. You may hear those men say things like, "I missed the boat. My work has not paid off. I'm getting older, and I'm not sure what's going on with my work. I can't seem to earn more money. It's too late to do something different now." Many men in that situation, turn to the world for pleasure and fulfillment, desperate attempts to realize some measure of success in life. Some men even turn to other women.
But, if a man has matured, developed a loving relationship with a woman, raised wonderful children, and built a successful family life, then he has actually achieved the greatest accomplishment a man could dream of. His family becomes his achievement in life. His children, the richest fruits of his labor. His joy, the love, respect and devotion of this beautiful wife. A man has a responsibility to his woman, his wife, his children, his family, to be their guide, protector and provider.
Home is the family's base camp, the center where they call come together, where rules are made and values are established. It is the heart of the family. His woman's security is not in how much money her man makes, but in his mature character. She is free to make her career, whether its within the home or outside. She can devote herself to her man, her king. And together they make a great contributions to the world, a happy home and wonderful children.
For further study, read about a man's basic role.