A warning before you go on: this is a slightly mushy post. Sorry about that.
Generally speaking, what men think as manly, and what women see as manly may be different. I actually don’t know. I just know there are particular attributes I see in my husband that make me go “Oh my! What a man!” and they have nothing to do with bulging muscles.
Okay, that’s not entirely true; I do admit to being totally sucked in by my tall, dark and handsome husband, especially in a suave black suit like in the picture below, taken on our wedding day over 12 years ago. Oh my!
There is more to it than that. While I remain physically attracted to my husband, it’s less to do with appearance and more to do with his confidence, the way he cares for his family and the relationship we have fostered over the years, through many ups and downs.
When it comes to manly moments, images come to my mind of my husband cradling our children, only moments old. There is something very beautiful about a man cherishing his child. In the words of Marcus Tullius Cicero, “Of all nature’s gifts to the human race, what is sweeter to a man than his children?” Yes, watching my husband hold, love and play with our children makes me go, “Oh my!”
Laughter, humour: it goes a long way in the ups and downs of life. Sometimes you just have to laugh, right? My husband still can make me laugh after all these years, and I tell you: his ability to make me laugh often helps me put things into perspective.
I have to tell you about the time I watched my husband pull a princess towel of the beach bag to use without a bat of an eyelid. In a household of 4 females and 2 males, there is a natural excess of princess pink around and I love the fact that he embraces this. To me, this photo is oh-so-manly because it says, “My manliness is not based on stereotypes but my identity as a family man and I’m proud to show it.”
I may as well mention that he carries my handbag for me if we are out for a long periods. I think that is all kinds of awesome.
See? When I think about it, many of the attributes I admire in my husband are about how he cares for me and our family, and how he lives love in action: selfless and without thought to ego. That is manly to me, and I felt like writing this post because I don’t want to take these things for granted. I notice them. I acknowledge them. I appreciate them.