Welcome brother! If this is your first time reading Woodshop Wisdom, this is a place where, every Monday, we answer a specific question from the men’s community. We give straight-forward answers to a variety of relationship problems and the challenges men face everyday as a provider, father and husband. And often we will challenge you to go much deeper in your understanding of the problem and how to think about it more effectively.
Let’s get started.
You talk about the importance of holding my wife in “high regard”. How do I let go of resentment and keep my wife in high regard while separating, moving out and seeing my kids twice a week? It all feels devastating. How do you bravely face the destruction of all you hold dear? What if being a family man is what you want and having that taken away is your worst fear?
I almost avoided this question. I wasn’t going to submit an answer because it hits so close to home for me. I admit, I got emotional reading it. I recalled feeling the emptiness, the loneliness, the grief when the life I was struggling to build came crashing down. It was all so suddenly in pieces scattered on the ground…gone.
There is something in those pieces though. I’m proof of that, you are too.
Right now, though, you don’t have to do anything. There are no tricks or distractions or magic formulas for making the pain go away. This is an experience that you have been given. I am sorry brother. I wish there were something I could say or do to relieve you of your pain. I know how it feels and I do not wish it on anyone. I am here though; I can sit with you as you go through it. We can look for acceptance of this circumstance together.
When you’re ready, and only when you’re ready, after we had a chance to calm our own emotional storm, we can begin to rebuild. We can start to sort through the pieces.
I want you to find the one thing, the most important thing, among the rubble.
Build the foundation of your new beginning with this singular focus in mind.
What is the next loving action I can take?
The reason why this feels devastating is because you love your family. The reason why this feels like destruction is because you love your children. The reason why it hurts so much is because your capacity to love is so deep.
The scariest part of this situation is that it is calling upon you to love even deeper. It is calling upon your capacity to create love from this smoldering pile of wreckage.
I know you are capable.
How do I know? It is clearly in the questions you asked. You still want to find high regard for your wife. You still want what is best for your kids. You still desire a future where family is important.
I’m really sorry the vision you had of your future is no longer there. It is painful because it was a great vision, a perfect dream, a lost hope.
We are allowed to mourn the loss of our dream and our attachment to a future yet to be lived. It is human nature.
There will be time, when you are ready, to create a new vision based on the same foundation of love you have in your heart. It may not look the same as the old, but it will be equally (if not more) amazing, beautifully crafted and uniquely yours.
Your relationship with your kids will be stronger despite the schedule written on a calendar. Your connection with your friends and family with be richer because of the growth you are about to experience. Your life will be exponentially better because you will choose to go all in on the love you wish to create.
When you are ready for the next step just make your next decision based in harmony with the love in your heart.
It is that simple. Create more love.
Thoughts from the Woodshop
About 15 years ago we built this beautiful set of cherry cabinets for a client. It was a very nice kitchen. It had all the bells and whistles including top of the line hardware, applied molding, nine-piece doors, double stack of top crown, and lots of hand-crafted work. We had a seven-step finishing process with a rich looking “American Walnut” stain and Van Dyke Brown glaze. It was gorgeous. The customer was excited, and we were proud of our work. I could almost smell the home cooking coming from the designer appliances to be installed later that week.
We were right on schedule with a fully loaded trailer and a new house that was empty for us to have to ourselves for a whole day of installation. It fit perfectly and we installed it efficiently. We headed back to the shop at the end of the day patting each other on the back for a job well done. I was expecting a thrilled client when they called the next day after they returned home to see their brand-new kitchen.
What I got was something entirely different. “Ummmm, I hate to tell you this but…that’s not the color we wanted.” they stated rather sheepishly.
GULP. “What do you mean? Are you pulling my leg…haha…are you joking?” I nervously responded. “No, we are holding the sample of EARLY AMERICAN on cherry, and it doesn’t match,” they said.
My stomach dropped. I knew instantly the mistake that had been made. I wanted to puke. Weeks’ worth of work vanished in an instant. The entire set of cabinets were unsalvageable. The only thing left was a cold, hard, fact – we had to rebuild from scratch.
It turns out that my choice in how I thought about my mistakes and how I would have responded made a MAJOR impact on my employees and on my future business.
This is true for you now. How you choose to respond now will be an example your kids will remember forever. And if you can move through this time with strength and love I guarantee you will find an amazing future unfolding in front of you!
(Note: I know messing up a set of cabinets is nothing compared to the pain of a failing marriage. It was meant only as a metaphor of being at a place of total loss. The one thing that is always there for you is the option to rebuild.)
Where to go from here?
I see you man. I see that you are ready to engage, you are ready to create something new. I see that you are ready to pick up the tools we have available and get back to building something in your life that is beautiful, impactful, and meaningful. I look forward to seeing it.
It all starts with a question – what do you want to build?
Most of us men spend a lot of time in our heads. We have conversations with ourselves but never show that thinking and feeling side to anyone else. The question and answer example above is exactly like the wise conversations we have every day ALL day in the Mentoring Men Community. This is the smartest, strongest, most caring and courageous group of men I’ve ever known.
We meet weekly for group coaching calls and have deep conversations with men around the world 24/7. This online men’s group is like none other out there. This is what we hear.
“Thank you, Thank You, Thank You for reminding me of who I really am and helping me kill that annoying hummingbird. My wife has seen an immediate change in my attitude and outlook while she has struggled to make progress of her own. She has even made the statement that “I want to be where you are and want to find something that I can connect with and that will make me a better person.”
Join us and start changing your life faster than you ever thought possible.