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Woodshop Wisdom #16 – I’ve worked so hard and she STILL wants out!

by | Woodshop Wisdom

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 communityWe 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. 


I am a good man. I was, and still am, a good provider, good listener, romantic, funny, attentive, and patient.  We had a good life, it wasn’t perfect, but there was nothing that couldn’t be healed if we turned toward each other and stuck together. Yet, here we are, she still wants out of the marriage.  I don’t understand.  Why do we as men have to try so damn hard with our women? I mean it really shouldn’t be that difficult, should it?

I am going to try to answer this question because I have days where I ask myself this same question.  Why did she leave?  What was so wrong inside of our marriage that the pin had to be pulled and the grenade thrown between us?

First thing that comes to mind…I don’t know.  I have no real clue or understanding.  I think when I am feeling stuck on that question it is because I am trying to understand it by guessing at what is going on inside HER mind.

I will never FULLY grasp what she is feeling, thinking, or believing about herself at any given moment.  I probably don’t want to.  I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the constant changes.

I do know that I have guesses and theories and glimpses of truth that I could dissect and ruminate on for days.  These are only vague and shadowy insights that help me feel at peace for a moment or two until the next time my logical brain wants to analyze it again.  Until the next time I have the urge to “fix” it and “make it work” again.

I don’t want that version of relationship again. 

I don’t want the relationship to “need work” or to “try hard.”

I will never again be in a relationship with a woman where I feel the need to convince her to continue loving me.

I cannot do it again. I won’t.

So here is my answer for you my friend.

You don’t HAVE to try hard for your woman ever again.

You don’t NEED her in your life.  You don’t NEED to keep her happy, excited, or blissfully in love with you.  You get to let her handle that for herself.  You get to ACCEPT her for exactly where she is at and then make the next best decision for yourself.  You get to LET GO.

You get to let go of providing, let go of fixing, let go of leading her (lead yourself). Let go of all the things you do for her.

Never do a single thing for a woman ever again.

Do it all for yourself.

Be a provider because it makes you proud. 

Be a romantic, passionate lover because that is how you wish to express yourself. 

Be a powerful, kind, soft-hearted, generous man because you are all of that and more. 

Share these gifts with the world and the people around you because you are limitless in your capabilities.

This sharing of yourself isn’t “hard work” for you.  You can do this shit half asleep if you are living authentically and without an outcome in mind.

Will she see it?  Will she see you for who you truly are? Maybe.

If she believes herself to be worthy of these gifts, yes, she will see it. 

If she is consumed by her insecurity and dead set on controlling her external circumstances for her to feel good inside, probably not.  She will continue to chase the next thing that will distract her from her own pain.  We will never know for sure (see above).

I can guarantee you though, somebody will see you…and she will walk into your world like a fresh spring breeze through an open door.  It will be exhilarating.  She will marvel at the strength and leadership you portray.

I’m sorry your wife doesn’t see your gifts right now brother.  I really am.

I know how heart-stabbing painful it is to be rejected on that scale.  To be cast aside, all the blame of what went wrong placed upon you, and then to watch her dance off with another man.  I’ve been there, man. It cracks you clean open.

You don’t have to try hard anymore.  Relieve yourself of that burden.

When you drop the pressure of being something for someone else and replace that with just being authentic, you will find life and relationships become very easy.

Thoughts From The Woodshop

Do you remember the recession back in 2009? 

My business got really lean back then, not a lot coming in the door as far as customers or new business.  We were doing what we could to survive financially.

At the time I felt it necessary to take on more work that was outside the typical scope of cabinetry and millwork.  I am kind of a do-it-yourself guy and have experience in a number of construction related trades.

I found this one customer willing to remodel their old cabin in the woods.  It was an old nightmare of building that was poorly constructed when it was originally built 60 years ago.  I signed up for framing, electrical, floor tile, the cabinets and millwork, of course, and the painting and drywall.

I worked so hard and did so many things outside of my area of expertise just to try and make these people happy and pleased with the outcome.  I was caught up trying so hard to make it work that I lost sight of what it is I did best.

They saw that weakness.  The picked at every detail and avoided every added cost.  The nickel and dimed me up until the point I almost owed THEM money in the end.  It was a nightmare I got myself into when I stretched myself too far outside of who I am.  All for a buck.  

I wasn’t living true to the core values of my business and I was paying the price. I learned a lot about myself and my business in those days.  In this particular project, I learned the hard way I need to stay true to who I am.

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.

Matt Epsky

Matt Epsky

As Co-Founder of Mentoring Men and a Certified Goodguys2Greatmen Men’s Coach student, Matt picks a question from the men’s community each week and uses the collective wisdom of the men's community to give an insightful response. Talk with Matt Epsky about making positive changes in your own life.
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