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.
After months of working on myself I have been feeling more clear and confident than I have in a long time. It feels as if the old me is back but with a ton more wisdom. The problem came when I saw my soon to be ex-wife in person today. It has been weeks since we talked to each other face to face. After we chatted for a bit about the kids and some minor tasks around the house, she said she could see a difference in me. She says she has seen a positive change in the way I act and how I am being. I told her I found help, guidance from brothers, and was feeling better each day. She suddenly got very angry with me and started saying “Why didn’t you do this sooner?” In a sarcastic tone she stated, “Aren’t you just perfect now?” Frankly, she started attacking me personally.
It feels like I can’t do anything right! She left me because I was not enough for her. Now, I am too much!?! Where do I go from here? I am feeling confused, shaken, and attacked. Do you have any insights for me?
Man, have we walked the same path!? It can be surprising, sad, and amusing that our stories can be so similar. It never ceases to amaze me.
I felt those same feelings of confusion and astonishment when one minute she did not want me around and then, in the next minute, I was too good for her? Huh!?!?
It left me questioning if what I was doing (by trying to be a better man through personal growth work) was right or wrong? It seemed that the more I walked my own path the more it drove her away from me. I was caught in my mind wondering if I was doing the right thing. The chatter in my brain was a constant battle between two choices.
Love her OR hate her? Stay in the relationship OR leave? Am I doing the right thing OR am I a selfish asshole? My monkey brain was in a constant state of befuddlement.
Her assessment of me led me to question everything I was doing.
I wanted answers. I wanted my marriage back. I wanted her to tell me what to do and how to do it.
What I NEEDED was more effective questions.
I needed to ask myself the important questions.
Who am I? What do I stand for? Where am I going?
What do I want?
If you look to her to answer those for you it will end in either resentment or dissatisfaction. Obviously, she might challenge your answers. Those challenges are just given to you so you can become more steadfast in your answers. Those challenges are a gift.
You asked me – Where do I go from here?
The answer is simple – you just keep going. YOU get to decide where you are going. If you approve of you – if you really like you…then you have all you need.
Thoughts From The Woodshop
In sales, sometimes the question comes down to price. Occasionally, the customer is dead set on getting the least expensive cabinet they can buy. The thought being that if the dollar number is small then they are getting a good deal.
Here’s the trouble with that.
I don’t source my materials or define our construction methods by the lowest dollar amount. I believe what my customers really want is the best value they can purchase with their money. That doesn’t always make me the lowest bidder in town, but I believe it does make me the best provider of value and quality.
So, when a client tells me to lower my prices by buying cheap drawer slides or low-priced hinges for instance, I routinely decline the request. When they question me on whether we are over-priced I can comfortably stand behind but what we produce.
Usually, when I explain to them my philosophy and knowledge of our product, we begin to see eye to eye. When I ask them better questions related to their specific needs they start to understand.
When I explain those lower priced drawer slides will break down in 3 years, don’t come with a warranty and function like there is gravel in the ball-bearings, they normally come to a decision that isn’t based off of price alone.
I guess what I am alluding to is behind the statement “you’re too expensive” is an opportunity to explore into what their needs really are and also what you really stand for.
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.