"Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" by Aretha Franklin
Take me to heart and I'll always love you
And nobody can make me do wrong.
Take me for granted, leaving love unshown
Makes will power weak and temptation strong.
A woman's only human
You should understand
She's not just a play thing
She's flesh and blood just like her man
If ya want a do-right
You've gotta be a do-right
Yeah they say that it's a man's world
But you can't prove that by me
And as long as we're together baby
Show some respect for me
In all my years of counseling couples I have never once had a woman enter my office exclaiming, "I'm leaving his sorry butt because I have had it up to HERE with his constant appreciation, understanding and recognition!" No. Not once. However, I have sadly heard the opposite many, many, many times. For years now I have taught the simple power of appreciation in it's various forms of noticing, recognizing, praising, encouraging, not taking one another for granted. And yet, for some reason such a simple thing can be hard for many men to do.
Take Her Advice to Heart
Men, Aretha's song is both good advice and a potent cautionary tale. I've known too many men who shut down and shut out their partner's influence and in so doing shut down her heart. I strongly urge my fellow men to do as the Queen of Soul admonishes in regards to the woman in your life, "Take me to heart and I'll always love you, And nobody can make me do wrong. Take me for granted, leaving love unshown, Makes will power weak and temptation strong." And what is that temptation? For some it's an affair. However, for most it's the losing the will power to continue to work on a relationship that doesn't reciprocate and makes the temptation of leaving more and more attractive.
However, this is more important than avoiding your wife, fiancé or girlfriend having an affair. This is about true fidelity. This is beyond sexual faithfulness. It is about full faithfulness to your partner demonstrated by loyalty and support. There is honor in fidelity. In fact, the Marine Corp's motto is "Sempi Fidelis" or more commonly expressed "Semper Fi", which in Latin means, "Always Faithful." The Marine's take great pride in their loyalty to their country and to their cause of service.
Be loyal, responsible, respectful, appreciative, affectionate, expressive, responsive and attentive. How is this too much to ask? And trust me, my brothers, what you end up giving to your woman will seem small when compared to what she returns to so freely and fully of herself.
How do you show appreciation and respect to YOUR partner? Share your comments below...