And when you get to your limit what do you do? Does your spouse know what you are going to do? What do you want to do when you get to your limit of your patience or understanding, or feeling of being appreciated. Or you get to your limit of knowing how to express your love in trying economic times.
Those are your limits. Not your spouse’s limits. Not your children’s limits. Maybe those limits were put there a long time ago. By a small boy who needed guidance to grow into a young man. Or a young man who had trouble finding his confidence. Now do those limits apply to a middle aged man? A guy who is being nudged by this stage in life but is limited by his own history. Limited in his ability to ask (dumb) questions and deal with the response. Limited in being vulnerable in front of his wife or children because he might cry or need help.
Vulnerability is part of growing. Violence is not. Violence in your relationship is the underbelly of ignorance. Knowing our limits and finding ways to extend them is part of your growth. Using guilt instead of honesty is not growing. That is an act of diminishing what a man and woman are capable of being together.
Emotional agility is part of a man’s life in every stage. When he is young he can laugh, cry, be sad and feel proud of himself. When a man is middle aged and then an elder he has the same liberty. Age is not a limit on emotional agility. The rich cry. The poor laugh. The middle class feel sad. It’s not about the money. It’s about you and your response to life powered by success. It’s you finding a path forward with integrity. Your response petitions your spouse to bring her versatility to the situation. You companion each other in success, challenge, failure and learning.
Why? Because that is what you want.