If you follow me on Facebook, you probably know I post a lot of little stories and quotes from my mom. In many ways she is a pretty typical Asian mother and she comes up with unintentional comedy gold all the time.
That being said, I have immense respect and adoration for the woman who brought me into this world, though as a teen I couldn't stand her tyranny, now I've come to appreciate and treasure my upbringing.
I now listen to my mother's advice rather than rebelling against it. Perhaps one of the greatest pieces of advice she gave to me is about marriage.
Before I met my husband, I was in a tumultuous long-term relationship with a guy, we'll call him Bob. Without saying anything too negative, we'll just say it was not a healthy relationship. We were together for a long time though, and at one point I thought he was THE ONE.
My family didn't like him, but they didn't say anything to me about it. My mom is pretty sneaky like that. First of all, she said, I never would have listened to her. Secondly, she knew in her heart I wouldn't marry him, and wanted me to figure it out for myself. Damn my mother's wisdom.
Her advice to me, setting in stone that he wasn't the one, was this.
She said to me, "Lizz, your father is not an exciting man."
At this point I'm laughing, "What? Mom!"
She continued, "We've been married for a long time and there are no fireworks."
Now I'm thinking, oh dear where is this going...
"But he is a GOOD man. And he has always treated me well and he will always be good to me. When you think about getting married, find a good man who will always treat you well."
I thought about that for a long time. My father is indeed, a good man. In fact, I've never known a better man. He is kind, mild-mannered, and gentle in spirit and heart. He's known in business for being a very honest and good man. It's something I took for granted as a child, that my parents didn't fight and that my dad was so gentle. As I got older and learned more about other families I realized that it was kind of rare.
The thing about Bob, was that he looked nothing like my father to me. I mean as a tall white dude obviously he didn't LOOK like him, but you know what I mean. Never in my entire life has my father raised either a finger or his voice at me. He's never yelled at me. As daddy's little girl, I worshipped my father and he's the man I've stacked every other man up against. To me, this is what a man should look like. Not macho or loud or tough, but gentle, loving, and kind.
Every time Bob would do something obnoxious or controlling, it turned me off. Not only because it was inappropriate, but because to me, that's not what real men did. Real men didn't yell at their girlfriends. Real men didn't tell their girlfriends what to do. They didn't drink so much.
My mother's advice cut deep for me. Though I do believe Bob has a loving heart, I couldn't say honestly that I thought he was a good man who treated me well. And I wasn't about to sign up for that forever.
They say you accept the love you think you deserve. Because my father and my brother are such kind hearted men, I knew I deserved to be loved that way. Wholly and unconditionally, without judgement, and by a good man. I knew that love didn't have to be complicated and painful, and I didn't settle for a relationship that didn't feel right.
I've been married for 20 months to this day. My husband is a good man. He reminds me of my father and brother in a lot of ways. He's kind, mild-mannered, and patient. I can confidently say I've followed my mom's advice and have married a good man who will always treat me well. On the scale of crappy guy to my dad, my husband is the only man I've found to stack up against my father. I don't agree with my mom that the excitement has to ever leave, but I think her point about finding a life companion is right on.
So, I'm giving you my mother's advice. If you don't feel like he is a good man who will always treat you well, he's not the one. And if he's a cutie like my man, consider that a bonus ;)