~ From an Anonymous Contributor,
I sat in Fascinating Womanhood class and listened while another wife told how in the past she had always pointed out her husband’s flaws to prevent his ego from being inflated. Until Fascinating Womanhood, she said she clearly saw it as her duty. Somewhere deep inside of me, an alarm went off. Why were those words so familiar? Suddenly, I knew. They were the echoes of words I had probably never said out loud, but I had surely thought a thousand times and worse, believed them to be true. I clearly saw it as my duty….
My husband is a successful and well-known writer of songs and scripts for movies. He is like most creative men, a dreamer of dreams, his eyes on the stars. He expects each new project to be a great and wonderful success. Now I, on the other hand, am a realist. Nothing is perfect—everything cannot be great. There are degrees to success, I would point out. There is always another picture which gets better reviews, other songs getting more play, other writers getting more recognition. Clearly it was my duty to point this out and more.
Please understand. I never meant to be unkind. Indeed, wasn’t it kindness to show my husband reality? If the balloon doesn’t go too high, would it then not have far to fall? Was I not his anchor? Surely, I was helping my love to see the pitfalls on the ground by forcing his eyes off the stars. Until now, I believed that—but now the alarm was ringing in my head. I knew now that a terrible thing I had been doing to the man who I loved and who loved me. An anchor?
An anchor is a dead weight which keeps the boat from moving. I would not be that again. There are plenty of people to keep my husband’s feet on the ground—critics who are paid to judge his creative talents to others, producers who know if his produce is good or bad, and of course, the audience who ultimately applaud or not. There is no excuse for him to be criticized by men, the one person from whom he needs approval and admiration.
Later that week we went to the screening of his new picture. He watched my reactions throughout the movie. Even before it ended, I told him how really good it was—how proud I was of him. He glowed with pride. Later, when we returned home our children asked, “How did it go”? He looked over their heads and into my eyes and said, “It must have been a masterpiece, your mother loved it.” Let others criticize—my husband still dreams his perfect dreams. The only difference is that he has a wife who now understands that a creative man cannot touch the stars unless he reaches out for them, without concerning himself too much with the pitfalls on the ground.”
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