To all the men at your wits end trying to keep up a lifestyle that you afford, at risk of losing it all, or hiding your inability to provide all the things society says you need to give your family in order to be “successful,” please stop.
Men, you are worth much more than you provide for your family. Your worth is far more valuable than the size of your paycheck, your place of employment, your degree type, or your job title. Your value is not linked to the amount of help you’re able to give.
Learn your worth!
Money Problems Are Killing Men
Over the past two years, I have had a friend have a nervous breakdown because of stress of providing his family a beautiful home, new cars, fancy video games, top of the line cell phones, and all of the superficial trappings that mean nothing when you’re dead. He didn’t have anyone to confide in. His mother died years ago, and his father has a new wife/family. They don’t have the close-knit relationship a father and son should have where he could talk about his struggles.
So he struggled alone… until it became too overwhelming. He’s been out of work for months, and his wife acts like it’s another day. His mother told him not to marry that woman before she died because she was could see her future daughter-in-law was seeking a provider, a work horse, a stand-up hard working man.
Boy was she right. She died of cancer and he misses his mom like crazy. He has to go the grave yard to tell her she was right.
My other college friend shared how stressed he was providing for his wife and family to his mother a few months before he died suddenly of a massive heart attack in the bathroom. He was only 36-years old.
He had the pretty little wife, the young baby, the beautiful home at the max amount he was allowed to borrow for his home loan. He too had nice cars in his driveway, and while his wife worked, she was allowed to do whatever she pleased with her income. It was seen as disposable. He went to private college, so he also had student loan payments. The expectation of being the sole provider was hard. No one told him it was going to be so tough trying to chase that American dream. He learned in the worst way, the dream is nothing more than a nightmare most people will never be able to achieve.
His mother is devastated. She lost her best child, the hardworking son. The one that made everyone proud. All this mother’s hopes and dreams have been dashed.
Providing For Your Family Shouldn’t Kill You
A man’s desire to provide for his family shouldn’t be so stressful it kills him or puts his mental health in jeopardy.
Men, love for family is not slaving day and night at a factory or behind a desk to buy a house you’ll never enjoy because you live at your job.
Men, love for your children and wife is not working yourself to death for your family to provide them with things of no value and things that depreciate in value for people who don’t value your efforts.
Men, providing for your family shouldn’t be so stressful you can’t sleep at night because you’re worried about a lack or how you’ve over-extending yourself.
Men, providing for your family shouldn’t mean you need to work two or three jobs to live a lifestyle your body cannot possibly support.
Men, a loving wife knows all about the family’s finances and should be willing to tighten the belt. She doesn’t miss the signs her husband isn’t well physically, mentally, or emotionally because of financial stress and debt.
Men, a good spouse should be a good steward of his resources, meaning you won’t allow others to convince you to get into situations you don’t want and/or can’t afford for the sake a pleasing a spouse. A good spouse wouldn’t put you in this situation.
Men, you don’t need to impress anyone. Not your parents, not your children, not your spouse or your co-workers. Keeping up with Joneses and living up to someone else's expectations is a sure fire way to get your self in a bind.
Men, stop expecting. Stop expecting to have a large nest egg saved up. It’s nearly impossible with the cost of mortgages, college, medical bills and insurance, child care, etc. Stop expecting to retire or to be able to live on retirement if you plan to retire young, especially if you have young children.
Men, there is no shame in working or having to work hard to earn a living. So stop acting like you need to impress people by working for employers who don’t pay you your worth or what you need to survive. Move if you need to move to survive. Your job could be killing you (literally).
Men, you do need a roof over your head. If you can’t afford to buy, then rent. Don’t over-extend yourself to the point you can’t afford to live. Too many people buy more home than they can afford.
Men, just because you dreamed of a beautiful wife, a few children, and a nice home doesn’t mean you’ll be able to afford your dream. Don’t be afraid to modify your life and lifestyle to accommodate the wallet you possess and control.
Men, your mental and physical health are important, so make you a priority. Find someone to talk to. Talk to your doctor. Take vacation days to veg for you. Find a social support system, call up a college or high school buddy and reconnect. Do something besides work. You are not your job. Take your superman cape off and be a human being. It’s okay. You deserve it.
You don’t have to carry the world on your shoulders all the time. It will be there when you come back to pick it up.
Pretty wife, pretty life. High maintenance women are bad for your health. I’ll just let that sit right there. You know what I mean. Perhaps it’s time to have a heart to heart with your loved one. If she doesn’t understand, then you’ll know why she’s in your life. I hope you have a good insurance policy so you can be the man of her dreams in life and death.
Take Care of Yourselves
I know a lot of good men who are hurting now and it makes me really sad. You’re getting bashed on the left and on the right, receiving no credit for the good you do in your communities, in your places of worship, on your jobs, and in your homes.
Life is too unpredictable today. We’re easily employed today, unemployed tomorrow. A recession is soon coming. Please stop biting off more than you can chew! Be comfortable living with addressing your family’s needs and sometimes some of your family’s wants. Learn to say no.
There is no shame in cutting back, letting go, resting more, and taking care of yourself. Even a workhorse needs a freaking break. It also helps to really hone in on the difference between a need and a want. Make needs a priority in your life and teach your family the importance of differentiating the two. It sure can make working a lot less stressful.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to let things go you don’t need or can no longer afford. We all have lots of things we don’t need. One of the main issues I find with my male friends who are stressed about their current situations is that men aren’t willing to let go of things.
They are worried about their credit taking a hit for a repossession, late payments, or having a foreclosure. Let that shit go. Call the folks to come repossess cars if need be and buy older cars that easier to maintain and paid for if car payments are out of control. A car is a means of transportation, not a fashion statement. Sell that home before things get too far out of hand, downsize or perhaps rent. As long as you’re not homeless
Pride comes before the fall.
More middle-aged men are committing suicide under the pressures of financial and emotional stress. Please take care of yourselves, and don’t allow work, bills, health issues, other peoples financial problems (i.e. adult children), a greedy spouse, or your own need to provide useless crap to your family to kill you.
Choose your women and your lifestyle wisely men. One wrong choice could kill you.
Marley K., 2018