Ben is sensitive and tries hard to please Miriam, but when there’s a problem that needs to be dealt with, he seems oblivious. When she asks for input on a decision, he says, “It’s up to you.” He wants to be nice but he doesn’t realize he’s frustrating her.

I understand why Ben is unsure of his role. Like a lot of men these days, I received so many messages on what a man in a relationship should be.

 It’s up to the man to make it work. It’s his responsibility. Stop blaming others. If a man works on himself and develops himself to be worthy, the woman will be his partner. If he doesn’t, she will be against him.

Here are five of the lessons I learned on my journey for wisdom on what a man in a relationship should be:

Lesson #1: Take responsibility

Learn from Adam. Don’t do things you know are wrong and then blame others. If you make a mistake, take responsibility for your actions. One of the meanings of the word “husband” is someone who skillfully manages his household. A manager takes responsibility. As Adam experienced, there is little sympathy for a man who blames a woman for something that has gone wrong. He’s often still held responsible. People will ask him, “Why did you let it go on?” A man has to look at himself and see how he can change his own actions to properly handle similar situations.

Lesson #2: Show leadership

If a man wants to be seen as worthy and have a good relationship with a woman, he has to show leadership. When he sees a situation that needs to be dealt with, he should step forward and handle it. People admire those who step forward to handle difficult situations. We don’t admire those who stand back and wait for others to solve the problem.

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Some men avoid taking the lead because they don’t want to be criticized. They think they’re playing it safe. A man should say, “I’ll handle it,” and take the initiative to find solutions. If he’s not sure what the solution is, do what other leaders do — consult the many sources of information available.

Lesson #3: Make decisions

One of the meanings of the word “manly” is being decisive. A man needs to make decisions and take responsibility for the outcome. If he’s reluctant to make decisions, she may resent him. Part of making decisions is understanding the other person’s views and being flexible. She doesn’t want someone controlling her, but she also doesn’t want someone who leaves every decision to her. A man who is afraid of making a wrong decision should ask himself: Who should make decisions? — someone who isn’t afraid of making mistakes.

Lesson #4: Be strong

The Talmud asks: Who is strong? He who can control his passions (Ethics of the Fathers, 4:1). Someone who can control his anger is better than a physically strong man who can conquer a city. Blowing up in anger can seriously damage a relationship. If a man thinks he can’t control his anger, he should imagine being angry at someone, the telephone rings and it’s his boss. Would he calm down? Of course, or he’d lose his job. Not getting angry doesn’t mean he accepts bad treatment; he calmly sets limits on the treatment he accepts from others.

Lesson #5: Be manly

Being manly is not being macho. Manliness is the positive qualities of decisiveness, strength in one’s convictions, confidence, self-reliance, high moral qualities, self discipline, honesty and integrity. A man who is manly has courage to be able to deal with difficulty, pain or danger without backing away despite his fear.

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To women: ask your husband to read this. To men: If after years of watching Homer Simpson, you haven’t heard these ideas before, ask your wife if this is what she wants. You may be surprised at her response.

culled from aish.com