A phone call is jarring when in it, your friend divulges the discovery she made of her husband’s infidelity. Of her boyfriend’s big lie. Of her crush’s double life. Or of his wife.
Whatever the breach of trust, the result – at first, at least – is devastating. One person’s choice pulls the path out from under somebody else, somebody who didn’t sign up for this. Somebody who promised to be true to him even in the bad times after he promised infidelity would never be the source of the bad times.
Until it was.
“Until death,” as it turns out, is too often actually “until I change my mind,” fidelity too often only upheld when not inconvenient—too often breached, too treated as impossible. A woman picks a man as husband and intertwines her world with his, but has to peg him, when he leaves her, as a bullet.
You really dodged a bullet, her friends say.
I have said it too much. I have received too many jarring phone calls.
This isn’t a blame game. Relationships are systemic, and most marriages that end probably shouldn’t have started. But I have met enough young women who are so disheartened by the actions of the young men they thought would walk life beside them that I am compelled to share this with all males on all females’ behalf:
Some of us are giving up on you.
This doesn’t mean good single men will be single forever. It means women need good single men now more than ever. We need you to step up and stand out. We need you to teach your brothers (biological or otherwise) how to make good choices, to teach them to treat women first as sisters.
We need our male friends and our brothers and our dads to do what they say they are going to do (and ladies, we need to do that, too). We need to meet men who use forethought before they pursue us, who pursue God before they pursue us. We need men whose choices inspire us to say “they do exist” (and not “is this some kind of a joke?”).
We need to know that men exist who want to love a woman like Christ loves the church, who know love is a choice. We need to know that not all men are bullets. I know that I know that you aren’t, but I also know a lot of ladies who need good men to prove it.
A version of this post originally appeared on arleenspenceley.com.
Arleen Spenceley is author of forthcoming book Chastity is For Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin, to be released by Ave Maria Press in Fall 2014. She works as a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in counseling, both from the University of South Florida. She blogs at arleenspenceley.com and tweets @ArleenSpenceley. Click here to like her on Facebook.