You probably don’t know who this is: His name is Stedman Graham. He’s an American Businessman, author, and speaker. He’s not a celebrity. But he is successful by any reasonable measure. This is what he had to say about his partner:
“I want her to succeed and be as successful as she possibly can. I’m not threatened by her fame, her money, or her success. That’s not how I define myself. And guess who she is?”
Stedman is the 30+ years-long partner of Oprah, one of the most successful people in history. And one of the wealthiest women in the world today. During the duration of their relationship, he only visited her studio a handful of times. He never sought to be on camera or profit off of her fame. He has been the behind-the-scenes rock in her life for all these years. He lived his own focused life, growing his own career in his own lane. The modern world is typically constituted of two-career households.
Often, when one person’s career takes off and the others stagnates, it creates a rift in the relationship. This rift is more common if it is the woman’s career that takes off. Men often feel threatened by it. It takes a strong man to stand behind a powerful woman. Stedman’s stance beside Oprah, rooting for her is something that should be well emulated. While living his own life too. Be like Stedman. Be supportive.
Don’t commit the cardinal sin of competing with your partner. White lies. Your white lies could be in the form of half-truths, ambiguous statements, manipulation of information through exaggeration, withholding information, or outright lies. Yes, you know you are not cheating. You are not into adultery. Or infidelity. You are not betraying. But this is what you do to the one you love: You make your relationship lose intimacy. The very backbone of any relationship is trust and you just shattered the very backbone. With trust gone, intimacy dies.
Nothing looked more beautiful naked than naked truth. Your white lies make you lie more. Lie to cover up. Lie to defend the earlier lie. This only compounds. Regardless of what your intentions are, you are just making the innocent partner rely on a shallow soul. Love never does this. You make yourself uncomfortable. During your times of intimacy, the guilt will eat you from inside. You will feel that your cells of intimacy get eroded every time you see your partner. You will start to seek distance.
You would not like those intimate moments anymore. As much as you wanted reasons to be with him once, you will hunt for reasons to stay away. Most dangerous fact—Later on, everything you do becomes questionable. You can be honest for the rest of your life and still be looked at with fear, pain, question, and undeniable pleading for love. You would start to become obsessed with your lie. You start to reason. You start to defend. I only lied about that. I lied only once. Eventually, you will see that your partner who deserves nothing of this, would come around you, looking for love in your eyes, totally unaware of the veiled deviousness.
All you could do is just see painfully. White lies don’t stay white forever. With time, the innocuousness erodes off and the lies start getting toxic. Respect. The ability to make your argument without resorting to violence and name-calling. Confidence without the need to tear down someone else. Dominance is established by clear evidence of logic and experience rather than on the sole basis of physical superiority.
There are men who are very traditionally masculine and do not do things that people have labelled ‘toxic masculinity. One can be a gentleman and still very masculine, and that’s what we’d typify as positive masculinity. There’s nothing wrong with being masculine or liking masculine things, it becomes a problem when one feels that others should be forced to conform to the same idea of what is masculine.