My dad's eyes got a little watery when I asked him what he learned about love from his mother—my grandma. I have learned so much about love, dating, and finding the right man from my mom, so I was curious what kind of wisdom men might glean from their mothers on the subject of romance. After all, a man's mother is the first woman he has ever admired and the first example of what a woman should be.
"My mother didn't give me much advice; she lived her advice," my dad explained. Which was no surprise to me. I, too, didn't get a lot of spoken advice from my grandma. The only wisdom she ever gave me about love was, "Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill," which was actually pretty good advice considering, at the time, I was harboring ill will toward my now husband about some comment that came off wrong.
"My mother's life was dedicated to her family, her husband and children. She knew how to love," my dad went on to say. "So, I looked for a wife who knew how to love, someone who would pour herself out for her family. I am blessed to have found her."
It hadn't occurred to me that perhaps the most important lesson a man might learn from his mother was by example not discussion—from just watching her persevere in love and by observing how she treated herself, her husband, and those around her. My heart warmed at the thought of all the amazing women out there who inspire without having to say anything at all.
To get a better idea of what pearls of wisdom men have received from their mothers, I asked real men to share the best advice about love and women their mother ever gave them and this is what they said.
Things She Didn’t Have to Say
Zach explains: "I always saw my mom uphold a standard of how she was to be treated. One that respects her dignity as a woman and mother. If I’m in a relationship where the woman doesn’t demand this respect or understand this inherent dignity she has, it probably won’t last long."
Charlie says that the best lesson he learned from his mom about love wasn't in the form of formal advice either. It was from hearing her tell him about how she loved his Dad. "My dad was diagnosed with cancer when I was in sixth grade," explained Charlie. "He went through every type of treatment and the treatments took a toll on him and his body. One day, recalling how my dad struggled with cancer and how he was at the end, my mom told me something that changed how I look at love. She said that as my father was dying and withered by chemotherapy, that he was more handsome to my mom then he had ever been before. Hearing that made me realize that I want to be able to look at someone that way and have them look at me that way too."
Jake says he learned a lot from watching his mother too. "I don't think she ever said anything really profound... she just showed it to us," said Jake. In this way, he explains, "My mom taught me so many important lessons, but I would say two things stand out: that the mother is the heart of the family—she loves more and feels more. Second, to be a parent means complete sacrifice, giving everything, and not asking anything in return."
Those Things That Must Be Said
Luke says his mom told him, "Take a good, long look at the the family and at the mom because you will be getting a real glimpse into your future." A wise woman. Sometimes we can't do much about the family of the person we love or what influences they may have on our future spouses life, but it's always best to go into things with eyes wide open.
His mom also counseled him in the ways of gentlemanly behavior. "As far as gentleman things to do, she taught me to open the car door, pay for the date, really listen, learn a woman's love language, and don't string women along; If she's not The One then say 'good-bye.'" This mama didn't skip a chapter!
Brothers Tommy and Joe had a mom who understood how confusing it can be when you are dating and wondering how you will know when it's right. "It takes a lifetime to get to know someone," Joe's mom reminded him. In other words, knowing everything about another person shouldn't be a prerequisite to marriage."The best way to know whether or not she's the right one is whether or not you are at peace about her," Joe's mom recommends. "If you get a strong sense of peace with the person, then you found her."
Tommy says their mom always told him,"Find a good girl," which, as Tommy explains, sounds simplistic, but is actually quite profound. While you can't know everything about someone before you marry them, you can know whether or not that person is a good person—and that is an important place to start.
And then there is also the matter of hygiene, Adam says his Mom was instrumental in teaching him to be mindful of women in a shared bathroom space. "If you get pee on the toilet, wipe it off before you leave."
So, there you have it: Whether it's the little things or the big picture about life and love, a mother knows best.
Photo Credit: Cathrine Taylor