Happiness Expert Offers Apology To Women On Behalf Of His Gender

Off BeatSelf Improvement 9 Comments

By Matthew D. Della Porta , Ph.D.

Dear Women,

First of all, we’re sorry. We’re sorry that although we look like men, we often act like boys. We’re not even sure what it means to be men anymore. As we grow up, we learn that to be happy is to be self-indulgent and self-centered. We try to make enough money so that we can have the right TV with the right video games in the right home. We want to date you and maybe even marry you but we are scared to focus on someone else instead of ourselves. Isn’t it sad that we see committing to you as a potential threat to our happiness instead of a wonderful opportunity?

Here’s what we don’t understand: True happiness comes from being true men. We think and act like boys who don’t want their toys taken away. We look up to “role models” in the media who teach us to get as much gratification out of life as possible. We may claim to be spiritual or even firm atheists, but pleasure is the god that we worship, whether we realize it or not. Unfortunately, women tend to be just another part of our hedonistic lifestyle. Please know this: True men won’t treat you like an irritating obstacle or a sexual convenience.

A real man understands that women are to be cherished and treated with care and honor. He sees marriage as the opportunity to be a real-life superhero – he leaves behind his old identity and becomes a new person, dedicated to serving his wife and children. Although he will struggle at first, a true man who marries eventually understands that he can’t fit through the narrow doorway to happiness if he tries to carry all of his toys with him. There is just enough room for him and his wife, arm in arm, committed to their marriage.

Women, you can help us become real men! Most importantly, we want to feel admired by you. Help us to know that you love us just as we are, even if there is room for improvement. Do this by giving us words of validation; praise us for the things we do well. This means more to us than we let on.

In return, we will make sure that you feel loved and cherished by us. We will learn to talk with you so you can be heard and understood, not so that we can tell you how to solve your problems. We’ll also try to learn to express how we feel without withdrawing or getting angry. With polished communication we can learn that what makes you happy makes us happy too! What a concept!

Once again, we’re sorry. We are to blame, even though good male role models are hard to find these days. We’ve ignored our calling to become true men and instead act like we’re in high school for as long as we can. Please trust that we are capable of more than this.

If you are frustrated with the man in your life, do your best to forgive him and start fresh. After a while, if it’s clear that he will not become a real man, leave him. You deserve better.

A healthy relationship will make everyone involved feel happy. When we are happy, we are capable of living meaningful and fulfilling lives alongside one another. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we journey onward to find happiness and become real men.



WYSK originally found this letter on the website YouBeauty, and reached out to Matthew to better understand the purpose behind it and what precipitated his open confession:

“I wrote this letter out of personal experience. At the time I had been married for a little over two years and I was slowly realizing that who I was as a man was not who I needed to be as a husband. I am not criticizing other men so much as confessing my own short-comings. My realization and acceptance of these short-comings came from my Christian faith… and that I was capable of being the man and husband that my wife deserved.

Today I am by no means perfect, but I am learning every day and feel motivated to continue progressing. I feel passionate about communicating what I’ve learned to be true manhood.”

About Dr. Della Porta

Della-PortaDr. Della Porta is a Ph.D. graduate from the University of California, Riverside and a former student of Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, an expert in the scientific study of happiness. His research in positive psychology explored the strategies people can use to become happier for a sustained period of time.

Using his expertise in health and wellness, Dr. Della Porta assists business professionals in cultivating optimal employee performance, engagement, and organizational health while helping the bottom line.

  • DC

    He is absolutely correct. Today’s men are just little boys who do not want to give up their toys!

    • John Jacobs

      so what. why do people think men are here to be fathers or be “grown up”. Women rejected traditional roles, men are doing the same, that’s all.

  • Anna L

    As a woman who does not like when my gender gets lumped into the various stereotypical categories about women, I’m not a fan of overarching generalizations that insult an entire gender in the other direction as well. This is precisely what this guy is doing. Who nominated him the spokesman for all men? For this confessional to have actually meant something, he should have been “MAN” enough to stand on his own while publicly purging himself of his sins. Instead, he went for the safety-in-numbers route by throwing all men under the bus along with himself. Not impressed, not a fan and am very happy to know men who don’t fit the picture he paints of his own gender.

  • One Woman

    Dr. Della Porta – From one woman to you. If I was looking for someone to “serve” me or my children (if I had any), we would go to a restaurant. And as for your requirement for women to “praise” men for the things they do well, sounds more like mother/child thing than a partners in life dynamic. You might have had the very best intentions with writing this, but In truth, your letter scares me.

  • A little alarmed…

    I appreciate the positive intention of this apology, but it gives me the impression that the writer was possibly shamed into thinking he wasn’t good enough. It harkens back to feminist sympathizers of the second wave of feminism who thought the solution was to blame men for everything (or for men to blame themselves). True feminists aren’t suggesting that men are worse than women in any fashion; the goal is equality. No one needs to serve anyone. No one needs to make reparations for his or her entire gender. We just need to recognize our own individual shortcomings — and yes, these may be the result of expectations put on men or women — and work to improve ourselves. But, let’s try not to be so self-condemning or other-condemning.

    • Steven Leapley

      True feminists want equality?????

  • gargouille

    Well, I far prefer “true personhood” to true gendered anything, but I think I get the point about boy narcissism and giving that up to be committed in a relationship does indeed sound like a great idea.

  • Norma

    I love this guy. I think he’s dead-on track and so honest about exposing this type of selfish boy/man-wanna-be behavior that absolutely exits. I’ve seen it over and OVER again in my past relationships and countless girlfriends and family members relationships as well. No, of course not ALL men act like bratty self-centered boys, duh, but for those who do, Dr. Porta being one of them, he’s saying sorry. Sorry for all the hurts he and other men like him have caused the women…and even the pain they’ve ultimately caused themselves.

    I appreciate his apology. So thank you, Dr. Porta! Apology accepted!

    As for the “serving” reference pointed out by One Woman, I’ll take it! Serve, give, answer the needs of…works for me! Of course, this serving needs to work in both directions for a healthy balanced relationship. I’ve found that far more often it’s the women in relationships that are the servers and givers…so one-sided. Again, NOT ALWAYS, but in my observations, more often.

    As for “praising” men, again, he admits it…for what ever the male psyche they need and want more praise than they’re willing to admit. I have absolutely found this to be true. Why not give it to them? Guess what, male or female, PEOPLE like to be praised. A pat on the back, a thumbs up, a YOU ROCK…it’s kind to acknowledge and praise people who touch our lives, even strangers. Make someone’s day! Praise someone!

    Imagine, a man openly recognizing and apologizing for acting like a self-indulgent self-centered boy in a relationship. Recognizing his lack of being a MAN, and he gets criticized? Interesting.

    C’mon he knows he’s not speaking for EVERY man. Ever hear of poetic license? Taking things, words, so stringently and literally is so not fun or honest.

    I applaud you, Dr Porta, for exposing and humbling yourself, for sharing this earnest realization of your and other men’s shortcomings, for acknowledging what it takes to be a real man, and valuing and honoring WOMEN.

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