Those four words — You hurt my feelings — are my least favorite words to hear from my wife. I’d rather hear, “I love you?” What’s most difficult about those four words is that you can’t deny them. Feelings are feelings and they’re not up for debate. For most men, the ease with which we can incur those four words is a mystery. This applies even in non-marital circumstances, as I will elaborate on later.
I love my wife. But, when she utters those four words, I cringe. I used to try and defend myself once I was able to decipher exactly what I’d done to elicit those four deadly words. Now, I just grin and bear it, quickly saying, “I’m sorry.” You might as well just dig the hole deeper the moment you try and defend yourself. Trust me on this: don’t.
“No” is a powerful word and tool in parenting.It is much more powerful than the easier said, “Yes!” The boomer generation of parents, myself included, may have raised the most spoiled generation of children in history. This has sadly occurred at an economic time when “spoiled” will not work for their betterment. Sometimes love means saying no.
Do you remember the movie, “Love Story,” and the over-used, over-promoted, and overly hyped line from it – “Love is never having to say you’re sorry?”I do, and I remember what a bad book and movie it was, though the almost forgotten Ali MacGraw was a boy’s dream girl as the star.I think that promotional “line” is about the only enduring thing to come from that movie, which isn’t saying much.
My son, Arnie Sallan, wrote and performed this song with his buddy, Jay. Arnie did all the vocals, too. He then made this music video in honor of my book, “A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation,” which you can find/buy at “The Store” here on BruceSallan.com.