I've Got Issues...And Peace


Boulder, Colorado,
October 22
Family, marital, and individual psychotherapist. Mother to four who no longer need my services but still enjoy my love as I do theirs. I specialize in stepfamily dynamics and difficult transitions. I try to write from the heart with a sense of vulnerability, humor and a frank look at myself. Art shown: "Four Pots" by Lindsey Leavell


JUNE 10, 2011 11:57AM

Here's To All The Good Men

Rate: 53 Flag

 champagne toast

Men like John Edwards, Eliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tiger Woods, Jimmy Swaggart, Larry Craig, that delusional governor from South Carolina who lied about hiking to be with his South American mistress, and most recently, Anthony Weiner are really giving men a bad name.

These “men” don’t even closely resemble the majority of good men.  And I, for one, am incensed that because of power hungry sex-addicted weak famous men, men in general are constantly being labeled as animals, pigs, narcissistic, and considered incapable of being faithful to another human being, especially if that human being is his wife.

May I suggest ever so boldly that the men I’ve met in my life, the men that have been my clients, the men that are my friends are spectacular men in every way, shape and form?

These men love their wives, oh how they love their wives.  The men who come into my office are anxious and willing to learn how to make their marriages better and their spouse happier.  They have a strong desire to provide financially for their families and they work hard in jobs they don’t like in order to do this.   They love sex, but they also love touch and snuggling and hugs and gentle words of affirmation.

And while we’re talking about all the bad boys that grab our national attention on a daily basis, let’s talk about Seal, the famous musician who is husband to fortunate Heidi Klum.  That Seal is the real deal, a real man.  His words reflect the hearts and intentions of the many men I know.

Did you know that Seal met Klum when she was pregnant with another man’s child?  The biological father, Italian businessman Flavio Briatore, gave up his paternal rights and Seal eventually adopted the child.  Of his marriage to Heidi Klum and the family he has built with her, he says this, "Heidi is No. 1 at all times, then it's the kids—as strange as that may sound—then it's health and career. I think that is the area where people get a little bit confused once kids come in and then the career takes over.”

Seal is one smart man and he is not alone.  I hear his words echoed over and over in my office, I see it in the behaviors and choices of the husbands of my girlfriends, and I see it in the eyes of my good husband when he looks at me at the end of a long and physically draining day and says, “Is there anything you need?”  I read them in the many words of well spoken men who write volumes of books, poetry and posts about hearts that profess eternal love and devotion to the women they love.  

Men love women and they want to please them.  Many of them will admit to being clueless and ask only for a roadmap, a set of instructions, or specific communication about what their woman wants.

Men love their children and work hard to be there for them, care for them and play with them.  Yes, women could learn something from men when it comes to play.  Men are great at playing and wrestling and general horsing around.  When a man playfully touches the behind of the woman he loves, no matter how irritated she may be by his action, he is telling her how much he loves her, how attractive he finds her and how much he wants her.

Many men spend their lives in jobs unfulfilling, but they go to them without complaint and without expectation of recognition because it feels natural for them to do this for their family and the ones they love.

Many men enjoy the sight of a beautiful woman and what’s wrong with that?  Women are beautiful and their gentle and full curves are one of nature’s magnificent delights.  Men savor the many plesaures of women while staying true and faithful to the one they love, to the one they made promises to, to the one they made a lifetime vow to.

Here’s to all the good men out there.  Don’t let the dark shadows of those bad little boys disguised as men cover your light.  I know you’re out there, we know you are out there.


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Hear, hear. I had one of the best, but know well that even the good ones can be occasionally bad, even if just a bit around the edges.
i admire Seal immensely
it's only late in my being that I've discovered what i admire so.
This is exactly how I feel. I get frustrated with all the male bashing as soon as one public figure goes awry.
Great post!
Okay, I suppose that this is not meant for me but, I've always tried to be a good man. No one is perfect and in that case some forgiveness is desired. Women are also not perfect and to forgive is in fact divine. I would thank you for recognizing that we men at least try for the most part. You are pretty good yourself MTK.
Here is to the best and Seal is one heck of a good family man.
Rated with hugs
Well said, Mary. I cheer them too. I had one as a father.
It's often difficult to find the flowers through the weeds. And statistically, there are at least 40% of men who choose not to deceive, cheat or break the hearts of their precious families. As to the rest? Bahhh humbug! I'll drink to that!
You and I can toast because we were born with nice birthday suits on October 22.
We may toast.
Wear BB suits.
You reminded?
You hear news.

You get very sick too.
Sip wine. Burp 7-ups.

A politico whore cats?
They - male or female?
They - "them" bah cats?

They act so tough in pubic.
They show pubic on tweets.
Cats growl back at wild cats.

The suitors who rob everybody?
her are really scarred sick feline.
They itch dogs in DC groin arena.
They pretend they massage a cat.
Cat-Phobia bad-ill-ilk are groom?
Bastard fake sick-0's in my opine.
They say they are no-afraid of cat.
Then -
Dare them tell Fox's sell-out-scat`
They just fear the cats front-EP's?
The ill-politicos are afraid of teeth.
Let's send each other wine on BBs.
I got a empty gallon jug. Free gals.

You must fill a gal-jug and e-mail?
I females you on October 22. huh?
If we no get married we can drink?

Tease those born with birthday suit.
The bride always winces if I say "I do."

Maybe we can just sip raw moo cows.
You just crawl under moo cow utters.
Politicos don't need a bleached tooth.

Never Pick a nose with a needle nose.
No say "I do" and picks your toes too.
I "hate" when women say i cat-phobic.

If you lived in my town I be your client.
Ya Bio states you are a psychotherapist.
We can open a pet store and sell Moose.
no kiss
Be nice
'I do' try
no cry
I've been faithful to the one I have now for over nine months (which is when we met). Yeah, I still take note of every pretty girl I see out and about, but for some odd reason have not a wisp of desire for them.
Thanks for the post Mary
Yep. Idiocy is discrete and so is slimeballishness. Presuming otherwise, about any group, is tacit bigotry -- but people are all nuts. ;)
Devotion, fidelity, raising other guys kids, putting up with moods —just to be “one of the good ones”.

And somebody remind me why this is a good thing?
I've been waiting for someone to write something like this. I know a lot of very, very good men. The need celebrating!
I have a good man as my husband. It is a kind of heaven. I know many women have good men as their mates. I also know that while some do not, they work with what they have as long and as best they can, so to the men and women who care enough to strive, I raise my glass to you!
And I find it amusing that even with a positive post like this, a turkey or two will emerge. ;)
I have had terrible experiences with men and some treaured male friends I wouldn't trade for the world. Good on you for posting this and rated.
Thank you, Mary. A nudge for those of us who found good men to remember how lucky we are and how smart we were to recognize the right man for the right reasons and get most of it right.
Very upbeat post, Mary! I do believe, however, it's very hard for a man to keep his principles as his power increases. The more power he has the less principles. Does this apply to women also? Frankly, I don't know. Hmmm..... You always serve up such good topics of conversation to digest. Thanks for smoothing out some of my more cynical edges. R and lotsa xoxoxoxoxoxo Joan
Love the positive spin on this topic. I'm thankful I have the mate I chose 33 years ago. He is definitely one of the good ones.
Thank you! I read something about all men being jerks and assholes. If they would have known my Dad, I think they would never have written such a dumb thing. You're the best~
I one hundred percent agree with you. You have just described my husband, and almost every man I know. As a teacher of teenage boys, I can tell you that most just want to be good men. I'm bookmarking this post and referring to it in the future. Thank you so much.
mary, check your phone, I just texted you a photo. (don't share it with anyone else, though!)
well done Mary (and Steve's comment is just hilarious). There are good men around. xo
Thanks for this, Mary-- there certainly are many men who find delight in being a man of integrity, who deserve other's respect, who cringe when these icky boys come along and ruin men's reputations in general....

...and Spumey? You say, "Devotion, fidelity, raising other guys kids, putting up with moods —just to be “one of the good ones”.

And somebody remind me why this is a good thing?"

My answer to you is: if these qualities all seem to be a chore in your opinion, please don't bother ever getting married...and just state this comment of yours upfront when you date, so you're not wasting someone's time...
Please, if you have the time,
can you take over the feminist movement?

The amount of energy men put into proving to women
that they are trust-worthy
could much better be
spent on pleasing
I'm glad you said this. I don't know anything about Seal the person, but his music always mad me think he had some integrity.
First, when it came to cheating these men had one thing in common, they were all very stupid, and it wasn't even worth it in each case, look at the women they cheated with, it is ridiculous. Second, I don't think that "power" has anything to do with cheating; a scumbag is always a scumbag.

I believe that most of these men grew up deprived. They could not fill their quota of girls when they should have done so growing up. A man who has to reach status and wealth first to "get" women will most likely cheat on his wife, plus he will always have a huge chip on his shoulder--no woman wanted him for himself.

Beautiful moral, Mary, civilized men exist indeed. R
Thank you for this. I was beginning to worry we were all rats, but it turns out we are all human. The high-profile mistakes of a few sometimes make us cynical. Great post.
As the founder of The Good Men Project, standing ovation.
I have linked back to your piece on our home page here:
Thank you for this heartfelt and elegantly written post. The media, by their very nature, amplify the messages they send, and there's always the danger that, given the rash of recent philandering husbands, people will start thinking that men in general are perfidious creatures who devalue their marriages. I really like this: "those bad little boys disguised as men."
Kathy: I know that you did and I can't imagine how much you must miss him. All of us have those crusty parts don't we? But again, hear hear right back at you.

Chuck: Seal is someone to be admired. I had no idea. You are one of the good ones Chuck and I thank you for that.

neilpaul: I'm in a realistic frame of mind and as much as you may try to deny it, you're one of the good ones too.

Susie: Yes, one public figure goes astray and every man in American pays for it!

OE: Glad you appreciated. You are one of the good ones.

bobbot: It was meant for you and men like you. You're one is perfect. We are all flawed, us men and women. But from where I sit, most men I know have intentions that are good and moral (is that considered a bad word now?) and have integrity. Thanks for reading.

Linda: Thanks for joining me in my toast and Seal appears to be a man who's got it figured out for sure.

FusunA: From what I've read so far in your wonderful memoir, your father sounded wonderful. That is a true gift for anyone. Thank you.

JC: I think the statistics on cheating men is over-exaggerrated. Also, a one-time event in a long term marriage gets put in the cheating column, despite the longevity of many marriages who survive a one-time event. Our father was a hell of a good man to start off with, wouldn't you say?

Inverted Interrobang: Intriguing name and thank you for reading and Cheers to you too.

Macco: Those Kennedy men were abusers of women weren't they! But really, I think you are far too humble. I've read enough of your posts to safely assume you are definitely one of the good ones. So I'm toasting you too.

Art James: Hello fellow Birthday is a special event when a post of mine is visited by you so I thank you for making my day!

trig: Yup, you're one of the good ones too. I've told you that plenty of times. No one can raise a son as fine as Eli and not be a good man. I'm happy for you that you have found love trig. That's a very good thing.

JohannaLG: Oh we are all nuts, aren't we? How could we be anything else living in this crazy world of ours. And you're's tacit bigotry to assume anything because of a small group of idyiots.

Spumey: Honestly, there are many, perhaps even you, who do not find things like devotion and fidelity and raising other people's kids to be an appealing thing. I'm so glad that none of us have an obligation to marry or have kids or put up with anybody's moods (Lord knows my husband has to put up with a lot of mine!) unless we choose to. It's my favorite thing about free will. Thanks for reading and commenting, I do appreciate it.

sweetfeet: Yes, they do need celebrating! So glad you are joining in with me. Thank you.

Sheila: I love that you said, "It is a kind of heaven." What a wonderful thing to say about your good husband. And yes, to those who don't find the optimal but still strive for the best, a hearty "here here" to them. Thank you.

sweetfeet: Well you know, some people just aren't happy unless they are miserable :)

Sarah: There's no black and white on this subject is there. And even the terrible experiences we can learn from. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Sally: Let's go to NYC and see that Mormon play!!! And yeah for you for "mostly" getting it right, and your husband. Mostly getting it right is pretty darn good.

Joan: I think it's hard for any human being to resist Ego when they have power. I wouldn't want it. And hey, btw, you are married to a very fine man so those cynical edges should have been gone a long time ago...

lschmoopie: 33 years of marriage and you married one of the good ones. Good for you!

scanner: I am so tired of the male bashing that typically arises every time one of these visible guys pulls this crap. I know nothing about your father, but he must have been one fine man for you to acknowledge him that way and because he raised one of the "good ones". Thanks for reading!

Kim: Thank you Kim for being one of them.

Maurene: Congrats on your 31 year marriage to a good man! I like the rule the two of you have for each other. Yes, it's natural, and yes, please don't touch! Marriage can be fragile. Thanks for appreciating the positive spin. I'm just so tired for all men getting the rap for a tiny few.

Maureenow: Yes yes and yes. Yes to your good husband, yes to your teenage students (I've also worked with so many fabulous and good hearted teenage boys) and yes to you for knowing it.

Procopius/Steve: Nice try. You can't fool me cuz you're one of them too.

Barry: Hi Barry! Thanks for reading and being one of the best ones out there. Really. (And yes that Steve is a regular riot.)

Just Thinking: I like how you worded this, "There certainly are many men who find delight in being a man of integrity." Yes there are and thanks for saying it in such a wonderful way.

James: If I only had the time!!! In the meantime, I will happily continue to put this truth out there in any small way that I can. You said, "The amount of energy men put into proving to women that they are trust-worthy, could much better be spent on pleasing them" is brilliant and absolutely true. It's painful sometimes to witness this...a husband trying to please his wife and her continual putting up of roadblocks and what not. I just want to jump up and say, "Listen to him! He is one of the good ones!" I find a way to put that across but it isn't always heard and that just plain makes me sad. Thanks for reading and for your good comment.

LuminousMuse: I don't know Seal's music but after reading about him, I will listen to him. Thank you.

Matt: Thanks to you, a very good man.

Thoth: It's been awhile! Good to see you. I think you and I might part ways on the "power" for your theory about these men and their depravity, I wouldn't be surprised. I've always felt that the people that come across the most entitled, the most spoiled, the most powerful suffered from a lack of love and nurturing in their early childhoods, but I've not looked up the research on it. Now maybe I will. Thanks for your great comment!

Paul: You're right...these high profile "mistakes" (too kind a word I think) suck and do make people cynical. We all need to remember that the Internet and the media make things seem like they are more common than they actually are. Thanks so much for reading, commenting and being one of the good ones (an assumption since I don't know you, but a pretty safe one to make).
Thomas Matlack: Well, hey, thanks for putting it on your home page! That makes me happy and I thank the OSer who referred you to my post (he is one of the very good ones). And could your title be even funnier and more clever? "For every Weiner, there's a Seal"...that's fantastic! Thank you again so much.

Jerry: Thank you for seeing my heart in this piece. I was reflecting on my husband this morning and then my two sons, age 28 and 29. All three are spectacular human beings and they are not alone. You are right about what happens when there is a public slew of these. I can only say that it affects a lot of marriages where there was an event of infidelity and the couple has worked very hard to put it behind them. Stories like this are triggers and many couples take a couple of steps backwards because of the stories of others. Young women who have not experienced love yet start to assume that there are no good men to be trusted. We need to remember to put things in context. Thank you for being a good man and giving me my new word for the day: "perfidious" which for those ignorant like me means "treacherous, deceitful, disloyal". Great word and great comment.
Wow, I had to read this twice just to make sure I wasn't missing some punch line. I really never expected to read such an upbeat and postive post about men on this site. Thank you.
I needed this today. Thx. R
Really nice job, Mary.~r
Well said. Seal is a great example. My ex was half of a good man. I'm grateful that I really got a good one the second time around. Even in his quirky moments, I appreciate what I've got every day.
great post, mary. i'm married to one of the good guys, so i get it in a very personal way. glad this piece got wider circulation.
Mary, it's been a long time since I felt there was much to celebrate about men. This reminded me to look away from the newspapers and the television and other media, and look around me at the men around me who live quieter, decent, "unexciting" lives. They should be celebrated. I lost my husband young, and never met another man who, like Seal, was a stand-up man, so I've lost perspective. Thanks for this.

Cheers and a big "R"
Mary, it's been a long time since I felt there was much to celebrate about men. This reminded me to look away from the newspapers and the television and other media, and look around me at the men around me who live quieter, decent, "unexciting" lives. They should be celebrated. I lost my husband young, and never met another man who, like Seal, was a stand-up man, so I've lost perspective. Thanks for this.

Cheers and a big "R"
Beautifully said, Mary, and a good, refreshing reminder that all is not lost. Our culture is so focused on negativity; it's just sad. As I was reading, I was thinking, you should send it to The Good Men Project and refer OSers to their website and magazine -- and lo and behold, there's Thomas Matlack himself on OS! Great group of people and superb writing there.
I see Evolutionary Psychology as supporting this reevaluation of human morality. There is a perception that instinct, impulse and aggression easily trump the moral, the good, the ethical choices that elevate humankind. Why? Because we're animals, and that's how animals behave.

But to paraphrase Heather Havrilesky's take on the subject, "just because a monkey does it doesn't make it right."
m.chariot, i respectfully disagree.
monkeys don't murder for profit, only for alpha shit
which we have effemenized our selves out of, out of the

glare of
men's gazes, where bullyboy chimpism is not only hated
but loved.
chimps are not the only species. bonobos make a damn
impression on the learned.

men will be men. meaning: terse. unemotional.
now no way U gals will get us on a misstatement.
I have known many great men in my life. The key is almost always a focus on their wives and families. If you take care of your wife, everyone else does well. It would help if moms sometimes remembered that happier spouses raise happier children, instead of always putting the children before everything. They will be taken care of as needed, and learn good relationship skills from both parents. Of course, a dad needs to be present and involved for that to happen. Here's to good men, hear hear.
I always get pissed off when I see beer commercials because they always depict men as dim-witted pigs with one-track minds. Most of the guys I'm friends with are not like that at all.
Rated, and for the most part I agree.

(rant alert) Politicians, in league with the rich, are already screwing the poor and vulnerable. While in office, they should be limited to that type of fornication only, so that journalists have time to do what they seldom do, that's cover real news.

Once our esteemed congressmen and senators retire from public disservice, they can resume their peccadillos and no one will care.
Often we jump on to the band wagon that the internet shoves into our face. Give pause, take a deep breath, you may have to take several, I suppose. Let more facts surface. After all, the good thing is: the internet brings us constant new facts rather than the "cold case".
Be wise, be firm, do not fall for the wrong version of any thing.
The wrong version is the mis-interpretation of facts.
Be cool. Are we cool.
hey MTK theres a lot of mysogynistic and misandristic writing here on open salon, sometimes it draws the most views, and THANKS for providing a real Mature perspective here in the daily circus.
I really identified with that line where "guys take jobs they dont like & work hard at them so they can support their family"
theres a lot of "taken for granted" on both sides of the gender equation.
in my world I find this bizarre scenario sometimes where it seems like female empowerment == dump on men. this has been a real bugaboo with feminism ever since it was invented. lets figure out a way to empower both sexes and realize that both are disempowered in critical ways in our at times dysfunctional culture.
Late, but agree!!! Here's to good men --and women. Even flawed around the edges.
Seal is a smart man. There are many good men out there. One just has to be wise enough to notice them. This was marvelous.
About that roadmap ...
Is there one called "Here's to all the good women"?