“I can tolerate many of your annoying behaviors, but seeing you weak is unsettling for me. I need you to stand strong, strong with your will, strong with your position, and strong with your words. I need you to be a man. Yes, even if I am a passionate feminist! Living in a female body, I am vulnerable. Recall how protective you are with our daughter. You understand how the world can be unsafe for women at any time and in any place. I need to know that you are strong and can stand up for me, for us.
But can you stand up for me if you can’t stand up to me?!
If you avoid conflicts because you are afraid; if you are too dependent on me; if you lose it with emotional outbursts; if you don’t know what you want in your life; if you are a pushover; all of these things make me feel like I am living with a boy, not a man. You are guaranteed to lose my respect. Pleasing me to keep the peace will only achieve the opposite result. I may please people in order to be liked, but it often comes at a great cost. I don’t want you to do the same. You win my respect when I appreciate how you assert your boundaries, and how you look after yourself, your interests, your career, and us as a family. Please be strong for us so we can feel safe.”