In a marriage or LTR, there will obviously be times when a man cannot maintain frame. This can be either a challenge for us to maintain respect & attraction OR an opportunity for us to practice love, generosity, & support.
A recent example from my life:
My husband has been having a difficult week at work, & he had a particularly terrible day yesterday. Usually, he goes to the gym every day after work, but the past 2 days, he has skipped his workouts & instead wanted to take walks in the park with me. We enjoy walking together, usually on the weekends, & we often walk holding hands while he gently leads us on whichever path or to a cafe or whatever.
Yesterday, however, he literally could NOT lead. He almost walked us into oncoming traffic (exaggerating here, but usually he is SO cautious & deliberate), he kept kind of driving me off the side of the path, etc. He kept asking me questions: where should we go, how long should we walk, should we go this way or that. At one point, another man saw us walking, & he actually commented to correct the way my husband was leading me.
Anyway, regardless of my slight feelings of impatience, annoyance, & “unsafe-ness,” I continued to let my husband lead. I let him lead when he chose my least favorite path on the side of a busy street, when he walked on the road instead of the sidewalk, & when he led us a mile out of the way to a store neither of us like to buy a thing we didn’t need. When my husband asked me if he was doing ok after the man criticized him, I assured him his way was acceptable & he is a good man.
My husband wasn’t acting like the man I most often see, but I was able to choose to treat him with the same amount of respect & deference. I know the reason he was seemingly weak (skipping workouts, asking me for directions) & distracted (wandering paths & odd navigational choices) was actually that he is focused on being the best provider he can be, & he has about 1000 different pieces of 5 different puzzles moving around in his mind right now. He was captaining an invisible ship, & I was able to believe in & respond to the ghost of his vanished frame.
As a result, I feel closer to him, & I feel more empathetic & grateful toward how hard he works. I know he appreciated me as well, because he stopped in the middle of the path while we were walking, took my hands, kissed me, & asked if I would stay married to him.
TLDR: When you are committed to a good man, you can choose to give him his frame even when he drops it. This allows a man to have safe space / “a soft place to land” without him feeling constant pressure to “be a man” & without you losing respect or attraction.