Sunday, August 22, 2010

Real Men DO Need to Understand Women to Have a Great Relationship or Marriage

I received a lot of responses to Dhaliwal’s assertion that “real men don’t even try to understand women,” and they’re right; on that issue, he still has a lot to learn!

I generally try to avoid controversy and controversial subjects because controversy, by its very nature, means dealing with a bunch of differing opinions, which is counter-productive at best. Personally, I have zero tolerance for opinions and those who know me will tell you that I don’t form them, share them, or listen to them. “Give me the facts or get out of my face and go get them” has been my motto for many years, and it has served me well.

However, once in a while a subject will pop up that is interesting enough to get people involved and they speak up not about their opinions, but their real-world experience, which obviously can differ and make for a great discussion as everyone compares what happened to them and each other and looks for whatever lessons can be learned from the collective experience. This is such an occasion.

One of the few things I took exception to in Dhaliwal’s “How Feminism Destroyed Real Men” was his assertion that “Real men don't pretend or even try to understand women.”

Real men don’t pretend anything, and I’m not really even sure how that ended up in that sentence because it seems unrelated, but, in my experience and some readers’ as well, the idea that real men don’t even try to understand women is somewhere between absurd and preposterous. How can you ever know “too much” about any person you’re in any kind of relationship with?

As I mentioned before, he’s young and still has a few things to learn, and this appears to be one of them. Before I give you the short version of why that is true, check out what some of your fellow readers had to say. Let’s start with Gene, an ironworker from New York City who has read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and stopped a divorce and turned the relationship completely around:

Hi David!

That Dhaliwal guy is a bit of a punk, isn’t he? I mean, a lot of what he had to say made sense, but the reason my wife was going to leave me pretty much came down to I didn’t know enough about her. It was when I showed her that I had learned the things about her that made her different from me and took those things into consideration that she decided to come home and give us another try, and I kid you not, we’re honeymooning again. I had that same punk attitude that he has, not thinking it was important to know anything about her as a woman. Maybe he’ll learn before his wife kicks him out.

Gene


So understanding women isn’t important, but it saved Gene’s marriage? I can’t reconcile the two thoughts; can you? Check out Sarah:

David,

I can see Dhaliwal and his wife having one of those relationships where they are jumping back and forth from bed to fights to bed. His independence is hot, but his disregard for understanding a woman’s basic needs is cavalier and foolish. We don’t expect and don’t want a man to pander to us because being that much of a wuss is very boring and a huge turn-off. But we do try very hard to learn about the others in our lives and about men, and it does help, sometimes even for the wrong reasons. I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are more women leading men around than men leading women these days, and a lot of that is because we understand men better and know what to do to get the upper hand. The trouble is that we get the upper hand and then find we don’t want it, and punish or drop the man because he let us have it in the first place.

Sarah


Excellent points; the words “cavalier and foolish” crossed my mind as well. Given the choice between a heated relationship with lots of conflict and a hot relationship with lots of cooperation and excitement, which would you choose? Let’s hear from Gwen:

Good morning, David,

Thanks so much for your newsletter. I read it during my morning break every day and it usually makes me smile because I learn a lot about men and myself.

I want to comment about Nirpal Dhaliwal’s idea that real men don’t try to understand women. As a woman, I spend a huge part of my day managing relationships with everybody I know, and that requires knowing about all the people I know. The more I know about them, the better we get along, because I can empathize when I know how they feel, I can anticipate their responses to things when I can recognize how they feel, and when I know what they like, want and need it makes it easier for me to give something meaningful of myself to them without having to put myself out inordinately, which one cannot do if she knows a lot of people and has a lot of relationships to manage. His picture looked young to me too, and as you do, I hope for his sake and his wife’s that he wises up with age.

Be well,
Gwen

Are you getting the idea guys? In a nutshell, knowing what women want and need isn’t to enable you to dote over them and pander to them. It’s to know how to better communicate and cooperate with them so that you can lead them, how to provide what they truly need from their relationship with you without having to spend all that time and energy guessing and without having to endure all that drama, punishment and testing when you guess wrong.

And it just so happens that when you know that one of the things a woman wants from a man is for him to be bold enough to be himself in her presence, YOUR life suddenly becomes a whole lot easier and more enjoyable.

When you know what she means when she says, “Fine!” and nothing else, you can realize that there is a misunderstanding in the works and make a move to correct it right then, before it festers and she grows angrier thinking that you intended something other than what you really did and that you’re a mean, abusive jerk because of it.

Yes, I could list a hundred more advantages of knowing what a woman wants and needs and knowing how to communicate with her, but this newsletter is already too long for some of you to read at your coffee break. The bottom line is that you do need to know, and since you don’t speak “girly-ese,” you don’t know. But you can bet that the women in your life either know about you or are trying to find out. They’re wired to actively manage their relationships, and since the first month I started this project, a third of those subscribing to this newsletter and who buy my book are women, and now that our forum, http://forum.makingherhappy.com, is open a little over a third of the members are women.

But I know how you can find out, in language you can understand because it was written by a guy – ME – under the direct supervision of over a hundred women! Interested?

Cool! Go to http://www.makingherhappy.com and download your copy of "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," and get turned on and tuned in and drop out of the program, the one the media has been shoveling for decades that makes it somehow wrong for a man to enjoy being man. Start turning your relationship around and kicking it up to notches seen only with the Hubble Space Telescope, right now. Never put off until tomorrow the success you can enjoy today! (That’s pretty catchy, huh? Write it down and put it on your bathroom mirror and recite it several times while you shave in the morning.)

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

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