Saturday, June 11, 2011

What Men Can Learn from Women's Problems in Relationships and Marriage

A woman responds to the very recent “Girls and Their Toys” article, saying that she’s tired of suppressing her desire and being insulted for her husband’s inadequacies. Join us, and learn…

I haven’t mentioned it for a while, but about a third of my newsletter readers, forum members (http://forum.makingherhappy.com/), and book purchasers are women; this has been surprisingly and delightfully consistent since the beginning. Some women are just curious, others want to keep tabs on what men are being told, some are looking for the drama of an argument, others for validation, and my favorites, the real achievers, are looking at advice to men on how to be the best man to help them form a picture of their own perfect man and develop relationship criteria to use in their own life. If only everyone were that organized and deliberate when it came to choosing a life partner!

These women have provided an endless stream of questions, ideas for research and newsletters, and constant confirmation and proof that what I am advising you gentlemen to do is what will work. I want to thank you ladies for participating, both personally and on behalf of the male readers of my newsletter, blog posts, forum, and THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage, and ask you to not only continue to participate, but to hang a note on “the girly grapevine” inviting your friends to join us.

I mention this because a woman posted a comment on my blog (when I ran this article a year ago) regarding the recent article about girls and their toys, (see it in my newsletter archive at http://forum.makingherhappy.com/showthread.php/727-Girls-and-Their-Toys!-Men-Those-Toys-Are-NOT-a-Threat-to-Your-Relationship-or-Marriage if you missed it). Her comment smacks of irony in a role reversal of stereotypes; she is the dissatisfied one and her husband is being non-responsive and defensive, and it’s a lesson that all men need to learn from. Meet M.:

David,

You hit the mark every time. I wish my husband would read your newsletters. I put him on your mailing list but I can’t make him take your very excellent advice. I'm so totally frustrated with my man, I am at a loss. We have had a few very tough years and I decided to really stick it out. I often wonder what I could do to make him crave me like he once did. We might have sex once or twice a month and it’s not that great. I have really suppressed my wild sex kitten flirty ways because I have been insulted too many times with comments like, "that’s all you care about". What can I do??? HELP!

M.

Gentlemen, watch the “back side” of this conversation and see how much of your own problems and potential solutions might be found here. In what I’m about to tell “M” lie many potential clues to reasons for things that have happened in your own life, and you may well learn more from my advice to M than M does, depending on your situation and experiences.

Hi M.,

I would have answered you privately by e-mail before posting this publicly but the one downside to blogs is that private communication is not possible, and I’m guessing you realized that before posting on a blog. There are a few things we need to talk about.

First, (and this goes for everybody else, too!) don’t sign somebody up for my newsletter or anyone else’s. Aside from ticking them off and having them report the newsletter provider as a spammer, it’s too impersonal, too indirect for a man to appreciate, and it won’t be taken seriously as anything but nagging. If you see something in a newsletter that you want your partner to read, print it, hand it to them, and tell them that you want them to read it because it expresses something that is important to you and that you want them to know but have been ineffective at communicating to them. Highlight or underline the parts that are most important to you to show that you’ve put thought, time, and effort into it.

Don’t walk away, wait for them to finish, even if you have to tell them that you need for them to do it immediately before they begin to read. Remember that men speak and need to be spoken to with what most women would consider downright brutal and rude directness (not mean-spirited, but so bluntly as to leave no room at all for interpretative leeway) most of the time.

This is not a time that you can do what women normally do and ask a question to make a statement or make a statement to ask a question. It’s one of those times that you must be so direct as you would be with a very small child, not because he’s stupid, but because we men just don’t naturally communicate that way or know that you do (until we’ve read "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage") and your margin for error here is near zero.

That brings me to the next point. He may not be as naturally sexually aggressive as you due to hormone levels, but a man with a low drive can still be excited and enticed into sex if he’s not stressed about it. The insults you speak of are a sign of frustration, and based on encounters with hundreds of couples on this subject, the source of his frustration could very well be from his inability to connect verbally with you when you try to talk to him about this. What to you feels like a discussion, or more likely, a negotiation, feels to him like nagging, because he just can’t hear what you’re saying.

You can’t express to him that you want more intimacy with him by asking him if he thinks everything is okay with your sex life. That’s the way a woman typically tries to enter such a discussion, and when a man hears a question like that, he doesn’t hear your statement that you have a problem that you want to discuss, he hears a request for information. He very likely said, “It’s fine,” or something like that, and left you feeling like he had shut you down and didn’t want to discuss it.

So being a good wife, you let a little time pass, tried to catch him in a better mood, and did it again, same response, same result, except this time he’s already answered the question, and the repeat comes across as a bit insecure and nagging, and the seeds of frustration are sewn. From this point on, the more you tried to talk with him about it, the more frustrated and defensive he got, until he started insulting you to try to keep you from bringing it up any more.

His frustration isn’t that you want sex, it’s that you “nag” him about it – there is never a discussion that resolves anything and brings achievement and closure to the issue, and to a man, that’s a thorn in his side; we live to resolve problems, not explore them. So you see, the problem is most likely not his libido, but your and his combined communications deficit. Neither of you is hearing what the other is trying to say.

Until you can get him to read a book like "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage" and learn to talk with you and listen to you closer to your own communications style and protocol, you’re going to have to try to talk with him on his, which is easier because it’s more primal, but is unnatural and may feel very odd to you. You have to be very direct with him, asking questions when you want to know something and making statements when you want to say something, because right now, like 99.9% of the heterosexual men in the world, that’s all he knows and is capable of; it’s what he was born with and has lived with all his life.

And let me be perfectly clear on this point: when I say “very direct” I do not mean stern or in any way belligerent. I simply mean exactly what I said earlier, use questions to ask questions and statements to make statements, speaking even what you may think is the obvious, just as you would with a preschool child, but do not treat him like a preschool child, nor adopt any kind of motherly tone as you talk. He’s not a child; his communication infrastructure and protocols are simply similar to a child’s, less evolved than your own and he has no frame of reference to understand yours.

Tell him that you want to talk to resolve a problem that you have not been able to communicate adequately, and you think you can do a better job of it now because you have a better understanding of what his needs may be. Again, men are all about problem solving, and you’ll have his attention, especially if he thinks it will put an end to what he perceives as nagging.

DO NOT dramatize. When speaking to a man, saying something once is enough. We get it the first time through, and find repeats very stressful and annoying; it agitates us in the same way that being bored agitates you. Tell him what you want and need, very bluntly, and listen to what he has to say on the subject.

As far as seduction, men are very much visually stimulated with regard to attraction, but we vary somewhat with regard to seduction. Some of us like to take it very slow, almost like women, savoring anticipation, while others like just to be pounced upon or like to pounce upon our women, playfully and for no apparent reason except intimate fun. What you must find out is what is sexually fun and satisfying to him, and unlike most women, most men will speak very directly about it or very openly and aggressively demonstrate it.

Don’t be afraid to coach him to meet your needs while you’re “in the act,” but don’t do it in a way that makes him feel incompetent or stressed into “performance anxiety.” It’s often easier to do it with gestures than words, guiding his body where you want it. Couples often find that their partner’s excitement makes them excited, so just let it all hang out and see where it takes you. Sex isn’t an act or a destination, but a journey, even a grand epic adventure if you allow it to be so.

Your first step on that adventure is to diffuse your husband’s frustration over your communications problems, because as things are now, he has come to associate sex with nagging and communications frustration instead of the carnal pleasures that your naughty “feline” side wants to have and give him. Once that is handled, the rest should be easy as long as you can keep the communications lines open and keep your problem-solving in a tone of exploration instead of finger-pointing, because allowing your “sex kitten flirty ways” to come back into the picture will then be exciting for him (and you!) as it once was, although you may have to learn how to present an image of being a little more hard to get to ignite his natural desire to chase you. If you’re too available, you may be taken for granted, just like a man who never gives his wife a chance to rise to the challenge of seducing him.

And incidentally, whatever you do, NEVER ask him why he isn’t erect, or what’s taking so long if he’s having a problem “rising to the occasion.” That is the surest way to create performance anxiety of sufficient degree to ensure that he won’t become erect, and will leave both of you frustrated. If it’s an on-going problem, it may be nothing related to you, his attitude, or any of the obvious causes; it may indeed be declining thyroid or adrenal function resulting in low testosterone levels. Have him see a doctor, and make sure the doctor looks for the cause and tries to cure it instead of just writing him a prescription for a chemical aid for becoming erect.

The hormonal deficiencies that cause that kind of problem have other severe aspects, including weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart attack, so it is imperative that at a minimum his serum testosterone levels are checked, and if they are low, push the doctor to find the cause instead of just prescribing supplemental hormone cream, as it’s all inter-related.

Indeed, supplemental testosterone without another drug to prevent the conversion of that testosterone to estrogen (like Arimidex) to prevent effeminizing and a third drug (actually not a drug, but human chorionic gonadotropin) to keep his testicles from atrophying due to the supplementation reducing demands on them can make a man even worse, and most endocrinologists apparently have no clue about this. I myself have a thyroid problem, and have had to become an expert on endocrinology because I have yet to find a physician who is or wants to be. I highly recommend starting at http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com to get the facts, because thanks to the pharmaceutical companies, most of the physicians of the world don’t have them.

Take care, and keep in touch,
David


So Gentlemen, what could you learn from this lady’s problems?

For starters, how about that women have a lot of the same drives, needs, and desires that we do, and just as much trouble expressing them to us as we have expressing ours to them?

How about that they get frustrated just like we do over the same things that frustrate us?

How about that they know as little about us as we know about them?

How about that our differences can be very complimentary if we learn what they are and how they work and choose to put them to work for our mutual benefit instead of resenting them and competing to see who is going to change to meet the other’s expectations in an all-or-nothing scenario?

How about that your partner may have been trying for years to tell you something that you really want and need to know about her, something that could make your life together truly wonderful, and you never heard it? And because of that, you may have spent years fighting over the same frustrating issues, each of you thinking that the other was just being a nag or an inconsiderate jerk, when in fact you are both “functionally deaf” to each other.

It doesn’t take a lot to fix these problems. Genuine desire, a little patience, and good information will do the trick. If you don’t think so, drop by our forum at http://forum.makingherhappy.com and see for yourself just how quickly a man can evolve from a wuss to a man who loves his life and demands the best of himself and the others in his life. It’s utterly amazing to read some of the exchanges between these men and me, not to mention my cadre of gurus and women.

Unlike a lot of problems, once these are fixed they are extremely unlikely to come back, because maintaining the solution is fun, enjoyable, and even intimate, and feels so good that you’ll automatically keep doing what works. It’s one of the few ways in which you can make life simpler yet more exciting and enjoyable at the same time!

You provide the desire and the patience, and I’ll provide the information, in my book "THE Man’s Guide to Great Relationships and Marriage," which you can download at http://www.makingherhappy.com. It’s been tested and proven, and coupled with your desire and effort, it will get you where you want to go and beyond, so get started right now, because life’s too short to wait.

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

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