Thursday, June 23, 2011

What Every Woman Should Understand About Men

I've been married for almost seven years. I know I'm still a baby in terms of marital years, unless you count Hollywood years, in which case I've been married for nearly a hundred! Anyway, I am still young in the marriage institution, but I have spent a lot of my time over the last seven years watching people and their relationships, comparing them to mine, and trying to learn what works, what it is that makes a good relationship. I can't say that I have all the answers, not at all. In fact, some of my friends think my relationship leaves something to be desired. But here's the thing. I love the man I married. I understand the man I married. We fight, but they're not usually horrible, painful experiences. We've gotten to a point where they're closer to disagreements, and we usually work them out as rational adults. What's more, I know he loves me. I know he adores me. I know he would do anything for me, and it's not because I'm coercing him or going to make his life miserable if he doesn't do what I want. He wants to do stuff for me because he loves to see me happy and vice versa. I would consider those all signs of a good, healthy relationship. With that said, here are a few things I've learned over the years (and been taught by my mother, who knows what she's talking about). I thought they were worth sharing because they're so simple yet can be so difficult to grasp!

1. This is the most important thing I've learned. It is huge in ANY relationship, not just a marriage. The key to making a relationship work is respect. If you start a marriage without love but with respect, love will grow. It is inevitable. You love what you respect. On the other hand, if you start a marriage loving the person but you can't respect them, the love will eventually wane. Out of respect grows love, without respect love fades. Think about it. Who are the people you love most in your life? Chances are, a lot of them are those you have the highest respect for. Or, on the flip side, who are those people you really can't stand? They are the ones you don't respect, almost guaranteed.

2. Men are simple. This is a fact that I found very hard to grasp when I first got married. I'm complicated. I have a million hormones and emotions that I don't always understand. I thought men were the same way. They're not. They're simple. If a man is mad, he's mad. If he's happy, he's happy. Not so for me. Half the time when I'm mad I'm not sure why. Usually when I'm emotionally low I couldn't tell you the reason. Men are not that way! If a man says he's something, then he's exactly what he says. They don't hint and they don't beat around the bush. There's one description for any given thing. Even more, they have simple needs. They don't require tons of stuff from you to make them happy. They want to take care of you (work, hold a job, provide for you, that type of stuff), they want to protect you (that's why they're bigger than we are. They are the protectors), and they want to have children with you (The need to procreate is instinctual, as are the needs to provide and protect). Simple needs, simple answers to those needs.
With that in mind, you need to let them do those things. Even if you have a job, let them know you appreciate what they do to provide, help them feel like they are filling their role. Let them know you appreciate that they are your protector. Don't play damsel in distress, but show appreciation. Simple needs, simple answers. (Mostly simple. Intimacy is strictly on a per couple basis.)

3. When it comes to their spouse, men are reactive not proactive. What I mean by this is that they react to you. If you're upset, they're upset. If you're happy, they're happy. If you're discontent, they're discontent. They want you to be happy and if they can't achieve that, they'll be affected by it. If they're having a bad day and you're happy and you're content, usually they'll start feeling better within a few minutes. They react to your moods. There's a reason they say that the mood of the house is created by the woman. Everybody reacts to her moods.

4. Going in line with number three, a man's response to you will be determined by how you treat him. He's not only reacting to your moods, he's reacting to how you are with him. You've probably heard the saying "Treat a man like a king and he'll treat you like a queen." That saying is 100% true. Treat him as if he's the best thing that ever happened to you. Eventually he will treat you the same way. It won't even be a conscious decision. He'll just love you because you love and respect him and his natural response is to treat you the same way. I've had people get upset about this one, coming up with things like "Why should I treat him right first. Why shouldn't he make those changes?" He could, if he wanted to, but he's reacting to you. He's fully capable of changing the way he acts without you making the first step, but if you're looking for a change, if you want to be treated like a queen, you can't just tell him to change. He has to come to it on his own (which he won't do if he's constantly on the defensive), or he'll react to changes you make. So treat him like a king and more than likely he'll eventually treat you like a queen.

So here are the first four:
1. Respect him.
2. He is simple. Not complicated. Don't complicate everything he says and does.
3. He is reacting to you. Give him something positive to feed off of.
4. Treat him like a king. Eventually, he'll treat you like a queen.

This list is by no means complete, but it is a start. I'll be adding to it from time to time. Men are the greatest thing on this planet. Without them, we wouldn't have a species. But we have to live together and make things work, and that's a lot easier when you understand how men work. I hope this helps somebody. Heaven knows these eye openers have helped me!

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