The one thing a woman needs to know about dealing with a man: how to manage male pride.
If there’s one thing every woman needs to know about, it’s the inner workings of the male mind. When a woman is involved in a relationship with a man, or if she wishes to be, knowing how his mind works is essential.
Hopefully, she has already learned-- not the hard way-- that his mind does not work the way hers does.
Where should she start? I recommend that she start by understanding male pride.
Men take pride in their accomplishments but only in those accomplishments that are fitting for a man. A man will take pride in a good golf game or a promotion. He might be sensitive and supportive but he will never take pride in those qualities. Praising him for qualities that he does not see as manly will get a woman nowhere.
When it comes to women, men take pride in their ability to protect and provide.
That is where men live. A woman who ignores it or disparages it will soon discover that her relationship is on life support. Often, she will not even understand why. Unfortunately, the culture does not teach women to respect male pride. More often it teaches them to trample on it. If a woman respects her man’s pride, it will become her friend… kind, caring, and considerate. If she fails to respect his pride, it will become her worst enemy.
The culture tells women that they should proclaim their independence and autonomy, thus, that they do not need men to protect or provide for them. Yet, when a woman tells a man that she does not want him to be her protector or provider, he hears that she believes him to be inadequate. The message is insulting, demeaning to his manhood.
Their relationship, such as it might be, has gotten off to exactly the wrong start.
Worse yet, the male mind will attempt to interpret the independence/autonomy message and will start asking himself what she really wants from him. The woman is thinking that her independence will make her more loveable and will make it possible for him to love her for herself alone. She thinks she is offering love and will receive true love in return. Anyone who thinks this way has obviously never had a successful relationship with a man.
A man will mull it over and conclude that she just wants him for sex. Given that he does not want to offend her or to disrespect her, he might decide that the only thing she is going to get from him is sex. Given that he feels insulted and demeaned, a certain amount of hostility will inexorably creep into his sexual encounters.
Of course, there are other tried and true ways to mishandle a man’s pride.
High on the list is competitiveness. When a man takes pride in his achievements, a girlfriend should share his pride and express her own pride in him. A competitive woman will not revel in his achievements, but will respond to his success by asserting the value of her own accomplishments. These may be very real, but when a woman presents herself as a competitor, she is denying that she is a partner. She is not telling her man that they are together; she is saying that they are at odds. At least, that is how a man will process the information.
Other women misread the male mind by feeling that they must help men to improve themselves by offering what is called constructive criticism. No man will hear such criticism as constructive. He does not need his wife or girlfriend to tell him what he is doing wrong. He probably knows it already, and even if he does not, he does not want to hear it from her. The more he hears it from her the more he will be unable to change… because he must maintain his male pride. If his woman criticizes him, she is highlighting his flaws, faults, and failings. No man want his partner to see him as flawed. More so if he has had a run of bad fortune.
Here is the nub of the matter. How should a woman deal with the broken pride of a man who is down on his luck, who has lost his job, and who cannot provide as well as he used to?
Therapists have made such a fetish of empathy that they might well recommend that a woman should offer a dose of warm and womanly feeling. She should show love, sympathy, compassion, and empathy. The male mind, however, will understand that she is taking pity on him. And he will despise her for pitying him. Pity means that she has lost faith in him, and no man wants his wife or girlfriend to lose faith in him.
Instead, a woman whose man has, for example, lost his job, should express loyalty and confidence.
He wants to know that she will stick with him, that he is not in it alone. That means that he has to know that she is loyal. Confidence means that she believes in him, still thinks that he is her hero, and that if the world does not see it that way, then the world is wrong. It’s not a question of what a woman has or has not achieved on her own. A man needs to know that he is his woman’s hero. And, I promise you, if a woman does not let her man know that he is her hero, then, some other woman, somewhere, somehow, will make him feel like he is hers.
At that point, all the love compassion, empathy, and great sex are not going to put the relationship back together again.