Understanding Men – They Really Just Want Us to Be Happy!

Have you ever wondered why you got a vacuum cleaner from your husband as a gift, or were taken on a date to a place where you date took his ex?  Believe it or not, there is a logic to all of this that I want to explain so we can stop being so darn frustrated with why men can’t be more like us.  

As I have said in other blogs, I took a class called Understanding Men, Satisfying Women in August 2006. One month later, I met my now husband, and I must admit, I used much of what I learned in that weekend course on him – not as a trick, but because what I learned rang so true to the differences between men and women.  Jon, of course, knows what I learned, so it is no secret.

As a matter of fact, some of what I have to say should not be a secret to any of you.  When I decided to write this blog, I recalled an article in the New York Times written by Amy Sutherland, the author of 

What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers.  An article in Newsweek briefly explains what she learned from Shamu.  I hear her husband was understandably annoyed.  Hopefully, the way I present the information won’t refer to men as “trainable animals.”

The first thing to understand about men, whether they are your sibling, friend, boss, colleague, boyfriend, or husband, is that they are quite caring and well-intentioned.  However, we women want to create men to be like us – spend time in the morning getting ready with great care and making sure we wear a matching outfit without any holes or stains, gossip with each other, multi-task…You get the idea.  BUT, men are not women; they are men, and by us trying to turn them into “women,” we are actually making them less likely to want to be the man we hope them to be.  What!?

Let’s take the vacuum cleaner you got for Christmas.  You may have opened it thinking, “Um, this is nice but what about that [insert preferred gift here] that I really wanted?”  Let me ask you this.  During the months prior to Christmas, were you complaining about your dirty floors and the decrepit vacuum cleaner you’ve had for 20 years?  If so, then let me explain why you got the vacuum cleaner.  Your man realized Christmas was coming and he was all stressed out about what to get for you, so he went into his memory bank and remembered you complaining incessantly about that darn vacuum cleaner.  He thought, “I really want to make her happy, so I will get her a vacuum cleaner.  She has complained about that old thing for months.  She will be so happy to have a new one.”  Notice his focus on trying to make you happy.

Now you can choose.  You can either think, “Wow!  That was actually pretty thoughtful.  I am so grateful he listened,” or “At least now I know to communicate my needs/preferences more clearly.”  Hopefully, you are thinking the former.  It was a nice gesture after all!

What about the restaurant you were taken to that he dared take an ex to as well?  Did he by chance ask you where you wanted to go?  And did you, by chance, tell him to “pick whatever he likes?”  If that is the case, he again went into his memory bank thinking he wanted to take you to a special place that would make you happy.  Since you did not give him any direction, he thought about what others have liked.  Yes, the “others” means ex-es.  His action was not meant to be an insult, but rather a way to refer to what he learned to have work well from past experiences.  Thus, he thought about where someone else had fun in hopes you would as well.  Again, this was not done to minimize your special time, but instead to ensure you had a good time.  He wanted you to be happy.

I even see this desire for men to make women happy with male bosses that I have had.  I remember the many discussions about what they could do to make me happier in my role, and sadly, I did not know this information I now share with you and was frankly too immature and/or afraid to explain my needs.

In short, let’s give the men in our lives a break.  Are we being clear about our needs or are we talking in circles?  Are we trying to understand where the men are coming from or are we placing our female values on them?  Have we been nagging endlessly?  It’s true men are not perfect, but neither are we.  Sometimes, we just need to look in the mirror.

Full Disclosure:  The above is not something that can be done easily.  As I write this, I am listing out the many mistakes I have made over the past few weeks in being a nag and not letting my husband just be!  Thus, the tips above are great for you to know and when things seem off balance with the men in your life, think about whether you are doing anything to impede him from being the best man he can be to you.


About georgiegirlconfections

I've always dreamed of starting my own business one day. My struggle wasn't about how to do it, but instead, what I wanted to do. I realized how much I love baking - it is what I turn to when I am bored or stressed. There are so many things to create and so many ways in which to create them. I look forward to sharing my favorite treats with you.
This entry was posted in Amy Sutherland, and Marriage, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, Love, Men Are From Mars, Understanding Men, What Shamu Taught Me about Life, Women Are From Venus. Bookmark the permalink.

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