Ten Things Men Wish Women Knew About Them
The following are 10 things the man in your life likely wishes you knew about him (and now that you know, how might you use this information to improve your relationship?):
1. Men would rather feel unloved than inadequate or disrespected.
Men need to know that their partners respect them both privately and publicly. Men thrive when they know that their wives or girlfriends trust them, admire them, and believe in them. Some research has even indicated that men would rather sense the loss of loving feelings from their partners than to feel a lack of respect from them.
2. A man's anger can be a response to feeling disrespected by his partner.
When a man becomes angry with his partner, he may not say it (or even realize it) but there is a good likelihood he is feeling some degree of disrespect or humiliation. Whether or not it is the intention of his partner for him to have these feelings (likely not), nor is a man's partner the cause of his feelings (or any other feeling, for that matter), it's worth exploring the role that respect may be playing in a disagreement or conflict.
3. Men are more insecure than they let on.
Men can feel afraid that they aren't cutting it in life, not just at work but at home and in their role as boyfriend or husband. They may never vocalize this, but inwardly they can be pretty vulnerable. What helps with this is affirmation. If men don't receive affirmation from their wives, they may seek it elsewhere. Receiving regular (and genuine) affirmation from one's partner helps men become more secure and confident in other areas of their lives.
4. Men often feel the burden of being the provider for their family.
Intellectually, it doesn't matter how much or little a man makes, or whether or not his partner makes more or less money in her career. Men simply bear the emotional burden of providing for their family. It's not a burden they've chosen - men are simply wired this way. As such, it is never far from their minds and can result in feelings of stress, fear, or being trapped. While women cannot release their husbands from this burden, nor is it their responsibility, they can help relieve it through the expression of appreciation, encouragement, and support.
5. Men want more sex.
We primarily assume that men want more sex with their partners due to their physical wiring (their "needs"). But, surprisingly, research shows that the reason men want more sex is because of their strong need to feel desired by their partner. Men simply need to be wanted. Regular, fulfilling sex is critical to a man's sense of feeling loved and desired.
6. Men care about their partner's appearance.
This doesn't mean that all men want their wives to look like a supermodel. What men want is to know that their wives are making an effort to take care of themselves, and not just in physical appearance but also in health. It's fair, of course, for women to request this for their male partners as well.
7. Sex means more than sex.
When men feel their partners desire them sexually, it has a profound effect on the rest of their lives. It gives them an increasing sense of confidence and well-being that carries over into other areas of his life. The flipside of this coin also carries a profoundly negative affect. When a man feels rejected sexually, he not only feels his partner is rejecting him physically, but that she is somehow rejecting his life as a partner, provider, and man. This is in part why making sex a priority in a relationship is so incredibly important.
8. Men struggle with visual temptation.
This means the vast majority of men respond to visual images when it comes to women. And this doesn't just mean the men with wandering eyes. Even the most godly husband or boyfriend cannot avoid noticing a woman who dresses in a way that draws attention to her body. Even if it is just a glance, these visual images are stored away in the male brain as a sort of "visual Rolodex" that will reappear without warning. Men do have the responsibility if choosing whether to dwell on these images and memories or dismiss them, but they can't control when these images appear.
9. Men enjoy romance, but often doubt their skills to be romantic.
Many men appear to be unromantic, yet it doesn't mean they want to be that way. Men usually do wish to be romantic but they doubt their ability to pull it off. Men can be plagued by internal hesitations, perceiving the risk of humiliation and failure as too high (remember, we have our own insecurities and resist being vulnerable). Women can do a great deal to increase their partner's confidence in their romantic skills through encouragement, recognizing their partner's attempts at romantic acts, and specifically defining what romance looks like for them.
10. Men want their partners to know how much they love them.
I hear this a lot when I work with men. They often aren't confident in their ability to express this but men do love their partners dearly and want to show just how much they love their girlfriends or wives. I highly recommend reading Gary Chapman's "The Five Love Languages" for men to determine their own "primary love language" (the way we we need our partner to show us love) and even more important her love language (the main way she needs to be shown she is loved). Those five languages are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. What I often find when I work with both men and women is that they have been expressing their love in a way that is one of their own languages (say, giving gifts), yet this is not a language shared by their partner (for example, gifts aren't important, what she interprets as love are words of affirmation). It's amazing how the simple understanding, and subsequent application, of this concept of love languages can bridge gaps for couples.