It was fun getting all the feedback from the last post called, “What Men Need to Know About Women”.
The funniest comment had to come from a male follower on Twitter who wrote, “I’m sorry, were you saying something?” (Read #1 on What Men Need to Know About Women and you’ll get a chuckle out of it, too). But the overall consensus was that it’s true- men and women have the potential of being different in many ways.
As we often do with my writing, my husband and I have been chatting through these posts. One of my favorite parts about being a relationship blogger is getting to pick my husband’s brain through the process. Not only have we had fun working through posts together, but it’s also brought us together and helped us understand each other better in so many ways.
In chatting with my better-half and male-counterpart about this specific post, here are some insights he thought women need to know about men:
1. We can only do one thing at a time. Because many women are multi-taskers, they often expect the men in their life to be wired the same way. It’s not uncommon for me to approach my husband while he’s working on the computer or watching TV and voice a barrage of ideas, thoughts, or instructions. One thing we’ve learned now that we’ve been married for many years is that this almost always leads to frustration. In knowing our differences, I make it a point to ask for undivided attention when I need it, and he makes it a point to tell me when he’s distracted or in the middle of doing something else.
2. We appreciate the little things. It may not be in the form of a flower or date night, but the small things really do matter. For my husband, it could be as meaningful as an affirming word, as creative as cooking his favorite meal, or as simple as seeing a clean basket of his folded laundry. At their core, many men are simple creatures, and appreciate the small things more than any woman would ever imagine.
3. Don’t mistake our kindness for weakness. We’ve all heard of those women who are attracted to the “bad guys”. Our culture paints the picture of excitement and fun in relationships with these seemingly “tough guys”. It’s a mystery that puzzles many, but from my perspective as a Professional Counselor, an attraction to the bad guys is ALWAYS rooted in emotional dysfunction. What needs to be realized among our culture at large is that there is immeasurable strength and courage in a man with a kind heart. Compassion, kindness, and tenderness are signs of nothing but true masculinity, and it is these kind of “boring men” that make the most amazing husbands- the ones that love, give, and sacrifice to the very last breath.
4. We care less about looks than you think. Have you ever heard the saying, “Women dress for other women”? Well, I think in many ways, it’s true. From what I’ve heard from countless men, and experienced in my own marriage, men see women as most beautiful in the most natural form of themselves. They don’t need the frills, sparkles and scents. And they definitely don’t care about the bags, the shoes, or the nails. Even when I see my zombie-self staring back at me in the mirror at 7am in the morning – my husband still whispers that I am most beautiful right there and then. At the end of the day, a real man is not looking for the most beautiful woman in the world, but for the one who will make his world most beautiful.
5. The worst thing you can do is put us down. Criticism is a man’s worst nightmare. Deep down, all men are like little boys- trying to please the primary woman in their life. For adult married men, that primary woman is their bride. They want to please her, and they hold their head up high as she looks into their eyes with a look of approval and delight. The one thing that can snuff out their joy in a moment’s notice- is to put them down. To notice the things they aren’t doing, aren’t saying, aren’t completing- instead of notice all of the good things that they are. May we as women be quick to remember this, but even more quick to be filled with grace, encouragement, and love to the men God has placed in our lives.
6. We think a woman’s most attractive quality, is her confidence. There is nothing more attractive to a man than a woman who can hold her head up high, believing the good things about who God has made her to be. Because a woman of confidence is aware that her value is rooted in nothing else but who she is in Christ, there is no need to flirt around or flaunt her stuff. Though most men will tell you it’s important to be attracted to their significant other, the truth is, attraction always runs deep. And the thing about confidence is that a woman will never truly believe that a man think’s she’s beautiful, until she actually believes it for herself. True confidence can not be replaced.
7. We want to be your friend and your lover. Just as much as women don’t want to play “mommy” to their man- a man doesn’t want to be treated like a child. Some of the most troubled marriages I see are when this parent-child dynamic begins to be played out in a relationship. Men want to be loved by feeling respected, and treated that way. They want to know that you are by their side not to take care of them, but to do life with them. Most men are looking for a woman to laugh with, to play with, and to enjoy life with. They are looking for a best friend to marry, and a loyal partner to love for life. Once the parent-child dynamic starts to seep into the relationship, things will always change for the worse. So give your man some credit, and treat him like the equal partner you expect him to be–he just might live up to it.
I’m so thankful for the different ways God has made men and women. I truly believe God was so deliberate when he formed and fashioned us together- because in each gender, we see a little more of Him. We need each other, both man and woman, to reflect the fullness of a magnificent God – and even then, we only get a glimpse of who He really is.
May we continue to reflect Him in our interactions with one another as man and woman, as husband and wife.