Living the Questions

Finding peace in uncertain times.

A Myth about Men that Can Kill Your Relationship

“I just don’t understand men,” Susan moaned to her best friend, Helen, over lunch. “Every time I try to talk to Jim about something the least bit emotional, I get the impression he wants to point the remote control at me and push the mute button." Sound familiar? It doesn't have to be like this. Read More

I will tell you the sad part

The sad part is that in the very beginning of the relationship the woman will be attracted to the man that displays the qualities you describe then once the relationship takes a foothold. She will be repulsed by the exact same qualities that attracted her.

It seems that a man that is capable of the qualities that women say they want don't even stand a chance of getting their foot in the door.

Sometimes I just wish women would make up our minds for us and stick to it. The push/pull is just sickening!

Works both ways

Both men and women come to dislike the qualities they loved at first, as the relationship goes on. This particular point is really not specific to either sex.

the biological imperative

kicks in and both sexes want to move on and reproduce with somebody knew. Oxytocin wears off for both men and women.

I have become "repulsed" as you say, by a man who I was wildly in love with in the beginning. It wasn't anything he did or said that started to repulse me. He is a wonderful man. I just didn't want to have sex with him any more and that was our only real reason for being together. Unfortunately, it has happened to me -- where they've left me -- more times than the other way around. I don't blame men.

A fault in your reasoning

The reason men are encouraged to learn women's language is because women *already* speak men's language, ie. doing, and yet are not heard at all. Women take care of the house, of the kids, of the man's laundry, and of a thousand other things, because they love their man and their kids.

But do they receive any acknowledgement from their man that this counts as "showing love"? Most often, nope.

So if women already speak men's language and yet don't get rewarded for it, then why should they reward men for speaking only men's language?

As you say: there is a time to act and a time to talk - but women already do both, while men don't.

Two Way Street

"Women take care of the house, of the kids, of the man's laundry, and of a thousand other things, because they love their man and their kids"

Okay, who is primarily paying the mortgage? If it's the man, it sounds like helping around the house would be an adequate trade. Does the woman mainly stay at home? If so, why is it any surprise that she is around the kids more often? Did the woman volunteer to do the laundry? If not, it sounds like both people need to communicate, not just the man. And a thousand other things, really? I'm sure you wouldn't like to hear a man say "Men pay for the house, pay for the kids, fix everything around the house, do all the heavy lifting, and a thousand other things" because it would come across as sexist and ignorant.

I'm not sure who you're addressing

but yes, if the man is paying the mortgage and the woman is not working, it is a fair trade. My mother out-earns my dad 4-1 and still does a lot of the housework. He fixes the cars and mows the lawn. She fixes his dinner and gets him a beer. They seem happy.

When you don't recognize that there are situations where women pay the mortgage and "do a lot of the heavy lifting" it is you who sounds sexist and ignorant? Some women are complete bitches who totally destroy men's lives. Does this make all women that way? Some men hit and hurt women physically and are complete dicks who totally destroy women's lives. Does this make all men that way?

Can we not just speak in generalities and not get called out for it every single time????? The point of the quote you put in is that women do a lot just out of love. So do men. She forgot to say that but it doesn't mean she doesn't realize it.

This doesn't make any sense.

"Okay, who is primarily paying the mortgage? If it's the man, it sounds like helping around the house would be an adequate trade."

Have you forgotten that this article is about the different ways of showing love? So when I mention that women also ACT to show their love, it is completely irrelevant to bring in who pays the mortgage. Love is not something which can be bought with money.

"I'm sure you wouldn't like to hear a man say "Men pay for the house, pay for the kids, fix everything around the house, do all the heavy lifting, and a thousand other things" because it would come across as sexist and ignorant."

... You're not making any sense! Or are you REALLY arguing that men who pay for stuff are OWED love from their wife O.o ??

Also? Get with the times. A lot of women work outside of home, and it's becoming increasingly common for the women to be the ones to bring in most of the money.

Just reminds me of Marg

Just reminds me of Marg Gungor's "A Tale of Two Brains."

A woman presents a problem, the man tries to fix it. We talk about our problems when we need help fixing them.

Don't try to fix her, 'cause if you try to fix her, she's gonna kill ya!

Sometimes it's the other way around

I like talking about relationships and feelings more than my wife. She is more action-oriented. When we go out for a romantic candlelight dinner at a restaurant, I'm invariably the one who says, "Can't we just sit here a little longer, enjoy an after-dinner coffee and just talk?"


I've suspected that therapists have biased their sessions towards women's preferred communications styles for years. Not out of malice, but out of the often-subtle WAW (women are wonderful) effect that impacts both male and female professionals.

In addition, men have been socialized that last 30 years plus to learn and adopt female communication styles. Now, thanks to articles like this, we have the beginnings of what I see as a correction - an adjustment that acknowledges that male communication tendencies are as valid and worthwhile as female.


It seems like a hopeless situation to me. Love dies after a while and then there is the sameness of it all. It takes work and commitment to make love live and even then it is a work in progress.

MEN don't see complaining as a form of 'bonding'...

This bothers me because I'm a man and I'm VERY communicative, but even though I'm very communicative, as a man I still approach communication differently than women do.

NEWSFLASH: MEN do not complain to others as a form of 'visiting' or 'bonding'. This does not mean men are unfeeling, emotionally blunted or unemotional!!!

When a man has a hard day at work he wants to RETREAT and DECOMPRESS. He wants to let loose. He wants to joke around. He wants to take it easy and he wants to talk about positive things. He wants to at least know that his wife is happy.

Women: Even though YOU may feel that you are 'bonding' when sharing all the little negative details of your day with your man, your man does not feel all warm and fuzzy as you drench him with every single negative experience you had that day.

When a woman complains to her man, he feels:

RESPONSIBLE: for her unhappiness.
BOMBARDED by negativity.
HURT that his lady is so unhappy and unsatisfied in her life.
INADEQUATE as a male and a partner because he feels her happiness is HIS responsibility,

His instinct is to solve problems, and he is being told not to help you with your problems.

Men will talk about problems, but they talk about them to help themselves figure them out and solve the problem or find understanding about the problem.

For a man, simply telling someone else about their problem would not only make no sense at all, it would just make them more and more upset about the problem. A man doesn't understand how someone could merely tell someone about a problem and then feel better.

For men, problems don't 'disappear' if we simply complain about them for long enough...

Conversely When men tell you about a problem they have, they're saying "I don't know what I should do here. What do you think I should DO? I can't figure out what to do here... help me figure this out."

Men aren't lucky like women, our problems don't magically disappear once we have complained about them.

without trying to understand what caused it, how to deal with it, what to do about it, or how to prevent it from happening again.


When MEN come home from a really hard day, they need to do the EXACT opposite. They need to DECOMPRESS.

Complaining does not let men magically forget their troubles, it brings the troubles up all over again and makes them even more agitated.

When men come home from a long hard day the last thing in the world they want to do is complain about their day.

Men don't want to talk about their problems after work because for them this only rehashes the negative emotions associated with the problems

I don't think women appreciate that men deal with their problems in a different way. This has nothing to do with men being emotionally 'stupid' or out of touch with their feelings.

So how do you know if a GUY is hurting inside? He may joke around harder than normal, cracking jokes left and right at the dinner table. He may start working on the leaky sink without even changing out of his work clothes. He might watch a movie. He might work on a hobby.

Just because men don't benefit from complaining about their negative experiences doesn't mean they are emotionally crude and unfeeling.

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Dr. Barbara Markway, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist with over twenty years of experience. She is the author of four popular psychology books and has been featured in media nationwide.


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