Repairing Relationships

Building intimacy and joy into your relationships

The Key To Understanding Men

The Key To Understanding Men

A new article entitled "Bad Mouthing Your Husband Slowly Kills A Marriage"  cautions wives to stop gathering with other wives to discuss their husband's shortcomings. Obviously, respect is an important part of a relationship. But as more and more women discover themselves stuck with cranky strangers, disappointment and resentment are going to build up.

Consider this telling account by Los Angeles Times columnist Robin  Abcarian of three working mothers checking in with each other:


Wife 1, cautiously: Do you ever feel like your husband just doesn't like you?

Wife 2: All the time!

Wife 3; It's one of my standard fighting refrains: If you dislike me so much, why did you ever marry me?

Wife 1: When I ask other friends about this, they all look at me like I'm crazy, like they don't know what I'm talking about.

Wife 2 and 3, in unison: Liars, liars, pants on fire!


How often have you women readers heard a female friend complaining about her spouse, describing a litany of obnoxious traits and grumpy disposition? Then when asked why she would have ever married such a boorish lout, her response is, "Well, Frank was nothing like this when we were dating."

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

Women readers, that is the key to understanding men. Men aren't their true selves when they are dating you. They seek superficial values, hide their true feelings and conform to win their dream girl. Commercials, television shows, movies and even music drum into men's brains that conformity and deception are part of the dating and mating scene. Men readers, admit it...these are our culturally ingrained techniques to "successful" dating.

Women shouldn't be denying their true feelings about their husbands and try to white knuckle a happy marriage. One more article heaping guilt on women to own the unhappy marriage and put on a happy face isn't the solution. Prevention is the key.

To achieve  a satisfying relationship, women must learn to recognize these smooth-talking love salesmen.  Then they won't end up kvetching with their friends about how dissatisfied they are after they have made life-altering commitments to love 'til death do they part to a man who appeared to be Prince Charming but now has revealed his true self: a wart-covered frog. Men have an equally important  responsibility: they must unlearn this harmful pattern to stop this insane method of modern love and discover  the healthy way to relate to the opposite  sex.

J.R. Bruns, M.D., is co-author of The Tiger Woods Syndrome, a book about repairing relationships.


Subscribe to Repairing Relationships

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.