Post Reply
Page 1 of 5  •  1 2 3 4 5 Next
5 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2009 - 7:58PM #1
Anesis
Posts: 1,542

I was in a bookstore today, looking at the myriad books on marriage. One of them was about what a husband needs in a wife. It suggests that men need a woman to need them. I wonder how true that really is....On one hand it makes sense - I think it can be emasculating to a man when women don't need them to do things like install the new ceiling fan, fix the knock in the car or unclog the kitchen drain. But I am curious if that is actually true....do men prefer totally independent women, or do they really want their wives to need them? If they do want their wives to need them, what types of things do men want to be needed for?

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2009 - 8:11PM #2
DAH54
Posts: 3,318

There is need and then there is needy...


Do you prefer to be valued? Or taken for granted?


I want to be valued, I believe most people irregardless of their sex want to be valued, and that is one sense of being needed, in my opinion. On the other hand I do not desire to come home to an endless list of chores, and projects that have been assigned to me each day.


Yes I desire to feel respected and needed by the one who says they love me. No I do not desire to have a mate who can find endless things for me to do.

For Technical support visit


> Dah's User to User Self Support <

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2009 - 8:50PM #3
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

Great questions Anesis!

I think a secure man would not find it emasculating if his partner was able to do tradtional "manly" things, like fixing stuff around the house (although I did recently put in a new ceiling fan!).

On the other hand, if one's partner is "totally independent" then where does that leave the relationship? For me, the relationship is primarily about intimacy - namely sharing who I am and allowing my spouse to be who she is. Easaier said than done to be sure!

I agree with DAH's distinction between "needed" and "needy." I don't think neediness is attractive or desirable in either gender, and I also agree that it is important to be valued by one's partner. I do sometimes have a certain satisfaction in completing a task and having it appreciated (as with the ceiling fan). And a never-empty "honey-do" jar does seem as if the wife is wanting more of a handyman than a husband.

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2009 - 11:16PM #4
Hatman
Posts: 9,634

First, i think there's quite a difference between a "need" and a "want," but sometimes, it's hard to distinguish between the two.  Second, men as a group are often quite as different as to their needs and wants as women are in theirs.


As usual, IMO, the key is to communicate both your wants and your needs during the courtship phase, as a relationship is negotiated and built.  IME, failure to communicate your unspoken expectations is one of the prime causes of the failure of relationships/marriages, probably due to the fact that many of our expectations are assumptions that prove to be near-ridiculous in the light of the experiences and expectations of our potential life-mate/partner, hence the TRUE need to discuss these prior to making a lifelong-commitment.


For example, a man marries a woman expecting that she'll joyfully take on all the housecleaning, laundry, child-raising, and cooking chores, like HIS mom, and she expects to share these fairly, like HER parents did.  So personally, i think it smart to discuss your varied life-experiences and expectations, negotiate who will be responsible for what, then test each other to see whether or not what we SAY we'll do is what we actually WILL do.


A "man" who says, "Stay home, be a home-maker, raise the kids, and i'll provide all that's needed to have us flourish and succeed," yet won't get a job or an education is a liar to whom any woman would be a fool to hitch her wagon.  A "man" who says, "I'll never hurt you" is not to be trusted, either, ime---some situations simply require hurting another, e.g. encouraging exercise to reduce unhealthy weight or supporting one who wishes to be free of smoking, drinking, shopping, gambling, or drugging habits yet lacks the discipline to master her or himself at least initially---then there's childbirth, which pain some women blame the man for.


ETA:  On review, i see that i neglected to address your questions adequately, so i'll see what comes to me:


do men prefer totally independent women, or do they really want their wives to need them?



Depends on the man, and it depends on what the woman wants, but personally, i would want to be needed---and i'd want to be needed for my advice on things of which i have some knowledge or expertise(that is taken instead of ignored or devalued, like fashion or dealing-with-mom-or-dad advice), for hugs or a comforting shoulder, to cook or clean when she wasn't feeling up to it(for reasons other than simple laziness), to handle things as need killin'(anything from bugs to meat for the table to nutbars/bullies intent on mayhem of various kinds), to fixing things as or before they need fixing(like auto maintenance, furnace/AC cleaning/oiling, etc.), and, of course, to scratch her itch when she gets that twinkle in her eye.  If she was TOTALLY independent, she could take care of all her needs and wants by herself, so what would she even WANT a relationship for?


That said, she should have enough desire FOR independence that she'd be willing to learn what it takes to not only survive, but thrive, should i die or be incapacitated(either temporarily or permanently).


If they do want their wives to need them, what types of things do men want to be needed for?



See above for a partial list, but with all of that comes respect and at least the intent for kindness to be expressed toward me.  To be looked up to, not made to feel "less than" by the use of discouraging words or belittling, demeaning or cruel words/behaviors like passive-aggressively doing the opposite of what was requested(e.g. cutting her hair right after you express that you like it long), etc.


Again personally, i think that knowing what you need and want is only half the equation; knowing what you DON'T need and DON'T want is equally important, some clues to which are given above, but any unrepentant and unwilling-to-change behaviors like adultery, abuse, or addiction are deal-breakers, for me.  Other men differ, perhaps thinking that someone with one or more of the "3 A's" above will always need them to get them out of their messes, and/or they have a masochistic streak.


Warmest regards-


Hatman

"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Dec 30, 2009 - 2:48PM #5
withfearandtrembling
Posts: 138

I think men want to be needed sexually; it is the ultimate male fantasy that women need men sexually; it is a fantasy played out constantly in advertisements, movies, television, and pornography, though, in reality, women are rarely as in need of men sexually as they appear to be on the television screen or the billboard.


Men also want to be admired, valued, and applauded for their virtues and talents by the women they love. I do not think they need to be needed in a utilitarian sense (i.e. to do chores a woman cannot or does not want to do), but in a romantic sense—to be admired and praised. Presumably, men need this more than women, or so I am told. A woman tends to press on and do what she needs or is expected to do or what must be done regardless of whether she is praised for it, whereas men tend to sulk, procrastinate, or go about things in a half-assed manner if they do not get the credit they feel they deserve. Every marriage book I have read has, in one way or another, hinted at this, without stating it directly: that men need applause almost as much as children.  


That’s what men need, ultimately—applause.  For sex, but for everything else as well.  For every effort they make on behalf of their women, they need applause. I used to think these marriage books laughable for suggesting this; I used to shake my head and say, “How condescending! A man is an adult, and you are writing about him as though he were a child! If I were to treat MY man like that, surely he would feel condescended too.” But experience has taught me that perhaps the advice was true after all, that perhaps the egos of men are far more fragile than I ever imagined. Perhaps, just as I would say, “What a great drawing!” to my child when I cannot tell what it is and know I could do a much better job myself, because I love my child and it makes him or her feel good…so must I do with my husband. And I suppose, when I think about it, I wouldn’t mind the same being done for me. And yet it is not an easy thing to do. Not at all. It comes naturally with one's child, but it feels awkward with a husband. I suppose the trick is to really keep an eye out for those things I truly admire, and to mention them as soon as I notice them, and to live with the feeling of awkwardness for awhile, to grow comfortable with it in time.

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Dec 30, 2009 - 3:00PM #6
Tmarie64
Posts: 5,277

What BOTH partners in any relationship need is respect, love, interest.   I don't "need" my husband to change a faucet, tire on my car, the oil in my car...I can (and do) do all that. 
I "NEED" him to respect me, love me for me, and be interested in me.


He needs the same from me.  He needs me to say, "How was your day?" and really listen to him, show an interest.  To love him even when I want to chop him up in small pieces and bury him in the back yard. 


 

James Thurber - "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Dec 30, 2009 - 5:17PM #7
appy20
Posts: 10,165

On the subject of applause.  I believe, wholeheartedly, that we are all too critical of others.  I think EVERYONE needs less criticism and more applause.  I don't think we should EXPECT it but we should get it.  I seriously believe the world would be better if we would cut people more slack, give the benefit of the doubt and give people credit for what they do right.   Most criticism, contrary to popular myth, is not constructive.  It is just whining about others not being made in your own self-image. Or a total lack of empathy.  Or a desire to degrade.   I also think homelife should be where people can go to be accepted.  I think the less criticism the better.  For everyone. 


I do think the male ego is fragile but I have more empathy with that after living with my mother.  My mother could nag all day but God forbid should she acknowledge anything going right.  A lot of men do feel nagged and I say, justifiably so.  My mother was a helpless person.  From the time I was six, I was fixing things, doing things that she could not do.  So, she began to demand I do more.   And more.  And more.  And more.  She always minimized whatever I did.  It was never enough.  It was never perfect.  She nagged.  She criticized.  I got first hand experience of what many men get from their wives. 


Believe me, it does get old.  That is the number one reason I love being single.  I can go home to MY home and be free of judgment.  That is the number one limitation of marriage.  You go home to judgment. To me, marriage would be more appealing if that were not true.


Applause.  We all need it.  Criticism.  We all need less of it.   Fix yourself and when you get perfect, then you can fix other people. In the meantime, appreciate what people are and do.

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Dec 30, 2009 - 7:17PM #8
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

John Gottman, a respected researcher in marriage, has determined that in healthy relationships there is a ratio of at least 5-1 positive comments ("applause") to negative comments ("criticism"), and that couples with lower than that have a high likelihood of breakup or divorce.

I would add in agreement with you that viewing praise as an entitlement is detrimental and misses the point. Praise is ideally genuine and from the heart. I would also go even further to say that all criticism is destructive (and that "constructive criticism" is an oxymoron). Nobody likes to hear criticism.

I also believe that criticizing is actually an expression of pain of the one criticizing. There are ways of expressing one's needs (including setting limits) without criticizing - or nagging for that matter. Nagging in fact is an expression of helplessness.

So the most effective response to criticism is to get to the bottom of the pain (or whatever feelings are driving it) - and of course to not take it personally!

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Dec 31, 2009 - 8:58AM #9
appy20
Posts: 10,165

My mother has histrionic personality disorder, most likely.  Most therapists don't like working with personality disorders.  They are seldom successfully treated.

Quick Reply
Cancel
5 years ago  ::  Dec 31, 2009 - 11:24AM #10
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407

That's because therapists are generally not well educated on what is truly effective, but rather are taught abstract theories. The other thing of course is that (unlike medical treatments) the success or failure is also largely dependent on the person's willingness to want to heal. Often it is the disorder itself that also keeps a person resistant to the kind of work that would help them.

Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 1 of 5  •  1 2 3 4 5 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook