Dec 11, 2010

Your marriage IS your business

Some of you are close friends and told me you love your wives. You also showed it more than once. You are working, no, you are living to provide for her and family. You are running a business or building respectable career for years, working your way up in a company. You are doing all that for the house she likes, holidays you enjoy, good schools you are putting kids into.

  • Your wife threatens with a divorce if you keep coming home late from the office, or
  • She complains bitterly about you traveling for business so much, or
  • She says your work is more important to you than her/family, or
  • She says you would rather read your mail than talk to her...
Maybe you feel unappreciated, that your wife is getting upset over nothing or think ''How can she think I don't love her? I married her! She is the love of my life.''

You have good intentions. It turns out good intentions are not enough. Good communication is not enough.

You sometimes think she is irrational or overly emotional. But did you know that when a man judges a woman as irrational and overly emotional, she will tend to become irrational and overly emotional?

''You are not unloving man. You are prepared to respond to your wife's needs. The problem is that you don't know what her needs are, because they are different from yours. You don't respond well to her reactions because they don't make sense to you.'' explains relationship expert Dr John Grey ( ) in his book Men, Women and Relationships. Dr Grey is bestselling author who sold millions of books and this is one of the best in my opinion.

Let's see what our needs are according to Dr Grey.

1. To be loved
2. To be cared for
3. To be understood
4. To be respected

1. To be loved
2. To be accepted
3. To be appreciated
4. To be trusted

We don't want the same things and we often give exactly what WE need.

It is hard to respond in a caring, understanding, and respectful way when you assume your partner should think and feel the way you do.


Men tend to assume that once they please a woman, she will stay that way - and now he was drawn to and consumed by the problems of work. Man gradually becomes unconscious of his partner's ongoing needs.

But her judging doesn't help.

For example, when a woman judges a man as unloving and uncaring, he is apt to temporarily react that way. The more bonded they are, the more he will be affected by her judgments and temporarily lose touch with with his warm feelings.

A great relationships require work, but it also require vacation. It shouldn't be all work.

Women intuitively understand that relationships need work. Men, on the other hand are born with the knowledge that ''at your job, that's where you work.'' You go to work, do your job and when you come home that's your vacation.


Men typically go into judgment and blame when woman is upset. She needs, instead, for him to listen and support her without trying to fix her or correct her feelings. He must consciously resist trying to give advice or telling her how she should feel.

1. Every day, a woman needs to receive some form of verbal reassurance that she is loved. This means saying things like ''I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you...'' There is basically one way to say it and it needs to be said over and over.

2. A woman needs symbols of love. They make love concrete. Big presents or very little presents (flowers) all serve a very important function. They help a woman know she is special. Giving presents is a way of honoring woman's need to be reassured.

Little notes are also effective symbols of love. Or get a card. Just say the basics over and over again. ''I love you, I miss you, Just to say I care....'' When giving a card try hiding it in a place where the recipient will be surprised.

3. Make surprise phone calls whose simple purpose is to say ''I love you.''

Many men instinctively know and do this in the beginning of a relationship, but stop after a while because they mistakenly assume that the gesture will get old or is no longer necessary.

These were just 3 simple suggestions out of many great ideas you will find in the book.

In this book you will also find:
  • General psychological differences between men and women, with plenty of useful examples
  • What are the ways women offend and demotivate men and how to try to get his attention in the right way
  • How women and men react differently to stress - why she becomes overwhelmed, overreacts and becomes exhausted, and why he withdraws, grumbles and shuts down.
  • Why it is so difficult to give each other what we need
  • Women are great scorekeepers
  • Men needs solutions and women need to share
  • How to give and receive emotional support,
and you'll get insights, skills, strategies and techniques to greater understanding and healthier relationship.


Men are not bad guys. It is not what this book says, or I think. John Grey explains Male Tunnel Vision as ''their focused awareness that can make men incredibly determined and efficient, but it can also make them oblivious to other's needs and to priorities not directly related to their primary goal. He unconsciously negates the importance of needs that are not directly related to his focus. If his wife and children are hurting and upset, his reaction is that they shouldn't hurt and shouldn't be upset. This kind of invalidation and denial is very hurtful to others and destructive to relationships.

Thus, it is quite common for a man to get sick on the first day of vacation or when a major project is completed. He may have ignored his body's needs, until the job is done. and now the body cries for help through falling ill. ''

This book also explains responsibilities women should accept so they would not be destructive in relationships. For example, they should know a man is much more responsive to a request that is not backed by resentment, sacrifice or suffering. A woman should take responsibility for communicating her needs in a way he can hear.

Dr Grey states that ''The more stress a man has at work, the more detached he may be at home.'' If you are not under stress now you might soon be, and this book will help before things get worse. It takes two to tango, maybe this is the book you would like to read with your wife this Christmas.

All the best.

Please share this article with friends. You never know who might get the answers they need.

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  1. Thanks Lil for this article alot of good sense and many 'familiar and lived' situations here.

    Will put these recommendations to good use.


  2. Thanks Chris, it means a lot to me. I thought how important the subject is for all of us, and how tough it is to get it right. I put all my heart and mind into it. Have a nice weekend.

  3. "This means saying things like ''I love you, I love you..." - this is super hard, I think most men would rather go mow the lawn than do this :)
    Anyway great article.

  4. Hey, glad you say that. Super hard, but worth trying. Keep saying it in different ways, when she talks to you please put the newspapers/remote down, (seriously) and, sure, mow that lawn especially if she asked you to.:)
    Looking forward to hear your good news soon.

  5. Women are most difficult to understand, at least for a average guy. but i think its on man how he can control his wife/family. Man is always the leader of the house in our society or time. so if we know how to control, how to balance in the relationships we can control women. Thanks to a friend who gave lecture on this :D

  6. You are welcome Arbaz. If I even made you interested in understanding and ''balance in the relationship'' that was worth time spent on writing this article.
    You are right, there is no easy formula and there is also a cultural difference to consider. Hard to go wrong when you love her, care for her, understand, respect her and keep showing it. Hope it applies in all cultures.
    And did you just call yourself ''an average guy''? Wow, how very modest it is:)


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