Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Women Are Simpler Than Men Think--UPDATE

Yesterday, I tried to explain the male psyche to women. Today, I'll try to explain women to men.

You'd think that because I'm a woman, I'm more qualified to offer advice this way. Well, we'll see about that. It is certainly with more trepidation that I post these points. So ladies, same goes for you. If you think I'm missing something, add your perspective to the comments.

Since the points were ironic, I'm going to translate them into what women really mean. It's going to be a far cry from what men want, I can guarantee you that. Men and women would do well to recognize the differences. They really are beneficial and make life far more interesting.

1. Keep the mystery alive--Really Means: I'm worried. Translation: I don't like worrying that you're splattered on the pavement somewhere. I trust you. Just let me know you're OK.

2. Call rarely--Really Means: Touch base. Translation: When you reach out, I know that you're thinking about me or checking to see how I am. It makes me feel connected.

3. Retreat from conflict--Really Means: Let's work it out. Translation: When you retreat, it makes me feel like you don't care and the lack of resolution is stressful. Silence feels controlling.

4. Don't expect your spouse to meet your sexual needs--Really Means: It's called foreplay. Translation: Sex begins when you take out the trash--without being asked. I've heard "Mommy" 500 times today. I've changed diapers. I've cleaned the house. I don't feel like a sexy beast. I just feel like a beast. Help lighten the load. Let me take a shower in peace. Sex will sound a whole lot better.

5. Spend time cultivating interests that don't include your spouse--Really Means: I want your company. Translation: Let's figure out how to spend some time together that's fun.

6. Don't change--Really means: You've stopped trying. Translation: I wouldn't have married you if I had known that all the good behavior ended after we walked down the isle.

7 Don't apologize--Really means: You don't say you're sorry nearly as much as you think you do. Translation: It is too your fault.

8. Don't give tokens of affection--Really means: Thoughts count. Translation: When you buy something for me, small or big, I know you are thinking about me more often than the five minutes before we have sex.

9. Ignore special dates--Really means: At least a couple times a year, I know I can count on some TLC. Translation: It matters. Do it whether you feel like it or not. Love means stretching beyond the comfort zone.

10. Stop saying "I love you"--Really means: I never get tired of hearing it. Translation: When you tell me you love me at other times besides when we're having sex, it's like fuel to me. Say it often and mean it.

Mind you, some of these things will matter to the woman in your life more than others. You will have hopefully gotten to know her well enough by now to know which ones to emphasize.

Men, if you want an easy, no-fuss relationship, turn gay or move in with your drinking buddy. A good woman is not a high-maintenance woman, but some maintenance is necessary. A guy who wouldn't dream of not changing the oil, tires and filters on his truck will treat his wife or girlfriend with less regard. Dude, she's a person not a machine. She needs more attention, not less. If she tries to be a good companion, if you feel helped by her presence, let her know. Show her. And if you're still not sure how to do it, ask her. Tell her to make a very specific list of three things you can do so that she feels loved.

UPDATE: One of the biggest surprises, men, in talking to women in my practice is how many of them would like to have more sex. If you have low drive. If you can't get it up. If you have blood pressure problems. If you're diabetic. If you're gay. Very likely, you're just not that into sex. If you're gay or sexually ambivalent, do her a favor and get therapy or divorce her. It is bullshit for a woman to think it is her fault that you guys don't have a sex life and it's really your deal.

If you have a health problem, go to a doctor. It is not a sign of weakness to go get help. Good grief! I know, just the thought of being "examined" freaks you out. Too damn bad. Your body is not just your own, it's hers, too. And I know, it sucks having problems like this, but there are solutions. And the problems are not rare. Pride is a stupid reason to have a non-existent sex life. Not to mention, performance issues usually indicate an underlying health concern. People can have rich sex lives 'til the day they die. One of the biggest myths is that sex diminishes necessarily just due to age. It doesn't. It shouldn't.


Anonymous said...

1. Stop pouting when your wife says no to sex one day. She may have had a really hard day or is not feeling well.

2. Stop asking to do certain things in the bedroom if she does not feel up to it or if it is degrading to her. She has a right to say no without you making her feel bad about it.

3. Please realize that she needs your help with the kids. Stop addressing issues about the kids with your wife as if the kids are not in the room. You can address them yourself with them...but please act like the father and not like one of them.

4. Please realize that you are appreciated for all your hard work. It is not taken for granted. However, the work she does is just as important and it would be nice if you would acknowledge that every so often.

5. Saying I love you is really nice. It means most when it is not 1/2 hour before bed time...which is a sign you want to have sex. And after sex, please take the time to give a gentle kiss or hug instead of just turning around and going to sleep. It makes us feel very alone.

Joe said...

Number 1 - I'm not five, you're not my mother. I was an adult functioning in society before I met you. If you've got a legitimate concern like reports of an accident, earthquake, etc., then call me, otherwise don't.

Number 2 - Touching base, no problem. You need to know I'm thinking of you I can totally get it. Realize that for me there's a fine line between touching base and being a needy control freak who wants to know what I'm doing every second of the day.

Number 3 - Continuing to rehash the same thing over and over again isn't working things out, it's an interrogation tactic designed to get me to do one thing, say I'm Sorry. When I don't want to argue about it and you want to "work it out" you're telling me you think I'm wrong and you want me to admit it. If you've got a problem with me come out and say it, otherwise learn to LET.IT.GO.

Number 4 - I've spent two hours commuting in traffic, nine hours dealing with assholes at work I can barely tolerate and I when I get home I'm hoping to spend time unwinding, decompressing and maybe even getting romantic with the woman I love. I'll accomodate your need for a little time to decompress if you'll respect the fact that I need the same. Sex takes care of itself once we're both relaxed and can focus on each other.

Number 5 - We need to figure out what activities we enjoy doing together, and it helps if we try out new things together as well as try out each other's favorite activities. But if you like quilting and I like NASCAR, why can't we do that on our own?

Number 6 - Trying to change me, or better yet "improve me", tells me you didn't marry the man you loved, you married a man you thought you could turn into the man you loved. How do you think that makes me feel? I feel as if you're embarassed by me and that I disgust you. If that's what you're shooting for, mission accomplished.

Number 7 - I don't like admitting when I was wrong because I don't think I'm wrong all that often, so when I say "I'm sorry" I mean it. That's also why I try to make amends afterward I say it. Unlike some people in this relationship I don't try and qualify it or explain it away, and I don't think of it as a tactic to end an argument, nor do I use it as a throw away line to get me out of trouble. It would be nice to hear you say it and mean it just once in a while.

Number 8 - I think about you all the time, and not just the five minutes before we have sex. Other than birthdays and Christmas, I associate buying bling for women as something you do for strippers and gold diggers - you're neither of those, right? So when I get you flowers, make you dinner, or do something thoughful without being asked realize that's my way of saying "I love you" and don't bring up your friend Sharon's new diamond tennis bracelet unless you want me to tell you what she did to earn it.

Number 9 - You want to reserve a couple of occasions per year where you're the center of attention and I make an extra to show you some TLC? No pronlem, we're totally sympatico on this. Just make sure you make the extra effort not to bother me during the playoffs, stanley cup, superbowl, final four, and world series.

Numer 10 - "I love you" is the most powerful and overused phrase in the book. You never get tired of hearing it and I've said it so often it's lost all meaning to me. How do you know I love you, look around - I pay the bills, I take care of the house, I change the oil in you car, I make sure you have a full tank of gas, I plant your God awful rose bushes even though I'm allergic to the damn things, I do the dishes, I make dinner when you're tired, I take out the garbage without having to be asked, I care for you when you get sick even though it makes me sick, and when you've had a bad day I listen to you prattle on about people I don't know and could care less about but I feign interest the entire time. If that doesn't say I love you then all of Shakespeare's sonnets would be wasted in the effort.

Anonymous said...

Annon. 2:21 AM

Number 6 made me very sad for you. I am sorry that you feel that way.

Number 10 displays a wonderful husband. Marriage, no matter who it is, is simply not easy. Perhaps one day we will figure it all out.

I wish you the very best!

rightwingimmigrant said...

#6: There's a saying that seems to be true at least in USA, that a man marries a woman hoping she'll never change and a woman marrying a man hoping that she'll successfully change (improve) him. I don't know whether that's true or not, however, after marriage there has to be adjustment to make and considerations to take.
Which leads to...
#4: Translation: Sex begins when you take out the trash--without being asked. I've heard "Mommy" 500 times today. I've changed diapers. I've cleaned the house. I don't feel like a sexy beast. I just feel like a beast. Help lighten the load. Let me take a shower in peace. Sex will sound a whole lot better.

My response:
- I wake up between 6:30 - 7:30 daily, spend 35-50 minutes each way commuting, work 8 hours or more making enough so that my wife doesn't have to work outside the house
- I cook, clean, take out the garbage, take care of the kids, change baby's diaper, feed the baby, help my wife with her part-time job, change the oil, pay the bills, manage the finances, fix things around the house, do the laundry, etc, on a daily basis, not just when I want sex
- Thus, it disgusts me when women write this: "Sex begins when you take out the trash--without being asked. I've heard "Mommy" 500 times today. I've changed diapers. I've cleaned the house. I don't feel like a sexy beast. I just feel like a beast. Help lighten the load. Let me take a shower in peace. Sex will sound a whole lot better."

Truly in this day and age men are the underappreciated one. Just my observation.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I don't buy into the science,rationalization,whatever of the sex starved woman. There were other factors involved but I got the boot from a three year relationship partly because having sex less than twice in a 24 hour just didn't cut it for my girl friend. When your a late 50's man with blood pressure and ED troubles, you need that little blue pill (at more than $10/dose) which should NOT be taken more than once in 24 hours ! Also, if my sex desire is less than the woman's, I am at fault?, don't think so! If it's not spontaneous, then sex becomes an unreasonable demand on either partner's part.
No sale doc.

Melissa Clouthier said...

Anon 10:39,

Dude, whoa! Twice a day wasn't enough. That's brutal long term. But what I was referring to was the other direction. I know women who haven't had sex for six months. I know men in the same boat.

I have girlfriends who have told me that they'd be happy to never have sex ever again. Now, that just ain't right.

In that case, I'm saying, go see a doctor. And btw, ED is usually a mask for another illness that needs to be dealt with. Not always, but can be.

Anonymous said...

Just by comparing comments from the men and women. it is obvious women arent easier than we think.

Anonymous said...

how about no sex for four years...

After suffering from depression and subjecting those around me to those ill effects, my better half has pulled away from me.

I have been "normal" for four years now, but she has the fear that I'll backslide and she doesn't want to go thu that pain again. BUT she doesn't want to end the relationship and I'm left hat in hand so to speak.

Yet I love her madly and wouldn't go outside the marriage to satisify myself.


Anonymous said...

"Your body is not just your own, it's hers, too."

So, Doc, does that go both ways as well? *l*

Melissa Clouthier said...

Anon 9:28,


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