Category Archives: Generous Heroes

06Dec/16

Providers

Generous Heroes: Providers

providerssmallThe psychologist Maslow formulated the well known theory of the hierarchy of needs, shaped like a pyramid. At first base are our basic physiological needs, such as hunger, sex, warmth and sleep. The second tier of the pyramid represents the need for safety. The third is the need to belong – to be loved. Fourth is the need for self-esteem, to feel good about ourselves and fifth is the need for self-actualisation – the altruistic need to surpass our individual needs, to become the best person we can be. When I investigated serial killers I found that most male serial killers killed for sex, the first base.

The female serial killers, on the other hand, killed for money. This is interesting and I explored the concept. A little girl recognises her father as the PROVIDER. He goes out to work, earns a salary and provides the roof over her head and brings home the bacon. So in a sense, she equates his love with money and this is also how men generally express their love to their families.

By providing. Having the home and the food and the stuff her father’s money can buy, makes her feel safe and being cared for. If in some sense her father disappointed her, or rejected her, she will always subconsciously hunt the money, as a substitute to fill the empty void which the lack of his love created in her. In some extreme cases where the father molested his daughter or abandoned her, the yearning for money as a substitute for his love and protection, may become so all consuming that she will kill for it. To women, money represents safety.

pantheonRead more about: Maslow’S Hierarchy Of Needs

To men, money represents status

Men feel good about themselves when they are good providers. It boosts their self-esteem. That is how I came to realise that to men money represents status – the fourth tier of Maslow’s hierarchy. Money for women represents a basic need – safety. The second tier of the pyramid. Men need sex and women need to feel safe. Men agree they would rather lose their women to another man with more money, than to a man who is better in bed.

In antiquity a man’s worth was measured by his bravery and valour. His physical strength and performance as a warrior earned him the respect and perhaps the envy of other men. Power was embedded in strength. In our age, men judge other men by their wealth. Money has become the benchmark of a man’s worth. It is the mighty magnates who rule the world, not the politicians, nor the kings.

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06Dec/16

Providers – Rings and shiny things

Rings and shiny things

Why do men buy their wives and girlfriends jewellery? So she can wear it at home? No, so she can wear it for other people to see what a good provider he is. Men like women to show off their wealth. Of course most women do not complain, but often when I see rich men’s wives and their fingers sparkle with several huge diamond rings, I tend to wonder; the more rings, the less attention she gets. “I-will-make-it-up-to-you rings.” Most of those women will exchange those rings at any given moment for more quality time and personal attention from their husbands.

Men are aware of the fact that society expects them to provide. That is often why so many of them avoid marriage – they are not ready to take on the responsibility of providing. However, some men make the mistake of thinking all women are gold diggers.

(Some women are and some are spoilt brats, but I will get to that later.) Many women are quite content when the basics are covered. If they have a roof, food, clothes and most of all safety, especially when they reach old age, they are happy. A little spoiling is appreciated but honestly, not all of them demand or require the diamond rings. Men tend to think women require the luxuries, because it suits the men to think so, because it makes them feel good when they can afford it.

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Case example

One man promised himself he would not ask a girl to marry him, unless he could provide for her better than her father. He dated his high school sweetheart and when he could finally afford to buy her a house, he married her. By then he was already in his thirties. Later he became a very wealthy man. When his daughter turned 21, he wanted to buy her a house. I reminded him of his promise to himself. “If you buy your daughter an expensive house, you are raising the bar too high for her potential husband and she will end up a lonely rich Daddy’s little girl. You spoil your daughter’s chances.” He bought her a small flat.

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Men want women to spend their money, when they offer it.

They only require the woman to be appreciative and not to waste it.

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Case example

A rich man became irate when his wife “squirreled” the spending money he gave her. He gave her an excessive monthly allowance and when they went abroad he often handed her wads of cash to “buy a handbag or something pretty.” She banked the money. Also, her main complaint was that there was never enough money, despite the fact that they lived in a multi-million mansion and she drove a German sports car. I explained to him the principle that she felt unsafe.

If a woman feels unsafe, no amount of money will compensate for it. She did not know if that house or car was paid-up, whether the bailiff could repossess it, or if he had made provision for her and their children, should something happen to him. So she lived frugally and saved the money. Once he explained his finances to her and showed her she would be taken care of in retirement, she relaxed. He even transferred one of the properties into her name.

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I have often witnessed the gilded cage syndrome. A wealthy man will thwart every attempt of his wife to earn her own money. “She does not need to work, I provide for her,” he proclaims, but deep down he cannot tolerate the idea of her gaining independence, for he fears she may leave him. Is he not, by keeping her in the gilded cage and withholding her independence, acknowledging his own insecurity that she may not love him for the man he is? Does he never consider that she may stay, because she loves him as a man, and not because he keeps her captive in golden chains? Often when these women do something to displease the man, he threatens to throw her out, cut off her finances and even abandon her family members he may have been providing for as well. Would he not rather be the man she would voluntarily want to be with, even if he was not wealthy at all? Sometimes I encourage these men to support their wives in establishing their own financial independence, for that would provide the final proof of whether she stays with him for the money, or for himself.

Some women, however, spend his money as if there is no tomorrow. I sometimes wonder at the ease with which these women consider their husbands’ wallets as the proverbial widow’s flask that just never runs dry. They help themselves with no thought or consideration of the fact that that money is earned by hard work. He WORKS for it. He gets up at 5am, while she is still snoozing, and he returns home after 8pm, when she is again in her pyjamas, (or still in her pyjamas). I know I am exaggerating, but I have seen many such examples. Worse, there are women who presume they are entitled to an unlimited access to the money, because they “run” the house or raise his children. “Excuse me, but are they not your children too? Do you require to be paid or compensated to rear your own children? Are you the Nanny earning a salary?” Consider the single Moms out there who work hard to raise their own children and who do not have the luxury of a double income family.

They don’t expect to be paid to raise their children. I do not contest when families have the arrangement that the men work and earn the money and that the women stay at home and raise the children and that this in itself is very hard work. I do not contest that is a good 50 – 50 partnership agreement. But some women have a hell-of-a-self-righteous attitude to this set-up. Some women become extremely indignant when the husband requires some form of bookkeeping as to what his money was spent on and if he requests that she should stick to a budget. Here is a tip, ladies: It is not unreasonable for a man to require quotes or cash slips as proof of expenditure. He is not obliged to hand over wads of cash, or pay limitless accounts. He is not being spiteful, it is just called responsible financial management. He has a right to know what you are doing with his money, just as you have a right to ask him about financial affairs concerning you.

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Case example

A woman complained that her husband buys lavish gifts for their young adult children. She was concerned that they, as a couple, may suffer during their retirement. The wife did not work. She was a stay-at-home-Mom, but the children had all moved out of the home. I asked her if she needed anything. She reflected for a moment and admitted she had a good home, a car, clothes, food etc. They lived a moderate middle class life, but she needed nothing. Since the children were grown up and had left the home, she could sleep late and she spent most of her days updating her Facebook Page, playing computer games, cleaning the house and preparing dinner. Eventually she concluded: “I sound like a spoilt brat.” I agreed. “He gets up at 5 in the morning, brings you coffee in bed and he goes off to work.

He provides for you. He works hard for his money so why on earth can he not spend it on something that makes him happy – even if that entails gifts for his children?” I agreed that the children are spoilt, but it remains his prerogative to spend some of his money on whatever he wants, does it not? If she requires some luxuries why does she not get up at 6 am and go to work as well? With her earnings she can contribute to the existing life insurance policies if she was so concerned about their retirement. Instead of criticising the man for not earning enough, she could support him by finding employment. She complained she had been out of the market for too long and she was too old to work. I assured her even if she found a job for R3000 a month, it would cover her petrol and could add up to a considerable premium and savings. Her alternative is to stay at home, sleep late, clean her home, cook dinner, play computer games and thank her husband for being the provider hero he is, and to stop complaining.

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The flip side of the coin

Sometimes men also have the inclination to think that because they pay for everything, they own the woman.

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>Case example

An affluent man bought his wife a little sports car. One day he took the car in for a service. The salesman offered him a trade-in on the car and an amount of cash. As the man could do with the cash at that moment, he traded the car. He could not understand why his wife was upset. I explained to him that he had negated her right to ownership, by selling her car, without even discussing it with her.

He treated her like a slave, who had no right to possession. He answered that since he had paid for the car in the first place, and since he was in charge of the finances, he could sell the car. She should trust him that he needed the cash then and that he could buy her another newer model sports car later. I explained that he sold her possession. He answered: “So my money is our money – she has free access to it, but what is hers is only hers?” The mistake lay in the lack of communication. If only he had asked or even just told her what he planned to do, she probably would have agreed to it. Men regard communication as the most important part of a relationship, yet often they fail to communicate.

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The psychologist Carl Jung formulated the concept of a collective subconscious. Since women have been suppressed for millennia, they developed a collective subconscious memory of it and resistance to it. Women are sensitive when their rights as humans are not respected. They have a right to an opinion, to property, to work, to love, etc. One man said he understands this deep seated issue and he could understand why she gets upset when he uses her stuff (like her car) without asking he permission. He can respect her right to “Mine”, even when he paid for it, but he wished she would not rub his nose in her “ownership” so often. He wished she could tone it down a little. Noted.

06Dec/16

Providers – Smile

Smile

What appreciation do men need for providing? Work is the battlefield where he fights the dragons and at the end of the day wins the prizes to bring home to his wife. So he gets home after a long day, and she hardly greets him, she is busy doing something else, or she can’t wait to tell him about her problems. Could she please… just … smile. Not fake it, mean it. Can she smile at the man whom she loves? (I can already hear the women complaining: “I work hard too, when I get home in the afternoons I am also tired…” There you go, complaining again, with a sullen face. Just the kind of woman a man can’t wait to come home to?)

Men are born with the innate need to provide and protect. When a mother holds her baby boy in her arms, she smiles at him and he knows the world is perfect. The moment she frowns, although he is still pre-verbal, he tries to figure out what he can do to make her happy. Men want to know they make women happy. They will act like clowns and do all kinds of silly things, just to entertain her and see her smile. Once she smiles at him, he gets the message: “You are doing your job well. I am happy.” Then he can relax. In so many relationships that run into trouble, the women have stopped smiling at the men. When he comes home at night, just give him a smile first. It makes it all worthwhile.

Many men eventually feel they are just the wallet in the home. They are no longer appreciated, they feel no matter how hard they try, they just never get it right, as she always moves the goal posts. The sad thing is, many of these men stay in the marriages because they don’t want to leave her in the lurch. They just try harder and grow more and more unhappy. They no longer like or love her, but they can’t leave her because no one kicks the bunny, remember. Especially if she no longer listens to him and he has gone all quiet and she only uses him as a wallet, and most probably no longer sleeps with him. This is the point where many men cry: “Enough”. And they walk out. Sometimes to another woman who is appreciative and needs him to be the hero, sometimes just because he has had enough. I often ask women if they thank their husbands at the end of the month for providing for them, for paying the bond, etc. The women answer: “Why should I? It’s his job.” Yet, these same women get upset when the husband does not thank her for cooking him a meal every night.

One man said: “I know when my relationships are heading for the pits. She stops kissing me passionately and she gets that expression of discontent. I just break up before she gets to the never-ending-complaining phase.”

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Case example

The wife wanted her husband not to work so late and to come home earlier. When he walked in after 8pm, she shouted at him and smashed the plates of food on the floor. Without replying, he turned around and set off to the local pub, where he had dinner and a couple of beers. When he got home eventually he was too drunk to care whether she picked a fight or not. This woman was doing a 180 degrees opposite of what she wanted. She wanted him to come home. Why would he want to come home to a banshee? When she stopped her antics and welcomed him home one night with a candlelit dinner and a smile, he came home early after that. He said he did not expect a candlelit dinner every night, he just wanted her to stop fighting and be nice and smile. He worked late because he provided for them. Some men work very late because they want to avoid the banshee at home.

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Remember when I explained that when a woman smiles at a man, within split seconds on a pre-conscious level, he relaxes and treats her like an ally? Here is another benefit of smiling: Our faces reveal micro expressions at such a rate, we are hardly conscious of them and we respond to other people’s micro expressions mostly on a pre-conscious level. It is rather uncanny that the vagus nerve, which regulates the parasympathetic (relaxed) nervous system originates from the same part of the brain stem which regulates our facial muscles. The moment we relax our facial muscles into a smile, we send a message to our gut to relax and our heart rate to slow down. So even if we feel depressed or down, a smile and deep breathing will send a message to the brain to generate positive thoughts. You can smile yourself happy. Men are drawn to happy women, because it makes their job at making her happy so much easier.

Neuroscientists discovered mirror neurons in the brain. A simple example would be that we all tend to yawn when we see someone else yawning. These neurons cause us to understand the meaning of another person’s behaviour and bring us in touch with that feeling. When we watch a moving scene in a movie, we tend to cry along. Interestingly women have more mirror neurons than men, meaning women are much more emotionally empathic in touch, and able to read emotional facial expressions. However due to their status as warriors and protectors, men are far better equipped to read and interpret negative facial emotions. A frown or a scowl on a woman’s face triggers an automatic attack mode in a man, while a smile or gentle expression, will trigger the protection mode.

To show appreciation to a Provider, just smile.

Gifts

Parents have reported to me when they give pocket money to girls, they spend it fast. However, boys save their pocket money – so they can spend it on girls later. Sweet.

It is not a good idea for a woman to buy a man expensive presents, especially not before he has bought her a gift first. I asked the men what would be typical signs that a boy likes a girl. They all answered: “He buys her things.” Men like to make grand gestures and impress the women with expensive gifts like a car, or a diamond ring. Usually it is something other people will notice. For in the eyes of other men, he is a good provider. Men like to receive presents, but what they like better are daily gestures that she is thinking of him and that he is special to her. For heaven’s sake, this only applies when they are in a relationship. Showering him with little gifts every day while he is still making up his mind about her, is not a good idea. He does not want to feel bought. He wants to make up his own mind. He wants to do the buying. Little tokens of appreciation once there is an established relationship, is good. Like buying him 2 percent milk because he likes it, or his favourite flavoured biltong (jerky), or replacing his cologne when it’s almost finished, because she noticed. As soon as she gives him a big expensive gift, she is competing with him on his level. He wants her to be in awe of him, not to compete with him. Men like to impress women, not to compete with them. Again it may not be fair, but it is the way it is. Many men claim they don’t mind if the woman earns a bigger salary, but believe me, deep down, most of them do. Even if they accept it, they resent it when she makes it obvious.

Some men think it is fine to ask their personal assistants to buy a gift for their wives. It is not. The only time when it is acceptable to ask a third party to get involved, is when you order her flowers from a florist, long distance since you could not deliver it yourself. It is acceptable to ask your sister or the wife’s best friend to go along and help you chose a gift, but often they may get it wrong. She would rather have something not quite 100 percent her taste, but completely chosen by you, than have someone else choose it for her. It is the thought and your effort that count. Men would like to see the woman not only appreciate the gift, but also to use it, wear it and show it off. Don’t spare the expensive perfume. He intended it for his woman’s pleasure. To make her happy. If she spares it, she is conveying the message that she does not believe he will earn enough to replace it. If she really, really dislikes it, she can tell him – nicely – and exchange it. She can take him along and make him feel special for spoiling her. It is not a good idea to tell the shop assistant: “My husband always gets it wrong.”

19Dec/16

Providers – In a league of her own

In a league of her own

Men observe women and at a glance decide whether they can afford her or not. They call it a league. This league is linked to his earning capacity. Some men prefer women in a higher league for it inspires them to raise the bar, to step up and to fulfil their potential.

Some men prefer women in a lower league, so she will be grateful for what he can afford. It makes it easier for him. Some women fall in love with men who can’t afford them, because those men may have other qualities that are far more important to the woman, than his bank balance. However, these men may develop inferiority complexes, because men generally benchmark their success on their earning capacity. Heroes despise unemployed men who live off women. It is called pimping.

Some men like dating financially successful women, because it affirms he can afford that league. Few men, but they do exist, are not intimidated by a woman’s earning capacity or her bank balance. It actually inspires him, rather than threatens him. These men have the self-confidence to believe in themselves and they don’t need to rely on their bank balances to impress. There is a difference between self-confidence and arrogance. Earning her own salary contributes to a woman’s independent status.

Men prefer women to be the medium for showing off their success. Many men think they do not deserve to spoil themselves. It does them good to hear that they do.

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Case example

An affluent man had a problem acknowledging his success. No matter how much he earned, he felt it was never enough. This was not due to his wife. She adored him and was very appreciative. He grew up in a home where he could never please his mother. I suggested he buy himself a present so he can be reminded of his material success on a daily basis.

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It took some time to convince him that he deserved to spoil himself. Eventually he confessed that he liked fancy cars. I asked him if he would like to spoil himself with a new sports car. “If I drive that thing on the highway, all the other chaps will think I am an arrogant bragging dick,” he said. “Or they may think, wow, check that guy, he made it. If I work harder, I might make it too,” I answered, “ your success may just inspire them. You have earned the car. You reached the bar.” One morning he arrived in a Jaquar sports car. “My wife said it looked sexy,” he said shyly. I agreed.

Footing the bill

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Case example

One man complained every time he took his friends out to dinner, his wife would grab the bill and check if the waiter had over-charged him, or she would calculate the other couples’ share. She is overtly sending his guests the message that he cannot afford it and that he is a bad provider. This is a major insult to a hero.

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Many women wonder if they should offer to pay half of the restaurant bill. Men agree that she can offer once, because it creates the impression that she does not believe she is entitled to his money, but when he says No, she should not embarrass him by insisting. She is creating the impression that he can’t afford her. He would not have invited her if he could not afford her. It’s fine if she invites him now and again, but men do feel uncomfortable when women settle a bill in public.

Best to pay the bill when he goes to the bathroom. They suggest she can rather treat him to a home cooked meal or she can take him on a picnic. Then she provides the food and the ambience and he is not put on the spot in public. When they are just friends, they can share the bill or take turns in paying, but it still makes the man feel uncomfortable.

Just as a woman is not entitled to his money, so he is not entitled to her body when he pays for dinner.

A woman’s validation of her man’s success is very important,
whatever his league

Remember to a man money represents status, to a woman it represents security. Some men earn smaller salaries, but they work hard and they have generous hearts. Blessed are their girlfriends and wives who appreciate them for the heroes they are.

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06Dec/16

Heroes On Their Quests

Heroes On Their Quests

Ancient Greek mythology relates many tales of heroes pursuing their quests. The hero Thesseus slew the Minotaur in the labyrinth on Crete. His lover, the King’s daughter and chief priestess, Ariadne, gave him a ball of thread which guided him out of the labyrinth. He promised to marry her. However, Thesseus left her on the island Naxos and sailed away to follow his destiny to become the King of Athens. Heartbroken Ariadne turned to Dionysos, the god of drink and lust, and she joined a band of women who revelled in wild orgies, drank too much and devoured men. (Thesseus later married her little sister Phaedra, who fell in love with her stepson!)

Medea also used her powers as a priestess to provide magic and herbs to the hero Jason on his quest to find the golden fleece. He married her and they had two sons. Then he followed his quest and abandoned her in favour of the daughter of King Creon of Corinth, princess Glauke. Medea killed their sons and killed princess Glauke with a poisoned dress. She also killed her brother who tried to stop her and eventually she married Thesseus’ father and attempted to kill Thesseus.

Odysseus, King of Ithica, a little island to the west of Greece, was one of the Achaean heroes of the Trojan war. He survived the 10-year war on the shores of Illium, but when he sailed home, he got lost for another 10 years. So for 20 years his wife, Queen Penelope, faithfully ruled his kingdom in his absence and waited for him, despite many suitors vying to win her hand. Noble Odysseus, we think, deserves such a faithful wife, until we read Homer’s Odyssey and learn that seven of those 10 lost years Odysseus spent in the arms of the seductress and siren Calypso. He later contested that he wanted to leave, as he yearned for Penelope. Poor Odysseus?

One of the few Trojans who survived the war was the Trojan hero Aneas. He escaped with his life and fled to Carthage, where he fell in love with the beautiful Queen Dido. They consummated their love in a cave and she understood this to be a proposal of marriage. Aneas abandoned her and set off on his quest to found Rome. She killed herself.

Get the picture? Women assume sex is a declaration of everlasting love or a marriage proposal. Also when a woman stands in the way of a man’s quest, she gets left behind, despite the fact that he may love her. Abandoned and rejected women go on the rebound, commit suicide or get very, very nasty. Women want love, men want glory. Women believe love conquers all. Men don’t. Men believe they can conquer the world.

06Dec/16

Heroes On Their Quests – Love of your life?

Love of your life?

Heroes have a quest. It drives them. Despite everything. They need to find and follow this passion, this quest. Sometimes the quest is off the beaten track, like becoming a famous photographer, or a hunter – remember Robert Redford’s character in the movie Out of Africa – but mostly it involves their career and making money. It is the number one priority. The woman or the wife is not the number one priority. She may become a main distraction for a while, but she is not the lifelong priority. She may become the end to the means – some men realise eventually to amass such riches and to have no one to share it with (or to spend it on) is meaningless and his wife or family becomes the end to the means. The quest / passion / job remains the means to the end though.

Speaking metaphorically, a man may feel that he needs a four carat diamond before he can rightfully and honourably stand in front of a woman and ask her to marry him. “What if she is the love of your life and you may lose her if you go off on this quest? What if she says she does not need a four carat diamond, she just wants you?” I ask. All the men I asked responded exactly the same… they just shrugged their shoulders. “You stand to lose the love of your life. You will never get another love like this, ever?” “So be it,” they all answer without exception. Pose this question to a woman and she will sacrifice anything and drop everything, including her panties, for the love of her life.

The right woman at the right time at the right place. The right woman, the wrong time and wrong place; no go. She may be the woman he wants to marry, but if he is not ready to get married, he WILL LET HER GO. She remembers the wonderful times they shared when they were in love, the promises he made and how all of that just evaporated one day in a flash. She asks herself: “Does he not love me? “ He does. But it is not enough. She may make the perfect wife, but if he does not want to get married, that will not convince him. She may be Miss Right, but if he is Mr Not Ready, he will leave her and avoid her, even if it breaks his heart and it certainly breaks her heart.

Love is not enough, if a man is not ready. She may sleep with him, to rekindle his feelings, and of course he will sleep with her, because he loves her and she is offering herself to him, but that will not make him stay. HE WILL STILL LEAVE. He will avoid her so as not to witness her heartbreak, he will emerge himself in work to be too busy or too tired to think of her, and the last thing she should do is run after him, or tell him he is the love of her life. He knows. He does not want to hear it. He is not ready. Hitch your horses, lady, and move on. He does not want to get hitched. IF HE IS NOT READY, IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

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Case example

One man was an ardent sportsman and trained for the Olympics. He met a young woman who stunned him from the first moment he saw her. She lived in another town. He did not pursue the relationship, for he was focused on his training and could not afford the effort of maintaining a long distance relationship and train for the Olympics. She carried on living her own life. Six months later, they met up again. He realised she was the love of his life.

Guess what? They dated for a year and he broke up with her because the relationship was getting too serious and he was pursuing a gold medal. Again, she did not wait for him. She carried on with her life. Did he miss her? Yes he did! Did he kick his own butt for losing her? Yes he did! Did he saddle his horse and go looking for the love of his life? No. A year later he ran into her for the third time. By this time he had earned his gold medal. He felt worthy of standing in front of her and asked her to be his wife. They are still happily married today.

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He can count himself lucky and favoured by the gods.

06Dec/16

Heroes On Their Quests – Free spirits

Free spirits

Men need to hunt, to seek, to embark on a quest, and eventually to leave a legacy. Some of them develop the common sense to realise there need to be people or just a person to appreciate that legacy, whatever it is, else it would be lost and turn into dust and that would be a sorry state of affairs. It may also be more meaningful when there is a woman who accompanies him to witness his journey, inspire him, record it, appreciate it, see it, praise him and to believe in him. Sometimes these women may be free spirits themselves, who can align their own destinies or purpose with his without smothering him, dampening his spirits or tying him down.

Some woman can be the wind beneath his wings, and not the ball and chain around his ankles. These are the independent women all men say they yearn for, but whom few men can actually truthfully handle. These are the women who embrace their femininity, who do not want to be the better man, who do not regard praising him as the hero as a denigrating experience. These are women who are in touch with their inner goddess and celebrate the liberation of a man being the man. They are not helpless, needy, dependent, greedy, devious, cynical, or manipulating, but they do need heroes. Real heroes, who man-up to the challenge of being her man. These women are not interested in relationships with immature men. They are not out to catch men. In their view a relationship need not necessarily lead to a life long commitment, but it does need to be a solid relationship and it may even last a life time.

I digressed but now I return to the point that men will give up the love of their lives to follow their quests, that love is not their main priority. “They got married and they lived happily ever after”, is the ending of women’s fantasy fairy tales. “Riding off into the sunset on his trusty steed”’ or “going down in a blaze of glory,”’ like Butch and Sundance is the ending of cowboy novels. (If you don’t know who Butch and Sundance were, you may be too young to read this book.)

I pause here to allow this phenomenon to sink in….

The men answer they may lose the love of their lives when they are not ready for her. She may marry another man. He may meet and marry another woman and secretly always pine for his lost love, thinking she is better off without him. Very noble. I am sure Queen Penelope felt the same.

The point is a man wants a woman who can align with his quest. Aligning with the quest does not mean hijacking the quest, or abandoning hers to sheepishly follow his. He needs a woman who understands the importance of the quest. It makes him the better man and she needs to inspire him to that pinnacle of manhood. She needs to understand this need of his and not stand in his way or fight it or criticise him or blame him for striving towards it. He certainly resents her nagging him to do something else, like marrying her. Usually this quest is represented by his work, but it may be an ambition or a passion or a secret dream like sailing the seven seas.

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Case example

A CEO of his own company takes his wife to dinner in a fancy restaurant. His cell phone rings. “I have to take this, there is a crisis at the workshop.” He spends a good 20 minutes on the phone on the balcony of the restaurant. She sits alone at the table, waiting. When he returns, she has either left the restaurant or she is furious and starts bickering, or she has the icy sullen face. He is definitely not getting sex that night.

Men want women to understand that that 20 minute phone call is what pays for that fancy dinner. Women want men to understand she would rather have a hamburger at Wimpy and his undivided attention for one night. The woman who does not complain, but orders his favourite meal, or asks the kitchen to keep it warm for him, is the one who understands the quest. She gets him. He will make it up to her. Maybe with a holiday in Santorini. Sounds fair to me.

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06Dec/16

Heroes On Their Quests – His turf

His turf

It is not a good idea for a wife to work at her husband’s company. Work is the battlefield where men earn their stripes. It is the stage where he earns the money to provide. It is an integral important aspect of his life. If he owns the company, then it is also his domain. It is the last place where he needs a woman to boss him around and to tell him what to do. He is the boss. He may discipline her as he does any other employee, and boy is he going to pay later tonight for humiliating her in front of everybody. Unfortunately very, very few and virtually none of the wives can actually get it right to be just another employee at her husband’s company.

The same applies to children working for their parents, but sometimes to a lesser extent. The wife may not boss her husband around at work, but other personnel know she is the boss’ wife. If she is 5 minutes late and he ignores it, they cry foul. Sometimes she is sweet and nice and hugs him. Men cringe at this. It makes him seem weak and vulnerable, not the boss. Sometimes she thinks and behaves as if she is the boss. She even talks about “our company”. She may be the beneficiary of the profit of that company, but if he is the boss, then it’s not her company. Taking or even just talking co-ownership of his company makes him seem incompetent. It’s deadly. Don’t do it. It is his quest. He leads. Support his quest, share it if you may, but don’t hi-jack it.

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Case example

One woman complained that her husband volunteered to work extra shifts on weekends. She did not like it because she wanted to spend time with him, but she understood he did this to increase his income. She accepted it. One Sunday afternoon when he had the day off and they enjoyed a snooze, they were interrupted by a call from a female colleague at work, who needed assistance. He had to be the hero at work and if he said no, he would be the anti-hero. She wanted her husband to be her hero and stay with her. She did not want him to be the female colleague’s hero. Now we have a conflict of interests here. This can easily develop into a power game.

If she had insisted he stayed at home, she would have been doing that thing where women tell men what to do. This would have alienated him. He would probably have gone to work, just to prove to her that he is a man who can go where he wants to. And he may have stopped at a pub on the way home, because he wanted to avoid the sulking wife at home. Alternatively she decided to accompany him to work and made him a happy man while he was driving there. Just to remind him where his priorities lay and to show support for his quest. I did not say it is fair, but he was reminded that he had married the best girl in the world. And the female colleague got the message that this was a happily married man.

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Often working women give up their jobs to become stay-at-home-Moms. Some of them have the luxury of au pairs and housekeepers who mainly drive the kids around and tend to the house. The women become bored and lonely. They envy the men their exciting lives, surrounded by other intelligent, dynamic people, who dress up in suits in the morning. The women cut their hair in short functionable hairdos and wear ridiculous Capri pants that reach halfway down their calves and flat sandals that show off their pedicures. But they long for the hustle and bustle of working life, of making deals and they resent the high-powered women colleagues or pretty sales reps with their long hair, who cross the paths of their men. The wives do lunch with their equally bored friends, they have their nails done, their eyelines tinted, their eyebrows plucked and they have set appointments at the hairdresser every week.

They frequent coffee shops, chatting to the baristas, ordering designer cup cakes, reading novels or fashion magazines or updating their Facebook, just to escape their homes. (Very few of them actually read the newspapers in these coffee shops.) Eventually they become bored out of their skulls and then they begin to deliberately pick fights with their husbands at night. Just to get his attention and because they envy his power-charged, interesting life. They sabotage the men on their quests by sending them hundreds of emails or smses or whats-apps during the day, demanding his immediate attention to an irrelevant problem. If he does not respond, she throws a tantrum, accuses him of not loving her, or having an affair with a colleague or causes some drama for him to resolve. JUST TO GET HIS ATTENTION.

These women are not aligned with their men’s quests. When I suggest they get a job, they all answer they do not need to work, because the husband supports them or the husband would not approve of it. These are the women who grow emotionally and financially dependent on the man, and then punishes him for it. Having to keep her entertained after a long day on the battlefield drains him. One woman answered: “If he buys me a coffee shop or something, I would not be able to travel so much.” She travelled abroad at least three or four times a year, at his expense, without him. She attended cooking classes in Tuscany. If he was not home by 8pm at night, she chucked the food in the dustbin, because he did not appreciate the effort she made to cook it! If these women refuse to work, why don’t they get involved in charity? the men ask. Why can’t women find something meaningful to do with their lives? the men want to know.

Men appreciate women who have a passion or an interest of their own. It makes the man very nervous when that passion or interest is him. A man does not want a woman’s whole life to revolve around him. It ties him down. It overloads him with expectancies. It is too much. However, once he marries her, he does want her to take care of the household requirements, pick up the mail and do the groceries, collect his prescription medication and dry-cleaning, tend to the kids’ extra curricular activities, send flowers and a birthday card to his mother, take the dog to the vet, need him like a hero and please just maintain her own interest as well. He also wants her undivided attention when he is present. I did not say it’s fair.

A last word on quest: When the three goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite presented the Trojan prince, Paris, with a choice of the throne of Asia and Europe; wisdom and the acclaim of being a great warrior; or the most beautiful woman in the world Helen, to become the love of his life, he chose Helen. The mighty city of Troy was doomed for his choice of love over power and glory, and he was branded a coward among men. When Achilles was given the choice of a long and happy family life or a short life crowned by eternity of glory as the greatest warrior, he chose the latter. That is why men regarded him as a Hero.

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12Dec/16

Heroes in Love

Heroes in Love

People in love are playful, like puppies, and a puppy is the cutest thing. Most women adore the smell of a puppy’s breath. If only someone could produce cologne smelling like puppy breath, women would follow men everywhere. Puppies grow into loyal dogs and our best friends. They play with us and protect us.

However, a puppy will wee on your carpet, it will dig out the plants in your garden and if you leave the gate open long enough, it will run after the bitch down the road. We decide that despite this we still want the puppy. Relationships are similar. There are certain characteristics about men that make them men and it may not be fair and women can’t change it. And vice versa. For instance: Men don’t do emotions. Women do emotions. If men don’t like women’s emotions, then men should date other men.

Ever heard of the expression: people fall in love, because there is chemistry between them? Not to spoil the fun, but there are specific parts of our brains at play when we fall in love. When we notice an attractive person for the first time, the left pre-frontal cortex alerts us to pay attention to this person and we experience positive thoughts about him or her. The right pre-frontal cortex – responsible for negative thoughts – is temporarily disabled. We see through rose tinted glasses and love is initially blind. Our brains signals the release of dopamine – the Aphrodite of neurotransmitters and the anticipation of pleasure – to flood the nucleus accumbens – the pleasure centre of our brains. The hippocampus – responsible for memory – records the positive memory of this experience and will recall it when we meet that person again. Add some testosterone, oxytocin and adrenalin to the dopamine and we have a potent love potion. It’s all brain chemistry.

Emotions

One man said as soon as women get emotional, he leaves. No wonder he is still single at the age of 56. His interest in women is mainly sexual. Independent, adult, mature, single women do not take him seriously. If he can’t man-up to emotions, he may not be able to man-up in bed.

The majority of men are not in touch with their emotions. Ask a woman to list synonyms for the word “angry” and to arrange them in order of intensity: peeved, annoyed, slightly irritated, indignant, affronted, upset, angry, seething, furious, rage, murderous Medusa. Ask a man to do the same thing. He struggles. He is not language orientated and he is not in touch with his emotions. He can’t name them and often he cannot distinguish between them. Men have three basic emotions. He is happy – which means he is content – it is not champagne cork popping stuff, he is just happy, or he is sad or angry. Often men cannot discern between angry and sad. It is only when a major event really rocks their world that they experience or express intense emotions. Like their favourite sports team winning an international game. That causes elation. A woman they love breaks their trust – they are heartbroken. Someone hurts their children – they are murderous. One man said: “We are not bulletproof, but cowboys don’t cry.”

Besides the fact that men do not understand their own emotions, they also do not understand a woman’s emotions. They tend to react to a situation entirely from their own male perspective and they really find it very difficult to understand it from a woman’s point of view, because they are wired differently. Remember, men have cognitive empathy rather than emotional empathy.

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Case Example

A divorced single mother struggled financially to raise her daughter. Eventually by the time the daughter was 16 years old, the woman had managed to buy a run-down little apartment. She was very proud of her achievement. She had known many hardships, but eventually she succeeded in buying her own place, albeit dilapidated. Her current boyfriend offered to replace her kitchen cupboards. She refused. She explained she experienced his offer as undermining her independence. Kitchen cupboards were too expensive, she could not afford to pay him back and she felt she exploited him if she accepted. The more he insisted, the more aggravated she became that he had no respect for her independence or that he had no inkling of what she endured to achieve it. She accused him of trying to fix her life.

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I told her the following story: A mammoth had killed the male hunter. Due to these circumstances, the woman was forced to learn to hunt for herself or perish. She struggled and made many mistakes. Initially she was not strong enough to pull the bowstring, the arrows fell short, the deer ran away. Many a night she was cold and hungry and frustrated and she cried to the full moon and raised her fist, but she persevered. Gradually she improved and she became adept as a huntress. One day she killed a bison. She danced for joy. She skinned and gutted the animal, preserved the meat in the snow, scraped the skin clean and erected a tent.

That night she built a fire and ate her fried meat. She looked at the full moon: “I am a huntress,” she shouted, “I did this! I killed the bison and made the fire and I erected my own tent!” She was so proud of herself, she danced a victory dance around her fire. The goddess Artemis was proud of her too. The next day a male hunter came sauntering by. “What’s this?” he asked her. “I hunted a bison,” she said proudly. He squinted his eyes. “So what,” he answered, “what’s the big deal? We all hunt.” “I erected my own tent, look,” she said and waved her hand at her little tent. He walked over to the tent and pulled it apart. “That’s no way to erect a tent, it will blow over in the first wind.” He took the bison skin, picked up her bow and arrows, slung it over his shoulder and said: “Come with me, I will hunt for you. Come live in my tent. It’s warm and solid.”

The hunter had no sense or understanding of the woman’s pride at her accomplishment, because from a man’s perspective, hunting is natural. It made practical sense for him to have her move into his tent. Men can’t feel the same way women feel about situations, because THEY ARE MEN. The boyfriend had no issue with her independence, he just wanted to spoil his woman and be her hero. She understood. A week later the kitchen cupboards were fitted.

Women can often fluctuate between their emotions, without even being classified as bi-polar or having mood swings. Women know what they feel and when they feel it. (Women don’t always know why they feel it.) Men don’t always know what they feel. It is not that men do not experience feelings, they do. They are just not that tuned into them. They don’t know what to do with them and when men can’t figure something out, they ignore it. They hope it goes away. Men have this amazing ability, which I call the Tupperware-syndrome, where they enclose inexplicable emotions in a Tupperware container and place it in the back of the fridge and then they forget all about it. We all know when that lid pops open due to the poisonous gasses that have accumulated in the meantime.

Sometimes they are in love, but it does not fit in with their plans and then they hope it goes away. The sad thing is, if they ignore it long enough, it does goes away or it turns sour.

One man described being in love as being “catnipped”. Anyone who has witnessed a cat under the influence of catnip will understand. “We can’t think in her company, never mind think straight. Our brains don’t work. We say silly things, we trip over our feet, and we even giggle. Often we just stay away from her, hoping it just goes away,” he said. “Don’t worry,” I answered, “most women feel the same, but they will never want to stay away from the man.”

12Dec/16

Heroes in Love – Different definitions of relationships

Different definitions of relationships

A one-night-stand is not a relationship, so I am not discussing it here.

Do all men want sex? Yes. Do all men want just sex or sex all the time? No. Is his first attraction to a woman physical? Usually yes. However, a sexual interest does not guarantee an emotional interest. Sometimes a man’s sexual interest can last three months, but his feelings are lagging behind. Initially when men date women they do not have long term plans. He dates her because he would like to sleep with her and perhaps get to know her better. He likes being in her company and it makes him feel good. He does not even know if she will graduate to become the girlfriend, never mind ever becoming the wife. He just likes being with her, now. She smells nice and she smiles. The complication is that many women only date potential husbands. They don’t waste time with guys who don’t make the grade. Men can have a good time with women who don’t make the grade and they have a completely different tick list when it comes to choosing a wife or a life partner. Sex might attract a man, but it does not necessarily keep him. One man said: “It is easy to get a girl in your bed, it is more difficult to kick her out of your bed.” Men usually regard this as a “friends with benefits” arrangement. Very few women can handle “no strings attached” relations.

Although he may not be ready for marriage, he may still be looking for a relationship, for the present, or he is just looking for a good time. Remember the right girl at the right time and at the right place in a man’s life, principle.

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Case Example

A 28 year old man told me: “I have been seeing this girl for some time now.” “What does that mean? Define seeing her?” I asked. “I spend time with her, we hang out, we go places,” he said. “ Do you see her every weekend?” “Yes,” he agreed. “Do you see someone else as well?” I asked. “No I don’t, just her.” “Oh. Are you sleeping with her?” I enquired. “Yes, “ he smiled. “How long have you been seeing her?” I asked. “A couple of months,” he answered. “In her mind then, the two of you are in a relationship.” “Nope,” he shook his head, “I am just seeing her.” I can see all the men turning their hands up and asking “What?” And all the women rolling their eyes and shaking their heads

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To a woman spending time together exclusively and sleeping together equates a relationship. It is not a marriage proposal, but it is a relationship. To a man, it is not. It is only a relationship when he asks her to be his girlfriend and she says yes.

I remind many women that a man is not entitled to boyfriend privileges if he has not formally asked her to be his girlfriend. Men are inclined to take advantage of this situation where she assumes a one-on-one relationship and keeps herself unavailable to others, and he still hunts in many forests.

A relationship implies expectations

I asked the men what the difference is between expectations and a challenge. Expectations means he has to work much harder to please her and he has to give up doing things he likes doing and he loses the things that currently make him happy, without gaining anything. Expectations are detrimental to his current status quo. A challenge implies there is an anticipation of a reward. Winning her over is going to enrich his life, or make his life easier. Expectations also activate his current insecurities. If he thinks he would not be able to live up to what she expects from him, he will avoid her. He would rather stay away than disappoint her. Even if that is disappointing to her. If he can’t see her disappointment then it will eventually go away – remember the Tupperware-syndrome!

Too serious, too soon

Because men are not in touch with their feelings and they are still just seeing her, they get a big fright when she labels it a relationship or expresses her feelings, especially when she uses the “love” word. By three months of exclusively seeing each other, spending time together and sleeping with each other, she feels she can tell him she loves him. He is hardly getting to know her. When a woman jumps the gun and tells a man she loves him first, she is forcing him to face his feelings (to pop open those Tupperware containers), and he often runs, because it is too soon, or she is depriving him of the opportunity to make the big “love” declaration and she is spoiling his big surprise and the chance of making her happy and being the Hero.

One man said: “The moment she says that she loves me, it’s not fun anymore, it becomes work.” “Once it is called a relationship, you have to attend family functions with her.” “Why does a woman have to be “in” something? Why can’t she just be “with” someone? Let it be,” said another.