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.”
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.
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.
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.”