Category Archives: Protectors And Warriors


Read More – Time Out

Time-Out is a life skill tool that any one of the parties can call during a heated argument and the other person has to adhere, for the sake of the relationship, personal dignity and self respect.

The procedure of Time-Out work as follows:

We call Time-Out when we reach that point in the argument where we are about to lose control, either by saying things we should not, or worse, where we may just resort to violence.

If any person calls Time-Out, then the parties retreat, each to a different safe haven. This can be to the bedroom, the garden outside, bathroom etc. Just get away from each other.

Now you can continue the argument on a virtual platform with the partner, venting all your anger and releasing all the dirty name calling burning inside your guts, in a room or space where no-one but yourself can hear it. At first we focus on the other person: “You are a lousy, low down snake.” “You are a manipulating bitch.” Carry on until you have nothing left to say. The aim of this part of the exercise is just to vent and rid yourself of the anger – which is a destructive emotion.

Then we shift gears and we express our feelings: “I am angry, I am hurting, I feel betrayed, I am disappointed, I feel lost, I feel trapped…” Cry if needs be. Bury your face in the pillow. Just let it out. The aim of this part of the exercise is to get in touch with your feelings and express them. Tell yourself what you are feeling. This helps you to ground yourself and to get a hold of yourself.

When all is out of your system, now investigate your own point of view re the argument. Are you really 100% right? Are there matters where you can concede or compromise? Remember no-one can hear you and argue with you at this point. Just consider that you may not be 100% right.

Now re-evaluate the partner’s point of view. Even if it does not make sense, see if you can at least repeat their point of view, just to make sure that you actually heard it. But do make an effort to find some truth or justification or make sense from it. You don’t have to agree with it, just try to figure it out and consider it.

Ask yourself if the issue that you are arguing about is going to be important in 6 months’ time?

Is there perhaps a hidden subtext underlying this issue, that is more important and that you are both ignoring.

If the issue will not be important in 6 months’ time, go out and make up, even if you were right and the other party was wrong. Your marriage is more important than being right.

If there is a subtext, at least acknowledge that there may be a bigger problem which may require professional help and in the mean time, call a truce.

Go out and find a more friendly and amicable way to call a truce. Is it really worth a few days’ sulking?

Apologies can always help. Even if you are not apologising for your behaviour or whatever the perception is that you did wrong, at least be sorry that you hurt the other person’s feelings. This is after all the person that you love and that you want to be with.

Time-Out should not exceed an hour. If you cannot calm down within an hour at least go out and tell the partner that you are still upset and that you would prefer to talk about it the following day. Then go to bed and sleep.

Time-Out can only be called when both parties have at least had a chance to say something. A person cannot say: “I am angry because you came home late” and before the other person can even explain or defend, you call Time-Out. Time-Out is not a tool to silence the other person. It is a tool to control your own anger.

Self control and self discipline are easy words to use when we are calm. It is in the heat of the moment when it requires almost super human effort to apply it. This is what makes us mature adults. We take responsibility to vent our anger without destruction.

Take me back to Action Heroes: Protectors And Warriors – A woman does not have to fight


Protectors And Warriors – Catfights


Speaking of the dagger. Women often complain that their husbands never take their side when she has an argument with his mother or another woman. I ask the woman then: “If two men were fighting each other with daggers, would you step in between them?” This is how men perceive two women fighting. If he interferes, he is going to get hurt – probably in the groin region. The secret is not to fight with another woman, but rather to lay down the weapon, move in behind her man, and trust him to protect her. He might not do it the way she wants him to (don’t tell him what to do), but he will protect her. She may want him to call his mother and give her a piece of his mind.

He might solve it by just keeping the two of them apart. He hates conflict, remember, and he hates being the anti-hero more. Telling his mother to butt-out makes him a major anti-hero. Please understand this. (I did not say it was fair.) Men do not like bitchy and sarcastic women.

They are oblivious to the finer nuances in a catfight, but they can recognise open sarcastic, bitchy hostility and they don’t like it. Most women are clever enough to stage a scene to make the other woman seem the bitch. Men never like seeing a dagger coming from a woman’s mouth because they never know when it will be directed at them.



Case example:

One man was caught in an argument between his wife and their best female friend. He happened to agree with the other girl’s point of view. “What was I supposed to do?” he asked me. “If you were at a dinner party and you made some comment that someone else disagreed with, would you want your wife to have your back, or would you want her to side with the other person against you?

When we are in a partnership, we back each other up. You may just put your arm around your wife and say: “Even if I disagree with my wife’s point of view, I support her right to express her opinion.” Or just put your arm around her and say nothing. That would make her feel that you are protecting her, without having to agree with her.”



Remember in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, where the mermaids hang on to the rowing boats of the pirates, and they have the sweetest, serene, beautiful faces and suddenly they open their mouths revealing their terrible fangs? That pretty much describes what happens when that TONE OF VOICE and the daggers emerge.

Check out men’s profiles on dating sites. What is the one major off-putting characteristic they all agree on? Sarcasm.



Case example:

A man walks up to his girlfriend at a social function. He asks if he can get her a refill. “I thought you’d never ask. You would let me die of thirst here,” she says and holds her glass out to him. He will refill her drink and hand it to her silently. And he will pick a fight with her on the way home and he will probably just drop her off at the gate. What if she had just smiled and said: “Thanks, you’re my hero.” He would have been attentive and affectionate towards her and all the other women would have complained to their husbands and boyfriends asking why could they not be more like that man who clearly adores his girlfriend?



Ask nicely



Case example:

The woman says: “You know,” wagging her finger in the air, “you would walk past this smelly dustbin and not even think of taking it out. I have to do everything in this house.” Then she wonders why he just looks at her and then resumes watching television. What happened to: “Would you please take out the dustbin for me, it’s heavy and smelly.” His first reaction would probably be: “Must I do it now?” (I told you it’s not fair.) Then she responds: “Yes please, I want to start dinner and it’s smelly and I’m sure you are hungry too.” If she smiles when she asks, he will do it. When he returns and she thanks him for being her hero, he will probably hang around the kitchen and ask if there is anything else he can do to help her. Ask him to peel the onions. Why don’t women just ask nicely when they want men to do something for them?

Why do women think they have to manipulate to get something? Ask nicely, charm a little and stroke his ego, it works better. Men are not stupid. They know when they are being manipulated and they resent it. They also know when they are being charmed and they love it. Just be sincere. If she does not want to stroke his ego and be charming towards him, what is she doing there? Is this not the man she is supposed to be in love with? The more truly feminine she is, the more she activates the hero. If he does not respond with heroic actions, leave.

One woman asked: “So must I continuously lick his boots to get him to do something?” “No, just ask nicely,” I answered. “Must I then continuously praise him and tell him he is my hero?” she asked. “Why not? You did it when you dated. You married your hero. Why not remind him of it? What do you have to lose? You may just regain your hero.”

One man explains: “Please don’t lose the praising. You will profit double in return and other women will envy the way he spoils you.”



Protectors and Warriors – The male apology

The male apology

Many women expect men to verbally apologise or agree with them. Why? He is a man, he has an ego – which is a good thing – why insist on a verbal apology? It is not his language. He is action orientated. He will SHOW her he is sorry by filling her car with petrol, buying her flowers, or just doing something for her. Once she understands this, and acknowledges the act of apology, without insisting on the verbal apology, he will thank his lucky stars for being with the best woman in the world and he will endeavour to spoil her more.



Case example:

A couple had a huge argument at a friend’s house. As they approached the garden gate on their way out, the man stopped and picked a flower. “We must get you a plant like this,” he said and offered her the flower. She slapped the flower from his hand. What she did not realise was that the offering of the flower was his way of apologising. Men would much rather express themselves through such an action, than with a verbal apology. It’s the way they are.



Many men told me they do not always expect a woman to say she is sorry if she did something that offended him. They rather want her to understand why he was offended. For example discussing his shortcomings with his friends is excruciatingly embarrassing to a warrior. Betraying his secrets and embarrassing him in company are some of the worst offences.

Fighting his battles

Remember men are warriors. Some women however, think they can snatch the sword from his hand and fight the battle for him. (He wants her to be able to fight her own battles when he is not there, but don’t fight his battles when he is present.) When this occurs, he will either attack her, or sit back and watch her make a fool of herself. Men usually have a reaction: “Well then, see if you can do it better, but don’t come running to me if you get hurt.” Battlefield is male territory, if a woman engages in battle, she becomes a comrade or an enemy, not the woman he needs to protect. And he wants to be with a woman whom he can protect, because it makes him feel good. What makes the woman think she can handle his situation better?



Case example:

A man and his girlfriend approached the client liaison officer at the bank. The man explained that he wanted to switch bank accounts. The client liaison officer was a bit haughty. The girlfriend stepped up from behind him, pushed her way in front, wagged her finger at the liaison officer and told her her fortune. The man left the bank. The girlfriend said she just tried to help. Soon after, he left the girlfriend too. Men do not require women to take up arms for them. They need women to back them up. The emphasis is on Stay back.



Another more mild example of snatching the sword from his hand would be a couple sitting at a table in a restaurant and the waiter taking his time to attend to them. Then the woman waves a waiter over or worse, gets up and fetches a waiter to the table. Sit back, lady, relax. He has it under control. She will get her food and he will pay for it too. It may be a good idea as well to tell the man what she would like to order in stead of directly to the waiter. Men look forward to treating a lady to dinner. It  resents them with an opportunity to be a hero, to treat her and spoil her. It is not that he is buying your gratitude, because he is paying for dinner, it is more just a matter of good manners to show genuine appreciation. Is it really too much to ask to make him feel like the hero? I think not.

Heroes never kick the bunny

When I was still a profiler, a murder and robbery commander invited me to his house. He wanted to show me something. The detectives were quite curious, so we all went along. He showed me his children’s bunny. I held the bunny and stroked its ears. The men were mesmerised. I put the bunny down and it hopped around on the lawn. Their gazes followed the bunny. When the bunny approached one of them, the others would caution him to watch out for the bunny. I realised there is a code of honour among men: No one kicks the bunny. They protect the bunny and they feel good protecting the bunny. I am not advocating that women should hop around the lawn, but since women have a deep seated need to feel safe, what’s wrong with activating the protector and making the men feel good about it? It’s a win-win.

The last word on men and action: A man has got to do what a man has got to do. Don’t stand in his way, rather trust that he will do it well, and he may just want to come home to you, without you having to try and catch him.





Protectors And Warriors – “NOTHING”


Men reluctantly agree, that sometimes, they are the actual source of the woman’s problem. Although usually they are the handsome, sexy, clever, strong heroes, occasionally they can be the pain in the butt or the source of her pain. They also agree that when this happens, they would like her to tell them about it. I explain to the men that when she tells him about something he did that made her unhappy, men usually experience this as a dagger to the gut and then they have one of two reactions.

They either say: “You are being over sensitive.” Or they say: “Yes, but you also …” In both cases they are attacking the woman and excusing or defending their own behaviour. What follows is the woman retreats into silence. The next time he sees that sullen face and he asks: “What’s wrong?” he gets the icy: “Nothing.” Men hate the icy note, sullen mouth, and the screwed-up eyes face. Yet, if he does not afford the woman the opportunity to communicate to him what he did to make her unhappy, without interrupting her, he is conditioning her into that sullen face.

The next time a man hears “Nothing!” from a woman, he should ask himself how he responded the previous time she tried to tell him what was upsetting her.

Tone of voice

Anyone who has watched a movie like 300, depicting the battle of Thermopylae in 480BC when the Spartan king Leonidas faced the might of King Xerxes and the Persian empire, will develop a sense of the din of a raging battle. The man’s body is geared-up in the highest fight-or-flight mode. Now in this mode, a part of the brain stem – the primitive reptile brain – secretes a neuro-modulator called noradrenalin, which peaks his aroused senses.

This enables him to hear sounds in the finest detail and raises his signal-to-noise ratio. The more noise, the higher the aggression, the less he is able to argue reasonably. His pupils dilate and he is focused only on annihilating the opponent in front of him, one after the other, like a machine. Remember, his higher brain functions such as logical reasoning are temporary out of action. Would you try to reason with Leonidas in the heat of the battle? Knowing this about the functioning of a warrior, is it conducive to yell and scream at him in order to try to convince him of something?

So when I ask the men: “ How would you want her to communicate to you that you did something that made her unhappy?” they all unanimously agree: “It’s in the tone of voice.” One of the biggest complaints men have about women is TONE OF VOICE.

Remember when I explained a man decides within split seconds pre-consciously whether he is encountering an ally or an enemy? We hear faster than we see. Hearing is 25 per cent more acute than seeing. Men are especially sensitive to tone of voice, more than to content. They are also sensitive to criticism, which they perceive as verbal daggers, which will throw them into the flight-or-fight state. Men are apt not to flee, they fight.

Now the good news is if the woman is calm and engages her own parasympathetic or relaxed state, she activates her vagus nerve, which among other functions such as slowing down her breathing, will also actually lower her tone of voice. Our brains are reported to receive millions of bits of information per second from our senses, of which only 0.5 bits per second actually reaches our consciousness. The rest remain pre-conscious. So when the man perceives her calmness through his senses, he is pre-programmed to calm down and to actually stay focused and pay attention to what she is saying.

If she sits next to him, touches him and says gently: “I did not like the way you spoke to me at dinner. Please do not do it again. I do not speak to you that way.” Short and sweet. No need to repeat it, or analyse it. He heard her. Maybe he will apologise there and then, probably not, but he may make her coffee later and make some silly joke just to see her smile.

If he engages in some excuse or defends his actions, she should just smile and say: “I get your point. I know you don’t want to hurt me deliberately. Thanks for being my hero.” Now come on, can any man argue with that? Try it. It works. Much better than throwing a hissy fit and remember a gentle touch releases the oxytocin, which improves his emotional understanding of the situation.

I know women are asking: “But why should I be nice to him if he was horrible to me?” Just explain to me how reciprocating nastiness is going to resolve the problem? Or will it only exacerbate the situation? Which option offers a win-win benefit in the long run?

How would she prefer him to react when she tells him what is bothering her? She would not want him to interrupt her, defend or justify himself, change the subject or accuse her. If he could just keep quiet and let her finish talking, even if what she says may sound unfair. If she is talking in THAT TONE OF VOICE, he may say: “I really want to hear what I have done to upset you, but please can you tell me in a kinder way, it would help me understand.”

Then she tells him and he listens. When she is done, he may say: “Thank you for telling me. I need time to digest this.” He may even add: “I am sorry that you are hurting,” if he is really kind. Then he goes off and thinks about what she said and maybe she had a point and maybe he can up his game, or maybe she had misunderstood his intentions, eventually he could consider what is more important, the issue or his marriage? The same applies to her.

I need to stress that men complain about a woman’s tone of voice, but many men are guilty of raising their voices. Women are just as sensitive to men raising their voices and it scares them. Men often defend by saying they were just talking loudly. Talking loudly is raising your voice. It scares her. You are supposed to protect her, not scare her.

Some men talk down to women, patronising them. Some men have a bad habit of inflicting little nasty pricks with verbal daggers, continuously sniping at their women. Prick being the operative word. This can backfire. One woman told her man: “If only your dick was as sharp as your tongue.”

This comment illustrates the point I made about how a man fears a woman’s tongue as a dagger that can castrate him. The comment: “Since you like sex so much, don’t you think it is time you learn how to do it?” has pretty much the same effect. Perhaps men learnt to humiliate and belittle women from their mothers who used those daggers on their husbands? Imagine asking a man if he learnt to be a bitch from his mother?


Protectors And Warriors – A woman does not have to fight

A woman does not have to fight or manipulate a man to do what she wants him to do

When men hear the above case example, they all have one unanimous response. He did not do anything wrong by going out on the boys’ night. He made the mistake of not informing her and not calling her when it grew late. By the way, why does she want him to call her when he is out late at night or travelling? Men tend to think it is because she does not trust him – that he may be with another woman. Please! I know of men who call their wives, with their girlfriends lying right next to them. No, it’s not about not trusting them. Wives want their men to call them, so she knows he is still alive. Men tend to think that they are invincible. They are warriors and their skin is made of armour.

They are strong and they can look after themselves and they get irritated if women tell them to drive safely. A wife asks him to call her, not because she does not believe him to be the strong hero, she does. Rather, she asks him to call because if heaven forbid he should die, her whole world collapses. If he dies, she is unprotected. She has no hero to protect her or to provide for her. She wants to know that he is alive, because it makes her feel safe. Feeling safe is the most basic need a woman has. So be the hero and just make the call. Just make contact.

A woman’s tongue is like a dagger

Although no woman can berate a man to the same extent he can do it to himself, men also agree that the weapon a man fears most is not a dagger or a gun. It is a woman’s tongue. With her tongue she can castrate in the same sentence. At some point when a man and woman are yelling at each other, he tells her: “Enough.” This is the point where if she were a man, he would have hit her, but he can’t because she is a woman. Her words are coming at him like daggers and he is going to do something drastic to defend himself. Most men either hit the door or they leave. Then the women follow them, calling them cowards for leaving. Some men have described this as feeling as if they are being verbally violated or castrated by the woman, but they can’t tell anyone about it. Or she clings to his legs and begs him not to go.

One man said: “Men do hear all the bad words. It is not necessary for her to repeat them in many different ways. When a man says “Enough, I heard you,” then STOP. He will go off and consider and analyse where he went wrong. Just STOP and give him the chance to retreat.”

I have explained how men’s bodies prepare for battle within split seconds. Physiologically during a heated argument, his heart rate increases, his blood pressure rises, rushing blood to the muscle groups required for fighting and the arterioles in the skin constrict, which will reduce bleeding if he is wounded. His breathing accelerates, providing the oxygen he needs for the increased rush of blood. He starts to sweat to cool his body down in preparation for the fight. This is generally referred to as the fight-or-flight or sympathetic nervous system. These bodily adaptations require fuel. Fuel is produced by the brain alerting the adrenal glands to release adrenalin. Adrenalin produces glucose, which is the fuel required.

The neo-cortex is the part of the brain that evolved last in humans. It is responsible for choices, planning, philosophical reasoning, analytical thinking and considering long-term consequences of actions. The physiological activity of preparing the body for a fight burns the glucose, but during prolonged periods of the body under this pressure, the glucose fuel can run dry. Unfortunately the neo-cortex, which houses self-control, also runs on glucose.

Both extreme physical and mental activity can deplete the glucose reserves. This is usually when men cry ENOUGH! They know they are on the verge of losing that self-control. (Please note that this physiological explanation is by no or any means an excuse or endorsement for a man to hit a woman and any attempt to interpret it that way, will be considered malicious misinterpretation of text.)

Heated arguments

Men and women differ greatly in their expectations of each other during heated arguments. Men try to avoid verbal conflict and arguments, because words are unfamiliar weapons to them. At some point during the argument, the woman leaves, goes into the bedroom and slams the door. The man is oblivious to the fact that the woman expects him to follow her into the room. So she sits there seething and pre-navigating the next chapter of the argument in her head. The moment he walks through that door, she is just going to tell him… and he does not come through the door.

Actually, he is sitting on the veranda and probably lit a fire. Fire is good for men, it has a calming effect on them. And he happened to notice the soccer score in the newspaper, which he is now reading. Men compartmentalise. Since the danger and threat of the angry woman is not currently there, he can relax. Between battles, men’s bodies are relieved and cool down. (That’s why we have breaks during boxing, rugby, soccer and other sporting events.) Would he for one instant consider following her into that room? You have got to be kidding. He knows what is in that room and he wants to avoid it. He actually thinks she is cooling down in that room. Meanwhile… she is seething and the pressure is reaching boiling point. She tried crying louder, but men avoid crying women.

Eventually, unfortunately, this is also the point where some women lose the plot and threaten to harm or kill themselves in order to elicit sympathy or attention from the men. Men have a complete opposite reaction. They will assist her, take her to the hospital and get her emergency care (note: they take action, they do not express empathy) and thereafter they will try and hot heel it out of that relationship as soon as they can. Threatening or attempting suicide does not draw men closer. It repels them. I repeat: threatening or attempting suicide does not evoke feelings of empathy or love in a man. Quite the opposite.

When a woman exits a fight scene she expects the man to come after her. When a man exits a fight, he expects the woman to let him go. Do not cling to his legs or follow him, or throw objects at him.

Would it not be more productive and better for both, if women just never engage in aggressive fights with men? What is the point? There are better, more conducive and more mature ways of communicating her needs, displeasure and even her anger and hurt. There are ways to actually talk to a man, where he listens and attends to her needs.

Remember, basically, men want to be the heroes and fix the women’s problems.

pantheonRead more: TIME OUT


Protectors And Warriors – Don’t tell him, touch him

Don’t tell him, touch him. It’s an action he understands


Case example

A young woman was very much in love with a man. No matter how much she flirted with him, he just did not get it. I asked the other men for advice to help the young woman. What should a woman do to convey to a man that she likes him? They all unanimously responded: “Touch him.” Later the young woman brought her boyfriend so I could meet him. “Did you never realise she was flirting with you?” I asked. “No,” he replied. “I thought she was flirting with my friend. I could not believe a girl like her would be remotely interested in me.” “When did you realise it was you?” I asked. “She came up to me one day and placed her one little hand on my shoulder and held her other wrist under my nose and asked me to smell her new perfume. I melted and could literally feel my legs buckle.” He actually blushed when he told me.



Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter released by the brain and is commonly called the “cuddle hormone”. Women produce much more oxytocin than men, but interestingly enough, when men inhale oxytocin by nasal spray it improves their ability to interpret emotional and mental states of other people. Now women do not need to inject inhalers in men’s noses when they sleep to improve their emotional intelligence. The good news is that a good hug can cause an oxytocin release.

So does sex. A well known neuropsychologist reports that men need to be touched two or three times more frequently than women to maintain the same level of oxytocin. Oxytocin also happens to be a good antidote to the stress hormone cortisol. So if women want men to be more empathic to their emotions, then women should touch men more often. Nothing beats scratching his back … almost nothing.

Arguing with men is futile

Men are by nature an aggressive species. They have to be, how else would they protect us? As in days of yore, modern man’s daily life still consists of real and metaphorical battlefields. His neurological wiring has remained the same for millennia. The moment he encounters another human, he decides within 15 milliseconds if this is a friend or an enemy, based upon the other person’s tone of voice and facial expressions.

This is a pre-conscious neurological action. If he recognises an enemy his brain sends messages within 100 milliseconds to his torso, preparing his body for battle, before he is actually consciously aware of it. If you are an enemy, it’s game on!

When anybody, including a woman, engages on a hostile level with a man, his aggression escalates. As soon as men are challenged with aggression, then their own aggression becomes justified to them. Once swords are drawn on the battlefield, he automatically goes into warrior mode.

Pretty soon we have two people yelling at each other, or worse, physically attacking each other. In any case what makes us think that any person is going to be willing and inclined to give us what we want, when we yell at them? Just where is the logic in that? Men may also just retreat into their camp in an attempt to disengage from the fight, because fighting with a woman is anti-hero behaviour.

Think about it. Mostly we get angry at another person when that person does not want to do what we want him or her to do, or we get angry when someone else tells us to do something we don’t want to do. What makes us think that we have the right, power, authority or audacity to tell another adult what they must do?

We all have a right and responsibility to admonish someone not to break the law. We should all know the law. We all also have the right to state our individual boundaries of what we regard as acceptable or unacceptable behaviour. If someone else persists in non-compliance, and in abusing our boundaries, we can leave. Walk away. Do not share your time or space with someone who does not respect you, but do not assume it’s acceptable to expect another person, or your partner, to do everything exactly as you want them to.

(Unless you are paying them in an employment situation.) If everybody thought the same way you do, then the Creator would have created only one prototype and there would be billions of other cloned YOUS on earth and no diversity. People differ from each other. It’s not right or wrong. It is just different. If you can’t live with the difference, it’s acceptable to leave, but violence and force and manipulation are not conducive to a relationship.



Case example

A husband returned home at 2am, after a night out with the boys. He was expecting a confrontation. Men are not stupid. They know when they are in trouble. The wife, in bed, was clearly sleeping. (Note, she did not stay up and wait for him.) Instead of yelling at him when he stumbled into the bedroom, she greeted him normally – not with a smile, but definitely not with the icy voice. “Hi, I ‘m glad you’re home safe. Let’s go to sleep.” He attempted to make an excuse or defend himself, because he was expecting the fight.

She just repeated: “It’s late, let’s go to sleep.” Gratefully he fell asleep. He woke up the next morning, with a hell of a hangover. He knew he was going to get it then. Instead he got a cup of coffee and two headache tablets. She was dressed and she looked pretty and she smelled good. He noticed. He smelled like stale rum, cigarette smoke and sweat. He noticed that too. It felt like a flock of dirty sheep were grazing on his teeth. “I’m meeting Lucy for breakfast,” she said with a minty breath, and off she went. He slept it off. He took a shower. She returned home with a beautiful bunch of flowers. He knew it would be pointless to buy her the I-am-sorry-flowers later.

She had already bought them. She was in a cheerful mood. But her friendly mood was unrelated to him. This puzzled him. He initiated small talk. She responded normally. He realised she was not going to scold him about the previous night. They were not going to talk about it. He was SO relieved. She turned her back on him so he could not see the smile on her face. He told her he was going out to get pizzas.

While he was away he reminded himself what a low down excuse of a husband he is and that he is lucky to have the best wife in the world. He returned with the pizza’s, his favourite flavour of course, but maybe he remembered she liked pineapple. She forgave him without him having to grovel for it. Believe me, no woman, no matter what insults or foul language she uses, can make a man feel such an anti-hero and so bad about himself, than he himself can.

So if he has done something bad, afford him the opportunity to reprimand himself. He will do a much better job at it and appreciate the woman much more for not doing it. Do not for one moment assume that he thinks he got away with it, or that she condoned his behaviour. He knows what he did wrong and a hero will strive to be the better man, for the woman he loves. If he perpetuates his bad behaviour, it’s time to call it quits. Continuous bad behaviour means he does not want to be there anymore. Let him go.



Protectors and Warriors – Women pre-navigate dialogue

Women pre-navigate dialogue


Case example:

A husband needed to confront a relative about a problem and he had been postponing this event. Eventually his wife became clearly impatient and insisted that he takes action. “But what must I do?” asked the husband. Whereupon the wife just got up and walked off. The husband was baffled. “Do?” she replied when she had calmed down. “You must get in your car and drive over there and talk to them. That is the action that is required. How can you ask me what you must do?” What the husband meant was: “What must I say to them?” Women talk, men do.



Women have an amazing ability to pre-navigate a complete dialogue in their heads, the same way a man would navigate a forthcoming road trip in his mind. “If he says this, then I say that and if he says this, then I will say so,” etc.

Eventually the woman will map the conversation to reach the specific outcome she desires. Armed with this verbal map, she engages in a discussion or argument. No wonder men avoid verbal conflicts with women. However, if a man can only recognise this ability in his female partner as a resource, imagine what a useful tool it could be for him when he has to confront other people. It is a pity men do not want to ask: “What should I say?”



Case example

A man asked his wife to proof-read his presentation to the company’s board meeting. She was a linguist and corrected his grammar. “You can’t say it like this, it’s wrong,” she said. “Are you saying I don’t know how to do my work?” he yelled. She threw the document in the corner and stormed out of the room. “You disappoint me,” she screamed. “He attacked me, when I was only trying to help him. Why did he ask me, if he did not want my advice?” she asked me later. I explained to her that her hurt feelings were valid, but that he experienced her comment as criticism, because she told him he was wrong.

Had she worded it differently, he would have accepted her correction. I explained to him that he could have regarded her linguistic training as an allied resource in his camp, rather than an attack from an enemy. By yelling at her and hurting her feelings, he alienated her. He also did not stick to the subject. The subject was the grammar, not his capacity to do his work. This was a typical example of miscommunication.



Like a yin and yang symbol that forms a perfect circle, half black, half white, if men and women can only grasp that their differences can complement each other, instead of perceiving the differences as threats. If we were all the same, it would be a mishmash of greys.(And I’m not speaking of Shades of Grey – that is another book.)

Strengths and weaknesses can complement each other. Mostly women offer advice or suggest alternatives, not because they criticise the men, but because they are on his team, they do have his back, they have the intelligence to make a meaningful contribution and this is her way of supporting him. If only he can step outside his ego for a second and give her the benefit of the doubt. Even generals consult and consider suggestions.Men do rate communication as an important element of a relationship, but they underestimate the vital importance thereof.



Case example:

A man told me he spends much time at work making lists of all the handyman tasks he plans on doing at home. I asked him if he had told his wife about this list. “No,” he said, “do you think I should?” So, we have the wife at home. Living with all the little handyman jobs that need to be done, wondering if he is ever going to get to them, but she does not want to complain or nag, so she becomes quiet and sulking and sour faced.

He avoids going home because she is quiet and sulking and sour faced and that is why the handyman jobs never get done. If only he told her he is making a list, she would flip over backwards just to know he is thinking about it, and about her, at work. He just never thought of telling her. Did she remember to tell him how grateful she is that he is doing this for her? It works both ways.



One man said the difference between whining and nagging is: whining is when she is complaining and there is no hope of a solution, nagging is when she makes the issue his problem.

Men catch balls, not hints


Case example

The wife says: “Wow, the grass is growing wild,” or “it looks like a jungle out there.” He looks outside and says: “Yeah.” He wonders why she is stating something obvious. Come Saturday, she says: “I asked you so nicely to mow the lawn and now the guests are coming over and just look at it.” He answers: “No you did not.” He is right. She did not ask him to mow the lawn. She said the grass was growing wild. Had she said: “Would you please mow the lawn before Saturday because your parents are coming over for lunch,” he would have known exactly what she wanted and why she wanted it and when she wanted it done by.

Come Saturday morning, she should rather not say: “Remember you promised to mow the lawn.” It sounds like criticism. Men prefer feedback. A friendly reminder like: “I’m so glad you are going to mow the lawn, while I prepare lunch for your parents,” would do. Once he has mowed the lawn and she gives him a beer, she can ask him to clean the patio, but she needs to be specific, because it looks clean to him.

“Please unpack the plastic chairs, they are too heavy for me and would you mind wiping them with a cloth, they are dusty and women don’t like sitting on dirty chairs.” (Guys don’t mind dirty chairs. Women wear floral dresses or white jeans.) So he takes a wet cloth and he smears the dust. Don’t say anything. Now she can ask him to go to the shops and buy charcoal and three lemons for his favourite lemon meringue pie. While he is gone she can quickly wash the muddy white plastic chairs.

When he returns from running the errand, she thanks him and invites him to join her in the shower before his parents arrive. He is very happy, he could be the hero and do stuff for her, and he is getting a joint shower and who knows what may happen then. And he is getting lemon meringue pie.



Protectors And Warriors – Some women can be very, very bossy.

Some women can be very, very bossy. Sometimes I wonder if some of them are born that way


Case example

A man married a widow with three young daughters. He moved into their home. One morning he let the dogs into the kitchen. The cute little 7 year old in her pink pyjamas promptly pointed her finger at him, wagged it up and down and in THAT tone of voice said: “Uncle John, in this house, we don’t let the dogs in. Don’t let me catch you doing it again.” Men do not like it if anybody points fingers at them, not even cute little 7 year olds in pink pyjamas.


Never ask “Why”

Another fatal mistake women make when communicating with men is to ask “why.” To a man “why” translates to: “You don’t know what you are doing, you incompetent stupid fool.” All men, without exception agree on this one.


Case example

A husband and his wife travel in the car. She innocently asks him: “Lovey, why are you driving this route?” What he hears is: “Listen you stupid dumb fool, you don’t know where you are going.” Believe me when I tell this story, all the men burst out laughing and then agree that is exactly what they hear.

If his buddy had asked the same question he would have answered: “Because I heard on the radio there are road works on the usual road.” But because the “why” came from his wife or girlfriend, he regards it as a vote of no confidence. He is her hero at all times and he is in control of the situation. There should be no reason for her to doubt him. The same applies to “Why don’t you tell your boss….” “Why don’t you use the star screwdriver…” DELETE THE WORD WHY.

I asked the men what would be an acceptable rephrase of “why” and the following suggestions came up: “This is interesting. How come…” or “I don’t understand how …” or “You have probably thought about this, but maybe it’s a good idea to …” Do not say: “Can you explain to me…” because that sounds like his mother or teacher. If the woman approaches the issue in one of these alternative ways and he just stares at her, it means he heard her and he thinks her suggestion is a bloody good idea. Does she really expect him to verbalise that it’s a good idea? For Pete’s sake, he is a man. Then he goes off and he does it the way she suggested. Then she should not tell him: “I told you so.” She should just tell him how great he is and that he is her hero. And mean it. He knows.

The typical vote of no confidence

Speaking about cars. This is a potentially disastrous area. Women are prone to tell a man how he should drive! A man is a strong capable warrior in charge of a heavy dangerous, complicated, expensive machine and he has her life in his trust.

And then she tells him what to do? The woman should not doubt his ability to handle this machine. She should rather sit back, relax and look out of the window if looking ahead makes her nervous. If he gets lost, so what. Don’t say anything. He knows.

What is more important? Her relationship with this man or the first 15 minutes of a movie that she may be missing? Men usually only start driving recklessly when women complain about their driving. It’s a knee-jerk reaction. Maybe she can pre-empt the situation with a comment like: “I get nervous in a car, but I know you will take it gently and look after me.” Anyway guys, you are supposed to protect her, so man-up and make her feel safe, rather than driving like a jerk to scare her. The pay-off of feeling like a hero by keeping her safe, is much greater than feeling like an ass who tried to show-off. (Tip to the men: Driving recklessly may impress other males, but it only scares a woman and if you scare her, she sure as hell is not going to sleep with you! Get it?)

Men are exceptionally sensitive to criticism and often experience even seemingly innocent comments as a vote of no confidence. And yes, it has to do with their egos. I have no problem with men’s egos. They need egos, they are warriors. They defend us. Without egos they are not men. If a woman can’t deal with a man’s ego, she  should date a woman. I do also agree that some egos are vastly inflated, but we will discuss that later.


Protectors And Warriors – When he can’t fix it

When he can’t fix it

A man wants to tend to a woman’s problems. Fixing a problem is a heroic action. However, when he cannot fix the problem for some reason, he has one of two reactions. He will either attack her or ignore her.


Case example

A woman is crying because her dog died. The man says: “Stop crying!” And he goes and buys her another puppy. Or he ignores her, gets in his car and drives off and she thinks: “You heartless idiot.” And he returns with a puppy. In both cases the man can’t understand why she did not want the puppy? Men are very pragmatic. He fixed the problem by replacing the puppy.

Actually he would do anything to make her stop crying. Men are clueless about what to do when a woman cries, because they don’t know how to fix the problem. (Here is a tip guys: When she cries, just hold her. Don’t say anything. Just hold her. That’s it.) If women can only understand that his strange or boorish actions are due to his frustrations, because if he can’t fix her problem he is the anti-hero. And he hates being the anti-hero. So he walks away and ignores her, or worse, he yells at her. And women have to understand this about men. I did not say it is fair. It’s just the way it is.


A colleague of mine explained men are empathic on a cognitive level, as opposed to women who are empathic on an emotional level. Men need to separate themselves from the emotional content in order to make objective decisions to solve the problem.

On an intellectual level they understand the emotion, but they cannot allow themselves to be submerged in the emotion, for then they would not be able to take rational action. Men are action orientated, remember.

Sometimes he does try to hug her and just hold her and then she pushes him away. He is trying. Acknowledge it.

There are times however, guys, when women really need you to step up. When your wife calls you in tears because she just had a car accident, it is not the time to attack her, or ignore her. Bite your tongue.

If a woman criticises everything a man does and if she does everything herself, he feels useless and inadequate. It is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately it originates in childhood with mothers doing everything for their sons, and continuously criticising their boys. Fathers usually get upset when mothers do too much for the boys, for it is in a man’s nature TO BE ACTIVE and to figure it out for himself. Praising him for figuring it out will boost his self-esteem.

Doing it for him or criticising him conveys the message that he is incompetent. How would he be able to fix adult problems and fight dragons if he is not taught to figure it out for himself as a young boy. Denying him this natural growth opportunity and being over-protective is actually psychological castration.

At about the age of 6, boys need to identify with a father figure and get involved in male activities, without a mother hovering around trying to protect them from the father figure. (This was the age when young boys were taken away from their Spartan mothers and turned into warriors.)

I have encountered many grown men who have terrible adult relationships with their mothers, because they resent the mothers’ smothering them as children. As adult men they often punish their mothers in various ways, usually by avoiding them and cutting them out of their adult lives, in an attempt to get even for childhood wounds incurred.

This act in itself makes them feel as anti-heroes, which exacerbates the situation. They often also have exaggerated over-reactions when any woman engages in a nurturing action that reminds them of their mothers – even just packing them a lunch box or reminding them to take their vitamins.

Telling him to take his vitamins, is acting like his mother. Just leaving vitamins out for him to take, without verbally reminding him, is supportive and showing you care about his health.


Protectors And Warriors – Helping and supporting has a different meaning to men and women

Helping and supporting has a different meaning to men and women


Case example

An unemployed engineer complained to me that he wished his girlfriend would support him. His girlfriend, on the other hand, told me she supported him, but he refused to co-operate. I realised here was a communication problem. She told me she supported him in the following manner: “When I get home at night after a long day’s work, I tell him, come sit by me and I will update your CV on the computer. Then he just gives me a look and resumes watching television. Also, I bought all the engineering magazines and cut out all the ads looking for engineers and I told him to follow them up.” Usually, when I read this verbatim quote to men, they cringe.

She is telling him what to do, she is doing it for him. That is not helping or supporting him. That is a vote of no confidence. I asked the man how he would like her to support him. He answered: “She can just tell me she believes in me. She can tell me I am only going through a bad patch, but things will pick up and I am the best engineer in the world. That will inspire me.” Women talk, men do. Generally, if women tell men how great they are, then they inspire the men into action.


One man explained: “Men do not want to be seen as failures. Being unemployed is a major failure. If she can just assure him that she is there, that she will not leave him and that he is not alone in that mess, then she is supportive.”

Men want to resolve women’s problems. When she tells him about something, he feels obliged to fix it for her. He wants to be the hero and help her. For example, she tells him about some problem she had at work with a co-worker. He interrupts and wants to know what the outcome was. He needs to determine how he can fix it. Often he is surprised that she has already fixed it. “Then why tell me about it?” he asks. Because she wants to TELL you about it. Women talk, get it! A man will never tell another man: “I had a flat tyre today and I changed it.” A woman will.

One of my clients has the following agreement with his wife. When she wants to tell him about something he asks: “Is this an issue you want me to do something about, or can I just sit and scratch my butt while listening?” So determine if it is a problem or just a butt scratcher. If it is only a butt scratcher, the man just needs to sit and listen and make the appropriate noises. “And what are the appropriate noises?” ask the men. Just say: “And what did you say… and what did she say… and what did you say…” and pay attention to her. You would want her to pay attention to you when you tell her something.