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Read More: Maslow’S Theory On The Hierarchy Of Needs

Maslow’S Theory On The Hierarchy Of Needs

In his book, Motivation and Personality (1970 2nd edition Harper & Row) psychologist Maslow postulated that human behavior is motivated by a hierarchy of basic needs. Once lower needs are gratified, the organism – or human – will escalate to higher needs. A basic need will dominate behavior if it is thwarted or when the organism is deprived of it. Once the need is gratified, it releases its domination of the organism.

Physiological needs comprise the bottom tier of the hierarchy. These are our basic human needs, such as hunger, thirst, sleep, sex and warmth. If a need has been continuously satisfied in the past, we are better equipped to deal with its deprivation in future. If not, we may always subconsciously yearn for the gratification of that unfulfilled basic need.

The second tier of needs encompass those for safety, including such concepts such as security, stability, dependency, protection and freedom from fear as well as from anxiety and chaos, need for structure, order, law, limits, strength in the protector, etc. Maslow explains should these needs not be fulfilled “ the organism may equally well b wholly dominated by them… and we may then fairly describe the whole organism as asafety-seeking mechanism.”

Maslow identified the third tier as the need for belongingness and love. Losing touch with our roots, relocating often and changing schools, forced resettlement, war, etc will all impact on our sense of belonging. If we never experience receiving love, how can we be expected to give it?

The fourth tier comprises “esteem” needs. According to Maslow these are the desire for strength, achievement, adequacy, mastery and competence, confidence, status, glory dominance, recognition, dignity and appreciation. To men, money represents status and recognition in the eyes of other men.

The fifth and last tier, is the need for self-actualization. To Maslow, this represents a human being’s need to achieve his / her highest altruistic potential.

Characteristics Of Self-Actualized People

1 More Efficient Perception Of Reality And More Comfortable Relations With It:

They have an unusual ability to detect the spurious, the fake and the dishonest in a personality and in general to judge people correctly and efficiently. They do not cling to the familiar, nor is their quest for the truth a catastrophic need for certainty, safety, definiteness, and order. They can be, when the total objective situation calls for it, comfortably disorderly, sloppy, anarchic, chaotic, vague, doubtful, uncertain, indefinite, approximate, inexact or inaccurate.

2 Acceptance (Self, Others, Nature)

They tend to be good to animals, hearty in their appetites and enjoying themselves without regret or shame or apology. Closely related to their self-acceptance and to acceptance of others is 1) their lack of defensiveness, protective coloration, or pose and 2) their distaste for such artificialities in others. Cant, guile, hypocrisy, front, face, playing a game, trying to impress in conventional ways: these all are absent in themselves to an unusual degree.

3 Spontaneity, Simplicity And Naturalness

Their unconventionality is not superficial but essential and internal. It is their impulses, thought, consciousness that are so unusually unconventional, spontaneous and natural. Apparently recognizing that the world of people in which they live could not understand or accept this, and since they have no wish to hurt them or fight with them over every triviality, they will go through the ceremonies and rituals of convention with a good-humored shrug and with the best possible grace. When they consider something very important, it will be at such moments that their essential lack of conventionality appears, and not with the average Bohemian or authority-rebel, who makes great issues of trivial things and who will fight some unimportant regulation as if it were a world issue.

One consequence of this characteristic is that they have codes of ethics that are relatively autonomous and individual rather than conventional. The unthinking observer might sometimes believe them to be unethical, since they break down not only conventions but laws when the situation seems to demand it. Sometimes they let themselves go deliberately, out of momentary irritation with customary rigidity or with conventional blindness. They may for instance, be trying to teach someone or they may be trying to protect someone from hurt or injustice or they may sometimes find emotions bubbling up from within them that are so pleasant or even ecstatic that it seems sacrilegious to suppress them.

Their ease of penetration to reality, their closer approach to an animal-like or childlike acceptance and spontaneity imply a superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions and subjective reactions in general.

4 Problem Centering

They are problem centered rather than ego centered. They generally are not problems for themselves and are generally not much concerned about themselves. Eg as contrasted with the ordinary introspectiveness that one finds in insecure people. These individuals customarily have missions in life, some task to fulfill, some problem outside themselves which enlists much of their energies.

They work within a framework of values that are broad and not petty, universal and not local, and in terms of a century rather than the moment. In a word, these people are all in one sense or another philosophers, however homely.

5 The Quality Of Detachment: The Need For Privacy

All of them can be solitary without harm to themselves and without discomfort. Furthermore it is true for almost all that they positively like solitude and privacy to a definitely greater degree than the average person.

They have an ability to concentrate to a degree not usual for ordinary men or women. Intense concentration produces as a by-product such phenomena as absent-mindedness, the ability to forget and to be oblivious of outer surroundings.

Another meaning of autonomy is self-decision, self-government, being an active, responsible, self-disciplined, deciding agent rather than a pawn or helplessly determined by others.

6 Autonomy: Independence of Culture And Environment: Will Active Agents

They are self contained. They have become strong enough to be independent of the good opinion of other people or even their affection.

7 Continued Freshness of Appreciation

They have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again freshly and naively the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may have become to others. They derive ecstasy, inspiration, and strength from the basic experiences of life and none of them will get this same sort of reaction from going to a night club or getting a lot of money or having a good time at a party.

8 The Mystic Experience: The Peak Experience

Peakers seem also to live in the realm of Being, of poetry, esthetics, symbols, transcendence, spirituality, of the mystical, personal non-institutional sort.

9 Gemeinschaftsgefuhl

They have for human beings in general a deep feeling of identification, sympathy, and affection in spite of the occasional anger, impatience, or disgust. They have a genuine desire to help the human race.

Very few people actually understand them, however much they may like them. However far apart from other people they feel at times, they nevertheless feel a basic underlying kinship with these creatures whom they have to regard with, if not condescension, at least the knowledge that they can do many things better than others can, that they can see things others cannot see, that the truth is as clear to them as it is hidden to others.

10 Interpersonal Relations

They are capable of more fusion, greater love, more perfect identification, more obliteration of the ego boundaries than other people would consider possible. The other members of these relationships are likely to be healthier and closer to self-actualization than the average. There is high selectiveness here. Their circle of friends is rather small. Devotion is not a matter of a moment, but requires a good deal of time and dedication.

Their love of humankind does not lack discrimination. The fact is they can and do speak realistically and harshly of those who deserve it, especially of the hypocritical, the pretentious, the pompous or the self-inflated. Their hostile reactions to others are 1) deserved and 2) for the good of the person attacked or for someone else’s good.

Their admirers are apt to demand more than the self-actualized person is willing to give. These devotions can be rather embarrassing, distressing and even distasteful to the self-actualizing individual, since they often go beyond ordinary bounds. The usual picture is of them being kind and pleasant when forced into these relationships, but ordinarily trying to avoid them as gracefully as possible.

11 Democratic Character Structure

They can be and are friendly with anyone of suitable character regardless of class, education, political belief, race or colour. As a matter of fact it seems as if they are not even aware of these differences, which are for the average person so obvious and important.

They find it possible to learn from anybody who has something to teach them, no matter what other characteristics the other person may have. They have a humility of a certain type. These individuals, themselves elite, select for their friends elite, but it is an elite of character, capacity and talent, rather than of birth, race, blood, family, age, youth, fame or power.

They are more likely rather than less likely to counterattack against evil men and evil behaviour. They are far less ambivalent, confused or weak-willed about their own anger than average people are.

12 Discrimination Between Means And Ends: Between Good And Evil

These individuals are strongly ethical, they have definite moral standards, they do right and do not do wrong. Their notions of right and wrong and of good and evil are often not conventional ones.

They believe in God, but describe God more as a metaphysical concept as a personal figure.

13 Philosophical Unhostile Sense Of Humour

Characteristically what they consider humor is more closely allied to philosophy than anything else. They do not poke fun at other people’s expense.

14 Creativeness

Each one of them shows in one way or another a special kind of creativeness or originality or inventiveness that has certain peculiar characteristics. These individuals are less inhibited, less constricted, less bound, in a word, less enculturated.

15 Resistence To Enculturation; Transcendence Of A Particular Culture

They get along with the culture in various ways, but they resist enculturation in a profound and meaningful sense. Their yielding to convention is apt to be rather casual and perfunctory, with cutting corners in favour of directness, honesty, saving energy, etc. In a pinch, when yielding to conventions is too annoying or too expensive, the apparent conventionality reveals itself for the superficial thing it is and tossed of as easily as a cloak.

They are not against fighting, but are against ineffective fighting.

16 Dropping Of Defenses In Love Relationships

They have a tendency to more and more spontaneity, dropping of defenses, dropping of roles and of trying and striving in the relationship. As the relationship continues, there is a growing intimacy and honesty and self-expression, which at its height is a rare phenomenon.

“We can love a person only to the extent that we are not threatened by him; we can love only if his reaction to us or to those things which affect us, are understandable to us.” Sex and love can be and most certainly are perfectly fused with each other in these people. They can tolerate the absence of sex more easily and will easily give it up, because it came without love and affection.

However sex can be wholeheartedly enjoyed, far beyond the possibility of the average person, but at the same time it does not play any central role in their philosophy of life. The self-actualizing person can simultaneously enjoy sex so much more intensely than the average person, yet at the same time consider it so much less important in their total frame of reference.

They have an easy relationship with members of the opposite sex, along with the casual acceptance of the phenomenon of being attracted to other people, but at the same time these individuals do rather less about this attraction than other people. Their talk about sex is considerably more free and casual and unconventional than the average.

Healthier men are more attracted by intelligence, strength, competence in women than threatened by it, as is so often the case with the uncertain male. Self-actualizing women can incorporate their “male qualities” without sacrificing their femininity.

Their love relationships are characterized by fun, merriment, elation, feeling of well-being and gaiety. In spite of the fact that their love lives often reach great peaks of ecstasy, it is also easily compared to the games of children and puppies. They have the rare ability to be pleased rather than threatened by the partner’s triumphs. There is an absence of jealousy.

The self-actualizing person will not casually control or use another or disregard his/her wishes. He/she will allow the respected person a fundamental irreducible dignity, and will not unnecessarily humiliate him/her.

Self-actualizing men who tend really to respect and to like women as partners, as equals, as pals are apt to be much more easy and free and familiar and impolite in the traditional sense.

Self-actualizing people’s tendencies to detachment and to need identification and to profound interrelationships with another person can coexist within themselves. They have a healthy selfishness, a great self-respect, a disinclination to make sacrifices without good reason. It cannot be said of them that they need each other as ordinary lovers.

They have excellent taste in love and sexual partners. The close friends, husbands and wives of self-actualizing people make a far finer group of human beings than random sampling would indicate.

The people they fall in love with are soundly selected by either cognitive or connative criteria. That is they are intuitively, sexually, impulsively attracted to people who are right for them by cold, intellectual, clinical calculation.

Take me back


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.


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.


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


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.


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.



Providers – 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.”


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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

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


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.


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.


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.


The flip side of the coin

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


>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.


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.



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.

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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.