The following post is Part 2 of my last post, “The Other Problem That Has No Name.”
It’s probably unseemly for a woman to tell a man how to unleash his masculine core. For a long time I didn’t want to write this; I kept telling people that men would rather hear about this subject from other men.
But ever since my 2012 eBook, The War on Men, was published, half of my readers have been men. Same with my coaching clients. And they’re suffering.
It doesn’t feel right saying to these men, “Well, you’ll just have to sit around and hope your situation improves.” Talk about disempowering! So that’s when I decided to help men, too. What’s more, I’m in a better position than other men to know what women want. After all, I am a woman!
So let’s begin with this: How many times have you heard women ask where all the good men have gone? It seems men today just can’t get a break. They don’t know who they’re supposed to be or what it is women want. You probably wonder if women themselves know what they want.
Well, I can tell you what women don’t want: They don’t want to be the boss of you.
I can hear you now: “I beg to disagree!” Believe me, I know your wife or girlfriend seems very much like she wants to be the boss. But here’s the thing: the more she appears that way, the more she’s actually crying out for you to stop her. What she wants is for you to prove you’re stronger than she.
As I wrote in my previous post, being strong doesn’t mean throwing your weight around or needing to have the last word. Being the strong man a woman needs simply means you’re a leader. It means you take charge of a situation and get the thing done—so she doesn’t have to.
Here are 7 ways to unleash your masculine core:
- Stop seeking your wife’s approval. Perhaps the greatest mistake men make when they’re in love with a strong woman is to take a step back to accommodate what he believes is her desire to lead. It’s such a natural reaction since most men long to see the woman they love happy, and they assume that what makes her happy is being in charge. After all, that’s the impression she gives. But by suppressing your instincts, all you end up doing is abdicating your thoughts and feelings in order to avoid conflict—which then makes you appear weak. And when you appear weak, she feels unsafe. Ergo, she lashes out. The first step to remedying this is to stop seeking her approval. Do not ask permission to do things, and do not defer to her on everything. Once in a while you might, but as a general rule act in the same way you did before you met her, when you were an independent agent. You’re not supposed to lose yourself when you get married, and you don’t need validation from anyone. Know who you are and what you want, and don’t be afraid to show it.
- Make decisions. This is part and parcel of #1. Stop expecting her to make all the decisions; it’s exhausting. . Stop asking your wife where she wants to go for dinner. Instead, step up. Decide. Plan. Act. “The more you can reduce uncertainty, complexity and the burden of decision making for your woman, the more she can relax,” writes GS Youngblood, author of The Masculine in Relationship. (Here are GS and I discussing “How to Love and Lead Your Wife” on my podcast.)
- Learn to say “no.” No is such a hard word to say for many people, and this is especially true when we’re talking about men in love. But saying “no” lets your wife know you have a strong mind and can’t be pushed around. She may not like it, but she’ll respect it.
- Freely admit your faults. The sign of a mature person is the ability to admit one’s weaknesses, and this is true of both women and men. Whether your wife does this or not doesn’t matter—just make sure you do. The only alternative to not freely admitting your faults is to be defensive when these faults are identified. And this will make you appear weak. Owning up to your weaknesses disarms the other person and stops the conversation dead in its tracks. The accusation ends because you’ve admitted it. Plus it looks like you accept yourself, flaws and all. And that’s sexy.
- Control your emotions. The ability to control one’s emotions, to not be ruled by them, will allow you to respond better to your wife or girlfriend when she becomes emotional. This will not be easy; you’ll need to train your nervous system. One great way to get started is to develop a mantra, such as “I choose to remain calm.” Or you could simply practice taking deep breaths. Whatever you come up with, do it over and over until you train your brain to do the opposite of what it would normally do. It really works!
- Say what you mean, and mean what you say. If there’s one thing that is sure to drive a strong-minded woman nuts, it’s when her husband says he’ll do something and then doesn’t. Here’s how to stop this negative dynamic in your relationship: Never tell your wife you will do something you have no intention of doing. If you can’t do it or won’t do it, then say so. Just to Rule #3: say no. Alternatively, if you will happily do it but can’t do it when she wants you to do it, then tell her exactly when you will do it—and then follow through. Each time you tell your wife what she wants to hear, rather than tell her the truth, you’re chipping away at the relationship little by little. She’s not doing anything wrong by asking something of you. You’re doing something wrong when you answer with a lie.
- Never stop dating her. One surefire way to soften your strong-willed wife is to act in the same way with her that you did when you were dating. You made a lot of effort back then, didn’t you? You dressed nice; you took her out to dinner; you told her you loved her; you put on romantic music, etc. Don’t underestimate the power of romance; women live for that stuff. It’s hard to get mad at a man who looks nice and who smells nice and who’s wooing you. When was the last time you wooed your wife?
At the heart of all this is an evolutionary reality: women need to feel protected in order to let go and be led.
When a woman smells weakness, she gets scared. And this fear can turn ugly very quickly. She might argue with you all the time, or yell a lot, or complain a lot, or drink a lot, or even be less interested in sex. Whatever the symptom, the problem is the same: your wife doesn’t feel safe. Here’s a woman named Michelle’s response to this concept:
OMG YAAAAAAASSSSSSS! If I smell weakness I WILL take over. I don’t trust you. But I love a man who takes charge. Knows what he wants and goes for it. It might take a minute for me to adjust because I’m gonna make sure you mean it and that no asshole flags come up. But when I trust you, I’ll gladly fall in line.
It is your job to make your woman feel safe. The good news is, even if you have yet to exercise this muscle most men are natural born protectors (and providers). So I know it’s in you. All you have to do is access it.