Confession: I am a boyfriend who cheated. I learned from my mistakes, and I am truly sorry. Having said that, I always laugh at how women’s magazines say “women cheat for emotional reasons, men cheat for sex.” That statement may be true for some men and women, but just as some women cheat for an emotional supplement, so can men. Yes, men are more logical, but we’re emotional, too just….well a lot less emotionally complicated than women (of course, I had to throw a jab in there).
I had a wonderful woman in my life: educated, neat, great cook, loyal, and a GREAT body to go with that spectacular personality…but something was missing. By no means do I want anyone to think that I am condoning cheating in anyway way whatsoever–it’s always best to be honest about how you feel in the relationship no matter what, but let’s be more realistic: Men’s balls will shrink up into their waist, with the very THOUGHT, of hurting a woman’s feelings. This is why we cheat. This is a list of suggestions on how to strengthen your relationship so that you can seal any cracks.
Disclaimer: This list applies to the “Average Joe”. There are a few exceptional men (read: sarcasm), that cheat because they are selfish and immature, and therefore not knowledgeable on how to keep a relationship in general.
Women like compliments. Men like compliments,too–some of us even more than women do.
Men have egos, and though some are bigger than others, the need for a woman’s validation that we still turn her on, is still there. It sounds a bit stupid but, a lot of times, this is how emotional cheating starts. Both men and women can take relationships for granted; for example, your man dresses up for an event (i.e. Christmas Party) and your boyfriend/husband asks how he looks, don’t just give a quick glance and say, “You look fine, hun…”and continue on with your business. Take a long glance– a LUSTING glance, walk up to him, kiss him, and say, “Honey, you look great…” Trust me, men are susceptible to flattery, which is why you should compliment him, instead of the next fawn that comes around wagging her tail for attention. Compliments make him feel good, but if she does (make him feel good), he WILL delve deeper into what else she could possibly do to make him feel EVEN BETTER.
Let us do things on our own.
No, we don’t like to ask for directions. Yes, we know we are late to dinner at your third cousin- twice removed’s house, but just let us be. Unless it’s a life or death situation, give us a bit of time to figure things out or give up the “know it all charade”. Hell, 9 of out 10 times, finding our way out of a situation like “being lost”, is like an adventure to us. Let us indulge in it. That dresser from Ikea we volunteered to assemble for you– let us do it BY OURSELVES, I beg of you! When you stand over our shoulders and grab the instructions to take over the project, it makes us feel stupid and more importantly— like you don’t trust us. What’s a relationship without trust?
Don’t emasculate us.
You know that driving through the woods to get to the dinner that we talked about? Yeah, when we arrive, I know that it’s a funny story to you and it’s funny to me, too (or well, it WILL be months later from now), but don’t talk about it like I’m a buffoon, especially in front of the guys. Men want to feel like they are the MAN in front of their friends. This is why you see so many sitcoms where there male character is egged on by his friends to put his “foot down’ because he is the man of the house. TV imitates real life people. Believe it or not, men don’t necessarily need to be loved, but we absolutely need to be respected. Putting us down in front of others, whether in jest or not, is disrespect.
We are NOT psychics.
Tell us what you want/need. Again, men are simple creatures and when it comes to our girlfriends/wives, we take things at face value. We may sense a bit of attitude and ask what’s wrong, but if you tell us, “Nothing’s wrong…”, we don’t analyze, compute and re-analyze, we just take your word for it and assume you’re being moody or on your period. Seriously. If you need someone to just listen to whatever you’re going through just to vent–tell us that! Men are natural providers and if you come to us with a problem, our brain doesn’t automatically move to sympathy, it’s first stop is to find a solution to that problem. We CAN provide emotional support, just make sure to turn the dial to “Great Listener” before you start the conversation.
Lastly, because we know you aren’t psychic, we will tell you what we want/need. So LISTEN.
I can’t stress this enough: Men are SIMPLE creatures. And we will tell you what we want or need through words or actions, no secret decoder required. Some of us are more verbal than others and some of us are more action influenced. When we say we want to be alone (or for us non-verbal types, “I’m gonna go for a ride/walk”), we mean just that– LEAVE US ALONE! Don’t nag me about distancing myself, don’t keep asking what’s wrong (I’m still trying to figure that out myself) and don’t ask me if I want to talk about it, when I clearly asked for space. I need time to think about if what I am mulling about is worth getting worked up over, or it may be something totally left-field like the fact that I might not be able to make my half of the rent this month and I’m too stubborn to tell you. That’s just how we are.
Now if your man doesn’t want to have sex or spend time as much or not at all, that’s a blatant red flag that he really IS distancing himself from the relationship/seeing someone else/is gay. If a guy is constantly telling you how “fat you are”, this isn’t verbal communication– it’s verbal abuse. He feels insecure about himself and is the type to blame you for his cheating ways, instead of admitting that he is a selfish, spoiled, and relentless asshole of a man-child.
I’m not a guru, nor have I ever claimed to be, but what I will tell you is that these things that I have mentioned are the basic guidelines of a man. Hell, men are alot closer to babies except that in addition to eating, laughing, the occasional puke from eating (usually after a night out drinking), burping and sleeping, we also, dress ourselves (most of us anyway), have sex, work, and don’t cry– because men are not supposed to cry. Just kidding. Sort of. This list is not a “cure all”; every man is different. However, it will help you see what your man responds to better– your method, or my method. Good Luck! – Jason Tambourelli