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Relationship NEEDS

When it comes to romantic, long-term relationships… what is a NEED, exactly? It’s a quality that must exist in order for the relationship to flourish and continue. Sounds simple enough, but it never ceases to amaze me just how much us men don’t understand the needs of women.

And no… I don’t have women “all figured out”. As you’ll see, it’s not so simple.

There’s somewhat of a running joke among couples that “Men don’t NEED much… just sex and food and they’re happy”. This is illustrated by the rampant popularity of porn and repeated references on the internet to women making sandwhiches. The reality? Yeah… they’re not that far off. I would add the following:

We need a wife that looks nice and is not an evil bitch all the time.

So… things are easy for a woman. Look decent, and be nice. Be sexual. Help feed him. That about covers it.

And now… what do WOMEN need? Well, like I said… not so simple.

They have a lot of needs. A lot. And those needs pop up sporadically and should be addressed as they come up.

Think of it as a game of wack-a-mole. You remember wack-a-mole, right? The carnival game where the mole heads pop up and you hit them with your mallet. It’s a fun way to relieve stress and the perfect illustration of the female psyche.

One day the “Please be there and comfort me when I’m stressed and scared” mole pops up, quickly followed by the “Please make a decision so I don’t have to” mole… followed by the “Just take me in the laundry room and bang me like your life depended on it” mole. You think you have things figured out and can relax and out pops the “Show me that you care about our future and the well-being of our family” mole, but it’s quickly followed up by “But don’t be safe and practical all the time… be spontaneous and fun and dangerous, too” mole.

Yes, I know some of you guys are thinking “Dude… everybody has needs that change up from time to time.” No, dudes… we don’t have these NEEDS on the same level. Nowhere near the same. In fact, the few things I labeled as NEEDS to a man are really just strong WANTS and DESIRES for many of us. I know a huge number of men who don’t get nearly the sex they want and put up with an overweight and constantly nagging wife. Why? Hey… she’s his wife. What’s he going to do? Tell her off and anger her more? Leave her? Meh… not worth it. He’ll go do something else. Watch football or something. Life is simple. Who gives a shit? Women… they’re all like that, am I right fellas?! *High five.*

We’re not exactly HAPPY with such situations. Oh, we will pout on occasion when you’re not giving us sex. We’ll occasionally try to talk it out… but we rarely go the nuclear route and say “Do this and not this. I will not tolerate this behavior and I mean it.” Very rarely. Why? Part of it is the rampant pussification of males… the rest of it is our strong male sense of right and wrong working against our own best interest. She’s the mother of your children and the woman you gave your oath to… thus, she has the right to be shitty and we have to deal with it and make the best of it. Just concentrate on your job and the kids. Things will improve at some point. You feel selfish and like an asshole for thinking otherwise.

Women have an innate need to have each and every one of their needs addressed on a regular basis. Yes, you can miss hitting one of them every now and then… but if you repeatedly miss the same need, she WILL find someone or something to whack that mole, and it most likely won’t be you.

Fact: Women initiate up to 70% of all divorces.

Here’s the rub: When she finds something or someone to whack that neglected mole, she will absolutely forget that you hit all of the rest of the needs on a regular basis. This is emotion we are talking about. When emotion is introduced into equation, all bets are off. As far as she’s concerned, you have failed her as a good mate… and you will see things start to CHANGE a little:

  1. Less or no more sex
  2. Constant nagging
  3. She lets her looks go.
  4. She ceases doing things for YOU and everything becomes either about her or the family unit.
  5. She puts you down in front of others.

All of these things translate to “I’m losing feelings for you like I used to have, and it bothers me. I’m showing you pretty bluntly here, asshole, so get your shit together. You’re replaceable.”

I have never, in my many years on this planet, heard of a woman that has told her man the above in such blunt terms. Not verbally, anyway. They do with action. With emotion.

YES! I totally can relate to this! Our sex life is lame at best and my wife treats me like shit in front of everyone! Where have I failed?! I’m not a mind-reader!

I’m willing to bet you have neglected one particular need or sub-group of needs on a regular basis. How am I so sure? Because I’ve seen it a thousand times. It’s THE most commonly neglected need there is.

In general terms, you’re not gaining her respect. In more specific terms, You’re not demonstrating that you have a backbone. Ever. You constantly back down to your wife. Any honest woman will tell you that they respect their man more when he tells her bluntly how things are and if he won’t back down from his opinion. Respect is EVERYTHING to a woman. I repeat: RESPECT is EVERYTHING to a WOMAN. If she doesn’t respect you, she is not fucking you. She is not keeping herself looking nice. She is not being sweet and loving to you. She will find you to be just one of the many pathetic people she encounters on a daily basis. She will resent you for wasting her precious years living with you.

If you find yourself saying “Oh, I can’t tell her THAT… she will be super pissed or leave me!”… then you have already lost. This relationship thing is a game. The one willing to show that they have options and that they stand up for their beliefs wins.

Of all the moles that pop up, men think that beating the shit out of the “be sweet and a good provider” mole is all you need. Nope. Not even close. If you want to be the ideal husband to the wife you love, you have to be combination of the guy who beats the luvvy duvvy need moles, and also the guy who loves flexing his muscle and beating the shit out of the “show me you have the balls to stand up to me” mole on occasion.

This is the “well rounded” man you hear about. Not afraid to be sweet, not afraid to be mean, a great provider, great with kids, interesting personality and knows his way around the bedroom.

Nope, relationships ain’t easy, amigo.

Book Review: Single Father, Better Dad – By Mark Tucker

I happened upon an article online from Australia that gave a sneak peak at a new book by a Mark Tucker calledSingle Father, Better Dad. The article really really hit home for me. What he described was so eerily similar to my own divorce experience, that I immediately Googled the book title and saw that it was for sale from Amazon for $5 (Kindle Edition). It’s a quick read, but is very interesting from my post-divorce perspective.

Mark is a good writer. An Englishman living in Australia. He seems to be a very kind and very funny guy. His wife was something else. He provided for her for many years, and she ran off with her personal trainer… her “soul mate”. She tells the kids of her affair (that’s a first), she leaves… and he has majority custody of the kids. Again, all very familiar to me. But, this is where the familiarity ends and where ol’ Mark takes a turn down the wrong path.

He goes on two dates six months after his wife leaves. Both dates are a result of online dating. First gal is fatter than what he liked. He had the balls to tell her it wouldn’t work out. Good for him. No need to drag it out and hurt feelings and waste time. The second gal was too old, but he liked her. She then finds out about his kids and tells him it’s not going to work out. He ends the evening asking her if she would have sex with him if he didn’t have kids. Probably, she says. He asks for sex while dropping her off. No. Ouch, Mark.

He then meets a chick at his kids’ school. She’s pretty but has a ring on. He eventually asks her out, they go out, he asks about the ring. Oh, it’s a commitment ring…for a “special friend” she’s known for years. They used to live together, but don’t anymore. “I’m sort of single” she says. Jesus, Mark. RUN!

Nope, Mark sticks it out. He falls in love. Ugh. Some highlights of his relationship with the new gal, Allison:

  • One night she drinks herself into a coma and goes to the hospital. This was at a family gathering.
  • She already has two kids.
  • They couldn’t complete their first sexual experience. They stopped mid-pump. No condoms. The moment had all the spontaneity and passion of a bridge game.
  • They tell the kids of their relationship after two months. She moves in half the time (when she doesn’t have her kids).
  • He tries to propose, but before he could start she cuts him off and tell him that the situation is not right. Not the right setting. Eventually he does it right, they get engaged and then waste no time getting married. He remodels his place to accommodate her and the new kids.

epic facepalm

The book is peppered with little stories of what not to do in a relationship. Textbook stuff like her asking him where to go on a rare night they have with no kids. “I don’t know, where do you want to go?” I cringed at that and about 148 other little moments he describes. I was waiting for a “And all these things I’m describing are how NOT to date a woman!” moment, but it never comes. The poor sap is head over heels for her. Blind to all red flags.

He does cover some helpful things about divorce. Talks about how men are run over the coals in the process. He was divorce-raped, but it could’ve been much worse.

The most heart-wrenching moments for me were the very beginning (the story of the discovering infidelity and the break-up) and the very end.. where his daughter writes (very beautifully I must say) about her recollection of the day her mom told them she was leaving. That was, again, so much like my very own experience.