904. Ego vs. Feelings — Hurt and Otherwise

Their Highnesses Anonymous and Lady Carmen asked for clarification about hurting the feelings and ego of men. In real life they are often intermixed, but this post explores them separately. Feelings have to do with his emotional identity. Ego protects and defends his sense of significance, his personal identity.

Hurt feelings work much the same as with females with some notable exceptions: Men don’t easily detect offenses, so they don’t hurt as easily or deeply. Men also lack keenness for detecting subtle offenses or detecting underlying meanness. Plus, they more easily forgive offenders and forget offenses.

Men see hurt feelings as accidents of life, including where meanness is involved. On the other hand, females learn to hurt feelings as a weapon especially against their natural competitors, females. When they use it purposely against men, they’re disappointed that results don’t prove out as well as with women.

(I suspect part of their disappointment lies with this thought: Purposely hurting her man’s feelings contradict her affection for him, and she sets up confusion within herself. Or, she learns to disrespect him, because unpredictable reactions to her repeated hurts keep her frustrated and unappreciative of who and what he is. IOW, manipulation works against the manipulator.)

 As for the male ego, think of it as belief about his significance in the world. Challenge that, directly or indirectly, and she inflicts ego damage. She generates unpredictable results out of a man, when she challenges, posits, or argues that:

  • He’s not the man he thinks he is. She knows many better.
  • He’s not so great as competitor and shaper of human events of interest to him.
  • He’s not as good, kind, loyal, thrifty, courteous, brave, consequential, influential, popular, etc. as he thinks.
  • His accomplishments are not all that great, especially not as great as he claims.
  • His dreams are irrelevant, impossible, or unachievable at least by him.
  • His missions in life aren’t that big a deal.
  • He can’t do what he says he can do.
  • He won’t do what he says he will do.
  • His fears or weaknesses disclosed for her empathy are as bad or worse than he claims. Such disclosed secrets signify desperation and need for ego stroking rather than solution or lecturing.
  • His friends are a bad influence on him. (They may well be, but she should find a way around rather than stating it. However, bad or harmful the situation may be, his significance is solidly reinforced by friends and what he perceives as their continual endorsement. By bringing up the subject, she puts herself directly in the middle and severely weakens her influence.)
  • He overstepped his role or her boundaries. And so, she belittles him in the mistaken belief that she can advance her agenda by hurting his feelings, since she’s so well intentioned. (She’ll do better finding some way other than belittle him.)

Negative feedback about a man’s sense of significance disrupts his beliefs about himself; he fights back, and she takes the damage.

Question or presume wrongly about a man’s current emotional state, and you hurt his feelings. Question, tamper, or assert against a man’s sense of significance, and you hurt his ego. Ego and feelings differ in intensity and consequences.

CAUTION: Ladies, remember these two thoughts: Before marriage, a little gamesmanship can help girlfriend or fiancé. Without going so far as to damage his ego, she can indirectly make him suspect that he’s not quite good enough for her as he is. It’s not HIS world that he’s not good enough for; it’s her and only her. But after marriage, she should never try to play that or any other game.


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26 responses to “904. Ego vs. Feelings — Hurt and Otherwise

  1. Denise

    Good list to be midful of. We as women can easily be blind to the way that we come off to men. But do you have any tips on recognizing character flaws in men that make things unnecessarily difficult–such as insecurity, over-sensitivity (which admittedly is relative and subjective) and the like?

    I see how easily a woman can blunder by transgressing in the above ways. But it also seems that in a relationship you’ll not go so far as 2 feet’s distance without having to extend grace and understanding to the other–men and women. Men more easily forgive and forget, but does this also apply to slights received from a wife or girlfriend? How does a woman recover here?

    Your Loveliness Denise,
    You may have already seen the relationship series Beware Red Flags, #765-769. That’s the closest to what you ask. I will, however, study the possibility of a post more directly aimed at “recognizing character flaws” on the job.

  2. Linda L

    Dear Patient and Ever Helpful Sir Guy… What (or how)is ‘stroking a husband’s ego’? (“Such disclosed secrets signify desperation and need for ego stroking rather than solution or lecturing.”) Maybe your Darling might have some examples to share too. Thank you for all you do.

    Your Supremeness Linda L.,
    Stroking his ego means to build up, confirm, and add new dimensions or new views to a man’s sense of significance. A few samples delivered sincerely:
    + I love your parenting style dealing with the children.
    + You fill my life, you fulfill our relationship. We’re so lucky, and you make the major difference.
    + The kids and I have wonderfully well-protected, well-provided lives.
    + I love your jokes. You keep me entertained with them.
    + You seem to have so much patience lately. Have you been trying to improve yours too? I have.
    + Your steadfastness of character adds stability to our life together.
    Those kinds of statements impact the sense of significance of most husbands. I wish you luck and joy.

  3. Linda L

    Our Dear Guy, Thank you so much for those wonderful specific examples; very helpful indeed and very much appreciated.

  4. reader

    I think pro-male interpretations of psychoanalysis are a great idea. Psychoanalysis, and the theory of the ego, have been used long enough by feminists, such that “male ego” has automatic negative connotations.

  5. T

    Thank you Guy for all the advice written here on this blog. I was a staunch feminist before coming across your blog, and am gradually seeing the error of my stubborn ways.

    I would like to inquire if one has managed to damage the male ego, is there anything that can be done to rectify it? I had said some awful things to a very dear male friend of mine (who’s usually quick to forgive arguments with female friends), but has yet to completely forget ours, and things are still very weird and awkward between us. I didn’t understand why that was, until I read this article about the difference between ego vs. feelings. I already apologized but at the same time, I don’t want to overly try to appease him in case I lose his respect. Any advice on this matter would be most appreciated, and again thank you for all of your work.

    Your Highness T,

    Welcome aboard. It’s a great day when another pretty woman joins us on this cruise to WhatWomenNeverHear.

    May I suggest you find ways to admire him, tell him about it, and do it gently, patiently, smilingly, and in bits and pieces. You will find many ideas at post 1349.

    Let me know if things don’t turn around pretty fast.


    • T

      Thank you Sir Guy for your advice. I will give this a try the next time I see him.

      There is something I am a little confused about. Please correct me if I’m wrong. By admiring him, would I not give the impression that I’m afraid to lose him? “The one most fearful of losing the other will yield to the other”. I must admit that I possess some romantic feelings for him, but I really don’t want to give him that impression since we are neither married or dating. I don’t know if I’ll ever get him back, but at the very least I want to keep my dignity intact.

      Your Highness T,

      No, I don’t think admiring him gives the impression that you’re afraid of losing him. Unless, of course, you do it with smothering admiration that makes you appear desperate.

      If you’re concerned about it, follow up admiring comments with departure signs. For example: “I’ve always thought your smile to be so friendly and courteous. Well, I hope to see you again soon.” And don’t explain reason for departure.



    Your Highness Harsha,
    Welcome aboard. Its a great day when another pretty woman joins us on this cruise to WhatWomenNeverHear.

  7. Hi Sir Guy,I have complexed problem,my children father left me and the children for another woman,who he was smitten with. “The problem is she left him for another man and he haven’t been right since that happened to him”. “Did that damage his ego”? “He act like he have lost his mind”!

    Your Highness Soul4real,

    Welcome aboard. It’s a great day when another pretty woman joins us on this cruise to WhatWomenNeverHear.

    As you describe it, his sense of self-admiration hinges on what and how women think of him more than on manly accomplishments. That’s very adolescent. Also, his sense of significance has been ‘damaged’ as you put it, because his internalizing about his present life keeps him focused away from future accomplishments. He was probably jerked up and now he probably can’t grow up.


  8. Sarah

    I casually mentioned to my husband that I had read that men don’t get their feelings hurt the way women do. “No,” he agreed, “But you can hurt a man’s pride, and then he can get pretty nasty.” I was speechless and then pleased to see that you, Sir Guy, are EXACTLY right according to my man!

  9. “Men don’t easily detect offenses, so they don’t hurt as easily or deeply. Men also lack keenness for detecting subtle offenses or detecting underlying meanness. Plus, they more easily forgive offenders and forget offenses.”

    From the above, I’d guess that a man who is easily offended and grudge-holding or vindictive might be one to be wary of?

    Your Highness Denise,
    Yes, it’s a red flag signifying that he has a high degree of self-loathing or self-hatred.

    • Cocoa

      That’s a very interesting red flag. I noticed this in some men I know. Sad when I notice this in close men. In their mind they say, “hmmm this person hurt me or too me lightly, OK! I’ll show him who I am” and they plan and plot to take revenge. These are Christian men 😥

      But, sir Guy, is there a difference between this sad trait and when a man has feelings towards a girl and he gets easily hurt. Is that a manly/masculine characteristic? Or regardless of his feelings he wouldn’t get offended easily.

      I see that some men I associate with are very easy going and some are not. Some if I said hello or waived they are ok, if I didn’t they are still ok. However, some other men get offended sometime and come and complain “oh! You saw me and ignored me!” I do apologies and explain that I didn’t really see them.

      I guess my question is, how can one differenciate between self loathing/hatred and fragile/ sensitive men? (But I think real men are not that sensitive anyway!)

      Your Highness Cocoa,

      You ask, “how can one differentiate between self loathing/hatred and fragile/ sensitive men?”

      The former easily take offense in ways that make them very angry and vindictive; they retaliate and take revenge to make the offender pay. The latter don’t.

      You ask, “is there a difference between this sad trait and when a man has feelings towards a girl and he gets easily hurt.”

      Yes, a big difference. A man who has feelings towards a girl doesn’t want her to see his hurt. To reveal it is a sign of weakness. He accepts it quietly and goes on or her just finds her uninteresting for his feelings.


  10. The blog has been around so long that there is a huge amount of treasure that can be found in the storehouse to address ladies’ current questions.

    I appreciate Sir Guy taking the time to point out such items for relative newbs as he has done recently. And it is always exciting when a hunt through past posts underscores a) I’m learning a few things; b) I have so much to learn.

    Post 904 answers questions that came up just a few days ago and prompts other questions.

    This past Sunday, I complimented Himself on a paisley tie. He puts his visual sense to good use when choosing ties–always a little bold and out of the ordinary. (I in fact have recently come to see it, due to its shape, as symbolic of his view of his manhood, and I really don’t think it’s false advertising,)

    I messed it up by covering a certain amount of my insecurity with a joke.

    He is definitely an old-school, conservative guy. I said, “Paisley, that’s kind of sixties. That’s a little tree-huggy for you. If I hear you singing ‘The Age of Aquarius, I’m going to sit in the cry room.'”

    Immediately, there was a change in his expression and a drop in the warmth of his tone. Not a lot, just a tiny bit.

    Oh, Lord, I thought. I am so stupid.

    God is gracious, however.

    I racked my brain for some way to apologize indirectly. I said to myself, “You know, you acted like a know-it-all superior bitch, but you don’t know that much about paisley ties or anything else paisley for that matter. So maybe you should actually learn something.”

    I looked up the paisley pattern. Originally from Persia, used to adorn the clothes of kings and princes, woven of gold and silver thread, fabric brought to Europe by trade, made hugely popular in the Victorian era by the weavers of . . . Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland).

    Yes! There is hope! Opportunity to build his ego and share our common love of Scottish culture.

    I sent an e-mail and said, “After I smarted off about paisley ties this morning, I realized I didn’t really know that much about the paisley pattern beyond what I was exposed to in college–paisley bedspreads. So I did some research, found out that the pattern originally came from Persia, adorned the clothes of princes and kings, and was made very popular by weavers in Paisely, Scotland. Cool pattern, cool history. I did not know this. Sometimes I am such a bumpkin!”

    The reply soon after: “Not a bumpkin! You gave me some insight! I just like the squiggly! Improved by the Scots! Thanks!”

    I felt such relief.

    This leads to the question: can you, Sir Guy, dig into the treasure house and compile a list of five or six posts on women recovering from saying or doing something that temporarily boosts their ego but really screws things up otherwise? Or maybe readers could?

    (I’m re-reading posts on confidence, since what I said came out of a lack of it. But that’s long-term recovery. How to move immediately to repair a big verbal boo-boo is something I definitely need to learn more about ASAP.)

    Your Highness Edith Mcklveen,

    I regret I’m unable to do as you wish. May I suggest you explore two series in the CONTENT page listed under ‘confused’ and ‘recovery’.

    If you find what you’re looking for, let me know. I can perhaps write up a special post that narrows the subject of your interest.


    • Miss Gina

      Dear Lady Edith,

      One of the things I’ve learned from this blog is how wonderfully forgetful–I mean forgiving–I mean both!–that men are. It’s possible to recover from nearly anything with them. Often, just a sign of your restored favor is enough, without words.

      For a single lady dealing with a man of interest whom she is not regularly dating, a quick smile as she passes him can work wonders. Next step up if needed might be a smile and a bit of upbeat small talk. Both say “everything is OK between us” without all that explaining they find so tiresome. Even if a simple explanation or apology is needed, putting him at ease about your emotional state first with a smile goes a long way.

      Much, much later (I personally would save for engagement and marriage), a touch on the arm or taking his hand can work wonders.

      Once his face brightens, there’s no need to go further, and to do so might do harm. Keeping things simple and upbeat really works…words often increase awkwardness and discomfort for them.

      Hope I read your question right and added something of value to Sir Guy’s suggestion.

      Your Highness Miss Gina,
      Your expertise shines. I love the way you’ve learned so many relationship development techniques.

  11. Sir Guy, I will use the WWNH Reading Room to do research. Should be fun.

    Miss Gina, my concern with Himself and the tie conversation is that I don’t want him to get socked for my lack of self-confidence, the prime motivator of my somewhat notorious sarcasm and uppity behavior. That lack has nothing to do with him.

    He has never NOT been on my most-favored list, except a couple of years ago when he made some **clearly, specifically, unambiguously** romantic gestures (even my pastor saw things that way), and I warned him not to do them if he wasn’t serious because I would get serious, and he kept doing them anyway, and I responded seriously, and then he said he was sorry if he made me think there was anything romantic going on, but he still wanted to be friends. !!!! I saw that as him trying to get his ego off the hook by trashing mine.

    I was ticked; I was hurt; I couldn’t reconcile a massive number of reasons to genuinely admire and respect him with this (to me) brainless, selfish behavior. We really didn’t interact for most of a year despite going to the same church. What Women Never Hear helped me understand a lot that enabled us to begin interacting again.

    Confidence has been a key word hovering over the scene. He’s a real, issue-laden human male, but there are times I don’t feel worthy of him, don’t feel as if I could confidently stand shoulder to shoulder with him OR face to face. And when that happens, I so feel the desire to roll out the sarcasm and flippancy and look so cool and superior.

    And it never does any good.

    Regarding the smile and the small talk and whatnot. During the year of invitations to lunch, walks in the park, going out to dinner on my birthday, getting my very own lovely nickname, and hearing tale after tale of manly struggle through childhood and two wretched marriages, I said that hugging (which he does with male friends and married lady friends) was something he should not do to me if he didn’t want me to get the wrong idea. Because in my family, a not-huggy family, when somebody hugged, it was a big deal.

    But he kept doing it, or trying to. “It’s the way I am.” Yeah, it’s the way I am, too, but not with everybody.

    The way I see it, I’ve sort of made it so that we can’t really do apologies and “everything is fine” except through writing.

    At this point, we do smile and have small talk and the occasional howdy handshake on Sunday mornings. But that’s all of five minutes.

    Since I think we are now cool about my latest lapse into snarkiness, I do feel free to do much less verbalizing and much more praying.

    I would actually love to gently and mysteriously disappear from his consciousness except for some intriguing thought, gesture, even smell that he can’t quite shake.

    It would be wonderful if, at some point, he thought, “Why is she still floating around in my head? What can I do about it? Oh, you dumbass, you can call her on the phone and ask her how she’s doing . . .”

    I don’t know if guys ever think like that, but it’s my little fantasy . . .

    • Miss Gina

      My Dear Lady Edith,

      It sounds as though he has knowingly played you. I am very sorry about that, as I know it is painful.

      If I may be so bold as to ask, what kind of man does that and stays on the Mr. Good Enough prospect list? What kind of character and concern for your feelings does that display? Perhaps that is what provokes you to flippancy and sarcasm–the disrespect of how he toyed with you. It certainly would me. He may be attractive and admirable in some or even many ways, but desirable life partners don’t bring that response out in others.

      Personally, I wouldn’t give him another second of my attention, outside, of course, of the most minimal politeness at church. Being ignored might possibly be the thing that brings him around (men being funny that way), but with some effort, I think you can find someone kind enough to respect your feelings a great deal more.

      • Yes, it’s always possible that there is someone a lot less trouble out there, but I have no idea who or where. I have made it clear to everyone I know that I am open to being introduced to an eligible man of generally my age. I have put myself out there on dating websites. I have done and am doing my due diligence regarding hair, makeup, and clothes.

        I have watched friends, and the younger siblings of friends, and more recently the children of friends, get married, have kids, on occasion get divorced.

        I am still waiting. If you are a religious person to any extent, you know that we human beings are messed up, all of us. Finding someone who is good enough means that there is still a lot of crap in that person *and* and me for us to struggle with till we die.

        I’ve seriously done my due diligence and failed to find any one with less crap and more “good-emough” qualities than this guy.

        I perfectly understand I may be wasting my time if I hope to be the heroine of my own romance novel. But if God exists, as the Bible says he does, and if he is good, as the Bible says he is, and if he uses all the trials and tribulations in my life to make me a better person, the person he wants me to be . . . then ultimately I am not wasting my time.

    • That Horse Is Dead

      Lady Edith,
      My impression of what you describe with the tie sarcasm that covered up your insecurity is, so what? If he has any sense of individualism, which by the way is necessary to be a leader of a couple and family unit, then he can deal with your little out of place joke. What you describe is either all in your head (and not at all in his) or if it is in his head — then you walk “on eggshells” to keep him from breaking any more than he is broken. Eggshell relationships are mentally exhausting. What you describe sounds like a fragile boy who needs propping up and constant reassurance. If this is not him, then perhaps you have a bad case of overthinking it.

      From what I can tell in your writing, you are intelligent, thoughtful, and on a path of growth. Even to notice your sarcasm is a positive thing. Saying something that is less than perfect should be ok to do. Forgive yourself. I’ve overstepped my boundaries before, and when I realize it, I just say something like, “Ok, I’ll get out of your business now,” and then smile and carry on. I accidentally told a man when he said he was worried about getting fat, “Well, donuts are bad,” because he eats a lot of donuts.

      I agree with Miss Gina that this guy does not sound like a Mr. Good Enough for you. God works all things for the good of those who love Him, but I agree that it’s time to send more signals of your departure and see what he does with it. If communication by email is initiated by you, and conversations are limited to church time, then he’s not interested in the way you are. It sounds like he is entertaining your attention while you are tying yourself up in knots. Why did he not look up the history of the paisley and contact you to share his insights?

      I realize comments on a blog can be misinterpreted or don’t take into account the nuances of a relationship. So, if I have overstepped it is not my intention. However, I feel this blog is also a safe place to share ideas and get food for thought from ladies that who know and practice WWNH.

  12. “Fragile boy who needs propping up and constant reassurance.” Good description. In many ways, isn’t that what men just are? Isn’t that what a lot of Sir Guy’s advice boils down to?

    Men don’t like direct criticism. So we have to be indirect, almost to the point of disappearing into the woodwork.

    Men find direct praise for their actions (even if absolutely justifiable) to be distasteful if they have even the slightest feeling they haven’t earned it. So we have to resort again to indirection by using such clever statements as “a man is most manly when . . .”

    Men’s egos can be crushed if they think their sexual prowess or potential is in question, so we have to ooh and ah and make a big deal about their virility, more so if for some reason they are having trouble getting it up.

    Men see it as an affront to their manly dignity and self-image when their woman gets dumpy-looking–never mind how paunchy he may be–so we have to do everything in our power to maintain femininity, delicacy, gracefulness, mystery.

    I’ve read over and over here that, however much my Baby Boomer soul dislikes them, they are the realities of dealing with men. And at this point, I have to agree.

    “Fragile boy who needs propping up and reassurance”? Yeah, that would be, if I cast my eye back on my history with men, true of every one of them to a greater or lesser extent. What that means in terms of my taste in men and my confidence in my ability to attract Mr. Good Enough, I’m not sure.

    Perhaps it means that my personality and assumptions and whatnot just bring out the fragile boy in every man. And so I need to learn more about being indirect and feminine and whatnot. Or it means my lack of confidence keeps getting in the way so that I end up being attracted to men who don’t make me happy but at the same time don’t challenge my lack of confidence.

    Or both.

    I would be very happy to entertain the possibility of a Mr. Good Enough who actually sees me one day in church (me in my middle-aged body, nodding off in the pew because I have had such a hard week at work) . . . who thinks, “Hey, who is that lady? I need to find out!” . . . who thinks of any excuse to start up a conversation (“did you drop your bulletin?”) . . . who down the road asks me out to lunch . . .

    Where is he? After years of me hoping and praying, after years of me learning the hard way that being a free, modern woman is a pile of dog poop . . . after telling all my friends I want to meet someone, after the artificiality of dating websites . . . after all of that, where is Mr. Good Enough?

    My inner cynic says, “Yeah, it’s great for other people to say I am worth more than this guy, but where is that more?”

    I can’t conjure more out of thin air, either in terms of a man or in terms of me having traits that would attract a man.

    I can’t lose sixty pounds and thirty years overnight.

    I can’t gain an haute couture wardrobe and the grace of a lifetime of ballet lessons overnight.

    I could possibly sew my mouth shut.

    Meanwhile, life goes on, and God is good, and some day, when I’m in heaven, it will all make sense.

    • That Horse Is Dead

      I’m reading an excellent book right now, “Facing Love Addiction” by Pia Mellody. You may find it an interesting read.

      • Excellent how?

        In the eighties, when books on co-dependence and enabling were all the rage, I read tons. Tons. I learned to embrace my inner child, chant daily affirmations, breathe from the belly, you name it, I did it.

        The result? A great amount of narcissism and the belief that I could have the perfect relationship when I became perfect and found the perfect man.

        If your book is excellent in that it offers solid wisdom that has enabled you to understand your personal roadblocks to a meaningful intimate relationship, get rid of them, and actually start a meaningful intimate relationship, I would certainly be interested.

        If it is one of those books that ends up saying “you can have all the love you want when you learn to love yourself enough,” I’ll pass.

        I will say that The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller opened my eyes in a big way to the idea that marriage, as the most intimate of human relationships, does not work if we think its function is to make us happy.

        That would go for lesser relationships as well.

        Bottom line, I tend to judge self-help books by results, and there are none that I know of that have actually changed the life of anyone I know for the better.

        Your Highness Edith Mcklveen,

        I’ll cut to the chase as I’ve written on it at 1721.

        Only her gratefulness makes a woman happy. First, grateful for who she is. Second, grateful for who and what she has in her life. If she can’t find happiness in her marriage, she’s looking in all the wrong places. Marriage is the perfect place for a woman to find happiness. She can constantly use and reinforce her strength for generating gratitude even in others.

        Not a man, but a woman finds happiness this way. She first finds self-gratitude that she’s able to do what makes her important. In continues with the actions she takes and words she uses to spread and share her gratitude. If she’s focused inward, narcissistic, or selfish, she won’t find the starter.

        If she’s unable to find the starter, there’s an alternate route. Take actions that make others grateful for her. Keep her thoughts focused outward and on others; make herself important to others. It’s also a highly beneficial way to add sugar to a marriage gone sour.


        • My Husband's Wife

          Dear Sir Guy,

          What you wrote is very true regarding the state happiness in women—whether single or married, it depends on self-gratitude. It’s a sort of peace that exists inside—even in the most difficult of times.

          I know many of these ladies reading this blog are Christian and what I’ve learned recently is in line with Sir Guy’s teaching on this: Singlehood is a God-given station in life—and it is a gift, even though we might not think of it in that way. He puts us exactly where we are to serve those around us—despite what OUR will might be. This is called the “hidden hand of God.” You don’t know exactly what he’s doing, but you trust that it’s for the best. This singleness may be permanent or temporary, but it’s no lesser of a vocation than being a wife. One just serves in a different capacity.

          Despite singleness being a God-given station in life, most singles desire the gift of marriage. So when it doesn’t happen as dreamed of or because of a broken marriage or death, there exists loneliness, struggle sexual temptation, navigating the dating scene, etc. Which means it more often than not includes a cross to bear. In those times it is when we lean on Christ the most.

          I believe that married women also have an obligation to their fellow single neighbor. Look out for her, help her with struggles, keep her busy, lift her spirits while she goes through her struggle.

          I listened to an excellent program on this regarding the vocation of singlehood which some of the ladies may enjoy. The guest was a career woman who struggled coming to terms with her “singledom” and wrote a book about it (Hello! My Name is Single). Funny thing happened, she met her husband while writing the book. Probably nothing the ladies don’t already know, but none-the-less a good reminder.


          • That Horse Is Dead

            Lovely comment, Lady My Husband’s Wife. Thanks for sharing.

          • Meow Meow

            Lovely comment. Truly when i was single although my heart yearned for a personal love I also had a sort of feeling of openness to the world that made me feel that I was to do good and be helpful, that I was useful to God no matter what my circumstances might be and this somewhat tempered the loneliness and brought me peace.

            In a marriage that has had its share of hard times i still feel this sense of peace, which lifts my eyes to look out of myself and my family and remember to stay part of the greater good

            There are so many single (including divorced and widowed) ladies out there who find a vocation and serve goodness and charity by helping children, animals, neighbors, the rest of their family, their church etc. Some single by choice and some not, married becomes single and single becomes married, but every one deserving to be honored for whatever helpful role they are playing in their community!

        • That Horse Is Dead

          “If your book is excellent in that it offers solid wisdom that has enabled you to understand your personal roadblocks to a meaningful intimate relationship, get rid of them, and actually start a meaningful intimate relationship, I would certainly be interested.” — YES:)

  13. Femme

    “From the above, I’d guess that a man who is easily offended and grudge-holding or vindictive might be one to be wary of?

    Your Highness Denise,
    Yes, it’s a red flag signifying that he has a high degree of self-loathing or self-hatred.”

    Dear Sir Guy,
    the above exchange was a real eye opener for me. I really like finding gems like this one on your blog, even though the process of my learning is very slow.
    Anyway, I would like to ask you this: if a woman ignored the red flag mentioned above or even didn’t realise it WAS a red flag until many years into a very unhappy marriage, can she do anything to help the man deal with the self loathing and self hatred? Without losing herself in the process and overgiving.

    Your Highness Femme,
    No, she can’t. First, men don’t listen to their woman about his changing himself. Second, his self-loathing/hatred is rooted in early childhood and reinforced over time. Professional help and God’s love can compensate, but the original condition is not reversible.

  14. Meow Meow

    About the man’s self-loathing… I have married such a man, who when economic times were good put those worries behind him; when his fortunes reversed, now saddled/blessed with a wife and children, those demons have come back to bite all of us!

    And they are mostly in the money realm. Instead of constantly encouraging him to be positive, sit down with a financial planner (or just together) to face our financial future, or read a book…..should i just stop as it implies that “i (or some random guy) know better?” Hubby knows we’re in debt and trouble…but the injury to his pride as provider has been so great that we can’t even discuss money without him walking off: its a closed subject for us, so I’m left on my own to worry about cars and house that are in bad shape, no retirement savings, no college savings for kids. Our irregular incomes instantly go to pay food or bills. My husband says we need to bring in more money and can’t discuss budgeting or saving until we do. i can accept living poor but he has no plans for our future, and he has never written a will. I do not want to be a burden to our kids someday and want them to have as little debt as possible. (If he dies I’m scared to pieces of his debt.) I love my husband dearly as he is a good-hearted, handy, kind family man and has never physically cheated on me. But he’s ashamed of being a “bad” provider since the economic collapse. He passively won’t face our money issues and won’t take care of his health, which makes me feel so afraid. After your last article I am thinking more about satisfying my man in the small ways that I can do and less “nagging”…. (I have started indirectly encouraging exercise, like “lets go walk the dog together”, doing home projects, and buying healthy food. ) He seems happier already, but his self-satisfaction from being an effective man in the world is clearly missing.

    Every financial book I’ve read says its basically too late for us. I am now thinking about putting some money from my second and third jobs secretly into an emergency fund, even 1$–10$ at a time…this would hurt his pride to know, I feel torn about it but I am almost 50 and my husband almost 70 so we don’t have time on our side and at this point his facing our money issues seems unlikely. (Its hard to find much work at his age although he is doing what he can.) We really want to keep our home as we are trying to pass it on to our kids someday

    Sir Guy what can you advise under these circumstances? It’s not ideal, but if after so many years a husband has refused to deal with this money stuff at all should a wife/mother start saving on her own? If I tell him I want to do this it could lead to another fight and as usual we end up doing nothing, but if I don’t tell and he finds it out he could be angry that i didn’t trust him enough to tell him. It would be helpful to hear an outside perspective about a situation like this where one spouse is just awful/head in the sand about money. (I will read your series about money and budgeting to help, although since we are older I’m not sure how much of it applies…)
    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and best in the New Year!

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