1833. Sex Difference Redux—Part 81: Conquering Men II

Theme: How to minimize the effect when wife convinces herself that husband loves his job more than her!

The subject calls Ben Franklin to mind. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In spite of how women wish it, a woman can’t be a man’s ONLY love. She can prevent anguish and pain by extinguishing that expectation. She can prevent rather than cure self-inflicted wounds. It helps if she better understands the male nature as explained here.

A couple’s common interest splits over their different prime motivators. He seeks to satisfy his yearning for self-admiration, which crowns his desire to be significant. It’s the male nature in action. Self-admiration comes mostly from competing with and achievement among men. Some men compete with themselves such as more diligently doing a good job just for personal satisfaction. Many others find satisfaction working around the home such as yard care, repairing things, or upgrading the house.

A woman’s prime motivator urges her to satisfy her need for self-importance, which crowns her desire to live better with people. When he’s present, she feels important. When he’s absent, her sense of importance goes down, while his self-admiration goes up by tackling his goals elsewhere. Consequently, she can’t be his only love because he has two.

Husband’s first love is his work. Life in the workaday world came before wife, so work has first-born status and obligations. Whether at the job or something else that provides opportunity, such as competing with sports buddies, he seeks self-admiration through work and competition with self or other men. The greater his need and opportunity to satisfy that yearning away from home, the more likely he spends time away from her. He doesn’t love her less; but he may love something else better when she doesn’t urgently need him at home.

If not first, his second love is for HIS woman, the one he ‘owns’ and to whom he’s devoted. Unless she’s sick or otherwise justifies absence from his job, his normal providing and protecting enables her to do without his constant presence. Also, his work much more effectively makes him feel good about himself. So, he tends to favor it. (You can imagine how wife’s nagging, unpleasantness, and needless worry tend to enlarge the attraction of outside interests and magnify husband’s competitive spirit outside the home.)

He earns little or no self-admiration in her presence if she pushes him to achieve goals that he didn’t set or finds fault with what he accomplishes. If she mostly sets the goals for him to achieve, he has much less opportunity for self-admiration at home.

(When faced with wife’s accusations that his job comes before her, a man’s instinctive reaction is proving her wrong. So, he makes love to her. He achieves sexual satisfaction, which in his mind proves that she comes first. Admittedly, some men may do it disingenuously but it’s contrary to their nature.)

Without his first love of accomplishing goals, a man is ill equipped to provide and protect for himself much less wife and family. It’s the power behind producing, providing, protecting, and problem solving. WADWMUFGAO. We all do what makes us feel good about ourselves, and a man’s work plays a major and often critical role.

Nevertheless, when women sense they are unloved by their man, they often blame his job. She can’t be his one and only love and perhaps not his first. It’s his nature more than her.

NOTE: Men do have a primary weakness. It’s the subject of post 1834.


Filed under sex differences

5 responses to “1833. Sex Difference Redux—Part 81: Conquering Men II

  1. Dear Sir Guy,

    “Nevertheless, when women sense they are unloved by their man, they often blame his job. ”

    This is SO true. How wrong it is to nag till you know what is going on.

    I really had to read your resources and a few other really good ones to realize that the BEST thing I could do was be his fan when this starts to happen. What seems to help is to believe in his good against the brutally competitive job market he is in. To actually learn to be the “reward” he wants to take to a quiet dinner and relax with.

    I have finally made peace with this because now I really see it is in his nature to be out there and conquer. He so appreciates it when I affirm him and let him know how wonderful he does his work. I don’t let him see if I feel slighted when I do not hear from him as often as I would like, even if I do feel slighted. When I slow down and see the preoccupied look on his face …it seems its time to be kind, initiate thoughtful, supportive conversation, have a few laughs, maybe be his refuge.

    Through your columns and really getting more in touch with his male behavior I really see he has been hitting a wall lately. I believe he is not getting as far ahead of his competitors as he wishes. I pray about this. I do not want to say anything that may offend him as I realize that he is very sensitive about this. He is getting to a point in life, a little older, where all the big things that were once possible, well he does not have as much time ahead of him to conquer them as he once did. He is my hero and recently hearing him make a self-depreciating comment really hurt my heart. Taking your cues, I remained quiet, patient, silent but said with my eyes what I could not say with words – that he was way off base with that comment and that he is really a phenomenal man.

    Lately he looks more tired to me, a bit more preoccupied. On my last opportunity, waiting for him to bring up the subject first, I informed him (I really wanted to do an “un-do” on that negative self-talk!) that in the Bible Abraham DID NOT receive his mission from God until age 75. He stopped and looked at me. I pray that comment went deep, but I will NOT do a girly-girly thing and begin to chatter on about it – again, another improvement on my part – thank you for the coaching! The next thought that did occur in that sequence was that God prepares us for works he would have us do, we don’t know when and how all that will come together in His service.

    Please help. This is all very delicate and I care very much about doing the right thing the right way.

    Now that he is talking – Question – what would you recommend? What are good ways to draw him into healing discussion, get some of that “stinking thinking” out of his head (he is a fabulous man) and help relieve some of this “wounded bear” syndrome WITHOUT wounding his dignity? There are sometimes some really lousy people out there who get the good job assignments. I can’t change that. Also, I am not his mother and I don’t want to be. How do I reach into this dark abyss of his sad feelings of lower than he hopes for self-accomplishment and not trigger more pain???????

    Thanks as always for what you do 🙂

    Your Highness Avid Follower,

    I try to respond more promptly but….

    You are making significant progress are you not? Keep it up. Have patience, which is a very strong suit in the hand that females are dealt or deal themselves. Without mentioning stinking thinking or other minor faults, encourage, encourage, and encourage by finding little things worthy of your admiration for who he is in the world and what he is to you. Let your gratefulness be felt for individual efforts that produce, provide, protect, and solve problems.


    • P.S. … this all comes from the indignation I feel if I am not given the attention I crave. I am trying to get away from that, the resentment, the feeling of competing with his job for time with him. I am only hurt because I feel I want to be with him more. But I have only recently begun to receive from him signals about what is really bothering him, causing him to spend more time positioning himself in the job market. Again your coaching columns led to this breakthrough – I got quiet, stood back and I waited. I prayed to dismiss the hidden tension that would build up in me and that he could certainly feel. Now that that is receding, the real issues are coming to the surface and I am ever so grateful for that. Just need coaching on positive discussion points with him.

      Your Highness Avid Follower,
      Trust your instinct. Coach yourself. You’re quite capable because the ability is inherent in the female nature to make a success of crippled or dismayed relationships. Remember that recovery is everything and each step of progress is a recovery, so claim victories more easily than you previously learned to perceive defeats.

    • Dear Sir Guy,

      THANK YOU. I really appreciate your encouragement GREATLY. Without the roadmaps you provide I would really be lost. I am going to spend some time journaling, trying to find the little things, as you say, that I admire, that he does so well, find ways to show him I appreciate his MASCULINE qualities. I say things sometimes in a gender neutral manner – don’t think that’s going to work here. Need to become more aware of that. THANK YOU for specifically guiding me to focus on his efforts to produce, provide, protect and solve problems.


  2. b

    Good day Mr. Guy!
    Could you please direct me to one of your posts where you explain how to let a gentleman go in a considerate way? Is seeing him less and less until you don’t see each other the way to go? Or maybe a firm but gentle conversation? Thank you for your time (:

    Your Highness Brown Eyes,

    It took me many decades of life to learn that up front, blunt, and candid is the best way to relate. However, between men and women, whether building compatibility or separating, women can prevent the need to recover by calming the up front part, smoothing the ruffles of bluntness, and disclosing less than full honesty.

    Let your intuition be your guide. No one but you can predict the outcome of you interacting with someone else. Don’t go for the jugular and you already seem intent on avoiding it.

    As to articles on the subject, I can’t recall any specific ones. I do know that Virtual Virginity addressed the subject somewhere in the series. Perhaps someone else has better recall.


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