1839. Sex Difference Redux—Part 84: Attitude of Gratitude VI


They differ on happy. Modern women search and strive for happiness through relationship success. Duplicating how men tend to operate, they try to generate certain relationship improvements of their own invention. Mistakenly, expecting to find happiness, they try to make over their man, to turn him into the ideal conceived in girlhood dreams. Happiness eludes women as they repeat husband-handling mistakes over and over. Their marriages crumble from good intentions gone awry. They reach again for happiness, but the next candidate has already been reduced to marital crumbs by another ex-wife (or scared off marriage by his crumbled buddies).

The truest path to female happiness is to find endless reasons to be grateful for themselves, others, and their way of life. Goals to find gratefulness produce a much better effect than improving relationships, because improvements require fault-finding and criticism. When fault-finding and criticism become habitual, improvements are frozen out by adversarial disagreement and cracks appear in the marital facade.

I call goal setting to find gratefulness as an attitude of gratitude. Out of every bad some good can be found. By always concentrating on the good and banishing the bad from one’s thoughts and considerations, beneficial thoughts soon compound into a full blown attitude of gratitude. With that attitude, a woman discovers that she’s also a happy person, which further compounds her gratefulness.

Men don’t work for or even think about happiness per se; it means so little. It may come or go, not to worry. If they need it, they’ll find it. They seek permanent pleasure in their work and temporary excitement in their play; they call it happy.

As women view happiness, the closest thing for men comes after many years of living successfully as mates. The wife sees her girlhood hopes and dreams realized. She gives husband the credit by thanking him for a good marriage, but privately she knows in her heart that the credit is hers for having turned him from Mr. GoodEnough into Mr. Right. It’s of small consequence to husband. He has a happy wife; he did a good job providing and protecting and that makes him happy. He needn’t dwell on it; he has other things to do. In her habitual gratitude-finding way, wife both defines and produces husband’s happiness, the kind she dreamed of as a girl and spent so many years producing.

NOTES:

1. This article summarizes. Details can be found in post 690 through 694.

2. Perhaps soon I’ll describe how an attitude of ingratitude spoils a woman’s reach for happiness and prevents her husband from ever finding what she calls happy.

11 Comments

Filed under sex differences

11 responses to “1839. Sex Difference Redux—Part 84: Attitude of Gratitude VI

  1. Sharon

    Thank you for this good reminder, Sir Guy. I also find that gratitude displaces worry; where there was chaos, a calm focus returns.

  2. Kaikou

    Excellent post, Sir Guy.

    Lady Kaikou

  3. Emma

    Mr Guy,

    As usual great post – many of us navigate through the waters of marriage without a compass, no wonder many marriages do fail.. When convinient would you follow up with the attitude of ingratitude?

    Many many thanks…

    Your Highness Emma,
    I shall start soon on Attitude of Ingratitude. In the meantime, you can see an example of wifely ingratitude in Some Other Guy’s comment under article 1412.
    Guy

  4. Meggrz

    Made a twitter. Tweet “I am thankful for…” every night at bedtime. Created a nice, searchable log, and am sharing it with a few close girl friends. Sometimes they tweet grattitude, too. It’s infectious in a good way.

  5. A.GuyMaligned

    I recall that one of you ladies recently asked about ways to prevent initiating competition with husband or something like that. I can’t find your comment. If you’re the inquiring party please resubmit your question.
    Guy

    • Emma

      Guy, it was me Emma… It’s on your post about character from last week….

      To add to your question – my husband finally opened up after a few weeks of complete silence – his response was I would offer you to approach me a little gentle and more of a conversation per se then accusatory. Adding “i would prefer we discuss the situation”.

      Obviously I am taken this advice my surprise because conversing has little to no effect – and many times over he has lied or pretended that there aren’t any problems.

      • A.GuyMaligned

        Your Highness Emma,

        I’m playing catch up. I never responded to your final comment at post 1837. So, I quote you and respond here. My comments are in caps.

        “In regards to this his male dominance and my need to feel important and not be dismissed in issues that pertain our home, what can the wife do when hubby reacts negative and enforces his male dominance: ie silent treatment, taking things away or just ignores the wife? How can one deal with such situation? [OUT-SILENCE HIM; DETACH YOURSELF AND FIND INDEPENDENCE IN OTHER THOUGHTS THAT KEEP YOU OCCUPIED AWAY FROM THE ISSUE.] My main concern is that he probably lacks the respect for me to follow through with his promises. [PERHAPS, SO EARN HIS RESPECT BY SHOWING THAT YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT WHATEVER CAUSES HIS UPHEAVAL.] He knows how to manipulate me and has made many attempts to restore peace when convenient to him but his words of promises lack in action. [MANIPULATE YOU? THEN YOU FORGIVE TOO EASILY. STAND YOUR GROUND BUT DO IT SILENTLY. DON’T EXPECT TO HOLD HIM ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANYTHING AND HE WON’T SENSE A NEED TO MANIPULATE AND YOU WON’T HAVE REASON TO FORGIVE.] Hence, why I reacted. I need to restore my independent spirit [TRUE] and not let him maneuver me when he wants [TRUE], but this is hard for me as I truly don’t know how to do this… I do not want to be taken for granted or manipulated anymore. [NO ONE DOES, BUT YOU HAVE TO FIGHT BACK WITH WHATEVER WORKS. I SUGGEST YOU START HERE: DON’T FORGIVE BUT APPARENTLY FORGET. EXPECT THAT NONE OF HIS PROMISES WILL BE FULFILLED AND FEEL GRATEFUL FOR THOSE THAT ARE. YOUR SILENCE AND APPARENT LACK OF DEPENDENCE ON HIM WILL TICKLE HIS CURIOSITY, SPARK HIS IMAGINATION, AND FIRE UP HIS CONSCIENCE ABOUT DEALING YOU POORLY. YOU WILL LIKELY SEE HIM CHANGE, BUT YOU CAN’T GO BACK TO YOUR FORMER SELF. KEEP DOING WHAT WORKS.]

        “PS whenever he senses that I am withdrawing for no obvious reason to him he tries to butter me up. He also wants to talk – but then it goes to the wasteside [SIC] as I give in. maybe I have forgiven him too many times [YES, YES, AND YES] or are not too much of a confrontational person [SILENCE AND APPARENT UNCONCERN ABOUT AN ISSUE AVOIDS CONFRONTATION.] when he goes on the silent treatment (as I do the same).” MAKE YOUR SILENCE DIFFERENT. FOR EXAMPLE, HIS DOESN’T BOTHER YOU; YOU CAN PROCEED IN LIFE SEPARATE FROM WHATEVER ISSUE DISTURBED YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE.

        GUY

  6. Emma

    Thank You Mr. Guy- you bring a different perspective to us. Very appreciative to have this advice.

    Would you provide some more detail or perhaps write an article on the following: wife forgiving too easily. How can one not? I am asking for examples of how a wife can show she has not forgiven, so that husband doesn’t take her for granted.

    Second is – lack of dependence, what are some exsames of these as well.

    I have out silence him in many of the issues – this is a work in progress, it does however cause him to accuse me to acting indifferent and not caring. My response is – he is expecting me to act as I always have, when I don’t – i am not caring enough. Interesting psychology.

    Your Highness Emma,

    In what follows I presume hubby is actually guilty and you’re not. I only have one side of the story, so you’ll have to stretch your own conscience to guide you through this maze.

    1. Wife forgiving too easily causes this bigger problem. It turns off her hard-headedness, which she previously determined was appropriate, and shifts her primarily into soft-hearted mode. He gets all the benefits of her releasing pressure on him. So, he sees no reason to try harder to please her. Premature and especially unnecessary forgiveness put him back in the driver’s seat. The remedy lies with not forgiving him for anything. If he asks for it, respond with delaying tactics, such as “we’ll see,” or “I need time to consider it.” Don’t explain further and don’t complain about him. Leave his request dangling in the ether. If he’s as regretful or sorry as he claims, he’ll try to earn your forgiveness—but don’t be quick at all to relent and give him what he wants or expects.

    2. Lack of dependence on him means making certain decisions without his input, doing things without him that previously you didn’t, and heightening your mystery with unexpected independence. Examples: new hobby, associating more with girlfriends, changing your TV viewing habits (perhaps taking your eyes to another room?).

    3. You out-silence him and he accuses you of acting indifferent and not caring. Of course, what other defense does he have when he is losing and doesn’t know why? He shifts the blame by accusing you. Simple, but you have to teach yourself to live with it. When you’re accused, look him in the eye, smile big, and change the subject or walk away. Indifference causes discomfort and makes people examine their own behavior to see what causes it. Self-examination begins with the conscience, and that’s where suggestions for change reside.

    In all three cases, avoid forgiving him until long after the issue has closed to your satisfaction. Also, don’t explain yourself and don’t complain about him. Let him do all of that within himself.

    Guy

    • Emma

      Mr. Guy,

      I may have caused his male dominance to kick in by complaining. He does not deal with my emotions nor should he, it’s my work in progress. It’s very scary from both perspectives as neither gives in. I am absolutely trying to salvage our marriage.

      Per the above advise, it does work. Out silence and not talking about whatever is that bothers me.

      My female – feminist thinking kicks in when he threatens to take away things, cancel months of family vacation etc. to some extend to separate if I want to.

      My response may not always be the best – but this has been a constant battle for us sine I forgive too easily either by him pursuing intimacy or an extravagant gift.

      I am sure many wife’s do wonder how can someone so loving can become a monster at times. At the end many things don’t get resolved, it has become a cycle between us. I am trying to get out of it. Silence does work but it does bring other things from him that causes more frictions.

  7. Emma

    Mr. Guy,

    As a follow-up to this issue (still on it, 3 wks). I followed through however, I was way to quiet, to the point we have said very little. I am unsure as to how to proceed, very scary… He said my lack of talking or saying anything is detrimental. Yet, he ignores me, stays out late, moved to a diff room and when I approach the idea of us to talk, his response is I have nothing to do unless you change your attitude (silence). To the point he has threaten to divorce. This all occurred because I questioned some behaviors, that were not acceptable to me, his response was dominance as previously discuss. I am not sure what is going on now, it’s too much of a small fight for him to react in such a way. I think he may want to be free… Just looking for an advice –

    Your Highness Emma,
    When did you do this? “This all occurred because I questioned some behaviors, that were not acceptable to me….” Before or after you chose to be more quiet?
    Guy

    • Emma

      After I became silent…. Too silent!

      Your Highness Emma,

      The silence was supposed to keep you from complaining about him. You broke whatever peace was starting to develop in his mind, so try again. Silence means to let him initiate anything and everything about which you all don’t get along. Your neutrality stills his interest, if he has any remaining.

      Only you can figure out his intentions about departing.

      Guy

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