Miss Gina and Cinnamon at post 2074 asked for an expansion on this subject.
How to show appreciation, respect, gratitude, and dependence to her man? A dozen ways follow. But first a few pointers about men.
First, men appreciate unearned gifts very little and not to the extent that women expect or intend. Therefore, a woman’s intentions go largely unrequited because she measures him by female standards, expectations, and behaviors.
Second, if her man does what he expects of himself out of duty or responsibility, any gift doesn’t count for much. It includes ‘thank you’, which is too routine, unneeded, and lacks significance to him. He didn’t earn anything; he had to do it because it was his job, responsibility, custom, or habit.
Third, three examples of outcomes: He mows the grass regularly and after each she responds in one of three ways. 1) She says thank you in passing if at all, and he shrugs. 2) She says thank you while face to face, eyeball to eyeball, and he says okay. 3) She hands him a towel to wipe the sweat, leads him to his favorite seat, says sit, gets him a beer and chips, sits in front and smiles freshly, and acts as though he’s in armor and sitting a white horse. (Obviously hyperbolic but you get the drift. Play acting to some extent? Yes, but the actions stimulate the self-fulfilling prophecy affirmatively. He can’t miss her message. She appreciates him even more than what he does.)
Why doesn’t he appreciate the first two outcomes? Because he doesn’t think he earned anything; just did what he’s supposed to do. Another duty isn’t a big deal; he does it regularly and more for himself than her. Hence, he doesn’t convert her intentions into respect, gratitude, or dependence. She may intend it but her message doesn’t get though.
Now, consider the third option. Does he feel appreciated? Well, that’s good enough. That’s what a wife is supposed to do. She recognizes his worth, which just confirms his expectations. So all is well, grass is mown, and beer is cold. He’s satisfied and can begin preparing his thoughts in order to win tomorrow’s battles. Therefore, he’s either respected, she’s grateful for him, or she depends on him or all of the above. In any event, he sees that she appreciates him AND what he just did.
Now, the real question for you ladies is this. Do you want to be pleased with mown grass or a pleased husband? Which is more important to you? If he’s just pleasing himself, he can get any woman to say thank you. Men like to rescue women in distress because her rewards are unique, different, and not routine. Even a stranger’s thank you is unique since it comes from a different face. Where’s your uniqueness? Your dedication to who he is rather than just what he does? You should recognize that he likes to accomplish things that bring satisfaction before you even think to show appreciation.
Here are specific ways to show appreciation, respect, gratefulness, and dependence and confirm it routinely. Show that you’re grateful for him, which means that you’re also important to him, which means that his feedback is likely to be more favorable to you.
- In the company of a woman, regardless of subject, a man expects her to listen to him. Take away her ears—disinterest, distractions, distance in comprehension—and you take away his interest in her.
- Show respect for his ability to think by gently nudging him to clarify things a little more. Not too much though; you don’t want to outshine him on subjects over which he thinks he has mastery.
- From time to time remind him how you admired him in courtship. Even mention a few small things that made you choose him.
- Pay attention when he speaks. Listen closely until you can comment in ways that signal you heard him. Not to pass a direct compliment but an indirect one; that you think he knows what he’s talking about. IOW, exchange thoughts without causing disagreement.
- Find other ways to show gratitude without saying thank you for his doing things that he considers duty or responsibility. Indirectness is best and actions are better than words. He values more highly what he sees, just as she values more highly what she hears.
- Stare at him sometimes with a big smile. When he asks what, smile bigger say nothing, but maybe nod your head favorably and change the subject pleasantly or wander away as if enthralled by his presence. He can see that his presence makes you happy.
- When you’re awaiting a response or on something to happen, do it patiently and lean against his shoulder while you wait. Make it routine but not bothersome to him. Gently, just ‘touching base’ while you wait.
- Every day make it a habit to identify and tell him about one thing for which you are grateful for him or what he does. Just out of the clear for no apparent reason.
- You can shift more easily from work to home than he. So, don’t rattle and prattle all of your day events until you’ve given him time to unwind, shift his thoughts from work to home, and turn to you for attention.
- Don’t pry into his business. Inquire innocently and be grateful for whatever he shares. It’s not you. His competitive spirit keep him from exposing anything that can be used against him. It’s instinctive. (Oh, you love him and you never would do that, right? How about this? He suggests that he’s up for a pay raise. Weeks pass. No raise. You nag. No raise. After awhile you suspect something is wrong. You nag for him to approach his boss. He doesn’t. You fuss and then tire of fussing. You hold it against him. In effect, you disrespect him to handle it. You’re not grateful for him because he won’t fight for himself as you think he should. You depend less on him because your mind has already decided what will be done with the extra money. And you say you’d never use such information against him? In this scenario, how respectful have you been? Grateful for his actions? Dependent on his judgment?)
- He’s not the multi-tasker that you are. Cut him some slack. Show gratitude for what he does rather than what you can do or do better.
- And it’s still my favorite. No doubt because I coined it. “Men are never more handsome than when they please their wife/lady/friend/lover (vary the options). Make it as routine as thank you has been for so many years and with such little effect on men.
In the end, his happiness in the home is shaped mostly by her attitude, sense of happiness, and pleasant demeanor toward him. With those in place, all’s right with his world—or at least that’s the way he’s made at birth.