2105. A Man Depressed

Her Highness Magnolia asked about the male equivalent of Female Blessings at Birth. I haven’t done one but it’s now on my work list. It’s all prompted by her questions that include, “What works to lift a man’s sadness and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness?”

Know thyself, said someone important. Men don’t acknowledge such things nor take advice on personal matters from men. That’s why a friend of many years seeks Magnolia’s advice. The following is the best I can offer her at this time.

I shall describe the male heart, natural energies and initiatives they are born with. She might find ways to convey beneficial thoughts to him. (I purposely describe the process backwards.)

  • A man’s greatest fear is insignificance. It’s his opinion of how effectively he produces/provides/protects/problem-solves in life. Little or no effectiveness on the ‘4 Ps’ and his spirits drop. No job, loss of job, demeaning woman he lives with, and lack of encouraging mate are the likeliest causes of loss of significance.
  • Satisfaction is to men the equivalent of happiness to women. It’s the grand target in life. Both have to earn it. Women earn it by finding gratefulness in their lives and it’s a never-ending process. Men, however, earn satisfaction through daily productive functions. When they end their workday satisfied, they are happy.
  • A man’s daily functions to produce/provide/protect/problem-solve arise out of his need for self-admiration. He learns quickly and eagerly repeats whatever makes him admire himself; feel good about himself and what he’s just done. It’s his prime energizer. Having no job—or mate to inspire him—leads quickly to loss of opportunity to earn it, which means little or no satisfaction, which leads to insignificance.
  • Repetitive self-admiration leads to satisfaction which compounds into significance. Thus, the lack of or failure to take advantage of opportunities to earn self-admiration sinks a man into depression or worse.

What lifts a man’s sadness and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness? Work, job, obligation for him to act, and his devotion to those things first in his life. Not mate but work. Not home but job. Not togetherness but responsibility. Not her affection but appreciation. Not her assistance but dependence. Not her ‘thank you’ but her smiles. Not her pushiness but memory of her pleasantness. I’ll stop there, but you see, so much depends on his mate.

The following primal urges stir beneath the factors above.

  • Men are driven to compete with Nature, other men, and to shape human events.
  • Men need only a place to flop, eat, throw their things, and prepare to fight whatever dragons they expect tomorrow.
  • Men want independence and the freedom to make their own decisions.
  • Men live in the present and leave preparation of the future to their women.

Those are the major ingredients of the male nature that women have to work with in order to generate and maintain compatibility with a permanent mate. I’m sure men have other blessings that I’ve not yet identified. But I’ll work on it. Women need to know men better and their under-appreciated qualities need some promotion.



Filed under Dear daughter

8 responses to “2105. A Man Depressed

  1. If the guy went golfing and scored his best round ever, and the rest of the foursome bought him a beer in celebration, he’ll be as happy as he’s going to be. Unless of course, the waitress took note of it and with all sincerity, asked him to tell her all about it – and she stood there listening intently.

    (A man’s three favorite words are a toss-up between: ‘save your fork’ or ‘what happened next?’)

    Sir Outstandingbachelor,
    Right on about the waitress. You describe men in the three little words THEY enjoy highly.

  2. Magnolia

    Gentlemen, thank you for your thoughtful replies. Very insightful.

    Sir Guy, I’m glad you will be working on the male version of it. I will have some follow up questions as well. Thanks again for being amazing to us! What would I do without this blog?

  3. Yani

    So, when my husband is down in the mouth I should not sit him down for a coffee and a chat about “What is the matter?” I should, instead, congratulate and thank him for fixing the dishwasher or such? ie. build him up regardless of what is happening on the inside, or take a little note of how lousy he is feeling (if he will talk about it), but put the emphasis on what he is doing well. Most times, it seems my husband can’t put things into words, and when he does he is affected by situations I cannot help with. So instead of sitting there and leaving him to it, It would not be insensitive to praise him for something done well at home? It seems the opposite of how I would like to be treated, but in most cases you describe Sir Guy the counterintuitive way is the way to go. Have I got it yet?

    Your Highness Yani,

    You have it—almost. Those are the things to do. But do them indirectly without trying to disturb his thought processes. Expect to accomplish nothing except introduce some lightheartedness into whatever he’s doing. Don’t be obvious trying to uplift him. Use great patience, quiet understanding, recognition that his silence and self-centered pondering can be beneficial to him.

    Bring him a beer, coffee, or snack without words. Take children or dog for a walk. Prevent interruptions. Take the phone off the hook. Turn off radio and TV if he’s uninterested. Entertain yourself by yourself. Very unlike you, he thinks out and does not speak out his problems.

    If you want him to talk more to you, find some other time and venue for it. What makes him smile? Laugh? Want sex? Think outside himself? Formalized dinner chatting can do it if it’s already habitual. Your imagination has dozens of ways to attract and hold his attention, but you do it wrongly by expecting results that please you. Except those that obviously please him.


  4. That Horse Is Dead

    Sir Guy,

    If you have two middle-aged men who are life long friends since childhood, both divorced, and both still unmarried after over a decade (while playing the field), what are the chances that one will ever move beyond the relationship level of the other? Would this be a red flag because the one friend wouldn’t want to lose the other to a monogamous relationship that could possibly lead to marriage…or does the male nature not work this way? It seems that this kind of friendship would be nearly impossible to penetrate as a woman of interest.

    Your Highness That Horse is Dead,
    Yes, it’s pretty natural for them to live as you describe. But it’s more likely their fallback position. Whereas women soured by a bad marriage turn against men, men turn against marriage. I venture that in a few more years their mutual interests will wane and point them more toward having a woman as mate than friend as substitute.

  5. anonymous

    “A man’s greatest fear is insignificance. It’s his opinion of how effectively he produces/provides/protects/problem-solves in life. Little or no effectiveness on the ‘4 Ps’ and his spirits drop. ” This explains why my boyfriend gets so upset if I’m not happy even if he knows it has nothing to do with him and I tell him I will be fine. If he can’t cheer me he gets even more upset than I am. He always says he can’t be happy unless I am. I used to think he was just trying to be sweet but now I think it is actually the case because it doesn’t seem like it’s voluntary. I take it as a sign of devotion 🙂

    Your Highness Anonymous,
    Yes, it sounds like devotion to me too.

    • anonymous

      I’m very glad to hear that you concur. I guess that’s what a lady gets when she listens to men about men, particularly those handsome enough to share their wisdom with the world.

  6. Sarina

    Thanks to your blog, I feel like I’ve changed a bit. When I was at my peak of dislike for men, that’s when I discovered your site..it was the right and needed stumble..honestly, I used to abhor men and utterly detest them for their ‘unfairness’ and treatment of women nowadays, it would eat me up from the inside, my demeanor was so cold and mean whenever interacting with a man, all because I couldn’t rationalise and understand their behaviour.
    Now, I’m free and more relaxed, I no longer stress and vent about how men are, I wanna accept that each gender has its own uniqueness.

    Your Highness Salina,
    Thank you, darling. Your words are heart-warming on a cold December day.

  7. MeowMeow

    My man is depressed and so am i….times were great for the first half of our 18-year marriage, but after he lost his good job (unfortunately the same year we had our only child) he spiraled into depression. Smoking 3 packs a day. Lying on the bed napping 3 hours a day. Didn’t want to have sex. Didn’t seem to notice or care when I was sick, and what with my frantic searching for work and sometimes working 3 part-time jobs at a time the house has now fallen into disrepair. After four years of keeping my mouth shut and saying nothing just working I cracked. Sobbed for him to find something, anything, I would be proud of any effort he made. He finally listened and tried so hard to retrain for two years but it was the recession and after the retraining he has ended up working low wage part time jobs. i was proud of him for that but he was/is NOT proud of himself and to this day he only takes part time gigs and then sits on unemployment in the meantime while I continue to scurry around and find work somehow. The home is falling apart because I have to work then I’m too tired to do much more then maintenance. We don’t have nearby family/friends for support they have drifted away and I can’t blame them because it is hard to be around our stress. He is 20 years older then me but his mom still sends him money once a month and that has often been the only reason we can pay our mortgage. I am so embarrassed although thankful but so my child doesn’t live on the streets I accept. i am becoming interested in other men and hate myself for it because I want to be proud of HIM. But its hard when he only works half the year than says unemployment pays more then he would make working any other job he could get. So he mainly sits at home while I work. He does do some chores and takes our kid to/from school sometimes. He is good looking but won’t dress well or trim his hair…looks unkempt. I can’t imagine he wants to live this way but this has been our fearful life for the last ten years and I’m cracking under the strain of caring for both of them. I want him to say, “Baby don’t worry I will never let you do this alone again.” but he never ever does. I ask him how he thinks I should feel and he says “I don’t know.” He says this whenever I ask him anything about our future….I feel like a dumb donkey whose only value is to work like a horse. He always acts so sweet to me but no action trying to get work when he’s unemployed. I don’t understand his behavior and I am so tired. I’d never have thought this of him but I guess we don’t know how people really are unless they are challenged…..i want a beautiful caring good marriage. I want to grow old with him and for him to cherish me but I’m starting to say hurtful things that i can’t take back. Then when I try to shut up and deny my feelings i start admiring other men. i am starting to have my own health issues too. I CAN live on very little (grew up poor then worked hard to make myself lucky) but I do want a roof over my head and be able to relate to him as wife, not husband/breadwinner. My daughter is sad that I’m gone so much. We have no savings, getting older and our future is looking bleak. I want to take care of our family but I want a role reversal! I am starting not even to feel feminine/desirable to him even though i exercise everyday, weigh very little, wear makeup, dress well, and love to have sex etc…. i cry and cry but still try to be happy for the moments and the little things and my kid and our health, etc. Sorry for the long message but there have been many difficult scary years financially and emotionally. I feel alone. Any help/thoughts you have would be so very very, much appreciated.

    Your Highness MeowMeow,

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

    I regret, however, that I have little to advise. He has a decade of programming his thoughts and they override his heart. Losing his job and not finding another almost convinces him that God, Nature, and everyone else is against him. (I have to wonder if you contribute, but that’s for another story and time.)

    Reduced to the simplest definition, he has too little with which he can earn self-admiration and find satisfaction with himself. So, he backs into a form of semi- or faux satisfaction by not trying hard and quitting easily. His mother’s contributions support that.

    That describes the problem. As to relief, consider this: Find ways for you and child to admire him and what he does, however insignificant it may appear to you. Additionally, he is not important enough in the eyes of his family. Ten years of self-criticism combined with actual or apparent criticism of others have worn him down. He has to first start changing his thinking and spoonfuls of admiration from others may jump start it.

    You’re new to the blog, so you may want to spend time in the CONTENTS page at blog top hunting for articles that portray you as the relationship expert and the most likely one to help him. If child is a daughter, she too can help.


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