2456. Men Expect This in Marriage

Perhaps this is why men are seen as simple beings. It compares how men are different at birth from what women criticize later in life.

He marries expecting that HIS marriage will be simple and thus good. He screens and tests her to be sure their life together will turn out to match his decision-making hopes. He has an inadequately defined short list of expectations for her. (However, it will grow later and lose simplicity when he sees things he can’t respect, like, or tolerate.)

A prospective bride can list and visualize dozens of clearly defined expectations to fulfill HER marriage. IOW, what she expects of husband to fulfill her hopes and dreams. Do you see a possibility for disconnect? He expects simple; she plots the opposite.

Most of what she expects, he doesn’t know are plans for him. She may explain a lot, but the details escape him. She over-prepares and he under-prepares. He’s mostly willing to step into his marital shoes, because he knows he can handle whatever she can’t. All will go well until it doesn’t. That’s how he faces the future or he wouldn’t play the game. Should something go wrong, he will deal with it if she can’t.

So, they marry and start living together with his expecting it to duplicate their courtship relationship. Her bright smiles and no complaints signify that she’s happy, or so he muses. Since happy is not a state that men seek, her smiles confirm that she’s satisfied. That must include him or she’d be complaining. She must have everything well in hand. For the most part she excludes him from everyday problems. He’s satisfied that she takes care of home while he takes care of outside the home. His satisfaction is the equivalent of her happiness that he measures by her satisfied smiles and lack of complaints.

So, he needn’t worry, he must be pleasing her, no reason to feel guilty, and all goes well. He expects it to continue forever. It’s the man’s view of how marriage works and succeeds.

It’s how things ought to be. His expectations are met and he’s free to continue with his daily goals that produce self-satisfaction. It’s what he expects from his marriage; she makes everything come out just fine.

On that basis, their process of marital compatibility continues when reinforced by her actions and supportive words. Since respect and trust are reciprocal, then her continuous smiles without complaint signify that she’s happy and it keeps this process in motion: 1) His trust reveals that she handles everything well, which signifies to her that he respects her. 2) His respect of her returns to him as her trust of him, which satisfies him that he accomplishes what he seeks. 3) His increased respect of her shows up as increased trust of her. 4) Her fear of being abandoned fades away as his respect and trust of her accumulate. 5) With less fear, anxiety moves aside, and she keeps her smiles in place and registers no or few complaints. 6) He satisfies himself that marriage was a good decision. 7) His satisfaction and trust empower her to harmonize home and relationship to suit her intentions. She’s free to pursue the happiness that won’t come to her fully until late in life when her girlhood hopes and dreams are realized.

And that, dear ladies, is the way men are hardwired to expect life with a woman. With that process in place, men go happily along with hopes and ego firmly rooted in having done the right thing to choose her and their love blossoms on the strength of her ability to simplify life together.

Now ladies, I know you object. The burden seems all on her. But you see, she’s born that way and so is he. She’s blessed with but he lacks all the talent and skills to make their life simple and therefore good to him. So, if she doesn’t, a happy lifetime marriage doesn’t get done.

P.S. One lady’s description of her experience draws this confirming picture. My thanks to Insanitybytes22:

“This was really well said. I remember when we were first married my husband would often protest, “I’m a simple man!” I had no idea what that even meant. He really did think all I needed to do was smile and not complain and all would be well in his world. Women aren’t like that at all, we are far more complex and involved in all the details of everyday life. So hubby would frustrate me no end, because he couldn’t understand that my life was not simple at all.

“It took a while, but over the years I learned that it really is that simple, he is pleased, happy, content if I simply smile and don’t complain. That’s all he needs. My life is certainly not simple, but pleasing my husband really is. We women have a tendency to try to do all these “things” and “stuff,” when in fact it often [is] the simplest of things that bring contentment to men. Once hubby became content, I was free to create my own contentment for myself and that’s when things began to get really good.”


Filed under courtship, Dear daughter, marriage, sex differences

17 responses to “2456. Men Expect This in Marriage

  1. I love simple. This is simple. Part of my problem in the relationship department may be that I don’t know how to make my own life simple.

    I have some real though not severe learning disabilities that male it difficult for me to prioritize, put things in sequence, in short, figure out how to get from point A to point B.

    If I can’t keep my own life simple, how can I possibly do it for a man?

    I’m pretty sure one reason I’ve been passed over my whole life is because men can see how incapable I am in this way.

    Your Highness Edith Mcklveen,
    Your life should not be simple; you’re too talented and skilled not to use what you’re capable of to make his life simple and thereby make your life better. You can do that without worrying about the how and why, simply because you are a good woman and relationship expert.

    • I think I get what you mean. Life will never be simple as in no challenges.

      A female co-worker just said, “It’s never- ending.” She had a fairly significant position at work and goes home to a husband who is a police officer and a son about to graduate from high school. She’s busy.

      I said, “Proverbs says, ‘Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.”

      She replied, “The sparks are flying!”

      Yes they are.

      I like challenges. I like solving problems. I like multi-tasking . . . when I have time, energy, and focus. But when the stress of a very stressful job and chronic insomnia do a number on me, I find it impossible to do what I love. I just want to lie on the floor and do nothing.

      At the best of times it takes me a looong time to get my ducks on a row so that I can do things fairly quickly and efficiently and creatively. At the worst of times things can get dusty and disorganized and stay that way for days.

      So I have never been someone who could effectively be the “life manager” in a marriage, and I certainly can’t do it now.

    • Cinnamon


      I think you are running yourself down in a way that is unmerited, and truly think you would benefit from adjusting your mindset. Using the principle of the 80/20 rule – when thinking about what you have to offer a man, instead of focusing 80% of the time on your flaws and only 20% on your strengths, try inverting this thinking so that you are focusing 80% of the time on your strengths and only 20% of the time on your flaws.

      The essence of those strengths is always your femininity, and by cultivating your femininity as taught here at WWNH (starting with but not limited to mirror time), many of your flaws will either correct completely or, at the very least, diminish. Femininity properly practised is what all Mr Goodenoughs are seeking, and it is within the grasp of ANY woman who takes the time to study and apply the principles of WWNH to achieve it. Femininity dwarfs all flaws and afflictions, including a track record of failure and seemingly endless mistakes, personal eccentricities, and deep-seated feelings of inadequacy.

      Instead of saying “I am incapable,” say to yourself, “I am going to make myself more beautiful, inside and out”; instead of saying to yourself “I am on the outside looking in,” say to yourself, “I love being a feminine woman every day, and I will meet a Mr Goodenough someday who admires and welcomes it.” Once you make this mental shift to focusing 80% of the time on cultivating and embracing your femininity (and remember, a big part of this is learning how to have unconditional respect for the male gender), your life will start to change for the better.

      • WWNH has helped me so much in so many ways over the last year or so. Mirror time and time taken to notice, admire, and praise male accomplishments are habitual.

        The issue now is how to overcome some real, chronic issues related to a home environment that truly is out of control.

        WWNH presents in various ways that it is essential that a husband can trust that his wife will create a clean, calm, orderly, peaceful environment that is as problem-free as possible, and if she has problems, she will solve them without in any way appearing to need his help or blame him (even if he is to blame).

        I have some serious practical problems dealing with my own home environment and keeping it in order. Chronic problems of many years’ duration, related to work stress and health issues, especially chronic insomnia.

        I can “think pretty” all I want, but if I can’t manage my own life well (thus giving a man proof I can manage his life), then positive thinking is pretty useless.

        • Meow Meow

          Hi Edith,
          Is there a way you could take some time and focus on your home for a bit? One of my friends went through what she called a “nesting” period where for about a year almost all of her free time (there wasn’t much of it as she also has a very busy, high-stress job as you do) was spent organizing her home and life. She looked at her home environment objectively and decided ‘I don’t like this” or “That doesn’t work for me” and spent time making it work. Weekends and evenings whatever she had. She did almost all her improvements herself and saved up some money for a big cleaning day as well. During this time she did admit to me she basically stopped most of her other interests (dating, volunteering, eating out) just to handle this…. I don’t know if you rent or own a place or share it with others but maybe some focused time (a few months if you could swing it) spent might make you feel better about it in the long run? Last year my husband and I went through a similar phase. We were like busy bees attacking our house/organizing problems. It felt great to address and finally deal with issues that had nagged us for years! As you have spent much time helping others and volunteering maybe some of these friends could pitch in to help you if you need it.

          • Good has been strangely gracious to me regarding my home environment over the past couple of years. I got a grant from the city where I live for new windows and some other upgrades. I found some great help recently for my lawn, and it looks pretty good right now.

            I am full of ideas for doing things around the house but have no time or energy for implementing them. It’s been that way for six years now.

            The man who figures most prominently in my life works for a company that supplies tile to contractors. He is very savvy about home renovation and has a gorgeous Cape Cod that he inherited and fixed up himself (he re-did the floors, painted the walls and trim, re-did the bathroom, re-did his front and back yard . . .). Being, you know, a guy AND having spent years raising three kids by himself, he has not only mastered the art of maintaining a comfortable, attractive, efficient home, he has killed it, skinned it, and mounted it on the wall.

            I am no slouch in the decorating and beautifying department, but I am so ashamed of the mess in my life.

            If I could wave a magic wand and make it all go away today, I would. I wish I could.

            • Okay. Today I think I figured out a series of steps to take to solve the problem of how to start getting my living environment in order. It all starts with putting together a platform bed which will take a couple of weeks given my schedule. But in addition to making my bedroom more comfortable and orderly and conducive to sleep, this will clear off a big chunk of floor space in a room that is currently full of stacks and boxes.

              With the floor space clear, I will be able to sort through things and put them away or throw them away, which should also take a couple of weeks.

              Accepting that some things take time is an issue in a lot of ways for me, but currently I am on a diet that is overseen by a health coach who keeps counseling to take it one day at a time. With 12 pounds gone in three weeks, I do have something concrete to show that I can plan and act and get good results, so I am going to try and expand that attitude into other aspects of my life.

              Also, I realized that, if I think of it as mirror time on a grand scale, it seems more do-able somehow.

              There is one other thing that would help me focus on getting my life in order, and that would be if I could somehow find a way, for some period of time, to just completely stop seeing and thinking about and interacting with the man who currently figures most prominently in my life.

              I’ve been angry and distant because of being kicked into the friend zone. I’ve been apologetic and conciliatory because of realizing that he has many good qualities and we claim to be part of the same spiritual/Christian church family and we have to find ways to respect each other and get along. I’ve been supportive and encouraging, but I’ve found myself shutting down again after realizing that he can’t accept what I have to offer. He just doesn’t believe a word of what I’m telling him because he doesn’t believe the truth about himself.

              I can’t leave the church we both go to. And I can’t act like he isn’t there. But I’d love to find some way to just let him completely alone so he can deal with his life and I can deal with mine and enjoy discovering the femininity that I have hiding somewhere . . .

              Your Highness Edith Mcklveen,
              Congratulations. Progress discourages self-complaint, which is de-energizing. Keep going, darling. You can conquer whatever you commit to doing.

              • Meow Meow

                Wonderful! Thinking of organizing/beautifying your home as “Pretty Time” sounds perfect. Because it really is. Again I’ll bring up my friend…throwing herself into her home projects helped her deal with a couple almost-relationships that weren’t going anywhere…she really had to give herself mental “Permission” to just focus on herself/nesting for awhile. Although I’m not Christian, I’m well aware that a big part for those who practice is volunteering, being of service etc…and you’ll come back to those things I’m sure, but if you need some time to reorganize your home life and feel better, you’ll have more energy to give later on (whether to relationships or volunteer work etc.) Your crush will get a chance to miss you and your emotional support. You get a chance to step away from a tough situation gracefully….actually reading your post reminds me that I have much to do myself that I keep sweeping under the rug with my own “busyness.”

              • Because this blog is in many ways a place where women can vent, complain, and otherwise do what turns men off, it is hard to remember that the founder IS a man who DOES believe the truth about himself, who DOES have confidence in himself because he has confidence in the God who made him and that God’s ability to enable him to be just who he is supposed to be.

                It is certainly a providential thing that, as the Puritans would say, before the foundations of the world, God ordained that the seemingly impossible would happen, that a man would be able to help women actually understand men and develop confidence for dealing with human intimacy as God made it to be.

                I have so benefitted from what I’ve found here, and I know you will accept my thanks instead of putting yourself down or turning and running the other way or simply pretending not to hear.

                How sad to see a man (who in so many ways is ADMIRABLE! WORTHY OF RESPECT AND ENCOURAGEMENT! and otherwise NOT a typical modern man) hog-tied by evil gifts given to him almost from birth by the evil fairy godmother of modern American culture.

                How sad that I can tell everyone else how much I admire him, and they will agree whole-heartedly, but I can’t give *him* what is real and true about him until he finds a way to kill the dragons of the past and put on the armor God made him to wear and ride forth as the warrior God made him to be.

                Thank you for being the warrior God made you to be and helping damsels in distress learn to fight dragons of their own and reclaim their identity as royalty.

                Your Highness Edith Mcklveen,
                Thank you, darling. You sound royal to me.

  2. Beloved

    “So, they marry and start living together with his expecting it to duplicate their courtship relationship.” Sorry, but this is inaccurate. He expects that once he’s won her he’ll drop all the lovey-dovey nice stuff that made her want him in the first place. That’s when she starts to change HER attitude. Now she looks at him and says, “wait, why did I want you again?” So many men make this mistake. HE changes after marriage (and he is the leader) so then SHE changes due to the neglect and disappointment that she didn’t sign up for. And that is why, in part, she is tired also. Emotional unhappiness can make women exhausted. Especially now that so much is expected of her to make him satisfied and he has since quit all effort to make her happy.

    Your Highness Beloved,
    Thank you. That is an accurate and much appreciated description of how a woman is impacted and reacts when husband turns out to be a different man than she married.

    • Beloved

      So, are you saying, Sir Guy, that ALL men aren’t that way? Because then that gives me hope! I just assumed that they sort of all got lazy after they “won the prize.”

      Your Highness Beloved,
      ALL men are this way: The easier to win, the less devoted they are to the prize. The harder to win their first sex together, the more devoted to the prize. Thus, women are in charge of how they’re treated throughout their life with a man.

      • Men will do anything to win what they want. They stop playing to win once they’be won.

        Seems to me WWNH is all about those things that motivate men to recognize (sometimes slooowly) that keeping is just as much of a challenge as winning, but a whole different ball game requiring a whole different set of skills.

        Those men who understand are, in my experience, those who were raised well by their mothers or who had sisters or who somehow “got it” fairly early on.

      • gonemaverick

        Well said Sir Guy.

    • anon...

      i think THIS IS WHY–there must be a LONG courtship.. at least 6-18 months…but too many young couples want to rush in…

  3. This was really well said. I remember when we were first married my husband would often protest, “I’m a simple man!” I had no idea what that even meant. He really did think all I needed to do was smile and not complain and all would be well in his world. Women aren’t like that at all, we are far more complex and involved in all the details of everyday life. So hubby would frustrate me no end, because he couldn’t understand that my life was not simple at all.

    It took a while, but over the years I learned that it really is that simple, he is pleased, happy, content if I simply smile and don’t complain. That’s all he needs. My life is certainly not simple, but pleasing my husband really is. We women have a tendency to try to do all these “things” and “stuff,” when in fact it often the simpliest of things that bring contentment to men. Once hubby became content, I was free to create my own contentment for myself and that’s when things began to get really good.

    Your Highness Insanitybytes22,
    A bases-loaded home run. Thank you, darling.

    • Sharon

      Excellent, Ib22! This is why women need to share the “clacking over household details” (quote from BBC Production, “Upstairs, Downstairs”) with their mothers, sisters,and girlfriends. WE understand and empathize! To our husbands, we will be viewed as confident and capable. This mindful selection of what to share in conversation with husband, along with continuing self-education in a variety of areas, significantly contributes to the building of ongoing happiness in the marriage.

    • Meow Meow

      This comment made me smile for miles, take a deep breath and relax.Thanks Insanitybytes!

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