by Cynthia M. Braden, MFT
You may say to yourself...
"The title of this post is annoying already!"
"Why should I have to appreciate him if he is barely doing what he should be doing!" Or worse he's uncooperative and stubborn, avoidant or even cheating. Or you feel like you're doing all the work, or nothing is working.
Here's the thing we have to understand as women. We really are wired differently than our man. He needs different things to be happy than we do. He wants to please you. Obviously you know when a man feels in love, he will do anything to please us.
You may wonder what happened. He used to be so attentive and loving, so helpful and considerate.
You decide to talk to him about it, it doesn't go well and you feel worse than ever and completely stuck.
I'm going to tell you what went wrong and how to fix it.
But first you have to realize that you cannot blame this on him. And you cannot fix it by doing what you have been doing all along. Talking, convincing, threatening, being passive aggressive, criticizing, withholding sex will not work. Being his mother is a killer.That means telling him what to do, noticing what he's doing wrong all the time, how he needs to improve on certain things... for his own good... because you love him.
As women, most of us would agree that we want to feel adored and cherished, we want to feel protected and safe.
This is not the same thing a man needs! We must understand this.
He flourishes when he feels respected and trusted... he needs to be appreciated, not taken for granted or often feeling like he's doing something wrong. If he feels appreciated, trusted and respected, he will leap over tall buildings to do everything he can to please you. These things are absolutely key to his feelings of contentment in a relationship.
Here's a test, if you could choose between being adored or being respected, which would you choose?
Of course we want to be respected, but being adored and cherished is more primal, it's the emotion that makes you want to be connected, intimate. In the way we need to be adored, he needs to be trusted and respected.
How to give more appreciation every day without being fake:
1. Notice him. Give him your attention.
2. Say thank you. Don't take him for granted.
3, Focus on what you love and appreciate about him always. (Especially when he's being a jerk.)
4. Let yourself talk about the good things he brings into your life.
5. Ignore what he is doing wrong for now. Take your focus away from things that don't please you. Enjoy your own life. This is the first step in extinguishing behaviors that you don't like.
Call me if you need help with this. I can help you start creating a positive feedback loop. Realize that each and every time you interact with him, you have an opportunity to make things better or worse between you.
1600 Rosecrans Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266