There was a time people made certain basic assumptions about men and what they want in an intimate relationship. In fact, many people still have these basic assumptions: sex, food, comfort, and to be left alone. That’s a very short list and for a lot of men, keeping things as uncomplicated as possible is very likely how they would like to conduct their affairs. Straightforward, simple, organized. Men’s minds often function around domains, borders, boundaries, acknowledged hierarchies and competition. We often make sense of the world through putting things in boxes- we compartmentalize. To state the obvious, this short list is simplistic. There are many other things that men want from a relationship that is less obvious in today’s world. Below I will discuss what those things are and how they can be better managed.
Countless men report that femininity is very attractive. Men are often aroused by feminine ‘weakness.’ It’s not surprising that most cartoons, pre-butch women, portrayed a strong man who comes to rescue a damsel in distress. The narrative is not only about women wanting a hero who risks his life for her, but also about men wanting to be the heroes that risk their lives to save women from the tyranny of other men. A woman that is stronger, more forthright, more capable, more organized, and not particularly vulnerable to a man, is not seen as typically attractive. Some of the most prominent business women are usually single. They’re not single because men feel intimidated by them, they’re single because men don’t typically find that attractive. Of course, exceptions abound. There are men, who for their own reasons, would much prefer that type of woman. Hence you’ll find in some far eastern cultures that the most sophisticated women act entirely incapable and at the mercy of their husbands when he walks in the door. It’s not because those women are inferior to men, it’s because they are smart. They understand that the sexual equation between them is contingent on him ‘seeing’ himself as dominant- whether fictional or real.
There is such a thing as toxic masculinity but it’s not necessarily the instinct of man to dominate. We really can’t divorce a man from his natural instincts without also breaking him. There’s a reason why more men commit suicide in today’s world, and it’s not just that they suffer set backs. It’s that there isn’t an outlet to positively experience dominance or to compete for it. The world has become too sterilized for many men and with the increasing amounts of masculine women, men who want to distinguish themselves as men- also a natural inclination- sometimes adopt the most extreme traits of masculinity, such as; violence and tyranny. Alternately, men who are not prepared to turn into total assholes to impress women, become celibate- at the extreme ends. Why become a total egomaniac to arouse women simply because the paradigm of masculinity has shifted? Masculine energy can manifest itself in much softer ways when femininity is also manifested in softer ways. Otherwise it becomes like an arms race and since men are typically stronger than women it can escalate into violence.
One of the most fundamental instincts in men is to want to protect their families. It’s also a fundamental instinct in mothers to want to protect their children. In this regard, the way a man feels about a woman is sometimes the same way a woman feels about a child. That makes matters a bit awkward and at variances with the modern feminist narrative. Men, at some level, do see women as objects- at least sexually. Let’s not kid around about it. Men, therefore, understanding the male psyche a lot better than women do, tend to be more acutely aware of danger. A man, in a dangerous situation might ordinarily get killed, usually by other men. A woman in a dangerous situation might get raped- at the extremes. In between these two extremes there are also various other vulnerabilities that exist.
Skillful men, who have seduced hundreds of women, don’t see women as really possessing a will of their own, except for perhaps a handful of them. They have always held that just about any woman can be convinced to do things she might not have ordinarily agreed to, to begin with. Hence, men in a very real sense, sometimes have as guardian of his secrets – his wife- that can’t guard his secrets on account of her being vulnerable to the flattering of other men. What men seldom admit or say out loud is that his protectiveness over his wife or family is also him protecting himself!
Unfortunately, any woman properly primed can throw even the greatest of lovers under the bus. Men have known that for centuries and hence they have typically been a bit cautious about who is allowed into their homes- and more to the point, who is allowed access to their wives. It’s a caution that any smart man upholds if he is interested in the longevity of his family. It does work the other way too. Many wives have lost their husbands to bad company. When your friends negatively impact your behavior, your spouse would likely be he first to recognize it.
Relationships are not just open because partners sleep around, they are open when influences take people in very different- and sometimes dark- directions. A very peaceful man, when coming under the influence of alcoholism (becoming violent and abusive), is in some way practicing infidelity. He isn’t who she signed up for. When put that way, it is not difficult to understand that a man must guard his lifestyle in the interest of his marriage. However, when we flip it around and ask women to guard themselves in the interest of their husbands, in today’s narrative it’s considered to be just another chapter in the ‘tyrannical patriarchy.’ If you really want a happy husband, you should probably drop that narrative. He has every right to exercise limiting your behavior in some ways just like you have the right to require that of him. When you deny your man that, you emasculate him. Once you’ve done that, he likely won’t sleep with you anymore- again, at the extremes. Allow him to be a man, or even just pretend.
The very last thing a man wants is a wife who doesn’t cheer for him in the battle of life. Men aren’t really looking for objective truths from women. They tend to want to find that in science or philosophy. What men want are wives who support them in their cause ‘whatever it is.’ I know it sounds rather terrible. How can a woman do that if she genuinely doesn’t agree with it? Well, there’s a difference between men feeling supported and agreeing with them. It’s very important for men to feel like they are supported by their spouses. In similar ways that women like to feel supported. While men rarely expect women to financially support them, they do expect to be supported by being voted for in the race of life. Don’t praise people who degrade your husband or support those who try to belittle him. That is the wrong inclination, and frankly that, to the male psyche, is betrayal. If you want a husband who is really going to stick it out with you, you need to be prepared to stick it out with him- and that means that you at least try to understand that you’re in a relationship with a man, and not another woman.