Let’s face it – women aren’t the only ones who can act confusing sometimes.
And of course, all the men reading this are thinking, “Hey, men are easy to understand. It’s women who are the complicated ones”.
But if you ask any of the females reading this, you may find yourself being disagreed with.
I never like to write about one particular gender and neglect the other. I think there’s a lot of power in balance and that there are two sides to every story. So it would only be fair that after writing a more female-targeted article like Why Men Don’t Understand that I write one about the reason a lot of women are confused about the male species.
As a man myself, sometimes I am tempted to think that the reason why women find men complicated or confusing is because they’re so straightforward. Our emotions for the most part don’t have external hormonal factors swaying them as much. We are typically easily impressed. And I guess in my male mind I think that, well, I understand men, so why is it so complicated?
But there is a lot more to understand on the other side of the fence.
And it’s funny for me sometimes to hear women talk about men. Or to hear that they have talked about men. I’m always interested to learn, especially when you or someone you know may be the topic of conversation. I usually just like to ask people what they’re thinking.
And as a guy, you like the women in your world to understand you. You would like to get your point across. You would like to communicate and not have your message construed or confused or end up hurting someone. Sometimes guys can be shocked when they see women get offended or angry at something that has been said. Or something that hasn’t been said.
As a man, you tend to think, just what is it she wants from me?
Well, here’s some reasons why women don’t understand.
If one of the biggest complaints that women have about men is that they’re not trying hard enough, then it’s only fair to address the biggest complain men have about women. And one of the universal complaints of many men in relationships is that their ladyfriend is a constant nag. Do the laundry, clean the dishes, why haven’t you gotten the kids ready for school, you’re too busy, you’re too quiet, you’re too you’re too you’re too. On and on and on. So many men secretly say, and start big fights when they physically say, “Woman, just leave me alone!”.
But you wouldn’t need to nag him if he’d just do what you told him, right?
And since it is such a universal complaint, we have to properly acknowledge it. Now there might be 100 different reasons for the constant badgering. And maybe you don’t think you’re nagging. But if he does, then he’s going to close up faster than anything else. As the Hebrew Proverbs say, “Better to live in the desert/in the attic/alone than with a contemptuous woman”.
Now be fair with me ladies, I had a proper go at the guys last time for not trying hard enough to understand, so let us realistically consider this complaint. Repetition of the same statements does not work with men and tend towards making them feel like they’re disappointing you. And maybe they are. All the more reason it may be worth changing your tactic.
Men run on ego. Like all guys will probably say of themselves, I consider myself a “nice guy”, but even with all my “niceness” I have to be honest that my ego is something that is central to who I am. My ego is really just what I think of myself. Do I think I’m capable? Am I seen to be able to back up what I say? And if my perspective of myself is called into question, I am not going to be happy.
As is the same with my male brothers. And this is the reason why a husband will resist doing some of those chores or talking or sharing or doing whatever it is would be good for him to do. Because he hates feeling like he’s pressured to do something he’s made to feel like he’s not capable/willing of doing.
The best wives are cheerleaders. Not by trade or costume, but by action. A champion of the cause of their husbands. Likewise, the same could be true of husbands to their wives. We should be each other’s biggest fans, and constantly speaking to that end.
And hey, I’ve heard if you say “you look hot when you’re mowing the lawn” you have a greater success rate of getting him to do it. Just saying.
Just like we did when considering why women are confusing, we need to realistically assess what’s going on. Cause gents, she might not actually be nagging. She might not be making any unrealistic demands. She might just be trying to understand you. And when you tell her, “What is there to know”, there’s a lot. If you’re important to her, she wants to know what’s going on in your heart. And there are some things that guys do that are confusing to women. Here are a few reasons why she might not understand.
Cause you’re not saying a lot
Another classic conversation:
F: Hey honey, how was work today?
F: What did you do at work today?
F: Did you enjoy it?
If you have children, you recognize this conversation. It’s the same as when your young boy or girl comes home from school. Maybe this is one of the reasons why women with two children and a husband joke that they are looking after 3 kids.
You have to recognize fellas that we don’t always say a lot. And that’s because we don’t always feel like it. Especially in a situation where we’re tired or stressed or been through a lot. The last thing we want to do is talk. But you have to recognize that this is confusing behaviour for women. More often than not, women talk their problems out (which you’ve probably noticed). Guys will joke to each other that she can talk his ear off, but it’s only really funny cause they are doing the complete opposite.
So we give short, non-answers that don’t really say a lot about the day.
Counselors will tell you that typically women use 2-3 times more words than men do in a day. Not a universal rule as everyone is different, but far too common not to acknowledge.
As guys, we need to learn to be more open. If she’s asking you lots of questions, maybe she doesn’t need your life story, maybe just saying a bit more about your day, or a few stories or nuances from your weekend, or putting a few more describing words about what’s going on would be a good start.
If you have a woman in your world who is avidly trying to discover the mystery of your heart, you are one blessed man. “Who can find a virtuous woman? Her value is far beyond rubies”. Well, you did. Never squander that or take that for granted by always being short with her.
Cause you’re not saying anything
More than giving short answers, sometimes we aren’t giving any answers. Or we’re not initiating conversations. Or we’re always avoiding certain topics.
You can usually tell that something is really bothering a man by how much he’s not saying about it.
We like to compartmentalize. We put everything in its box – the work box, the home box, the wife box, the kids box, the friends box, the boss box, the family box. If anything in any of the boxes isn’t going too well, it stays in its box. And that’s great when we want to focus on something else…
…but it’s dangerous when we leave things there that never come out.
And that’s confusing to women. Usually women know when something is wrong. That’s why when she asks you what’s wrong, and you say (and all the sisters roll their eyes and say with me), “Nothing“, that they’ll still hover around. Cause they know. And they know you know. And you know they know.
But still you don’t talk about it.
There’s a bit of a balance here. Men tend to internally process things. That’s why after doing the gardening, going for a run or cleaning the bathroom he can come back inside and say, “I’ve been thinking about what you said…”
It’s cause he might look blank, but there’s a lot of processing going on.
And a lot of the time, we don’t even fully understand it ourselves. Which is why we don’t want to invite anyone else into it. Cause we’re big and tough. We don’t want or need help working ourselves out. We’re meant to be the strong ones.
Well hey, maybe you’re not needing to be the strong one all the time. And maybe it’s not weakness to open up and let some light into areas you’ve kept to yourself so long.
Cause you seem to move on so quickly
This one drives women insane. Especially after breakups or big fights. He’ll break up with someone and be genuinely non-rebounding dating another girl properly in about 2 or 3 months time. You’ll have a big fight over something, both apologize, and he’ll go back to like nothing ever happened. Men reading this think, well of course, you’re over it. Women reading this, you know what you’re thinking.
It’s annoying to a lot of women. Why aren’t you staying angry? How can you just pretend nothing ever happened? Why aren’t you more hurt? Why why why why why?
Well, on this point, I think there is merit on both sides.
On the one side, I think it’s probably worth considering if you have properly made up after a fight or a problem. Have you really properly processed everything? Have you left anything unsaid? Have you communicated everything in a respectful and non-destructive way? And have you done everything you can to try to make the other person feel better? Sometimes we say things have been properly dealt with when they haven’t.
But on the other side, I think there is great merit in keeping short accounts, being able to forgive quickly, and allowing a relationship to continue to move forwards. And sometimes, yes, a man has actually done everything he believes he should have. And many men can feel like they just can’t do enough to make you feel happy if you’re set on being bitter or staying upset about something for an extended period of time.
But on the flip side again of that one, this is where a man needs to be a man. There’s a story in the Bible where King David makes a massive mistake with a woman. Sees her having a bath, invites her over, has sex with her, sends her home, gets her pregnant, kills her husband, and gets her to fall in love with him. And after all of that, the baby born of the affair dies soon after birth. They both know it’s coming days before it happens, as a prophet warns them. And David mourns for days before it happens. He’s ripping his clothes, he’s wearing ashes, he does everything ceremonious required for mourning as per the Jewish custom.
And the baby dies.
And Scripture tells us David gets up, washes his face, puts on new clothes, and goes back to being king.
But Bathsheba, the woman in question, does not so easily move on.
Because the heart of a woman is precious and rare. And it can be so easily and deeply broken. This is why Scripture tells men to look out for their wives as the “weaker vessel”, probably better translated as fragile. You don’t take a beautiful glass sculpture and drop it on the ground. You look after it. That’s the charge to the men.
And it takes to a real man to put your pride aside and not be so quick to tell her to “just get over it”, but to do as David did and comfort her. Of course, the Hebrew “comfort” results in the birth of a child, and perhaps this is the right way to go about it in some contexts. In others, maybe you should do as Bruno Mars didn’t, and “Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii should’ve bought you flowers”. Or do something to put a smile back on her face and show her you acknowledge it’s hard to process. Happy wife, happy life!
So there’s a few reasons why perhaps fellas, we’re not as simple or straightforward as we think we are. And hopefully there’s a few things in there to help both us men and women understand things a bit better, or at least get the conversation going.
What do you think? Feel free to leave your thoughts below, Like the page on Facebook and share this around with people you know (I’m a poet and I didn’t even realize the manifestation of the fact).
I’d also like to say thanks to everyone for the massive patronage so far, visiting the site, sharing it around, and talking about some of the topics that have been covered. Truly do value your readership and hope that I can continue to write about things that are interesting and relevant.