A woman who is content regardless of what’s going on around her is of high value because she’s not needy. Men want women of high value, and men know that OTHER men want women of high value. When you have high value as a woman, no man wants to lose you, and all of a sudden, the very things he used to do (or not do) to make you unhappy he’ll want to change in order to prove his worth to you. If you learn how to be responsible for your own happiness, a man will either respond favorably by becoming a better man (to prove his worth), or you’ll attract a better man (who recognizes your worth). In short, you cannot lose. Trust me, I can honestly say that as a man…we love proving our worth to a woman who’s worth it.
1. Don’t hesitate when you need to apologize to him.
I’ve noticed an interesting thing about some women, especially the Daddy’s girl types. They are extremely reluctant or even indifferent when it comes to apologizing to the man they apparently love. They seem to have this attitude that says, “If he’s not aware that I’m wrong, then I won’t say anything to him, and I certainly won’t give an apology if he doesn’t ask for one.” Are you serious? Please, ladies, if you are in the wrong and know you’re in the wrong, don’t wait for him to approach you for an apology. It communicates that you’re indifferent to his emotional well-being, especially if he’s been beating himself up about the issue. Your man doesn’t want to hear your swift and sincere apologies just to bolster his ego or to justify his inner need to dance around the room and shout, “I’m right, I’m right, I’m finally RIGHT!” While the latter is admittedly quite fun, your swift and sincere apology has a higher purpose. We need to know that you have our best interest at heart, and that if you’re at fault you’re the kind of woman who can readily admit it. Don’t wait for him to approach you for an apology. Men love it when a woman is swift and sincere with her apologies. It displays grace, class, and the irresistible beauty of a woman who’s above petty-mindedness.
2. Give him honest and sincere appreciation.
Whenever you can, be lavish in your praise and generous with your appreciation. I say it to women all the time and I’ll say it again…men don’t get nearly enough appreciation that they deserve. Compare Father’s Day to Mother’s Day and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Western culture seems to accept the idea that because it’s an honor to be a man, a leader, a provider of the family, etc., we don’t require lots of appreciation. Here’s the thing, men want and crave appreciation just as much as women do, sometimes even more. The difference is, most times we’re not going to come right out and ask for it. Why? Well, because it comes off as being needy, which is quite unattractive. We’d like for the woman we love to shower us with honest and sincere appreciation without us having to ask for it.
Of course, when I say “shower” him with praise I don’t mean vague generalities like “Honey, you’re so great!” I mean specific appreciation that compliments something unique about him. You’re such a thoughtful boyfriend. I know you’ve been very busy this month, but I really appreciate this” is much more specific, honest, and sincere. When you verbally express your appreciation, try to recognize his sacrifice. A good man doesn’t go around counting the sacrifices he makes for those around him, but that doesn’t mean he’s averse to having at least some of those sacrifices recognized, especially by the woman he loves. Women who exude gratitude are highly attractive because they’re easier to please and find contentment in the smallest of gestures. Men adore women that verbally express their gratitude because it makes them feel valued. The more a man feels appreciated the easier it is for him to want to continue making you happy. He knows that you’ll never (or rarely) take him for granted and that no matter how imperfect he is, you’ll always treasure the little things he does to make you happy.
3. Let him lead.
When a good woman is angry with her husband or boyfriend, chances are he’s not leading the way he’s supposed to. I hold the traditional view that a man should love his woman with passion and lead her with compassion. It’s a noble ideal that many guys want to follow, but they’re being met with strong resistance from women who either refuse this view of the world or who just don’t realize that they’re sabotaging their man’s efforts. I can only speak on behalf of high-quality men here, and believe me when I say that men like this prefer to be with a woman who lets them lead. When I say “let him lead” I mean don’t be a hindrance to his innate desire to lead. If anything, communicate your support of his leadership. And when he fails to do so (as he will at times), use your feminine grace to influence him to be a better man.
Because some women grew up in broken homes or had less-than-noble fathers they’re not used to seeing examples of women helping their men to lead effectively. And while feminism may have done some good in society, the by-products of the movement have left many women confused or even flat out rebellious to the thought of letting a man lead, especially in a relationship. I’m not here to convince you otherwise, but I will tell you exactly how men think. The fact remains; high-quality men won’t fight a woman for leadership. They’ll either move on to a woman who’s more supportive of them, or they’ll lead without your support.
4. Maintain a tender heart.
Be quick to forgive and don’t hold grudges against the man you love. That’s it. While this doesn’t seem like a communication strategy it may be the single most important point to remember in this book as you communicate with your man. The grudges you hold against your husband or boyfriend WILL be communicated in one way or another. Snide remarks, undermining comments, and cold body language are all signs of an unforgiving attitude. If you’re married, keep the softest spot in your heart for your husband. I’m not saying to let them get away with murder, but I am saying that you must be willing to love them without fear.
When someone does or says something to hurt us, it’s natural for us to put up our defenses. Just like how a callus forms to protect a sensitive area of the skin, we can form calluses of the heart (cue in the cheesy music). Instead of forming emotional calluses try not to count the wrongs your husband does against you. Even if you’re dating, so long as your boyfriend treats you with love and respect more often than not, learn to forgive the things he does wrong. Learning to do so is tough business, and it’s pivotal to a blissful relationship. A perfect love counts no wrongs done against it and therefore has nothing to fear.
5. Keep an unshakable sense of humor.
When communicating with your man starts to tax your sanity, remember to exercise your sense of humor. You’ll make mistakes, he’ll make mistakes, and sometimes nobody is going to get through to anybody. When that happens, laugh with him or with yourself. If he’s a reasonable guy, chances are he’ll catch himself in the act of losing control and he may burst out laughing at his own idiocy. Laugh with him. If he’s having a jolly old laugh at how stupid the argument is, don’t look at him all angry-like with one eyebrow raised and say, “Oh, so you think this is funny huh?” Chances are, most of the minor stuff is just that…minor stuff. Don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t be so serious. After all, we’re all only human.
6. Adopt an “I’m responsible for my own happiness” approach to relating with men.
I saved this communication secret for last because I really want this concept to sink in and transform your entire approach to loving a man. The thing is, there’s something very interesting I notice about relationships. They are designed more for giving rather than receiving, and the couples who “make it” and who flourish blissfully as the years go by are those who live by that principle. Yes, we all know on a conscious level that we should focus more on the giving than the receiving, but let me show you just how tainted our subconscious attitudes may be towards living this principle.
If I gave you something that made you happy without needing anything in return from you at that moment, what happens? You feel happy because you got something free (you feel special), and I feel happier because I gave out of the goodness of my heart. I grow in intrinsic, spiritual value (high-character), you grow fonder of me because I made you feel special, and now my value to you has increased, i.e. Bruce is a really generous guy.
Think of how this applies to relationships. The more you can give to your beloved without needing anything in return, the higher your intrinsic value becomes and the less attached you are to needing something in return. You grow in spiritual strength as your peace of mind grows less dependent on the behavior of other people. It appears that God designed us in such a way that we become more valuable and even desirable to others as our spiritual strength increases. Therefore, to grow in spiritual value (grace, generosity, patience, etc.) the most important relationships for a woman to have are the ones with her Creator and also how she relates to herself (self-respect/esteem). When the foundations of your happiness are no longer linked to how a man treats you, it becomes a thousand times easier for you to communicate with him in a loving way.
If you refuse to suffer (be unhappy) when your husband or boyfriend does something that displeases you, what happens? You accept them for who they are and you’re less apt to become unhappy when he says or does something that frustrates you. But isn’t my man supposed to make me happy? Yes and no. Yes, your man should be adding more happiness to your life, but no, his behavior should not dictate the quality of your peace of mind. The moment a man’s behavior either makes or breaks your day, you’re in problems. If just about everything he does in the relationship dictates your happiness, you won’t be able to love him unconditionally.