I honestly believe that. I think men have simpler needs and are better about asking for what they want. As a little girl we're taught to be nice, to consider other people's feelings. We are groomed from a young age to be nurturers and peace keepers.
"Don't make waves."
"Play by the rules"
"Don't be demanding"
Last year I was the queen of "Don't Make Waves" during my separation I agreed to move away from my family and my comfort zone to make it easier on the X to commute to work - as he was still the primary bread winner. I didn't want to make a fuss and I figured I could find work anywhere. I spend weeks separating out and packing up our belongings into boxes marked HIS and HERS. I killed myself for weeks and he didn't pack a single box. I let him bully me into having a say on where I would live, I let him threaten to take my children away, I let him manipulate me even when I knew he was following me and scary cyber-stalking behavior was going on. When the X started talking about dreaming of killing me I was told by my friends and family to get a restraining order. I was told by HIS therapist that it would make things worse...so I didn't do it... and we see how that worked out for me.
Why was I so intent on being the good girl? Why couldn't I stand up for myself, take care of my needs and tell him to go screw himself? Why would I let myself be bullied, harassed, and threatened into behaving as someone else wished? Why was I so weak?
It seems that we have a whole different set of rules for men. Growing up little boys are encouraged to be competitive and even a mild amount of regulated aggression is smiled upon. Boys are told to be leaders and to speak up.
"Don't take crap from anybody"
"Don't be a baby"
"Go get em' Tiger!"
I heard a female comedian once talk about what men need to be happy. Something along the lines of beer, boobies, and a full belly. Simple wishes. They dream of finding a woman who wants to cook them dinner and jump their bones when they're done. Can it really be that basic?
A male friend once told me that if his woman had sex with him on a semi regular basis then he felt pretty damn good about himself and he assumed their relationship was on track. If she had sex with him frequently then he knew he was a total stud. If she cooked for him, didn't nag him too much about the toilet seat, and knew how to not talk his ear off while he watched t.v. then she's probably going to be his wife someday. Simple wishes.
Women - myself included - need validation. We need to talk about our feelings, we need to feel connected. We want romance apart from sex. We want him to WANT to spend time with us, to like our friends, to hold us when we cry for no apparent reason. We are complicated.
How do we meet in the middle? How do we manage to get our complicated emotional needs met and not suffocate the man we love? How do we feel sexy, powerful, cherished, nurturing, and independent all at the same time?
How do I make sure, every day, that he knows I love him. I love him with a deep and passionate love that's new and scary for me. I love him with a comfortable, easy, gentle love that's soothing to my damaged soul? How do I ask for what I need so that I in turn know, on a daily basis, that he loves me truly and deeply as well?
Sometimes, "I love you" doesn't say enough... What are the words? Or do I, as my friend implied, accept the fact that since I fill his belly, and warm his bed on a nightly basis he's content? Is looking for something deeper a wasted effort?
I think this love business should come with an owner's manual. There are so very many ways to screw it up. One thing I do know - I'm done with not asking for what I want. I'm done allowing ANYONE to bully me. I won't keep the peace at the sake of my own sanity. This past year has taught me a lot - especially about myself. What I can survive. Whom I can depend on. What I need to be happy. These are hard learned lessons.