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My Husband Joins Me for the Show: 3 Things Women Need to Know About Men

[Shana] Today, I have a very special guest in studio. If you could see him right now, he's kneeling before me. He's on his knees at the microphone because we don't have a chair for him, but we'll just pretend that he's doing it for a different reason. <laugh> 

[Clark] I'm going to propose to you again. 

[Shana] Oh yes. That would be lovely. We've talked about how we'd like to redo our vows and redo the day. We just recently had lunch together and I asked you, “What is a happy memory that you would like to repeat?” And you said, “The day that we got married.” 

[Clark] Yeah, that was a great day. 

[Shana] I'm so glad that Clark—this is my husband, Clark—decided to join me because he's going to give us the inside scoop on men.

[Clark] <laugh> How long is your podcast?

[Shana] Does that mean it will be short or long?  

[Clark] Probably pretty short. Men aren’t that complicated. <laugh> Women would be a longer podcast because I have never understood women. 

[Shana] He does a great job understanding me, but sometimes for women it can seem complicated to understand guys. But really, the things that men need might seem complicated, but they’re really not that different than women sometimes. It looks like we have one that we have here on our list today that may be a little bit different than women. And that's our first one. But what we’re going to talk about is three things that men want women to know about men. So, Clark, you said that the first one was . . . 

[Clark] Well, I don’t know that it’s what men want you to know, but the things you should know about. The things you need to know about men, because most men may probably would never tell you this.

And I'll tell you—and I say this every time we talk about men—you've got to understand that at a man’s core, nearly every man is insecure. And he’s most insecure about failing. Men are very performance oriented and they're very insecure and they never want to fail, and that's what feeds into a lot of these [points that we’re talking about today] actually is, is a fear of failing. So that's the overarching need. 

But we’ll hit three of them. 

[Shana] So what was the first one? 

[Clark] This is a really simple one, but it really cuts deep. Men don't like to be teased or put down or embarrassed . . . really ever, but especially in front of other people. If you tease a guy or scold a guy or reprimand a guy in front of other people, you humiliate him in front of other people in public . . .that is just so hurtful to a guy. 

[Shana] Sometimes women just tease a guy, and they are kind of jabbing, but they don’t really mean it. 

[Clark] Even if you're joking, it's like, who wants to be, “Oh my gosh, you should smell his blank. Oh my gosh. Oh that, oh, well Jim always does that. You should see him.” You know, anytime you make the guy look stupid. 

[Shana] So, it’s putting him down. 

[Clark] Putting him down in public is really hurtful. Yeah. So, it makes him feel like he’s failing. 

[Shana] Okay. And so, you had said one time you'd said, “Okay, so I failed with you, (this woman that I’m with) but now I really feel like I've blown it because I failed in front of everybody else. 

[Clark] Right. Right. 

[Shana] And does that go back to the performance-oriented sort of thing? 

[Clark] Sure. Well again, who wants that anyway? I'm just saying for a guy it cuts extra deep because now you've just told everybody what a failure he is publicly. 

[Shana] Okay, so what’s that going to do in the long term to a relationship? Is he going to say, “Hey, you embarrassed me in front of everybody?” 

[Clark] Probably not. Well, he might, if, if you have that level of trust, but normally not.

[Shana] Okay, what will he do instead?  

[Clark] Get mad, or he’ll tease you back, probably.  

[Shana] To get back at you?  

[Clark] Mm-hmm <affirmative> To restore his pride. 

[Shana] Sometimes we see this, right? Have you ever seen this in public with couples? 

[Clark] The bickering couple. 

[Shana] Yeah. The bickering couple. They're kind of putting each other down and jabbing each other in public. 

[Clark] Right, right. 

[Shana] So what's something that a woman can do instead? 

[Clark] Oh well the converse, if you praise a guy in public that does wonders. That does wonders. And if you have to criticize him, just criticize him privately. You can say, “You know what?” When you're in the car after the party say, “I really didn't appreciate it when you did this or did that.” At least that's better, then [telling him he’s blowing it in public.]

[Shana] We’ve talked a lot about how men need respect. Does this go back to the respect thing? 

[Clark] Sure. Yeah. I think so. 

[Shana] Sure. So why is it that this is a huge thing [to men]? I mean, women don't want to be teased either or put down in public either, but if you sat down a woman and said, “What is something that you really need, or you really don't want from a guy?” she wouldn't have this on her list. And when we talked about these before [we came started the broadcast] this topic immediately came to mind for you. 

[Clark] Because it's really, really disrespectful and because men are performance oriented, ultimately, we want to be judged by how well we're doing. For better or worse men want to be judged for what they do more than who they are. I don't think that's probably fair, but that is kind of the way it goes. It's “Judge me on what I do, not for who I am,” and so you’re putting down performance that way and it makes us look like we're failing. 

[Shana] So that's kind of interesting because, because really I think for women (and you and I have had lots of conversations about men being, performance oriented and stuff) if a woman starts to see that a man is looking at the world through these “performance glasses” (and it may or may not be right that a man attaches his identity to his performance) but when you think about how guys are raised and how just men are different than women, that way it kind of is it helps us understand, “Okay, this is why this would be a big deal to a guy,” right? 

[Clark] Yeah. I wish it wasn’t that way, but it is that way. I mean, I think who you are is more important than what you do, certainly, but that's the kind of the way that works out. We don't like being criticized for our performance or something we did in public—or even who we are. Don't say we’re stupid or impolite or whatever in public. 

[Shana] Okay. So, let me come back to this because when you're saying don't criticize a guy in public, but it's okay after the party's over to bring something up to say, “Hey, I didn't appreciate how you did X, Y, Z” is that better? 

[Clark] That’s better. 

[Shana] But is it important for a woman even then to deliver that information in such a way. . .

[Clark] Yeah, but wouldn't it be important for anybody? I mean, a lot of this is just how would you deliver bad news anyway? 

[Shana] Right. 

[Clark] So how would you want to receive it? 

[Shana] Alright Clark, what is the second one?

[Clark] Alright, so it’s related. Men are going to get turned off by any woman that they see as high maintenance and it's related—and here’s why.  

[Shana] Oh boy, this is a tough topic. 

[Clark] What's a high maintenance woman.

[Shana] What is it? We don’t even get it. 

[Clark] A high-maintenance woman is someone who, as a guy you think is going to be impossible to ever please completely. She is so demanding, or so particular, or so fussy, or so critical, or so needy, or whatever it is. She's so high maintenance, she takes so much energy to deal with and it’s not worth your time.

And the reason is because you're never going to be successful with her. You're never going to be able to please her. You're never going to succeed, which means you're always going to be failing. You're always going to be coming up short. You're never going to be doing enough to please this person.

And it manifests itself a lot of ways. It can be controlling. It can be—like I said—fussy, overly particular, impossible to satisfy in anything. Nothing is ever quite right. Nothing is ever quite good enough or it could be someone who's needy, you know? “You didn't do this for me.” “I was hoping you were going to do that.” “I was hoping you were going to do this.” “And you didn't notice that I didn’t laugh at your joke” or whatever it is. It’s just—oh my gosh. You know, it’s just exhausting. 

[Shana] I so appreciate Clark saying this because lots of times we women don't even know what this means. I didn't know what it meant. Because I always thought high-maintenance was just the woman who wants to shop all the time. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with shopping if you like to do that. But likes to shop all the time or wears high heels and always has to have her makeup perfect or whatever. I thought that’s what it meant.

Um, one area that's difficult for women when you talked about women who are needy is because sometimes for a woman who's super emotionally sensitive, sometimes she'll feel like she's too much, right? That she can't talk to a guy about her feelings. So, my question is: When it comes to making sure that a woman is not coming across as time maintenance, she can be honest with a guy, right? Absolutely right. But if does it make a man feel like like a duck out of water, if she's crying and yelling at him and like, I don't know. . .what is it that comes across as high maintenance? 

[Clark] I don't know where the line is, maybe some kind of unreasonableness. You know, more than a normal person would do. And a lot sometimes—again--sometimes it's the way you say things. It's again, if you say it critically, “I really thought you would've noticed I was said about that.”

[Shana] Kind of condescending? 

Yeah. And, and it's again, telling what you're saying is with the guy, here it is: I failed again. You blew it.  you blew it. You know, she's saying you blew, it had noticed this you're a failure. Uh, you didn't please me. Because guys, deep down, we want to be your hero.

You know, we want to, we want honor you. We want to serve you. We want to be your hero. We want you to look at us and go, “Wow! He’s amazing.” And so, anything that you do that makes us believe you’re thinking “Gosh, you’re really not that amazing,” it really hurts. So, high maintenance is just one manifestation of that, where comes out is “I'm never going to be able to win with you. I'll never be able to be your hero, because you're always going to want more or expect more or demand more and it’s never going to work.”

[Shana] This reminds me that sometimes women can be in a place where we need to grow as far as our emotional health. Because if we’re in a place where we're always taking everything personally, and we're always dissatisfied because our egos have been bruised in the past and we've been very broken, then that's something that we want to get help for.

I know for me personally, when I was younger, (because I grew up in a home where I was hurt a lot by words that were either unspoken or that were spoken) I remember there were a couple guys who said I was too sensitive about words. And I know that has happened between us sometimes. I’ve grown. I hope I’m not impossible. <laugh>
 
But there were times in the past when I dated guys and they're just like, “Shana, you're just like overly sensitive about stuff.” 

[Clark] Mm-hmm <affirmative> 

[Shana] If we take that out of the context between a man and a woman and we put another situation, just between two women friends, you would still react the same. 

[Clark] Right. 

[Shana] If someone was always offended by what you said or very sensitive to what you said . . . pretty soon, you're just going to pull away because you're going to feel like you're never going to be able to make that person happy. Right? 

[Clark] Right. Exactly. 

[Shana] Alright. And da, da, da, da! The third one! What is the third one?

[Clark] Well, these are—again—just on my list. I don't presume to speak for all men. These are just the three that I came up with off the top of my head. The third one is just basic. This is not going to shock anybody, and that is that men just don’t talk as much. Not most men anyway. Most men just don’t. And it's not the quality, it's the quantity. I mean, I think sometimes men can have a deep and meaningful discussion with you, but it may not drag on forever. You know, we just don't have as many words. We just don't talk as much. And so sometimes . . .sometimes we just have nothing to say, you know, we're just listening. And again, sometimes, “Do you want me to say something? Do you want me just to listen?” Sometimes we don't know. But sometimes we're just listening, and we don't have, you know, a lot of wisdom to share. We don't have a lot to say, but that doesn't mean we don't care. We weren't listening. 

[Shana] I appreciate Clark saying that because I have two sides of my personality. One side is I'm super goofy . . .just really silly and like kind of otter-like. Clark has that same side to his personality too and so we connect over that part of our personalities. But I am deeper, a deeper thinker. I'm a writer, you know, and I'm very verbal. I express a lot about how I feel.

And I know that for me, one of the things that I've learned--and am learning in marriage—is that if I feel dissatisfied because of the amount of communication that Clark is giving me, it's not about him. I can't look at him and say, “Well, he's not meeting my needs!” No, he's a man and he's not as verbal as I am, but so still I have to come back to that you have my best interest in mind, and you love me. 

[Clark] We’re just not as good about expressing our feelings. We're just not—usually—for whatever reason. So, you know, sometimes Shana can really pour her out at something's really bothering her. And all I can say is, “Wow. That must really hurt.” Or “Wow, that's too bad.” I can't give her a 10-minute response for the 10 minutes she just gave. It’ll be a 28-second response. That’s all I got and it’s not that I don’t care.  

[Shana] I was speaking with a friend last year and she was telling me that one of the things that she really felt like was impressed upon her heart when she got married, was that she shouldn’t expect her husband to be like her girlfriends. And I think that when women place those expectations on men, then what we're doing is we're doing ourselves a disservice.

I think when I was younger, I expected guys to be more like me. You're just not always going to connect on every level. I mean, you think about the people who are in your life, who you love, whether it's a girlfriend or a sister or a mom or your brother, or you relate to them differently. One of them brings out your sense of humor. Another one brings out your deep side, somebody else makes you analytical. So, you're not going to get everything from one person. 
 Yeah. And again, it’s not to say that you shouldn’t expect a man to listen to you, to actively listen and hear what you're saying and have some kind of response. He shouldn't be on his phone or watching the game while you're having this conversation with him. Just, don't expect him to talk as much. And again, to me it's almost more quantity than quality. He can say deep and meaningful things, but he's going to say it in fewer words. He just may not go on for a long time about it. 

[Shana] I love this because I'm learning things. <laugh> So Clark, if a woman wants a guy to respond, like let’s say he doesn't say anything, when she's talking about her feelings, what should she say to him to engage him? Or what shouldn't she say? 

[Clark] Well, she shouldn't say, “Are you listening to me? Are you even listening to me?” Don't say that. I’d say, give him a chance to solve your problem. You can say, “What do you think I should do?” “What would you do if you were me?” because guys can do the problem-solving.

[Shana] You shouldn’t say, “How do you feel about it?” 

[Clark] Right. Yeah. We can't always empathize, but we can certainly try to.  If you want to engage him in the conversation, you can just say, “What do you think I should do?” Or “What would you do if, if you were me?” or something like that. 

[Shana] Because then that appeals to the guy’s sense of fixing something, being your hero, helping out. And he can easily step into that place. Right? But trying to engage him in a feely conversation probably isn’t always helpful. 

[Clark] Yeah. Or so, “You know, am I seeing this right? Am I overreacting to this?” 

[Shana] <laugh> You know, I need to try that. 

[Clark] So just engage him with questions, give him a chance to solve a problem rather than emote. 

[Shana] Okay. That's awesome. Clark. Thank you for being my special guest. You're very welcome. I want to let you know; I'm going to do something nice for you later. <laugh> I'm going to make your special cinnamon thing. 

[Clark] See,  she does do nice things for me every day. 

[Shana] Alright ladies, we hope this has been helpful for you. If you'd like to work with me one-on-one, and you feel like “Hey, I want to get past some obstacles in my dating and relationship life.” Maybe you feel stuck, and you want 2022 to be different for you, then I want to be your person and I want to help you.

Head on over to ShanaSchutteCoaching.com and set up a time to talk with me.  I hope I get to work with you in 2022. Remember that the dream that you have to love and be loved is possible. And remember to keep it sunny! 

 

 

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