Philosopher William James (1842-1910), said, “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.”
Monique Honaman, Author, HuffPost Blogger
There is an overwhelming number of women who feel unappreciated by their husbands. I often hear the following refrain: “I just want to feel appreciated. For years I have been the cook, the cleaner, the chauffeur… I don’t feel like we are a partnership… I’ve asked, demanded and pleaded that we go to counseling… I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to live the second half of my life feeling like this. I’m done.”
I’m sure this is nothing new. I am sure my mother felt unappreciated by my dad at times during their marriage. I think that’s probably natural in the cycle of marriage and relationships. Life gets busy. We forget to thank those closest to us.
But times are changing. I have spoken with more women than I can count over the past couple of years who aren’t just complaining about feeling unappreciated by their husbands. Instead, they are doing something about it.
These women, most of whom are in their mid-40’s, have decided they want out of their marriages. Sure, they are scared for what this means for them. Sure, they are nervous about the new unknowns divorce will bring. Sure, they recognize the impact this will have on their lives. For most of the women I spoke with, leaving their husbands means having to secure full-time employment for the first time in years. It mean moving out of the big brick colonial in the suburbs and moving into something more affordable. It means being alone. And you know what each and every woman I spoke with said? “I am absolutely OK with this.” I heard, “I’m OK being alone and starting over on my own… I feel as if I have been alone for years anyway. I don’t need my big house or my fancy car. I don’t mind having to work. I just know that I don’t want to spend the next half of my life living this way. Why should I?”
Wow! To give it all up and start over at 45? It’s surprising, particularly because to the outside world, these women appear to have it all. Their husbands aren’t “bad” people. We aren’t talking about men who are abusive or alcoholics. We aren’t talking about men who are dragging the family into bankruptcy. We aren’t talking about men who have lived a double life full of affairs.
What these women are expressing is a deep personal sadness at feeling disconnected and unappreciated by their husbands. They tell me they have fought for years to feel more connected and appreciated. This isn’t a whim, they assure me. They have thought long and hard about their decision to get divorced. They aren’t simply giving up. They have tried and fought a long battle. But the thing they each have in common is that they have reached their breaking point. They say, “I’m tired of not feeling appreciated, not feeling like I am part of a partnership. I feel like I am the roommate, the bill payer, the cook, the cleaner, the chauffeur… but not someone who is valued and appreciated. I’m tired of asking to be appreciated — begging to be valued — pleading to feel I as if I am important and not constantly playing second-fiddle to everything else going on in his life. I’m done.”
Divorce has become commonplace. Many women thrive after divorce. They live independent, happy lives. Any taboo or stigma that may have existed during my mother’s generation doesn’t exist any more. I think this gives many women the courage to say, “I can do this.” And, they are.
What do we do about this? Many husbands are left with their jaws hanging open in disbelief when their wives file for divorce. “Why didn’t we talk about this? Why didn’t we go to counseling? Why didn’t you tell me you were feeling this way?” The wives smile sadly and say, “We have, we did, I have… and it’s too late now… I’m done.”
I don’t like these conversations. I believe in the institution of marriage. I don’t like to see people quit. What can we do? I know the following advice is oversimplifying the issue — I really do — but it’s a start:
Men, please take the time to appreciate your wife regularly. Thank her for what she does for you and your family. Validate her. Cover her with words of affirmation. Wrap your appreciation of her deep within her heart. This is a marathon, not a sprint. The women I spoke with are not giving up because they weren’t thanked for emptying the dishwasher once. It’s the net result of decades of feeling taken for granted. When I suggest that perhaps having an open dialogue with their husbands alerting them to just how serious this really is and perhaps giving a final chance to make some changes, they tell me it would be too little, too late. “I’m done,” they say.
Clearly, women, this isn’t a one-way street. Appreciation goes both ways. Are you checking to see just how much appreciation you are showing to your husband as well? Do you thank him for all he does, or do you take him for granted? Really think about it. Perhaps you perceive that you are being more appreciative than you really are. What would he say?
I’m not saying that showing more appreciation will lower the divorce rate in our country, but I do believe that showing more appreciation will improve marital relationships. After all, it’s like basketball superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar once said, “If not shown appreciation, it gets to you.” And it seems that “it gets to you” is leading more and more towards, “I’m done.”
- My Woman Keeps Telling Me I’m Emotionally Unavailable! (scott-williams.ca)
I am not in my twenties and do not make a habit of hitting on any women, especially not women that young. I do, however, have a very attractive and intelligent son who was more than willing to provide a few insights for this Part 2 of “How To Pick Up Vulnerable Women”.
In my first instalment I wrote about manipulating a group of women who were in their late thirties and forties. You may want to familiarize yourself with that article before going on. It has been, and remains, my most hated and revered article to date. I have received private letters, several in fact, accusing me of being abusive and misogynistic, even cruel. Read it for yourselves and ask yourself why I would do such a thing and then freely tell everyone I did so…
In this instalment I begin by recognizing that everything I am about to say may not apply to you. Like many of my articles what follows is based on generalities. Please understand I’m not talking about anyone in specific, only trends and observations which may not even be objective. If nothing else it should be interesting.
You are sitting with friends at the local bar and I can tell, because you wear it like a beacon, that you are looking for a guy. I intend to be that guy. You are not in your forties so I am not going to gush, not going to give too much away. In fact, just the opposite. Your divorced mom is looking for someone who is emotionally sensitive, someone who is going to make it all about her. That isn’t my tactic, though some of the techniques are transferable. When I first meet you I’m very interested, very charming. Initially, at least, it’s all about you. But only initially. If we have been introduced I will be nice to you for a minute or two, then move on. If we are not introduced I will make a point of ignoring you and talk to the person directly beside you. I’m not going to hit on you, I’m not needy. And that is really the point.
1. I’m not needy. I act aloof but not rude. Okay, occasionally I can even be a bit rude. I will make the obligatory conversation, but little more. While I am talking to you I may check out other women. I will talk, engage, but we are not exclusive. That is the point. Heartiste writes, “That aloofness is catnip to women. You may as well prop a neon sign over your head that says “Preselected by women who have come before you, and who are standing right next to you.” Aloofness is one of those male characteristics that women are finely tuned to discover, isolate, and hone in on, because it tells them, subconsciously of course, that THIS MAN, this one right here, has a lot of choice in women. ERGO, this man, this one right here, must be high value.” I know this because the internet is polluted with websites that teach this very thing. Confidence and self-assurance is an aphrodisiac to some females.
I don’t need you. I may or may not be interested, but I’m keeping my options open. I like myself and I don’t need anyone. I’m mysterious. It’s hard not to want what you cannot have. My strength and even dominance is very attractive. If you don’t believe me than why are so many women attracted to the bad boy? Yummy.
The social context has changed in the past few years. Women in their thirties and forties want to invite a man into their emotional world. In your twenties he invites you into his social world. As one twenty-five year old player told me today, “If you can get the girl to leave her social grouping and come over to yours you are 80% of the way into her pants.” That’s important to remember because…
2. It’s all about social context. Meet my entourage. We are not at the bar to take pictures of ourselves for Facebook. We are interesting. Come hang out with us. Let me separate you from your friends and take you out of your comfort zone. Let me introduce insecurity. After all…
3. I’m here to exploit your insecurity. I may compliment you but it is often tinged with irony or sarcasm. The unspoken point is the exploitation of your negative self-image. The trick is to not let you know I’m interested and get you wondering whether or not you are worth my time. Watch me dominate the social setting, see how I handle myself. Am I or am I not interested in you? Later, when I am very direct with you, and tell you I want to be with you, you are surprised, intrigued, complimented, and affirmed. But make no mistake, the underlying tactic is dominance (and not in a good way…). There is an interesting dichotomy at play. You want to be thought of as a strong woman but you also have insecurities. Doesn’t a part of you wish you could be taken?
Even a plain guy can confuse a beautiful woman if he acts like he doesn’t need her.
As a counselor I find this topic sickening. There are people out there, regardless of age, who use psychological and emotional manipulation to exploit the vulnerable and hurting. It usually isn’t until it’s too late that it becomes apparent that a damaged and delicate person has been exploited and often degraded. It is also unfortunate that so many women get taken in more than once. Some of us are attracted to personalities that lend themselves to narcissism and depravity. It is a sad thought that the confidence and maturity you think you are attracted to may only be a tool to tear your heart out.
Ladies, we lie to you. We believe that we understand the score far more than you think we do. If you don’t believe me ask anyone who has gotten into a relationship with a narcissist. Everything was amazing… at first. We told you what we thought you needed to hear. We held the door open, we talked about our feelings, we shared our hearts. We know you get off on that stuff. Some of us actually read about how to pick up women. We are smarter than you think.
I am often asked why I write about this topic. Sadly, it has become apparent that many vulnerable and emotionally damaged people are being treated as prey by morally bankrupt individuals who think nothing of ruining lives as long as they can get what they want. I would invite you to read some of the heartbreaking comments on the first installment of this topic here. That alone is incentive enough.
I have this crazy idea that if you know what is going on you might know a predator when he buys you a drink.
- How To Pick Up Vulnerable Women (scott-williams.ca)
- Do You Really Want A Sensitive Guy? (scott-williams.ca)
- The Biggest Complaint I Get About Men, Hands Down! (scott-williams.ca)
I heard on the radio that a recent study has found that women who do an average of 4 hours a day of housework have a 30% less likelihood of getting some kinds of cancer…. 30%. For God’s sake, if you love your woman, don’t do housework! If you really love her, leave stuff out, don’t pick up after yourself, use more dishes. Forget about being emotionally available, pee on the toilet seat!
We men have known for some time now that women should be doing all the housework. It was just a matter of time before science assured us that we have been selfless in our desire to help our women be all they can be. What man wouldn’t want his sweetheart to have a full and rich life? So show your love, let her do what obviously she was created to do! Science proves it! Don’t you love your girl enough to help her stay healthy!
Quit being selfish! Don’t do housework!
- Men Doing Housework Causes Divorce, Says Department of Lazy Husbands [I Thee Dread] (jezebel.com)
- The Biggest Complaint I Get About Men, Hands Down! (scott-williams.ca)
- Men, Why Your Orgasm Doesn’t Matter (scott-williams.ca)
- Why Men Don’t Volunteer To Do The Dishes (scott-williams.ca)
In a man’s world, lying to get out of domestic chores, calm down a lover, or get an extra slice of pizza is not necessarily a real lie. Depending on the situation and potential emotional fallout, sometimes we justify these slips and think of them more like a ‘lie’ish’.
“After all, sweetheart, I didn’t realize it would hurt you so much.”
“I wasn’t exactly sure what you meant when you asked me to make supper.”
“The instructions you gave me were unclear so I thought I should wait until you got home to do it right.”
“As your mother constantly reminds me, I am after all, incompetent anyway and it is probably best that you do it yourself.”
“I didn’t think you would take it so badly.”
In a man’s world, wives and girlfriends usually become the “loyal opposition”. You need to be placated. You have more demands of us than we do of ourselves. When you ask us to do things it sometimes sounds suspiciously like our mommy. Woman may not understand, as I point out all the time on this blog, that men are generally more emotionally lazy than women are. Much, much, more. We also think differently than women do. We put things in boxes (yes, I know that’s a worn cliché but work with me here), I know I do. Our innermost desire is to deal with your problem as quickly as possible, put it in a box, and watch sports.
I realize how that sounds but women seem to have so many issues they want to discuss and the quicker we can classify, deal with, or avoid having to think about, the better. The quicker I can shut the box the less emotion I have to invest; and you know how we guys are with emotional availability.
So why don’t I just pick up the laundry like I said I would instead of fudging a lie to get you off my back? The reason may have something to do with the fact that picking up the laundry was not my idea, and therefore I do not really care about the laundry. After all, I only change my underwear when you notice. Besides I rarely ask you for anything (you anticipate my needs). I will pick up the laundry… later (for the uninitiated ‘later’ is our way of placating you now while never really intending on getting the laundry unless it somehow lands in my car while at the drive-through at Wendys). Telling you I plan on doing it at another time also stops the emotional outburst, which as every guy knows is the reason for all excuses. If I tell you the truth we have to talk about it and talking involves emotions, usually yours. It is far easier to get back to you later (and mistakenly hope you’ll forget, because we will).
Now, I cannot end this article without flinging mud in the other direction, if ever so briefly. Women are by no means blameless. Case in point, how are you today? Fine? In a man’s world that is a bold-faced lie unless you mean it. Why do you think we are so surprised when later we find out you were upset? You told us you were fine! In my world, if I am going to lie, it is going to be subtle. Answering a question by saying ‘fine’ immediately leads me to believe you are, in fact, just fine. I do not understand that your body language, the expression on your face, the way you are standing, the fact that you are yelling out the word; and the growing realization that you may be praying for my death, should be clear enough indicators that you are not fine… but I’m a guy.
- How To Pick Up Vulnerable Women (scott-williams.ca)
- The Myth of the Strong Silent Type (or Never Date Someone Who Is Emotionally Unavailable) (scott-williams.ca)
- Dating the Bad Boy (scott-williams.ca)
- Prince Charming? (scott-williams.ca)
- You Aren’t As Good As You Think You Are (scott-williams.ca)
- You Don’t Even Know Me! (scott-williams.ca)
You just got out of a messy, abusive relationship with a guy who doesn’t understand you, never took the time to service your needs, and was emotionally unavailable. You are working your way back into the dating world and you may not know it, but you are in a potentially dangerous scenario.
You are prey. I am a predator. I know you are hurting and vulnerable. You probably haven’t been with a guy who is emotionally sensitive, vulnerable yet still strong, willing to listen and laugh and be everything you ever needed; and yet somehow allows you to feel safe. Let me be that guy.
I actually do a seminar for women on how an average looking guy can pick up women in their late 30′s and beyond using emotional and psychological manipulation. It’s scary when you realize how easily vulnerable people can be manipulated by a guy who is willing to pretend he is sensitive, a listener, who makes it “all about her”, is a bit aloof, and knows how to say the words that will push the vulnerable buttons of a girl they have just spent two hours milking for information they can use to control her emotionally. So sad.
Last year, in front of a group of twelve women, I announced that I was going to emotionally seduce one of them in the group, under the fluorescent lights, without any alcohol, and asked for a volunteer. In front of eleven hostile witnesses, in just over twenty minutes, I was able to confuse a woman who knew I was trying to manipulate her. Let’s be honest, I’m simply not that good-looking.
I started by talking about her life, her fears, her hopes and the pain she must have experienced. I used the information I knew about her that she shared in the group in confidence and violated her emotionally. Half way through I announced that I was stopping the exercise so that I could explain what I was doing. I lied. I used that next five minutes to confuse her and convince her that I actually did have her best interests at heart. I apologized, back-paddled, asked about her needs, and then cried with her. I never touched her.
I have done this in several groups and have never missed. I tried it the first time almost by accident and scared myself by how evil and dirty I felt. And how powerful.
Please, isn’t there something you can learn from this?