Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Let's hear it for the boy

There's a new book out that teaches women how to cheat-proof their man. I'm not sure how I feel about it. But, one thing it does mention is that a man rarely cheats because the other woman is more attractive than his wife or significant other. It has more to do with the way he feels when he is with her, and that he doesn't feel that way anymore with his spouse. It says men need praise, that cheating men often say their wife stopped appreciating them and that the other woman made them feel like they were amazing. Hmmm. Okay, so I'm all for praising a job well done and making my guy feel good about himself, but what if the roles are reversed. What about a highly critical guy? What can women say to get the guy to realize he is ruining the relationship with all the criticism? I once dated this guy who constantly found things I was doing wrong. He said he was helping, but really it seemed he was going out of his way to criticize. I asked if he couldn't find positive things about me too and he actually said that wasn't necessary to do because that wouldn't help me. ??? It didn't make me cheat, it just made me not want to marry him. I stayed in the relationship because I loved him, but we broke up because of the constant criticism. I wasn't validated by him and I started realizing other guys would validate me and make me feel good about myself.

I guess I can see a guy cheating because of this. They feel committed to their wife, this person they feel may be their soul mate, their companion, but they also make them feel bad about themselves and instead of leaving, which doesn't seem to be an option in their minds at this point, they start to look for validation elsewhere.

However, what if the guy we are with just doesn't do a lot of good things for us? What if he really messes up a lot? Like he cooks a meal but burns everything? Do we praise him for the effort even though he didn't follow the instructions and ruined our pan? How does this work, exactly and why would they cheat because we didn't praise their little efforts at a bumbling mess or two (or several, over and over again)? Thoughts?

2 comments:

Steve said...

This book only slightly touches upon the cheating reason. It was most likely written by a woman! haha. Men cheat mainly b/c of ego. And this goes for married/dating, etc. They do it at first b/c it seems exciting or there is just some physical attraction that can go away after being with someone for so long. If they get away with it AND don't feel guilty (which I'm always shocked by how many guys don't), they might prolong it or find new "conquests". Although, there are plenty of women that are willing to cheat WITH a married/attached man which is part of the trouble. Bottom line, if your man needs some ego stroking for whatever reason, no matter how much he gets at home, if he wants to cheat and enjoys the away from home stroking, he will cheat. Really, it comes down 100% to the man choosing NOT to than making the decision to cheat. That my friend is what seperates the men from the boys.

As for you critical ex; have you read the "Mars/Venus" book. It's hokey, but I found it very true and helped me realize that things i thought were normal b/c I was a guy came off badly to women. I'm not saying I am now perfect, but whenever I have messed up, it almost always comes back to something I forgot that is clearly explained in the book.

mj said...

Um. Not being a man, I'd say there's a good chance Steve knows what he's talking about. I do think if you want to have a good, happy relationship in general, you need to be aware of and concerned with how the other person is feeling about your connection (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, etc.) and you need to put consistent effort into that connection, so it's possible that the book has some usable advice. It's also true that picking a grown-up to have a relationship with will matter a lot.