How to make your man feel loved and appreciated

 

First of all, it would be helpful for you to acknowledge that most men are different from most women. While there possibly is an overlap at the tail ends of the normal curve, usually you will find that men do not react to life’s pleasures and challenges emotionally or physically in the same way that women do. Women tend to be cautious, conservative, mostly monogamous protectors of the nest and their offspring, although hormone spikes tend to encourage them to stray and look for stronger genes for their offspring when they are most fertile. Women are especially disadvantaged when they are pregnant because, in reality, they are at least temporarily physically handicapped and are forced to be more dependent on others.

Men tend to be more adventurous risk-takers who innately long to have a harem, or at least a choice of desirable lovers. Basically, men are dogs. They have to be trained and rewarded to be monogamous. When aroused sexually, they have little rational control over their behavior. As some wag once observed, nature provided men with enough blood to operate either their penis or their brain, but not both at the same time.  Women should keep that fact in mind when they engage in heavy petting with no intention of consummating the sexual act in a manner that allows the man to experience a satisfying orgasm.  The drive is so great in some men and their impulse control so inadquate that, once they reach a certain point, they literally cannot put the brakes on their aggressive action.  Although rape can never be justified, the time to say “no” really is before the first kiss and/or before willingly being with a man to an extremely intimate place, such as on a man’s bed late at night, where the expectation normally would be that consensual sex was being offered.

With that said, I’ll now point out that there are some basics shared by both genders of most, if not all, social animals, including humans. Men, women, children, dogs, cats, goats, horses, and even crows, among others, are born with the innate desire to feel worthy – worthy of the necessities of life as well as life itself. We draw our sense of worthiness primarily from how we perceive that our environment, including other critters, is treating us. Thus a child that is beaten and cursed throughout his early life likely will not feel very worthy. We see the same results with dogs, cats, horses and other sensitive animals. On the other hand, if we’re brought up with responsible, loving, disciplined care by guardians that we are programmed to love and respect, we tend to think well of ourselves. Armed with that sense of self-worthiness, we confidently tackle life’s challenges and, more likely than not, score many victories.

All of these tendencies can be summed up in one natural law: The ultimate goal of all social animals is to be considered worthy by self and others. We want to feel like a 10, and we want that feeling reinforced by having others, including God and Lady Luck, to treat us like a 10. This is especially obvious when you study the behavior of various ranking people throughout history. Queen Victoria never suffered anyone to treat her as less than a 10+ that she thought her position in the kingdom demanded. Neither does the leader of a Los Angeles gang. Many an underling has lost his head by conveying to a powerful superior that he rated that person as less than ultra-worthy.

Even today in the humdrum world, we ordinary people tend to take offense if others, whether mates, store clerks, or rude drivers, fail to “treat us with respect.” Translated, that means we expect others to acknowledge that we are the rank that we think we are. Most of us work very hard to earn that essential acknowledgement. Every action that we willingly take is motivated by that underlying desire to feel worthy and have that worthiness acknowledged. When we say that we ”love” doing a certain thing, that means that activity tends to make us feel worthy. If we hate doing something, it’s because that activity makes us feel less worthy than we think we’re entitled to enjoy feeling.

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs has an entertaining and very insightful talk on YouTube that points out that men are more motivated to seek respect from the world while women are more motivated to seek love.  See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=388ZduTXiws  In reality, these two entities are more than kissing cousins.  Respect is an integral part of love, and love is an integral part of respect.  In essence, each requires us to view the object of our attention with a mindset of warm personal regard.

The alpha dog in a pack, carrying on the tradition of his wolf ancestors, demands that same kind of respect from his underlings. He will even risk his life to defend his ranking in the pack. All of this is explained in more detail in my other writings and can be found on my website at https://doctorstress.com/  If you will take the time to read the article on Psychoharmonics® on that website, you’ll be far ahead of your own pack when it comes to understanding human behavior and being skilled at loving all the critters in your environment, including your man.

Feeling worthy and earning the privilege of being treated as worthy is not just a luxury of life; it’s an essential. The most worthy animals, whether men or wolves, get the best food, the best lodging, the best sex partners, and so forth. The higher your rank in your community of peers, the more likely you are to survive to a ripe old age and leave a genetic footprint – as long as you’re able to defend your rank. Sooner or later, as history demonstrates, rulers who abuse their underlings, whether in a household, a nation, or a jungle pack, almost always end up either dead or ostracized.

Back to our main subject here, to know how to make your special man feel loved, you have to know what he values in himself and others. Like a bird searching a lawn for morsels of food, we humans are constantly on the hunt for events that nourish our sense of worthiness. The hand on our little worthiness meter is constantly fluctuating, depending on what we encounter on our journey. Most men and women value good looks, intelligence, athletic ability, achievement, wealth, power, and so forth. If your man seems very proud of his wit, his job, and his physique, then you can make him feel loved by supporting his goal to feel that he is intelligent, a great achiever, and a strong, handsome stud. If he loves and respects you, you can make him feel very unloved by conveying to him that you think he is a stupid, underachieving, weak, inept physical slob.

Long ago and far away, one of my buddies in the Air Force shared the story about the demise of his marriage. He made the mistake of confessing to an innocent flirtation with another girl, and his wife, possibly already involved in an affair herself, looked at his skinny body and asked, “Did she put her head on your big, manly chest?” He really loved his wife and that insulting remark, of course, made him feel like a zero. Not only did he end up dumping her, but he also started working out with a vengeance and, when I met him, he really did have a “big, manly chest.”

A key point being made above is that only if your man regards you as a very worthy person do you have any power to make him feel like a 10 or a zero or anything in-between. If on your best day he regards you as a two or less, then you have little or no power to make him feel loved or unloved. We don’t care what the zeros in our lives think of us, but our disapproval by a 10 is very hurtful. Some women naively continue to push all the wrong buttons with their man, making him feel like a zero, and then seem amazed that “he doesn’t act like he loves me anymore.” Duh!

When a man is performing any task that requires any skill at all, your job as his woman is to be his cheerleader.  If he tells a joke, laugh.  If he sings you a song, tell him how great his voice sounds and how sweet it is for him to sing to you.  If he builds you a birdhouse, brag on his carpentry skills.  If you really love him, packing his head will be no problem.  Whether you love him or not, if you chastise him for being crude with his jokes, shake your head in pity when he sings, and tell him how much better your daddy’s birdhouses looked and you might want to go ahead and start picking out a good divorce lawyer.  It pays to think ahead.

With that information tucked away, we now have arrived at another natural law of sorts concerning love. When you regard another person as very worthy, and your relationship with that person makes you feel very worthy, then you’re in love. On the other side of that coin, if you regard your partner as a 2 on his best day, then your relationship with him probably makes you feel like a 2 or less through the power of association. It’s time to admit you’re not in love; you’re in a rut.

Assuming that you really do love your man and you want to make him feel loved, how do you do that? It’s simple: you make him feel worthy. With your own words and actions, you pack his head. To achieve that lofty goal, however, you first must know what makes him tick – that is, what is contained in his personal value system that motivates his behavior from day to day. That’s really not so hard to do if you first open your mind to TRUTH, whatever that truth might be, and then train yourself to be a very alert observer. Watch what he does and observe how much enjoyment he gets out of his various activities. What does he say? Who does he admire? Who does he detest? When he has a choice, what does he spend most of his time doing?

If you know your man’s heroes, and you know the values of those heroes, then you can know your man’s values. What politicians, actors, or other celebrities does he admire? Here in 2013, if he idolizes Clint Eastwood and can’t stand Woody Allen, then it’s pretty safe to assume that he sees himself as a macho kind of guy who values bravery and he-man reactions to challenges. You love him by making him feel strong and brave. You can make him feel hated by saying and doing things to make him feel cowardly and weak.

With few exceptions, a man wants to feel that he is cock of the roost and king of the castle in his own home and with his own woman. If you, as a woman, cannot accept that challenge, then you’ll never be able to make your man feel loved. And, very likely, he won’t remain “your man” for very long. A real man will put up with just so much crap from a woman who is constantly competing with him for the top rung in the roost, and then he just flies away to look for a woman who does know how to make him feel loved.

It’s true, as the old saying goes, that it takes two to tango. If your man is not making you feel loved, then you’re not likely to feel like putting out the effort to make him feel loved either. What you have to admit to yourself, of course, is that if your man is not making you feel loved, then it’s at least partly, if not totally, your fault. You can’t win the lottery unless you buy a ticket!

I heard a preacher on the radio telling a story some years ago about a young lady who went to an elderly lawyer in her small town and told him she wanted a divorce, and she wanted to really sock it to her spouse for his hurtful neglect of her. “What can I do,” she asked, “to really cause him some major pain?”

The wise old lawyer suggested that the young lady treat her husband like a king for a full thirty days, giving him anything he wanted, anticipating his every wish. Then, at the end of thirty days, she was instructed to leave him high and dry and file for her divorce.

A couple of months later, the lawyer met the young lady on the street and, with a twinkle in his eye, asked why she had not returned to file for her divorce. “Divorce?” she exclaimed. “Heck we’re on our second honeymoon!”

If you really want your man to treat you like a queen, then you’d do well to make an effort to treat him like a king. If you treat him like a knave or a joker, then you cannot reasonably expect him to put out a lot of effort to make you feel loved.

One thing you need to keep in mind, of course, is that most men are ignorant about how to make their woman feel loved. They don’t learn it at school, and most have no models to learn it from at home as they’re growing up. So, you’d do well to print off my other article on that subject, which you’ll find on this same site, and encourage your man to read it. That done, discuss it with him. Educate him. Tell him what he does that you like and what he does, or fails to do, that makes you feel unloved. Give him a daily report card. Throw out those A-pluses when he gets something right, and nudge him gently with an F if he gets it totally wrong. If he indicates he’s not interested in learning, then you’ve got a problem. At that point, you might want to start looking around for a better student.

One very important way to make your man feel loved, of course, is to keep yourself looking pretty. That doesn’t mean you have to be a size 6 and wrinkle-free at age 60, but it does mean that you should make every effort to stay fit and healthy. Simply do the best you can with what you’ve got. Some men find oversized women attractive; most men don’t. If you’re careless with your hygiene and dress, eat like a field hand, never exercise, and continue to put on extra pounds that not only make you less sexy, but also limit what activities you can participate in with your man, then you’re not loving him; you’re hating him. Or, at best, you’re zeroing him out. And he knows it. You’re telling him that your double cheeseburger and fries mean more to you than his love does. In effect, you’re giving him an F on his report card no matter what he does. So why should he keep trying to please you?

Another big mistake that many women make is getting into a pissing contest with their man. I admit that sounds a little vulgar, but that’s a point that needs to stay fresh on your mind if you want to make your man feel loved. I’m not saying you need to always agree with what he says or does, but there are many ways to share your natural feminine wisdom without emasculating your man. Even when you’re alone with him, your first priority has to be to behave in such a way that you are communicating to him that you value him as a 10-plus human being. Every man has all the detractors he needs as he battles the dragons he faces every day. What he needs in you is a cheerleader. When others are around, it’s even more important to demonstrate by what you say and do that you’re proud of your man. Share embarrassing anecdotes about him, rudely contradict what he’s saying, or even look at him with that sneering expression of disapproval on your face, and you’re telling him and the world that you think he’s a zero. Do that and, if he has any marketable qualities at all, you can be sure that, sooner or later, somebody more skilled at loving than you are will offer to fulfill his needs. Again, duh!

As with most everything else in life, what people consider to be “good sex” is a very personal choice. For some guys and gals, anything beyond missionary style coitus is a perversion. For others, anything less than prolonged 69ing is akin to frigidity. Therefore, before you get on board with a man, you should have some frank conversations with him to make sure you’re compatible. If you grudgingly engage in oral sex during the courtship just to please your man even though you find it repulsive, then you can expect some resentment when, as a wife, you decide you don’t want to play that game anymore. Nobody appreciates the old bait and switch con to make a sale.

What some unhappy lovers of both genders fail to understand is that they can’t spend the day saying and doing abusive, hateful things that make their partner feel like a zero and then expect extra special bonus sex when night comes and they hit the hay. Skillful lovers of either gender know that foreplay begins when you say good morning and after-play doesn’t end until you kiss goodnight. Preparing your man’s favorite dessert, massaging his shoulders when he’s stressed, or including a little love note in his lunch sack is just as much foreplay as is kissing and fondling. Keep in mind that every little loving thing you do is giving him an A on his report card that, in turn, inspires him to want to work for more A’s.

Slam-bam-thank-you-m’am sex can be satisfying to either gender, but women tend to want a lot more romance with their coupling. If that’s you, then make sure you choose a man who understands your needs and enjoys skillfully fulfilling them. When I was living and loving in Montana some decades ago, several of the ladies there confided to me that a romantic lover was quite a treat. “These cowboys out here,” one of them said, “think if they stay in the saddle eight seconds they ought to win some kind of damn prize!”

If you long to be held and told how much you’re loved for an extended period after you’ve each had your climax, but all your man wants to do is roll over and watch television or go to sleep, then you need to lovingly educate him concerning your needs. If you pull the old sulking method of showing that your feelings are hurt, all it will get you is more avoidance behavior on his part. Men don’t like sulkers because they don’t understand them and can’t figure out why they’re sulking.

If a man really loves you, however, and you lovingly explain what you need and why you need it while coquettishly pointing out to him how satisfying you in that way will benefit him in the long run, things should work out for you. As with dogs that poop on the floor when they’re puppies, men don’t always know that what they’re doing is bad. In fact, they really can’t figure out why you don’t also want to disengage after robust sex and go to sleep. Rapping your man’s joystick with a newspaper won’t get you anywhere, but reminding him of that box of treats you have the key to usually will work wonders.

It goes without saying that good hygiene is a key ingredient to good sex. You should make sure that every part of your body is sweet-smelling. Nothing is a bigger turnoff to most men than an unpleasant odor coming from armpits or a vagina. Sometimes it’s hard to smell yourself. If you ever get a big come-on and then see your would-be sex partner backing off, that might be a clue that all is not well. If you find that, in spite of your best efforts, you still have a problem, you might want to see your doctor. There are numerous disorders that can create an odor that can’t be removed just by washing. This article gives much more detailed information on that subject than I would be comfortable with attempting to provide: http://www.sexuallyconfidentwife.com/email/1004-Hot-Tip-34.html

Finally, it needs to be said that for couples of any age, sex in some form is the ultimate bonding tool. Done right, it merges both bodies and spirits. Without it, you’re just two strangers in the night. If you want to keep your man as yours and yours alone, work at being a skillful lover. Food might be the key to a man’s heart, but sex is the key to his soul.

It seems that many women think that once they catch a man and have that marriage certificate on the wall, the game is over and they can relax. Actually, that’s only the first inning. You have many more innings to play before the game is won. To play the game and win, you have to constantly make yourself such an alluring package that your man never gets bored with romancing you. One way you do that is by working at being the magic elixir that makes him feel like a 10-plus man. If you can do that, you will be such a precious commodity to him that he will treasure you to his dying day. Spend all of your time trying to fix what you think is wrong with him and you’ll likely find that he’d rather spend more time with the guys (or other gals!) than he does with you.

I have a vague memory of a 1971 movie, “The Harness,” in which Lorne Greene played a henpecked farmer whose constantly critical wife made him wear a brace of sorts to keep his back straight. An attractive single mother, played by Julie Sommars, threw his harness away, gave him the head-packing that he, like most men, longed for and, as well as I can remember, won his heart. This scenario is played out over and over every day throughout the world – usually to the total amazement of the rejected partner.

Gabrielle Reese, a retired professional volleyball star, recently made some friends and enemies by sharing her secret for resurrecting a failing marriage and turning it into a happy one that has lasted 17 years. She chose to be “submissive.” From her book, My Foot Is Too Big for the Glass Slipper, The Huffington Post quotes her as writing, “I think the idea of living with a partner is ‘How can I make their life better?’ So if I’m the woman and he’s the man, then yes, that’s the dynamic. I’m willing and I choose to serve my family and my husband because it creates a dynamic where he is then in fact acting more like a man and masculine and treating me the way I want to be treated. I’d like to be cherished and I’d like someone to look after me as well in that role. And I think because women have the ability to set the tone, that the ultimate strength and showing real power, I believe, is creating that environment. I think it’s a sign of strength.’’

Submissive, of course, does not mean being a doormat for some unappreciative, beer-guzzling bozo. To be an effective lover, you have to start out by knowing how to love and respect yourself. You cannot unconditionally surrender and keep your man thinking you’re a 10. You’ve got to let him know, by action if not in words, “Hey, bud, I’m a worthy person, and I’m a partner here. I will reap great joy from treating you like a king and making you feel like a 10, but I expect you, in turn, to treat me like your cherished queen and put a little effort into making me feel like a 10. That means you give me what I need and want, and not what you think I ought to have. Tell me I’m pretty. Bring me flowers. Take out the trash without being asked. Hug me and tell me you love me on my off days without demanding sex. Brag about me to your friends. Abuse me and you lose me. I want to be your best friend, but we also have to give each other space. You have to trust me and know that wherever I am, I am loving you and being true to you. Although I will share my joys and disappointments, I will not report to you like a parolee. Although I love you with all my heart and would die for you, you don’t own me. I’m not your slave. I’m your lover. I’m your friend. I’m a human being with value who has honored you by giving you my love and trusting you not to demean it. Honor me by treating me like the 10 that I am and I will dedicate my life to making sure your life is full of joy and fulfillment. Make a habit of making me feel like a zero and I’m outta here. And I won’t look back.”

If I were a woman, I’d incorporate something along that line in my wedding vows and keep a copy of it on the bedroom wall.

Loving a man with all your heart does not include the condition that you have to be without love yourself. All too many men see total subservience as a sign of weakness and an invitation to be abused. You have to draw a line and lovingly convince your man that if he ever crosses it, you’re done with him – done done. If you let him get by with that first instance of abuse, whether it’s verbal or physical, you’ll be well on your way to being a battered spouse. A decent, emotionally stable man you’re treating halfway right who truly loves you will not abuse you – ever!

If, of course, when you’re truthful with yourself you know that you really have no love or respect for your man, and likely never will, then you’re not going to be able to make him feel loved. And why would you want to? As we move along in years, we change. Others also change. Sometimes the person we once loved dearly no longer has any of the characteristics that really turn us on as we are now. It’s like trying to open a new lock with an old, worn-out key. So, what to do in that case? Life is short. If it’s at all practical, the wisest and kindest action for all concerned would be to leave and find yourself another man that you can love and respect.

Whether choosing a life mate for the first time or the fifth, you’d do well to spend at least as much time vetting him as you would spend when trying to decide what kind of car to buy. What are his parents like? How does his father treat his mother? Do they have a happy marriage? Are they healthy? How does he get along with his family? Does he have friends? Had he been married before? If so, what happened to the marriage? Is he happy with his career? Is he financially responsible? Does he have any big debts? Has he ever declared bankruptcy? What kind of insurance does he have? Does he have any really bad habits that would cause trouble in the future? Does he now have addictions or has he ever had any? Does he share your religious beliefs? How does he treat animals? Who are his heroes? How does he treat you when he’s having a bad day? And the list goes on, depending on what’s important to you.

Make up your own list and dig in. You have a right to know this person who wants to share your life, your finances, and your bed. You can be sure that any negative traits that show up during a courtship will be ten times worse once you’re married. The obsessive suitor who calls you dozens of times each day and smothers you with flowers, candy, and other gifts more than likely is just paving the way to own you lock, stock, and barrel. That’s the guy depicted in the movie “Burning Bed” as well as the one in the Julia Roberts film, “Sleeping with the Enemy.” You don’t ever want to be in that trap. Don’t look at his smothering behavior as flattery; look at it as baiting a trap.

As someone wiser than I am once said, if you want to be happy with your choice of a life mate, “Don’t settle for one that you think you can get along with; wait for the one you know you can’t get along without.” Same goes for jobs, houses, cars, dogs, cats, and anything else that you basically are “getting married” to.

Good luck with your choices. I wish you joy.

If you liked this article, you’ll love my new book:

Stress is a Choice; So is Joy

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