Let's get one thing straight:
Women are not enigmatic (but admittedly sexy) space babes that have invaded earth to torture men with their cryptic needs.
We're just humans, and the things we want are very human too.
Yet despite this irrefutable truth, there seems to be a running joke among men about how impossibly difficult it is to please or understand women. Need examples?
Well done boys, you're hilarious. Give yourselves a pat on the back then run along and eat some meat.
You want to know what your woman really hates or loves? You want to know what she really needs, really desires? The answer is simple: the same things you do Mr smarty-pants.
Do you enjoy washing the dishes? No? Well, guess what, she doesn't either.
Do you like being supported and treated fairly? So does she.
Do you need to spend time away from the house to chill with your friends? So does she.
A lot of the times, understanding women comes down to two simple things:
Empathy and treating us like humans.
I find it hard to believe that a man can truly love and respect his wife if he's not able to empathize with the struggles she faces. I'm sorry to say this but there are men out there who are absolutely clueless. And their lack of understanding makes them unintentionally heartless.
There are men out there who are happy to see their wives trapped in tight, dirty, badly equipped houses for days, if not weeks, while they're at work. These women have no time for themselves or support when taking care of the children. Worst still, their husbands have the money to move their families to better environments but won't.
It perhaps never even registered in the husband's mind that staying at home with kids all day with no facilities is enough to drive anyone- man or woman- insane.
Sometimes I wonder if this is a lack of empathy, stupidity, or maybe the women in question are hesitant to complain about their lives and treatment. Maybe it's a mix of all three.
In other cases, especially in some eastern cultures, men will not even allow their wives to leave the house except to limited places they approve of.
To these men I ask: would you like someone to restrict your movement? Forget culture and taboos for a second, your wives, daughters, sisters, mothers are HUMAN.
How can you treat someone you love this way? What is so confusing about a women who does not want to be caged? Even animals can't live without freedom. Even animals deserve respect, love and affection.
Don't you need freedom, respect, love and affection?
In case everything I've said so far still seems a bit vague or confusing, I'll write the next part of this post in lists.
How you should NOT treat a woman (or a man or anyone)
1- Infantalize or belittle
We are not children so don't speak to us as if we are. Trying to impose curfews on women and controlling their every decision belittles their autonomy as adults. Needless to say, it is also very disrespectful.
2- Treat a woman as a possession
This is also disrespectful and dehumanizing - unless it's inside the bedroom. In which case, go ahead but only if she's into it.
3- Locker room talk
Trashing women behind their backs is not acceptable and men should not encourage each other to do it.
But Alwia! It's just harmless guy talk.
No it isn't. Locker room talk helps men internalize negative discourses surrounding women. These eventually show up in behavior.
4- Be an uninvolved husband and/or father
We didn't marry ourselves and we definitely did not reproduce on our own. So commit to the roles and duties of being a father or husband. Expecting to live-out your married life behaving like a single man is destructive to a relationship- especially when the woman starts to feel that you're not present as a father.
5- The big don'ts
These go without saying: cheating, verbal/physical abuse and neglect. These are a red line and should never be crossed.
How you should treat a woman
I'll keep this one short and simple:
Treat her the way you would like to be treated.
The next time you wonder why your significant other feels hurt, take a step back and ask yourself how you would feel if you were in her shoes. Can you feel it now? Can you? I know...housework puts you in a very dark place.
Now that you've successfully empathized with her struggles, here are some time-tested techniques you can use to put a smile on your woman's face.
1- A hug- a big tight one until you feel the tension seeping out of her bones. You can also add some head stroking and back rubbing. I recommend these. Now whisper something kind.
2- Apologize for no reason- This will defuse a ticking bomb. I know this because my husband used it on me in the past. I'd be a mere second away from jumping out a window when he suddenly surprises me with a hug and apologizes. Why? No reason, just in case he did something. It's beautiful boys. Do it. It's hard to snap at someone if they apologize even before a fight begins.
Check her out. You knew how to do it before the babies and stretchmarks. You can do it now. If you've forgotten how to compliment a girl, do some research and learn. Also, note that specific compliments are better than vague ones.
Don't say- you look nice. Say- that dress looks great on your body.
And remember to be creative with your adjectives please. Some include:
Clever (yes complimenting her mind is just as important)
4- Spontaneous gestures of affection
A spontaneous snog. A sudden backwards hug. A random date night. A surprise thoughtful gift, like buying her favorite dessert or treat. Perhaps a massage?
5- Clean something
Don't wait for her to ask you to do it. Just walk into the bloody kitchen and start washing and clearing.
6- 3 words: 'I love you.'
Say them, we like to hear them. But other phrases are just as important:
I appreciate what you do.
I'm so proud of you.
And there you go! If it fits in one humble blog post, you know it ain't rocket science.
If I've missed any important points ladies, please let me know your thoughts in the comments.