I recently visited a friend whom I care a lot about and it was fun, except the part where the man in her life appeared. From what I surmise of his character, he’s OK. Kind enough, decent enough, he seemed an OK dude. But her experience of him didn’t go along the same lines. She was not happy with the way she was being treated, but she did what we normally do, she kept quiet.
That made me wonder why it is that we are willing and able to give so much but we get so little in return. Why is it that a good woman like my friend, someone who deserves a king on a throne, is stuck with some OK guy, who doesn’t even practise his OK-ness? After thinking about it for a long time and asking myself the question in many different ways I got to an answer. From where I stand, being Netta, I believe we get what we settle for.
What I see is that most of us settle for less than what we truly want because we try too hard to be good to others at our own expense. It would seem that we have accepted that being in a relationship means allowing unsatisfying, misery-inducing behaviour from the men that are supposed to love us. There has been a lot I’ve put up with labouring under the thought that in order to have love I had to suffer for it.
I think we just have to admit that if something truly makes us unhappy and we allow it to continue happening, we’ve accepted it. We have to stop settling for what is on offer and start asking for what we want.
I dare any woman to ask a man other than the one you’re involved with why a man does this, that or the other that makes you unhappy. He will probably say that:
- If you haven’t told him what you don’t like or suggested an alternative, the guy is probably oblivious or doesn’t think it’s a big deal to you. Your silence sends that message.
- If you have spoken up about how you feel but he doesn’t respond, it’s probably because despite your unhappiness everything still carries on swimmingly for him. Lack of consequences for his unsatisfying behaviour sends that message.
- If he knows how you feel, but doesn’t make an attempt to accommodate your preferences despite the consequences, you can safely assume that he doesn’t care all that much. Any man who really cares is driven to see you happy and to do the things that pleases you. By not being moved by your unhappiness, he’s sending you a message.
Men always advise women that when a guy doesn’t do what we want him to, we must just walk away. Clearly men believe it’s fair to be dropped if they don’t make the criteria, but we are under the impression we must accept what we are offered. We need to have insight into the black and white thinking that men have. As a guy said to me: “You can’t blame a man for doing what you allow him to do.”
As long as we stay in a place where our needs are not fully met, we are sending a message that we’re ok with being unsatisfied. That could be the death-knell to your relationship. Men hate feeling inadequate, and your unhappiness is like a huge neon sign flashing the message: “HER MAN IS A FAILURE.” Prioritise your own happiness and ask your man for what you need, it will make him happier to know that he has the power to put a smile on your face.
So the next time you man does something you don’t like, tell him directly: “I don’t like what you did. Don’t do it again.” Don’t scream it, don’t moan it, just say it.
If you want something you’re not getting, ask for it: “Please give me 2000 bucks.” Normally if a man cares and he has the money to give, he will or he’ll give what he can. At least that’s my experience.
My friend expected financial support from her man, but didn’t ask for it, then became unhappy because he didn’t offer it. She missed an opportunity to have her needs met by not speaking up and by settling for what was on offer. Nothing.
I ask myself, why she didn’t speak up about what she expected and at the very same time I wonder how her man could have missed the unhappy look on her face and not asked her what was causing it.
Again I come to the conclusion that a man will only be as good as you require him to be. Never sit around waiting to be offered what you need and never settle for less. The wisdom is after all, “Ask and it shall be given unto you.”