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October 22nd: Understanding the opposite sex

October 13, 2014

In the middle hour we discussed understanding the opposite sex. This subject is uncomfortable for many on the autism spectrum so deserves more attention because companionship is wonderful.

The differences between men and women is taken from a counseling session by Pastor Thomas Gumm:

“This topic is very important because it keeps the family together and working well. If these items are followed there will be a dramatic decrease in arguments, assumptions and bad feelings. This session will help you in your communication and decision making skills.

Women

A woman’s self worth is determined by the loving relationship she has with her husband. In plain English, a woman will normally figure what she is worth by how much or how little her husband loves her. If he thinks she is great, praises her, and he wants to spend time with her talking and sharing, she will consider herself very important and will feel very good about herself. If a husband treats her poorly, yells at her and calls her names, especially vulgar, crude names, she will consider herself worthless.

Women need vulnerability. They need to see the little boy in her husband. She needs to hear his emotional struggles, his dreams, his fears, his secrets. If a woman has these things from her husband, she feels vital in his life and a true soul mate on a very deep level. It proves to her that she is trusted and important to him.

Women are relationship orientated. They want to know people and understand them. They look for the hidden meanings in body language, the unspoken actions of the eyes, the assumed motives for actions. They want to know. The closer they are in a relationship the more comfortable they will be because they will know and understand the person and can react in the appropriate manner for the situation. Women like to talk about people, events, emotions and ideas.

Because women are relationship orientated they tend to be more complicated. Nothing is just a simple answer or a simple point; they will look at things from many different angles so they won’t miss something. Realize this when you are trying to explain things. Your simple answer will probably not be enough. This is why they ask so many questions about surrounding material of a situation.

Women are very protective. Their husband and their children are more important than life to most women. A passive woman may become very aggressive if she feels there is danger for either her husband or her children. Sometimes a woman will be aggressive against another woman, not because she is jealous, but because she is protecting her husband from this other woman.

Women are homemakers. Now a day, some will consider the term homemakers a dirty or demeaning name. Not true! Women want to make their home in which a husband will want to come home. Thus, the pretty knick-knacks, flowers, special curtains, nice smelling items, candles, etc. need to be on the walls or on the table. For them it is not too much money or as men consider it wasted money, because it sets a mood of peace, comfort or enjoyment.

Women want to be safe. They should never fear their husband. He will never use words or actions that will harm or endanger his wife. There is no chance of vulnerability if there is fear. There is no chance of love if there is fear. If a man treats his wife like a dog, she will bite him or hide from him. If a man treats his wife like a princess, she will willingly serve him. It is the husband’s choice; do you want a dog or a willing wife?

Women want to be dated. Because you are married does not mean you have to stop dating. Because you have children, you don’t have to stop dating. Planning and simple things can make for a very romantic relationship that will last your entire marriage.

Husbands need to beware of speaking about his wife in public. You may want to tell your friends about some dumb thing your wife did. It may be very funny. But it won’t be to her. If you embarrass her in public, she will look at it from the point of view that you don’t love her or consider her important. Instead it will bring a lack of trust to the marriage. If you want to tell a story about her, ask her permission. You can always brag about the good things she does and she won’t mind, in fact she will be delighted. But the dumb, funny stuff, ask her first if you can share it.

What will a husband do when he comes home to find his wife crying? The way you handle this can mean hours of crying and hard feelings or short amount of crying and your wife feeling loved and valuable.

Husbands, get to know your wife’s body. Seriously, get to know how a woman’s body works. It is very different than yours. Do you understand her menstrual cycle? Do you understand how the change of hormones in her body will alter her moods, cloud or clarify her judgment? Do you understand what PMS is? What can you do to help her with PMS? Learn and you will be a loving and considerate husband.

A woman’s menstrual cycle works on her emotions and hormone level. It is a 28-day cycle that is divided into 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Spring is right after her period and she is on an upturn in her emotions and self-confidences because her hormone system is becoming balanced. Summer is days 8-14 after her period ends. This is the best time for a woman emotionally and self-confidently. This is when a woman should make her most difficult decisions. She will normally handle life the best at this time. Fall is days 15-21 when her hormones begin to change toward the period and she begins to become less self-confident and more emotional. This is also the start of bloating and feeling out of sorts. This is the time when no big decisions should be made. She will become more dependant as she slides into winter. A husband should be more patient and understanding. The woman should be aware of hormone slide and compensate for it in the way she handles problems and situations. A wife should not be babied during this time, but rather encouraged as she deals with this hard time. Look for the best and compliment her more. Do not let her sink into self-pity or excuses for not handling life during this time. Instead support her and give her extra attention.

When women say, “Let’s talk,” it means that they want you to tell them what is going on inside your head and heart. They want to know your feelings, understand your joys and heartaches. They want you to spill your guts. What dreams, plans and goals you have been considering and how you want to get them accomplished. They want to know how they fit in to the plan you are working on. What is their responsibilities or how they can help? They want to be able to read their man and anticipate what is coming.

Men

Men are very much different than women. A man is a very simple creature. He thinks in topics. If you say to a man, “Let’s talk,” he will want to know the topic. Thus, he will say to you, “What do you want to talk about?” Men don’t have a hidden code. They are blunt and to the point. If you want your husband to talk to you about his emotions, thoughts, troubles, goals or dreams, then you must ask plainly and not hint. Men are lousy at hints. Use a sledgehammer approach and he will understand you. You must teach him the code of women so he understands the way you ask for discussion.

Men have very fragile egos. They are easily crushed. They need your respect and your honesty. They need for you to adore them. I know many women play a game by acting interested in their man, but are bored to tears because all he talks about is himself. Men need to brag about something to make them feel important or brave or respected. It is an important aspect of what makes a man, a man. There are few places of battle anymore. There are few places where they can prove themselves. “See I am worth something,” he is really saying to you. A wife needs to be a bit of a cheerleader and an encourager. This is why when a wife nags; the husband finds other places to hang out. Their egos can’t handle rejection, especially by the one who is so close to him. Patiently talk with your husband and he will learn to be your cheerleader as well.

Men draw their self-esteem from the respect of their peers. This is different than women. Women get their self-worth from the loving relationship of their husbands. Men want their peers to respect them as good or the best. The love of their wife they do appreciate and desire, but they deem themselves a man if they have the respect and honor of their peers. A man feels broken if his peers don’t respect him.

Men are really little boys in big bodies. Men love to have fun. Have you noticed how much he has to make you laugh or smile? Notice how he bugs or pesters you to get your attention? He gets all excited over a game or a sport because he sees the competition, the challenge, the winner or the loser. He knows the rules and he is trying to out-think the opponent. One of the greatest joys of a husband is to blow his wife’s concentration and get her all befuddled. It’s like saying “I have power over you. I know where your buttons are. I can mess up your mind by kissing you on the back of your neck.” The little boy comes out when he doesn’t take care of cleaning off the dishes or clean up after himself in the bathroom. The rude, rough corners on a man are the boy coming out. That loud belch after the can of beer or soda annoys you, but for him it’s natural. Again be patient and explain courtesy. After a while he will get it.

Men look for consistency in their wives and in others. Men like the same thing. They want to expect the same thing from you in similar situations. Just like women want to know how their husband is thinking so they can prepare and plan, so men want consistency with their wives. They also want consistency at their job, the people they work with, their responsibilities and what people expect out of them. If it is important to you that your husband always puts his clothes in the hamper, then tell him bluntly that this is what you expect of him. Now he knows the rules. He is much more comfortable with that. I believe that both men and women feel much more comfortable if they know what is expected of them and what is their place.

Real men don’t cry?!? No two men are the same. Men do cry, but at different things. Give your husband the space and the respect so he can cry. He may weep loudly over the death of his dog and only be sad at the loss of a job.

A man needs a place that is just his. Most men will consider the house the woman’s domain, but the garage is all his. Whether it is clean or dirty, it is his domain. He is the boss and it can look whatever way he wants it. This is why when a woman cleans his space; a man gets bent way out of shape. His sole refuge has been invaded. Please give your husband his special place. Let him have that ugly chair. That is his space.

Men need time to unwind and file away the events of work. When he comes home, try not to inundate him with discussion. Let him have an hour to read the paper, check the news or just settle down from the trials of work. Men need about an hour to file away the events of the day.”

Each individual in the group discussed their level of comfort or relationship with the opposite sex. It was clear that some had not dated for years, some had dated recently but could not establish long term relationships, others were luckier and some dated only sparingly prior to marriage. Pastor Gumm’s description of classic male and female sexual persona rang true for the older participants but not necessarily for the younger. The discussion was so fruitful, we decided to continue it next time in the context of relationships.

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