Once in a while, something happens that makes us lose our equilibrium in life, leaving us with more questions than answers. We question our character, our self-imposed beliefs, and our ability to make proper choices. It’s a tough spot to be in, but it’s incredibly empowering because discontentment is where real change stems from.
It took me a decade to unwrap this truth, not just from my own dating misdemeanors and a turbulent — and eventual disintegration — of what was meant to be my forever-after-glamourous-wedding.
I’m a good woman. I know I am.
I echoed to myself each time I misjudged a guy, toppled over, and landed face down in an outburst of tears and a heart that needed mending. Again.
Suffice it to say, being a good woman (Didn’t I cook, clean, sex him up and even give him a child? Damn, what more did he want?) didn’t conceal my dark shades of low self-esteem, deep-seated insecurities, and a blurred self-awareness. This medley of character flaws leaked into my relationships and became the slippery slope that led to their dissolution.
Oh, don’t get me wrong; he wasn’t flawless. Actually, scratch that, he was a narcissistic, egotistic, male chauvinist. Yes, call me embittered, but it still doesn’t change this fact. But, I digress. The point is, for every good woman, there’s a man who walks out of her life and never looks back.
And often, when his boat leaves her shore, he finds solace in the arms of a woman who fades in comparison to her. You know, less educated and attractive, untalented, and not polished. All this to say that at times his exit has everything to do with him and nothing to do with her.
And yet, other times, despite her goodness, she may camouflage tendencies that create a rift big enough for him to walk out leaving nothing but a trail of dust.
The Emotional Pressure That Births Inadequacy.
To a man, freedom is his highest experience because it empowers him to make decisions as an adult. And when you allow a man the right to exercise his freedom, you exude feminine energy that he finds irresistible. But, throw in a needy woman into the equation?
She begins the pursuit game right from the dating days. If she’s not stalking, chasing, or convincing him into being with her, she’s obsessing about him incessantly without realizing that the more she pulls him closer, the further away he drifts. Why?
Doing this emasculates a guy. Guys want to feel in control and guess who is best suited to help them feel that way? You guessed it. His lady. A study denoting the effects of the emasculated male says:
It is true that masculinity is a female centered realty in each and every society in the world. Based on this point, male are admired and also measured based on the beauty, loyalty of the wife, submission and the manner in which he controls his wife. This is to mean that the masculinity of the man is determined by the satisfying behavior of her wife.
In view of this then, it’s correct to say that emasculation takes away his manly status in the relationship and causes him to run for the hills. How can he not when his attraction wanes and morphs into resentment? Whether it’s the dating days or in the union, no man likes to be coerced into decisions that don’t stem from his core.
It’s this personal freedom that no woman should take away. It’s everything to him. A guy has an inherent right to be who he wants to be as long as he doesn’t harm himself or jeopardize others. Yet, many ladies micromanage how their dudes spend their day, who they hang out with, how they spend their money, where they go after work, and even who they talk to on the phone.
It’s exhausting! And they wonder why he pulls away. This pressure creates an emotional detachment where he loses interest in opening up and connecting with his lady and uses this detachment as a strategy to shield himself from her control.
Let’s be honest; a man wants to feel manly. Pressuring him to do things your way sends the message that he’s ill-equipped and not good enough for you. When inadequacy creeps up, he checks out. Sure, he may not leave just yet, but it’s only a matter of time because he can’t harbor feelings of inadequacy for long.
When Respect Fails To Take Center Stage.
There will be times in your life when you’ll have to choose between being loved and being respected. Always choose being respected, that love without respect was always fleeting — but that respect could grow into real, lasting love.- quotesgram.com
Sex is vital, but it’s also overrated. Respect is the ultimate make or break in a relationship. You can be in a loveless marriage, but you can’t be in one without respect. Without respect, love can’t grow. Respect is an emotion, the underrated ingredient that all thriving relationships possess.
Unfortunately, over time, many women lose a sense of their men as a person which opens a door for familiarity to breed. Suddenly, she no longer sees him as the guy she went through her entire closet to choose an outfit to meet him in when they first met. Now? He’s just the guy who takes out the trash and mows the lawn.
It happens when a woman forgets the past challenges her man has contended with and conquered to become the person he is. Her respect and admiration dissipate. The mister, sensing this, loses interest. When he loses interest, beware; He’ll look for it elsewhere — highly likely, an affair will start to brew in the background.
I’m yet to meet a man who doesn’t want his woman to respect and appreciate him. Have you?
The Little Foxes That Birth Resentment.
Where relationships are concerned, most women are pretty good at ticking the big boxes. They steer clear of the big offenses. You know, like cheating, stealing, or engaging in physical fights. But they forget that it’s the small, things that ruin a perfectly good relationship because they trigger resentment.
According to Psychotherapist Rachel Wright, resentment is like a cancerous tumor.
“It starts small, but if left untreated, it grows and grows and grows until it’s spread so far that it’s not treatable anymore. That’s because resentment basically destroys the positive feelings and warmth you used to have for your partner.”
Sorg’s and Sally’s relationship is a classic example of how resentment takes root in relationships. After years of Sally hiding things from him, he finally got fed up with the mystery and continuous prying. Although she repeatedly claimed she didn’t want him worrying about issues she could handle, he perceived her secretiveness as disrespectful, eventually becoming resentful of her.
It’s the small foxes that truly spoil the relationship vine.
Women unleash little foxes are all the time, from making snide remarks to their guy’s faces, trampling over their boundaries, never actually listening to their partners, or refusing to compromise. These foxes dig holes in the marriage vineyard and create a rift big enough for a man to walk away.
You know men are visual, right? Their eyes have to see it before they can want it, much less pursue it. A man has to be physically stimulated before he’s sexually aroused. It’s exactly why dudes flock towards the hot chick like moths to light.
But if you’ve lived long enough, you’ll also attest to the bitter truth that beauty isn’t all it takes to sustain a solid relationship. Eventually, Miss hotness chooses one of them, a ravishing wedding stamps their union, and off they disappear into the sunset. But without emotional compatibility, it’s not long before the union crumbles to dust.
Emotional compatibility is key. Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, a relationship expert, breaks down emotional compatibility: “you know you have it when you feel happy, comfortable, accepted, understood and aligned with your partner regarding qualities such as shared values, respect for each other, and joy and a sense of ease of being together.”
Every man needs to feel this way if he’s going to commit long-term.
A Woman’s Success Can Hurt His Self-Esteem.
It’s funny. A girl is taught to be financially independent because everything she wants lies in wait for her on that mountain top — including, you guessed it, her prince charming. I can’t count how many of my ex-colleagues at Emirates airlines proved this wrong.
These gorgeous, highly talented, financially stable girls went around in circles seeking love, which only seemed to elude them even in their forties. What gives? A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finds that men feel worse when their romantic partners succeed.
You see, a man is inherently wired to provide, and society demands the same. Folks can argue with this till the cows come home, but the thing about numbers? Well, they don’t lie. Jay Z was right! Per a study, 71% of people place a higher value on the man’s role as the financial provider. When he fails to do that, his self-esteem plummets.
Nanette Fondas author and former professor of business writes:
A man’s implicit self-esteem is hurt by a romantic partner’s success, the authors propose, because he automatically interprets her success as his own failure — a byproduct of men’s competitiveness. Another possibility: Her success challenges the gender stereotype that he should be relatively more competent, strong and intelligent than his female partner. A third explanation offered is that the man’s thoughts about his partner’s success trigger a fear that he is not good enough for her and might lose her.
Her not needing a provider makes it difficult for him to invest in her because men don’t value more intelligent and ambitious women than themselves. It explains why a man feels threatened and is likely to pull away when he meets a successful woman. (Unless, of course, he’s in it for the moolah.)
If he can’t offer her security, how can he possibly lure her?
To Sum It Up.
While you can’t and should never put your ambitions to be successful to keep a man, you can train yourself to stop pressuring him, injecting feelings of inadequacy, and being disrespectful. But never forget: A good woman is subjective.
At the end of the day, if he wants to leave, you can’t stop him, and neither should you try. You deserve someone who sticks with you for the long haul. But wouldn’t it be wise to take occasional walks into the chambers of your mind and ascertain whether you’re sabotaging your relationship?
Don’t you think?
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