Friday, July 16, 2010

What do men want?

I'm trying to figure this out. It is obvious to me that without knowing I can't possibly make things work.

Does the home cooked meal and cleaning the house really make a man happy?? Why? Is it a reminder of Mom? Does he feel like he's being pampered?

I don't get it.

The other day we were out for a walk and I suggested we go to a cafe and have a snack for dinner then some ice-cream. It's the same old story, same as the last time I blogged about it. I can't convince him. He said, the grocery store is right there, why don't we grab something and go home?

It was a bit of a tug of war and I ended up losing interest all together and I bought myself some ice-cream and tater-tots and we went home.

When we had the discussion at home, his answer was that I only do what I "want" to do (that's code for the cleaning that I never do) so he'll keep refusing to go out with me, why should he do things he doesn't want to do if I'm not doing things I don't want to do.

I've been honest about the household situation on this blog. I have admitted that I do very little to help out around the house and there are lots of reasons/excuses for that: I work (he doesn't) so he has more time, I am slower at seeing what needs to be done so he does it before I get a chance to, he's better at it than I am, I get home from work exhausted and don't have the energy to clean.

We've been having this same conversation for 10 years. I'm getting a bit tired of it.


Diner Nighthawk said...

That's a tricky one. I like a domestic partner who does the cooking and cleaning; but I'm playing your role in the partnership more than his; I want it for all the reasons you do: I'm bad at it, and after work I don't have the energy for it. When I was single I had to be very careful not to let my apartment turn into a sty.

I assume there are still men out their who want a woman to cook and clean for them, and would feel emasculated about doing the "woman's work." But in comparing your responsibility and energy levels, I would imagine he'd be understanding about why domestic chores have shifted. Also, it's not 1950.

On the flip side, I know Lena likes it when I chip in. I think it makes her feel like I do appreciate what she does, and that I don't feel her responsibilities are trivial in comparison to mine, and that I care about helping her in more ways than just the stereotypical bringing-home-the-(vegetarian)-bacon. Also, some times I think I risk treating her like my servant and I wouldn't want her to feel that way.

It's just a thin line to walk, and I think every couple's answer would be different.

Cande said...

I guess it's just a matter of figuring out what the answer is. Problem is also that I don't bring home the proverbial (even vegetarian) bacon... I earn my money and he has his.

I don't really think that he feels emasculated, but I honestly don't know what it is he wants. We've talked about it so many times and I still don't understand.

phallatio said...

Women value time more than anything else. Quality time. A man who is happy to give you his precious time cares about you.

Dining out - even if it's just coffee or dessert - is quality time. Time to discuss, plan and reminisce.

Men must learn to value this time, because women certainly do!

James said...

Everyone is a little different. Google "5 Languages of Love" it gives you some idea how you communicate love and if you can get him to do it, you can figure him out.

Good luck. I know what you're going through.

BlueLantern said...

I'm a huge fan of open communication and clear expectations. If he expects you to do something and you feel it's not fair, let him know. If you're just forgetful, come up with a system of reminders so you can do your chores without him having to remind you. If you're flush with cash, what about hiring a cleaning service?

At the end of the day, him "punishing" you for not cleaning is stupid and harmful for your relationship. You should be working together to happily enjoy your time with each other, not working against each other because you're holding grudges over trivial things. At least that's my unsolicited piece of advice from someone who doesn't know all the details.

Cande said...

Phallatio: you are absolutely right. I miss that quality time.

James: I took your advice and I'm a word freak I guess. I like to hear things more than seeing the gifts or being touched. I guess that's one reason why I'm so addicted to Rob. All he does is talk to me and I go to jelly.

BluLantern: you're absolutely right, I will try to come up with a system of reminding myself to do stuff. I have suggested a cleaning service, but he doesn't want to pay for it. So I'd be paying for it and he'd be doing part of the cleaning which to me doesn't make a lot of sense.

Anonymous said...

Tis is an easy one from my perspective anyway. I want a woman to SAY IT, FUCKING SAY IT!!!!!!!

Say what you want. No hints, no insinuations. SAY IT. That is what I want. Outside of that I want her to want me. I don't care if loves me just want me. So prove that and all is good from my end.

On the chores/responsibilities thing it only will work if there is an agreement. I mean him just expecting you to mop ain't gonna get it, discuss it. Also if you said you'd mop then he should expect you to mop, and in the converse if he said he'd cook then he should cook.
A marriage/partnership is no better than any business partnership, if the lines aren't clearly drawn then it will be chaos. Unless one person simply takes up all the slack.

Here is my take on any partnership of any kind. This is 100% true.
Obviously it is different for everyone depending on what you expect or are willing to put in.

Here is another that will work everytime.

All you have to do is be willing.