(continued…) Cavallo – “A man wants three things: a. to be helpful, b. to solve problems (fix things), and c. to feel useful.” 11
My response to each of these three things is as follows: a. My husband told me he wanted to be more helpful around the house. But, because I always complained that “he didn’t do a good job” or “what he did wasn’t good enough” or pointed out that he had “missed this or that”, because his standard of cleanliness did not measure up to my standards, I destroyed in him his motivation and desire to help me. Then I ended up doing everything myself because no one else could do it “right”.
By being overly critical I ended up hurting myself and I learned too late that it is better to accept whatever a man offers to do not to judge him or his results if I want him to continue to give his help.
b. My husband was definitely a “fixer.” He enjoyed fixing things around the house. He did this willingly (most of the time) for me, and I did always thank him for it and praise him for doing a good job.
However, it is important to know that at times a person just wants to vent, and is not asking for advice on how to “fix” or solve the problem. Everyone must learn to recognize when the other person is just venting and when they are asking for help or a solution. Sometimes, the only thing needed is a good listener.
c. As my husband grew older and became physically unable to fix things around the house or do the jobs he once had done, such as yard work, driving the car, etc., he felt useless, becoming embarrassed and degraded.
To reiterate, a man will work harder to please the woman he loves if she is vocal with her praise, admiration, and appreciation, but he loses motivation when he is subject to sharp criticism and lack of respect. A woman needs to remember that her man is subjected to criticism at work and at any time, and doesn’t need it at home.