The possibility and reality of whether or not a woman can teach a man how to be a man.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a woman who wonders if it is possible for her to teach her man how to act like and be a man consistently. It is obvious she is more of a high achiever than he is and has more ambition. She thought her marriage was great for the first few years, and then she finally saw the relationship for what it really was. She started working out and got in the best shape of her life. She started getting attention from younger men again and had an affair for about a year.
She is now trying to save her marriage, but her husband seems content for things to stay as they are and doesn’t appear interested in doing anything to enhance their marriage. She asks my opinion. It’s a great email that perfectly illustrates what happens slowly over time to men who become lazy and complacent in their relationships, and how this causes women to eventually head for the exits when the guys never see it coming. My comments are in (bold parenthesis like this below) in the body of her email.
I found your work last year. My name is Jessica. I have been married for ten years, and we have three children. Our marriage was perfect, or at least I thought that, until our last anniversary, then suddenly like someone took a blindfold off my eyes, I noticed every flaw in my marriage.
(When people first get together and fall in love, we all tend to focus on what we love about the other person. But the longer we’re together, we tend to focus on the things we don’t like. You either grow together with somebody, or you grow apart.)
I felt I had no freedom. I could not make decisions, and since he makes most of the money, I felt he was totally in control of me. As a form of escape, I started working out much more than usual, and my husband got very jealous. Also, I believe due to the fact that I got in the best shape of my life, and I changed my complete diet.
(People typically tend to work out and take better care of themselves when they’re single, and when they settle down, get married and have kids, those things just slowly fall by the wayside, along with your hobbies, your interests, and often a lot of your friends. Then a decade or two later, you’re looking in the mirror and you don’t recognize yourself, your life or who you are anymore, because you compromised your values, your principles and your goals so much. You kind of lose yourself in your relationship.)
I was feeling very sexy and strong. It was empowering, what I was experimenting at that time. I also took a new part-time job, and I started to go to school to get my Masters degree.
I used to get up at 5 am every day. I made no excuses, and got the best grades in school, as well as working out like crazy, and the change was notorious. Men started to hit on me a lot. It was like being in my 20’s again. I think my husband felt this vibe, and he got really grumpy.
(Remember, no one will ever do or say anything to you that isn’t a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves in a moment. If you’re happy, you’re loving your life, you’re loving yourself, you’re taking good care of your body, and you’re around other people who are not doing that, it’s going to make anybody feel a little more uncomfortable.)
He was totally out of shape, and he was not exercising much.
I had a conversation with him back in that time and told him I felt very lonely and bored in our relationship. His answer was, “Well, that’s marriage. It can’t be fun all the time.”
(What that communicated to you was, “I hear what you’re saying, but I don’t really care about you enough to do anything to change it. It’s just the way it is. You need to fucking accept it.” The whole purpose of relationships is you go there to give, and what he just told you was he wasn’t interested in giving any more or doing any more to make you happy, to make himself happy or make your marriage better.)
Short story, and this is the part I am not proud of myself, I ended up having an affair that run for a little bit more than a year. I totally fell in love with this person. He was divorcing his wife, as I going through a tough time. After some drama, this affair also ran its course.
I broke up with him, but it was almost a mutual breakup. I started to read your book, twice until now, and I realized why I did the things I did.
(You realized why you were attracted to that other guy and less and less attracted to your husband. I’m not a fan of the fact you cheated on your husband. If you’re not happy in your relationship, the right and honorable thing to do is to work on trying to fix the relationship. If the other person is not interested, then you’ve got to go your own separate ways.
It doesn’t serve you, him or your kids to live a lie, because if you’re running around screwing other people behind your husband’s back, then guess what you are teaching your children. Now your children are growing up in a family where cheating and lying is totally normal. They never learn the value of loyalty, communication and commitment.)
I realized all mistakes my husband made as well. Since then, I have been focusing in recovering my marriage.
I was honest to my husband and told him about my feelings. Not the affair itself, but how I really felt. At that point, I was not expecting a good outcome, since I told him that I am not in love with him anymore, but at the same time, I did not want to hurt him. After all, my conscience told me I was the one who failed the most and not my husband.
I have no words to express my regrets for having an affair and for the negative effect that had on my emotional being, as well as my marriage.
(It’s obviously not going to help your marriage if you’re missing something in your relationship with your husband, and you’re getting that from somebody else. From that perspective, it wasn’t like you were really making much of an effort to make your marriage work.)
It’s hard to believe that the best chemistry and level of connection I experienced in my life was with another man and not with my own husband.
(We tend to make decisions based upon emotions, and we use logic and reason to justify our decision.)
With my husband, there is no attraction or sexual polarity. That is the story of my marriage. He is a good provider and a great father, but not a lover. All this time in my marriage, I was the one who took control in the bed and in the romance. He tends to give me gifts.
(I highly recommend you read the book, “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, because if he’s giving you gifts, more than likely his way of showing love, affection and that he cares is by buying gifts. However, if your love language is affection or quality time, you’re going to feel like your needs aren’t being met and you’re not loved the way you need to. That’s where the importance of communication comes in, so you can tell him how you need to feel loved and validated.)
I don’t want the control in bed. I want him to fuck me like a man, and not like a teenage boy.
Now that I don’t initiate sex, because I have no attraction to him, it is simply not happening. My husband, when he is in bed with me, acts like he needs my permission for everything.
(Give him a copy of my book and tell him, “I’d really appreciate if you’d read this book, because there are a lot of things that jumped out at me that we’re experiencing in our marriage. It would mean a lot to me if you could do some of the things in there. It would show me that you really do care. Because I’m not happy right now. In order for us to stay together and be happy long term, I need to have this and I’m not getting it right now.)
He is very insecure in the intimacy. He is expecting me to magically change and feel attraction for him again, as if I have a disease that will run its course, and then I will be magically cured and I will be good in bed like I used to be, just like a good Latin lover. Sometimes, I hope that will be the case, but I don’t see this situation changing, as he really does nothing to become stronger in our relationship.
(Remember, guys are logically driven. If you’re using hints and innuendo, instead of just coming right out and being blunt, telling him in a logical step-by-step way, this is what I need and this is what I’d like for you to do, being mad and upset with him, giving him examples and hoping he just figures it out, it’s just going to sail right over his head.)
My question is, can a woman teach a man how to be one?
(The whole purpose of relationships is you go there to give. You help each other to grow and become more. You can’t help somebody who’s not ready, willing, able and open to being helped. All you can do is gently lead, suggest, and ask in a loving way for exactly what you want from him, without trying to give him a bunch of examples, in hopes he’s able to kind of figure it out.
Just come right out and say what you would like for him to do in the future. Or it may be something he used to do, but he’s no longer doing. Then it’s up to him whether he’s going to do it or not. If he can’t do that, tell him you’d much rather go your separate ways and find people that are more ideally suited to you.)
I think that would be embarrassing. I’d rather divorce him and let figure it out himself.
(Well, going through a divorce is not pleasant for anybody. It’d be much better if you communicate in a loving way and ask him to do these things for you. He’s either going to be willing to do it or not. The reality is, if this stuff is really that important to you, and you speak to him in a logical, loving way and he still won’t do it, you either accept that he’s just this way and that’s the standard that’s going to be your marriage for the rest of your life, or you can say, these standards are just not good enough at this point in my life. I want more.)
My husband tends to project his attraction on me and thinks we have no problems, except for… I don’t want to have sex with him anymore!
(Well, if he’s not acting like a masculine man, you’re basically acting like the man in the relationship, so there’s definitely no sexual polarity there. But he’s got to learn this stuff. You’ve got to give him the opportunity, the wisdom and the knowledge and see what he does with it. And then you can let the chips fall where they may. Going out and having an affair or screwing around on him is not doing anything to make your marriage better. That’s like putting a band aid on a gunshot wound. It’s not good enough.)
We have been living a sexless marriage for months already. I even told him to read your book, but he shows no interest. He ignores all my signs of disinterest.
(That tells me you’re expecting him to figure it out, but how is he supposed to figure this out? He’s obviously not psychic. You’ve got to communicate in a logical way that he can understand. But the reality is, he still may not do it.)
I can pretend nothing is wrong and just get laid with him once in a while, and I know he will be happy, but I don’t want to settle anymore for a mediocre sex and romantic relationship. I don’t see myself in this marriage for a lifetime.
(That’s your truth, and those are some of the words you need to say to him specifically. You’ve got to spell it out. Make a fucking list if you have to and tell him, this is what I want. This is what I need to be happy. If you’re not interested in doing what I need to make me happy, then we need to talk about going our separate ways. That way I can find someone who’s better for me, and you can find somebody who’s ideally suited for you as well.)
Thank you Corey for your help, and I apologize for the long letter, but if you have any advice in my situation, I truly appreciate it.
(You’ve got to give the dude a chance, and you’ve got to lay it all on the table. Spell it out step by step what you want and what you need, and it’s up to him whether he’s going to make the effort or not.)
“You can only help people who are ready, willing, able and open to being helped. Everyone must have emotionally compelling reasons to get up and do what they do every day, or they simply won’t make the required effort consistently. People are naturally and innately motivated to avoid pain and to move towards what potentially will bring them pleasure. You can’t live other people’s lives for them. It’s not your fault that others do not share or have the same zest for living that you do. Live your truth and love others as they are and where they are, even if they don’t have the same high standards as you do.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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