Dr. Jeanette Parker

Last week we briefly explored “WHAT DO MEN REALLY WANT..?” Let’s look at “WHAT DO MEN REALLY NEED..?” It is not exhaustive or totally clinical. Experience teaches, “Men need support and help in whatever they do. They may appear to not need help…being accessible or standing by helps.”

Your participation may be a major element. It could be just being there or providing assistance or it could be giving words of support, compassion and encouragement. Criticizing and negative comments are not helpful. Offer timely, constructive comments.
Men need love and want to be loved for who he is, not to get something from him or what he can do for you. Something happens in the male childhood, just as with the female childhood which can be engrained in the mind. Those experiences and what he is told are stamped in the mind. Men grow older.

These “things” which they have been told and taught may have been all the other male teachers knew, whether right or wrong. They go on teaching things to their children which may not be good for them. After long years it is discovered the teaching was detrimental. Men are taught not to cry. Well, men have emotions.

If they show them, they may be considered effeminate having been taught men don’t cry. Well, women may be taught not to cry too….no time to cry. There’s too much to do and can’t spend time crying, because it may be time wasted instead solving problems. Men need to feel they are “okay” and accepted and it’s okay to talk about inner feelings, e.g. —their day or things that happen in society. Men have prowess and like to show their masculinity.

How?… may be what they are gifted in whether it’s construction work or being an artist. You need to feel okay about yourself so he has opportunity to feel he can approach you about things that concern him. See the positive and tell him how much you appreciate him when he does something nice. Say, “thank you.” Be gracious. Be kind. Recognize the little things. Men have deep feelings. They may not be expressed overnight. Be patient. Ask questions when possible.

Don’t nag him. He won’t like it. Pray for him and your relationship. Look for tiny breakthroughs to open dialog. Talk some happy, playful talk, maybe something happened before that was pleasant, even childish. Deep down, men are vulnerable beings. Do not punish or minimize if you see even a hint of sadness, let him have his moment. He may or may not cry. When we look incessantly for someone else to fill our void, we will never be at peace. Unexpressed feelings may come out through anger. Avoid anger.

Jeanette Grattan Parker, Ph.d. Superintendent/Founder Today’s Fresh Start Charter School 4514 Crenshaw BL., LA 90043 323-293-9826 [copyright author: Will You Marry Me and Inquiring Minds Want To Know”] [email protected] Reference: Jill Weber, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist, Washington, DC