As I comb through heaps of relationship advice, I keep stumbling upon similar themes specifically directed toward women. Below are five myths society perpetuates to blame relationship problems on women.
Myth #1: Men want sex more than women, and only women use sex as currency.
There are plenty of relationships in which men are withholding sex from women because they aren’t getting along with her, or they are tired from work, or they are just not into it anymore. Men also have trouble squeezing sex into their days. Wives are not all cold fish, and it is a bit too easy for men to always be running the sexual show. Men need security, love, and a host of other things to fully want to connect as well. Further, there are also plenty of women who are looking forward to sex after giving birth and having a baby. Don’t assume she does not want it; just ask explore it gently.
Myth #2: Women let themselves go after childbirth and marriage, which causes men to cheat.
Not all women let themselves “go.” Both men and women age, get some wrinkles, lose some hair, and gain a bit of weight. But the letting-go phenomenon may be a bit overblown. Looking around is also a function of how you process physical changes in your spouse and how you train yourself to respond to those changes. Looking at your spouse is part passive and partly an act of appreciation, close observation, and helping them look and feel attractive. A man who wants an excuse to look around is going to do it even if you look better than you’ve ever looked before after a few children.
Myth #3: Women nag too much.
There is a fine line between nagging and making reasonable requests that go ignored. There are plenty of legitimate reasons a spouse may need a reminder. And no one should be faulted for taking initiative, managing the other person, and advancing the household. Men are expected to take charge, whereas it becomes nagging when women do it. There are plenty of people who simply don’t like that you’re suggesting they do something proactive. Why not instead focus on how both spouses should be better at delivering results and/or managing expectations? How about joint planning?
Myth #4: Women can’t take compliments, and that’s a turnoff.
It’s a bit difficult to accept compliments when you’re also being insulted or underappreciated. A woman who is too confident often gets typecast as vain, pushing away both female and male friends. Women are always advised to stroke a man’s ego during her interactions with him. We are not alone in our need for affirmation. Confidence should be viewed as something one can build together rather than a static quality.
Myth #5: Women put their children—and even mundane things—before men’s needs.
Men, too, can put work, other relationships, and their parents above their spouses. Prioritization is a mutual concern that must be dealt with together, with ample communication and planning. It’s not only women who are careless, but regardless of whether you’re a man or woman, if you pour everything into your spouse, but it is still not what he wants, then you need to figure out what makes him happy. Otherwise, it is inevitable to take your interests to other domains in life. It’s easy for both men and women to wrap themselves in work or family rather than focusing on the relationship.
People change. Relationships and roles change. And society has evolved. We’ll have to move with the flow a bit more.