Women seem to think that they can train their men like lab rats or a cute puppy that’s taught to sit and roll over in exchange for certain treats. We always have the best intentions. Wanting only the best for our significant others. After all if we are gonna be divas and the men are gonna be our better-halves then they have to be a whole lot better than average. And like real estate, getting a man who fits your exact criteria may be either impossible or just more than your resources can attract so we’ve all resorted at some point to purchasing the run-off-the-mill house and hoping with love, care and some choice prodding, we can revamp the house and bring it to its former glory. Sounds like a plan right?
Well what do the men have to say about this? Research shows that after nagging, behavioural modification (manipulation) is man’s second biggest phobia in relationships. The fastest way to send a man packing is to give him a healthy dose of phobia 2 wrapped in phobia 1’s unattractive package. Why do men resist change? A woman will re-invent her entire being if it would please her man. I know women who would give a chameleon a run for its money because their appearance and outlook undergo constant change as dictated by the men they date. I have been an Arsenal fan, a Man-U fan and a Chelsea fan and that says nothing of my taste in sports/football clubs but more of my taste in men and my eagerness to please. And in comparison, I must say I have had it good. Some women have gone beyond the edge of reason tryna to be ‘Stepford wives’ and while only a small percentage of women will resist changing to please the man they love, most men in contrast, expect you to love them for who they are and leave them exactly how you found them. Take my friend T for example. He waved a red flag immediately I started talking about taking him with me to church for weekday services and accused me of behavioural modification. T’s a well-grounded fella but the thought of having a woman control his affairs made him squirm. It took gentle female persuasion to make him relax. What is it about tryna make a man better that has him running out the door faster than you can say ‘Jack Robinson’? Is it just his ego or the fact that manipulation and control are deep-seated in the heart of behavioural modifications and are antonyms to the love they represent?
I’ve always been a woman on a mission and many times I’d get bored if I didn’t have an ailment to nurse in the relationship. Amongst my more memorable ones were saving an ex from potential lung cancer, saving another from potential hell fire and saving a phlegmatic ex from potential mediocrity. One thing these men had in common was their resistance to change. It was akin to a man refusing to be saved from a burning building. How could I be a superhero if my heart throb didn’t wanna be super-saved? Like all men, they wanted love, they wanted understanding but more importantly they wanted acceptance. Now one would rightly quote that men are like leopards who don’t change their spots and that you shouldn’t smell what you cannot eat but c’mon you must realize that at the start of a relationship every one puts their best foot forward and vices are often downplayed or hidden! Hence we are faced with a dilemma of sorts. How do you keep your man from running while you pimp him up? I had a friend O, who had a really great relationship till she decided her man had JayZ’s million-dollar potential but wasn’t ambitious enough and it was up to her to unearth this potential and push him towards high-reaching goals. The pushing finally scared him off. He felt she was hard to please and he’d never be good enough for her, yet all she was tryna do was be the strong woman behind her successful man. Tough luck huh?
So what’s the secret to making a man give up his bone? Is it possible? Is it easy? As easy as making a dog give up his bone one would say. But I know a girl and I’m sure y’all know a girl like her too. A super human who somehow transformed her man into a tailor-made, excellent finish, well-bred specimen and you’d be amazed what she had to work with in the beginning. So how did she do it?
What did the women who dated him before her do wrong? Could’ve been something or could’ve been absolutely nothing! Sometimes all your hard work may be for some clueless babe coming after you to enjoy. Annoying innit? After my last breakup, I began questioning the save-your-man theory. If he was gonna leave in the long run, I might as well give the next babe some work to do but a wise aunt pointed out the fact that #dearfuturehusband whoever he was, would only be my dream man because of the experiences and behavioural modification he’d gotten from previous relationships. Agreed?! Yes the world is round and what goes around, comes around! #Q.E.D 😉 So how do we get our significant others to drop that one thing that makes them frail human beings? Just so that he/she can ascend to the realm of perfection…
The matter is quite a sensitive one and it could blow up in your face if not handled properly landing you in a hot ‘soup-opera’ starring as the bad guy with your man on the war path if he even concedes to stick around…
So here are some guidelines to follow:
– Constant appreciation makes criticism easier to handle.
– Remember you are both on the same team.
– Correcting each other should not be with a holier-than-thou attitude.
– If you say the same thing three times you are nagging.
– Prayer is your secret weapon!
– A perfect man/woman will make your imperfections stark and inexcusable, do you really want that? (We will not even delve into the matter that perfection in itself is a myth)
– Remember that there’s a woman out there who will gladly accept him warts and all.
– Time and Maturity are factors! (Don’t bother your head about issues that your man will inevitably outgrow as time and maturity set-in).
– It’s a tough world out there, no one wants to come back home and be judged.
– Communication is key. Unlike a goat, a man will change if he sees reason to. Make him see what he stands to gain and that your motives are unselfish.
– Be patient with him and soft-spoken. Gentleness calms even the most stubborn man.
– Tell him how happy the change would make you rather than telling him how sad/angry/disappointed the habit makes you.
– Boost his ego. Make him feel like a king and he’ll cross seven seas to do right by you.
– Do not command/threaten/bully him into changing.
– Understand where he is coming from and why he is the way he is and then take it a step at a time.
– Examine yourself. Sometimes putting all your energy into changing someone may be a psychological way of running from your own faults/weaknesses. #doctor-heal-thyself!
The only constant thing in life is change and people regardless of gender are all about self-improvement but if your motives are less than honorable and your man feels he is failing to measure up to an invisible standard you have set, he will get discouraged or defiant and find a person who makes loving less like engineering maths. Men are simple creatures. My male buddy, N always says women have 85% of the power in relationships but immediately they make the man realize that fact (mostly by being controlling or rubbing it in his face), the man regains all the power!
So Ladies, a behavioural modification is possible and even quite successful with the right approach and amount of sensitivity but when it becomes a behavioural manipulation, it can only lead to disaster. Remember to give your man a treat when he’s doing good and encourage him! #teamcheeryourman 😉
Guys, this post also applies to you! There are ways to make your woman ditch the wrapper and hair net forever 😉 or forsake that annoying habit…without manipulation!
…learn to speak her love language and a change in behaviour will be easy as pie! 😉
Shout out to my friend T, who inspired this post!
Have a lovely night peeps and if you haven’t voted, please go to http://www.nigerianblogawards.com/vote.php to vote for ‘Memoirs of a woman with Chutzpah’ in the 5 categories we were nominated! Thank you.