Why he tries and generally fails

Why he tries and generally fails

Last week I had a very interesting conversation with a friend. Very interesting. Basically his frustration was something like this, “Men are just trying to help, but women don’t want their help. They come to us and tell us their problems, we offer solutions and they get mad. What’s with that!?” (While I did put this in quotes I am paraphrasing to the best of my memory, any misquotation was unintentional.)

Here’s the thing, he was right, this exact scenario has been the frustration of many men and women over the centuries. But let’s talk about why this is the case.

Here’s what happens:

Woman had a bad day/hurtful experience/difficult situation. Woman comes home to her man and tells him about it. Man analyses the situation, comes up with a plan of action, tells woman and moves on. Woman gets mad at man. Man gets frustrated with woman. The end.

Now, from that vantage point many a man has come to the conclusion that women are irrational, emotional, and impossible to please. This simply isn’t the case, because that is exactly the problem, he’s only looking at it from his vantage point. So let’s take a step back shall we?

Here’s what’s happening in her mind:

Woman had a bad day/hurtful experience/difficult situation. Woman comes home to her man and tells him about it. Man listens to about half of what she wants to say and tries to fix the situation. She interprets this as her man not caring about her or how this circumstance has affected her. She tells him to take his quick fix plan and sleep on the couch. The end.

Here’s what’s happening in his mind:

Woman had a bad day/hurtful experience/difficult situation. Woman comes home to her man and tells him about it. Man listens to all he needs to hear to begin fixing the problem. Man offers the best solution he can come with to restore his woman to happiness, thereby restoring himself to happiness along with her. She tells him to take his quick fix plan and sleep on the couch. Man can’t fathom why his offer of help has been received with such distain and in return comments that women are irrational, emotional, and impossible to please. The end.

This is an understandably frustrating set of circumstances, but the good news is that it really breaks down into two easy solutions. (You’re welcome guys.)

1. Your woman needs to know that you care about her, not just fixing her circumstance.
2. Rather than offering ways to fix the problem, point her to God, the ultimate solution to every problem.

Here’s a good thing to keep in mind, generally speaking when women talk with someone about things that are happening in their lives it requires little to no action on the part of the listener. The speaker is sharing these things with you because they want you to be part of their lives. By coming up with 3 easy steps to solve all of her problems, it inadvertently tells her that you don’t want to be part of her messy life, you just want to fix her.

For the most part, I know this isn’t your intention. You are trying to help, you are trying to protect, you are trying to make things better, I know. But here’s the thing, most situations are out of your control, you aren’t God. So when you try to fix a problem that only God can fix it will generally fail.

Women don’t need you to fix their problems for them, they need you to point them towards God so that He can speak and they can obey. If you really want to help, you can start by listening carefully until she’s done talking (admittedly, this could take a while, suck it up and be a man), say, “I’m sorry you’re going through this”, then pray with her about it. Or take it one step further, is something big happening in her life? How about offering to pray and fast with her for a set period of time then ask her if God is showing her anything about her situation. (Even as I type that I get all excited for how the woman in your life will react positively to that offer. That my friends is worth it’s weight in gold. No extra charge.)

As the leader in your home (and relationship) it is your job to help your wife/children/sisters/girlfriends/friends-who-are-girls draw closer to Christ by encouraging them to be reliant on Him, not you. The beauty of this is that not only will she grow closer to God (from which you will ultimately benefit) but she’ll most likely grow closer to you too. You save frustration and gain brownie points (or maybe even real brownies) for being an awesome guy. So stop trying to play God and start pointing her to the real thing. It’s a win win.



    I never saw it from that perspective before.
    As I read it - it made me realize that, although I have lived all my life among Godly Christian men, I don't need a full hand to count the number of men I know that do that.
    Sadly, I can not recall any man ever doing that for me.
    Over time, God has taught me to do that for others - family & friends - male & female.

  2. So, where does that leave us who do not believe in a God? And is it only the Christian God who can support us through our tough times? I'm truly curious if you believe that people outside of your faith can achieve solutions to problems.

    1. You do pose an interesting question! I make no attempt to hide the fact that my thoughts and subsequently this blog are based on my Christian beliefs and worldview. It's who I am and what I write about. As such I truly believe that the God of the Bible is the ultimate answer and solution to our problems.

      I believe that as humans we are made in the image of God and as such have the ability to analyze situations and form solutions. So whether we choose to give God the credit or not, solutions come from Him. In addition to that, He has promised us that when we seek wisdom He willingly gives it, which is even better. Just personally speaking I don't know how people who don't have a relationship with God make it through hard situations. In the years since we've worked at camp together I've been through a few very difficult situations and I can say confidently that I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have God in my life. I don't think I could have made it through.

      I realize that you no longer hold these beliefs which is your prerogative, just as holding to them is mine.

      1. You mentioned two solutions in your original post; I'm curious about whether you thought they were equally valid approaches to reacting to problems. Obviously, I don't "point M to God", but I do show that I care.

        Maybe it is God who gives me the ability to care. As a Humanist, I believe that human goodness comes from our nature-which very well could have been given to us by God. I don't see any evidence to confirm this, but God could simply be shy and he/she might wish to remain anonymous.

        1. For me I see both solutions as equally valid, though to me they are both so important that one without the other seems lacking.

          1. Fair enough. I guess this answers my question more completely - you don't believe that those outside your faith can solve problems as well as those who can refer their loved ones to the Christian God.

          2. From my perspective, God makes everything better, interpret that as you will. If you have further thoughts feel free to contact me through the "contact me" link.