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Ladies, he is not your girlfriend

I will start with the obvious; men are not women.

* You cannot make him female.

* For him, solving problems comes easily and feels helpful.

Thank him for his advice and let him know you just needed an ear. To him, you are asking for a solution. He won’t understand why you are ignoring it. Categorizing, compartmentalizing, conceptualizing are all very male traits. It is what he does. It isn’t wrong, just different.

Men don’t see what women see. Because you are visual isn’t a reason to demean him or insult him.

No he really didn’t notice the closet organizer (unless he installed it) or your new haircut. Even if you are the ultimate multi-tasker, he will only get the one jar of Heinz mustard he was asked to get at the grocery store. The other brands were not on the list and he will not substitute. Husbands or boyfriends make lousy girlfriends.

Save the chic flick for the girls night out. Don’t expect he will like all the things you like but he might love you for liking those things.

Those heels with the red bows are fabulous but he will only think so if you are wearing them.

Appreciate him for who he is. He may not feel the way you do about your boss or that rude sales girl yet he probably has a perspective that is helpful. Listen to him.

He is not your student and you are not the teacher.

All the modeling, cajoling or coaxing won’t make him do it your way. And if he does do it your way, you won’t respect him for it.

If what you are looking for is a well trained, compliant, mild mannered companion who is always adoring and doesn’t talk back, get a dog. If he has his own ideas and let us hope he does, decide what is most important -- being happy or being right. Being right can be delicious, but lonely. Stop talking. Saying it again( and again and again), saying it louder, using all the details.......none of it works. If you are looking for a reaction, tell him so. If you need advice, request it. If you are expecting righteous indignation on your behalf, forget it. Call your girl friend. She will commiserate. Many men are literal; they hear your words literally and they don’t try to interpret language as if it were code. Say what you mean. If you want to spend time, ask for it. Hinting around about going shopping is not the same thing as “I have missed being with you.” Save yourself lots of time and angst. If he declines the invite, reword it in such a way that he understands that what you want is him.

Institute the idea that a ‘take two’ is acceptable. If you want your opinion to be considered in decision-making you need to present information in the language he understands. If your usual mode of expression is very emotional with lots of tears and hysterics( and he is doing all he can to make the crying stop) he hasn’t really heard you. He has been focused on the minor hurricane you have created which is your larger than life reaction. He has missed your point. What was your point? And if his mother used a lot of emotion to manipulate him, he has become an expert at tuning out all that noise.

There is more than one way to get the job done. *A sure fire way to be the sole housekeeper in your home is to criticize his attempts at folding the towels, cleaning the sink or diapering the baby. Most men will withdraw in resignation and then you are it...chief cook and bottle washer. A wise researcher has found that having one’s perspective considered is the sincerest form of flattery and a great affirmation of your partner. You don’t have to agree on everything, but stating “You have a point” or “I will consider that” builds a bridge between he and you. Trying to prove how smart or superior you are is a great way to be angry and alone.

Quit the list. If you are one of those women who has the running tally of all his transgressions from 10 years back and you find yourself adding to that list and throwing it in his face at every opportunity, seek help from a therapist, a friend or a pastor. You need to learn forgiveness.