Full disclosure, I’m a guy, so there will be some bias in the tone of this post. I will say now that I honestly tried to not have this tone, but I couldn’t really mute my male tendencies.
When I was younger, all of the heterosexual men that I knew said women were crazy. Even though I have always tended to befriend women more often than guys, I have to agree with their assessments. I don’t agree because I truly think women are crazy though, I agree because I know that men and women are very different, but we have to come together for the good of society. Bringing these different values, styles of communication, desires, and motivations together is more than a notion. As a result, men feel women are crazy, because that is the simplest, most reductive way to say “we don’t understand each other”. I don’t think this should be necessary, but some disclaimers are given for a reason. That said, these generalizations I’m going to make are my opinions ladies, your specific man may be different…but not much.
My maternal grandfather married a lady named Geraldine…had a bunch of kids with her, then started stepping out on the other side of town with my maternal grandmother, also named Geraldine. He had a bunch of kids with her as well. Granted, getting divorced back then was as simple as moving 5 miles away, there were a lot of families like mine in which the guy established multiple households. Women often call guys pigs for this sort of behavior, but unfortunately, most of us are simply wired to spread seeds, or at very least practice spreading seeds. Societal norms, religion, respecting feelings of the partner and finances often pressure men into not giving way to these natural inclinations, but they’re still present. I’m not saying guys should be given a medal for fidelity, but it ain’t as easy for men as it is for women by far. We value variety, newness, and discovery. As such, we are more likely to pursue our sexual curiosities with other women, all while loving our wives, girlfriends, life partners or whatever label is placed on the relationship.
Typically, when dealing with each other, guys just say exactly what we’re thinking regardless of how wild or inappropriate it may be. Our conversations are very deep, but usually about unimportant stuff. We’ll give a deep dive into random thoughts. For example, one day, I was ruminating on this weird idea so when I went to hang out with my buddies I asked “would you all continue to date a woman if you discovered her nipples were 3 inches long”. Silly right? We discussed this unlikely scenario for about 45 minutes. We dove deep into this topic before finally reaching a unanimous maybe. Nothing about the conversation was groundbreaking, or worth much to the greater good of society, but we treated this wild question much like the outcome of a Presidential debate. These sorts of conversations seem juvenile and crass, and on the most part, they are. However, this is how we communicate sometimes, we typically leave the complexities to actual important things.
When I was a young teenager dating this girl, she mentioned love and marriage…at that point in my life, I couldn’t really fathom those two things as something I’d be interested in. As an older teenager (19) my girlfriend mentioned these two things as well. The difference being, I was having sex with her, so I suddenly could fathom these ideas, although nothing seemed appealing about them. I was more inclined to placate her during arguments with “you know I love you” or “you’re wifey material to me”. Truth of the matter is, at that age I was mostly interested in having sex, often, with a diverse set of partners. To my young mind, there weren’t any benefits to marriage at all. To my more mature, but not quite old mind, I realize that there are actually tax advantages to marriage, which touches on a desire many men have and that’s money. We like having it, saving it, spending it, we just like money. Take away the tax break and the amount of folks getting married would plummet. We as a society already don’t know how to choose partners for ourselves, taking away the only true incentive would mean guys would play the field forever.
Sure, we’re not “ALL” motivated by sex, drugs and entertainment, but we’re not, not motivated by it either. That to say, even the best guy is willing to do at least one of those things with someone other than their significant other; and by willing, I mean prefer. Again, that has nothing to do with our significant other, we’re just hardwired differently. Our motivations are different, our expression of emotions, values and so on are different. With most marriages ending in divorce, largely due to infidelity and finances, it’s safe to say we’re picking each other for the wrong reasons, mostly because we’re being forced into these boxes that don’t benefit guys outside of tax breaks.
Much like Mars, most guys are simple on the surface, pretty stable and stubbornly committed to staying this way. We don’t reveal a whole lot of the events that shaped us, we just go on about our business usually. The complexity comes in the form of the back story. Those events that shaped our surface are important but many of us choose to keep that stuff private. One of the reasons many guys don’t bring the sentiments of previous relationships to new ones is because we aren’t nearly as emotionally invested in them as women are. We care for sure, just in a different way. We quietly recognize patterns, and if they’re consistent with some crazy we experienced before, we’ll stick around for the sex, but that’s about it unless a kid is involved.
Ultimately, no matter what kind of guy it is, we simply want to be respected for our contributions to the cause. We want to be able to exist peacefully, love easily, and move freely without accusations and assumptions. Even if a dude is cheating that’s what he wants. I know that seems unfair, but men and women cheat differently on the most part. Men don’t typically cheat with emotion, so loving and respecting the main squeeze is not negated because he’s also squeezing others. That concept is hard for many women to grasp because the motivation women have to cheat is almost always based on an emotional connection to the person they’re cheating with, or an emotional response to something the guy did wrong. Many dudes are just simpletons looking for a release in a new place when it comes to cheating.
Most men are far more fragile than the cool exterior would suggest. I knew a guy, extremely brash, confident, asshole type that talked a lot of trash, all the time. One day, in the midst of this trash talking directed to me, I responded with “you are so worried about me, you need to be worried about the guy leaving flowers on your girl’s car”. This shut everything down, he approached me after the fact when no one else was around to ask me if what I said was true. I told him yeah and he almost got sick because at that time their relationship was less passionate, more convenience and dependency. She was acting more stand offish, and he was throwing his all into it. Unfortunately, they stuck it out and waited another 5 years to get divorced. Men understand the emotional component for women to cheat, so when it happens, we factor that in. Some men can handle it and stick around, some can’t…regardless the guy will never be the same with that woman afterwards.
Wise married women don’t trouble themselves about infidelity in their husbandsSamuel Johnson
There’s no such thing as an affair that didn’t mean anythingAmanda Robson
I don’t know who originally said “behind every great man, there’s a great woman” but I disagree with their assumption. A great man was likely on a path for greatness long before meeting the woman that recognized his potential for greatness and decided to stay and find out. I have seen good women stick it out with cheating winners and faithful losers. I’ve seen great guys with girlfriends or wives that bring nothing more than physical beauty and patience. I don’t disagree with the statement as a knock-on women, I disagree because I know it to be false. Some great guys became great because the women they are with are not great at all.
The term “high value” gets thrown around a lot and I am certain that it doesn’t apply to everyone that believes they are high value. Again, this isn’t because I think these men or women are worthless, rather because the term “value” is so subjective. A high value man to a very successful woman, may be one that compliments her weaknesses and makes her life easier, even if he makes $40K per year. A woman barely making ends meet may not see this man as high value at all. The truth of the matter is value in this usage, refers to someone else’s opinion of you, not what you believe to be true of yourself. Value in this sense can be equated to real estate. The seller wants to emphasize all of the work they put into the home to justify their perceived value of the property. The buyer is looking for the same thing, but if they didn’t put the work in themselves, they won’t value your improvements the same, so they offer less than you’re asking for. That is your value to them.
All told, there is no universal blueprint to dealing with guys. Yeah, we may be from Mars but we were raised on Earth in this blended environment. When detailing nature versus nurture, it’s important to note that both matter. Guys are only full on Martians when they are hanging out with other guys and the few women that may be Martian immigrants. It is easy and common to dismiss the complexities of men in the modern world with people like Harvey Weinstein, Jeff Epstein, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton out here being the example for Martians. They are the unfortunate exceptions to the rule that so many media outlets want to portray as the norm.