Don’t Try to Feminise Him

Earlier this month I wrote Does Your Wife Want You to be a Woman? over on The Generous Husband. By email, I received the following comment on the post:

As a woman reading this, I’m having a hard time getting your point. What, in your mind, constitutes “turning a man into a woman”? Asking him to sit down to pee? I’m sure everyone has their own preconceived set of gender stereotypes they’re pasting into this unwritten description; but, since they vary from person to person, and you don’t tell what yours are, it’s hard to see what “feminine characteristics” you deplore in men. … I’m always amused by the idea some people seem to have that all women are a monolithic whole.

Dog on toilet © Patryk Kosmider |

Interesting question. Men understood what I meant, but actually explaining it is rather difficult. In part, this is because of the truth neither men nor women are “a monolithic whole.” 

What many men feel is a pressure to do less of what comes natural to them. Expecting them to sit down to pee is a silly but real example; it’s asking them to be like a woman for no good reason. (Assuming he doesn’t leave a mess, which I realise is not true for some men!) 

I’ve talked a great deal about male/female differences on this blog. In general, men are more into adventure and less opposed to risk. We are generally less verbal and experience a desire to fix everything. We think and act differently. Different, not wrong, as Emerson Eggerichs says. When a woman tries to get her husband (or any other man) to behave more the way women behave, the man feels she is trying to turn him into a woman. She doesn’t accept and appreciate his God given masculinity, and he feels attacked.

Sometimes this comes down to not understanding. If a woman grew up without brothers, she may not have the experience to see the differences. Besides, dealing with differences is annoying and sometimes difficult. Getting everyone to think and act as I do would certainly make my life easier. If men acted like women, women would no doubt find it easier to get along with them. And visa-versa.

I do realise some differences cause problems, especially if they go too far. Every couple needs to work through these things and find a way to make it work for both of them. Accepting gender differences as right and acceptable is a great start.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and my wife supports my masculinity! 

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  1. Interesting article. But no one is immune to them. At a time when women can use power tools to do manly labor, all men have to do is pop in a microwave entree to make dinner. The gender roles are morphing and it’s impossible to tell what’s okay. Men have no problem talking about their feelings nowadays (the men I know, anyhow), but don’t want to listen to women talking about theirs. Men want to be respected as the provider but want their wives to work at full-time big-paying jobs so they can buy more expensive toys. Some are so into “women’s” avenues that they have taken over the household chores as well, including decorating the house. Yes, it’s hard for men to be men today. And it’s hard for women (myself included) to know how to treat men. But men also expect women to be like men a lot of the time including subjecting them to locker room talk (I thought that was just middle school boys until I got married!) that women just really don’t want to hear or know about. It’s a rough world for everyone. With God’s grace we’ll all get through it! ;-)

  2. Such a very well written article Paul :-) very good topic – I’ll try to jot down some feminine ties of mine that my Wife appreciates and follow up here … Again thanks for this blog/forum .

  3. I want to say thanks for all you have helped me learn about these general differences. How often I have heard, or said, “It’s a GUY thing,” with a less-than-respectful tone. Important for me is not so much WHAT my husband does, but WHY. Gaining some insight into this has significantly increased my respect and admiration for him and has reduced tension in our relationship.

    • Why is huge! Two people do the same thing for different reasons – one is being a controlling jerk, the other is not.
      The issue is getting to the real why. Sometimes it can go much deeper than the first why. I wrote a few posts about this on TGH a couple years ago, starting with Why Why is Important
      Paul Byerly recently posted…My Place in the StoryMy Profile