We Have Not Because We Ask Not
When I read Shaunti Feldhahn’s post 3 Reasons Your Wife Won’t Tell You Exactly What She Wants, it bothered me. I think Shaunti described something that is common for many women, and I think her advice to men living with such a woman was good. What made me upset is that women would do this to start with!
Men see this kind of thing as game playing. They find it dishonest. It’s lying, it’s manipulative. A woman who does this is not desirable, she is a pain in the butt, and if she takes it too far she’s just not worth the trouble.
Let me address the three points Shaunti made to the men:
Reason #1: If you make the effort to figure it out, it means she’s worth the effort.
I get this. The problem is sometimes it’s beyond a man’s ability to figure out what his wife wants. It seems clear to her, and all of her girlfriends get it, but he’s not a woman. I find women greatly overestimate a man’s ability to think like a woman. If she sets an impossible test and then feels hurt when he fails, who messed up?
Reason #2: If you figure it out and do something about it, it shows that you care.
This is great, except for that first word – “if”. If he doesn’t figure it out and she thinks he must have because it’s so clear, then she will assume his not doing what he doesn’t know to do means he doesn’t care. (And then when he figures out she’s upset and asks why, she won’t tell him.)
Reason #3: If she has to tell you, she’ll never know whether you did it because you wanted to, or simply because she told you to.
Sorry, but this sounds to me like justifying manipulation by saying you don’t want to manipulate! If he wants to bless you but doesn’t know how, he’s stuck. If you tell him how and he does it, you might not know why he did it. However, if he keeps doing it, then apparently he wants to do it. This one touches on a fear issue women face; if I tell him and he does nothing, what does that mean? I understand that, I know it hurts, but playing no-win games to limit the pain seems like a bad strategy to me.
I hope that showing you how this looks from a man’s mind will help you handle it a bit differently. I suggest asking for what you want. The Bible is big on asking. We’re told we don’t have some things from God because we don’t ask. Given that God certainly knows what we want, that’s a pretty pointed scripture.
And yes, this is being posted on Valentine’s for a reason!
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I had a girlfriend who played those games. And that’s part of why she never became my wife!