Just Being Honest: Thoughts on Men

41lckuw2ysl__sl500_1I didn’t think I had anything revolutionary left to learn about men. Not that I’m conceited or anything; I just thought if there was more to know, it wouldn’t be the type of stuff that would blow my mind. I was so naively wrong.

Shaunti Feldhahn came to speak at my church a couple weeks ago. She’d stumbled onto some specific realizations about the way men think and feel toward women and relationships, and it spurred her to learn more. After anonymously surveying hundreds of men and conducting personal interviews with several of them, she interpreted the data in her best-selling book “For Women Only.”

I’m not enjoying the book. Not because it isn’t well written or because I disagree with the author (although on some minor points I do). It’s because what I’m learning is terrifying to me. It seems to confirm on some primal level something I’d always feared, but worked really hard to ignore.

I confess, it is entirely possible that some of what I feel stems from a heart broken many times. Having honestly acknowledged that reality, I must clarify that I’m not trying to lump men into a stereotypical group (i.e. “all men are dogs”). I used to believe that, and then I grew up. But looking back at my younger self and comparing her bitter conclusions to what I’ve been learning, I can understand the primal instinct that pushed her self-preservation button.

Now, this is why what I’ve learned is blowing my mind: My primal instinct wasn’t really that far off. My oversimplified conclusion about the data was wrong, this is true. But the instinct itself, the one that caused me to draw that conclusion, was pretty-much spot-on. The instinct that men’s thoughts, feelings and beliefs (and the resulting actions) are vastly, hugely different than women’s. There’s a gap between us as wide as the distance from the earth to the moon; how can such a gap be bridged?

I’ve spent these many years trying to convince myself the instinct was wrong, and therefore I had no reason to put a wall around my heart. Instead, what I should’ve done was trusted the instinct, but dealt with the heart-attitude (the desire for self-preservation) that developed because of it. So now I have to start at ground zero. Dangit!

Okay, so all men are not dogs.

But … men are strange, scary creatures. The things they think and feel are incomprehensible to me, and I am very tempted to protect my heart from them. All of them. (Not a good thing when you have a husband.) I feel like I’ve been living on a planet with aliens in human suits. I even live with an alien in “husband” skin. Secretly he’s been this other being. I feel like someone’s been lying to me all my life. Worst of all, I’m afraid it will never be possible to relate to my husband, because I may not ever be able to fully trust him.

I don’t understand why God chose to do things this way. I don’t understand how he expected relationships to work this way. I mean, I’m not throwing him under the bus; I just don’t get it, that’s all. Everything feels strange and scary right now. I’m sure I’ll have more to say on it soon.

By the way, I’m not saying I’m right, I’m just sharing how I feel. Go ahead and comment freely.

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6 thoughts on “Just Being Honest: Thoughts on Men

  1. uninvoked says:

    O.o You’re reacting pretty strongly to this book. What is upsetting you so strongly about guys?

  2. Tracie says:

    Um … [turning red!] It’s the combination of a few things. It’s understanding what “men are visual” really means (because I didn’t fully comprehend that before). It’s knowing, for example, that an attractive woman is such a strong distraction for many men that they can’t concentrate if there’s one around. (This is just shocking to me.)

    Bottom line: Am I really enough to fully hold my husband’s attention? Is expecting him to only have eyes for me an unrealistic ideal? The answers to these questions aren’t encouraging!

  3. Linzy says:

    I’m totally with you Tracie, 150%. I don’t get it either. Men confuse me!!!!

  4. Hollis says:

    Take me to your leader! Just kidding 🙂 I cannot speak for my entire species but here are my $.02. I believe the meaning behind what I see is learned. Kind of like how you can look at music and kind of hear the song in your head, at least once upon a time I could. I could always hear music like I could always see women. When I was young you all were gross. When I got hormones, I knew I had an inner desire for women, ANY woman with a pulse! As I grew (and started watching tv) I think I sort of learned what “kind” of women I should desire to satisfy those raging hormones.

    Now I am not saying I dont have to bounce my eyes away from an “attractive woman” from time to time, just that more and more my definition of “attractive” has become exactly what my wife looks like. She has been willing to teach me in our marriage that she is everything that I need to satisfy those desires and it fuels me to try and be everything she needs as well.

    Love your transparency as always

  5. Tracie says:

    Hollis, I love your comments! You make it worth the time and effort to write the blog entry in the first place!

    Since I wrote this one, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my reaction and reminding myself that it’s possible (somehow!) I’m missing a few crucial elements. Thanks for helping me while I try to figure this all out. You’ve been helpful.

  6. omalone1 says:

    are we talking about men universally or partially

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