I get lots of emails from women asking me for tips on how to support the man in their lives. Why? I think it’s because while gals have mastered the role of being incredibly helpful to their female friends, they manage to miss the boat when it comes to guys.
From the time that they are little boys, men are taught NOT to ask for support— that they are “weak” or less than masculine if they need help. No wonder so many grown-up guys are clueless on how to ask for and accept support from their partners.
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Ladies, the good intentions are here-- I think it’s just a matter of taking a different approach. Here are some ways you can support your man:
How to Support Your Man
1. Trust him. Yes we live in a culture that preaches that “All men are dogs,” and “Guys will sleep with anyone.” Those assumptions are so totally untrue. Men have a loyalty gene that begins to kick in the moment that someone who matters exhibits real trust and faith in them. So when he says, "I love you," KNOW that he means it.
2. Show Optimism. When he comes home with a harebrained scheme about building a rocket to the moon, respond to him, “Fantastic! I can’t wait to get there!” Sure it may seem a little nutty for anyone who isn’t an astrophysicist, but he sure will LOVE the fact that you’re on board regardless of the improbability of him completing that rocket. And your support is always an extra incentive – because your guy wants to reward your unconditional support.
3. Push him. Once he decides to build that rocket, don’t let him get away with NOT doing it! There’s a fine line though: do not turn his lack of completion into an insult. Guys tend to thrive on a gentle mixture of belief and prodding. Unless you’re with a guy who never seems to complete anything, you can’t hammer him with, “What happened to that rocket you were supposed to build? I knew you wouldn’t do it!” No, you want to go with something more along the lines of, “How is your rocket project going? How can I help you keep at it?” The message you’re sending is that you believe in him and that you want him to succeed. He’ll love you even more for that.
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4. Remember that he’s your partner. There’s something to the saying, “Let a man be a man.” Guys want to provide and protect. This desire is probably driven in some aspects by biology but to an even greater extent, societal and sociological influences. And those influences are intense. The pressure to be that protector/provider is great, sometimes suffocating. Assure him that your love and support for him is unconditional. Let him know that you two are a team; working together towards the same goals... and that the success of your relationship is up to both of you.
The fact is that some guys won't open up about all the stressors in their lives. It’s the man mentality. Encourage him to be open and help him realize that manhood shouldn’t be predicated upon "appearing" strong.
In addition to these tips—ask your guy today, “How can I show you how much I support you?” The fact that you even thought to ask that simple question shows him you are there for him... and that's what being a supportive partner is all about.
How do you show your man that he has YOUR support?
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