Dear Dr. Gilda, OK, maybe I’ve been watching too much television, but why is it that these “monster brides” are mean and disrespectful toward their men, yet the men still want them?! I was married right out of high school for three years to a man who cheated on me. I treated him like a king. Is this what I have to do to find another man willing to marry me?
A friend says I should treat men like crap and I’ll have them eating out of my hand as they do with her! I’m just too nice to do that, though. What gives with men? After doing my best to be the “perfect wife”, it seems all men really want is someone to tell them what to do and yell at them! Is this true? Part of me would like to treat a man badly out of vengeance for what happened to me, but I wasn’t raised this way. Please give me the lowdown on what men really want in a wife, Dr. Gilda!
Maria, Gorgeous and Kind, but Still Single
The errors of your ways loom large out there in singles-land. Let’s begin with your marriage “right out of high school”. High school graduation should never be synonymous with jumping into a lifelong commitment. The two of you were probably too young to handle the stress of everyday life. Moreover, you say you “treated him like a king”. Whoever taught you to do that? As my Gilda-Gram warns, “Put your mate on a throne and you’ll end up alone.” You attempted to become the perfect Stepford wife, dutifully looking up to her royal monarch. Hey, princess, royalty always looks bigger from below. As you look north, you may artificially inflate a guy’s ego, but you’ll also naturally be deflating your own. Besides, men quickly tire of a woman’s subservience and dependence.
Your tainted friend tells you to treat men like trash. But the way you treat someone is the way he’ll treat you back. So how’s your friend’s love-life longevity? Fortunately, you were brought up to demonstrate respect and that’s the only relationship currency that lasts. The problem is that you’re still suffering from the pain of your ex’s infidelity. And, unfortunately, you’re still seeking vengeance which also puts you into the role of victim. My e-book, How to WIN When Your Mate Cheats, shows how there is a great life after betrayal. In fact, you can end up actually feeling like a winner. The trick is to dump your anger and interpret your ex’s betrayal as a gift! You grew for having been through the lessons of this difficult period. When you can appreciate what you learned, you’ll be able to move on and you’ll be much stronger for the right man.
In the meantime, heed these suggestions:
You signed off with “but Still Single”. And your last sentence asks for “what men really want in a wife”. Stop trying to make yourself into an amoeba just to get some guy to walk you down the aisle. Get counseling to help you understand your assets with or without a husband.
Ignore your friend’s bad advice, and embrace the fact that you are different thankfully.
Acknowledge that the marriages of the monster brides you describe won’t have a shelf life. No self-respecting man will put up with poor treatment for long. (And who would want a man who doesn’t respect himself, anyway?)
You can ensure your next relationship is a strong one. My Gilda-Gram advises, “You are a manufacturer. Choose among making problems for yourself, making excuses for yourself, or making yourself into a woman that men respectfully love. Take total charge, and calmly and confidently let a likely partner want the woman that you really are!”
Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle, Ph.D., has a private practice and is an associate professor at Mercy College in New York. Her best-selling books include 99 Prescriptions for Fidelity and How to Win When Your Mate Cheats. Please visit her website or send your relationship questions to her at [email protected]