How many of these mistakes are you making? by Bob Grant, L.P.C, "The Relationship Doctor"
What causes men to leave women?
When it comes to answering this question, 2 kinds of women emerge. [Which kind are you?]
1 The kind of woman who rarely considers herself as the possible cause of her relationship problems. She generally feels she's doing everything right by her man -- and if there's anything wrong in the relationship, she assumes it's the guy who has a problem.
2 The kind of woman who thinks that if her man loses interest in her, it's somehow her fault. She thinks she must've done or said something that turned him off -- and she contemplates endlessly (sometimes obsessively) about what she did wrong.
In my 16 years of relationship counseling, I've discovered that the majority of women fall into the second category above. They tend to focus on the last week or last month of their relationship, often losing sleep trying to figure out exactly what they had done wrong that caused their man to break up with them.
Here's one thing that comes as a surprise to most women:
The reason a man leaves a relationship seldom has to do with a single thing that a woman said or did. In fact, more often than not, the reason a man leaves has very little to do with the woman.
More than likely, the man is not necessarily responding to the woman he is leaving, but rather to his own inner needs, insecurities, conflicts, fears and fantasies. However, it's also very likely that the woman made mistakes which contributed to the creation of the environment that caused a man to flee.
This is a very fine distinction that you must fully understand in order to have successful and enduring relationships with men. There are many possible mistakes women make that contribute to a man's decision to leave a relationship. Here are the top 3:
Mistake No. 1:
A common mistake that women make is that they ignore (or don't fully understand) the emotional needs of a man. A woman often gets the notion that she is fulfilling a man's emotional needs because she mistakenly believes that a man thinks and feels the way she does. Therefore, she insists on giving a man what she thinks he needs emotionally -- and in doing so, she runs the risk of eventually driving him away.
You cannot flood a man's heart with emotions to fulfill his emotional needs the way you can a woman's. Men don't flow as well in the emotional realm as women do.
There's a myth propagated by untrained so-called "relationship experts" that states: "When a man fulfills a woman's need for love, she'll give him all the sex he needs -- and when a woman fulfills a man's need for sex, he'll give her all the love she needs." That's an over-simplistic and erroneous generalization.
While it's true that sex is important to men, it's not what's going to keep him devoted to you.
Don't you wish it were that simple?
The fact is, I've seen more women lose their men by giving sex too freely and too soon than women losing their men by withholding sex!
Going back to the emotional needs of a man, it all boils down to how they feel when they're with you. You, as the woman, knowingly or unknowingly, create an environment in your relationship that makes a man want to stay or go.
One way that women ignore the emotional needs of a man is by unknowingly behaving in a way that threatens the man's ego, triggers a hidden insecurity or low self-esteem, makes the man think you're controlling him, or resurrects past pain or conflict. Oftentimes, even when women think they're doing something good for the man -- maybe something even noble and selfless -- that could be the thing that suffocates a man emotionally.
A woman's nurturing and giving nature is usually alluring to a man. But there comes a point when giving too much (or doing too much for a man) actually backfires. It tends to make a man feel that you are trying to control him, and therefore, you've unwittingly created an environment that he doesn't want to be in -- and that's when he'll begin to pull away from you.
You might protest and say, "I'm not trying to control him at all. If anything, I'm just giving him as much as I can give!" But unbeknownst to you, that excessive giving could come across in a man's subconscious perception as a controlling mechanism -- a way to call the shots in the relationship.
And there are also times when the more you give, and the more wonderful you appear to him, the more you risk stirring those feelings inherent in a man that he cannot measure up to you. This is basic to most men -- they need to know they can provide for a woman, protect her, satisfy her, make her happy, and be her hero -- not the other way around.
Most relationships that seem to be going well often end abruptly because the woman appears "too good" in the eyes of the man. He begins to think her expectations appear too great for him to bear, and whatever he does will not satisfy her for long. The rewards of being with her begin to be outweighed by the fear that he's too inadequate to be her hero.
The solution for you, the woman, is not to make yourself appear less of who you are just so he won't feel you're too good for him -- but rather, to use your feminine attributes to make yourself a "safe" person in whom he can confide his fears and inner pain so that you can finally discover the real reason he might want to escape from your relationship.
Mistake No. 2
Another common mistake women make is that they try to fix men. They focus more on the man's potential rather than the reality. While there's nothing intrinsically wrong with wanting your man to be the best he can be, men generally do not want to be treated like fixer-uppers.
When you claim you love a man, but you're constantly trying to change him, it's very perplexing to a man. He may wonder if you love him at all -- or do you love the version of him that you envision in your mind's eye? If a man tried to change you, you wouldn't appreciate it either, would you?
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm fully aware that all men have areas that need improvement (just like all women do) -- and men are not against the concept of changing themselves. You just have to make him think it was his idea (because a man doesn't like to feel that the woman's in charge). And you can do this by identifying his own reasons for wanting to change.
Remember: If you manage to make him change in order to please you -- or "for the sake of the relationship" -- the change is not likely to last.
The trick is to be the woman that makes him want to be a better man. That way, you inspire him to change for his own reasons. I've watched with fascination how women successfully cause their men to change -- and have studied their techniques (which I reveal in my books. I've seen many a man abandon his "bachelor life" for that one special woman, and give the rest of his lifestyle an extreme makeover, too -- all the while secure in the blissful ignorance that he (not the woman) was running the show!
It's a very subtle maneuver, but if a woman learns how to accomplish it skillfully, she'd have any man eating out of her hand.
Mistake No. 3
Women tend to bring too much "drama" into the relationship. Men just want to feel good. They want to be around a woman that makes them feel good about themselves and the world -- and a woman who feels good about life in general. That's why a woman's smile is considered by men as one of the most sexy things about a woman (as confirmed by a university study wherein they surveyed hundreds of men about what makes a woman attractive to them). Smiling tells a man that a woman is pleased with him and with her life.
All too often, however, women tend to bring unnecessary drama into their relationship. This is a general tendency and not a universal rule, mind you. Some women are more predisposed to drama than others -- often finding occasions to manufacture the drama, much like a screenwriter purposely adds conflict to a story to make a screenplay more interesting.
The drama invariably involves talking about feelings and emotions -- and men generally flee from such occasions. Very few words in the English language cause as much dread in a man's heart than a woman telling him, "We need to talk." The usual reaction in a man's mind is "Oh no, what did I do now?" or "Oh <#@!$%>, not again!" Talking about feelings and emotions -- especially when it comes to man-woman relationships -- ranks very low on a man's "feel good" chart.
Men run from emotions -- especially emotions that are too intense. An occasional emotion-packed event or conversation is tolerable to a man, but if it becomes a pattern or a way of life, and you habitually involve him in your ongoing drama, he'll have no recourse but to try to escape from the source of that drama -- that is, you!
If you're the kind of person who thrives on feeling hurt, offended, agitated or annoyed by things that your man does or says -- or by people, events and everything else, for that matter -- you quickly become one of the people who he doesn't feel good to be around. This will make a difference in whether he'll decide to spend any more of his time and energy on you and your relationship.
In presenting the top 3 mistakes above, I've only skimmed the surface of the underlying reasons a man leaves a woman with whom he's had a good relationship. The key to a successful and enduring relationship with a man is to develop a deep understanding of him -- what moves him, what inspires him, what he fears or is threatened by, and what makes him want to be with a woman and stay devoted to her.
From both a professional and personal standpoint, I believe that it is the woman, not the man, who has the power to set the tone and direct the course of her relationship with a man. While a woman cannot change a man, she can cause him to change on his own volition, and shape his attitudes by looking after his needs. A woman can inspire devotion, love and faithfulness -- and cause a man who has left her to come back to her -- but only if she learns how to use the power of her femininity. = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Bob Grant is a nationally recognized expert on relationships. He's been a Licensed Professional Counselor, therapist, and relationship coach for 17 years, and is the author of "The Woman Men Adore...and Never Want to Leave" and "How Do I Get Him Back", which teaches you how to get your man back and keep him devoted to you for good! It's the step-by-step game plan that is virtually guaranteed to soften your ex-boyfriend's (or ex-husband's) heart and create a deeper bond between the two of you that paves the way to re-establishing your relationship.
Read great advice on how to get my boyfirned back