10 Secrets Men Keep From Women
Ever feel like your opinionated hubby’s holding something back? Men aren’t naturally gifted at expressing themselves like women, so they may keep quiet about sensitive subjects. But those secrets can cause marriage problems. “If it’s safe for him to speak honestly, that might improve his experience in the relationship,” says clinical psychologist Andra Brosh, PhD. Here’s what your husband may be hiding and how best to handle it.
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1. “I need you to make me feel like a big, strong man.”
Your husband may feel insecure if his masculine qualities, like physical strength, never impress you. “This isn’t the ’50s anymore, but there are still some genetically determined pieces of men’s self-worth,” says marriage therapist Mike Dow, PsyD. Since he’ll feel even less like a tough guy divulging this need for extra attention, he’ll stay mum. So compliment his brawn—even if it’s just for popping the lid off the jam jar. Also, give him a chance to assemble that dresser before offering your expertise. Dr. Dow says if you take charge instead of letting him take care of it, he’ll feel emasculated.
2. “Yes, I was checking out that woman.”
The male brain is hardwired to notice pretty young things, since they’re likely to be fertile and capable of producing healthy children, says Dr. Dow. In fact, your hubby’s head may turn before his brain realizes! Call him out for ogling or flirting, but let him off the hook for the occasional quick glance. “His brain is closer to an animal’s than yours,” explains Dr. Dow. “As long as you’re the person he dotes on, sleeps with and adores, that 25-year-old has nothing on you.”
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3. “It’s not that you look fat in that dress. They just all look the same to me.”
Distant sights may register easily for him—”his hunter brain needed to target animals far away to bring home dinner a few thousand years back,” says Dr. Dow—but he isn’t attuned to finer, up-close details. To him, the blue dress looks just like the red one you tried on. If he stumbles through a response about your outfit when you ask what he thinks, don’t read into it. “If he married you, it’s because he thinks you’re beautiful,” says Dr. Dow. “He wants you to wear whatever dress you like best.”
4. “Making love is great, but let’s just have sex on occasion.”
When it comes to doing the deed, men are microwaves and women are slow cookers, says Dr. Dow. “Your female brain is swimming in oxytocin, which gives you a peaceful high throughout the day, but men’s testosterone depresses oxytocin production—but he gets a big oxytocin dose right after an orgasm,” says Dr. Dow. While he enjoys the romance of making love, sometimes he’d prefer to get to the big O faster. It’s tough for him to delicately explain this, so if he’s normally eager to please you, return the favor every now and then with a mind-blowing quickie.
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5. “I have particular sexual fantasies.”
Whether it’s innocent or risqué, he probably won’t make these most private wishes known—but not because he wants to keep them to himself. “Many men have a difficult time communicating what they prefer in bed,” says Charles J. Orlando, author of The Problem with Women… is Men. “He might want it, but doesn’t know how to ask or let you know.” Help him by sharing one of your fantasies, Orlando suggests. “Nothing like showing your vulnerability to encourage him to do the same.”