I would guess you’ve heard the old saying, “you’ll catch more bees with honey than with vinegar”. Of course that makes sense, and you’d never DREAM of trying to attract a bee with vinegar, would you? So why is it that so many of us behave as though nagging, bitching, judging, scolding, being angry, or any of those other methods we use to try to get our men to “shape up and fly right” would work any better at attracting him to what we want?

Nuts, right? Right!


Some of the challenges for many of us in working the “honey” plan vs. the “vinegar” plan are:

1. We’ve never been taught any differently. How can we behave in a way we’ve never learned? (We ARE our mothers, after all.). We don’t have to look any farther than remembering the way our mother treated our father to know why we treat our men the way we do (until we intentionally learn differently).

2. We don’t know how to ask for what we need or want. It’s been my observation over the years I’ve been coaching women (not to mention my own story!) that many women struggle with this. There’s so much in there about our worthiness and being willing to reveal vulnerability.

3. We often don’t know how to handle the feeling of disappointment, and can easily build up resentment toward our guy. It’s hard to hand out “honey” when what we want to do is “get even” in some way.

4. No matter how great a man we have, it’s inevitable that he’ll let us down. My perspective is that they never mean to hurt or disappoint us; it’s just that the difference in our wiring means he’s going to overlook things that are SO obvious to us. He’s in “mono-focus” mode most of the time, while our “multi-focus” mode makes it hard to understand how he could possibly have _(fill in the blank
here )__.


Now that we’ve covered some of the reasons it’s hard for so many women to manage their relationships in a way that creates harmony, happiness and ease, I want to suggest some other ways to try to get your needs met. Try this program with your husband instead – I’ll bet things will be much better for you both:

1. Always assume he means well and wants to make you happy, no matter WHAT he’s just done. That alone will help you stay connected and loving with him.

2. When you become aware of a need or a want, let him know about it (of course, don’t do this while he’s watching a sporting event, or working on anything else for that matter, because it won’t register!). Then let him do it the way he’s going to do it, rather than micromanaging the “how” or the “when” he chooses. That’s about trusting him to do it, which is key to your success.

3. Whenever he comes REMOTELY close to doing what you want, let him know how pleased you are (in whatever way you can genuinely express that). Keep in mind that most men gravitate toward those things that make them feel good – and SHY away from anything that makes them feel bad. It’s up to you which one of these categories you fall into.

4. When he is doing something you really don’t like, ignore it (of course, if it’s feeling dangerous to you, mention you’re feeling scared and would love it if he’d stop/change it). This is really along the lines of the most effective and popular training techniques used by animal trainers – positive reinforcement (in #3 above), and no recognition of behavior that they don’t want repeated.

5. When you are upset with him, be vulnerable about why, rather than launching in to the blaming “YOU” statements about him, which tend to make anyone defensive (and when someone’s defensive, not much is going to get through).

6. Don’t make EVERYTHING a “do-or-die” thing…learn to let some stuff go, so that when something is a really big deal to you, you can bring it up to him and it’s not going to feel like a “Chicken Little” situation to him (remember the story? The sky was always about to fall, so that eventually no one listened – even when the sky really WAS about to fall.)


I highly recommend you learn to appreciate the differences between you and your husband. The more you enjoy his “MAN-ness”, the more of the best of him you’ll see – and the more of it he’ll be motivated to show you. You may even get to a deeper place of revealing (and reveling in) your “WOMAN-ness”.

Author's Bio: 

Karen Jones is the founder of The Heart Matters – since 1997, a relationship coaching and seminar company that’s been successfully helping women have the relationship they’ve always dreamed of. To learn how Karen can help you find the right man, please visit her website: www.TheHeartMatters.com. To receive the complimentary monthly newsletter, “Ask the Coach”, and also get the immediately downloadable bonus gift “Three Things You Can Begin Doing Right Now to Dramatically Improve Your Relationships with Men” please go to: www.TheHeartMatters.com/Newsletter_Signup.htm.