The very first posting in our Forum for men titled 10 Things I wish women understood about men said, "I don't think you have a chance of getting women to understand men, but God bless you." Well, we're certainly going to try.

You may be wondering what I, a woman, am doing rummaging through the Men's Forums. After all, this is a place for boys to be boys without having to worry what women think. But this particular topic is different because this Forum won't do anybody any good unless the women read it.

After reading and analyzing your responses (that's a feminine thing I know, but work with me here) I have categorized the ideas into 10 main themes. Since one of the most prevalent misunderstandings listed was that of communication differences, I will demonstrate to you how teachable women can be by writing this article in the style you appear to be requesting: one very direct and to-the-point version for the men, followed by a more detailed version for the ladies who, believe me, will want the particulars. And now, I will get to the point:

Men: Here are the 10 Things you wish women understood about you and your needs:
  1. To be lifted up - respect and admiration go a long way
  2. A different style of communication - men and women are different in this area and the better we understand that, the more we'll understand each other
  3. Some space - time alone or with other men
  4. A Teammate - a woman who is loyal to the marriage team provides her man with the confidence that she's got his back no matter what
  5. A structure of gender roles - fuzzy definitions of roles cause confusion
  6. Sex - you need it, you like it, you wish we would initiate it and show some interest once in a while
  7. To be free of stereotypes - Give you, our Christian brothers, more credit than Homer Simpson
  8. Unspoken truths - some messages need to be understood without words
  9. Freedom from criticism - it does not inspire you to greater love
  10. Men have a deep desire to follow Christ - your intentions are pure
So men, that's what you had to tell us. Now for those of you who are curious about the specific quotes from the forum, read on. (You're safe with us, we won't tell anyone that you opted to read the ladies version.)

Ladies: We've got a lot of good stuff to chew on here. The following are the men's responses, and I think we can all learn from what they've said. By the way, I'll call you later so we can talk about it a little more

1. To be lifted up
  • "We need to feel like a man, a protectorate."
  • "Your man needs you to lift him up at all times, (not just to be told continually how he is falling short of your expectations for him and your relationship)."
  • "The number one thing I wish my wife would understand about me is how important it is that she build me up in my leadership role as husband and a father."
  • "Men just wish for respect, to know that their wives are proud of who they are and will proudly say, or at least think, "That's MY man.'"
  • "Your man needs you to believe in him, (especially if he's struggling with believing in himself)."
  • "Women should do what they can to BUILD UP their husbands by letting men know that they are good breadwinners, fathers, husbands, and friends.
  • "Men need reassurance that they are loved."
2. A different style of communication (for a humorous example about Roger and Elaine, read posts #28-29 in the Forum)
  • "Men like to hear not how special they are, but what they mean to you."
  • "Men expect a direct answer to their questions. My girlfriend has this problem with not giving me answers right then and she makes me go around the long way to get an answer. That just steams me."
  • "Men can not read minds."
  • "Men inherently do not like talking as much as women."
  • "Men sometimes are more direct and blunt when they communicate. It doesn't mean disrespect or dislike or a lack of love."
  • "Short responses to your long inquiries does not mean we "didn't hear you."
  • "Men do not like to analyze everything to death then just to resurrect it and start over.
  • "When I get upset or concerned and open up to my wife, I'm doing this because I'm truly at a loss for solutions, or I am extremely unsure of what I should do about something. When I bring this to my wife, I don't want to hear that 'everything's gonna be okay,' I want her advice, I want answers. That's what makes me feel better."
  • "No we can't read your mind, PERIOD."
3. Some space (by the way ladies, given the number of women posting messages in this Forum, we may need to heed this one in particular)
  • "Men like to have space, to do the things that make them feel good, fishing, hunting, hobbies just like women do."
  • "Men often don't mind being totally silent for a while, and just thinking. Not talking doesn't necessarily mean that the man is angry or trying to give her the 'silent treatment.'"
  • "Men, sometimes, need to rest -- hence the TV, remote control, and ignoring their surroundings. (Sometimes we do go overboard on this one)."
4. A Teammate
  • "To be able to bare ones soul to one's spouse about life, faith, family without criticism."
  • "Real men get tired of having to be the tough guy all the time. We sometimes need to bust and feel sad or weak. Don't think it makes us wimps."
  • "Men want to feel intimately safe, they don't like having their business shared, with ANYONE else."
  • "I really want to make things as easy as possible on her. It seems at times she thinks I'm not on her side...which kills me! I love her!"
  • "Men need to know that their failure will be met with loving arms and encouragement."
  • "When I say something or help out around the house, I am in NO WAY trying to demean her and tell her 'You're not capable of handling things yourself.' I'm just trying to help!"
5. A structure of gender roles
  • "To be appreciated for being the Man of the house and the spiritual leader of the home."
  • "Men need a clear definition between gender roles."
  • "Men like women who let them open doors for them or pull out a chair for them or help put their coat on, or stand when they come in the room."
  • "Men like women who act like women and not men."
6. Sex
  • "To not have to beg for intimacy, but to give one to the other equally without outside influences getting in the way."
  • (For those who are not married) "The thing I wish for most is that my girlfriend will want to hold my hand or just put it in the crook of my elbow without me asking. It is one of the best feelings of affection I know of."
  • "Men wish women understood the sexual needs of a man and its role in our lives."
7. To be free of stereotypes
  • "Real men do not show physical or emotional cruelty, nor do they want a 'trophy wife' to show off to their friends. However, we can be driven to kill by someone who tries to harm our loved ones!"
  • "I sense a growing frustration and some anger with the role men are being pushed into by the media bone heads. All men are not the same, and it's a mistake to presume that we all like or dislike the same things."
  • "Contrary to the Homer Simpson, Al Bundy stereotypes the media force-feeds us. Men are not universally stupid, lazy, and dependent on their women to bail them out of yet another stupid mess they've gotten themselves into."
  • "Men do eat quiche. My wife makes a whole grain, cheese, ham and cauliflower quiche to die for."
8. Unspoken truths
  • "Men have peace from the love and affection that they get from their spouse that speaks volumes over words."
  • "I recognize when I found my wife I found a good thing."
  • "Just because we (Men) don't say it (I love you) doesn't mean we don't feel it.
9. Freedom from criticism
  • "One thing I wish my wife understood is that constant criticism does NOT inspire me to greater love. How it frustrates me to sincerely want to make her happy and please her, but so often I try to do loving things for her, and I'm met with criticism (you're not doing it right; my way...)"
  • "If you're breaking down your man's ego at home, there is another woman out there who is building him up."
  • "Women, hear me out here. STOP saying you're fat and ugly!!!!! Nothing hurts your husband more than doing that. Your husband, at least I speak for myself, thinks you're HOT! Quit telling us we're wrong. Embrace the compliments."
10. Men have a deep desire to follow Christ
  • "We Christian men want desperately to be like Jesus Christ, no matter how we may stumble."
  • "Deep down we want to love them. Eph. 5:25, 'Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.'"
So men, we hear you. We affirm you. And we love all of your efforts to be Godly and to forward His Kingdom.