Release Him from Responsibility for Your Happiness

This is an excerpt from Conscious Men, a book I co-authored with John Gray.


Men sometimes tell us they do not know how to express love to a woman in a way that means something to her. Men get very easily hung up on the feeling of succeeding or failing and can feel unsuccessful in giving love in a way that can be received.

So let him know when he is succeeding in taking some small steps towards touching your heart and when you feel loved. When you let him know that his love has affected you, it motivates him to go deeper. He thrives on a sense of “mission accomplished.”

It is easy for a man to feel that he cannot succeed in making a woman happy and then easily lose his spirits. If he gives you compliments, buys you gifts, leaves little notes, or does his best to organize something to please you, make sure that you can take it in, and let yourself swoon a little. It makes a huge difference when he knows that his experiments with small gestures have hit the mark and he has had a small triumph.

Make Clear Requests

Men say that they often feel they hear a lot about what they are doing wrong and then get confused about what action or measurable change would make a difference. For example, if you come home and the kitchen is a mess or a diaper has not been changed or shopping has not been done, a Conscious Man will want to put it straight.

Do not clean up his messes for him; it is discouraging for him and causes a man to feel shame. Try to make your requests as clear and straightforward as possible. One example would be, “I want to make a nice dinner, and I forgot a cauliflower. Can you go to the store and buy one for me?” A good man loves to be able to say, “I’m right on it. I got this.”

Most men thrive on accomplishing things. If you can give him specific tasks that will make a difference to you, where it is possible for him to succeed, you will get your needs met, and he will feel good about himself and inspired to love you more through actions that are meaningful to you.

Release Him from Responsibility for Your Happiness

The old habits that we are all growing out of together, as men and women, is that we can make each other happy. It is just not true.

When you are already happy, a man can make you happier. He can do little things to tickle and stimulate happiness when it is already there in you. When you are unhappy, he can be present, he can listen, and he can empathize.

A big key to supporting a man to live his full potential is to recognize that happiness is an inside job. Once you take responsibility for feeling good on your own, then a man can take you from happy to happier, just as you can do the same for him.

Make a list of all the factors in your life that you have control over and that make you unhappy. And then make another list of all the other things that you do have control over and that make you happier. For many women, such a list would include spending downtime with girlfriends, being able to relax and enjoy delicious food, enjoying scented baths, using nice oils, having beautiful clothes, and taking in fine environments.

To bring out the best in a man, do less for him, and do more to make yourself happy. John says: This is the central theme of my book Why Mars and Venus Collide. If you stop over-giving to men and give more to yourself to be happy, he will be relieved of that burdensome responsibility, and it is much easier for him to give to you when you are already basically feeling good.

From Conscious Men by Arjuna Ardagh and John Gray. You can order a paperback copy or Kindle edition on Amazon here.

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