His Lips Unzipped: “Battling a Stubborn Male”
By Martin Brown
“I would love to see the relationship that I’m now in go the distance, perhaps even down the aisle one day. BUT, there are times he can be as stubborn as a mule. Any ideas how to get him motivated when there’s something that I want him or us to do and he just won’t listen?” —Nancy R., Birmingham, AL
Well I’m not sure exactly what it is you want him to do. If it’s to play the burgermeister in your community center’s production of The Nutcracker, there’s a reasonable chance that moving and heaven and earth would be just as doable.
But for argument’s sake, I’m going to make the assumption that you’re talking about your everyday, pig-headed man of whom you are making no extraordinary demands. If that is indeed the case, there is some relief I can offer. Just promise me that you’ll remember to be patient and stay aware that no stubborn male was reinvented overnight.
First, consider how you ask him.
Most men had mothers who could twist their arms to perform a variety of tasks. Having liberated himself from that commitment, he’s cautious about recreating that situation with his girlfriend or significant other. You may see his being flexible in response to your wishes as totally reasonable, but I doubt that he sees it that way as well.
How you ask is often as important, if not more important, than what you ask. Why is it that you need him to do x, y, or z? His motivation level is greatly enhanced when he knows that you are depending on him to be of help. Besides, if your happiness means very little to him, this guy is not the keeper you would like him to be.
Second, if you want something you have to ask for it.
Never imagine that a man is going to be in tune with your needs. Men are not wired that way. While your girlfriends might sense your needs, chances are your guy will not. So patiently explain what it is you need, why it is important to you, and what you are hoping he will do to help meet your needs. Lots of women give up in frustration before they even have their guy’s full attention. Asking him while on the TV there are two out, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, in a tied game, is not a fair measure of his level of attentiveness.
Third, remember that relationships are a give and take proposition.
If he’s being stubborn, I’m going to assume from that his reluctance to assist you could be a reaction to too many requests. Stop and ask yourself how many things you have asked of him during the last week, two weeks, or month. If the objective answer is “more than I should have,” then give him a break between requests. The women that I know who get the most out of their men are the ones who are best at managing their requests. When you overdo what you want you run the risk of locking him into “no” mode, and you don’t want to go there.
Fourth, and finally, be sure to reward him for good behavior.
Yes, much like training a puppy, he needs positive reinforcement. His reward can be anything from his favorite dinner, or tickets to the ballgame; even a night of romance. Just reinforce your intention by telling him, “You were so sweet to help me with……”
In time he’ll get the message that special favors, earn him special treats.
With patience and persistence you can train a stubborn male, and turn him into the perfect boyfriend.
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