Angela felt that she had now reached a stage where she could fully accept and forgive Ted. However, the thought of telling him face to face terrified her. Ami encouraged her, but Angela knew she could not do it. And even if she could muster enough courage to try, she was sure she would mess it up and make a complete fool of herself.
Because she had not completed her third assignment due to this fear, Angela did not want to face her teacher again on Wednesday night. She even considered abandoning the Fascinating Womanhood classes, but then she would have to face Ami.
So when her Mother arrived on Wednesday evening to look after the children, Angela said goodbye and drove to her class, full of anxiety.
The Fascinating Womanhood teacher Harmony, met Angela at the classroom door and smiled at her. Angela blushed, then blurted out that as she was separated from her husband, she could never bring herself to face him and say the words of acceptance in Assignment Number Three.
Harmony patted her arm gently and said. “Don’t worry Angela. Most women still living with their husbands cannot bring themselves to do this until later in the course.”
“And don’t feel bad about your separation. A short separation can be a good thing when a marriage is in trouble. Why don’t you write the assignment out in a note and hand it to him?”
Angela’s spirits rose immediately. “Can I do it that way?” “That’s the best way when communication has stopped,” smiled the teacher.
Angela took her seat in the front row, enormously relieved. Yes, she could hand a note to Ted.
“Good evening ladies,” said the teacher cheerfully. “How lovely to see you all back again, and also our two visitors Rosalyn and Donna. We’ll be hearing from them later.” “Now, before we learn Secret Number Two, let’s hear how you got on with your Secret Number One assignments. How many of you completed all three?”
Only Elsie, Helena, Marina and Sonia raised their hands. The teacher looked disappointed. “Well, who completed the first assignment?” All hands except Bev’s went up. The teacher smiled again.
“Very good. Please work on the other two if you haven’t yet done them, especially the last one where you tell your husband that you accept him. If you just cannot bring yourself to tell him to his face, write him a note, and hand it to him with a sweet smile.”
“Now I’m sure some of you have had results already in applying Secret Number One during the week. Who would like to share an experience with us?” Kathy quickly raised her hand. The teacher looked pleasantly surprised.
“Kathy, let’s hear from you. Come out the here in the front and briefly share it with us.” Kathy’s lively face shone as she spoke.
Kathy. True Experience. “I really have a wonderful husband, but he has some habits I disapproved of, especially his smoking. I always made him go out in the garage to smoke.” “After learning the secret of acceptance, I realized how awful I had been. When he came home the next night I confessed my feelings to him and asked his forgiveness for the terrible way I had treated him, and told him I accepted him as he is.”
My husband was so tenderly touched that he cried. Later that evening he told me that he loved me for the first time in two years, and he slept with his arm around me all night.”
“Thank you Kathy”, said the teacher, blinking back tears. “Does anybody else have an experience?” Several hands went up.
“Cherry, let’s share your experience, and then we must begin tonight’s lesson.”
Cherry stood up and walked quickly to the front of the class, her large eyes sparkling. Cherry. True Experience. “My husband has always been quite a fellow to go out with the boys, almost every night until dawn. Each time I have been extremely angry with him. After understanding the secret of accepting him, however, I tried a different approach.”
“I had our evening meal on the table and called him to come and eat, when one of his mate’s came to the door wanting him to go out. He got his coat on, told me where he was going, and not to wait up for him.” “My first impulse was to hit the ceiling, but I caught myself and said instead, ‘Oh I think that’s a good idea, you really need to get away for a while. Have a good time and I’ll have something for you to eat when you come home.”
“His reaction was one of great surprise. He did go, but in 45 minutes was back home in very happy spirits, and with a box of chocolates for me.”
“He spent the rest of the evening just talking with me and helping me.”
“That’s really lovely Cherry,” said the teacher. Can you see how well these truths work class?” “Now before we move on to tonight’s secret, there’s one last point I should make about Secret Number One, accepting our husband’s faults.”
When a man is unaware of a fault
“There may come a time when your husband is completely unaware of one of his faults. You may be the only person who cares enough to tell him.”
“This happened to me once. My husband is a medical practitioner. A few years ago I learned that he was beginning to be regarded as unfriendly and abrupt by many of his patients. Yet he is a caring man at heart. It was just that he was seriously overworked at the time.” “In a situation such as this, say to your husband, ‘I might be wrong, but it seems to me, etc, etc.”
“Reassure him at the same time that you support and admire him. Then drop the matter completely. If he still makes the same mistakes, let him do so without comment. Accept him as he is.”
“We cover the matter of giving feminine advice more fully in Secret Number Nine.” “Now, let’s look at Secret Number Two. This secret satisfies your husband’s greatest need.”
“What is your husband’s greatest need class?” “To be loved?” said Marina.
“That’s a woman’s greatest need Marina, not a mans” said the teacher.
“To be fed,” said Bev. The class laughed.
“This is more important to him even than food.”
“It must be sex then,” said Cherry. More laughter.
The teacher smiled. Then turned and wrote on the white board in big letters.
ADMIRATION OF HIS MASCULINE QUALITIES
“THAT is your husband’s greatest need.” “Yes, a woman’s greatest need is to be loved, but a man is different. His greatest need is to be admired.”
“He needs to be admired and praised for his masculine abilities and achievements. Deep in his heart he longs for it. He cannot get enough. Admiration and praise of his masculine qualities is your husband’s greatest source of satisfaction.”
“So here now is the second secret of Fascinating Womanhood.” She turned and wrote on the board . . .
Admire his masculine qualities. Never wound his sensitive pride.
“This secret is the most powerful of all the laws of Fascinating Womanhood. Applying this secret produces spectacular results. Why? Because admiration is the food of a man’s soul. He needs it daily. He yearns for it. He craves it. Men will even give their lives for it.” “On the other hand, failing to keep this law, and wounding our husband’s sensitive male pride, causes him to suffer deep hurt. He becomes very unhappy. THIS IS THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF MARRIAGE FAILURE.”
Why men have sensitive pride
“Let’s look first at the second part of this law. ‘Never wound his sensitive pride.” “Why do men have such sensitive pride?” “I’m going to test your humility here. Most women find it hard to accept the true answer to this question. So we are going to take it direct from the Word of God. This Bible scripture is of vital importance in understanding men.” “Angela, would you please read out this verse in Genesis that I’ve highlighted,” said the teacher, handing her a heavy, black covered Bible. “These are the words God spoke to Eve.”
“To the woman he said. “I will greatly multiply your pain in child-bearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” Genesis chapter 3, verse 16.
“Now that last bit, ‘he shall rule over you’ we women can find hard to accept. Nevertheless, whether we accept the Bible or not, that scripture is true. Fascinating Womanhood is all about truth. We women ARE born with a desire for strong and caring male leadership. While men, with their highly sensitive masculine pride, and strong muscular bodies are programmed, so to speak, to ‘rule over’ women.’ I myself prefer the word ‘lead’.”
“This strong, God-given pride is what drives men to want to lead, and to protect, and to provide for women. God has programmed it into men so to speak.”
“This strong desire in a man to protect and provide for a woman, is just like the strong mothering instinct God has programmed into we women. In the same way it drives us to protect and provide for our children.”
How a man feels when you wound his sensitive pride
“A man’s in-born masculine pride is so sensitive, that if challenged by a woman, the hurt cuts him deep like a knife. This often arouses instant anger and harshness. Sometimes it results in physical violence, but more often, in deep resentment.”
“A man just cannot bear to have his fragile and sensitive pride belittled or ridiculed by his wife, or any other woman.”
“We wives can deeply hurt our husband without realising it. Our words can cause him severe mental pain. This is why so many men erect an invisible wall around themselves. A wall of silence, to protect against this pain.”
“They stop confiding in us, and only rarely have long conversations with us. They will not share with us their innermost feelings, although they long to do so.”
“This can be heartbreaking for a wife. She despairs of ever breaking through his wall of silence. Yet she will sometimes hear her husband confiding to others. Sharing his thoughts and problems and dreams in a way that he never does with her. This causes her much distress and unhappiness.”
Angela’s heart was beating fast. The teacher was describing Ted exactly. For years now he had stopped revealing his feelings to her. She recalled how hurtful it was to overhear him sometimes, revealing his plans, thoughts and hopes to others. Ted even confided more in her mother than herself.
Her heart pounded even harder as she raised her hand. “Yes Angela,” said the teacher.
“I’ve got exactly that problem with my husband. We are separated now as you know. But if only I could get through to him. He really is a good man. I can accept that now, but I don’t feel that he’s really mine.”
A murmur of agreement came from several other women. One said, “My husband’s like that.”
“Yes, it’s more common than we think,” said the teacher. “But be patient. We ARE going to learn how to overcome it. But first of all, we need to fully understand the many ways in which our husband’s sensitive male pride is wounded.”
“Now sometimes we deliberately hurt our husband’s pride with a sharp tongue and angry tone, but more often we do it in jest.”
“We laugh or mock some masculine quality about him. Or we compare him unfavourably with other men.”
“When we do that, especially in front of others, we make him feel as if he’s been struck with a lash. He may not say a word, but we have killed his affection for us, at least for a time.”
“If it continues over a long period, our husband will numb his senses to minimise further hurt, sometimes with the help of alcohol, or even drugs.”
“But when he does that, he also numbs himself to the finer things of life – music, sunsets, flowers, little children. He can become impotent, or sexually deviant.”
“Only long term acceptance and admiration will restore him to normal.”
“In less extreme cases, a man puts up a wall of silence and reserve between himself and the woman causing the hurt.” “If your husband confides more easily in others than he does in you, there IS a wall in place.”
“You have hurt his sensitive pride when he has confided to you in the past. He will not want to risk being hurt again. He probably also feels resentful towards you.”
Angela’s face flushed hotly. It was as if a blindfold had been taken off. She had always had a sarcastic tongue. As a child she had continual battles with her brothers. Even now they avoided her. And she had not spared Ted either. Sometimes when Ted had shared ideas with her, she had scorned them as impractical, or poured cold water on them. And often, when she was angry with him, she would mock his poor reading. And more recently, she had mocked his inability to handle the book work in his business. She could not remember the last time she had praised or admired him. She recalled the two pages of his virtues she had written last Wednesday night.
As she sat there, a feeling of love and sympathy for Ted, mixed with strong guilt, welled up inside her. There was a lump in her throat and her eyes burned with tears. “How could I have been so stupid?” she thought, shaking her head.
“Now,” said the teacher, “how do we get our husbands to take down their wall of silence? Only by living the secrets of Fascinating Womanhood, especially this one, Number Two.”
Wives can easily hurt their husband’s sensitive pride.
Marina raised her hand. “Yes Marina,” said the teacher. Marina spoke softly, “Darling, I think I must be guilty of hurting my husband’s pride, but I never mock him or laugh at him. And I try not to get angry. Are there other ways?” “Marina there are hundreds of ways we can injure our husband’s sensitive pride,” said the teacher. “A common way is to show a lack of confidence in him. We have to be so careful to think before we speak. Things like suggesting he call a mechanic when he can’t get the car started. Or suggesting that he doesn’t earn enough money. ‘We can’t afford it.’ Who’s ever said that?”
“Admiring other men is another very common mistake. Have we ever held up our fathers as a shining example to our husband. Sometimes we forget the age difference.” “Another common one is advising him on masculine matters when he hasn’t asked for our advice. We must think so carefully before speaking. Watch out for a drop in his countenance. That’s a warning signal. Keep him smiling. As long as he’s smiling warmly at you, all is well.”
“Now I am going to hand you out a list of common ways a woman wounds a man’s sensitive pride. Go through the list carefully when you get home. Mark those you are guilty of, then resolve never to do them again, not ever.” “Don’t underestimate the power of these things to harm your relationship. They can temporarily kill your husband’s love for you stone dead.”
Angela took the handout and quickly scanned the list. Her guilt increased still further. With dismay she recognized many mistakes she had made in the past.
COMMON MISTAKES WIVES MAKE THAT INJURE THEIR HUSBANDS’ SENSITIVE PRIDE
Criticising his weaknesses.
Speaking angrily when he fails in a masculine area of responsibility.
Disagreeing with him on masculine matters.
Pouring cold water on his ideas.
Giving him advice when he has not asked for it.
Discussing his career or occupation as if you know as much about it as he does.
Reminding him how you struggle on his income.
Telling others how much your parents have done for you since you got married.
Admiring a masculine quality in another man.
Suggesting he call a repair man when he is trying to repair something.
Not paying attention when he is telling you about something of which he is proud.
Not praising him when he does something outstandingly well.
Telling him he is losing his figure or his hair.
Holding yourself up as an example for him to follow.
Reminding him of your superior education.
Excelling him in a male-dominated sport such as athletics, golf, swimming.
Going out to work when he would prefer that you stayed at home.
Telling others that you have to go out to work to make ends meet.
teacher continued, “All these mistakes belittle your husband. They sap his self-confidence. He feels less manly. He may feel unworthy of you.”
More often, the hurt causes him to feel angry and resentful towards you. He then shows his bad side, his ugly side. He just can’t feel loving and tender towards you. No matter how much he knows that he should, or would like to.”
“Nor can he bring himself to confide in you, although he may long to. His fear of further hurt and his resentment prevent him.”
“Sometimes however, a husband will belittle himself to his wife. Why would he do that? Because he secretly hopes she will disagree with him, and praise him instead.”
“Now before we move on to the positive, powerful side to this secret, there is another reason why a man may not confide in his wife, even when she is not hurting his pride. That is when she is a blabber mouth. When he cannot trust her to keep it to herself. We must learn to be discreet when our husband confides in us.”
The power of admiration
“Now for the positive side of this secret. We are going to learn how to transform a man. How to draw out and develop the goodness in him.”
“We are going to learn how to cause his confidence and his self esteem to soar. How to arouse his energy, and his drive.”
“And most important, we are going to learn how to awaken the fullness of his love, and his tenderness for you.” “But first, a question class. Why do men try to excel in business and in their careers? Where does their motivation and drive come from? Why do they keep striving for bigger and better things, or more fame?”
Beth spoke, “For money I would imagine,” “Yes Beth, but money is secondary. Elsie, what do you think?”
“Is it to be admired?” asked Elsie.
The teacher smiled. “Yes, Elsie is right. Admiration is their reward. The admiration of other men. And just as important, the admiration of their wife. That is a man’s greatest joy.” “Remember, your husband needs your admiration more than he needs your love. Few women know this great truth. It’s summed up nicely in the following couplet.”
"A man needs to feel loved, but not as much as he needs to feel admired.”
“A woman needs to feel admired, but not as much as she needs to feel loved.”
“Why is your admiration so important to your husband?
Because it makes him feel manly. Feeling manly is the most pleasant and enjoyable feeling a man can experience.”
“Our husbands, and our sons too, often do and say things in our presence, hoping to receive admiration and praise. But most women are too busy with other things to notice.”
“The woman who knows how to admire a man’s masculinity is the woman who wins his heart. She is an angel in his eyes.”
“Now just in passing, I would like to add that admiration is also a wonderful thing to give to our sons. It helps them grow into confident manhood. Their need is especially strong during their teenage years. You’ll be thrilled at how close you can draw your sons to you by praising and admiring them. And also by resisting any urge to criticise them. In fact this applies to all our children at any age.” “We should never tease our children either. They may not mind other adults teasing them, but we parents should never tease them. It is destructive to their self-confidence.”
How to help your husband become a better man
“Now, back to men. A man who is never admired becomes a lonely and bitter creature. But the man who is admired and praised, especially by his wife, grows in confidence and nobility. There is a ready smile to his face, and a spring in his step. He holds his head high.”
“You can use this masculine admiration principle to help your husband become a better man. First, you need to have a trusting belief in his better side. Then, whenever he does something right, or good in his masculine responsibilities, sincerely praise him for it. Make him feel manly.” “Also remind him of good things he’s done in the past that have impressed you. Do this daily in the weeks ahead, until it becomes a habit. Watch him develop and grow. You’ll be so proud of him.”
Elsie spoke, “Behind every great man, there is a great woman.’ Yes, that’s so true Elsie. Now you all know that the main secret of this is praise of his masculine qualities.” “Helena, would you please read us these words from the famous German writer Goethe,” said the teacher, handing Helena a card. “This goes right a long with what Elsie said.” “If you treat a man as he is, he will stay as he is, but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be, and could be, he will become that bigger and better man.” Goethe 1774 Cherry raised her hand. “When you say, ‘the praise of his masculine qualities’ what exactly do you mean? I mean, do I admire my husband’s muscles for instance?”
“Yes, by all means,” said the teacher, “men are very proud of their muscles. If your husband’s muscles aren’t well developed, at least admire his strength, especially when he undoes a tight lid for you, or lifts something heavy.” “We can also admire our husband’s deep voice, his beard or moustache, his sex drive and ability to please you in this area. That’s very important to a man.” “Or his strong build, especially if he’s short. His driving skills, his gardening skills, his handyman abilities, his career skills which is another highly important area to a man.”
“Admire anything he excels at of a manly nature. Just be sincere and you cannot go wrong. But don’t overdo it. Don’t gush. Remember, watch for his smile.”
“Don’t praise him for how well he does the dishes, or the vacuuming, or makes the beds. That won’t stir his love for you. But when you praise him for manly qualities, like running and other sports, driving, navigation, work skills, you touch his heart.”
“Even give sincere praise for small masculine accomplishments, like hammering a nail in straight, sawing a straight line, or backing a trailer.” Kathy said, “Won’t he get a big head with all this praise?” “No Kathy. Life is full of humiliations for every man. These daily embarrassments keep him from getting a swelled head. On the other hand, you become his source of inspiration, his refuge from humiliation. His source of strength. He will love you deeply for it. His confidence will soar like an eagle.” “And when combined this with the next secret, Secret Number Three, he will even worship you. I am not exaggerating.” “It’s a wonderful feeling for a husband to have a wife who truly admires him. When you admire him, you make him feel like you feel when he buys you flowers unexpectedly.” “But again I must warn, BE SINCERE. This is especially important if you haven’t been giving him any praise. He may be suspicious. Watch for his smile. That’s the sign he has accepted your admiration. Can we accept a sincere gift of flowers from our husbands without smiling?” “If he does not smile, he probably thinks you are insincere, or he is still harbouring resentment. That’s why its so important to do Assignment three of last week’s Secret Number One. Your submissive words will release his pent up resentment.”
“Two other important points. First, try and touch him as you praise him, and look him in the eye and smile. It’s not strictly necessary, but it adds to his pleasure.” “Second, BE SPECIFIC. Say exactly what it is that you admire about him. The more specific the better. Rather than say for example, ‘What nice legs you have’. You might say, ‘What strong, well-shaped thighs you have.” Cherry laughed. “If I told my husband that, he’d wear shorts all year round.” “I quite believe he would Cherry. Admiration has a powerful effect on our husbands.”
How to find Qualities in your Husband to Praise and Admire
Beth spoke, “My husband is not really the masculine type. He’s a good husband, and highly intelligent, but he hasn’t got big muscles, and he’s not a handyman.” “A good point Beth, all men have either intelligence, brawn, mental talent, or physical skills. Praise them in the area in which they most excel.” “For example, Beth might watch for chances to admire her husband’s intellectual skills, especially to do with his accountancy career. A man’s occupation is an important masculine function. Even after he has retired we should remind him of his past successes.”
“You will get ideas for admiration from the list of your husband’s virtues you made out for last week’s assignment.” “But remember, only masculine things if you want to awaken his full love for you.”
“To discover even more things to admire about your husband, encourage him to talk about himself. Ask him questions that require long, thoughtful answers. Encourage him to talk about his past accomplishments. Those things of which he’s proud, and his dreams for the future.” “Listen patiently. Let him see that you are interested. STRONGLY RESIST THE DESIRE TO TALK ABOUT YOURSELF.”
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand all he is saying. He won’t be overly concerned. It can even make him feel more manly. Just appreciate the character that is being unfolded to your view. And openly admire any noble, masculine thoughts he shares with you.”
“Later on, when he regularly confides in you, you might need to show gentle, feminine dismay at any unworthy thoughts he shares, but at first, just listen uncritically.” “When your husband feels that he can trust you to respect his masculinity, he will confide to you his deepest and innermost thoughts. This is when you begin to awaken his deepest love.”
“Here we have the explanation of the mystery we discussed last week. How a man can be captivated by a woman who appears to have no attractive qualities to us at all. That woman is living Fascinating Womanhood. Especially this weeks Second Secret, and next week’s Third Secret of Fascinating Womanhood. Yes, we women have great power over the destiny of our man.”
“But again, remember to BE SINCERE. You are dealing with your man’s most sensitive area, his sense of masculinity. He may strongly resent praise that has a phoney ring to it. It can backfire on you. Watch for his smile of acceptance.”
Bev grinned then said, “I don’t know. I still think Kathy could be right. All this praise and admiration will give any husband a swelled head, especially mine.” The class laughed.
The Fascinating Womanhood teacher smiled. “Maybe it will Bev, but he will return you so much love and kindness that you won’t mind one little bit.” “But remember again, that even though your husband is lifted by sincere admiration from you, his wife, he is still coming into contact with other people in his life. People who discourage him, mock him, reprimand him, and humble him. This is enough to keep his head the proper size.” “So to sum all this up, ‘A man’s greatest pleasure is when his masculinity is admired by a woman. His greatest pain is when his masculinity is belittled by a woman.”
The ‘Pandora’s Box’ reaction’
“Now before we close tonight, I need to forewarn you about a surprising reaction that can occur in your husband when you live the first two secrets of Fascinating Womanhood.” “It is especially likely when he has built a wall of silence around himself. It’s called the ‘Pandora’s Box’ reaction.” “This is an unexpected outburst of angry feelings toward you. Angry feelings that he has bottled up for years.” “Don’t be shocked. Be glad if this happens. Even encourage it to happen. Why? Because it means that he now feels safe to release his resentment. It means he does not need to keep it bottled up any more. It’s the beginning of him confiding in you.”
“Above all, DO NOT ARGUE BACK. Just sit down and take it. Even agree with him. For when ‘Pandora’s Box’ is empty, he will have a wonderful feeling of relief. The resentment locked up in his heart is now gone. His heart can now fill with so much love and tenderness for you that you will scarcely believe it possible. His wall of silence will vanish at the same time.”
“Provided you continue to live the principles of Fascinating Womanhood, he will continue feeling safe in confiding in you. This will be the foundation of a beautiful, trusting relationship.”
“Now, it has been a longer than normal lesson tonight, but a very, very important one. I’ll hand you out this week’s assignments and then we’ll hear from our two guests.”