Understanding the Male Ego
It’s absolutely true. Men and women struggle sometimes to understand one another. So in this blog post, all you women out there – I want to help you understand the “male ego” as it’s called.
Often, it gets a bad wrap. But it’s part of how we men are made, and any woman who understands it, has just unlocked the door to her man’s heart.
So, here goes …
A Fragile Thing
Ego is a bit of a negative word isn’t it? So let’s talk instead about a man’s sense of worth and value. That’s really what we’re talking about when we talk about the male ego.
You’ve probably heard that it’s an incredibly fragile thing – and speaking as a man, I can tell you, that it absolutely is!
Now I’m a good case because on the outside, I appear “together,” articulate and confident. Not many situations phase me. I’m comfortable in dealing with conflict – I don’t go looking for it, but when it comes my way, that’s fine, I’m happy to handle it.
So on the surface, I don’t have any obvious problems with my sense of worth and self esteem. I really don’t go looking for recognition, I don’t mind all that much whether people like me or not – I don’t want to upset people, but I realise that I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.
So for all intents and purposes, I am a very secure person.
And yet – with all that going for me – there is one person on this planet, who’s opinion matters greatly to me. There is one person on this planet, who’s approval I need – and that person is my wife Jacqui.
The point that I’m trying to make here, is that I don’t think that most women really understand the power they have to support and encourage their husbands, or alternately, to criticise and undermine them.
A Woman’s Power for Good or for Evil
If you’re a wife, as a man I’m asking you to recognise the huge power that you have in your hands for either good or evil when it comes to your husband – who I’m hoping is the single most important human being in your life.
In the early part of a man’s life, as a young boy, he derives most of his sense of worth and esteem through his mother – that’s what the psychologists tell us – and then through the teen years, his dad becomes incredibly important.
Interestingly though, once he’s established as a man and finds himself a wife, it’s his wife who he looks to for guidance, for approval and for validation.
We all know that how parents treat their children in their formative years has a huge impact on their own perceptions of themselves. Loving parents, with the right mix of discipline and reassurance, tend to produce well balanced, well adjusted children who carry that forward into their adulthood. Whereas parents who make a hash of it, produce children who struggle with many issues as adults.
In the same way, wives, you have the power to reassure your husband, to be an emotional rock for him, to love him through his mistakes and to encourage him when he’s struggling. A wife’s depth of emotional strength and endurance (something that’s often under estimated) can be used to support and help her husband be all that he can possibly be.
Let me tell you this – as strong and secure as I am, I need my wife to approve of me, to support me and to show her love to me even when I get things wrong.
And if you’re a woman with a husband, he needs exactly the same thing. He’s wired inside to care about providing for and protecting his family. He wants to succeed at that. That’s why when you criticise him openly in front of others, or attack him about something in private, he’ll either lash out or withdraw.
Have a listen to this piece of wisdom from the Bible about how precious a great wife is, and how she ought to behave:
She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:10–12)
God’s Timeless Wisdom
You know what every husband is looking for? A capable wife – a woman who is more precious than jewels. A woman that he can trust. A woman that will always do him good, and not harm.
If you go on and read the rest of Proverbs 31 in the Old Testament of the Bible (and yes, it’s written in the context of the culture of the time) what it talks about is a woman who is emotionally stable and strong and supportive of her man.
A husband’s world is made so much the richer when he knows that his wife won’t criticise him when he makes a mistake, but instead she’ll help him get it right. And when he knows he has a wife like that, he naturally opens up his heart and learns from her.
So … there’s my perspective on the male ego.
It’s not so much an ego, it’s a need for him to be who he was created to be, with the help of his wife.
Other posts in this series: