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Self help books, do they damage a woman's self esteem

Updated on September 12, 2014

Why do we always need fixing?

 Looking over my collection of books which include many self-help books, and reading many, many articles. I still find myself at a loss. Why are all these books and articles directed at women on "how to keep your man happy?" "how to keep your man from cheating" and "501 ways to drive a man crazy in bed." Why is it our responsibility to keep a man happy, keep him from cheating, or stand on our heads to have sex?

Number one happiness is a state of mind. No one can make you happy, at least long-term. You are responsible for your own happiness as is he for his. But these books written by the so called experts tell women, keep the house cleaner, cook his favorite dinner, serve him breakfast in bed, meet him at the door with a smile. HELLO!!  If you are a stay at home mom, work from home, or work outside the home, by the time 6pm comes around you are dead on your feet from chasing the kids, helping with homework, and doing housework. It is a thankless, unpaid, unappreciated job. By the time you get the kids in bed after bathtime you are exhausted. If you work outside the home, depending on your job, you are tired of hearing your boss, tired of co-workers and just plain tired. Your head hurts, your feet hurt, and muscles that you forgot you had hurt.

When you get home all you want is to kick off the heels, throw on something comfortable and if you are lucky, take a nap or a time out. If you are home all day, you are still tired, your head still hurts from hearing the kids fight and arguing with your spouse on the phone. I hate to burst a guy's bubble but when a family lives in a house it will not stay spotless, even if we cleaned all day. The sad part is most of the picking up we do is after...YOU!! You take a bath and leave your clothes on the floor.... the hamper is right next to the door. We still have to pick up your dishes from last nights supper that you left on the night stand. half the food is on the bedspread that we just washed the day before.

Now about that meeting you at the door in something sexy and taking a bubble bath together , obviously the writer of the books does not have children at home. Romantic candle-lit dinners??? What a joke. We have made your breakfast, lunch, and supper and would give anything for a little downtime of our own, if you could make it home early instead of having a beer with your buddies or whoever. But that's another dream.

Now about how we shouldn't fuss or complain, don't stress you out because you work so hard, I guess you think the housework gets done on it's own. But we are suppose to smile sweetly and read the "KARMA SUTRA" to learn how to stand on our heads and have sex upside down to keep you satisfied so you want cheat. If you are going to cheat, you are going to do it anyway. The story you tell whoever she is about how your wife doesn't understand you, and how you never get sex...WAAHHH. I bet after being your wife for a week she wouldn't look so hot either.

You really freaked me out when you wanted to buy a box of expensive chocolates for our sons teacher because she does so much for your son. MMMM ...I thought she got a check for that. As for me, I don't even get a thank you. Then you wonder why I sleep on the couch and stay angry and resentful all the time.

Christmas is coming. You are never in a good mood, it's the holidays. Can't you be happy for once. Yeah, I'm really happy that I will spend all day cooking, cleaning so you can impress, and then try to dress up in a special dress and high heels to make you happy. Everyone will eat and be happy HAHAHA, then leave and take plates while I get to clean up the mess AGAIN. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME.

Yet every book I pick up on relationships is about what the woman need to change to keep her husband, happy, at home and satisfied. Why I wonder, do we really need to change that much? Is it really our responsibility to keep you happy, jump when you say jump, and have sex to make you happy, so you won't cheat.

To me I had rather you cheat, if your not already. it would take a load off me. As for the self-help books, they are a fantasy. Written for single women who have no responsibility and want to play mama to a man so his ego gets stroked. As for me I would like to have my own ego stroked every once in awhile.

I am not not saying there are no good men out there, it's just really hard to find them.

I would appreciate any feedback you can give me on this subject.



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    • Lawrence63 profile image

      Lawrence63 5 years ago

      While I can sympathize with your frustration, I would say that most self-help books - certainly those about relationships - are aimed at women because women are the most interested in those issues, and generally see more value in this kind of analysis. The writers and publishers of these books understand that women are more likely to bring up relationship issues in a romantic partnership.

      I'm not sure if men expect more from women in a romantic relationship. In my experience, and in my readings on the subject, that's not true. What seems to be true is that men and women have different expectations of each other.

      Women feel, in general, more comfortable discussing their feelings, so they're more likely to initiate those kinds of discussions, as well as read psychology books that discuss emotions.

      That being said, I think it's safe to say that we're living in transitional times, where women and men's roles have grown rather blurred. Now a woman might not only be expected to work, but to do the bulk of the cooking and housework. Obviously, something has to give in that kind of arrangement. I don't see any solution other than both partners sitting down and clearly delineating an equitable division of chores/work.

    • xMidnaTheTwilix profile image

      xMidnaTheTwilix 6 years ago

      Gonna go feminist for a second:

      The reason most women grow into a "need to be fixed" mentality is because of the oppression from men and gender roles throughout society. That's the way it's been since the beginning of time. But Ladies, without you, men would be nothing. :)

    • profile image

      Healthy Girl 7 years ago

      Girl, you get the Queen of the Week award for posting this -- no, Queen of the MONTH! I so agree with all the points you made here. Society continually puts most of the pressure and responsibility on keeping a relationship together and keeping a man happy on the woman. From the time we even start walking, we are taught that this is our job. The man...well, we should just be grateful to have him, he's so much more valuable than we are. We should just kiss the ground he walks on daily, no matter what he does, or even if he doesn't bother to appreciate it. What malarkey!

      I'm so glad that nowadays girls are growing up to be strong, independent and are learning to think for themselves when it comes to the guy thing. Thank God!

      Thanks for posting a great hub! :)

    • christalluna1124 profile image

      christalluna1124 7 years ago from Dallas Texas

      Terced and PM,

      So glad to see is taking me awhile to catch up on my comments. I do agree with you both, women are taught from childhood to be the weaker, dependent sex. I still feel the same it takes two to make a relationship work and you are not his mama nor his maid. PM so true, I am so tired at the end of the day i just want to crash..LOL

      warmest regards, chris

    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 7 years ago from Utah

      LOL this is so great and so true, and I never noticed this point until reading this hub. I told my husband if you want a sparkling clean house and hottie waiting for you when you get home THEN BRING HOME A BIGGER PAYCHECK!!! If I have to work sometimes 8 - 10 hours a day ain't no way I'm standing on my feet another minute after I get home. Man works from sun to sun a womans work is NEVER done.

    • terced ojos profile image

      terced ojos 8 years ago from

      Christal. Self help books are written primarily for women because from the time little girls begin to learn they are taught directly and indirectly that they are weak.

      Little girls are socialized to be subservient and taught that their gender is some sort of disability ergo little girls grow up to be women who "need to be fixed."

      Western society inculcates weakness in little girls as opposed to teaching them what most male children are taught. Namely that they are to be strong, self sufficient and intelligent.

    • christalluna1124 profile image

      christalluna1124 8 years ago from Dallas Texas


      I am so happy that you have someone who respects how hard you work. It just seems like the men in these days want their wife to be their mother. To be waited on hand and foot, meals served in bed. I didn't think I had moved to Saudi Arabia where this is the norm.

      Wishing you the Happiest holidays, and hope you are off on Christmas.

      Warmest regards,


    • profile image

      Tammy Lochmann 8 years ago

      Hey Christal a lot of truth in that one. Not all men are like that. But from what I hear and see there are a lot that are like that. I am sorry that you have a partner who doesn't understand how much hard work it is to look after kids and keep the house in order. I am truly exhausted when I finally go to bed at night.

      I have no answers for you about this. But like Freta says writing can be a way of venting your feelings and for people like us that is good therapy. I have had a pretty good relationship with my husband over the years and we both share in the responsibility of taking care of the children and keeping the house in order. While I am not a stay at home mom I don't work as much as he does and a lot of the responsibilities are placed in my hands. It is well known that a SAHM puts in more hours than someone who works outside the home.

      Any way if someone told me that they would go and get sex elsewhere, that would probably be the last thing that he said to me. I won't tolerate that and my partner knows it.

    • fastfreta profile image

      Alfreta Sailor 8 years ago from Southern California

      Yes I agree it does seem that the responsibility to keep the relationship together falls on the woman,and it appears that you really do put a lot of work into the relationship. It's said that venting is cathartic and what you are doing is probably the best thing for you at this point under the circumstances. Hubpages apparently is a good outlet for this this kind of venting. Very heartfelt hub. Looking forward to reading more.

    • christalluna1124 profile image

      christalluna1124 8 years ago from Dallas Texas


      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'm really not a grouch. It's just that I left a carrer to be a wife, I did not mean I wanted to lose myself, my interests, my sense of self-worth or my identity as a separate person. I know that when you are in a relationship it's supposed to be the two become one, but I think that means like you stated that it is all about a healthy relationship, not becoming the exact identical of your mate. Getting up at 6am to make breakfast, and lunch, cleaning, cooking and chasing an 8 years old who has ADHD and goes 90 miles an hour takes its toll after a few years. And yes I want the man I'm with to be happy,. Thats why I care for our home, care for him and his clothes, make sure his supper and I mean gourmet dinners complete with desert is ready when he walks in the door. I massage his back and feet and get his clothes ready for the next day. By then all I want to do is fall down on the bed and sleep forever. If I am too tired for sex, don't threaten me with "getting it somewhere else" because I am about to the point of telling him go for it.

      Please understand that I also have needs that are not getting met. I would love to meet him at the door with nothing on but high heels, his necktie and a smile. But could we get a sitter for a night? Some nice wine, a hot bubble bath and end up in a bed covered with rose petals, knowing the kids aren't going to wakeup. See I need time with him but I need my own personal downtime too. Could he maybe watch tv with the kids for a couple hours, let me curl up with a good book or some soft jazz and unwind. Even though I love him, I have different interests. I am an avid reader of all kinds of books, all types of music and sometimes just to meditate. He like action tv shows, hanging out with your friends and "resting". I'm really not asking for alot but at the end of my day don't get mad when I want to be where its quite and read, cool out and relax my mind. See honey your day ends at 6:00, mine is never over. I do want him to be happy but I don't want to sacrifice my own happiness or who I am. I want us to be happy as a couple, together but with our own downtimes and freedon to pursue my own interests.

      "Let's straighten it out".

    • ShyneIV profile image

      ShyneIV 8 years ago from Montreal

      I completely agree with you. It's not about keeing the man happy, rather it's about keeping the relationship healthy. And somewhere along the lines, somebody decided that that was the woman's job; which clearly it's not. Here's something that never gets talked about: women are naturally the leaders of the homes (no matter what some men might say). Consequently, they get stuck at times having to bare all the responsibilities of the house. The trick is to get the man to understand how hard such a task is and that his help is required to make the relationship as well as the home life work. What someone truly needs to write is a self help book for a couples as opposed to one for men and one for women.