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A Male’s Perspective On Why Women Feel Unappreciated In Relationships

Updated on December 31, 2009

A Male’s Perspective On Why Women Feel Unappreciated In Relationships

It just got boring! He kept ditching me for his friends! He doesn’t treat me the same way any more. I feel like I am just any other girl! He needs to learn his lesson. Blah, blah, blah! These italicized phrases (Yes, even that last one) are only a few straws of an infinitely large pile of hay, the hay that represents reasons why women break up with men. And what is the path of reasoning that leads women to these thoughts? Feeling unappreciated.

I lived through years and years of astutely and painfully listening to my female friends sob over how they are taken for granted, how they are overlooked, and how they are undervalued. And in all those years, I have yet to hear any such statements come out of a male’s mouth. So due to this discrepancy in human socialization, I finally decided to embark on a thinking mission to discover the reason why it is that women often feel unappreciated in a relationship, while men do not. After hundreds, if not thousands, of candid conversations (which were actually just random conversations that I will now validate as viable evidence) with those who joined the ranks of the heartbroken, I believe I have found the answer. And this answer is rooted in the fundamental difference between male and female interaction. This answer will open up your eyes. Actually, this answer is so obvious that I’m sure many of you have already figured it out for yourselves.

Here it is: We men do not communicate our emotions the same way that you women do. We don’t pour our hearts out. Okay, maybe in a song as a final desperate attempt to win your love, but rarely in conversation. We either go silent, go to the bar, or go and do something productive. I guess the issue is that you don’t want us to pour our hearts out; you just want us to express it when we appreciate something. But even that is difficult for us pride-absorbed men. For us, a simple “Thank You” is sufficient enough to express our undying love and appreciation for every little thing that you do for us. This is because we were raised to suppress our feelings of pain, because showing pain is a sign of weakness. The problem is that we also desperately try to avoid anything that can be categorized by our male compatriots as mushy or lovey-dovey.

Women, we men aren’t as dumb as they make us out to be in the movies and on television. We know that this lack of communication is ridiculous and childish, but our alpha male genes have been so well woven into our DNA that it takes every last ounce of pride and estrogen in our bodies to express our feelings. Please forgive us, for we are only men. The important thing is to communicate your feelings to your man. Know that men express their love with actions more than words, and understand that we make mistakes. Let your man know what it is that you want him to do make you feel loved, and if he truly cares, he will make an effort.

Have any thoughts or feedback? Please comment in the space provided below! All comments are welcome and very appreciated!


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      Sammi 2 years ago

      Okay... So what if your man never thanks, is never affectionate, would rather play with his Bike or car or have beers with his mates than be with you? And I'm constantly telling him I need him to put more effort in. Coming up 5 years in the relationship.... Am I wasting my time still trying?

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      Jeff 2 years ago

      I'm in the same boat as a lot of you. Except my girlfriend doesn't appreciate me. It's tough bc she thinks it's annoying when i bring it up.

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      Megan 3 years ago

      Mens don't appreciate woman because they are a scumbag . They don't want to tell or give you credit for doing things because they are afraid you might use it against them that you are putting in all the effort ... and they are not . For example if you were working hard at a job and your boss compliments you , praise you , or acknowledge you . Wouldn't you hope to get a raise or promotion ? Mens don't compliment , praise , or tell you thank you is because they don't want you to be above them and use it against them !!! These mens are Jerks and doesn't deserve a good woman !!!

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      too tired 3 years ago

      All I want is a "thank you", but I don't even get that.

      I work, cook, buy the food, pay the bills, and the car, and the gas. I am the only one working. While I am still in college finishing up my last semester my senior year.

      Never thought at 23 I would be supporting a grown man, but I care about him. Guess that's my fault.

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      Jamie003 3 years ago

      Hate to break it to ya but buying/paying for things and doing favors does not make the modern woman feel loved or appreciated.

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      capablefemale 3 years ago

      I disagree. Women are more care takers then men usually - on the personal things especially. Things that men don't even think of.

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      DarthW 3 years ago

      Interesting to hear all these women bitch about feeling underappreciated, as if men can't feel the same way. I spoiled my last girlfriend: mowed the her lawn all Summer (so she could save some money after her mower broke), washed dishes and folded clothes at her house when I'd visit (she has two kids so there were piles), bought groceries, shoes, and clothes for her kids to help her out (was happy to do it, they are cute kids with a blatantly deadbeat father), put screens in several of her windows so she could enjoy the Spring breeze and save some AC money (I paid for all the parts no less), I'd put gas in her car when we had to use it for dates since I have a small pickup....and more. Never heard a word of appreciation from her. Never. Never a thank you, I don't recall a hug. Nothin'. I paid for every bloody date we went on as well. Like most women these days, she was the typical entitled female. We men are just as unappreciated, and the women bitching here is a reminder that I am happily single!!

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      monique 3 years ago

      I appreciate my man and all that he does but when yo are the mother trying to make the home life work and are exhausted and it turns into a whose more tired argument I wish he could realize I was working and mothers jobs are never done 24/7 and he gets weekends feeling underappreciated is an understatement. I feel emotionally detatched. The thoughts that he has given up the life he wanted to be a dad I feel guilty but he made his choice. I feel like a forced marriage at times and am living with a stranger, I wish I didn't feel this way I try to look from both points of view being raised by a single father I understand guys approach things differently . But still I feel he is not there for me in what little I ask of him. I do appreciate any help he offers or does just wish there was more....

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      Lisa 3 years ago

      Guess my husband doesn't care about me. I talked to him about what it is I need to feel loved and appreciated and he doesn't think I should feel the way I feel. He will not make the effort.

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      james 4 years ago

      this is typical relationship BS, people just gotta learn to talk to their partner before it gets to the point where 'it's to late' to many relationships end over silly stuff that shouldn't even be an issue..

      Take my wife and I, I can tell something is wrong ask ask ask, nothing nothing nothing..

      I appreciate everything she does for us, does she appreciate anything I do for us.?

      Provide financial stability, house, vehicles, everything our children need.

      I change diapers and tidy away toys, keep telling her to get out and hang with her friends (which I don't do all that often) which she doesn't and think she blames me for making herself house trapped (her decision)

      every time I'm near the laundry this or that needs to be specially done so I keep clear, every time I load the dishwasher (which i recently bought to help out because I was doing all the dishes by hand) so I leave that to her if she's gonna complain.

      The place is always a mess until were gonna have company, theres no special place for everything and when I tidy up she complains that she cant find anything and doesn't want me to do it and yet it stays a mess, I find it very disheartening to have this double standard..

      And I'm the only one who suffers..

      Women, your men are getting out because they don't want to have a fight telling you to look in a mirror and address your own feelings without projecting them onto us...

      I think that 'feeling under-appreciated' is code for 'I'm a lost child who never grew up to be a well adjusted human being...'

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      4 years ago

      How about men start actually trying harder and show it in their actions. No, you are not expressive AND after you have the commitment from a woman, your actions also diminish. How women function: They derive strength from your appreciation, your supportiveness to their ideas, their desires, their ambitions.... with that strength, a woman goes all out just for you, really! But, when you don't appreciate and don't support, there is no strength . So without that, your relationship is full of only one thing: pressure of expectations from both of you.

      As someone already mentioned: it is perhaps a good idea for you men to tell each other how to appreciate your significant other.

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      4 years ago

      I really like your thoughtful post here. I agree with the fact that men have been raised to suppress their emotions, and it's hard when in a relationship to do so at times. I honestly believe that therapy can help with this and for society to be more open to men crying and expressing themselves. I don't like the stigma that men get if they do open up about being a wuss ect. On the flip side I also feel as a woman that it is important for both women and men to be treated with respect. On my end I really value affirmations and appreciation. I really feel like something is missing in my relationships if I don't have it. I also feel that sometimes there is this idea that if I want a thank you or appreciation and ask for it then I am being a princess/think Im really special. I do feel I am special in the sense of being loved and treated with kindness. (I wish more people saw just how special they truly are)

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      4 years ago

      Men are stupid....period!

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      Christine 5 years ago

      Just because a nurse knows how to take care of a patient doesn't mean she wants to marry him.

      Will appreciate it when men recognize that this is what this is and take responsibility for their emotional shortcomings and decide to heal, grow, step up.

      Will appreciate it when more women choose not to marry the patient and then spend a lifetime complaining about it. That will be less wearing on the rest of us, and will motivate more men to clear up the problem faster in order to have a partner. Women who teach their daughters about this from early on will protect those daughters from damaging relationships.

      Then, we can move on to other more interesting things to talk about.

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      Carol 5 years ago

      Honestly, though I understand the lack of emotional expression men suffer from, I must agree with another comment, that it is only something that happens after the beginning of the relationship. I never resented anything but after repetitive actions and insincere apologies, I have actually found myself resentful. I'm tired of putting him first and for him to put me on the back burner. He believes that buying me my fav. chocolate (hershies bar) is everything I need. NO. I don't want to know that I was forgotten. I don't want to be ditched last minute for his friends. Especially when he hates me spending time with mine. Its like he expects me to be docile and at home, just waiting alone and patiently, for his attention. I want to feel like I mean something! I want to feel like I'm important. I grow weary of being tossed out for the friends that do nothing to help him for his future. Actions do speak louder than words, and frankly, men are bad at that too. I just can't stand it.

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      jelly 5 years ago

      a true alpha male would not be SCARED of his own emotions

      highly doubt u have met many real alpha males

      most men nowadays are just boys TRYING to be alpha males and act in passive aggressive manners to control

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      Lupita 5 years ago

      Very sad in the same boat here whatever i do Its never good enough being married 6 months and now thinking on divorce !

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      Carol 6 years ago

      Life is not simple. There are no simple answers. Men are not simple; women are not simple. If we were we would not be interesting, and there would be no reason for relationships let alone long term commitments. If men are not willing to commit, they cannot expect women to commit. It is my experience that younger women are much less of a challenge than older women. Older women have lived a while and learned what is real and not real. They have developed a moral base that is not for the faint of heart. If they are wise they lead with rational thoughts based on this sound moral foundation and insist that men grow into the masculine persons they were meant to be. The role of a whole woman in relationship to men is to insist on his exercising his whole manhood instead of blaming his DNA or other people.

      Often people will resort to mediocre set family and society expectations, habits, and norms to avoid negative labels that shame their masculine and feminine identities. Shame because you’re a man or shame because you’re a woman? Where is the logic in this? Parents most often do this to the children either knowlingly or unknowlingly out of fearful habit. Labels and false beliefs are passed from generation to generation. Fortunately, we are born with a Presence in ourselves to question every thought and resulting emotion we habitually engage to change for the better for self and our relationships. Thoughts create emotions. That is a biological fact. If we are feeling bad you can bet there’s some false idea floating around. If we want good relationships we have to question every thought and emotion of every habit.

      This inner Presence I mentioned is sheer unadulterated power, a flow of compassionate energy. If we do not feel this power we are not opening up our courage to exercise it. We have to be open to it, acknowledge it and use it. Knowledge of this power comes from a solid moral belief system. Men are often afraid of their power because other people are afraid of his power. They don’t understand it because others never offered to teach them to use it, so they don’t even know it exists. People are afraid of what they do not understand.

      Powerful men have the strength to speak the truth and be the truth. They initiate, implement appropriate authority, demand true justice, penetrate through difficulties, and offer compassionate leadership. They support and defend the virtues of the feminine. Women are responsive to men. Their powerful connection to Nature through birth requires nurturance, steadfast love, to civilize man from day one to ensure his masculine identity before he steps out on his own in adulthood. Society does not accept the efforts made by virtuous mothers who instill independence in their children and instead misrepresent their character as controlling. In intimate relationships both sexes use their virtues to influence one another towards subsequent decades of development throughout life. This development will inevitably challenge parental and societal norms.

      Norms are not necessarily healthy. The true symbols of gender are being neutered by Western society, and with it relationships fail, children are abandoned, and men and women die. Look at divorce rates, look at suicide rates, look at the stress produced, financial repercussions, and resulting diseases. It’s all connected. To quote Dr. Tom Howard, “Only persons? Most of you believe them when they tell you that this mightiest and most splendid of all distinctions in the universe—that it is a sexist distinction. I believe that the imagery matters and that this imagery of man and woman is rich and hilarious with liberties and joys so far beyond the gritty vocabulary of struggle and politics . . . that they cannot even be talked about on the same evening.” What does it profit us if we gain the whole world but lose our souls?

      To question who we are and the reasons we behave the way we do is a very good thing. It is a good thing to understand how, and the reasons why, we were raised the way we were. It is good to understand societal expectations and to challenge them. Learning and researching who we are and how the universe works is paramount. Those who do are happier, avoid breakups, divorce, and family problems to a much greater degree than those who say, “my DNA made me do it”. A truly strong man will not be threatened by a truly strong woman. They can only prosper. Anyone who blames their DNA is outside of themselves, out of balance, and powerless.

      Come on – own up. Men and women were made to complement and support one another in Love. There are more similarities than differences; we are of the same species. Concentrate on the similarities. Otherwise, we find ourselves only in the company of our own sex, angry, separated, and lonely for the other. We are not opposites unless we choose to oppose. Love is not oppositional. If we can’t love we are not ready for true relationship and will abuse the other. Love takes courage and the development of true masculinity and femininity.

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      shireen 6 years ago

      are men vanished?

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 6 years ago

      Wow, lol, looks like you just dug yourself a hole here dustindle.

      Anyway, a funny hub and a very good attempt at being a voice of reason.

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      Cait 6 years ago

      The moment I felt most unappreciated was when I had to be overseas for a few months but decided to surprise my boyfriend with a (very rare and daring) show of my "affection" over Skype. In the middle of things I heard him... laugh. Startled, I looked up at the screen in all my naked glory and he was watching the other way. "Sorry, honey!" he said, "I wasn't laughing at you, I'm just watching Craig Ferguson". WTF.

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      angry wife 6 years ago

      If men have this flaw of not expressing and making a woman feel loved, cared, wanted... how come they are able to express it only when they are wooing the girl... why does this flaw only appear after marriage or when the relationship has started...

      Had the flaw been there since the beginning, no woman would ever fall in love with a man. But no!! the flaw only appears when men start taking woman for granted and think the relation would continue even if they dont do little things for her..

      Hence saying this is a fundamental difference is a very very bad excuse on a man's part..

      Where was this difference when they proposed come they were able to express themselves at that time but not now!!

      pathetic excuses by lazy, arrogant males!!!

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      Tara 7 years ago

      I'm supporting my husband financially, pay for his car, our apt, his phone, I pay for his twins ins as well as feed them, cook, clean, shop, care for etc... I also have 2 kids... Oh and no one says "thanks"! I've decided to stop a lot of it and see if anyone notices.

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      Helen 7 years ago

      A thank you would make me feel appreciated. I just made lunch for my boyfriend after getting up, making the bed, cleaning the bathroom, doing the laundry and watering the plants (all with an injured back while he napped on the sofa), and after lunch he went to put the plates in the dishwasher and yelled at me for not having emptied it already.

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      chris 7 years ago

      I also felt very unappreciated when I dated my ex. I would always be there for him, be his support through his last term of university, take care of him when he's sick....there were countless things that I did. I don't think anything I did was enough. This constant feeling of neglect led me to seek the arms of another man. I loved my ex so much but other people showed me how I should have been treated. In my mind I still love him and regret cheating on him as I was not strong enough to break off the relationship.

      Most of his exes cheated on him and left with the other guy. None of them felt as much remorse and regret as I did. At times I try to justify my actions because he had so many failed previous relationships probably due to the same reason. But for any men reading this, please let your loved one know that you appreciate her and treat her well before she leaves you for another or worse yet cheats on you. If I could I would take back my actions...but no amount of convincing changed his mindset of how he treats women. I just hope for the future he can find someone that doesn't need as much love are care to be satisfied.

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      wendy quon 7 years ago

      this is just a RIDICULOUS excuse for not trying harder.

      women pull out everything for these men who can't even simply show some appreciation now and then.

      I am very disappointed in these men. I am disappointed in all men. I am disappointed in my boyfriend. I am CRYING right now because I feel unapppreciated for always doing things to make him feel happy.... but I guess I am just not happy being with him.

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      visith 8 years ago

      well said

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      dustindle 8 years ago

      You may be right. Men might interpret their lady's thoughts as a complaint. My goal was to explain why men might not express their gratitude toward their women, even if they really do appreciate everything that they do. It is a flaw that we have, but if it is understood that this is how men function, it might help a little bit with the communication in relationships.

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      kalong Wong 8 years ago

      How about you men tell each OTHER how to appreciate your significant others? I think, many times when women tell their men how they feel, their thoughts are translated into complaints and whininess rather than a desperate attempt to salvage a relationship.