I was eighteen once – thought I knew it all. [Laughing hysterically right now] I also thought I knew what I wanted, and how to get what I wanted. I’m so embarrassed to say this – but there was a time when I thought the only way to get a man to treat me right was to train him on how I wanted to be treated. Honestly, seriously – what does that sound like?
Like men are dogs – who need to be trained. Granted, I must also admit I ran into quite a few dogs in my journey – still do in passing from time to time – but the mindset I had was never to trust someone’s ability to treat me with decency. Or that decency was never good enough – as if they had to prove something – or go the extra mile for the mistakes and hurt from my previous relationships.
What am I even talking about – training? First of all, know the difference between “training” and “learning“. There will always, always, always be the learning game in every relationship – nonstop learning, if you will. Learning is something you do together, openly and empathetically. Training is the combative side – it’s teaching, or preaching – and not necessarily successful or done in a positive manner. It signifies a personal weakness or an ulterior motive (for change). So if you’ve ever thought or said anything along the lines of, “He knows nothing – he doesn’t know how to handle a woman like me – there’s no way he’ll ever be able to make me happy – he’s needs to learn what it takes to hold onto this relationship, and I’ll show him” and acted on it – there’s your answer.
Here’s the thing – I’m not saying any of that can’t be true, but there are still perfectly clear reasons as to why you need to stop trying to train him in relationships.
pump the brakes, ladies –
stop trying to
train him in relationships
He doesn’t need a teacher, and shouldn’t anyway
Because, really – that was his mother’s job – to raise, and teach her son how all women should be treated. That’s why it’s always been said, “You can tell a lot about a man by how he treats his mother.” A lot of the rest should come from self development naturally through relationships and social experiences. It’s not to say that every man will get the book right, with every woman, 100% of the time. Plus, we’re no two alike – our needs are all drastically different – but in terms of respect, consideration, and universal communication skills, these should be no-brainers. As I’ve said many, many times – we’re all bound to make mistakes. But he also shouldn’t need your voice of reason in order for him to realize and learn from his mistakes, either.
I remember a time of being there, too – feeling the need to lesson him on my relationship experience (which exceeded his own), and in time I grew tired, and weak. Not only was I becoming the two beams of support in the relationship – I continually tolerated less than I damn-well deserved. My teaching only resulted in me becoming a naggy, badgering, attacking, and annoying know-how. And that’s not who I am. By then it was no longer a relationship, it was high-school detention – where all I knew to point out were the things wrong in him over the good. He became this person who I saw as constantly needed “fixing” in order for the relationship to be fulfilled, and he then resented me. Yet – when I should have just left him from the beginning – I fought all for nothing. I thought I could “train” someone who had no clear respect for me, my needs and desires, as a person or for the relationship – when I should never have to, period.
It’s called having maturity. Something that is hard to come by, and needs to be self-absorbed by choice in order to be fully practiced and understood. If you’re having to “train” your man in any of those black and white areas – well, a relationship isn’t, and won’t be the only place he’ll struggle with in life – guaranteed. But he has to want to do better, and be better, for himself.
“Training” him means you’re only masking over the surface
It’s like spreading delicious frosting over a bad, gross cake. Deceiving, mostly. And once you break through the surface – which, if you’re one who thinks icing makes any cake taste better, think again on this one – all true colors will just come pouring through, ultimately ruining that delicious icing.
Just because you think it’s sinking in by constantly telling him, “Do this, do that, be less this, be more that,” – guess what? It’s the last thing he will probably ever allow himself to do or be on his own. And with that, it basically means…
To “train” means to “control“
And isn’t that going against the moral of a relationship? Right now women are rising up their hands in empowerment, that no man ever has control over who we are – our choices, our emotions, our bodies, our power, our rights – our life. But what are we doing when we flaunt that men need “training” in relationships – that they simply have no idea how to please, or how to be a man – and require teaching in how to do so. Call it what you want – it’s control.
And if you aren’t aware, with control comes resentment, creating the divide we struggle with between men and women today in the dating world.
Don’t be surprised when you’re called a “manipulator“
You might say, “I’m doing this for the good of our relationship, for us – for him.” Is it, though? Or is it for simply getting your way and pointing the blame to one side of the fence? No offense, but defining “training” as going beyond measurable amounts of “Love” in mending the relationship to your aesthetically pleasing eye isn’t Love at all – that’s manipulation. As the woman going through her significant other’s phone and deleting every other woman’s number says, “I’m doing this for his own good.”
There’s a clear difference between your needs not being met – and you verbally making that aware to him – and getting your needs met through the perception to change and control him.
Training him won’t change him
The willingness to learn, or changing and growing from, has to be a conscious, individual choice – especially in relationships. So when you say that he needs “training” in a particular sense, you actually aren’t helping him achieve his full potential in the relationship (no matter if it seems that way). And ultimately, he may never reach that potential, if he’s not willing. And that part is ultimately out of your control. By “training”, you are not working together to improve the relationship – you are implying he is the sole problem, and have made the initiation for him to change through your solution. And that solution is more than likely the “my way or the highway” approach through poor communication and toxic behavior.
Like nails on a chalkboard, communication like this is still widely used today, “If you’d just learn how to be a man – you’d understand me and what I need. And I need a man.” If there is one thing you could say to emasculate any man – it’s that, whether deep down to be true or not. You’re after change, but you know what that’s not saying? What you actually need. So while you think you can “train” him into becoming the man you need by fueling fire with fire – that way of thinking won’t motivate for change, ever.[Related Read: 13 Vital Communication Skills That Will Save Your Relationship]
Most of all, that isn’t your job since he’s a grown-ass man
And why should it be? Just like it isn’t a man’s job to show you or tell you how to be an ideal girlfriend, or wife. I mean, because HEY-YO, there would be absolutely no tolerating of that shenanigans, am-I-right?
So let me say it, again – it isn’t your job to train him. That’s not how a relationship works. It’s about working together through support, compassion, respect, open communication and diligence on both ends. If the relationship reaches a point in need of your “training” – you might be up against emotional complacency and a lack of self worth.
The only duty you have is finding a man who knows your worth, respects it and values it – without your help.[Related Read: 7 Reasons Why Women With Self Worth Have More Successful Relationships]