The other day, I met Michele, a striking 32 year old woman, at a popular Santa Fe gathering place. She had overheard me speaking to a friend about relationships and volunteered to share some of her own views about love relationships with me.

We carried on a fantastic conversation for about an hour, as we both mindfully sipped our herbal tea, late into the afternoon.

So, I thought I would share some of the highlights of our conversation, with you.

Agree or disagree, I appreciated Michele’s honesty, her passion, and refreshing candor.

Here are some of her various views and some of my added comments that follow:

On the subject of patriarchy

“There’s a lot of oppression of women.”

I definitely agree with Michelle here. For centuries now, women have been controlled and brutalized! And, worse, the patriarchy continues to this day! (What can I say? I’m a feminist at heart.)

On the subject of drama & complaints

“Women like the drama and all the complaints. We complain about our men non-stop to our girlfriends.”

I find that a lot of women are sick of relationship drama, and they routinely, and consciously, work on holding down any complaints and negativity, especially when it comes to meaningful connection with their partners.

Most healthy women (and men) take positive action to improve their relationships. They don’t just talk…

On the subject of cheating

“Men cheat because they’re not getting the sex they want.”

This is a bit too simplistic a statement for me. I believe that men (and women) cheat for a variety of reasons.

However, when a man is not experiencing good sex in his partnership or marriage, generally speaking, cheating outside the relationship usually isn’t far behind.

“Women cheat for revenge. I also cheated to get back at him. He chose to be with another woman over me. If she was hot, then I could understand. But to choose an ugly woman over me – not okay with me.”

I found this statement about cheating, although honest, baffling and frankly rather vain. I think being cheated on by any person, “steaming hot” or “mournfully ugly,” is just plain demeaning and tragic.

And, I’ll say it again: women (and men) cheat for a variety of reasons – not only for revenge.

“Sometimes, for women, cheating just happens, like the girls out on a weekend vacation.”

Not if these same “girls on a weekend vacation” take their partnerships seriously and value loyalty!

Cheating doesn’t just happen – there’s usually something going on in the relationship which usually, and urgently, needs to be addressed.

“Women cheat because they want to be loved.”

Let me say this again: I believe both men and women cheat for lots of reasons. When either partner feels unloved, the stage for cheating is often set.

The real problem is that when one “goes” outside of a committed relationship, the love that’s so desperately sought after usually isn’t found.

On the subject of men, sex, & love

“For men, sex is not about love. They just don’t want to lose their main woman.”

Oh, really? In a healthy relationship, sex is almost always about the shared love. Not wanting to lose their “main woman” through sex is usually about a man’s underlying fear and misunderstanding – a desperate and unhealthy form of control.

Good sex isn’t typically fear-based…

“Men look at other women and women make them suffer.”

Well, not in every case, Michele!

But I have seen women unfairly come down hard on their men, just for looking at another woman.

And the withholding of sex is, unfortunately, one possible form of punishment too often inflicted by a woman. I don’t think that’s reasonable – and it can be heartbreaking and potentially destructive to an otherwise loving relationship.

I truly believe that looking at another woman (or man), although potentially demeaning, is a very different experience, than touching!

“Men are unhappier because their women shut them down. They tear their men down.”

I disagree with this incredibly negative appraisal of women!

Conscious women choose to communicate with their men in positive and constructive ways, not shut them off.

Women who routinely “tear their men down,” shouldn’t even be in a love relationship!

“Usually it’s the woman who wants the divorce. Men don’t want to feel like a failure.”

In my clinical practice, both genders will equally seek out divorces, and will often tend to feel like failures when divorce happens, but not always.

In any case, women do not have the market on initiating a divorce!

Sadly, it’s an equal opportunity kind of thing.

“I think when a man watches pornography, he just wants to see and visualize it, not go out with her.”

Men, depending on their various needs and wants, approach pornography in different ways and from varying points of view. Some just like to vicariously see the computerized image, and that’s it; sexual mission accomplished.

But others, especially those who aren’t that concerned with anonymity, would probably want to do more than just visualize a two-dimensional woman on a computer screen.

Most men, I believe, would usually opt to experience a woman in a real-life, 3-dimensional kind of way, that is, if the situation presented itself.

On the subject of loyalty

“My man won’t ever leave me.”

Is that so? I mean, I admire the certainty of Michele’s statement, but the truth is, relationships change and are constantly in flux.

How you feel about your partner on Monday, may not be so true on Tuesday.

Also, I’ve observed a lot of women in denial about the state of their current relationships. Their blindness as to what’s really going on, is sometimes astounding – and so sad to see.

So, there you are – some of Michelle’s views on men and relationships, and my brief comments about those views.

Regardless of my reactions, I felt privileged to hear one woman’s candid comments on such a delicate and often-loaded topic of love and relationships.

Thank you, Michele…

If you’d like to add to Michele’s views, or my brief statements about those views, please leave your observations or remarks in the comment section below.


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