January 23, 2021 |Gideon Hanekom

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In this post, we’re looking at 7 things women don’t always tell men and how these can impact a couple’s relationship.

In our previous post, Men: 7 Things They Don’t Tell Women, I suggested that the ignorance many couples have of what men and women intrinsically need and desire, is often at the heart of many relationship issues.

Women 7 Things They Dont Tell Men women

However, the moment they get more insight into the other and apply, what I sometimes call a “gender-specific approach,” many of the existing issues tend to dissolve as a result.

One simple example would be the distinction men and women make when it comes to love and respect.

Most men would much rather feel unloved in their marriage than disrespected or inadequate/incompetent.

Most women would much rather feel inadequate than unloved.

In order to make a man feel loved, a woman must focus on making him feel respected, competent or capable as a man. It’s only when he feels this that he can then extend his love fully.

For a woman to feel loved and respected, she needs to feel loved, safe, and worthy.

But she will always desire to feel loved more than feeling she’s somehow incapable in her husband’s eyes. She doesn’t really care about that.

For as long as she feels genuinely loved, she will feel respected, worthy, and good enough, and that’s enough.

Men, however, not so much. No respect equals no love.

Now, I also understand that there’s a much bigger conversation about “gender” going on at the moment, that I don’t want to get into here.

My point here is merely the observation that many men and women in love relationships tend to have vastly different physiological and psychological needs, desires, expectations and approaches which seem to be widely present in most average heterosexual relationships.

And it’s only when we as couples recognise this and work with it rather than against it that we create a deeper connection, polarity, and attraction that fuels love AND romance.

So in our last post, we looked at men and the things they don’t often tell women which you can read here, but in this post, we’re looking at women and 7 things they too don’t always tell men.

Now, before we dive in, please note that the following was researched and collected by a woman, so make of it what you will.

Also, as always, there are exceptions to every rule…

It’s OK to look

Men tend to be simple and straightforward creatures.

Left to their own devices (without women in their lives) it’s quite possible they may never get out of shorts or sweats, will watch UFC all day and night, hang out with mates most of the time, or spend their time watching women, mostly alone.

Interestingly enough, guys don’t mind taking a good look at a good looking woman in public while with their friends, but many actually prefer fantasy, lust and porn in the privacy of their own home which is SO accessible nowadays.

And, believe it or not, most women know this.


Somewhere deep inside, she knows that men are driven by what they see and not necessarily how they feel.

In fact, if your wife truly understands this, she’ll dress up for you, spend time creating her own fantasy in your bedroom and make sure she uses this far more effectively to good ends.

Now, before I get angry emails about this statement, let me back it up with two peer-review research studies.

In one study, researchers found that among people looking for long-term relationships, men prioritised appearance and women prioritised social status.1

In another study, the largest ever survey of mate-preferences indicated that,

  • 92% of men and 84% of women said that it was desirable or essential that their potential partner was good-looking.
  • 80% of men and 58% of women said a slender body was desirable or essential.
  • 74% of men and 97% of women wanted someone with a steady income.
  • 47% of men and 69% of women said that a potential partner making a lot of money was important to them.2

Men look because they are visual.

As I said in the previous post, men’s eyes sometimes look so quickly, the brain hardly has time to realise what’s happening until it’s already happened.


Now, with all of that in mind, if you’re a man reading this, just because you’re visual, doesn’t mean you get a free pass.

Understand this – your wife will tell you that it’s fine with her if you look, as long as you don’t touch or “eat at home.”

In other words, in a man’s mind, this means it’s fine if you look at the woman walking past you in the restaurant.

You might even believe that it’s ok for you to turn and watch her “perfect derriere” (that’s a fancy word for “arse” by the way) walking away.

Or at least that’s what she SAYS.

But, the truth is often far from it.

In fact, chances are your wife or partner simply said that it’s ok to look because she thinks she has to.

She’ll say it’s ok because she’s been told that men need that visual stimulation to keep you at her side, and she doesn’t want to sound like a jealous schoolgirl.

But, underneath all that seemingly understanding and peace, you are probably hurting her feelings and self-esteem quite badly.

Think about it like this…

Imagine if she turned her head with every Adonis that walked by in the restaurant or gym, how would that make you feel?

I imagine you would probably feel quite unsure and insecure in your relationship with her if that happened frequently.


But, fortunately for you, most women aren’t built that way.

She may definitely appreciate a good-looking guy, but she doesn’t have the same visual appreciation that most men do, so doesn’t have the overwhelming need to turn around and stare each time a “piece of meat” passes by.

However, she does feel just as bad, if not worse, than you would if she was looking at every hunk that walks in the door.

So, if you genuinely love her and appreciate your spouse or partner, then it’s time to keep your eyes in your head.

That obviously doesn’t mean that you’re not gonna look when you’re by yourself, and that’s probably fine.

The point I’m making here is to put yourself in your spouse’s shoes and consider how you want to be treated if the roles were reversed.

We know that you see every woman that walks in the door, but your woman doesn’t want to see you seeing her.

It is OK if you use porn

As already established, men tend to be visual and sexual beings.

Guys thrive on what they see and can’t help but look at almost every woman, set of breasts or booty that walks by.

This might sound harsh, but it’s unfortunately true.


Now, many people have heard the claim that men think about sex every seven seconds (around 8,000 times a day!), but there is actually absolutely no research to back that claim.

In fact, there are NO conclusive research studies that indicate exactly how much men or women think about sex every day.

There is one study3, however, that looked into it and found that the median number (in statistics, a median is a value separating the higher half from the lower half of a data sample, a population, or a probability distribution) of sexual thoughts for men was 18.6 and for women, it was 9.9 times per day.

In contrast, the average for men was 34.2 and for women, it was 18.6.

But, interestingly enough, statistical tests indicated that the number of thoughts men had about sex was not statistically larger than the number of thoughts about food and sleep.

Men had more thoughts about all three of those areas than did women.

So, food, sleep and sex…

No surprises there.

But, in saying that, men do like sex and do think about it…a lot.

Now, adding to that, there is a real physical drive for men to ejaculate when there is a build-up of semen and sperm in the body.

Because the body produces semen consistently, and it is not reabsorbed when not used, it has to be released.

That is a physiological reality that could probably play a role in why men think about sex on average more than women.

But this can also lead to potential issues for couples.


Since guys have to achieve that physical release but their spouses might not always be available or in the mood, some men believe that using porn while in a relationship is acceptable.

Some others even believe that sex live-streaming is an acceptable release.

Now, there are two additional issues that can potentially magnify this idea, namely:

  1. Society has made using these services more acceptable and available to the general public and it isn’t as hidden as it once was, so men have access to it more and easier and it’s become more acceptable, and
  2. Because of the way that men are programmed and built, frequent exposure to porn CAN become very addictive.

These are very real dangers to a love relationship and porn should therefore NOT be taken lightly.

But, that point aside for now, when they are engaged in a committed relationship, most women will understand that they may not be able to stop their guys from using porn and will probably even tell you that it is OK if you use it.

But the reality is that it is NOT ok.

Not really.

In fact, if you respect her and love her at all, you’ll avoid it.

Now, for the sake of fairness, I tested this with my wife.

I asked her how she would feel about me frequently using porn to get off, OR using live-streaming sex services?

The response was what I thought it would be; not acceptable, degrading, disrespectful, and cheating.

Again, no surprises.

So, if you’re in a relationship, unless you and your spouse enjoy watching porn together to spice up your own sex life, I would suggest avoiding it.

Moreover, if you are already addicted to porn, make sure to use every resource available to you to stop and be honest with her about your desire to stop.

And listen, porn, strip clubs and erotica are all the same.

There is NO difference!

They tempt you – both men and women – to entertain and engage in relationships in your mind that can potentially ruin the real relationships you have in the physical world.

No woman (or man) wants to be compared against the fantasy of the busty, air-brushed, six-pack abs woman you were ogling right before bed.


Using porn or erotica can potentially diminish the relationship you have with your partner and can create a chasm that you may never be able to cross again as it festers and grows.

The point here is that if she says that she’s ok with it, she probably isn’t.

And, if she is, then start becoming curious about what she’s doing behind your back too.

How many men they have slept with

Prior to the 1960s, women slept with men before marriage, but not to the number that they did after the 60/70s and not openly.

Instead, they didn’t talk about it with anyone but their very closest friends and didn’t openly tell their next partner that they weren’t a virgin.

All that changed in the era of free love and rock ‘n’ roll.

free love

Today the pendulum is swinging back in the opposite direction.

Where love was once free, today it comes with a price tag that includes a long list of sexually transmitted diseases and life-threatening HIV infections and continues to include the old standby, pregnancy.

Now, interestingly, many (if not most) guys want to get married to a virgin, or at least be her first encounter in bed in their relationship.

It’s probably in part due to being the hunter who doesn’t want their prey poached.

So, before you jump in bed, in today’s STD environment and the increase of casual or hookup sex, it’s vital you have that conversation about sexual history, infectious diseases, blood-borne disease, etc.

Know now that even though she’ll share whether or not she has anything infectious, she most likely won’t share how many guys she’s slept with.

When you ask your partner about her sexual history, expect the facts about infections, STDs, HIV and anything else that’s pertinent.

Just do NOT expect an exact number, because truthfully, you don’t want to know.


In the media and conversations, most people talk about the man’s sex drive and what HE wants, but the truth is many women in relationships also want more from their spouses because many are sexually dissatisfied.

As a man, you might believe that you’re hitting the mark for her between the covers, but there are most likely a few things that your wife doesn’t often share about your performance in the bedroom that would hugely improve your sex life.


Because although it could make life easier for both of you, she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, deflate your ego or tarnish your ideas about sex with HER.


So, let me spare her the embarrassment and enlighten you about one or two things.

Firstly, for her to wanna have sex, you need to start thinking about connecting with her outside the bedroom (first), and secondly, understand that arousal for her happens over the entire body and not just in the genital region.

While you may have picked up a few moves from watching porn, THAT is NOT real life.

The purpose of those films is to play to the camera and arouse YOU not the woman in the film.

So, get rid of those ideas and ask her what she enjoys and wants.

Truth be told, she probably thinks about sex with you more than you think.

And as long as your relationship with her is strong and she feels genuinely loved and adored, she will be physically attracted to you and would want sex.

The problem, however, is that for many women, by the time dinner is on the table, the dishes are done, the place is cleaned up, and kids are off to bed, all she can think about is crawling between the sheets to relax and hoping she has the energy to get through the next day.

Not to have sex.

domestic duties

The reality is that most married women are still spending most of their time and energy taking care of stuff like the house, the kids, her own job, dinner, the shopping and you, more than the average husband does.

As we saw in the previous post,  research also supports that.

According to the analysis conducted by University College London and published in the journal Work, Employment and Society“gender norms remain strong” when it comes to household chores.

The researchers assessed data from more than 8,500 heterosexual couples who were interviewed for the UK Household Longitudinal Study between 2010 and 2011.

They discovered that women do approximately 16 hours of household chores every week, while men do closer to six.

Furthermore, women did the bulk of the domestic duties in 93% of the couples analysed for the study.

So the point here is that by the time she starts thinking about herself, let alone sex, she may not have the energy to think at all.

And I understand this sucks for many men and husbands, but perhaps you need to start thinking about this differently.

If you want her to be more open to the idea of physical intimacy, you need to become more involved with everything else in the relationship.

For example, you can start pitching in when you get home from work and help her make dinner or make dinner yourself.

Do the dishes and help her to clean up your kitchen.

Pick up the kids toys or make sure that they do.

If she has work to do before bed, take care of the kids, get them in the bath and bed.

domestic support

A good piece of wisdom about women and sex I’ve learned is,

What happens outside the bedroom determines what happens inside the bedroom.

“You can tell me anything, I won’t get angry”

Babe, you can tell me whatever you want. I promise that I won’t get angry!

You can tell me that you are dying to know what the neighbourhood looks like naked – for real because you’ve been imagining it for over six months.

You can tell me that you’ve had a crush on your secretary for a year.

You can tell me that you got two speeding tickets last month.

You can tell me that you forgot to stop at the store tonight on your way home.

You can tell me that it irritates you when I cough every night when I’m going to sleep.

You can tell me that my bottom side has grown two sizes over the last year.

This sounds like a safe invitation, but I would caution you to accept.

She will usually pull this statement out when she believes that she wants an honest opinion from you.

But, honestly, she doesn’t want to know that her stomach sticks out way too far in that skin-tight dress she wore last night.

Or that she’s gained weight.

She can figure that out on her own.

She might be very comfortable with her body and not care that her stomach is a bit bigger than it was six months ago.

On the other hand, she definitely does NOT want to know that the neighbour turns you on or that your secretary is a problem.

Unless, of course, you are struggling to stay monogamous and want her help to keep your commitments.


The reality is that she wants an honest opinion if she’s asking but she wants it in the best possible way.

And, also honestly, that just might not be possible.

Sometimes giving an honest opinion is too much for your partner and gives her more information than she truly wanted.

That is the time to pull out the kid gloves and talk to her kindly, softly and with praise, but not too much flattery!

For her BS meter is on and ready to pick up on anything that’s a tad too much.

She obviously knows you might BS her just a little (even expect you to), but you better stay in the “just a little” range.

If she asks how she looks in her dress, she already knows!

She wants to know what you’re going to say.

She already knows that her belly is a bit bigger or that there’s an extra roll that wasn’t there last year, it’s WHETHER you point it out or not that counts.

So, yes, you can tell her just about anything, but not everything.

When they are mad

You love your spouse.

She is the best thing that’s happened in your life.

In fact, you probably worship the ground she walks on.

However, like all humans, there are a few things that she doesn’t always tell you.

One of those things she sometimes keeps to herself is when she’s feeling angry or upset.


Now, as a man, you might disagree and believe that every time she’s mad, you know every last detail.

But, there are times when she’s hurt or angry or she’s trying to protect your feelings.

In these cases, she’s not going to tell you everything every time.

Even when you ask.

If you ask if she’s mad or upset, she’ll most likely answer you with a resounding “no! I’m not mad” or “it’s nothing.”

She may be not telling the truth because she either wants to forget about the conversation and move on, or she wants time to process what’s happened and decide if it’s something that does need a discussion.

A big difference between men and women is that when men get angry they seem to explode outward. But some women have a tendency to implode.

When angry they end up crying more than they do yelling (although that happens too).

So telling you that she isn’t angry could sometimes be a way for her to protect herself from any further potentially hurtful criticism she anticipates coming from you.

Criticism should be the last thing you give your spouse during this time (or any other time).

couple conflict

Rather take the time to control your possible need to react to her anger (vented or withheld), and just be a safe space for her to feel whatever she’s feeling.

And if you need to apologise, apologise.

Don’t justify anything.

Just say you’re “sorry” and take ownership of your part in things.

Moreover, if she’s open to talking, then talk with her about her feelings ((i.e. listen) without blowing up about how the incident was so small and she’s making a mountain out of a molehill (definitely do NOT do that).

Because if she THOUGHT it was a molehill and not important, she wouldn’t have brought it up in the first place.

But the fact that she HAS brought it up is a clear indication that it’s important to HER. Deal with that.

Also, put yourself in her shoes and try to understand that she isn’t mad AT you, just hurt and needs some reassurance.

Not a fight nor your excuses.

“I like your friends and family”

In the process of building a strong relationship, we tend to meet each other’s family and friends.

This is a normal part of most relationships as it helps to develop a deeper bond between you.

Now, it’s important to understand that your friends and family are important to you and hers are important to her.

But that doesn’t mean you’re always going to like all of each other’s family or friends.

And that’s fine.

However, this is where things often get a tad tricky with women.

One of the things she might tell you is that she likes (all) your friends and family.

Initially, she understands that she must fit in with your friends and especially your mother if she has any hope of staying in your life for the long term.

So she does what needs to be done.

She plays the game.

She’ll make sure that you know she enjoys their company, or at least until you get married.

And, even at that point, she might give you the impression that she likes them knowing that they are important in your life.


The true test, however, is the test of time.

The more comfortable she feels with you and the longer you’ve been together, you’ll start noticing that she’s involves herself with your family or friends with variable levels of engagement or intimacy.

With some, she will be super engaged and outgoing while with others she’ll simply remain civil but not much more.

And that’s fine. You probably do the same thing.

Just understand simply because she says she likes your family or friends, doesn’t mean that she actually does or not as much as you do.

The good news is that your best friends don’t have to be hers too. And vice versa.

You can also develop new friendships together, where neither of you has the upper hand in the friendship.

But, of course, that doesn’t work with families! You can’t choose those.

Just be aware that there might be times where she feels you’re spending too much time with your friends or family, and she’d actually like to have you all to herself.

And, that doesn’t mean just in the bedroom!

Don’t allow work, friends, family or other obligations to interfere.

In other words, your spouse should be your priority, not other family and friends.

Never prioritise other people over her, as that is a recipe for disaster in the long run.

1Li NP, Yong JC, Tov W, Sng O, Fletcher GJ, Valentine KA, Jiang YF, Balliet D. Mate preferences do predict attraction and choices in the early stages of mate selection. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2013 Nov;105(5):757-76. DOI: 10.1037/a0033777. Epub 2013 Aug 5. PMID: 23915041.

2Fales, M. R., Frederick, D. A., Garcia, J. R., Gildersleeve, K. A., Haselton, M. G., & Fisher, H. E. (2016). Mating markets and bargaining hands: Mate preferences for attractiveness and resources in two national U.S. studies. Personality and Individual Differences, 88, 78-87. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.08.041

3Fisher, T. D., Moore, Z. T., & Pittenger, M. (2012). Sex on the brain? An examination of frequency of sexual cognitions as a function of gender, erotophilia, and social desirability. Journal of Sex Research, 29, 69-77.  DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2011.565429

About the author

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a popular relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website helps couples to create happier, healthier, and more intimate relationships. Gideon is a trained professional counsellor and holds post-graduate degrees in Theology and Psychology. His articles have also been featured on respected platforms such as Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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