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rojo's avatar

What is some of the information contained in the unwritten book "Womens' Rules for Men"?

Asked by rojo (22066points) February 14th, 2013

Based on an earlier answer to a question, and assuming that this unwritten book exists, what are some of the unwritten rules (besides men have to take out the trash) that are contained in this tome?

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57 Answers

Strauss's avatar

“Men are not allowed to read the unwritten book ‘Women’s Rules for Men’”.

Jeruba's avatar

Don’t treat everything as a problem you have to solve. First learn to listen sympathetically. Just listen. And sympathize.

Judi's avatar

There is a difference between shopping and hunting. Shopping can take hours and is a recreational sport. Just go with it. If you are hunting, you can be very helpful as long as you understand that not all red sweaters are created equal.

Berserker's avatar

Rule Number 1; The Woman is always right.

Rule number 2; If the Woman is wrong, refer to Rule Number 1.

downtide's avatar

@Jeruba This is something I will never understand. Why do women have problems that they don’t want to be solved?

Jeruba's avatar

@downtide, they might want to solve the problem themselves. They might want to be able to talk about the problem to a sympathetic listener and then, feeling supported and understood, go off and do their own problem solving. Or it might not really be a problem per se. But if the guy starts right in with “you ought to” or “why don’t you” or “I can fix that” instead of doing a good job of listening, the woman is probably not going to be happy.

Bellatrix's avatar

Happy wife = Happy life.

Bellatrix's avatar

@downtide. I’m not sure this is a uniquely female thing. Sometimes people just want to talk about a problem they have or a situation they are experiencing. They don’t need the listener to solve the problem or to offer ideas for solutions, they just need to listen unless asked for advice.

Shippy's avatar

Tell her often “Everything will be OK”.

mattbrowne's avatar

Don’t ask men to join you for a recreational-type shopping tour.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Jeruba – I can totally confirm the importance of husbands being able to switch off their default problem-solving mode when their wives feel miserable. I read this in a book about 10 years ago, didn’t believe it at first, but tried it out as a kind of secret experiment (I was trying to solve my own problem why my wife often isn’t open to listen to my suggestions – that had puzzled me for years). When I tried the new approach it worked and I was surprised. Ah, anecdotal evidence, too good to be true. I continued the experiment and it was amazing. It was very successful. I decide to keep restraining myself from offering solutions unless my wife explicitly asks for it. She’s a teacher so a lot of issue revolve around troubles with students. So now I use comments like

“Yeah, teenagers can be a nuisance, especially in ninth grade.”
“Gee, your parent-teacher conference must have really been tough.”
“Wow, it’s 11 pm and you are still at your desk, grading papers. Do you like another cup of tea?”

My comments for situations like these were completely different before I was convinced. And it always made matters worse.

“You need to be more strict with these teenagers.”
“Gee, this is what I would have told this arrogant father…”
“You should manage your time better so you can go to bed earlier. In fact there’s this great software that will optimize…”

Need I go on?

Judi's avatar

@mattbrowne; I am so impressed that you got it!! We want to be heard, not fixed.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Judi – Had I not run into this fundamental principle years ago, we would still have this problem. It accounted for almost 50% of our recurring conflicts. I think it should be included in the wedding vows:

“Dearly Beloved, We are Gathered here today to join this man and this woman in holy matrimony. Do you _ take this woman _ to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in heath, in good times and woe, for richer or poorer, keeping yourself solely unto her for as long as you both shall live? Do you promise not to offer solutions when she feels miserable and instead acknowledge her feelings in a compassionate way?

Do you _ take this man _ to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and health, to love, honor and obey, in good times and woe, for richer or poorer, keeping yourself solely unto him for as long as you both shall live? Do you promise not to ask him to join you for a recreational-type shopping tour and instead allow him to watch football for hours until you return?

What do you think?

Shippy's avatar

@Jeruba and @Bellatrix Myself being the total opposite. I want solutions. I find talking about it a complete waste of time and energy. Give me a solution any day.

Seek's avatar

@mattbrowne replace ” football for hours…” with “attend various musical performances both at home and abroad”, and “recreational-type shopping tour” with “hours-long lectures that interest you yet bore him to tears”, and you’re bang on.

janbb's avatar

There is only one correct answer to the question, “Do I look fat in this?” Only one!

mattbrowne's avatar

@Shippy – I see no contradiction to my observations, because you welcome suggestions or explicitly ask for solutions.

Bellatrix's avatar

@Shippy I can’t speak for ‘all’ women but I don’t need a man to solve my problems. I might want to talk about what is bothering me (to a man or a woman) and in doing so I could be clarifying and distilling what the issue really is for me. I might want to go through this process so I can make my own decision about what action to take from there. In doing so I find solutions to my own problems. However, I may not even want to solve a problem. I might simply want to vent and get something that is bothering me off my chest. I might already be quite clear on what I should do and I don’t need a man to say ‘you should do this’.

burntbonez's avatar

Don’t be overbearing or controlling and yet at the same time, be super confident.

zensky's avatar

@Matt – GA.

Shippy's avatar

@Bellatrix I’m not implying that, besides who solves your problems is your business not mine. I look for solutions, I don’t want to complain moan and be heard. I can do that by myself. By the time I get to ask anyone a question, I am at the point I need a solution.

majorrich's avatar

Mirth whilst driving is strictly forbidden. That is to say Driving is for transport, not for fun.

Jaxk's avatar

It might be interesting to go through the Man Rules as well.

These are our rules!
Please note.. these are all numbered “1 ”

1. Men are NOT mind readers.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat.
You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down.
We need it up, you need it down.
You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports It’s like the full moon
or the changing of the tides.
Let it be.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want.
Let us be clear on this one:
Subtle hints do not work!
Strong hints do not work!
Obvious hints do not work!
Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question..

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it.. That’s what we do.
Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument.
In fact, all comments become Null and void after 7 Days.

1. If you think you’re fat, you probably are.
Don’t ask us

1. When you first wake up in the morning, wait 1 hour before discussing any issues. Our minds are still re-booting and the “Hour Glass” is still turning.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one

1. You can either ask us to do something
Or tell us how you want it done.
Not both.
If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials..

1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings.
Peach, for example, is a fruit, not A color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched.
We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” We will act like nothing’s wrong.
We know you are lying , but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, Expect an answer you don’t want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine… Really .

1. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as Football, Hunting, Fishing or having sex…

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!

1. Thank you for reading this.
Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight;

But did you know men really don’t mind that? It’s like camping.

Seek's avatar

@Jaxk I don’t know what mauve is, either. But I am glad you know that pumpkin is a fruit. I will note that Columbus got so hopelessly lost that he didn’t even hit the right hemisphere.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Jaxk, I get it and think your post is funny, but FYI, something similar to that got a fantastic member kicked off Fluther back when I first joined the site.

Jaxk's avatar


Getting kicked off the site might be a blessing. I might actually get the trashed taken out more regularly which is a bone of contention in my life.

Jaxk's avatar


Good point. Hitting the right hemisphere should be a minimum requisite. Is nit-picking one of the women’s rules?

Seek's avatar

I thought it was a side effect of nerdiness, not chromosome composition. Haven’t you ever seen a couple of geeks arguing over the relative merits of Romulan Warbirds and Klingon Birds-of-prey?

augustlan's avatar

When I’m crying: Hug me, tell me you love me, say “everything will be okay”. Wash, rinse, repeat.

@bkcunningham Why would we ban someone for something like that? I’m sure we never have…

burntbonez's avatar

Great list, @Jaxk, and all so totally true. What’s the source?

Jaxk's avatar


I would consider that a substantive conversation. I wonder what that says about me.

Jaxk's avatar


My son. Verified through conversations with friends too numerous to mention.

Seek's avatar

That despite my past experiences with you, you might actually be fun to hang out with?

BTW – I’d take a Warbird any day. Klingons and their pirated hardware can stuff it.

Jaxk's avatar


Built by the degenerate off-spring of Vulcans could not be superior to the Bird of Prey.

I admit to being opinionated :-)

wundayatta's avatar

Flowers on Valentine’s day, birthday, anniverary, and Mother’s day, and you might get to see another morning.

There is no such thing as too much massage.

Tell me you love me every day whether you mean it or not. But you better mean it!

Jeruba's avatar

Excellent, @mattbrowne. It took my husband at least 20 years, but he learned this and became very good at it. (I did have to coach him with explicit lines of dialogue like yours to help him get it. He couldn’t hear that his old responses all boiled down to “I’m right and you’re wrong”—“I’m competent and you’re not.”) He started remembering to ask, “Do you want a suggestion, or do you just want me to listen?”

And I have found that there’s nobody better to help me think through a problem and find a solution when I’m stuck. I tell him very clearly, “I’m looking for your expert advice on this” or “I need some help working this one out.” And I nearly always follow his suggestions.

The key in all cases is to make our wants and expectations clear.

And that’s what he wanted from me all along. I stopped expecting him to be a mind-reader, and he started giving me what I asked for.

woodcutter's avatar

The man will not diagnose pms

Jaxk's avatar


At least not twice.

downtide's avatar

All of this makes me so relieved that my partner is a man. I would never survive the complexities of a relationship with a woman.

bkcunningham's avatar

@augustlan, Bobo1946. It was ugly.

hearkat's avatar

I am not qualified to answer, as I hate shopping, love driving, and tend to offer advice rather than sympathy. I also detest attempts to placate me with, “everything will be alright,” or other such impossible promises.

zensky's avatar

Don’t worry @hearkat – everything will be just fine.

augustlan's avatar

@bkcunningham People often LIE when they get banned. Obviously, we don’t generally discuss the real story…but rest assured, that isn’t what happened.

Unbroken's avatar

Umm besides being slightly amusing this is a largely irritating thread, with the exception of the bird of prey thing. Which I find baffling and amusing.

But i did learn that problem solving mode is not generally well accepted for man or woman.

I sort of knew that but there is a point when I get tired of listening and ask them if they really want to know what to do. They usually say yes, but maybe they don’t mean it.

I’m with @hearcat rarely do I enjoy shopping or hunting or whatever it is. I love driving, I am in control, don’t touch the radio don’t back seat drive and just because I take a different route then you does not mean you can say anything. In fact my way is probably more efficient.

I know plenty of men who know the difference between eggshell and ivory. I happen to be only marginally ok with the spectrum of colors.

I know men who hate sports and women who love them.

But by all means it is absolutely fun to listen to stereotypes. Let’s do men next. Then we can move on to race and cultural stereotypes.

janbb's avatar

@rosehips Yes – I do agree. i usually don’t like gender stereotypes at all.

zensky's avatar

Get back in the kitchen woman.

Unbroken's avatar

What are you making us @zensky?

burntbonez's avatar

Dunno about @zensky, but I’m making scrambled eggs. With lots of cool stuff in them. Anyone wants to come over is welcome to join me. Although if a lot of you are coming, could you pick up some more eggs on the way?

zensky's avatar

Lasagna. But meet me in the Funday question and order anything from your private chef.

Strauss's avatar

It’s turned into a smörgåsbord!

zensky's avatar

Nice use of the diaresis.

Strauss's avatar


mattbrowne's avatar

@Jeruba – I think the following advice from John Gottman is most useful:

To “turn toward” one another means to react in a responsive, interested and loving way to a bid for emotional connection. The result of consistently turning toward your partner is that you develop stable, long-lasting relationships rich in good feelings for one another. Of all response choices, turning toward was the most positive. It tells the speaker:

- I hear you.
– I am interested in you.
– I understand you (or would like to).
– I’m on your side.
– I’d like to help you (whether I can or not).
– I accept you (even if I don’t accept all your behavior).

jca's avatar

Did somebody say Lasagna?

wundayatta's avatar


also, bologna

Earthgirl's avatar

I try not to live by the old fashioned rules that women have for men and I don’t like to be subjected to the old school men’s rules for women. But maybe I have one rule that is intact as yet.

If I am crying real tears (not crocodile tears) you should try to comfort me, if you don’t try, you don’t love me.

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