Why men never help out (and what to do about it!)

Lauren Gray

Dear Lauren,

My boyfriend used to live with me and pay rent by working on the house 4 days a month. He got behind by many months and this hurt me. He doesn’t live with me anymore but recently I helped him for 4 weeks to prepare for a craft festival. I got behind with my jobs in that time but he never offered to help. He only offered to catch up with the days of work he owes me. Why cant he just help me with intent from his heart regardless of the days he owes me!? I told him I’m sad he's not offered and I got mad. He fled for the night and wont own it! What do I do?


Hi Lori,

Why Men Never Help Out
A woman sees another woman struggling with 3 bags of groceries and she offers to take one off her hands. She sees another woman in overwhelm and says, “Have a seat. Tell me about it. Is there anything I can do to help?” When women see another person in need, we step in to help them. This is a wonderfully built in and intuitive system for a woman. Something to do with the fact that we’ve been raising children for thousands of years. ;-)
Men are different. This isn’t intuitive for a man so it sets women up for disappointment when that’s what they expect. However, it doesn’t HAVE to be disappointing.

Men can be incredibly helpful and supportive IF you know how to inspire that part of them and motivate them into action.
This is an art. I’m not going to be able to teach you everything in a blog post. I am, however, developing a premium online training to help women, like you, do this more effectively. Men “never” help out until you unlock the secrets to motivating them.
For the purpose of this blog, however, I’ll tell you this: If you want help, you need to ask for it; men are great at fulfilling a specific job description.
Why he’s mad at YOU even though HE’s the one who dropped the ball
He stormed away.
The nerve of this guy!
He’s the one who messes up, disappoints you, lets you down and yet HE has the nerve to storm away angry?
YES. He has the nerve to “flee.” 
He’s mad that he’s being blamed for not doing something that wasn't part of his job description AND he didn't know you wanted him to do. In his mind, it’s unjust and unfair. How could he know you wanted help?

You didn't even give him a chance to make you happy, you just got mad when he didn’t.
Men thrive off of making their woman happy; the sun shines when she is happy and he can take credit for it. But when she is unhappy and he sees it as his fault, he feels like a complete failure and he retreats to the comfort of his cave. 
How to motivate a man to help out more
If you want him to do more work than he is doing then it’s your responsibility to ASK him. It’s a simple script (that is sometimes very hard for a woman to say) ,

"Hey, would you do me a favor and help me with this today? I'd really appreciate it. Thank you so much."
He would love to make you happy and grant you a favor. Especially when you show him appreciation for what he’s done.

Men love to feel your appreciation in any form: hugs, thank you’s, make outs, sexual favors, high fives, laughter, wonder, relief, smiles; that is how they receive love.
So your job is to connect with what you need, ask for what you need, and then acknowledge him for being there for you in whatever capacity he can.
What if he says, “NO"…?
If he responds to your request with an attitude of “Jeez I can’t believe you’re asking me that” or if he blows you off and says, “I’m busy,” Don’t. Give. Up.
When I play with my dog Abbey, she NEVER let’s go of the chew toy. She’s fiercely determined. The problem with human women is that we give up too easily. He grumbles, he pouts, he rolls his eyes and we let it go. We assume that means, he won’t help.
But he will. 99% of the time, he will.
Here’s how to not let go of the chew toy so that you can get your way. ;-)
Don’t get mad. Stay calm, sweet, and ignore any resistance that manifests (faces, grumbles, looks, being distracted, ignoring you etc.) Be fiercely calmly determined.
Keep saying things like:
“It would make me so happy if you’d do this for me.”
“I know you have so much on your plate right now, would you help me anyway?”
“I just feel so overwhelmed with all the things on my plate, I would so appreciate your help and support right now.”
“I’m just so overwhelmed. It would make me feel so much better, so much more relaxed if you would help me with this.”
Keep a smile on your face and don’t give up. The more you ask, the more he has a chance to succeed and the more he’ll get addicted to your appreciation. It may take you asking 5 times at first but after a while 1 time will do the trick. He’ll just know any effort he puts towards doing things for you is justified because of the love and happiness he’ll feel in return.
The more love he feels from you, the more love he’ll have to give.
However, counter to most women’s instincts, “Love” does not come in the form of a batch of freshly baked cookies or buying him a new shirt you think he’d like. Sure, those are “nice.” But...

The main way a man feels love is through a woman’s appreciation for what HE can do for HER. (Tweet that!)

Heal the rift and make things better again
We’ve got to wipe the slate clean after this last interaction. I know this is the last thing you want to do right now but my advice is to apologize to him. Say,
"I'm sorry I got mad about you not helping when I didn't even ask you for help in the first place. That wasn't fair of me. I didn't give you a chance to succeed. In the future I promise to ask you for help when I need it. Thank you so much for understanding. I love you."
Make sure you’re in a place where this apology can be authentic. If you still need time to be angry, then spend time with your friends and vent. Your feelings are valid and important and they need to be expressed.
What if he STILL doesn’t meet my needs?
Here’s the deal, what I’ve shared with you today will keep a relationship thriving IF the love is there and it’s reciprocal.
But it always comes down to this, if you’ve used all your tools and you have realistic expectations around what a man is capable of and he’s STILL not giving you what you need, then it’s time to rethink whether this is the relationship for you. Just because he’s “Mr. Right” doesn’t mean he’s right for you.
Ultimately, your needs deserve to be met and you deserve to be happy.
With love,

Now I’d love to hear from you!
Does it bother you when your man doesn’t offer unsolicited help and support when you need it?
1. In the comments below this blog, write a script for a request that you would like to bring to your man? What is something small, specific, and do-able that you would like him to help you with this week? Follow the formulas and examples above for inspiration.
2. Read your script out loud to your partner and see what happens. (Remember: don’t get mad and don’t let go.)


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read more blog posts from Lauren Gray
  • peterbilt359
     11/26/2014 11:55:59 AM
    Hi this is peterbilt, I am a 42 ya old man. I got kicked out of my house a year ago for sleeping too much and not helping enough. Big surprise, right? My wife and I have been married for 15yrs very happily too. She would agree. I've read these stories and they are dead on! I admit to not helping. I also am guilty of flopping down on the couch after a very long day at work, instead of finding my wife and asking if she needs help or how her day was. I've read a couple of John's books and I couldn't believe how they mirrored my life. I've read books, listened over and over to audio books, asked therapists advice, asked on line therapists advice, am in a virtual coaching program, am in a weekly conference call, talked to successful couples, tried to help her more, taken more of an interest in her life, been more appreciative, (this is a big one), bought her things for the house that are about how appreciative we should all be of each other, asked her friends and family for advice, a lot and I mean a lot of Internet research, tried spending more time with her, tried less time, tried manipulation, tried making her feel guilty, bought her more gifts, have stayed closer in touch instead of ignoring her texts, written letters, given cards, begged, pleaded, cried, reminded her of all the good times together, got her friends to talk to her, I moved out to give her space and time, given her privacy and she still says 'i want to move on but you won't' and don't ever come to the house ever again, I hate you, l love u but I'm not in love with you, it's not u it's me, 'i want to move to the city', 'i don't want to move to the city cause it's too big, I want to live near my parents, I can't stand my parents, you never stand up for me, I do miss u, know yyou've never deliberately hurt me but I'm hurt, I miss the way we were, you've treated me amazing. You get the idea. I want my
  • Lauren Gray
     11/20/2014 12:22:06 PM
    Sm75052, I think you'll a ton of helpful tools here. Welcome!
  • Sm75052
     11/17/2014 1:40:16 PM
    Hello Lauren I've never been one to blog about anything, but your blog is awesome. You hit on a lot of what is going on in my life: from not having an orgasm during sex, my husband not helping, what's number one priority in his to intimacy who's job is it anyway etc. I have read so many books that my eyes have crossed, and we are still in the same sinking boat. I have even went as far as to have my husband read one of them to try and help us (the 5 love languages). Where we found that we do not speak anywhere close to the same love language( we couldn't be anymore different). Which leaves me thinking how/why in the world did we get married and have children. We have been married for 6 years, we have two children 6 and 5. Our sex is the worst!!!! We talk about the kids and sports the end. I do all of the cooking, cleaning, kids school functions, game night with the kids, holiday gifts etc. Yes, I know it sounds like he doesn't do anything ok he watches his own kids one Saturday every month so that I can get my hair done oh and he has a job. Don't get me wrong before the kids he helped cook, clean and we had fun. But all of that stopped at once when the first baby was born to never return. Sadly the only thing that his holding our marriage together is my faith in God and my fear of my children not growing up with there father like I did. I hope your blog can help us! ...
  • Bunnymac75
     8/4/2014 3:45:07 PM
    Oh my gosh!!! I was going through my emails and I came across this email that I had not read yet!! It was very weird because right now my partner and I have not been talking for over 2 weeks because I got upset with him for not doing his fair share of the household chores again!! We have been having the same argument for years. He starts off doing his fair share then I notice that he takes a back seat again. We had a conversation a few weeks ago and I told him he was not helping out around the house enough again, he agreed and said he promised he would do more. 2 or 3 weeks pasted but still he was not helping out enough. Then I told him I was feeling overwhelmed with all the household chores, and again he promised to help out more. Then a couple of days later I had just had enough, the house looked like a bomb had gone off. I said to him that the house was a complete mess, and that I know he is tired but I need more help around the house. His response just infuriated me. He said "ok ok I said I would help out more". He was saying it in such a way that I felt he was just trying to shut me up to stop me from having a moan. Because I had already asked him twice but I was yet to see it materialise into any such of help. I told him that his response was upsetting me, because I felt he was just brushing me off and listening to me. He just kept saying the same thing. My frustration boiled over and I just lost it!!! I told him exactly what I thought, and we have not spoken since. Oh apart from this evening, when apparently I was not told him specifically what I needed help with ie dishwasher being filled, washing clothes, dusting, etc... I feel so frustrated and let down yet again, please help me, where am I going wrong?? I can't keep having the same argument, it's making me feel so depressed!!! ...
  • Rayann
     8/1/2014 12:12:00 PM
    Hello Lauren. Another thing that should be considered here is regarding when a man is in his cave. Currently my BF is deep caving (it's been 2 months already) with very good reasons (multiple immediate problems). He is also making a very big move away from everyone (family, friends, me) at the end of this month, so I can't seem to help feeling a sense of urgency in wanting to see him. I felt perfectly attuned to giving him his space before he made this decision, but I admit, I may have reached out a little too much after he told me about the move. This week in particular has been especially difficult since there is a LOT of emotional stuff going on for me outside of the relationship, and I told him that "I would appreciate it if he could come and sit with me" on an especially difficult day, but then I assured him that I would be ok if he could not make it (mainly because I know he is caving, and I don't want to appear needy). Well, he said he would try, and then *poof* I haven't heard from him since, and he never showed up. I'm pulling myself WAY back now, I'll let him decide when he can come to me, but I think I may have accidentally made him feel wrong in this....
  • John Gray
     7/9/2014 3:13:22 PM
    Your positive insight and understanding of men makes me want to give more in my relationships. Understanding both points of view in a positive and non judgmental way is pure positive energy...thanks
  • rwade
     6/10/2014 11:25:36 PM
    Hey Lauren! I just found you and I am so excited by your content. The word 'overwhelmed' you've given in one of your scripted suggestions here for women to use to ask men for help is so relevant. It is this overwhelm that women can feel safe to use because it is authentically powerful - when we feel overwhelmed, it's ok! We can express that and we'd be surprised about the effects it might have on a man and how willing he may be to help us. There is one thing - if a man has felt blamed a lot in the past during the relationship, it's likely that he may not be as responsive to her need at first. That's ok, that's where your advice to persist comes in to it. I write blog - and i feel the women on my blog would benefit from hearing your advice too. I'd love to see you over there sometime :) Thanks for spreading good advice. We need it....
  • Lauren Gray
     6/2/2014 11:56:29 AM
    Thanks Mark. Respecting your partner's time and plans is extremely important. Thanks for the addition. There are definitely more layers to this and much more nuance in the training. ;-)
  • Mark Blasini_71281
     6/1/2014 7:16:22 AM
    Beautiful article, Lauren!! You understand men extremely well. The only thing I would add (as a caveat) is for women NOT to keep pushing it if he gives is a legitimate reason for not being able to do the favor. For example, a guy may have made plans to do something with his buddies, but because his girlfriend sees that he "always" hangs out with his friends, she may feel her need deserves priority. In this sense, women should be flexible with any requests and be respectful of HIS time. Otherwise, great blog post, and I'm excited you're coming out with your premium training! ...

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