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25 Things Women Can Do To Support Men Without Becoming Men


A joke goes around the Internet every so often. In it, we see two diary entries from the same day. One entry is the wife’s summation of the events, the other is from the husband.

The wife is distraught, upset, crushed. Her husband was distant throughout their evening together and she cannot figure out why. Has all the love left his heart? Is there someone else? What could be causing him to sit lost in thought before drifting off and leaving her to cry herself to sleep?

It’s true that she did ask her husband what was wrong and he didn’t tell her. Perhaps that’s because, being a man, he was looking for solutions for why his boat wouldn’t start, not emotional support for dealing with this tragedy.

This joke resonates because it’s true. We communicate differently. For example, if your man wants to know if you can watch the kids while he goes out, he asks if you can watch the kids. Women tend to try to ascertain how amenable we’d be to watching the kids and thus start with a series of seemingly unrelated questions designed to get to “Since you don’t have plans and they’re your kids, too, and it won’t otherwise affect you, can I go out with the girls Tuesday night?”

I’d say it doesn’t have to be this way, except it totally has to be this way, because we are different. That doesn’t mean we can’t make some improvements in how we support one another despite those differences. The ladies had their say, now it’s our turn. Sure, we could just trust Dave Chappelle on this, but he’s not detailed enough for the fairer sex. C.f. the above joke.

With that in mind, and without further ado, here are things ladies can do to support their men without becoming men themselves.

  • We don’t need you to remind us to do whatever it is. Except when we do.
  • Accept that the man cold is real, that it is brutal, and that you could never possibly understand the pain and torture it delivers to those whom it afflicts.
  • Refer back to Chappelle.
  • Our supervillain origin story will begin with us tripping over a superfluous pillow and smashing our heads against the wall. Use restraint when decorating.
  • You don’t need to love sports. You just need to not drag us for loving sports. We have as many opinions about players and coaches as you have about each Real Housewife: because their stories are our stories. We’ll have an opinion about Dorinda, and you can have an opinion about Tom Brady, and everybody wins.
  • If your man has ideas concerning home décor, then discuss such matters with him. If not, then don’t. Except for those times when you should, particularly with regard to that pattern.
  • While we thank you for keeping an impressive stockpile of cleaning products around, we’re only going to regularly use one of them. It’s the one that comes from the sink and that we also drink. It’s magical!
  • We’ll learn the difference between which clothes need to be dried and which need to be hung, but all dishes are dishwasher-safe. Until they’re not.
  • When making a grocery list, think strategically. This is like a bank job. List the items along a schematic, from entry to getaway.
  • After using a household tool or driving a vehicle, put it back in the general storage area from which you pulled it. Unless that was a secondary home. In that case, put it back in its main home.
  • Refer back to Chappelle.
  • Just ask whatever question it is that you want to ask. It’s more efficient and if there’s one thing we men pretend to be all about, it’s efficiency.
  • If we’re lost in thought or seeking time alone, we’re probably thinking about why the boat won’t start.
  • If we don’t already have a boat to be concerned with, and we live somewhere where a boat would be useful, encourage us to buy a boat instead of whatever the kids need least. There’s a money-making scheme in this plan somewhere.
  • Remind us to take out boat insurance.
  • Remember that we don’t know how the movie we’re also watching for the first time is going to play out.
  • Let us pick a restaurant rather than having a 30-minute conversation that results in us going somewhere that neither of us want to go. Unless we proclaim it to be an Arby’s night.
  • If we ever suggest Arby’s, argue with us.
  • Understand that even though we’ll make an honest effort to simply listen, we’re going to try to problem-solve. It’s who we are.
  • Refer back to Chappelle.
  • Outside of Christmas and birthdays, we generally don’t need gifts. Maybe a few hours to watch a game, or play a game, from time to time, but that doesn’t need to be tied to a Hallmark holiday nor require us to make suggestions. Booze is also good.
  • If the kids scribble something on a piece of paper to celebrate us, though, ignore the previous statement.
  • When we are mired in a project and cussing, whether softly or loudly, just leave us be. Such moments aren’t for nurturing; they’re for anger. And more cussing. Even if there isn’t a boat involved.
  • We don’t need you to remind us to do whatever it is. Except when we do.

Wait, why is there a paragraph here? We’ve only covered 24 suggestions and the title explicitly stated there would be 25. There’s a reason for this split. All of the previous ones were suggested or inspired by men. Okay, most of them are from me, but I did have some help. I won’t out you, guys, as falling on such grenades is one of my roles.

As such, we didn’t forget an item on our list this time, so there’s no need to remind us. No, the reason for this break is that number 25 comes from a woman. It had to be set apart. Because while there’s always room for improvement in both sexes, we have to admit she has a point regarding the general idea of a list of 25 things women can do for men.

You mean 25 additional things?