While they may seem innocent, they can do damage.
Cheating and abuse are the first things people think of when they consider what they should never tolerate in a healthy relationship. This article is not going to be about cheating or abuse.
Why? Because firstly, whilst of course abuse should not be tolerated; abuse is actually a wide topic — it goes far beyond just physical abuse.
Sometimes, the behaviors that seem the most innocent on the surface can actually be deeply abusive. For example, acting like your partner is not causing you any hurt or anger (not being responsive) when you consciously know you’re withholding yourself (as well as withholding the truth).
Staying together with a partner you don’t care about and are not loyal to for the sake of enjoying a mutually comfortable lifestyle. Furthermore, getting into a codependent relationship so that you can milk the other person for your own perceived benefits. These are all potentially abusive behaviors and it’s a lot to discuss and go through. So, I reserve the topic of abuse and conversation for another time, where I can thoroughly explore the issues surrounding abuse.
Secondly, cheating is one thing that is too obvious. I don’t want this article to be about the obvious, surface stuff. Sure, you should not sit there and ‘take’ it when you’re being cheated on. However, it is not true that cheating should always be a deal breaker because it depends on why the cheater cheated, and what kind of person the cheater actually is. For example, are they a narcissist? Narcissists may be the least likely to change. Whereas, a totally good man could cheat because he is not yet emotionally bonded to a woman.
Although it is rare, a cheater can change. I don’t think it is the rule that cheaters will change their ways. I think many cheaters probably remain that way for a long time. Yet I believe that there are exceptions, so whilst from one perspective, I believe you should never tolerate cheating, it’s not that black and white. Every situation is different, and whether cheating should be tolerated or worked through and understood by both parties or not, depends on what happened, as well as the real, unadulterated reasons why the cheater cheated in the first place.
Sometimes people cheat because they perceive that they cannot experience dark and light energy with their partner, or that they cannot experience the full range of sexual variety with that partner because their relationship is boring or restrictive. That is an example where a cheater could change — when their needs are met and when they get what they perceive as highly valuable in a relationship. And if they are willing to also take responsibility for their behavior.
Some people cheat because they can, or because they’re not very emotionally connected people (they treat any relationship as a place they go to take), and they are unafraid of the consequences of cheating, or because they’re addicted to the experience. Those cheaters may never change without intense, permanent alterations to their environment, and peer group.
Of course, sometimes not cheating can be just as bad — one may not cheat on their partner, but for the sake of their own outdated rules may stay faithful on the surface to their partner, all the while ignoring real relationship issues and building up resentment which is a horrible thing to do to a significant other.
Now we’re ready to start on the 6 behaviors you should never tolerate in a man.
1: A man who doesn’t value connection in a relationship.
Why do you have a relationship?
- To avoid loneliness?
- To get citizenship?
- To get rich?
- To get a steady stream of sex?
- To have children?
Hopefully not. But it does happen, and that’s not wrong. It’s just not ideal for building emotional attraction and emotional connection.
Why do we have a relationship again?
Hopefully, to connect. I know this is not always the case. In fact, many people have “relationships” to take, take, and strip what they can from the other person. That’s not a relationship though. That is, I don’t know…what would you call it? Abuse.
Go to a man who wants to connect. Now, I want to be clear: I don’t mean to say: go to a man who is willing to call you more often. How often a man calls you is not a reliable indicator of whether he values connection or not. His choices in life and his behavior when you are together is a more reliable indicator, coupled with how connected it makes you feel to be with him.
This is a hard one. Because, sometimes, if one doesn’t value connection themselves, they may not ever notice whether a man they are dating values connection or not. Because they are not connected themselves!
So what do we need to do?
We need to zoom out and look at this person objectively. Ask yourself: does what this man does day to day, reflect a man who values connection with me? Or does it more so reflect the actions of somebody who is looking for approval, validation, or novelty? Does this man’s actions, choices, and decisions reflect a desire to value the relationship with ME, and value what we have together? Or do his actions reflect that his first valued thing is work, or sexual variety, or comfort, or being right?
Remember, zoom out.
Hover above him in an airplane and consider objectively — without any emotions attached — what does this man value? Does he value connection? Does he know the importance and the irreplaceable connection with one important person, like me? Or other individual family members?
2: He lets you get away with being a user.
Tolerating a man being horrible to you is no more horrible than him tolerating you being horrible to him. Why? Because we all deserve (and need) feedback and responses from other humans in order to function healthily.
A woman not regulated by a smart man is potentially dangerous to society and dangerous to herself. Very much the same as a man not receiving feedback from a woman can be dangerous to society…proceeding to hurt lots of other people, without consequences because, well, nobody cares to give those consequences.
We’re not talking about punishment here. I’m not saying that a man should punish you for being horrible, or being a user. I’m saying that you are a human and you deserve to be taught how to treat others right.
DISCLAIMER: Please differentiate between a man criticizing your behavior and a man giving you supportive, loving feedback, or simply just having good moral boundaries (which is a positive thing for him to have). I don’t want you to think that him giving you criticism to feel superior to you means he is doing you any good. He may not be.
The key in this is that he has to have good intent — he has to have the intent to want to see you do better. You need that. I need that. Everybody else needs that. It is a gift. It shows us. It regulates us and teaches us how to love and relate. If not, then we can spend the rest of our lives living a terrible quality of life, with nobody wanting to interact or be close to us, because other people haven’t been responsive or responsible enough to help teach us what is the acceptable way to treat others.
A man who desires your approval will compromise himself as a man. What a sad and small way to live. Don’t tolerate it.
A man who values his safety and his bubble will perhaps never demand anything more from you, but instead will just try to please you. And do you really want that in your life?
I know this may seem like a strange thing to not tolerate. But I believe it is something you should never tolerate. Why? Because it will lead you to a mediocre quality of life! If a man wants to stay small or keep you small, then he won’t mind you treating him badly. And he won’t make you stop treating others badly, either.
Choose a man who won’t allow you to do anything stupid because he wants more for you in this life. He demands more from you. To hell with his comfort! Who cares about that? Humans are made to grow in spirit. You and your man should care about each other’s morals. You should both also have standards for the way you treat yourself and others.
3: Bad hygiene.
If you’ve given someone feedback about their hygiene, and they consistently refuse to do anything to change it because they “shouldn’t have to” or because they just don’t care, then you have a problem. The person who won’t change their habits that lead to dirty private parts, or an extremely stinky body, may not care about other important things that affect you either.
Obviously, someone who is too good to do anything about their lack of hygiene could potentially mean you experiencing unnecessary symptoms of illness, and that is not something you want to tolerate or live with.
Illness and bacteria are everywhere, they are a part of us. But illness and disease tend to manifest and debilitate us more when and if hygiene or living conditions are terrible.
4: He takes no responsibility for his decisions and actions.
When something inconvenient happens, it is always someone else’s fault. If someone blames others a lot, then they are either under a lot of overwhelming stress, or they have not evolved beyond the very basic impulses humans have, or they just don’t care.
I don’t know about you but I’m over people who just don’t care. I used to want to try to be close to people who would blame me or avoid taking responsibility for their decisions, but I realized that just because I care to connect with them, does not mean that they cared about connecting with me. They may just want to take what they can from me. Some people really do have long-standing habits of being defensive and cold or even uncaring.
“Well, you should stop doing that! If you didn’t do that then I wouldn’t behave like this!”
Sure, perhaps we could have behaved better, but if somebody truly believes what they are saying when they say, “If you would not do that, then I wouldn’t need to act like this/hurt you/punish you/degrade you” — then see ya later!
We all have a responsibility to try to take responsibility for our actions. If one is not even willing to entertain that idea, and they place all the blame on you, then they are not the right person for you.
Sometimes, people cannot handle the fact that they hurt you. Sometimes, people cannot handle the truth if it means acknowledging that they played a large part in something bad that happened.
Yes, there are times where one party in the relationship has more responsibility than the other: like a parent-child relationship. Calling the child a ‘problem child,’ for example, is not good enough. The parent has a responsibility to love and influence their child or deal with the consequences. The child is just a child: You cannot place equal blame on them until they are at the right level of maturity or understanding.
Yet in an adult relationship, the lines of responsibility are more blurred. I would not say that our responsibility in an adult relationship is equally 50/50. This is not a case of, “Well I took responsibility last time for our argument that left scars on the both of our hearts, so it’s your responsibility this time”.
That’s not the ideal to aim for unless you have very little trust in the relationship and are still in the stages of building a foundation of trust. Then a 50/50 equal playing ground is sort of ok as a rule to go by. However, don’t cling to that 50/50 as an immovable rule, because the ultimate ideal to aim for is this:
Whoever comes to their senses first, takes responsibility. Don’t wait, unless you guys have very little trust established in the relationship. Whoever comes to their senses first, takes responsibility in the moment.
And if that person is always, consistently, you and he never does the same practice of taking responsibility, then don’t tolerate him.
For example, if you guys have an argument where you both hurled insults at each other, and you are consistently apologizing and he never even acknowledges that his words hurt you — then think about that. Do you want that long-term?
Why would I recommend that whoever comes to their senses first takes responsibility?
By being a leader, you have way more power in your relationships.
By being a courageous leader, you are able to observe much quicker over a period of time, whether this man is willing to step up to the plate, and is humble enough to be inspired by your loving actions or not. (Some men will run and hide when exposed to someone who has confidence and takes responsibility)
And when you acted the part of a leader, you get to keep your pride and dignity and possibly, even your self-confidence.
5: A man who shows no agreeableness.
Agreeableness is when someone displays behaviors that can be described as kind, sympathetic, cooperative, warm and considerate.
Has he ever been kind? Has he ever been warm? I ask specifically if he has ever been warm because one can act kind or caring on the surface, but little warmth accompanies their actions. Don’t kid yourself. Just because someone seems caring or considerate (perhaps if there are not many people being caring or considerate in your life right now), any surface caring action can make that person seem like a saint.
Don’t kid yourself. Does this man display warmth? Has he ever displayed any warmth towards you, or animals or towards anyone else? Do you feel like he cares for you, or for any other person related to him? Has he ever proven to be sympathetic or considerate of your situation? Or your feelings?
A man who scores low in agreeableness is more likely to have a personality that falls in what is known as the dark triad. The dark triad encompasses narcissists, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Men whose personality falls within the dark triad are also more likely to stalk (in case you were wondering).
Important: Most of us are able to actively switch from being cold or nonchalant to those whom we don’t trust and don’t want to get involved with to warm and loving and compassionate towards someone that we do love. I think the key is to look at how warm the man can be towards not just you, but towards his mother, his father, his pets, his children (if he has children), and his competitors.
Sometimes a cold person can be rehabilitated with new long-term love, compassion and with new intense experiences and stimuli to change how their brain is wired. I am no scientist. That’s just what I believe.
But do you want to be the one to rehabilitate him?
6: He has no real passions or masculine missions.
Yes, anger can be a sign of passion, but not if the anger is done just to give himself an easy but fake feeling of superiority.
Anger IS passion when it comes from a belief in practicing basic morals.
Anger IS passion when it is expressed to show that you are hurting him.
Anger IS passion if it is demanding truth.
Anger IS passion when it is connected to his passion or mission.
Anger IS passion if you’re angry because you truly want better for the other person or your family.
Always look and see if a man has a track record of losing his temper regularly, as a way of avoiding the truth, as a way of not letting you get through to them, or as a way of manipulating you. Those are something you should really think about seriously before tolerating.
Sometimes men have anger as a way of coping.
Sometimes a man uses anger because he has no other decent way to cope with life — and you probably shouldn’t just leave him without further thought, because that may not be his fault. You really need to take the time to consider carefully, whether you being kind by reassuring him when he is angry, or being loving when he is angry, or giving your feminine healing energy when he is angry, would drastically help or not.
Sometimes, all our attempts to give ourselves emotionally as a gift can be blocked out or ignored. These are the cases where you should not tolerate any further. Some people are too far gone to be responsive to your efforts to give your loving feminine energy.
We all develop less than good ways of coping with life at times. You can help him see that it is a coping mechanism and let him know that you love him as he is and that everything will be ok.
We are not perfect. None of us will ever be.
Most men would probably be responsive to your loving attempts when they are angry. And if he responds regularly and he is getting less defensive over time, or his patterns of anger are getting less over time, and even surviving the challenges of tests in unfamiliar environments and novel events, then you can keep going in that relationship until you decide you are done.
However, remember that any man you meet probably has decades of practicing a particular pattern of behaving. Any man you get involved with already has decades of patterns of dealing with difficult emotions. You can try to help or change, with the caveat that NOBODY makes a lasting change without a drastic change in their peer group and environment, and without you and others not tolerating a particular behavior in him.
A man whose anger patterns are something he wants to keep is not to be tolerated.
A man whose anger patterns were developed to make others wrong and himself right, without ever saying sorry or considering the other person’s perspective, may be very painful to tolerate for the rest of your life.
Anger versus passions: I believe that real passions are things you are willing to put an effort in to. Things that you would sacrifice other things for. Passions are things that you care deeply for. Passions are things that you go through great discomfort to pursue and achieve. Passions are beliefs that you would die on the cross for. Passions scream at us to give something to the world. To create and express ourselves.
Without this passion, then over time, your relationship will lose attraction and passion. You may lose respect for him.
What does it mean to not “tolerate” a behavior in a man?
Let’s be clear on the word ‘tolerate’. What does it mean to not tolerate the above 6 behaviors in a man? It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to leave him right now. I didn’t write this so that you could immediately leave your boyfriend. Unless of course, you had already mostly made up your mind and this article just helped steer you towards the best decision.
You might need some time to think carefully. To observe him objectively (not with emotion, as it is hard to observe correctly when you are caught up in a relationship).
It might mean conducting more research. It might mean asking other people who know him what they think. Do they trust him? Is he warm? What happened in his past relationships? It might mean studying his Facebook posts and thinking about what impression his posts give to the average human being observing from another computer.
Either way, it means to not allow such behavior to continue existing in your relationship. It means to have values and rules for the right reasons. And it means to stick to those values because you value your time which is finite. It means that you value your energy, which is also finite. You don’t have forever to fart around with someone who repeatedly proves over a long time to be unfit for a relationship.
A relationship with the wrong person can teach you valuable things, but only if you pause long enough to feel what it has taught you.
Of course, remember that I am just some person (although I care). Always use your own gut instinct. Always check in with your heart, not your head. And feel for how much you trust a man. Your body was inherited through millions of years of selection — millions of women before you have given you reasonably accurate feelings about men and how good or bad intentioned they are.
So, don’t ignore what your gut knows. Be honest with yourself. Are you desperate? Are you feeling extremely lonely?
If you are in a very lonely situation, then you will be more targeted by bad natured men, and less accurate in your gut responses because you want something for yourself and (there’s nothing wrong with that) however, your desperation to gain something can overshadow the truth.