Posted On June 9, 2010 by Print This Post

Wayne Wednesday: How Much Do You Really Need and Want to Know?

Today, Wayne Levine gives his thoughts on why women don’t want to know what a man is thinking. As usual,  feel free to give your opinion in the comments.

Happy Wednesday, Wayne!

Last month we scratched the surface. Now, let’s dive in, shall we?

Some of you believe that one necessary component of a healthy, loving relationship is full disclosure. There should be no secrets, nothing withheld. For you, that’s trust. Hmmmm.

I’d suggest that trust is not needing to know everything. Trusting your man should not require that you be apprised of his every move, thought, fear, dream, or shadowy contemplation.

Well, I trust I have your attention.

Do you have any idea what darkness resides in the psyche of your man? I’ve been working with all kinds of men for a long time. I’ve learned a thing or two. First, we all contemplate some awful shit. Second, it looks very similar from man to man.

When we’re drowning in our little boy, anything you do can cause us to want to hit you, kill you, divorce you, and lord knows what else—not that most of us would actually follow through, thank goodness. Are you suggesting that you’d like to have a pleasant little sit down with your man about these thoughts emanating from the darkest recesses of his tortured imagination?

With many hundreds of hours of couples counseling under my belt, I suggest that much of this information, this process, is not a healthy sort of content for couples. For many women, it’s very difficult to fathom the depths of their man’s pain, rage, doubt, and fear. The interaction can activate her insecurities and cause more chaos than ever imagined.

That’s why I run men’s groups. That’s why it’s so important for men to have other men to talk with. Together, we compare notes, dig beneath the darkness to discover what’s really going on, what we feel, what hurts, and what needs to be healed or changed. When we talk about it amongst ourselves, we can say whatever we want, whatever comes up, without fear of hurting the women we love.

The generally accepted premise of couples counseling is that a safe place is created so that both parties can share whatever is on their minds, knowing that the counselor will mediate and help you find the lessons within. Men instinctively know that this is utter bullshit.

If he tells you, within a counseling session, the ugliest thought he has about you when he is at his darkest, how long do you think it’ll take for you to forget what he said?  Precisely. That’s why couples counseling has its place, but it’s certainly not a place where a man can unleash without considerable potential for long-term damage. I encourage men to go to couples counseling if their wives request. But I advise them to remember that their deep, personal work should be done with the men. Why, because we love our women, want to protect our women, and want to do everything possible to have wonderful relationships.

I’ve found that healthy, secure women understand these differences between themselves and their men. They appreciate their men having a place to go, to grow, and to be better men, husbands and fathers. Isn’t that what you REALLY want?

OK, that oughta shake a few trees. Laissez les bon temps roulez!

© 2010 BetterMen


Okay, RUers have at it!

Thank you to Wayne for another thought-provoking post.

Be sure to join us Friday when author Ann Charles discusses building a platform before publication.

Wayne’s Bio:

Wayne M. Levine, M.A. is the director of the West Coast Men’s Center in Agoura Hills, CA, where he coaches and mentors men, and facilitates men’s groups. He also created the BetterMen Retreats for men, and for fathers and sons. In addition, Wayne is the founder of, a life coaching and mentoring resource for men.

Wayne’s interest in men’s issues began in the early ‘90s with his participation in men’s work activities. His experiences with men’s groups, as a participant, leader and program developer, taught Wayne to “father” men and to support them in making difficult and important changes in their lives.

He earned his Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University/Los Angeles. Wayne also received his BA in journalism and graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Southern California.

Wayne’s been married to his first and only wife, Ria, for over 25 years and is the proud daddy of Emma, Austin and the family’s menagerie of animals.  Wayne strives to be a better man, husband and father each day in Oak Park, CA.

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15 Responses to “Wayne Wednesday: How Much Do You Really Need and Want to Know?”

  1. Hi Wayne. I’ll buy into this because I was one of the ones that said I didn’t need to know everything.

    I am curious though, being that men aren’t big “talkers”, how they communicate with each other? We women go to lunch or shopping with our girlfriends and unload. Somehow, I don’t see men sitting around a bar talking about murdering their wives. Well, maybe some men do! LOL. Seriously, will men typically go to lunch and moan about their wives or do they communicate with each other in a different way?

    Posted by AdrienneGiordano | June 9, 2010, 7:36 am
    • Some men will gather in bars and other places to complain, though they’ll not often reveal the depths of their feelings. More often then not, they compare some surface notes, acknowledge their shared frustrations, have a laugh or a high five, and then move on. Not much accomplished. Bu there are those lucky few who have close relationships with another men, or have found heir way to a men’s group. These men don’t just complain, hopefully, they search for meaning, solutions, and then commit to taking positive action.

      Posted by Wayne Levine | June 9, 2010, 9:35 am
  2. Morning Wayne!

    Sorry, you’re not shaking my tree….lol…..I agree, we don’t need to know everything. Even if we ask, sometimes we really don’t want to know!

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post!


    Posted by Carrie Spencer | June 9, 2010, 8:04 am
  3. Very interesting post — I agree that trust is not needing to know everything. A lot of people can’t get to that point, though, because of their own insecurities.

    I also think “What are you thinking?” is shorthand for “Are you okay?” It is MEANT to be less intrusive, but it sounds like it stirs up a different set of problems. LOL I think it’s also a mechanism to reassure the questioner, who maybe senses thinks aren’t okay.

    Thanks for all the intriguing info!

    Posted by Donna Cummings | June 9, 2010, 8:51 am
  4. I agree with you Donna. That’s one of the reasons why we teach men to let her know how he feels, and why it’s so important for her to know.

    Posted by Wayne Levine | June 9, 2010, 9:39 am
  5. Whew! I’ve often felt like there was something wrong with me for having some dark thoughts of my own and hoped that I’d never get hit on the head and start blurting out some of these dark thoughts. Now I know that my spouse has his own dark thoughts, so I don’t feel like I’m too abnormal. Being an author makes us all a little abnormal, though, right? 😆

    Thanks for an enlightening article about men. Usually, in order to get this kind of information about men (so that I can make the males in my stories sound more believable), I have to sling sailor-speak with male friends in order for them to relax enough around me to be partially honest. Some days, I have too much estrogen to handle all of that testosterone.

    Ann C.

    Posted by Ann Charles | June 9, 2010, 11:53 am
  6. Hi sailor. It’s remarkable how so many people believe there’s something wrong with them…until they learn the truth. On the radio tomorrow (you can find info at we’ll be talking about shame. Guilt is when you think you’ve done something wrong. Shame is when you think there’s something wrong with you.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Posted by Wayne Levine | June 9, 2010, 12:03 pm
  7. Hi Wayne,

    I had to ask my husband if he ever wanted to kill me, beat me or divorce me over something I said. LOL He came back with a resounding “no,” which was funny because I doubt he would tell me if he did. But the look of horror on his face when I asked told me all I needed to know.


    Posted by TraceyDevlyn | June 9, 2010, 12:28 pm
  8. Hey, Wayne –

    Sorry I’m so late to the party today, but a monsoon hit central Texas. I’m not necessarily a believer in “reveal all” to your spouse/significant other. But I am voraciously curious about men’s dark thoughts in general. You give us a few, but what else can you tell us without being specific to your clients? And not necessarily relationship thoughts–just anything. About work, sports, general unfairness of life, desire for sex, whatever.

    I’m notorious for asking men pointed questions, and usually they respond because they see I’m not going to get all over them for answering a certain way. One of my latest explorations was in asking men if less attractive women try harder when it comes to sexual performance. I embarassed a couple of guys, but most answered, “Yes.”

    Thanks, as always, for your candid feeback!

    Posted by Kelsey Browning | June 9, 2010, 5:17 pm

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