The #1 Secret to Getting Men to Work on Themselves in Relationships

Posted by in communication skills in dating, dating in midlife, love after 40, understanding men over 40 | 2 comments

getting men to work on themselves

Discover the best methods for getting men to work on themselves in relationships in this interview with relationship coach, Ken Bechtel. 

What’s the best strategy for getting men to work on themselves in relationships? My radio guest, Ken Bechtel, has the answers. He is the host of the Speaking of Partnership podcast. For over 15 years he has shared his insights and amusement as a speaker and educator to help women and men understand and appreciate each other so they can develop deep connections and healthy, life-long relationships!

I loved interviewing Ken on Last First Date Radio on How to Get Men to Do Their Part in Relationships. Loosely transcribed highlights of our interview can be found below.

The #1 Secret to Getting Men to Work on Themselves in Relationships


How can a woman get a man to want to change?

Part of what gets a man to change is to know he’s okay where he is. I call it being complete in the moment. Assure him he’s done the best he could with the information he had. Otherwise he’ll be stuck. He’ll wonder how to get it right so he can move forward. 

If you make a man guess, everyone loses. Men are the worst guessers. You’re better off telling him exactly what you want.

Start with the positive, then make your request. Instead of “Why do we never go dancing?”, say “I loved having dinner with you, and I’d love to go dancing, too.”

Start with appreciation, and it’s got to be sincere. 

What is the #1 barrier to having men “work on themselves”?

In every class I’ve ever taught, women want to know why they have to change, and men don’t do the work. Often times, women are looking for men to change the way you do. If they’re not doing what you do, they’re not doing anything.

Men work differently. They don’t act like a perfect women would. They’re not wired that way. First, understand that they are different. 

The masculine is results oriented. Feminine looks for emotional connection. When you realize that they won’t look like or act like you. Don’t criticize them for that.

You’ll have to ask your man what works best for him in ‘working on himself’. 

What is the biggest mistake women make that is keeping the MEN in their lives from seeking relationship guidance?

Complaining. If someone complains, you’re resent it but respond to the complaint. What you don’t understand is that men have four layers of protection against complaints. You think he should respond instantly because he would.

Instead of complaining, motivate a man through internal motivation. It has to meet the criteria: right time, right space in my life, etc.

Appreciate a man, and that gives him the fuel to take action. Set him up to win. A man can’t guess. Women might think it’s romantic if a man guesses what she wants. If he guesses right once in a while, your mind says, “See, he can read my mind. He’s been holding out on me.” 

If you lay it out clearly, what would make you happy, and set him up to win, you get what you want, he doesn’t have to guess, and the action takes place. 

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  1. Hi. What are men’s four layers of protection against complaints? Thanks!

  2. Great question! This episode is several years old, and I don’t have the answer, but Ken Bechtel, my podcast guest, will. You can contact him here:

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