Counseling Men Blog
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What Men Are Attracted To - It's Not What You Think

Posted by Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Sun, Nov 07, 2010

Look at What Men Are Attracted ToPart 2 of 2

Let's find out what men are attracted to.  Brianna told Guy Stuff that "my husband is not physically attracted to me."  In the first article of this series we responded to her cry for help by exploring some of the reasons why this may be happening.  Take a quick look at the first post to hear her story and some possible causes -- "My Husband Is Not Physically Attracted to Me" Mr. Marriage Counselor.  Now let's look at what men are attracted to.

As we look into attraction, particularly as it affects sexual intimacy within a relationship, an important truth for us to remember is that sexual intimacy is a reflection of the relationship.  When the relationship is poor, the sexual intimacy is typically poor.  It's not surprising then that sexual problems are one of the big marriage problems.

Let’s take a look at a couple I’m working with in marriage counseling, Wes and Nicole (not their real names), and see some ways their relationship is affecting the physical attraction.  Nicole has the same complaint as Brianna -- "My Husband Is Not Physically Attracted to Me."  And she can't understand why either.

One of biggest marriage problems for Nicole is the lack of physical affection from Wes.  She craves having him touch her, even just simply holding her hand.  I really can’t describe well enough how much of a need this is for her.  She’s not getting it from Wes and it’s killing her.

What Nicole is unable to see, so far, is that there are several reasons why physical affection from Wes is not happening.  Like all of us, it's easy for Nicole to see the things Wes is doing that are making things worse, but she’s blind to the things she does too.

What men are attracted to, and not attracted to, can be seen in some examples of how Nicole interacts with Wes.  Wes has told me pointedly that he’s not physically attracted to Nicole for some of these reasons:

  • She only talks about the things he does wrong and needs to change, but never does the same about herself.
  • She uses phrases like “I would never do that…”  She doesn’t see it, but she’s constantly building herself up and putting him down.
  • When he shares something with her she doesn’t just listen.  She always tells him what she would do, or worse yet, what she would have done differently.

These are really big turnoffs for Wes, which is really understandable.  After all, why would he be attracted to someone who makes him feel bad?  Obviously, feeling bad is not what men are attracted to.  The problem for Nicole is that the more she tries to get closer to Wes, because of how she goes about it, the more she pushes him away.

A lot of women focus on their physical appearance as the secret to what men are attracted to.  But I can’t tell you how many men have told me that they’re so turned off by their partner’s behavior that appearance never even gets considered. 

Ladies, here’s a big secret – what men are attracted to is praise, validation, and respect.  If your man isn’t physically attracted to you, just like Brianna and Nicole, take a look at how well you’re doing with these 3 things.

Brianna said ,“he claims I need to work on "my problems" before we can work on any marriage problems. I admit I have problems that should be dealt with via counseling, but that is separate. We can work on the marriage at the same time.”  Brianna, sometimes you really can’t work on them at the same time.

Brianna’s husband maybe blowing her off by telling her she needs to work on her problems, but maybe not.  It’s possible that for Brianna, just like Nicole, she needs to first work on changing herself before she can work on the marriage problems

Here's an important message for both women and men, learn from this example what men are attracted to, and take an honest look at how your behavior might not be attractive to your mate.

* This is the second article of two discussing the issues of when a husband is not physically attracted to his wife and what men are attracted to.  Take a look at the first article -- "My Husband Is Not Physically Attracted To Me" Mr. Marriage Counselor.  Be sure to Sign-up for our Counseling Men Blog on the right and don't miss the next article.

Tags: Understanding Men