Posted by: counselorcarmella | February 4, 2014

On The Subject of Good Men: They Exist and We’re Thankful!

We’ve all heard the saying “Nice guys finish last.” Maybe sometimes they do, but today they’re getting a shout out from me as a woman and as a therapist. Real nice guys are around every day doing the right things for the right reasons because that’s who they are. They don’t demand appreciation but they do deserve it and women deserve to know there are still genuinely good men in this world.

In my personal experience and in my work as a counselor, I hear about and encounter a lot of guys who aren’t so nice. Way too many males are going around thinking what makes them a man is their ability to drive fast, reproduce, stay out as late as they want, and make their own rules. These boys disguised as grown men seem to feel that they are entitled to have whatever they want, act however they want, and live life however they want without any accountability or consequences. They want to have the best of all worlds with trophy wives and trophy children for status or because they like the idea of being a “family man” a lot more than the day-to-day reality of that role. They’re all about personal gratification and “me first,” not about the needs and feelings of wife and children and often live as though their family doesn’t exist. They’re more worried about their buddies and their image and their ego than they are about their families but truly think they’re decent human beings because they “provide” on some level. Some of them act like their families should just be happy to have the privilege of being related and living in the same house with them. They’re narcissistic, delusional, and were often raised to believe they were so extraordinarily special by their families of origin. They expect to be treated that way by everyone else they meet, including bosses, coaches, and wives.

Too many women get involved with these man children thinking they’re fun and sexy and exciting. They let them move in or get married thinking they’ll change after marriage or babies only to be very disappointed. These women become resentful when nagging, praying, threats, and excuses don’t lead to change. They spend years making it easier for these guys to be thoughtless and irresponsible just like Mommy and Daddy did. “People just don’t understand him.” “If I love him enough, he’ll be appreciative and eventually settle down.” “If I have more sex with him, he won’t need to cheat,” “If I don’t nag, he’ll be home more.” More often than not, this doesn’t happen. These guys might be the life of the party but try living with one of them. Lies, loneliness, worry about money, and feeling taken for granted are how many women involved with such guys describe feeling much of the time.

I’m also not talking about the guy who comes across nice but is really spineless. This guy can’t stand for anyone to be mad at him and is everybody’s “yes man.” He’ll lie rather than deal with direct conflict and will take off running when there’s a problem in his intimate relationship because he’s just so sensitive and can’t deal with that kind of stress. He’ll flake and backpedal and make confusing opposite statements because he doesn’t want to “hurt anyone’s feelings.” He’ll tell you how people have taken advantage of his niceness, screwed him over, walked all over him, abused his trust and so on. He’ll convince you that all he needs is a woman to love and appreciate him, but you’ll never have him completely because he’s busy trying to please his Mom, his sister, his uncle, that guy down the street, his buddies, his boss who knows he’s a pushover, and anyone else other than his wife, who is supposed to understand his need to be this way. With her, he’s all pitiful excuses and justifications and won’t talk when she gets frustrated because he just can’t handle any intensity or conflict. He gives in to the kids, volunteers his wife for things she doesn’t want to do, and makes plans without checking with her because he couldn’t say no. HE’ll take in a puppy, his unemployed alcoholic brother, or his wife’s very attractive best friend who’s going through a divorce. He won’t “man up” when she needs him to. She resents having to make all the family decisions and the fact that she can’t get him to talk about important stuff, tell his Mom or his friends “No,” or even tell that girl at work “No,” which is what lead to his emotional and/or physical affair. Its hard for her to respect him or to view him as a grown man because, sometimes, he’s more of a girl than she is. There is a difference between sensitive and spineless.

Nice guys, (the genuine ones) might not seem as exciting at first. They don’t have that on the edge, dangerous, or so smooth and charming way about them. They aren’t trying to be the life of the party and everybody’s best friend. Neither do they seem like lost sickly puppies in desperate need of rescue, love, and shelter. They’re not always the most confident or smooth talking men in the room. But they look in your eyes not at your chest and actually listen when you talk to them. They put down their phones and even turn them off sometimes to give you their full attention. They’re not afraid to look your Dad in the face and shake his hand and say “yes, ma’am” to your Mom. What they are is decent, genuine, and trustworthy. They work hard, handle money responsibly, own up to their mistakes, and honor their commitments. They tel the truth, make their family a priority by providing and by spending quality time, and are respectful to their wives. They sit through boring recitals or movies they don’t like, have tea parties with stuffed animals, change diapers, and load dishwashers. They take their families to church and come home after work. They open doors, say nice things just because, and appreciate what they have.

Nice guys aren’t sneaky or manipulative. If they say they’re at a certain place, that’s where they are. If they’re wrong, they apologize. They don’t act like kings to be waited on and adored no matter what they do. They’re predictable, stable, consistent, and dependable. Their women aren’t worried about if they’re cheating, spending money they need for medical bills, or out doing something stupid with a bunch of their stupid overgrown frat boy friends. They’re not emasculated. They have testicles and testosterone. They’re secure in that and don’t have to “prove” their manhood. They stand up for their families and their values. They like “man things” and do “man things.” They like stuff like football, huntin, fishin, war movies, pool, and motorcycles. They pee standing up and forget to put the toilet seat down sometimes, think movies like The Hangover are funny, and can’t pretend to be interested in things like which shade of pink nail polish would be the best one to wear tonight for thirty minutes. They don’t get excited about the latest Nicholas Sparks movie. Thank God. They kill bugs, fix stuff that breaks, and open jars when we need them to. They cut grass, take out trash, haul furniture, and make dinner sometimes.

They don’t yell or make demands to get their way. We know they’ll talk with us, not at us or to us or for us. They lead with gentleness and integrity and are strong without being scary. As the women in their lives, we’re proud of who they are and how they live. We’re proud to be with them and feel sad for women who don’t have guys as nice as ours. We don’t take them for granted because we’ve been involved with jerks and know how that feels. They may not always know how, but making us happy matters to them and we know it. We can say with all confidence, “I have a good man.” We can deal with the occasional thoughtless comment or disappointing gift a lot better because we know their hearts and are confident that hurting us is never their intent. We know they’re good Dads who care about their kids and good men who care about their communities because their actions show those things to be true. They remember our birthdays, hold our hands in public, and don’t trip over their own feet staring at other women. They try and show their sons how to treat women and their daughters how they deserve to be treated.

We’re thankful, even when they annoy us, and don’t expect them to be perfect. We’re not perfect either and they don’t expect us to be sweet every second of every day, want to have sex every time they ask, or look like Victoria Secret models. Yes, they’re guys and guys are visual and sexual, but they also care about our hearts, minds, and character, too. Our opinions matter to them. We feel appreciated, respected, valued, and like we’re truly involved in a partnership. And because we feel secure with them, feel loved by them, and feel like partners to them, we’re a lot more likely to want to enthusiastically share times of physical intimacy and passion with them.

If you are a nice guy, a man of integrity and maturity, thank you for being who and what you are. Thank you for standing by your commitments and being kind to your wife and an involved father to your children. Thank you for doing what’s right even when you don’t feel like it. Keep it up! Don’t let anyone tell you you’re less of a man because you don’t beat your chest and swing from vines and speak in grunts. Set an example to your buddies who think they have to “prove” something by staying out late and leaving their wives alone while they’re out having fun and flirting with other women. If they can’t respect you for your choices, seriously consider finding some friends who think/feel the way you do about what it means to be a real man.

Ladies, listen up! If you have a nice guy, a good man, a man who has integrity and character, thank him for being who and what he is. Verbally express appreciation to him for living out what it means to truly be a husband and father. Speak words of appreciation often. Hug him and make him feel like the special man he is. Congratulate yourself on making a wise choice to hang on to him and thank God every day for him. If you know he would lay down is life for you and your kids, pray for him and realize many women don’t have such security. Don’t take him for granted. So what if he occasionally forgets to pick up his dirty socks or doesn’t notice your new haircut? He’s not perfect, but he’s good and caring and trustworthy. Make him a priority and don’t take advantage of his nice guy nature. Let him be a man. Watch football or go fishing or to one of those action movies he likes sometimes. and don’t go thinking those exciting bad boys are what you need to feel young and free. The grass isn’t greener and men of true integrity and character can be hard to find.



  1. But do women remain erotically attracted to such men? The research I read and my experience as a family law attorney is that they don’t.

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