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Why Men Won't Commit


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"Men actually want commitment, love, and permanence every bit as much as women do," assures the author of this no-nonsense guide for frustrated women, but they often act as if they don't because of "feelings of threat to their masculinity." Clinical psychologist Weinberg (Self Creation) explains that men, forced by a macho culture to hide their feelings until they lose touch with them, often cannot recognize or articulate them, and that it may be the woman's job to identify inchoate feelings dangerous to the relationship (his "gut reactions") and alter her behavior. He discusses what women might unconsciously do to trigger those feelings, including over-estimate their man's strength and fortitude, or compare him to other men. Men, Weinberg maintains, have four basic needs: to feel special, to "travel light," to know their partners are loyal and to "be close emotionally." Explaining how that last need is true in the face of so much evidence to the contrary is one of the main tasks of the book, one that Weinberg carries out carefully and without condescension. But the implications of this theory of "gut reactions" that must be managed has consequences: because men are actually the "weaker sex," the job of seeing through a man's "Masculine Pretense" and acting accordingly-at least with men who are not in therapy with Weinberg-falls to women, who must be willing to accept that role. Weinberg necessarily paints men in broad strokes-surely not every man equates earning power with virility-but for women who can see the individual beneath the stereotype and who don't mind being the minder of the relationship, this book offers concrete advice. (Feb.4) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

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