life

Male Answer Syndrome: Case in Point

Back in the 90s, I read a hilarious book that discussed the phenomenon (or not) of Male Answer Syndrome. When I Googled it to give credit, my mind was blown by the entries. This is not one person’s vendetta. Check out the top three results:

The Medical Dictionary

The Urban Dictionary

Wiktionary

I hadn’t thought about this phenomenot for many years. There is a payoff to the years of training required for a successful marriage – haha! Then I came across a blog post by a blogger who often offers thoughtful reflections about life.

His overall point was that there are two different kinds of conversations, ones where you need to listen and others where you’re being asked for a solution. In understanding this difference, you can avoid many disagreements and misunderstandings. I completely agree, so I left this comment:


Such a good point, and a smart way of distinguishing. We had many conversations about this early in our marriage but now we can read each other pretty well about what we’re looking for. It’s often the stereotype that women are the listeners and men always want to offer a solution. I used to say to my husband that I wasn’t looking for M.A.S. (Male Answer Syndrome). I can’t remember where I read that but it made me laugh and it made it clear to him. What do you think? Do men have a harder time having those listening conversations and holding back the advice?


Ready for it?


Yes. We men have a really hard time with that. We need women to help us polish off those rough edges and teach us, just like you did when you explained to your husband that you weren’t looking for an answer or a solution. You wanted to be listened to and empathized with. Keep reminding him–he’ll get it.


Is it just me? I almost pee myself every time I read it again. He agrees with me, then ends by giving me advice! I called him out on it and he was a great sport, so I hope he doesn’t mind that he inspired this blog post.

Sorry guys, I’m not trying to extend the gender divide but some things are just truth.

Am I right?

Don’t answer that.

❤️ Amanda

18 thoughts on “Male Answer Syndrome: Case in Point”

  1. Sometimes they answer with something that has nothing whatever to do with what you were saying or the question you asked. It is as though they just heard your voice and responded with whatever was in their head at the time. The humorous part is when you turn and look at them and they are still talking about whatever it was they were perhaps dreaming about, and you are not even sure they are aware that they are talking to you. Good one. I think most of us ladies have been there.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Dang, girl! You ARE an MS Warrior. Faster than the speeding bullet I would say!!! You may be a Ninja MS Warrior. And yes, I actually know what it is. You can look up one of the ladies in our book, Artful Alchemy: Physically Challenged Fiber Artists Creating (Amazon.com, and they do have the E-book). Her name is Elizabeth Jameson and she has been on TED.com speaking about her life with MS too. She has the most wonderful attitude, and if you were to hear her talk, you will appreciate her as I do. There are pictures of her art on TED too. I love TED.com. The B E S T!!! There is at least one other lady in our book with MS, and she has been a beautiful lady and artist. I am out of touch with many of them (23 in the book, but I know more) because we all live so far apart and I have my own physical challenges as I have re-defined all forms of “dis-abilities.” I hate that word as it suggests that people have NO abilities. I have NEVER met a physically challenged person with NO abilities. Ridiculous!

        My good friend, Barbara Williamson, who is a paraplegic from being shot point blank some 30+ years ago and I formed a very tiny and very poor nonprofit to provide assistance with getting exposure for their work and teaching the ladies professional development. I am not some famous fiber artist – just a lady who loves others with their various degrees and kinds of physical challenges. At the end of Vietnam, my younger brother/only sibling came home 100% disabled with a TBI, a spinal injury and permanent PTSD. I have PTSD too from years of abuse and from being assaulted in more recent years and majorly bullied most of my life. But I too am a warrior of a different kind, trying to turn my own heart that I got when I saw my brother to help others all my life, and it is pretty much my heart work. The book came about when we both suffered further injuries related to our challenges. In my friend’s case, she had an artery burst down near her stomach, and she lived, but we could not continue to do the nonprofit. And as for me, that was when I was assaulted at my old senior mobile home and had to move quickly to protect myself. It is a long story and I won’t repeat it here because I am writing about my life some on my blog, so it will ultimately come up. We selected these women out of a large number; we knew we could not include everyone, for there are so many, so we took the stories we felt would educate people about things they might not know about and also provide inspiration for those who do have physical challenges and who are perhaps trying to start a career in art or something related that is a creative endeavor.

        In November of this year, my friend Barbara, who lived in Paradise, CA, escaped with her caregiver and dog from the Camp Fire that demolished her town, her home and all her artwork. She and her caregiver are now looking for a permanent home in Northern California now and both of them more than likely are suffering also from PTSD along with other things.

        I look forward to a long and joyful friendship with you, and I am really happy to make your acquaintance. Hugs, Anne

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha, I was quick off the mark this morning then I went to do other things and came back to this lovely long response from you.

        You have certainly done some interesting things and lived through some difficult times in your life! What a wonderful heart you have to reach out to others when you’ve had your own challenges. If only there were more people like you in the world. Here’s to a long and happy friendship. Cheers!! 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha I love this. It’s so true! I was once at a marriage workshop with a couple that was presenting, and the husband (of the presenting team) said that before he and his wife delve into a discussion/conversation he asks, “Do you want my brain or do you want my ear?”. Because he’d come to realize that often, she was simply sharing something, not asking him for an advice or solution or anything of the like. I loved this, because it’s so simple, and yet it addresses such an important piece of communication.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a married man for almost 19 years I must agree that men at times don’t listen to our wives. When we don’t listen and quickly try to offer solutions it does backfire. Sometimes she wants a listener and really doesn’t need a solution right then. At that point, we men should go into support mode and listen. We want the same at times and in any relationship we should the other as we want to be treated. It took years for me to learn this. It’s as if a wall was put up and all I wanted was to offer my two cents instead of intently listening. Great post about relationships. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading and for your thoughtful comment. Sometimes I think we don’t know whether we’re looking for advice or an ear, and only figure it out once our partner makes the wrong decision. 😏 At times, there is no right answer but we just have to keep trying, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My ex always felt like he had to give unsolicited advice – when I asked him why – he said he felt he needed to solve the problem. Yet, on the flip side, when he’s looking to vent he’ll start the conversation with, “I just want you to listen”. Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

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