Shere Hite interviewed women about love relationships in the late 1980s. She came to these conclusions:
Woman after woman says she is putting enormous amounts of energy into trying to make her love relationship work — but that the man doesn’t seem to be putting in the same effort.
Many women lie in bed at night, wondering, “It’s too bad things are like this… why can’t they change?”
• 98 percent of women say they want the men in their lives to talk more about their own personal thoughts, feelings, plans and questions and to ask them about theirs.
• 71 percent of women say the men in their lives are afraid of emotion.
• 17 percent of women say the communication in their relationship is good, makes them happy, adds to their lives.
What makes women maddest?
• 77 percent say, “He doesn’t listen.”
• 84 percent of women say that men often appear not to hear what they say.
• 69 percent of women say men generally don’t listen or ask, draw them out about their activities or about their opinions.
• 83 percent of women say men only seem to be interested in what they have to say at the beginning of a relationship.
“I hate it when men refuse to admit to a mistake, or say that they simply don’t know. It’s as if they think their penises will fall off if they do. And if I, a woman, turn out to be wrong, I’d damn well better own up to it and apologize and be more careful in the future.”
• 19 percent of women report real and equal emotional relationships with the men they love.
“My husband depends on me as a good friend. He seeks my advice for his personal and professional problems and we talk before making plans. I treat him with the same respect.”
• 88 percent of women say men prefer to avoid “talking things over” which only makes a fight inevitable. Men don’t want to admit that a problem exists.
• 89 percent of women say men do not hear what they are saying during fights. They hear what they want to hear.
“He thinks I am criticizing him when I bring up anything that’s bothering me.”
“Men have all these power behaviors, you know, like turning their backs on you and walking off, shutting the door or going out for a walk when you are trying to tell them something. They think they have the right not to listen to your problem.”
• 74 percent of women say that most men do not put love relationships first in their lives.
Most divorces are initiated by women
Most women say they tried for years to improve their marriages before deciding to divorce. They state that they left not because of poor sex and not because their man was unfaithful but due to loneliness and emotional isolation within the marriage.
Of couples married more than two years, only 13 percent of the women say they are “in love” with their husbands while the others “love” and “care for” their men.
Strangely, hauntingly, most women in this study, whether married, single, divorced, of all ages, say they have not yet found the love relationship they are looking for... and that they hope their greatest love is yet to come.
by Shere Hite (researched in the late 1980s)