Saturday 3 December 2016

But what did I do wrong? Why women get upset with men

Posting embarrassing photos of your partner on Twitter, paying for a date meal with a voucher . . . why do women get so upset, asks John Costello

John Costello

Published 25/01/2011 | 05:00

U.S. singer Katy Perry (L) and her husband British actor Russell Brand pose on the red carpet. REUTERS/Susana Vera
U.S. singer Katy Perry (L) and her husband British actor Russell Brand pose on the red carpet. REUTERS/Susana Vera

They may have just been spotted out celebrating her grandmother's 90th birthday in Las Vegas, but Russell Brand had better watch out. His wife Katy Perry is intent on seeking revenge.

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The superstar songstress was less than impressed with her hubby after he posted an embarrassing photo of her on Twitter for the world to see.

"I wasn't too impressed," admitted Perry. "I'm currently plotting my payback."

The unflattering snap featured a pale and spotty Perry without make-up looking dazed and confused moments after waking.

However, Brand's 1.7 million Twitter users did not have too long to view the photo before it mysteriously vanished, presumably after a 'You did what?!' conversation between the couple.

But Brand is not the first guy to break the unwritten rules of relationships and unwittingly drive his better half bonkers.

Ashton Kutcher is another who fell foul of the relationship faux pas when he posted a picture of Demi Moore bent over in a bikini while tweeting, "shh don't tell wifey".

Yes, if there is one way to a woman's heart, it's to post semi-nude or embarrassing photos of them online without their knowledge.

"In a committed relationship or marriage, it is important to know your partner has your back and won't let you down," says psychotherapist Zelie Driscoll who works with couples.

"So anyone who puts something up on Facebook or Twitter without asking you first is not on your team. Male or female, the key before you do something is simply to ask your partner. When in doubt, check it out."

But in the Battle Of The Sexes aren't men simply preprogrammed to act the way they do?

"It is absolutely rubbish," says Driscoll. "You cannot let men off the hook. We were all created apes but we have to learn to address that from both the female and male perspective. It is also doing a disservice to men by saying this is normal and natural for them.

"You need to forget about gender differences. You need to read what Eamon Dunphy wrote about being a member of a team, and that is you check out what the other member of the team will think about what you are going to write or say before you do it. It is a very basic thing and it does away with the gender war. A war is about enemies and committed relationships and marriage is not about enemies."

But regardless of what the professional may say, many believe men and women are just wired differently.

"Inherently men are stupid when it comes to these things," says illusionist Keith Barry. "We think it is just fine to throw up a photograph without even thinking about it, whereas women think about things before they act."

While few men can claim to have a blemish-free record, the uncrowned king of relationship bloopers is without a doubt US musician John Mayer.

The star was reportedly dumped by Jennifer Aniston after she discovered her beau was spending hours on Twitter despite telling her he was too busy to get in touch with her.

While she was busy feeling sorry for the singer because he apparently was so swamped he couldn't even call her, she noticed he was busy updating his Twitter account several times every hour.

But Mayer reached the pinnacle of relationship foot-in-mouth moments when a camera crew from gossip website TMZ spied him leaving a nightclub arm-in-arm with an older lady.

When the reporter quizzed him about his date Mayer quipped, "This is not my mother." One can only imagine the conversation he had with his cougar once the cameras were out of sight.

'Men can get themselves in trouble from the things they say and do because they just don't think things through enough," laughs Barry. "My wife knows everything I do is spontaneous so she is used to it at this stage. I don't think about things much. I'm more of an action man than a thinker. I think a lot of men are like that but unfortunately their wives and girlfriends aren't as understanding."

So while women shake their heads in disapproval at Russell Brand's Twitter antics and John Mayer's 'witty' charm, many men wonder what all the fuss is about.

"When I saw the picture of Katy Perry I put it straight up on my Facebook page," says Ray Shah. "It was proof that it's not diamonds that are a woman's best friend, it's make-up! I thought it was funny. Trust Russell Brand to do something like that. But I am sure he felt the wrath of Katy Perry."

Shah admits he's tried to do a "Russell Brand" before but failed. "I've tried to take photos with my camera phone but if the girls aren't wearing make-up there's no chance," he says with a smile.

But the DJ and former Big Brother contestant is well used to getting flack from girlfriends for unintentionally driving them nuts.

"When I go out for a couple of drinks or to a club I have a habit of ending up talking with everybody," he says. "So I'm not giving all my focus to the girlfriend and that can annoy the hell out of them.

"It's unintentional, but girls just over-analyse things way too much instead of just chilling out for a while and enjoying something for what it is. Girls are one of life's little mysteries -- you can never figure them out."

Someone who also has a hard time unravelling the mystery is Newstalk's Henry McKean.

"Yeah, I've done stupid things that have driven girls bonkers," he says sheepishly. "I once took out a girlfriend for a meal and I paid for it with a voucher. I only really realised afterwards it was scabby and ridiculous. It was a first date as well so it was pretty stupid. And, yes, that was the end of that."

McKean is no stranger to such moments.

"I just think the problem is that men don't think," he says. "They buy inappropriate gifts for the women in their life without thinking. Women don't want lingerie for Christmas, but they still get bought it. Men do and say things they think are funny but their girlfriends just get upset and offended."

A prime example is Madonna's former squeeze and US baseball star Alex Rodriguez, aka A-Rod. When he missed the birth of his baby daughter in 2008 he joked with the media, "The timing came from God. The first time I was there for two-and-a-half hours of pushing. This time it was 10 minutes after the delivery. It was perfect timing."

Not only did A-Rod lose any chance of being nominated for Father of the Year, his wife Cynthia soon became his former wife after she filed for divorce. It is probably safe to say his dry wit didn't help matters.

So what have men learnt when it comes to the women in their lives?

'Girls are very sensitive and you have to treat them well," offers McKean. "They kind of remind me of champion race horses. They are quite temperamental but beautiful at the same time."

An interesting observation, but in fairness to McKean what chance do men have when even the great Sigmund Freud was flummoxed.

"The great question that has never been answered," he wrote, "and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my 30 years of research into the feminine soul, is 'What does a woman want?'"

Answers on a postcard please . . . because it seems us men are still trying to figure it out.

Irish Independent

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