In Saddle Up Your Own White Horse Saundra Pelletier says every woman needs to know the five principles to "unleash the inner-hero in your man".
#1)Praise goes a long way with men. "Nagging and complaining are like treading water--you move a little, but you don't make much forward progress. When you praise women, they wonder what you want! But when you praise men, they want more of it, as long as the praise seems genuine."
#2) Focus on what is working in your relationship instead of what is not working.
Saundra says, "Too often, women become neurotic about minor details such as how the towels are folded and how the dishwasher is loaded. Are we nuts? We can't seriously be thinking that loading the dishwasher requires the special skills of a woman. If men are willing to help, let them. The towels will be folded and the dishes will be cleaned. Focus on something that is actually worth your time instead of being picky about meaningless chores."
#3) The most effective way to get action from a man in any situation is to create the idea that only he can handle it. He is the hero who can save the day. If you need a favor from your spouse or significant other, always thank him by saying, "What would I do without you?" If you can get away with it, actually say, "You're my hero" or "You're my prince" or "I just adore you."
#4) Your Man Only Needs One Mother.
Saundra says, "Although it may at times seem easier to take on a motherly role with your mate, try to use rational judgment about this decision. If you enable your man to be a child, you will eventually grow tired of always being the adult. If you really want to be needed, get yourself a pet."
#5) Give a Man His T.V. Time--He will love you (possibly even pay you) for it.
Saundra reveals her own challenge with this one...
"Men and children are both obsessed with the television. The house could be burning down, and most men would watch the television as they run by with the dog and the fire extinguisher in hand. I must admit that I am also fond of the television, but my husband takes his obsession to new levels. We currently have ftelevisions in our house. We have no patio furniture, the baby's room is not complete, and my husband's office needs a makeover. At dinner last night, he had an epiphany and said, 'You know what we need? A television in the bathroom. This way I can watch the news in the morning while I'm showering and I'll save time.' I looked around the room to see if I was on a hidden-camera show. My husband get's to identify with his Inner Super-Hero when he watches his two favorite shows: Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch.
In Deadliest Catch, for example, one minute the characters talk intently about the serious dangers that exist in their job and caution that a small slip could cause death. The next minute, they are swinging from fish hooks over the side of the boat in freezing water because they are bored. I don't actually watch this show with my husband but I like it because I have extracted significant sums of money and some grand favors from my husband while he was completely absorbed in it. He just hands me the checkbook to make me go away."