When a relationship is not going well, it is many times the woman who is dissatisfied. Ask any divorce lawyer or just look at the statistics and you will see the majority of divorces are filed by women. In these cases, they usually complain that their man does not care about them, or does not care about their emotional needs. But the problem is oftentimes not that he does not care, but that he does not understand what it is she wants. Men and women communicate differently. Men are very direct. Women come at issues from different angles. Men are problem-solvers. For women, the needs vary. Sometimes they need emotional validation or support, and at other times just some understanding. A gal does not necessarily want her guy to solve her problem, but just to listen. Women can usually read each other’s emotions quite easily, and they come to one another’s aide in sympathy and kind words without even being asked. But a man who can pick up on her general mood, may not notice all the nuances within it. Understand that communication is a skill in which we all learn. We are not limited by our gender. In fact, each partner should try earnestly to consider how the other person communicates, and tune in to their frequency.
This may mean that a man learns to not only hear but really listen to his girlfriend or wife. He should not be so quick to offer logical suggestions and advice. Instead, he should listen carefully, tell her in his own words how he understands the situation, and validates her feelings. Consider the difficulty of the problem and her capability of handling it, before offering advice. If you believe she is able to handle this one, keep the advice to yourself, or only extend it if she asks. For women if she has certain emotional needs her man is not getting, she needs to tell him directly, and learn to be more direct about her thoughts and feelings. Sometimes women have an attitude such like, “He should just know” Or “If he really loved me he would know.” But the majority of men communicate directly. So he has no hope in knowing. It also cuts out a woman’s responsibility to communicate her feelings to her man, in a way he can understand. But it too shows her anxiety surrounding these feelings. No matter how much alike you look at the onset, there are wide gulfs between any two individuals. If they are to stay together these chasms need crossing. Any worthwhile relationship is built on good communication. It is not a miracle simply arrived upon but the result of long, patient conversations and hard work.
For some women crying is a way of venting. It makes certain men uncomfortable however. And women may feel ashamed afterward. But really they just want support from their partner, not for him to pull away. Men are taught never to cry in our society. Ladies, if you cry just let him know that this is emotional venting. Guys, hold her and be there for her and you will make the relationship stronger. Lastly, fellas if a woman wants to talk about an emotional problem you two are having, do not get defensive and start yelling at her. You should not just apologize and clam up either. Both may put stress on the relationship, rather than relieve it, and the first choice definitely will. Instead, listen to her and re-explain in your own words. When she feels you get it, show her that you care, validate her, and work together to find a solution. Lastly, men sometimes have a hard time communicating their emotions. Ladies, be patient. Guys, find a way to tell her how you feel, so she understands you better. Communication is not easy. But get it right and your relationship will be so much closer, and you will end up cherishing every moment together.
For more on what to do when the real work in a relationship begins pick up a copy of, Post-Romantic Stress Disorder: What to Do When the Honeymoon Is Overby John Bradshaw and Joe Barrett.