Men characteristically have been seen, especially by women, as having the power in relationships. But guys themselves know they are stumbling in the dark when it comes to relationships, while their partners can see. Many men secretly believe they are the only ones with this handicap, which makes the problem worse because now they also have to worry about being inferior to their buddies. Men get stronger and their shame diminishes when they have the courage to talk openly to other guys. Men who talk openly to other men in men’s groups improve their relationships with women more than those who just talk to a therapist alone. In talking to each other, they find out the real deal. They are not inadequate. They are just guys. And in good company. Men are typically not instinctively tuned into their own emotional state. Without this information to show them the way, they are at a significant disadvantage. In intimate relationships feelings are the operative force and the “loudest” communication of all, regardless of one’s awareness of them. Beginning as babies, the nonverbal, feeling aspects of interaction penetrate us through tone, mood, and facial expression. When men are cut off from awareness of the emotional component of their communication, confusion ensues. And they are alone, without a guide. So what is to be done? No one should be fooled by men’s exterior. Both men and women must expect and be “onto” the presence of a hidden dimension of men. This side of men must be greeted with openness and interest in a non-judgmental way, allowing men to more fully participate in relationships. If women can recognize men’s strengths and appreciate loving gestures as such–even if they don’t yet hit the mark–then they will truly become allies. When men and women decide that they are both on the same side, men can finally score, but the win is for the team. From an article by Lynn Margolies, Ph.D. http://psychcentral.com/lib/male-and-misunderstood/0002654
It is impossible
to speak in such a way
that you cannot
Men frequently overestimate their ability to sacrifice themselves and be agreeable. Accommodating feels thankless when they nonetheless encounter complaints from their partner. Patterns of self-sacrifice lead to a buildup of resentment and hurt, of which the guy is often unaware, except by way of his partner’s unhappiness and persistent accusations. Men minimize their feelings, but unbeknownst to them, the hurt and resentment find their voice in another form. These feelings may be disguised, even from men themselves, and expressed through behaviors such as forgetting, lateness, tuning out, silence, and grouchiness. When resentment manifests ambiguously and without awareness or accountability, frustration follows – without resolution. Men are under tremendous pressure to perform, measure up to other men, and be successful. They aren’t supposed to complain, be scared, or depend on others. Perhaps the most challenging of the responsibilities they assume is making women happy, a daunting and seemingly unsolvable mystery. Contrary to stereotypes, boys begin life even more vulnerable than girls — as infants they are more distressed by separation from mothers, less secure, and show greater difficulty recovering from distress. Growing up, boys are shamed for showing sadness, fear, and dependency — feelings that are universal, not the territory of gender or age. Boys learn quickly these reactions will get them labeled a “momma’s boy.” Under penalty of humiliation, they shun vulnerability, eventually becoming removed from awareness of even their own experience of these feelings. Later, this condition may manifest in reacting to women’s hurt by feeling criticized – responding with insensitivity, contempt, or counterattack. To ward off shame brought on by hurt or loneliness, men may act opposite to how they feel, “suck it up,” distract themselves through work and addictions, or become controlling. These unconscious defenses mask the part of men longing for love and support, thereby perpetuating misunderstanding and unfulfillment. From an article by Lynn Margolies, Ph.D. http://psychcentral.com/lib/male-and-misunderstood/0002654
The single biggest problem
is the illusion that
it has taken place.
George Bernard Shaw
Men show their appreciation through achievements, women through words. In one of my seminars a woman asked, “How do you know how much a man loves a woman? They certainly don’t seem to tell us every day, do they?” I asked my husband the same question that evening. He thought about it for a brief moment and then said, “By what he is willing to do for her.” Plain and simple. In relationship coaching, this issue comes up in almost every session. Men and women show their love differently and not only does this create conflict it also causes huge amounts of pain. Women want to talk to men about their feelings. We create environments of pleasure and relaxation by sharing and talking. It relaxes us. The problem is, it does not relax men in the same way. On the contrary, it creates tension for them and confusion. Don’t get me wrong, men do want to please us, do the right thing and say the right words, they just don’t know how. They only time a man knows what to do is when a woman has shown him how. In most cases, men will remain silent and women will feel hurt. Why is it so painful when a man does not respond with attention, words, smiles, and those little gestures that make us feel better? As women, we are aware of what goes on around us at all times. We pay attention to the mood in a room, to the mood of the people in the room, we smooth out ups and downs in the energy, we smile, we touch, we play and we make sure everybody is happy. It’s a natural flow for us, it is easy and it feels good. We are used to showing our affection that way and it creates a void when a man does not respond in kind. Don’t expect him to be something he is not. You can be angry at your guy for not getting it (and be miserable for the rest of your life) or you can accept him for who he is. It’s up to you. Give him a chance to win. Men like to be heroes and they like to win for you. Let him show his brilliance and have the last word. So many women have to constantly prove that they can do it themselves. It’s exhausting. Give in and relax. Realize how much he wants to impress you, how much he revels in your admiration and enjoy your feminine power. From an article by Karin Lehmann http://shine.yahoo.com/love-sex/why-men-dont-say-i-love-you-and-what-to-do-about-it-481890.html
The most important things
are the hardest to say,
because words diminish them.
Independence vs. Intimacy: Since women often think in terms of closeness and support, they struggle to preserve intimacy. Men, concerned with status, tend to focus more on independence. These traits can lead women and men to starkly different views of the same situation. When Josh’s old high-school friend called him at work to say he’d be in town, Josh invited him to stay for the weekend. That evening he told Linda they were having a house guest. Linda was upset. How could Josh make these plans without discussing them with her beforehand? She would never do that to him. “Why don’t you tell your friend you have to check with your wife?” she asked. Josh replied, “I can’t tell my friend, ‘I have to ask my wife for permission’!” To Josh, checking with his wife would mean he was not free to act on his own. It would make him feel like a child or an underling. But Linda actually enjoys telling someone, “I have to check with Josh.” It makes her feel good to show that her life is intertwined with her husband’s. Advice vs. Understanding: Eve had a benign lump removed from her breast. When she confided to her husband, Mark, that she was distressed because the stitches changed the contour of her breast, he answered, “You can always have plastic surgery.” This comment bothered her. “I’m sorry you don’t like the way it looks,” she protested. “But I’m not having any more surgery!” Mark was hurt and puzzled. “I don’t care about a scar,” he replied. “It doesn’t bother me at all.” “Then why are you telling me to have plastic surgery?” she asked. “Because you were upset about the way it looks.” Eve felt like a heel. Mark had been wonderfully supportive throughout her surgery. How could she snap at him now? The problem stemmed from a difference in approach. To many men a complaint is a challenge to come up with a solution. Mark thought he was reassuring Eve by telling her there was something she could do about her scar. But often women are looking for emotional support, not solutions.When my mother tells my father she doesn’t feel well, he invariably offers to take her to the doctor. Invariably, she is disappointed with his reaction. Like many men, he is focused on what he can do, whereas she wants sympathy. by Deborah Tannen http://aggslanguage.wordpress.com/you-just-don%E2%80%99t-understand-by-deborah-tannen/
The way we communicate
with others and with ourselves
the quality of our lives
A married couple was in a car when the wife turned to her husband and asked, “Would you like to stop for a coffee?” “No, thanks,” he answered truthfully. So they didn’t stop. The result? The wife, who had indeed wanted to stop, became annoyed because she felt her preference had not been considered. The husband, seeing his wife was angry, became frustrated. Why didn’t she just say what she wanted? Unfortunately, he failed to see that his wife was asking the question not to get an instant decision, but to begin a negotiation. And the woman didn’t realize that when her husband said no, he was just expressing his preference, not making a ruling. When a man and woman interpret the same interchange in such conflicting ways, it’s no wonder they can find themselves leveling angry charges of selfishness and obstinacy at each other. We cannot lump all men or all women into fixed categories. But the seemingly senseless misunderstandings that haunt our relationships can in part be explained by the different conversational rules by which men and women play. Men grow up in a world in which a conversation is often a contest, either to achieve the upper hand or to prevent other people from pushing them around. For women, however, talking is often a way to exchange confirmation and support. I saw this when my husband and I had jobs in different cities. People frequently made comments like, “That must be rough,” and “How do you stand it?” I accepted their sympathy and sometimes even reinforced it, saying, “The worst part is having to pack and unpack all the time.” But my husband often reacted with irritation. Our situation had advantages, he would explain. As academics, we had four-day weekends together, as well as long vacations throughout the year and four months in the summer. Everything he said was true, but I didn’t understand why he chose to say it. He told me that some of the comments implied: “Yours is not a real marriage. I am superior to you because my wife and I have avoided your misfortune.” Until then it had not occurred to me there might be an element of one-upmanship. I now see that my husband was simply approaching the world as many men do: as a place where people try to achieve and maintain status. I, on the other hand, was approaching the world as many women do: as a network of connections seeking support and consensus. by Deborah Tannen http://aggslanguage.wordpress.com/you-just-don%E2%80%99t-understand-by-deborah-tannen/
The single biggest problem
is the illusion
that it has taken place.
George Bernard Shaw
Some people see the relationship as a Dictatorship, that they will rule, and what they say goes. You could think like this, but you will be ruling over a very, very small Kingdom. A relationship is about two people coming together as equals, and facing the world as two humans as one. Your relationship will not go far if you do not look at each other in equal-eyes, and facing your problems together, as a team. When you join together with someone, you are helpmates; you are two people that will be supportive to each other. Some people come into a relationship not expecting there to be any problems. So when one pops up, they freak out and bail on the relationship without any second thoughts. Though you might be lucky, and never have any problems with your love life, most relationships have there bumps – maybe not huge – but still some roughage. You must realize that this does not mean that your relationship is doomed or that it’s a “sign” to drop him or her. You have to work on the problems, COMMUNICATE with your partner. Talk to them, but also LISTEN!!! Some people foolishly bet on physical attraction, which doesn’t last or simply looses its flavor like chewing gum… If you do this you will be in danger of not finding that person that is genuinely right for you – because, more than likely, this person that you choose solely on “prettiness” will be just as superficial as you are – or more. So, not only will you have a short and unproductive relationship, you are bound to get hurt in the process. And forget about communication, because if you choose this path for finding your partner, you are completely ignoring the communication aspect. Well, outside the bedroom at least. And let’s face it; a good lay will only last so long before it “looses its flavor like chewing gum. Though your relationship may last for a while, if your vision or outlook on life is different, than the two of you will drift apart. By Prior Aphter http://voices.yahoo.com/why-relationships-fail-due-lack-communication-10023.html?cat=41
Anger, loathing, spite, nasty looks,
suspicion, jealously and hate stem
from lack of communication with
the person the feelings are directed.
Eye to eye, face to face
calm conversations are a start .
Empathy is the way to a
peaceful heart, soul and mind.
J K Hobgood
“We used to talk all night, but since we’ve talked so much, we have nothing else to talk about.” Well, this is a crossroad that every couple has to go through. You have been together so long, you have spent so much time together, you have run out of things to talk about. This is very simple to get over. But first, we must look at why you have run out of things to talk about. Ultimately, if you don’t have anything to talk about, you are becoming numb to the individual. If you truly love them, you will always have something to say to them. Even it is just “I love you.” Your conversations might not be as dynamic and powerful as they were in the beginning of the relationship. And this is simply because you know each other very well, and before you didn’t. So it was automatically exciting and intriguing. But you must realize this, and rest in the fact that you are with this person. Though you might not have deep thoughts to divulge to this person anymore, because they know them all, you still have things in common. You still have things to discuss. Some couples can sit in a room and not say a word to each other for three hours – and that’s fine with them. This is because they are grounded in the foundation of their love, and they know that though they aren’t saying anything, they are both thinking about one another. But if you feel that the lack of constant conversation is hurting your relationship, take the initiative. Make a point to talk with your partner – even if the conversation starts out light and frivolous, it will end on a good note – hopefully. And this will keep you both in each other’s mind. Remember, don’t wait for them to talk to you – talk to THEM!! The most vital and important reasons that relationships fail is because they communication that is happening is because people aren’t following “The Golden Rule.” I know you all know what I’m talking about; we learned it in kindergarten – “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.” If you follow this statement, your love life as well as every other part will benefit greatly. But the sad truth is, people aren’t honest. They cheat themselves as well as others. They are self-centered jealous feigns. So no wonder none of us have a satisfactory relationship. We must stop and think – how do you want to be treated in a relationship? If you apply your standards of what you want to your partner, they will ultimately reapply them to you. You are in control of how your relationship will be. By Prior Aphter http://voices.yahoo.com/why-relationships-fail-due-lack-communication-10023.html?cat=41
the termites of
True communication spans far beyond spoken words. It’s verbal and mental, as well as even physical. More than half of the failed relationships out there, including your own, are due to the fact that there was a severe lack of communication between the two of you. In order to have a long and lasting relationship with someone, you must have excellent communication skills. You must be able to convey your emotions and your thoughts, as well as being able to absorb your partner’s emotions and thoughts. Communication is definitely not a one-way street. The “phone-lines” must run both ways. You could sit your partner down and talk to him/her all day long about how you feel, and about where you think this relationship is going. But if you don’t LISTEN TO THEM, than all of your words are meaningless. Mainly because they know you aren’t willing to listen to them, and you will not hear them out because you are too involved with yourself to allow anyone else to join in on the conversation. The art of listening is probably even more important than the art of talking. You will learn and grow far more in your relationships if you would sit down and listen to your partner, instead of talking and voicing all of your opinions at once. Don’t get me wrong; it is very important that you do voice your opinions. But you must listen to THEIR opinions as well, and take them into consideration. If you feel that you are not hearing from your partner, or they aren’t “communicating” with you then more than likely they are, but you just aren’t listening correctly. Some people don’t communicate with words, they communicate through actions. Which, if you pay close enough attention, are far more incisive into what they want to say. But the problem is, most of us don’t pay close enough attention. By Prior Aphter http://voices.yahoo.com/why-relationships-fail-due-lack-communication-10023.html?cat=41
The most important thing
is hearing what isn’t said.
Communication style is the No. 1 thing the study’s divorced individuals said they would change in the next relationship (41% said they would communicate differently). Spouses need to speak in a calm and caring voice. They should learn to argue in a way that produces a solution, not just more anger. They have to practice “active listening,” where they try to hear what the other person is saying, repeating back what they just heard and asking if they understood correctly. To communicate well, partners need to reveal more about themselves, not just do “maintenance communication.” It doesn’t have to be emotional,” Dr. Orbuch* says (Dr. Terri Orbuch, University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research). “But it should be about issues where you learn about what makes each other tick.” Such topics help your partner understand you better. Dr. Orbuch suggests a 10-minute rule: Every day, for 10 minutes, the couple should talk alone about something other than work, the family and children, the household, the relationship. No problems. No scheduling. No logistics. “You need to tell each other about your lives and see what makes you each tick,” Dr. Orbuch says. From “Divorcé’s Guide to Marriage” by Elizabeth Bernstein http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444025204577544951717564114.html
I don’t know what makes people
start wanting each other any more
than I know what makes it stop
all of a sudden. I just know that
when you lose it once,
you’ll never take it
for granted again.
Men seem to need nonsexual affirmation even more than women do, Dr. Orbuch says . (Dr. Terri Orbuch is a psychologist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.) In her study, when the husband reported that his wife didn’t show love and affection, the couple was almost twice as likely to divorce as when the man said he felt cared for and appreciated. The reverse didn’t hold true, though. Couples where women felt a lack of affection weren’t more likely to divorce. Do something to demonstrate that your partner is noticed and appreciated every single day, Dr. Orbuch says. It can be as small as saying, “I love you,” or “You’re a great parent.” It can be an action rather than words: Turn on the coffee pot in the morning. Bring in the paper. Warm up the car. Make a favorite dessert. Give a hug. Money was the No. 1 point of conflict in the majority of marriages, good or bad, that Dr. Orbuch studied. And 49% of divorced people from her study said they fought so much over money with their spouse—whether it was different spending styles, lies about spending, one person making more money and trying to control the other—that they anticipate money will be a problem in their next relationship, too. There isn’t a single financial fix for all couples. Dr. Orbuch says each person needs to examine his or her own approach to money. What did money mean when you were growing up? How do you approach spending and saving now? What are your financial goals? Partners need to discuss their individual money styles and devise a plan they both can live with. They might decide to pool their money, or keep separate accounts. They might want a joint account for family expenses. In the study, six out of 10 divorced individuals who began a new relationship chose not to combine finances. “Talk money more often—not just when it’s tax time, when you have high debt, when bills come along,” Dr. Orbuch says. Set ground rules and expectations and stick to them. From “Divorcé’s Guide to Marriage” by Elizabeth Bernstein
We ruined each other
by being together.
each other’s dreams.