Why is this man struggling to understand his wife and why is his wife is not seeing his true intent?
I’m presented with couple after couple that share the same core problem so I wanted to share what I’m seeing to help you.
In essence, on many levels, men and women are really struggling to understand each other and it’s leading them to a painful disconnect.
So in today post, I’m going to share one of the disconnects and specifically why this man and his wife struggled to understand each other and why the problem was getting serious enough for a divorce to be on the table.
So I’m going to start with my conversation with her.
So I was chatting with this his wife and I asked her “how important emotional connection was to her in her relationship.”
She said “it’s hugely important.”
I then asked her to help me understand the gravity of emotional connection in percentage terms and what number would best represent it.
She said for her it was everything, but if pushed to a number it’s well over 90%.
I then said to her, did you know your husband has no clue what emotional connection actually is, I know because I asked him?
Really? Her response indicated her surprised.
Have you ever discussed it? I asked.
No, not really?
Well what is it for you, could you explain it to me? I asked
For the next 5 minutes, I went silent and watched her search for the words that for her equalled emotional connection.
In essence she struggled to tell me, but she was clear on what it wasn’t.
So she has something that’s really important to her, she doesn’t know her husband doesn’t know what it is, and when asked she struggled to share it with me, but it’s critical for her to have it.
Can you see a foundational problem for this couple already?
I was expecting this response from her as I’d seen it so many times, but I also knew why she struggled and we’ll come on to that later.
Let’s learn some more about him.
Her husband was a fix it guy.
He said, “tell me what to do and I’ll do it, I love her and I want this upset gone, but I’ve no idea what to do.”
His wife, in contrast, wasn’t a fix-it person at all, she was more of a connection person.
In fact in the marriage she really wasn’t looking at her problems as something to fix, she just wanted to connect with her husband and share them.
This is very common for many women I see.
So we learnt some more foundational problems.
She wasn’t in a solution-based system at all in their relationship, and looking for solutions to problems was how he approached his whole life. Neither person was aware of this difference within their dynamic.
I said to him do you know your wife isn’t in a solution-based system in this relationship, he looked confused and said so how on earth do we solve our problems if I’m the only one looking for a solution to the problem?
I told him the solution for her was in your ability to connect with her, lack of connection was the problem she faced and you’re trying to fix what she said which is why she’s so upset – you are focused on the wrong problem.
Looking at them in action when she had a problem and she took it to him he would try to fix it fast and move on and tell her to do the same.
Many women struggle to just let go of emotionally important stuff, where in contrast it’s a mans primary mission to let stuff go and they, on the whole, are very good at it.
So when she bought a problem to him, he was making her problems small and for her, this meant he didn’t care. What she was unaware of is this is what he does with his own problems so in his mind he thinks he’s helping her.
By her feeling he was dismissing her problems she felt unloved, uncared for and she started to question her trust in him to be there for her.
This lack of connection and care infuriated her and she blew up at his lack of empathy for her, but in his mind, he was caring, can you see why they are struggling?
Now he’s really confused because why is she even more upset when I gave her the solution to her problem, that shows I cared surly?
He thinks he gave her a solution when in reality he proved his lack of understanding and this made her feel emotionally unsafe and alone.
Are you starting to see another problem – As you can see in intimate relationships men and women don’t deal with their challenges in the same way and both are totally unaware of the other persons’ perspective, process and needs, so they end up making each other wrong.
The practice of making your partner wrong is extremely damaging to the relationship and its ability to last.
This means when they are running different processes with the same goal they disconnect and over time this builds resentment and if not checked this is a slippery slope.
So far we have learnt she thinks he would naturally understand her need for emotional connection, but he doesn’t, in fact, most men I meet don’t know what it is from a woman’s perspective.
To make it worse she doesn’t know how to share with him what it is, so she can’t ask for it, so she can’t coach him how to support her.
He thinks his solutions to her problems will make her happy and they don’t, so he’s fed-up as he has no way to influence her and he can start to feel he is not enough for her, this can lead him to give up.
She feels he doesn’t care about her because he quickly blasts a solution at her and tells her to let it go of it and walks off leaving her feeling disconnected, unloved and alone, this can lead her to self protect herself and this starts the question what’s the point of him.
So what are we starting to learnt?
Men and women don’t process the world and what they need in the same way. In an intimate relationship, this is magnified x1000.
So even if men knew what women were actually trying to achieve, the way they go about it would make no sense to men. This is why I spend a lot of time helping men understanding the logic behind what seems illogical.
The reality is women’s processing makes perfect sense once you look at it from her perspective, but without understanding how to do this men simply cannot connect to her reality and her critical needs.
To balance this, men in most cases are trying to help their wives, so the intent in men to start with is a good one, but what men do can creates a bigger problem than the one they started with.
Women struggle to see his intent is good for her when what she needs is so obvious to her, unfortunately, she is unaware that it’s not naturally obvious to men.
I spend a lot of time working with very bright men and woman and they are simply not connected to their partner perspective and why it is that way.
You simply cannot be of value to someone and keep love alive if you are not connected to what drives them.
If you don’t add value in the way they need it then they have to look after themselves or go elsewhere for emotional support.
It just seems a shame that so many couples are needlessly divorcing through a normal and natural disconnect that with a shift of perspective can start to make sense and create reconnection.