orget the actual words or issues and look at the messages. A woman who feels under-loved or undervalued will typically make an issue of something else (e.g. taking out the trash, helping with the kids) on the grounds that "if he really loved me he would do that". What she is trying to do is to draw him closer and get him to show his love. But the "if you really loved me..." assumption remains hidden from the man. Men take things very literally, and he thinks that this is is simply discussing the trash or the kids - he doesn't "get" that this is really a conversation about the way his wife is feeling.
Well, just speaking for myself, I may have done what you described in earlier relationships when I was younger and really just naÔve to better methods of communication. However, I, like how you've described men, am usually a very literal person.
Regardless of the words said, I don't think it is very difficult for many people to tell that someone is aggitated or upset by their demeanor... Especially if you know them well - you can "feel" when something is amiss. Again, speaking for myself. (I know not everyone is just like me, lol)!
I can see what you're talking about, though. A woman who cannot articulate the source or reason for her general unhappiness may indeed jump all over you for a seemingly beneign infraction. It may be because she doesn't know how to broach the subject, or may not even know what the subject is... Or worse, she fears that her most vulnerable feelings will be met with denial, trivialization or contempt, so she avoids being direct. Just like a man should not fear being open and honest with a woman, neither should a woman be intimidated by a man. Getting snippy over something stupid just doesn't help anyone.
However, when a man detects this, and senses that the real issue is not forthcoming, he has two choices: Avoid. Run like the wind. Duck for cover OR he can simply and *lovingly* acknowledge that he notices she's upset.
It's really NOT HARD, guys. (Promise). You simply put your arms around her and hug her... Kiss her on the forehead and say something corny like, "It seems like you need a hug. Do you want to talk?" (I know, you don't want to talk... But give it a chance). NO MATTER WHAT SHE SAYS, whether you agree or not, just acknowledge and validate her feelings. Don't explain, excuse, deny anything. And DON'T apologize for how SHE feels. It can be perceived as blowing her off.
Feeling under attack he distances himself from her, which is the precise opposite of what she is trying to achieve. And if her response to him distancing himself is to try the same thing again, and again, and again then as far as the man is concerned he feels under a constant bombardment of criticism from his wife.
I can relate to and understand the feeling of being attacked. No one likes that. We'd all like to run from it, BUT! It won't go away. As you described, a woman may make repeated attempts to explain and gain his interest and concern. She may not know she's doing it the "right" or "wrong" way... She's just trying to get your attention. As much as you'd like to escape, would it be possible for once that you turn and face her? Hear what she has to say? Look her in the eyes with kindness? Provide a loving and supportive venue for her to be safe and protected? Women prize being heard and understood (even if you don't agree
- you will want to wait until after she's done to mention your perspective and hopefully she returns the same courtesy to you by listening with love and compassion).
Criticisms (in MY opinion) are rarely just critisims. There's usually a reason or message behind them, or as noted above, she may be using them to get your attention because she isn't sure (or even aware) that she needs to approach you and communicate.
I know this all sounds like I am sticking up for the woman and making the man responsible for playing detective and solving her problems. NO
. I am merely saying pay attention to the cues that she may have been upset or bothered and be OPEN to helping her figure out what that is. I'm not saying let her bash you, or take the next 10 hours to let her nit-pick each one of your flaws.
Your goal isn't to solve the problem! It's to let her talk about it in a way that makes her feel safe and important. (Easy)!
Well. That was more wordy then I had intended, but I hope the general idea is understood. All of this is just MY OPINION. Not everyone will agree, but if you are present with her and sincerely interested it will be A LOT easier than just running away and hoping she mysteriously cheers up... It's worth a try, right? Posted via Mobile Device