Steve Horsmon shares some simple advice for women. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make all the difference.
Tim was at the top of a wobbly eight-foot step ladder changing a light bulb when it happened…again.
His wife, Jennifer, had something on her mind and it was obviously critical that he be informed immediately. He heard her approaching and talking loudly about something she needed. He already started feeling a familiar knot of disapproval and disrespect in his gut. Jennifer was good at that.
When she arrived at the foot of the ladder she kept talking and Tim kept working. He doesn’t remember exactly what she was talking about and was annoyed and irritated by her inconvenient interruption. Jennifer finally walked away frustrated and said, “You can be so mean to me! I hate that!”
Tim asked me what happened? What should he have done differently?
When I suggested he might actually step down off the ladder for a minute, face Jennifer calmly and listen to what she had to say, he said, “Really? But I was in the middle of something. Why couldn’t she wait.”
I explained that it’s quite possible she felt ignored and unimportant. She was an inconvenience to him. She may have felt totally dismissed.
Tim said, “Oh. Well that’s not how I want her to feel.” He told me it happened again the next week and this time he stepped off the ladder and listened to Jennifer. He said the entire day seemed to go better between them after that.
Go figure. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make all the difference.
Choosing to do very simple things can totally change the vibe in a relationship. Tim decided he would rather help Jennifer feel acknowledged and valued instead of ignored and unimportant.
He started thinking about how she might return the gesture. What might Jennifer do to help him feel more appreciated and more respected? He hadn’t felt those vibes in a long time. Then he saw a piece of advice for women from Karen Brody.
Karen Brody is a fellow relationship coach for men and wrote the piece of advice below. When I read it I just smiled and thought, “I need to share this with the men. Karen gets it.” In fact, Karen “gets” a lot about the frustrations and heartache men face in relationships with women. Her wise insight comes from her own relationship experience and from the mountains of men who seek her help and support.
When Tim read her carefully worded advice to women he quietly pumped his fist and thought, “She’s saying what most of us won’t say for ourselves.”
“Why Women Complain, (and What Men Think about It)”
Where did women get the idea that if they complained about what didn’t feel good or what was missing, men would do something about it?
I really don’t know; but, I certainly got that crazy memo! Did I ever!
I tried every single angle on complaining to find the most effective way to get my important message across to a man. But all I got was the echo of my own angry voice, tormenting me like a broken record.
As I began going inside of the problem, I noticed that when I complained I felt awful. I mean really awful. I didn’t like myself, and worse, I saw that it virtually NEVER worked to get me what I wanted with a man. It was like screaming for help inside a soundproof room.
Why? Complaining seems like such an effective way to get your needs met – at least from a woman’s perspective.
I used to think it was because men were simply dense; and specifically, dense to a woman’s cries for greater love or intimacy, demonstrated by their lack of action. So, like any smart woman who wanted her way, I got louder and more animated.
“I hurt, I need, I want, I’m not happy! Why aren’t you doing something about it!?”
When that didn’t work, I got critical to really drive the message home: “What’s wrong with you? Don’t you see that I’m in pain? Don’t you have any feelings?”
I knew I was in real trouble when even the personal attacks didn’t work. So I began the path of my research on men.
Over time I realized that none of those tactics worked because contrary to what I thought, men are not dense. In fact, they’re highly sensitive to a woman’s tone and what she’s communicating behind that tone.
Men need respect like women need love. Any sign that respect isn’t present creates feelings of failure and mistrust, not exactly motivators to love more.
In the same way a woman doesn’t thrive when she doesn’t feel loved, a man’s desire to support a woman dries up when he doesn’t feel respected. She then gets put in a category with other people he doesn’t really trust – and her requests fall upon deaf ears.
So, I learned that harsh words(of any kind) or a harsh tone destroy love. And I’ve learned to do whatever I need to do to avoid unleashing them on someone I love.
Best way to get a man to give you more love and more affection, or whatever you need from him, is to ask directly. Men tell me that the women they respect most are those who “don’t play games”, meaning don’t drop clues through complaints, but ask for what they want and give a man a chance to win. ~ Karen Brody
Simple, right? Not really.
She must choose to respond – not react.
She must commit to always starting with a loving intention and a positive mindset.
She must decide to meet her man’s needs even when hers are not being met at the moment.
Those can be tough choices even when doing the opposite is clearly a bad option.
Men face the exact same challenges.
We need to fight our defensive reactions in order to create an environment ripe for love and connection.
We need to commit to understanding and meeting our woman’s needs even when we feel ours are being ignored.
As we do our work and try to step up, we want our partner to do the same.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we both tried at the same time?
I wrote a special report for men in John’s shoes. Download your free copy of “The Hard to Swallow Truth About Saving Your Marriage” by clicking HERE.
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