I’m going to keep this super simple.
This isn’t complicated.
Constant bickering creates a simmering, resentful energy that will kill your sex life.
This bickering can only occur when two or more people participate.
You have the absolute power to not participate.
Just stop arguing.
When you stop, most of your arguments will stop.
Now. Go have some sex.
What About Her?
I don’t care about her right now. I want to help you.
She isn’t making you argue. You’re choosing to argue.
Ninety percent of your disagreements are over stupid things. Things which require no argument. Probably not even a discussion.
I know how they start too. I’ve been in your shoes.
There’s a certain tone of voice that makes your hair stand on end. Or there’s a snarky comment with implied criticism. Or there’s a prying question that makes you want to snap.
You will either react the same old way you always do and get into another pointless argument…or you can decide right now that you’re sick and tired of reacting.
You would rather respond in a way that stops the negativity dead in its tracks.
But you don’t know how to do that exactly.
The Massive Mistake: Overreacting
Overreacting in your relationship is like poison.
This is probably the first and most important thing I help men understand.
You know the wisdom of this intuitively, don’t you?
You never overreact at work. You’re considered a source of rock solid wisdom and level headed talent. You’re respected for your ability to perform under fire and you’re calm and cool even with looming deadlines.
And you feel pretty good about yourself because of that. You feel confident in your emotions and actions at work which others find immensely admirable. Your mojo is firmly intact.
You’re the typical high-achieving rock star at work who helplessly melts into a messy masculine puddle in front of an unhappy woman at home.
Her unhappiness feels like disapproval, disappointment and judgment. You struggle for a feeling of power and worthiness which causes you to amplify your competitive urge to prove her wrong.
Then you feel a knot in your stomach which makes you raise your voice and dive into 90 minutes of worthless bickering that solves nothing but shutting down the intimacy factory and making you feel like crap.
And now you’re pissed…not sure if you’re madder at her or yourself. You did it again.
(Note: That was an autobiographical account of about 25 yrs. of my life.)
Why Men Overreact So Quickly
The reason many men react so quickly to their partner’s emotional attacks, criticism and disapproval boils down to two simple things.
Insecurity and fear.
We are not secure in our own sense of value and worthiness.
And we fear the loss of her affection, respect and devotion.
Insecurity and fear make us react to negativity or conflict and they trigger our defense system into overdrive. Emotions dominate our thoughts. We enter battle. And before we know it we’ve said and done things we’re not proud of.
We know that’s not the man we really want to be.
That’s really a much younger version of ourselves doing the talking.
And that little dude really pisses us off.
Why Overreacting Kills Your Sex Life
A mentor of mine put it this way for me once.
When we overreact to women, the youngest part of ourselves is revealed. Our insecure, fearful 13 year old boy comes out to defend himself. He is afraid of being made to feel like he’s not good enough. His only possible reaction is retaliation.
When our 13 year old boy takes over, the man in the room takes a back seat. The man has lost his power.
He’s lost his confidence, self-respect and self-control.
And women don’t want to have sex with the 13 year old boy who remains.
It’s really that simple.
How to Respond Like a Man
When it comes to negativity and conflict it will always serve you best to choose a calm, confident, clear-headed response than to allow your 13 year old boy to react. This will typically diffuse the conflict enough to avoid a major melt down.
You will feel better about yourself…more calm…more confident…more pleased. When you feel this way, you are immensely more attractive.
I’m not talking about accepting toxic, abusive treatment. And I’m not talking about just standing there and taking the all the blame.
Responding like a man means seeing the truth about the negativity. It’s about facing it without fear and retaliation. It’s about knowing it probably isn’t all about you anyway.
A mature, masculine response includes calm curiosity. A willingness to listen and discuss. A decision to not argue…even if that’s where she’s trying to take you.
Her complaint may have some validity and it may just be venting. Either way, the best response is a calm, deliberate attempt to understand it and address it…not attack it.
If you disagree with her, then disagree. No argument or apology required.
And if you agree, well then, you’ve got something to work on.
The most important part of responding like a man is thinking the thoughts and taking the action that represents the man you really want to be.
And if you’re not crystal clear about who that is yet, it’s never too late to start figuring it out.
Free Tip for the Ladies: Men have insecurities and fears just like you. You know exactly how to trigger those fears when you want to. Try doing less of that and see how much better the day goes.
Some men are not crystal clear about the man they really want to be. And when you don’t know where you stand, you’ll fall (and react) for anything. Here’s a free ebook to help you figure out who you are and what you want. The Hard-to-Swallow Secret to Saving Your Marriage. Click Here to get it.