In my 15 years of coaching men, I’ve taught hundreds of men how to stop fights with women dead in their tracks.
It all has to do with treating a woman like a woman …
Example: Ever think that your wife or partner is “crazy?”
“Emotionally over the top?”
“Someone who needs to be managed?”
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’re likely expecting your woman to act more like a man, emotionally, than a woman.
Brendon, a former client of mine, thought his wife was crazy.
He feared her unpredictability and her volatility.
“I never know what she’s going to hit me with when I get home,” he told me.
“I just stay out of her way. I don’t do or say anything that will set her off. It’s just better to go along with whatever she wants.”
Brendon, like a lot of my male coaching clients, thought his passive, good-guy strategy was a slick way to keep the peace and avoid conflict.
I didn’t work.
Not only did his strategy not work, it created a deep gulf between him and his wife that nearly broke them apart. His wife saw him as cold and uncaring and Brendon saw his wife, Holly, as some kind of hurt monster trying to cut his head off.
They fought daily with a fury. They stopped having sex.
When a man ignores a woman because he judges her emotionality as unreasonable, it’s usually because he’s holding her to the emotional standards of a man and the effects are devastating.
A big shift in the tension and fighting can happen when a man grants a woman the space to be more emotional than him – and when he decides to stop making her wrong for what she feels.
For example, imagine what it might be like to tell a woman that it’s ok for her to feel what she’s feeling. Imagine instead of thinking she’s “nuts,” you think, “the woman I love is feeling a lot today. She’s going through something intense. Let me see if I can help bring some calm and assurance. Let me see how I can support her.”
Brendon started shifting his mindset about his wife’s emotions. Instead of feeling superior and judging, he decided to bring the masculine gifts of his attention and his support. Instead of making what she felt all about him and whether what he was doing was right or wrong, he saw her feelings as about her – about her as a woman.
The change was immediate between them. In fact the first day, Holly was commenting on how differently he was listening. Within the first week she broke out in tears at how incredible it felt for her to have Brendon there for her and not running away.
All it really takes is for a man to start accepting a woman’s emotions as a sacred part of her femininity – and to see he’s not responsible for fixing what she feels. With this, even the negative emotions a woman experiences feel less threatening.
The biggest issue is being able to drop the judgments and how they cause a man to pull away and separate – and open to the idea that a man’s ability to be kind, steady and loving in emotional moments is a beautiful gift for the woman he loves.
I’m not suggesting a man should have to endure emotional beatings from a woman, or that it’s his job to soothe her, but that his willingness to show love and support by making her emotions ok, can literally nip arguments in the bud by helping her to feel accepted and far less tense.
The way we see our partners (in our mind’s eye) can have a huge effect on how they respond to us. Why not see a woman’s emotions as ok, as beautifully feminine, rather than something to fear or fix? And then see what emerges from her with you looking through this new lense.
Photo: Getty Images