DO you ever feel as though your man will never understand you? Wouldn’t it be just smashing if your partner knew what you were thinking without you uttering a single word?
If they could know instinctively exactly what it was that you needed from them by a single eyebrow raise or eye squint.
*Woman raises right eye brow ever so slightly* Man – ‘I’ll run that bath for you right away, honey!’
If that doesn’t have happy relationship written all over it then I don’t know what does?! And herein lies the problem. Sometimes we sit there thinking to ourselves, ‘How the hell can they not grasp what it is i’m feeling right now? How are they so OBLIVIOUS?’
The truth is, it is difficult to feel safe and understood in a relationship when we have this subconscious simmering of fear convincing us that telling each other what we need is somehow a toxic habit that is sure to create tension and instigate conflict.
Or even worse, we have a tendency to walk around with the dialogue in our heads shouting ‘I shouldn’t have to tell them, THEY SHOULD KNOW THAT!’
Any of this sound remotely familiar?
It certainly rings a bell for me, or 20 year old naive me that is.
I think we’re all forgetting something pretty important here that 20 year old Emma had to learn the hard way which could be what gets your relationship back on track. And here it goes…
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.
‘What?! You did not just hit me with that old cliche Emma! You’ve got to give me something better that THAT’
You know what, cliches are cliches for a reason (even that sentence in itself is a cliche).
You might be inclined to think that this is so darn obvious. We came to this conclusion a very very VERY long time ago and we don’t need to regurgitate the same old information we’ve heard time and time before.
Urm, I think we do.
The biggest problem most relationships face comes down to communication. And this is because any human interaction we encounter over the course of our lives, intimate or otherwise, requires active communication so that we can make progress, understand one another and meet each others needs.
Without this we’d be stuck in this strange mute limbo where no-one gets what they want or need and everyone is left feeling pretty pissed off.
Even before the use of words we used gestures, markings and symbols to communicate.
And why oh why am I going on and on about this?
Well because when it comes to our relationships we seem to have forgotten this altogether and expect our partners to tap into their skills of telepathy and know precisely what we need and want at any given moment.
‘We’re just so in tune with one another‘ You might be told by that annoying couple that seems to appear at every party when you’re sitting there wondering, who even invited these guys?
This couple might be talking complete BS but if they aren’t, the chances are that they are so ‘in tune’ with each other because THEY MAKE IT SO.
To this day I oftentimes sit on my sofa across from my partner and think, ‘There is no way that he does not recognize that I am upset right now. NO WAY!’
Alas, he’s as clueless as can be.
So, here’s one of the best pieces of relationship advice I can give. A list of reasons why it makes complete sense that your man will never understand you unless you communicate what you need.
Before getting started, if your relationship needs a kick start then grab the FREE ‘Relationship RECONNECT Toolkit’ to help guide you through restrengthening your relationship and understanding each other better.
5 GREAT REASONS WHY YOUR MAN WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND YOU!
1. We’re Wired Differently, It’s Simple Biology
That’s right, let’s start simple.
Men and women are the same but mostly different. A few extra X chromosomes here, some testicles there, a dash of estrogen and a sprinkling of testosterone and voila!
We’ve got ourselves some human beings that are very similar in a lot of ways but very very different in others.
The quicker we can accept that our partners (if of the opposite sex) are just simply made of different STUFF then the better we will be.
We value different things, we prioritize aspects of our lives differently, our moods are dictated by a different concoction of hormones. Your partner is entirely different to you in just as many ways as they are similar.
How can you expect your man to understand how you think and feel about any given situation when their biological make up would have them come at it from a completely different view point?
Why is it that when we have a problem, and really what we’re after is for someone to confirm that our feelings toward it are completely rational and fair, that we tend to find our best mate to seek comfort?
Well, your best mate is sort of obliged to agree with you, sure.
But also, if your best friend is of the same gender (which oftentimes is the case for most) then they are, by their very nature of being of the same sex as you, more inclined to be able to view the situation from your stand point with little argument against it.
Much like myself, my girlfriends are PERFECT shoulders to cry on when i’m looking for that sweet bit of confirmation bias.
Tell me I’m right. Say you understand. Agree that I’m not over-reacting.
My partner however, will always take more persuasion because it is not so easy for him to see things from my perspective. Why? Because he is biologically built in a way that thinks about these matters in an entirely different light!
It sounds so daft for me to say, ‘once you understand this…’ as though it isn’t blatantly obvious that men and women are in fact from different planets but we do seem to forget this pretty big elephant in the room.
Your partner will never understand you on a habitual level because they are made from different STUFF. Understand that and cut each other some slack.
2. Different Inherent Values
Another great reason why your man will never understand you is because their core values and beliefs may not be aligned with yours.
On a grander scale we have a greater deal of control over our values than we think but what we don’t realize is that a lot of values are learned and developed subconsciously throughout our childhood and young adulthood.
We learn these from our parents, peers and social influence.
And what do we tend to learn?
Well, women are ‘supposed to be’ nice, slim, neutral and non-confrontational.
Men on the other hand are taught to value strength, success, boldness and fearlessness.
Understand, that these values can be changed and that not everyone does in fact fit into these stereotypes.
I myself am as far from neutral as neutral can be.
I value those qualities such as strength and fearlessness which have traditionally been associated with our male counterparts and am not ashamed to embrace them.
However, when we are discussing exactly why men and women fail to understand one another, a lot of the time it’s because they don’t realize that their gender specific values don’t align.
Don’t be mistaken, it is perfectly acceptable to have an array of values that differ from one another.
However, if we are not aware of how this effects the way our partners think and acknowledge that it often gives us that coveted ‘why?’ behind they’re actions that we are always looking for then of course we will be confused.
Your partner is made from different STUFF and different VALUES that are gender specific. With these values comes something that is certainly worth considering…
3. We Are Socially Conditioned To Experience Shame Based On These Values
Before I continue with this point I’d like to encourage you to read Brene Brown’s: Daring Greatly.
If you ever want to read about shame and how it is experienced differently between men and women then this book is a huge eye opener.
Through reading this book I understood my partner better without even needing to speak with him.
Brene writes with such clarity and care surrounding this topic that it has the opportunity to impact every aspect of your life, as it has mine.
So, a lot of what you’re about to read is insight that I have taken from this book.
Shame effects us all and is seemingly driven by these old inherent gender specific values that are ingrained into us from a young age.
Now this is not to blame our parents or grandparents. They lived in different times and have suffered from the same experience of being told what it means to be a woman or a man in this world.
What it means to be of this ethnicity or another, working class or upper class and so on.
But when it comes to gender, the values that we discussed above lead us to experience shame differently and for different reasons.
It’s in times like these, when we see our partners struggling, that it’s important to figure out the ‘why‘.
If men have been conditioned to believe that showing their emotions is weak and therefore shameful then it’s easier to understand why they are more likely to distance themselves from an emotionally difficult conversation.
Likewise, if women are preconditioned to believe that they should look a certain way to be considered attractive then their feelings of shame for not fitting into that new dress are easier to understand.
If we understand each others values and therefore the shame we experience because of them then we are in a better position to be empathetic when these moments arise.
Your man will never understand you if he doesn’t understand why you feel the way you feel.
We always have a reason to react the way we do to any given situation, conversation or circumstance the problem arises when we don’t take a moment to really consider the ‘why‘ behind our partners responses and understand that the route cause of their pain might not be something that we easily associate with.
The important thing is to make your partner feel as though they are in a judgement free space so that they know that you will not shame them for what they consider to be their short comings. This is key for a healthy relationship.
Which leads me on to…
4. Your Priorities Are Probably Different
Everything ties in to one another.
We’re wired differently so we have different values so we feel ashamed for different reasons and also have different priorities in life. Therefore, your man will never understand you if all of these things are at play and not discussed.
Undoubtedly, for a relationship to work you’d ideally like to be in partnership whose over-arcing values and priorities align. Perhaps you’d both like 2 children and to retire to Hawaii at the age of 55.
Perhaps you are both career driven and want to earn a household income of X-amount so you can buy your first house together by the age of (fill in the blank).
Whatever it may be, when it comes to relationship longevity it will be tough to make that work if you have different end goals. (By all means have a desired end goal as an individual that is specific to your life goal but there should also be a consensus on a relationship end goal).
Having said that, in day to day life you have to understand that you and your man may well have different priorities in life.
3 aspects of a relationship that I believe are integral to having a balanced, honest and well-rounded relationship is understanding each persons needs for CONNECTION, COMPETITION and RESPECT.
(More about this in the ‘Relationship RECONNECT Toolkit’ to learn how your man can understand you better…and you, him)
You might think that you and your partner have an equal desire for all three but more often than not one trumps another when it comes to what an individual needs from a relationship.
Women are instinctively more emotional, attentive and affectionate. Men are instinctively more competitive, authoritative and goal orientated.
This is not to say that women and men always fit into these categories but only to say that when you’re feeling in a bit of a huff about something it’s worth analyzing whether your partner is being actively ignorant or whether they simply do not prioritize this issue to the same degree you do.
In which case it is your obligation to MAKE IT KNOWN.
No 2 human beings think the same, every experience is interpreted by the individual and our responses are in accordance to our values and priorities.
If the values and priorities differ from that of your partner (which I guarantee they do by the very nature of them having whatever genitals that you do not) then unfortunately, yes you are going to have to explain why it upset you when they didn’t give you a kiss goodbye this morning or didn’t congratulate you on winning that competition at work.
They don’t know because they don’t understand so YOU HAVE TO TELL THEM.
5. You’re Not Making Time To Understand One Another
Let’s jump back to that annoying couple we were talking about earlier, you know, the ‘we’re just so in tune‘ couple.
We can be so convinced that there will be someone out there that will just ‘get us’ that we forget all of the above information that tells us that men and women are like chalk and cheese.
We need to give ourselves a break and our partners a break from the constant need of wanting to be understood without putting any effort in and start making time to listen to one another.
Even with conversation and discussion you might find it difficult to truly understand where your partner is coming from but without this you haven’t got a fighting chance.
Whatever you THINK you understand about how your partner is feeling, you’re probably wrong.
However much you’d like to believe that they ‘get you‘ without having to mutter a single word, you’re also probably wrong.
The next time one of you is upset or you’re expecting them to know exactly what it is they’ve done wrong just take a moment, step back and remember that they do not have access to your brain.
They do not experience the same thoughts and feelings for the same reasons. Your man will never understand you if you don’t communicate.
All of these things need explanations and both you and your partner deserve this.