Humans are by nature egocentric so it is natural for women in relationships to focus on what they need and be expressive about when and where those needs are not being met. Communicating your needs can be an effective relationship practice when presented in a positive and proactive way.
The reality is both men and women have needs. Men are human beings and need to feel loved just as much as women do.
The difference is they ‘show up’ so differently than women that their needs often go unnoticed, are not understood, or are simply ignored. Society and their fathers have taught this generation of men to be strong and independent. To ‘suck it up,’ ‘don’t be a pussy;’ and the ultimate, to … ‘be a man!’
Basically translated, these all mean ‘show no emotion,’ which makes expressing your needs and desires very difficult.
So you do. You show up as a confident and strong man and stuff your emotions deep inside and you might even run like hell, using avoidance anytime something emotional arises, because you have not had the opportunity to openly and frequently flex your emotion muscle like women have.
The result is a lack of understanding and connection in relationships between men and women.
Men struggle with expressing and healing their emotional wounds. Women get frustrated with their perceived lack of ability to connect on an emotional level. This leads to separation of connection and relationship breakdown.
When women need to express their emotion they talk, often to their girlfriends. Men, on the other hand, do not have that luxury. Men do not pull up a stool at the pub and say, ‘yeah dude, I feel kind of scared that my company is losing money ’or‘ I feel excited about my weekend getaway; I think she is the one.’
But relationship success really comes down to one key thing. Your ability to recognize, appreciate and meet the needs of your partner.
That takes effort from both parties. The more men can connect to, and accept and communicate their needs to their partner, the more deeply connected couples will become.
Now I do not pretend to know everything about men, but I believe from my own experience and in working with many male clients that these seven tips are a good start.
Men need time on their own to process information and feelings. When women provide this space, it allows the man to step forward. Women naturally want to decrease space to create a connection, which often makes men feel suffocated and overwhelmed. It is important for men to communicate that by having this space it makes them a better partner. I have heard many women complain about being ‘Golf Widows.’ If she knows it feeds your souls, makes you a better partner and increases your quality of time together, you will get more time to play and meet your need for space. Make sure you tell her you cannot wait to see her after your round and her need for connection will also be satisfied.
Although men have been programmed to show up strong and be providers, they are still human and at their core have a need for affection. It’s not natural for boys to go from being cared for by their mothers to not needing any affection at all. Let her know you like to be touched, kissed, or that when she rubs your shoulders after a rough day, you feel loved. Under that confident, strong, and manly exterior is still the heart of a boy that needs to feel loved – and that is a really good thing!