When I was a young wife and mother to two children, oh boy, it took me a long time to learn that men think very differently to women. During that learning time (about 20 years—what can I say? I’m a slow learner!), it was tough! Guys, the women in your life have an emotional gland that makes no sense to your logical minds. The gender brain wiring is completely different and science confirms this. Women’s brains are going hell-for-leather 24/7 whereas men’s brains put everything into nice logical boxes, to be opened and closed on demand.
I practice as a Christian therapeutic life coach and I've worked with couples and enough individuals (both men and women), to know that these differences (although I’m stereotyping), are real. When relationships are in strife, the male can be the last to know. Life seems good and you wonder what your woman is so upset about. Unfortunately, this can lead to strife and relationship breakdown. In Australia, the divorce rate is quite sobering at 38%. With many separations and divorces happening now to couples in their mid-forties rather than as in years ago, within the first seven years. Divorcees often report wishing they had worked harder on their marriage due to the fallout from divorce. Almost three quarters of divorces happen because of emotional issues related to connection and communication.
So let’s now concentrate on a few tips for you guys, if the woman in your life seems unhappy.
HID IN A GENDER TIP # 1 CONNECT
If you are married, just because you wooed your wife and got across the line, i.e. the altar, this doesn't mean it’s time to relax. Unfortunately, some men feel this way and go on to their next conquest, be it work or other. However, don’t ever stop wooing your wife. She desperately wants to be romanced and loves what you did to win her love pre-wedding day.
She loved the connection then and would love you to connect with her in the same way now. So let’s work on that first:
In 1 Corinthians 1:10, God tells us to agree with one another without division, perfectly united in mind and thought. Although this is about the disciples working together, I believe it's an excellent template for any working relationship—marriage, parenthood or working with colleagues in the work environment. To be united, there needs to be a connection.
HID IN A GENDER TIP # 2 COMMUNICATION
A way to connect is to learn to communicate. This is what every woman desires and what she really wants is to be heard and understood. A woman will have a lot of girlfriends simply to chat with as this is her nature. The main art of communicating is to listen well and to empathise. This will go a long way to her immediately feeling better about the relationship. Reflect what she’s saying as you listen well to her side of things. Instead of you thinking about what your rebuttal is (and what this is all about from your perspective), hear it from her perspective. She will feel heard and as a result, will feel closer to you. There will be a connection because of the way you have communicated.
HID IN A GENDER TIP # 3—DATES
Set in place, regular dates and guys if this is with your wife or your daughter or colleague, depending on who the woman is to you, they will of course take on a different perspective. Regular communication and time is very important for any relationship. Here are a few things you could do:
Listen to a podcast together and discuss
Have a coffee
See a movie
Cook a meal or take her out for a meal
For your wife - a nice massage
Dance lessons together via YouTube
During lockdown, we had two anniversaries and my husband and I, sat in our car with some fish and chips, salad & desserts, watching the moonlight glistening on the water. I found it very romantic and very memorable. Something different like that doesn’t have to be expensive but will be loved by your woman.
HID IN A GENDER TIP # 4—ASK THE QUESTION
If you are a guy and your wife is unhappy and she keeps telling you what’s wrong but maybe you've stopped listening (I get that because it feels like nagging), then maybe, just maybe, it’s time to reallylisten and make a change. I recently asked a couple I’m working with, to do some homework between sessions, so I’m asking you to do the same thing. Ask your spouse what you can to do to improve your relationship. Ask them and then do it.
Is your relationship going under? It doesn’t have to. Get the help you need because a new relationship may not be the best answer. You would be taking yourself into a new relationship and there will still be issues, slightly different perhaps but it’s much easier and better in the long run to work on the one you’ve got! I can honestly say that my husband and I are so glad we did the hard work as it’s paid off, not only for our relationship but also for the trajectory of the next generations.
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