It’s Always About You…
The man looked at the woman befuddled. She exclaimed, “It’s always about you!” Based upon the man’s response, he had no idea what she meant and given her ire, she couldn’t understand why he didn’t get it.
What does it mean when women say to their husbands, “It’s always about you”?
Men think, women emote
Men and women view family and marriage relationships differently.
This should not be too surprising because Western society historically held that men think and women emote. Women are rightly offended by this characterization and while this idea has been soundly trounced by today’s women, men seem to believe that they are the “thinkers” in the family.
Men believe they love their wives by solving their problems for them. Women don’t like that.
In fact, when men try to solve their problems, they are likely to hear “It’s always about you.” Women don’t need their husbands to solve their problems. They are quite capable. They want their husbands to acknowledge and support them. They want their husbands to be a sounding board helping them process the situation and arriving at their own solution.
When men realize this, they act as if they had lost their place in the family. If my job is not to solve problems, they seem to wonder, then what is it?
Allow me to offer a few suggestions –
1. View the family as a gift, not an entitlement
It will help once men start to view family life as a gift rather than an entitlement.
All too often men work all day, come home and expect to be waited on. Few people would deny that many men work hard and are tired at the end of their day. However, women also work outside the home and if they don’t, they work hard caring for the household. They too are tired.
Failure to acknowledge this creates a competitive environment giving way to anxiety, strife and fighting in which there is no relaxation …for anyone.
The alternative understands the gift-nature of family life. The time men spend away from their families for whatever reason is the family’s gift to men. Men should never take these gifts for granted but respond with their heartfelt thankfulness.
2. Do not control, nurture instead
Key to family life is not found in control but in the nurture.
While some versions of religion understand men to be “the head of household,” from a family dynamics perspective this does not mean men are kings.
The family environment is about parents working together as equals to encourage family members to become the best versions of themselves. Parents encourage exploration of all family members’ worlds while, at the same time, providing the safety and support needed for such explorations.
3.Protect the family from dangers known and unknown
Grounding family in a nurturing environment protects family members from the many hammers that may fall.
For example – Bullies abound at school, work and in various social groups. They often carry a big hammer, but families grounded in gifting, thankful, and nurturing environment, provide an important shield to the antisocial behaviors of others and draw the family closer together.
This not an environment of denial, but one of empowerment where members find the strength to face a challenging and sometimes hostile world.
A family is never about ‘You’ only
Men, it’s not always about you and it won’t be if you can be attentive to your family’s needs with care, thankfulness and an attitude of graciousness that allows you to understand the wonderful gifts a family brings.