How many times have you heard a woman say to her husband, “Please don’t try to fix it?” Too many to count, right? This is something I have to address!
What do men think
Most men believe that their role in the relationship is to be the provider and protector. While trying to fulfill this duty, men often come to think that their wives’ happiness is their responsibility as well. These feelings arise due to women’s need to speak aloud their feelings. Even generally happy women like to express their worries, frustrations, and hardships with men in order to feel emotionally closer to them.
Men often think take these emotional talks as a cry for help. Since men are driven by instinct to care for their wives, they immediately try to solve the problem as quickly as possible. In turn, they then do not understand why their assistance is not welcome.
What do women want
Women become frustrated by the quick reaction of their men wanting to fix something rather than just listen. In most cases, when women are expressing their feelings to men, it is not to receive a solution but just to vent or share what is going on in their lives. Most women are capable of finding a solution on their own and become offended because they take their husbands’ attempt to help as a sign that men think they cannot solve problems on their own.
This miscommunication results in men wondering why their wives don’t want to fix their problems, while women are feeling misunderstood. Both men and women are completely misunderstanding each other’s motives in this common scenario.
By sharing their feelings with men, most women are seeking empathy and signs that they are cared for. To show this, men just need to wholeheartedly listen, ask to hear more about the problem, and provide reassurance that they understand what she is going through.
If a husband can ignore the drive to fix, and instead focus on listening, his wife will feel calmed and loved. After letting her finish the conversation, you can then ask if there is anything she would like you to do about it. If not, there is no need to offer solutions.
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More by Mary Kay Cocharo