A woman aims to improve a man, but a man just wants acceptance. Her unsolicited advice is never welcomed; it is interpreted as negative criticism. Rather than presenting a problem to a man, which is often taken to mean he is the problem, a man should be approached as if he may embody the solution. Men are focused on their competence, and if they cannot solve problems, they feel they are wasting their time. Women, on the other hand, actually like to discuss problems even without a solution in sight, because it gives them the all-important chance to express their feelings.
Women are like waves, rising to peaks and then falling into troughs, then back up again. Men must know that the trough-time is when women need men most. In being supportive, and not trying to get the woman out of the trough immediately, she feels validated. In order to be motivated, a man must feel needed – but a woman must feel cherished.
Men alternate between the need for intimacy and the need for distance. Men’s going away into their ‘cave’ is not a conscious decision but is instinctive. Women who don’t know about the need for the cave and seek constant intimacy will see relationship turmoil. Like a rubber band, a man needs to stretch – but will usually spring back.
Arguments quickly descend into hurt feelings about the way a point is being made, rather than its content. It is the uncaring sound of the point being made that is upsetting. Men do not see how much their comments hurt and provoke, because they focus on ‘the point’. Most arguments start because a woman expresses a worry over something and the man tells her it is not worth worrying about. This invalidates her, and she gets upset with him. He then gets mad because she seems to be getting mad at him for nothing. He will not say sorry for something he believes he has not done, so the initial argument goes into cruise control for hours or days.
In arguments, men will argue because they do not feel trusted, admired or encouraged and are not spoken to with a tone of trust and acceptance. Women will argue because they are not listened to or put high on a man’s list of priorities.
“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” – Oscar Wilde
ואמר ר”ל קשט עצמך ואחר כך קשט
אחרים – סנהדרין יט