Ladies are socialized and programmed to believe a LOT of false ideas about relationships. Let's try to break down a few common mistakes that women engage along the way that make relationships more difficult than they need to be.
And PLEASE- reach out for help if you need support! No one had high school or college courses about how to have a gorgeously happy marriage or relationship! There are lessons to learn in order to be happy, harmonious, and connected.
Mistake #1: You Believe Your Partner Knows (or Should Know) What You Want & Need...
Ok, seriously ladies. This idea is a trap and a load of crap!
I coach this issue every day. News flash. HE HAS NO CLUE (most of the time) WHAT YOU WANT OR NEED, OR HOW TO MAKE YOU HAPPY!
He also desperately wants to know…
I can hear your rebuttal now, “but Shawn, he has to know, because of _____ Or, I tried to tell him ____ before. Or, what kind of moron wouldn’t know I need or want _____.”
The truth is, you can hang on to your complaints, your drama stories and your lack of getting what you want and need… OR, you can tell him. Plainly. Clearly. Boldly. Courageously. And LOVINGLY!
No more using ‘him’ as an excuse to be upset, lonely, confused or angry. And if you did try to tell him before, odds are, you were not clear enough.
Most men define part of their success by how happy their lady is. Yes, seriously. Work success & family happiness are men’s defining factors. Just because it seems like he has meatloaf for brains at times does not mean he has a lack of interest in your happiness.
So tell him! Tell him what you need and want. And do it multiple times, and do it lovingly. You will likely also need to tell him HOW to provide what you need and want.
Face the facts, we are built differently. Give him the gift of a detailed road map.
Forgive him when he messes up. Reassure him for trying. Thank him for his efforts. And reteach him again and again with unconditional patience. What does it matter if you have to ask and explain 1000 times? As long as he is willing to give or try- this is an attempt to share and care for you.
And for Pete sake, don’t expect him to deliver 100% of the time. You also need to practice meeting your OWN needs and wants too or receiving support from others!
Mistake #2: You Believe That You Have To Do Everything… (If You Want It Done Or Done Right!)
Alright lady loves, it is time for a potentially polarizing truth bomb, are you ready?
The reason your man doesn’t do anything (which is a BIG if- though it might FEEL like you do everything :) is likely because of 1 or all of the following 3 reasons:
1) YOU already do it.
2) You criticize what he does do (even if it is subtle)
3) You expect him to do everything on YOUR time frame.
How is that landing?
You might just be ready to close and go eat some ice cream! The heck with you Shawn! But, if you hang on a minute, we will work out the details.
Go getter, super women sometimes don’t leave time, space or room for the men in their lives to shine. I see this ALL the time with my clients. Then anger, blame and resentment boils over about the lost opportunities that women actually steal from their partners.
If you want your man to shine, set him up for success.
If you do everything, how can he do anything? If he has to do things on your schedule, how can he learn independence, autonomy, assertiveness and great decision making skills? If he has to do things 'your' way, what is the fun in that. Let him be his authentic self. Let go of control and being bossy or naggy and let him learn to lead too.
He needs time, space and ENCOURAGEMENT to grow. Give him these gifts and he will soar!
Mistake 3: You Believe That You Can’t Share Your Feelings Because He Will React Negatively or Zone Out
No. The opposite is true actually (in most cases!)
The problem (when men shut down, go all blank stare on you, or leave the room) usually results from the WAY you share.
If you blame, he will shut down or lash out.
If you attack, he will shut down or lash out.
If you yell, he will shut down or lash out.
If you get angry, he will shut down or lash out.
How do you turn this situation around and elicit open, meaningful connection?
You must share an actual feeling!
Women usually tell a dramatic story about a situation that may, or may not, point to a feeling. The story is directed at her man in the form of blame, criticizing, attack or nagging.
You made me feel...
You didn't do...
You said.... and it hurt my feelings...
These are NOT examples of sharing feelings, they are forms of blaming, period, and will trigger shut down, defensiveness, back peddling, lashing out, excuses and so on. These are emotional weapons being unleashed. And when you unleash and emotional weapon, it is highly likely that he will too.
RARELY does a woman say:
I feel alone.
I feel sad.
I feel afraid
I feel ashamed.
I feel happy.
I feel loved.
I feel cared for.
I feel humiliated.
I feel angry.
And so on…
Can you recall the last time you simply stated any of the above? WITHOUT any explaining, excuse-making, blaming, or abdicating responsibility of any kind?
If you've ever been afraid to tell a man how you're ACTUALLY feeling because you're afraid you'll lose him if you do, then I'm certain this myth has been wreaking havoc in your love life.
Stuffing your feelings or telling drama stories or sharing in any kind of blaming way, leads to more and more distance in a relationship. And usually results in some kind of overly-emotional expression or lashing out later.
The key is to share your feelings, vulnerably without drama or blame.
Take your time, breathe and share slowly and with softness if you can.
Then, sit still and wait for his response. Practice this at least a dozen times before deciding it doesn’t work. And two dozen if you are a bit on the salty/sassy side of sharing styles!
Most men need to know they are emotionally safe before they are willing to open up.
So, give the gifts that have the ability to return to you 10-fold- while at the same time, working to eliminate the actions associated with these 3 VERY common myths!
Ok gang, what comments or questions do you have? Reach out and ask away!
Dr. Haywood has a GREAT live training coming up next week,
Or, reach out with questions, concerns or feedback.
In Love & Harmony, Shawn