Last week I wrote about how there are important gender differences in how men and women connect. This week I will outline a few tips for men and next week tips for women.
Many men feel more emotionally connected to their partner when they can protect her. Throughout history a man’s protection instinct meant keeping a woman from harm and severe deprivation through his actions. Nowadays, protection means caring about her emotional well-being. This requires listening but perhaps more importantly demonstrating protection and care by doing something for her without making her feeling incompetent.
In their book, How to Improve Your Marriage without Talking About It, authors Patricia Love and Steven Stosny claim that talking about your relationship will not bring you together. These authors contend that less emphasis should be put on communication and more on connection. They outline how connecting for men is through activity nearby or with their partner.
1. When a woman complains, consider it a request for comfort or protection – not “to the rescue” or “fix it” as you may have done during dating but show you care, “convey admiration, empower her, assist and/or accompany her.” Help her out with the kids, the cooking, a problem at work she is worried about…. whatever!
2. If she nags or is resentful or too busy to bother with you, she is probably anxious about something. Don’t make it worse by being defensive by withdrawing or criticizing. Don’t just stand there, do something! Connect by demonstrating through your actions that you care and reduce her fear. Take a load of worry off her by doing something she needs to have done tangibly (the laundry) or intangibly (a compliment about a difficult decision she made).
3. Always help your wife feel secure and safe and emotionally connected to you. Never dismiss, or ridicule her fears. Affection will flow when anxiety or anger are not present.
4. To have a better sex life, and be a better lover, make a stronger emotional connection with her by cultivating a high level of compassion for her emotional state.
Next week: Tips for women to connect with your man.