Understanding How Men Think In Relationships Series
Healthy Relationship Tips - Part 1:
A Man's Strongest Drive... When Is He At His Happiest?
Ladies, do you ever struggle in understanding how men think? If so, hopefully things may seem a little less confusing after reading the first of our healthy relationship tips...
Just like we need to feel loved and valued in our relationship, so does our partner. However, the foundational drives and priorities we both have are very different. While we long for our man to always protect us, defend us and love us even to the point of death, men also desire to be that protector, provider and the one who can totally satisfy their woman.
At the core of every happy man is the successful warrior and hunter… at the core of every woman is the loved and cherished nurturer. Thus, to allow this synergy of difference, men need us to allow them to be men.
Here lies the problem… Women so often think that they want their man to be a particular way, and that way generally involves making their man more like them! I’m not sure if you can relate, but if you can, I have a question for you: Do you really want your man to be like you?
Yes, I agree... In many ways it may make life a whole lot easier! But ultimately he would be a caged bird and you wouldn’t be truly happy either. Do you really want (and need) someone to agree with you all the time or do everything you want? While the temptation is to say “yes”, if you were truly honest, the answer is probably “no”. There is a certain element of respect that one loses in their partner when they know that they’ll do everything they ask and never share of their own desires.
Women don’t need man who has been beaten into submission… they need a true man who is strong in resolve and love and character. Someone who’s trying his best to make his women happy, but without compromising his own spirit and personality.
And this is where the secret comes in that all women need to know. To a large degree, while men may have the physical strength in the relationship, women really have a large degree of the power. Simply put: Men are happiest when their woman is also happy. Just like women desperately desire love and intimacy in a way that they recognize, men want to know that they are a good provider, protector, lover…. their partner’s happiness is the stamp that provides evidence of their success as a true man!
Ladies… It is our words that build up or tear down and destroy. Why not choose right now that you are genuinely and sincerely going to (even for a week’s trial) do away with any negativity you communicate to your partner, and focus on thoughtfully showing him how much you appreciate the effort he puts in to make you happy. Now, those of you who’ve just muttered that there’s nothing to be thankful for – I hear what you’re saying. But understand, NOTHING is going to get better by focusing only on what you’re not getting, and it certainly isn't going to change by you frequently pointing out these things to him!
Start to meet your man with praise and thankfulness for who he is and what he does and has done. This, while perhaps almost the opposite of what you may naturally feel inclined to do, short-circuits old patterns of negativity and entrenchment in your relationship, and he slowly begins to think, “Wow, perhaps everything’s not perfect, but she really does see that I’m doing my best. My woman is happy! Perhaps I’m not the failure I was starting to think I am...”
Now, while he may not think these thoughts exactly, this is the essence of what he feels and expereinces. While you may believe that your partner thinks you’re sexiest with no clothes on or in just a skimpy lingerie, but let me tell you otherwise… I’ve heard so many men now agree that the thing they love seeing most is their partner’s smile… to see when their partner is genuinely and consistently happy. And while men may not articulate it this way, in effect they get satisfaction from seeing you happy, because (in their minds) they take (at least in large part) the credit for it - they have succeeded in their quest. They are truly happy and fulfilled in that moment.
When you’re happy, he's happy… When you’re not happy, he feel in many respects that he's failed as a man.
The bottom line is: You have the power to significantly shape your partner’s level of happiness, sense of pride and esteem. And it may sound strange, but this process can be simply started by you making the decision to let go of any grievances, hurts or negativity, and just simply express your appreciation to him for who he is and what he does. If you do find this genuinely difficult, just start small.
For example, "Bob, I just want to say thanks for putting the bin out each week. I know I've never thanked you for doing it before, but I have noticed, and (in a strange sort of way) I feel cared for and protected... so thanks." Now, even with this simple example, Bob is probably almost going to fall over backwards, if he has got used to never receiving praise, but only hearing what he should be doing. There's that little part of him that feels appreciated and like the protector and provider he wants to feel like. There's that little bit of him that gives him hope that perhaps things can work out and that you can be both close again. It all starts somewhere... small steps practiced daily add up to miles over time. Don't underestimate what such small things communicated with genuineness and sincerity can do.
Men often say women nag. Women, however, simply see that they’re trying to share something important that needs to be changed. Why not choose to let go of the annoying minors of your relationship for a while (which I know may be majors to you), and focus solely on building your partner up, and showing him how much you love him? Perhaps it’s time to stop waiting for him to love before you love… why not trying to give without expecting anything back?
Within human needs psychology, there are 3 levels:
Level 1 is the base level. It’s where a person solely seeks what they can get from the relationship.
Level 2 is when each person seeks to both give to their partner and also receive from their partner.
Level 3 is when a person gives out of love, not seeking anything in return.
What level are you currently operating in? Why don’t you decide that, without even thinking about what you may or may not get back, you are going to learn to speak HIS language and meet him at his point of need. You are going to build him up and allow him to see that he is appreciated, valued, respected and loved by his woman. Instead of just focusing on the things he doesn’t do (where all he hears is “You’ve failed me again!), why not help him see that (regardless of fautls and frustrations), he is amazing!!! Allow him to feel success, pride and esteem… to feel that he is a true man. Thus, as the proverb says, “Be as wise as a serpent, yet as gentle as a dove.”. Know when to speak and not speak. Seek only to build up, and in no way to destroy.
I understand that in every healthy relationship difficult issues need to be spoken about openly, but sometimes we can all become so entrenched in our behaviours - that is, bogged down - that we don’t know how to get ourselves out. Sometimes we need to take stock. Realize that a happy relationship can only exist when there are consistently many more positive experiences than bad ones…
YOU have the power to take your relationship to another level... Commit to start speaking HIS language, reaching to the heart of his need to be a successful protector, provider and make his woman happy. Tell him what you appreciate that he does, and how it makes you feel. And do all of this while seeking to work from a Level 3 plain where you’re expecting nothing back. Be genuine – not over the top. Allow him to feel your appreciation…. and watch things transform…
A man is happy because his woman is happy. If she chooses gratitude over negativity, and actively and genuinely pursues communicating this affectionately, a relationship can seemingly “miraculously” be transformed.
Realize that you have enormous power at your fingertips: His happiness in so many ways is intrinsically linked to yours. Focus on displaying gratitude for things that he says and does. Do away with criticism or being nit-picky. Realise that even when you say 4 positive things to 1 negative, it’s NOT enough.
Seek to build your partner up so that he feels confident in his ability to provide, protect and care for you. Tell him what and why: what it is you love about him or something he does, and why it's important to you (ie. how it makes you feel). Help him see that you’re genuinely his biggest fan…. Take up the challenge: do this consistently each day and watch your partner’s self-esteem start to increase, his attitude change, perhaps even the way he walks and his tone of voice... and CERTAINLY how close he feels to you.
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