Women can be complex creatures. We like to think we are simple and easy to please and genuinely fun and light-hearted, but on reflection I suspect that part of honouring myself is a woman is to see the full breadth and depth of my femininity. And to anyone who is not a woman I also suspect this would be (at times and/or all the time) confusing, frustrating and a sure-fire way to explode the rational mind. So, I just thought I’d write about it. In case it helps?
Disagreements in marriage are pretty much always about a topic. Money. Lack of money. Someone spending too much money. Differing values about what is essential/important to spend money on. Kids. Too many kids. The cost of raising kids. Kids manipulating to get more time on Wi-Fi/more technology/more dessert. Education. Discipline. Sex. Lack of sex. Differing views on what constitutes a reasonable amount of lovemaking. Household chores. Division of labour. Standards i.e. what constitutes a clean sink. Time. Not being home enough. Being home too much. No time without kids. No time to get everything done. No time to yourself. All the topics. Some more favourite than others, but usually a mix of all.
If you get caught up on the topic/s you are basically screwed. The topic is a never-ending rabbit hole of dissatisfaction, disagreement and despair. Compromise may work occasionally, but in my experience in most relationships one person is a much better compromiser than the other. Which can lead to another topic – “I always give in”- and this one is a cracker. If you choose to argue about this, you are caught forever in an unsolvable puzzle. The non-compromiser will NEVER agree that this is true, and fish around for various times they didn’t actually care about the topic and thus didn’t let the argument get too harsh, and the compromiser will eventually have to compromise and say that they “don’t always” give in (whilst giving in massively).
So, here’s the way out. It’s not the topic that is the issue. However, the feminine needs to explore the topic or start with the topic as a way of understanding what the actual issue is. A woman is not consciously trying to be obtuse. We generally start with the most surface ‘problem’ and then through the talking process get to the actual issue. If the masculine can hold state long enough to listen (without trying to fix the very obvious surface problem, and/or without getting hurt or offended by the content of the topic) then a woman will feel understood AND connected – which are both of the things that were missing at the start of the conversation.
If a woman feels understood and deeply connected to you, it’s likely she’ll vulnerably start straight on the issue (go deep, speak vulnerably and stay open). But mostly – we’re so busy just getting through the day, trying to deal with all the topics of life that we don’t feel connected and have to start somewhere.
So, there are two solutions here. One for each person in the conversation.
First. 100% of what’s going on for you is yours. How you feel, what comes up when you start discussing whatever topic is the topic of the moment, your mood, your reactions.
Second. If you’re a woman – you have to learn to tap into that place of vulnerability so you can find clearer ways to communicate what’s really going on. You may still start on the surface topic, but with less emotion/anger/fear/resentment. And if you’re a man it’s about stepping into your masculine strength and focus and not getting hooked into the topic – because then you’ll have less emotion/anger/fear/criticised coming up in you. And then she can get to the issue.
The thing is, most of us are super busy avoiding the issue. So many women I speak to are dissatisfied with their relationships (they want more depth, to communicate more deeply, to be well connected, to feel supported, loved and accepted and on the same team) but because it’s not TERRIBLE they just let it be. Sometimes for years. Until something (terrible) happens and blows everything up. This is not about having shitty relationships (although you might have one) but about not having the skills to get what we want. Which, for most people I know, is to have great relationships.
And so, here’s a clue. If the topic is about money then she’s not feeling safe, secure and/or like you’re working together on this. If the topic is about kids, then she’s not feeling supported and/or on the same team. If the topic is sex, then there’s a major emotional disconnection. If the topic is time she’s not feeling like a priority/important and/or supported or part of a team. If she’s constantly criticising she feels disconnected (negative connection is still connection).
Yep, women love real connection. Teamwork. And being the most important thing in your world. All at once and all the time. And nothing cements that more in a relationship that sitting down and creating a plan that supports both of you to have your best life. Relationships are not hard work, but you must work on ‘hard’ things. For women this is how to drop into the feminine, be vulnerable and stay open. For men how to rise into their solid, certain masculine and be there consistently. There are ways and pathways. Find one and commit to it. It’s worth everything.
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