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Stressful characteristics of a marriage

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We all know that there are several issues that can plague a marriage. Things like money, bills, unemployment, addiction, mental illness and even step-parenting. Some men and some women are controlling, have anger issues and maybe even struggle with jealousy. But have you ever given much thought to those characteristics that are specific to men or specific to women. There things about men and women, their design, that can create misunderstanding even before we get to the before mentioned issues.

The most common programmed characteristic that comes to mind is how men tend to be “fix it” people. The ongoing argument is that women don’t always need things fixed. Women, many think, are listeners and nurtures by nature. Men can be information gatherers and fix it people by nature. So are men thinking, “Why did you tell me this information if you didn’t want me to do anything about?” It is possible that this holds true for most men.

That tends to be where we drop the ball, men will understand the “drop the ball” analogy. It does hold true guys, women just want you to be attentive and listen most of the time. I heard it explained once sort of like this. Women communicate in the context of love; they also hear and perceive things in the same concept.

So, if you guys say something like, “can’t you see that I am busy?” That can be perceived as unloving, “he doesn’t love me enough to see that this is important to me.” That may not be what you’re thinking, but that is how it is received. Admit it guys, if it is something that does not spark our interest we tend to blow it off. That will come across as unloving every single time.

So, if women think and communicate in terms of love, how do men think and communicate? I heard it like this, it’s all about respect. That’s how we hear and perceive things. If you say or tell us anything that is perceived as disrespect men will shut down, and usually reply in a manner that sounds unloving to women. Things like, “are you gonna take the trash out sometime today,” or things that start off with “you need to” are usually received as disrespect. Men communicate and think in terms of respect. It is sort of why some men will say they get more respect at work.

That’s where their thoughts and opinions matters, people acknowledge his insight and tell him things like “good job.” They don’t constantly remind him about how poorly he’s doing at any one given task, that’s received as how poorly he is at being a man. And, if she can’t respect me as a man how can she possibly love me. That is what is going through his mind.

Another strong theme that emerged was that men want—even need—to figure things out for themselves. And if they can, they feel like they have conquered something and are affirmed as men. Now, how do the two characteristics clash making life harder for both husband and wife? Sometimes something is not his fault—it might be hers. Sometimes wives assign unloving motives to their men that could actually be traced back to something she has inadvertently said or done.

For example, a wife who is constantly critical of her husband may spur him to withdraw emotionally to protect himself, thereby becoming unloving where he wasn't before. So husbands, remember to love your wives…because love is not our nature. Wives, remember to respect your husbands. Why? Because you don’t think in terms of respect…it is not in nature. But we men are so grateful for loving, nurturing characteristics. Thank you.

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