Last year I put out a series called: 3 Things I wish Women Knew about Men.
I think it’s now time for 3 Things I wish Men knew about Women!
I know that if you’re a man reading this, you know what it’s like to doubt your masculinity. I’ve never met a guy who didn’t.
It’s not that this doubt dominates your thinking, but sometimes, lurking in the back of your mind is the question: Am I man enough? Am I man enough for my woman?
We women get it, far more than you might imagine. Men tend to think it’s only the masculine that feels challenged and, at times, fragile.
The number one thing I wish men knew about women is that we often doubt whether we’re woman enough.
Case in point: I often hear from men how stressed their partners are — that they can’t get them out of their heads to connect or make love and how frustrating this is. “Why can’t she just relax and let go?” they ask.
Often times, their partners are drowning in self-doubt and can’t talk about it. They don’t want to admit they’re experiencing overwhelm — failing in their perceived duties as women. That memo we all got some 30 years ago… that said that women can have it all and do it all has caused us to believe that we should.
If a woman is a mother and has a business, a husband and a home to care for, she’ll try to excel in each of these areas, equally — often, to the point of exhaustion. Why? This is what she thinks is expected of her. Her diffuse focus doesn’t allow her to block any of these areas out, in order to minimize stress.
While the masculine can easily narrow down what he needs to focus on and shut out the rest, the feminine does not do this well. Ask any guy who tried to tell his partner: “just relax, put everything out of your mind,” coconut oil in hand. It simply doesn’t work and can even add to her stress. Putting it “out of her mind” doesn’t address the problem or what she needs.
Men will often get frustrated and try to offer solutions to the overwhelm. “So let’s get a maid.” Or, “Let’s hire a nanny.”
The problem is that a woman hears this as her failing and falling short. A better way to address her overwhelm is to acknowledge it with empathy. This goes a long way. You can do that by seeing that it’s her nature to try to do everything perfectly and evenly — even though for you, as a man, this doesn’t make sense.
It could sound like this: “I really get how important it is to you to excel, equally, in all these areas of your life. I understand how hard it is for you to feel you are falling short in any one of them. And I can feel how much stress you feel because of this.”
This will give her relief to know that you get it.
Once you can see that your empathy has served to give her emotional relief, you can offer solutions on how the two of you can make this better — so that she can relax, and the two of you can enjoy that high-quality connection and physical intimacy you desire.
The key with a woman is that if you can acknowledge her and accept her, as she is, she’ll likely be open to suggestions and support. But if you expect her to just “put it out of her mind” and act like a man would, she’ll just see you as someone who really doesn’t get what she’s going through.