Oh, I know it can be hard to admit – that we contributed to that awful fight we had with our man, that is. Especially when it’s OBVIOUS he wasn’t listening to us AT ALL – and to top it all off, he had the audacity to use the words ‘overreacting’ and ‘unreasonable’? !
But today, after first asking you to take a deep breath (and maybe pump your fists a few time too), I’m going to (delicately) point out some of the common mistakes women make as they fight.
No, I’m not implying that he was ‘right’ and his behaviour is excusable - I’m simply arming you with some knowledge around how/why men get defensive…and inviting you to reflect on how you might handle things differently in future.
Mistake #1: Women complain instead of asking for what they want. Did any of your statements begin with “I don’t like it when…” or “You never…”. Cause that intro immediately gets his walls up. Instead, you should aim to make your man the solution rather than problem by saying something like, “I’d love it if...,” or “Would you please….”
Mistake #2. Women compare their partner to someone else, or how he use to be. Statements like “No one else’s husband does that!” or “You use to help me clean up” immediately jibe him to feel ‘less than’ and unsuccessful. Instead, focus on expressing appreciation for what he does do: “I love it when you…”
Mistake #3. Women bring up old issues to prove their point: “I should have known you’d be like this cause…” or “This is exactly how I felt when…” Stick to the current issue and don’t use your incredible emotional memory (our ‘feminine gift’) as a bludgeon.
Mistake #4. Women demand rather than express preferences: “Don’t do it that way,” or “It has to be done like this.” Instead, state it as a preference: “I really like done this way. Would you please do it like this?”
Mistake #5. Women use strong emotional tones: accusing, whining, mocking, being sarcastic. He’s not going to hear a word you say when the sound of your voice is scraping down his vertebrae. To communicate best with a man, you need to try to stay unemotional, use an even tone, and don’t raise your voice.