Many men worry about their wives or spouses changing them, but rarely do they talk about trying to change their partner. That doesn’t mean there are things they’d like to change though, especially if it improves the relationships. Across my many years of counseling, I have noticed there are some common grievances, which I compiled into a list. Ladies, if you are trying to improve your relationship, resolving these four issues within yourself would be a healthy place to begin.
“She looks for a hidden meaning in everything I say or do.” When your partner tells you they’re spending the weekend by themselves or with their friends, let it go. Letting your anxious thoughts make assumptions about your partner or trying to get to the bottom of why they want to be alone or with friends drives men insane. Many men feel as though women create conflict with their thoughts alone.
“She expects me to read her mind.” It’s a myth that women repeat to other women, “If he really loved you, he’d know how you felt/what you meant/what you wanted.” This is completely untrue. No one can read minds, nor should they be expected to. Time you spend together has nothing to do with how well he will be able to predict exactly what you think, want, or feel. You have to be direct with your feelings and that means telling him what you want.
“She tells me her problems, but when I offer a solution, she become upset or tunes me out.” Most men feel competent in problem solving, so when their partner is upset and tells them the problem, their instinct is to rush to their aid with solutions. However, women are often seeking comfort, validation, or just someone to listen to them rather than a solution. Instead of explaining their needs, the man gets accused or scorned, confusing him and putting him in what feels like a no-win situation.
“She tries on something she’s never worn and asks me to be honest about how it looks.” This question is a set up for men, especially if your meaning of honesty is different than his. If he tells you that you look great, you may say you don’t believe him or continue seeking more detailed validation. If he points out one slight thing he doesn’t like, you’ll be angry and “punish” him all night.
If you see yourself in this list, being able to talk about the problem openly with your partner and changing the way you react will enhance communication and emotional intimacy as a couple.