Playing Communication Games to Get What We Want From Our Partner

I see this so much with men: guys who need stuff from their partners who don’t come right out and say it. True, both sexes can be equally guilty of this, but for the sake of working with men, I’ll talk about them on this post.

The games we play to get what we want end up creating more interpersonal conflict and disaster than need be. Because some men are not in touch with what they need from their mate, and, more importantly, understand how to language it in a way that they get that need met with minimal friction, otherwise good, decent couples end up breaking up or going their separate ways. It saddens me to see this, but the power of communication can very much be a force for the good, as it can be for destruction.

Making assumptions about what the other partner is thinking or feeling is one common trap that a lot of guys fall into. They fantasize that their partner is thinking or feeling something about them that is just simply not true at all. But, because they fail to “check it out” with their women, men tend to then react to their fantasy, not the reality, of the situation. In this way, the cycle of conflict gets worse. Conflict is fueled by assumptions not grounded in the reality of what is going on, but what is going on in the guy’s fantasy.

Also, shaming, name-calling, manipulating and “wiping my hands of” the situation are other games that I see men play in relationships to get what they want. These games are destructive, and they promote confusion, anger, withdrawal and loneliness, among other things. They undermine the foundation of a good relationship.

Being direct about what the need is is a great start. “I need attention,” or “I need a kiss after a hard day at work,” are direct and perfectly acceptable examples of communicating clearly what needs are needing to be met. Being clear, concise, and direct are things that a lot of guys have a hard time doing in relationships, but are so important in the development of it. They are the fundamentals, yet a lot of men haven’t learned these basic skills growing up. Not only did no one teach them to do it these effective ways, but what these men did learn are negative surrogate ways of getting needs met (like the examples above).

About Jason

As "The Man That Men Will Talk To," Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC is a private practice counselor and psychotherapist for men and couples in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. He works with struggling men to find happiness in their lives, and with their wives.
This entry was posted in Anger and Stress, Healthy Marriages, Mens’ Mental Health and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *