If I could distill down a lot of the relationship advice that I dispense to men, it’s this: don’t try to fix her problems, and be present.
Yes, I’m sure that you’ve run into a host of other problems in your relationship, or a previous relationship, but if you could learn how to turn off your need to fix the problems in the relationship, you might be better off.
See, men are great fixers. We have been for millennia. We see a problem, we diagnose it, we fix it. We fix sinks, cars, occupational crises, financial problems, and the like. It’s inherent in our DNA to want to fix the problems that come up in a marriage or relationship. In relationship therapy, I see this come up time and time again with guys, and my advice stays the same.
The problem is, most women want you to be present. They want you to be able to hear them – really listen to them – and not fix the problems. Why is this?
I fall into this problem quite a bit myself. My head wants to take over, and quickly assess and diagnose the situation. I then compute and spit out a list of possible solutions, and things that I could be changing in my behavior to make things better. My logical mind wants to repair the damage that’s been done, or the negative emotions that are spilling out from my partner. I think most men feel the same way.
If we can learn to tune down our logical minds, and learn to be more present to what she is trying to tell us, and to the possible negative feelings that come up in us, we’re going to find ourselves a whole lot more successful in our relationship. A whole lot more.
Women want to know that they can feel safe to be heard and that you can openly embrace their painful emotions, without doing anything to the emotions. They just want to be heard, simply. No more no less. If your wife or girlfriend wants a solution, I’m sure that she would be happy to ask. But, I would bet that she doesn’t. When she’s upset, she really wants you to be present, which means listening without judgment or solution. This flies in the face of all of those millennia of thinking critically, I’m trying to diagnose and fix the situation you’re confronted with.
Logical thinking works great when you’re at work, but it may not work quite as well when you’re at home. Logical thinking get stuff done, and creates a sense of productivity for you. It actually works in reverse in relationships. You can learn to be present, really listen to what they’re saying, and not try to fix or solve, you’ll have mastered the number one thing guys must know in relationships.