Being a great partner in a relationship requires a self-less reflection and profound insight into our mate’s personality. Often when we are trying to fulfill the needs of our loved ones, we let our own wants and desires seep into our execution. Most of us do this unconsciously and don’t realize that it is happening until it is too late. You may think you are doing something that is beneficial to your partner because that is what you would want them to do if the roles were reversed, but when you don’t think about what your significant other would really want, it will lead to conflict. If their response to your efforts isn’t the positive outcome you were looking for, you may become angry with them and in turn, they may become frustrated with you because you aren’t meeting their needs.
This happens most often in times of crisis and life struggles. What men and women need as support is almost always poles apart. Studies have been completed and published over the years from researchers to PhD’s on the difference in how men and women deal with conflict. According to Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, men retreat into their “cave” and become non-communicative when problems arise, while women become communicative and want to talk it out. Our opposing coping methods often leave us confused and frustrated on how to deal with our partner’s despair. As women, we want to show our support and offer our shoulder to lean on and open arms for comfort, because instinctively, that is what we want when something is going wrong in our lives. We feel hurt when our man doesn’t want the same thing back. We want to feel needed and like we are the rock that our partner depends on, but just because he doesn’t cry on your shoulder, doesn’t mean that you aren’t the person that he counts on in his life.
In our society, men are branded to be the provider and protector, so when something is amiss in their lives, they want to be by themselves to prove that they can handle the problem on their own. It isn’t that they don’t need you, but they need you in a different way than we need them. Constant support and offering help often makes them feel weak and depletes their confidence. Instead of nagging them to talk about it, do subtle things that show them you are there without being in their face. Try turning on the game, grabbing a couple of beers and just enjoy time with him to take his mind off of his problem. Fix his favorite dinner or give him an unexpected back rub before bed. It is the little things that you do that will give him the hint that when, or if, he needs you, you will be there.
With that said, every person’s coping mechanism in life is different. There are many things that factor into the equation, from the subject matter of the problem to the amount of impact the issue has on our lives. Most men and women may follow the stereotypical response that is outlined in this article, but at the end of the day, you must learn how your partner works through issues and what role they want you to play in that process. Try observing, talking to their friends, and talking to them when there isn’t a problem occurring. You can’t account for everything in life, but you will learn and grow together as time goes by and events occur. Keeping an open dialogue on what you need from each other in terms of support is a proactive way to maintain a healthy relationship.