Relationship therapist and clinical sexologist, Leandie Buys has been counselling couples for a decade, and has noticed some familiar patterns…
Buys reveals some of the most common misperceptions that men have about women in the piece below. She also offers some great advice for couples on dealing with miscommunication and differing expectations.
Obviously I don’t know EVERYTHING about ALL women. Also, I’m not implying that men don’t understand women at all… but through my practice and through the interaction I have with couples, I have found that there are a few common themes.
I’m sharing them here not to find fault with men, or to demean them in any way, but to shed some light on how a woman might be feeling, or thinking, and how that can get misinterpreted by their partners.
Here are some of the things that men most often misunderstand about women:
1. The way she talks
In my relationship counselling practice, I often encounter couples who lack communication skills. One of the reasons is that the husband has ‘taken his wife’s voice away’. This is most often completely unintentional, but it does happen to a lot of couples.
The way most women like to solve issues is by talking about them. Whether it’s a difficult person at work, a naughty child, or a life goal that they’re struggling to achieve, they will often hash out the issue with their girlfriends. However, many women struggle to speak about these things with their partner.
Men often struggle to tell the difference between when a woman is venting – and just needs to talk about an issue – and when she is really asking for help. Most men tend to jump in and offer advice and try to figure out ways to solve the issue before the woman has even finished talking.
This makes her feel like he “never really listens”, and that “he gets irritated with me” all the time.
How to handle the situation:
Listen to the key words your partner is using… if she’s talking about an issue at work, or a frustrating person, just listen and offer supportive and affirmative comments (NOT ADVICE). Things like “I can’t believe she said that!” or “Wow, that’s just really frustrating… I’m sorry you had to deal with that”.
IF she then asks you for your opinion, you can offer it… If she says something like “what do you think?” or “what should I do” then she’s giving you permission to step in and offer some suggestions.
Click page 2 tomorrow to find out more about the way women think about sex….