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The Dreaded 'We Have to Talk'

  
 If you've been in a love relationship for a while, you're probably familiar with conflict and the dreaded 'We need to talk.'

On the way to see the runners in a recent Philadelphia Marathon, I witnessed a young women who had 'cornered' her guy...I mean literally...cornered him. He was up against the wall and she was saying something to the effect of:

"The problem is that you don't care. I'm the one who cares and blah, blah, blah.  She wasn't just stating it, she was harping...like he was being scolded."

Women fight with words and Men are Not Allowed to Hit.

I know that not every conversation that a woman has with a man is a harangue, but in many instances...where she is emotional, her voice gets louder and more and more high pitched - until she sounds like the young woman I saw lecturing her mate that day: 'I do all of these things for you and you don't appreciate blah, blah, blah.'

Honestly guys, women don't realize what they sound like in these scenarios or I feel certain that they would not do it.

The more she builds to a crescendo, the more he closes down. The more he closes down - the louder or more insistent she gets-- trying to get him to 'hear.'  At that point, he cannot really hear...because he has shut down completely.  She then gets more angry that he doesn't even seem to be listening.

Does this ever happen to you?

Here's the very common dilemma: She has been trying to express something--she considers important to him--for a while. He doesn't seem to respond, which translates to her that he doesn't care.  The man usually doesn't respond for any of the following reasons:

1.  He doesn't agree that they have a problem.   
[Note: If one of you has a problem in the relationship, the other has a problem too]

2.  He knows she's probably got a good point, but he doesn't want to admit to it 
  [That request means he is 'not a good husband, lover
      or provider' to him]

3.  He doesn't agree with her, but dreads the conflict.  
[Note: If he talks honestly about how he feels, she may become more emotional:  
       possibly crying or yelling: both of which he wants to avoid]  

4.  He's a man and most men have to think about what was said before they respond. 
  [Note: this is the purpose of the man cave...a place  
      to sort out thoughts and feelings while not feeling bombarded and BTW, women could learn from this].

So...the moral of the story is...

For this communication 'thing' to work well, she has to listen more and give him a chance to respond.

And rather than saying 'nothing,' he has to consider what she has said and give a response:  even if that response is "Can I think about this and we can talk about it later today?"

Women fight with words and Men are not allowed to hit.  Most men cannot win the argument of words:  it's not in their nature. And yet they cannot fight their lovers in the way men are taught to fight.

Please take a moment and consider what this means for you and your partner.  My advice is don't start your request with 'we need to talk.'  That is an already loaded gun. "Can I talk to you about something that is on my mind?" or I've been thinking about something and want to 'run it by you" are better choices.  "We need to talk" translates to 'you're in trouble buddy' and will definitely put a negative feeling on the response that you receive.

Gloria Waite is an expert on love relationships, who gives no-nonsense love advice to men and women.  People, who know Gloria, credit her success to 30+ years of experience as psychologist and her natural gift for 'getting it' right away and coming up with practical advice and solutions.

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