Have you ever had that frustrating experience where your woman comes to you with a situation, a problem. You can see the solution clear as day. But when you present the solution she gets mad? It’s so frustrating!
Why isn’t it valued and appreciated by her?
Because in this moment she wants to be seen and heard. She wants to be connected with in her experience. It requires a very different approach than problem solving, one that is so alien to many men you might not even know what I’m talking about.
The approach requires presence – emotional presence.
It gets confusing because men aren’t valued for being emotionally present. We’re expected, and rewarded with salaries and wages, for being tough, decisive, clear-headed and rational i.e. unemotional. These are all necessary characteristics that drive our society forward. But somewhere along the way our society has decided that men’s capacity to feel and express a full range of emotions is weak and bad.
Many problems in our relationships arise because we believe (and why wouldn’t we) that the characteristics that are valued in the outside world are also going to be successful in our relationships.
As men we have a mistaken belief that our job as partner is done when we’ve put in a day at work, brought home the bacon, maybe played with the kids for a few minutes and done a bit around the house and the yard. All that is important, but unfortunately it’s not what’s going to keep your relationship alive and thriving.
The difficult truth is that our partners want to be seen, not fixed and solved like a problem with the stove. In order to really show up for our partners and our relationship we have to be present.
When we’re focused on a goal, we’re not present to them. When we’re focused on problem-solving we’re not joining them in their experience, we’re trying to shift them out of it.
Many men are uncomfortable with the emotionality of the women in their lives. It’s because our own emotions are unfamiliar to us. As men we’re used to being shifted out of our emotional experiences. ‘Man up’. ‘Pull yourself together’. ‘Don’t be a pussy’. ‘Don’t be a cry baby’. Any of these sound familiar?
‘What are you feeling?’ is a confronting question to a man who hasn’t cried for decades even though his dad has just died. It’s a confronting question to a man who’s stuffed down his fear since he was a teenager to avoid being a target of bullying. It’s a confronting question to a man who’s stuffed down his joy for fear of being ridiculed for being unmanly.
The sensations of fear, grief, even joy have become scary and uncomfortable in our bodies and yet another reason to avoid feeling stuff. And this makes us unable to be present with our women in their emotional experiences. As a result we’d prefer to shift them out of it as quickly as possible.
It’s from this place where we label women ‘too much’, ‘crazy’ and ask her to ‘get over it’. What our women really want, whether they can articulate it or not, is our presence. Women are highly attuned to presence. They can sense the minutest shifts.
If you want a thriving and live relationship, and yes this includes more sex and better food, getting present is what it takes. Learning to connect with and identify your emotions, getting familiar and comfortable with the sensations in your body in real time is the key to truly connecting with your woman.
Here’s a really simple technique to start connecting with your own emotions and the sensations in your body:
- Next time you’re in a heightened emotional state (maybe you’ve just had a row with your partner, or someone’s cut you off in traffic; your kid’s making you laugh or you’re watching a scary movie), spend a few moments to notice the sensations in your body.
- Get really curious – where are you feeling the sensations: what does it feel like (hot, swirly, heavy, achy, fluttery), how much space does it take up, does it have a texture or a colour (seriously, see it how it wants to be seen, go with it)
- Put a hand on the place in your body where the sensation is most noticeable. Doing this will help you connect with the sensation
- Name the emotion – happy, sad, disgust, fear, surprise, anger. Even if it doesn’t quite fit, pick the one that fits the best. There’s no right or wrong.
I’m hosting a free 1 hour virtual workshop on Oct 2 where I’ll be showing men how to create deeper and more fulfilling connections with their women by being more present. It took me a loooong time to figure this out in my own life. I now have an incredible relationship and I’m excited to share how you can have one too https://show-up-for-your-woman.eventbrite.ca