Men and women show vastly different communication styles, which can make it extra challenging to read your partner. Despite societal changes, women tend to be more verbal about their needs in relationships. Men tend to remain very reluctant sharers, prefer to check out and suffer in silence and often have to be encouraged to communicate when their needs aren’t being met by their partners.
Many women want to know more about what is going on emotionally with their partner. In an effort to help reveal what is on a man’s mind, here are 3 behaviors that men notice and wish their partners would do less of.
- Stop commanding and start suggesting
He doesn’t mind that you want him to do things, but he does mind being barked at. Men have varying responses to commands from their partners. Some automatically respond in the opposite direction. A command makes them feel controlled and prompts them to rebel. Others remember being commanded by their authoritarian parents and they experience shame. Still some blindly obey in fear, but not without resentment.
Naturally, you want to speak to him in a way that won’t bring out the rebellious teenager or a scared bunny rabbit. Try giving suggestions rather than commands and explain the positive impact that it will have on you. This will help your partner understand the importance of it to you. Use language like “It would be meaningful to me if…” or “My anxiety would decrease if you would help me with…” or even, “Do you mind doing ____ when you have time?” Phrases like these might give you a better chance of achieving your desired result.
- Get off your phone!
While your social media, favorite sites and texting with friends are entertaining, there’s a time and place for everything. He doesn’t mind that you are on your phone, but he does mind feeling neglected and marginalized because of your phone. Men need and appreciate attention just as much as you do and if you’re on your phone all the time, they might begin to resent your lack of attention. In addition, men generally aren’t very good at expressing how they feel, so telling you they feel neglected is probably not in the cards.
If your man is watching the big game, occasionally, shut off your devices and try to watch his team and get into the spirit of things as much as you can. If the two of you are driving somewhere and he’s telling you something about his job, a friend, or politics at the office, put your phone away and listen. If you have gotten home first and are in the middle of buying new jeans on your Forever 21 app and your significant other returns home from work, put that transaction on hold and greet him with a smile and a hug. Make sure the devices do not rob you of intimacy and connection.
- Stop with the jealousy!
If your significant other has been faithful throughout your relationship, assures you that he loves you and is clear he wants to continue the relationship, there’s no reason to go through his phone, ask accusatory questions about his female co-worker or become angry every time he interacts with a woman.
Trust is possibly the most important part of a healthy relationship. Insinuating or straight out accusing him of being unfaithful makes him upset that you don’t trust him. No one likes to be falsely accused. By being suspicious and jealous, you are also letting your insecurities and fear of being abandoned run the show. Also, it becomes a burden for your partner to reassure you constantly that he is dedicated to you.
Sometimes you want to be close to someone and don’t realize the subtle things that you are doing to push them away. With a few simple changes on your end, you and your partner can move closer together, instead of further apart.
Written by Kevin Barr, Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, Relationup Advisor.