Today, I want to talk to all of you men out there. I want to know whether or not you take the feedback and the advice that your partner offers you. When your girlfriend or your wife is concerned about something, do you take it seriously or do you resist their feedback?
So, the reason that I ask, is we know from a great body of research that one of the things that thriving couples who stay together do is that the men in those relationships accept influence from their female partners. And, we also know the contrary to be true, we know that men who do not accept influence from their partners tend to be in relationships that don’t do so well and may not stay together for the long haul.
What I think is really interesting is when we take that research and we overlay it with the ways in which men and women have been enculturated differently. We don’t teach men how to pay attention to their feelings. We don’t really teach them the core qualities of being a great life partner. But we do raise women to pay a lot of attention to relationships and feelings.
And so, in my 15 years of work, I’ve witnessed a lot of women become kind of the self-appointed relationship manager for the household. If there’s an issue in the marriage, they’re often the ones to bring it up…not all of the time, but often. And if there’s a concern about one of the kids, they’re also often the one to notice it first, and bring that topic to the table as well. And so, it makes sense how they fall into that role of relationship manager, but then the question is does their partner accept their influence, honor their kind of expertise in this area, and listen to what they’re saying or not? Food for thought.
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