Ever tell a man your problems? Chances are he came up with ways to fix them. Did you take his advice? Probably not. In fact, more than likely you found his advice more annoying than helpful. Why?
When faced with problems, men and women deal with them in vastly different ways. Men tend to go into “Fix It” mode. They strategize ways to attack the problem. Women prefer to thoroughly discuss the issue. We want our men to empathize over the stress or pain the problem is causing.
I know that when my man immediately starts telling me how to fix my problem, I catch myself thinking “Wow, he thinks I’m totally incapable of figuring this out for myself,” or “Give me a break. As if I hadn’t already thought of all that.” What I’m really wanting is for him to hear and understand what I’m FEELING about the problem.
Just last week we were teaching a class for engaged to be re-married couples, and my husband was giving this great example of how he helped me avoid a crisis by jumping in and “fixing” some of the tasks that were overwhelming me at that moment. There we were in front of the class and I was thinking, “Good for you. But you kinda missed the point buddy. All I needed was a hug.”
It wasn’t until after the class that I realized how much I really did appreciate his help. If I just needed to vent about the tasks I was juggling, I could have called a girlfriend. He was helping me by DOING, and for most men that is their strength. As wives we’ve got to realize that our man sees and handles life differently than we do. Rather than being frustrated by our differences we need to focus on appreciating the strength he adds by his own unique approach.
And every once in a while, when you REALLY don’t want to be given advice, just tell him you need a hug. Don’t wait for him to figure it out!