Women hate it when guys try to change their viewpoint. Yet all guys seem to try this, even after it has ignited anger in the woman. Woman see this effort as discounting their view leaving them feeling devalued, particularly when she is telling her partner why she feels hurt, sad or in some way sharing her pain.
So why do guys persist in doing something that is aggravating at best and often hurtful? Well they don’t do it to aggravate their partner, that’s for sure. Men desire a happy partner, particularly happy with them. Yet, if they want a happy partner why don’t they contribute to their partner’s happiness by simply listening and making supportive comments?
Here are three reasons. The most important thing to keep in mind is that men actually believe they are being helpful when they try to alter their partner’s point of view. Second, men are uncomfortable being exposed to pain and try to find a way to make the pain go away rather than sitting with the pain. Third, men really dislike being around pain that they have caused, so they really want to make this pain go away quickly.
So from a man’s point of view, pain that is shared is unfavorable. If a woman shares her pain with another woman, then this suggests to the other woman that she has been selected to be a close friend, not so with a man. He is searching the pain for the cause so that he can make it go away, particularly if he senses that he has contributed in any way to the pain.
Women must help men to understand their need for him to simply “sit beside her pain”, not to try to make the pain go away. Women have the strength to manage their pain but men think they must make it go away. A woman’s effort to share her pain is her way of coping with the pain.
It helps to give words to your pain. It helps you feel connected and secure to be able to share your pain. But men simply don’t know. Even when you tell them, they will have difficulty believing it because men fail to give words to their pain, which is probably one reason men are more likely to use drugs and alcohol to kill pain.
When you are hurting, tell your partner explicitly you need him to just listen (in a vulnerable tone of voice!). When he has done so, then tell him you want a hug. After this, tell him how helpful it is to you to be able to share your pain. If he is a source of the pain, then follow the same directions but you must avoid speaking in an aggressive tone of voice because this will trigger your partner to look for a way to make the anger to go away instead of simply sitting with your pain in a loving, caring manner.