Retirement from problem solving as a couple’s win win

The video below is Couples’ Skill Building (CSB) par excellence. We find ourselves witnessing a scene, which might have happened this way or another in your living room or in a typical session of marriage counselling. A woman and a man get into an argument which results in both of them getting slightly frustrated with each other. What starts as a normal conversation turns into marital issue. In less than two minutes we dive into a very common clash of wants and needs in adult attachment and intimate relationships.

Couples therapy will guide you through the various levels of cooperating cognitively and emotionally as a team – as a marriage. What you find in this video is a sharp and precise description of two different modes of operation of the feminine and the masculine energy in action. The conflict arises out of the the husband’s unhelpful reaction to his wife’s way of reaching out to him – connecting with him. In a nutshell: she wants to engage in meaningful conversation; he wants to engage in a problem solving process. Hence the clash!

The feminine energy often engages in meaningful conversation by recounting stories and thereby processing and disclosing emotional episodes. She wants you to shut up and listen. Now: most men misinterpret LISTENING as a state of hibernated passiv standby of the mind – often obviously detached verbally and in bodylanguage. However: listening is the art of connecting with the storyline AND to empathize with your counterpart. Playing quietly with your blackberry is NOT LISTENING.

The masculine energy is often solution focused and finds conversations which aim to solve a problem utterly meaningful. Let’s face it, that is what the feminine energy tends to like about the male brain. Most likely it’s his problem solving mind which made him successful in his job and in sports.

Hang on! You will ask now: So why is it wrong for the man to bring up the nail here? The answer is: It is about the timing. Have you considered and actually heard from her how she feels during this episode? Have you? or have you made up your mind by simply looking at the nail? then thought “well that must hurt, so we need to get this thing out”? Thinking for her, not with her.

The challenge for a lot of my male clients is, to actually accept that all they need to do is LISTEN. The huge benefit of this communication skill is a happy spouse and every other benefit that comes with that. AND frankly: much less effort!

An easy way to learn proper LISTENING is to … see me individually … as a couple … or join one of my men’s groups

Do you hear me?