Men and women are very different in their genetic makeup. It’s why we get so confused all the time. Conflicts over not understanding each other’s basic needs can lead us to thinking that maybe the most natural relationships are formed with the same sex. Do same sex marriages have to deal with understanding a different language coming from their partner? Or do they think with the same core values and therefore reduce the number of arguments they have? The answer is of course, no.
In any relationship you need two contrasting set of people. The principles of relationships are that you have a provider, a protector, someone who nurtures, loves and can empathise. However these attributes very rarely come from the same human. For example it could be argued that someone who is very good at protecting is less able to empathise. They may be more logical therefore to understand illogical emotions is hard. This is why opposites attract, because to live a happy life you need elements of all these qualities.
Anyway, enough about men and women. Let’s just focus on men. What we need, why we need it and how we can ensure we are happy.
Masculine men always seek freedom. This doesn’t mean they can’t have freedom within a marriage. Or that they will be hunting other partners. It means there is a natural urge to not be tied down to any particular situation, whilst most will crave a life partner and enjoy being part of a pack, they still want to have a slice of their own self. Away from work, children and wife. This is why so many men need alone-time. You may know this from our previous article about the Gentleman’s Cave, a little area in your life where you can do whatever you please, surrounded by the things that are you.
It is during these times of solitude than we can really work out where we are in our lives. Men tend not to talk through their emotions as much as women, so we need to really contemplate what is going on with ourselves emotionally. One of the best things a man can do for himself is working out what is going on with him.
We often mask asking ourselves the simple questions such as how we feel or if we are ok, because we don’t want to deal with the emotion or letting go. You might sit in your man cave and plan your trip to Super Bowl 2019 to avoid dealing with the little niggle of unhappiness that keeps rising up in the back of your mind. You need to stop doing this.
Spending time alone, relaxing and letting all the daily buzz drift out of your mind is the perfect time to suss out what is going on with you. There will be a voice in your head that tells you. You need to be very honest with yourself. Discovering there is an issue such as being unhappy with a certain area in your life, doesn’t mean you need to break down into a ball of tears and beg others to help you. You aren’t going to lose control just because you admit to a problem. Infact addressing emotional issues with your usual logic is by far the best way of dealing with them You need to take action.
Of course the most simple way of doing that is to make a list of all the areas that have caused your concern. Write down each one and then when you have your list together, go back to the start and try to consider what it is that would fix the problem. Solutions are very often easy to find if we create some kind of order. Perhaps you aren’t feeling happy about your career, you feel you need a promotion or even that you have reached your potential working for your boss. The answer is really quite simple if you write it down. You are unhappy at work, what is the solution? You need to find an alternative. Once you have the problem and the solution in front of you, the middle bit is pretty simple. You work on how to connect the two.
Women do this by spending 2 weeks talking about the problem followed by 6 weeks getting advice from their friends, family and you, then ignoring all of that and doing their own thing anyway. They are more emotionally connected to the problem and the solution. The joy of being a man is that we are more logically connected to both. We can join the dots with precision and master our way, step by step, to our own happiness. We just have to be honest with ourselves.
Men often need space in a relationship. We tend to be more reflective and take our time to consider a situation, whereas women will react very quickly to emotion. Often women will realise there is a problem before we are even aware of it ourselves, they have a built in intuition. It isn’t something magical, it is called empathy. An empath is someone who can feel other people’s emotions and so it can be pretty exhausting for them as they experience a problem before others. Have you ever found yourself getting annoyed because your partner has asked “are you ok?’ about 6 times since you walked through the door. You say you are ok, because you think you are, get annoyed because you are being asked the same question repeatedly and then, maybe a few days later, you realise there is something at work that is just making you unhappy. Well, women realise that before you even know there is a problem. Clever aren’t they?
Alone time is something which we can’t get even when we are with a group of other guys. Women find this hard to understand. To them, guy time is the same thing. If you have spent an evening out with your pals then you need a little space the next day, they can become confused and annoyed. However spending time with other men is a distraction from reflecting on the important things and this is a sure fire way of making a bigger problem out of something relatively small.
You do need to allow yourself guilt free, alone time but whilst doing this it’s important to ensure your partner understands it isn’t a reflection of how you feel about them. It is just how you process things, a little like she may process things better when she is with the girls. You need to reassure your partner that you love them so if you think you are a little guilty of taking too much time in your garage, working in solitude on your car, make a little effort to show her she is still the centre of your world. Don’t be upset if your other half feels concerned about why you are hiding yourself away. You need to talk and explain how you work. Then you can make sure that those few extra hours in your sacred man cave, are safe and not about to be invaded by an angry mob (your family) all demanding you get indoors and get involved.
Balance it. But don’t give up your need for space.