Looking at how can a man mature inside a relationship, we got curious about a situation you might recognize:
Why is it that now so many older women are leaving their marriage past mid-life?
Or why is the job of women to perform the couple’s emotional management and when they get fed up, ask for a divorce?
Looking at the basic misunderstandings between both sides of a couple, the real divide called usually the “battle of the sexes…” is easy to see marriage as a deal where male and female can identify and try to get satisfaction to their human needs, counting with help from his/her partner.
Yes in theory, in life, there is always a difference:
We found that men are much more prone to ignore their own needs, thus getting more inclined to hidden frustrations and resentment when men don’t get their needs met and later perhaps developing passive aggressive behaviors as the only way out.
The situation gets worse because this difference is completely ignored by women, and men give up fast trying to make her understand his needs and so he resigns himself to a life of being not recognized, ignored and disrespected.
How do we get to this situation?
Among the steps that boys must pass through in their development into men there are two important lessons they must learn. The first of these is how to be aware of their mothers’ needs. This awareness is essential for him to be able to depend on her for the satisfaction of his needs. The second step is learning how to be upset about this dependency so to prepare for his future independence.
This permanent ambivalence between dependence and independence will cause the little boy oscillate between learning to be macho and be by himself (not “needing anyone”) and trying to learn how to connect with women. A man’s adult relationships revive the ambivalence he learned at his mother’s side: he is at ease with men, but needs somehow to manage the women in his life to feel completed.
This, then, is one of a man’s permanent developmental tasks: learning how to connect with other men, the world of male companionship, and the very different sphere of learning how to connect with women, traversing the interpersonal desert with his few skills to feel again respected and appreciated.
Here, the risk of not having the skills to connect is clear: the risk of inhabiting the unpleasant spaces of criticism, devaluation, rejection, and, finally, isolation.
This ambivalence, generated by growing up as a male in the hands of his mother (a self-managing female, with perhaps a weak partner), produces anxiety and insecurity. The man is trained to depend on the next female in his life, his wife, to manage this insecurity. But he can’t reveal a word of this quandary:
- How can a man admit his insecurity, when he has to project utter self-confidence to woo her?
- How is he to share his basic anxiety if his prospective mate will be scared to death in the light of such revelations?
Thus, he has to carry on and feel like an impostor, ready to be discovered as a fake, and soon. Insecure, unacknowledged and emotionally torn. What is the worst part of this situation? That the wife doesn’t know a thing about this male predicament. She ignores how and when she is stressing him by making him feel “not good enough” over and over again….
Meanwhile, she has her own agenda. Instead of carefully listening to what her husband says, doesn’t say, or tries to say in a cryptic way, in her desperation for answers to marital conflicts, she listens to relationship experts who tell her “the characteristics of a bad husband and how to change him.”
For the man this is just more of the same, “You aren’t good enough!”
Are you interested in getting more respect to your personal needs?
Do you feel gradually disrespected in public and at home?
Would you like to know how to reposition yourself and recover the power and respect you want to have?
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