Whether you believe in ‘nature‘ or ‘nurture‘ when it comes to gender, there tends to be a noticeable difference in how men and women approach problems and challenges. Male and female energy is something we all have a little bit of each, but one is always dominant in every person. These blends in energies impact our day to day lives, but can become even more important when we big changes take place in our lives, such as moving overseas.
This week I wanted to share my personal experience this Christmas, and I think there might be a few of you out there who recognize this in your relationship. This Christmas (my 4th Christmas in Australia) homesickness suddenly hit me like never before. I used all the tips from my previous post on this and it helped with most of it. They key learning here and where I hit the real roadblock was in the communication with my fiancé. On Christmas Day I had been feeling a bit emotional all morning and as we’re sitting in the car to head over and see his family I just started crying (as you might know women tend to use tears to process emotion slightly more so than men).
The emotional and verbal exchange during those 15 minutes went something like this:
Me: I love your family, but I want my family here too! (emotion and tears all over the place)
Him: But we have so much to be grateful for. And we’ll call your parents again to wish them a Happy Christmas if you miss them. (logical response and problem solving)
Me: (internally) He’s right. Why am I so upset? I don’t quite recognise myself. I know I’m welcome here and that I’m loved. Why do I focus on what I can’t have right now? WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?
Him: (internal) Why is she still crying? How can I fix it? I told her the plan, I wonder what else can I do.
Needless to say, I did stop crying after a little while. I did also speak to my family and made sure they all knew how much we were thinking of them.
Now for the tips on how to make sure this emotional overload does not happen to your relationship! You’ve probably heard it before, but most of us need a reminder:
- Men solve problems immediately and to open up the conversation means that you want him to give you a solution now.
- Women share and often solve the problem by talking, getting things off their chest, putting things into perspective and feeling understood.
- That’s why women need to make very clear to the man that this is not a problem solving session, but a listening one (if that’s the case, or you might actually want him to solve that problem).
- Men (generally speaking) find it very important to be appreciated.
- Women (again generalising a bit here) mainly need to be listened to and understood.
I’ll also give you the extra bonus tip here, because knowing all this stuff means nothing if you don’t apply it in a way that will work in favour of the relationship.
- Man: If your woman is upset/sad/crying/ and tells you to go away, generally speaking she means the opposite but is unable to tell you just that. So stay by her side, hold her and love her (even if you don’t understand what’s going on or why). That’s when the emotion settles and she feels safe, loved and understood. She’ll then start sharing with you what’s really bothering her.
- Woman: Make your man feel appreciated by acknowledging the things he does for you (both). Also be as clear as you can with your man. If you are feeling emotional or just want to share something, let him know that this is a sharing session and that you don’t need him to solve it there and then. This allows him to sit back and listen and understand your situation even more.
If you’re curious to read more about male and female behaviour and energy I can strongly recommend two great books on the subject: ‘The Way of the Superior Man‘ by David Deida and the classic ‘Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus‘ by John Gray. The concept of male and female energy is naturally to some extent based on generalisations, but with most clients I have worked with it seems to hold quite accurate when it comes to how to solve the problem and work better together. The male and female energy is present in same-sex relationships as well, so these patterns can be found in all relationships.