For you to get the fullest perspective on this subject, it would behoove you to read both: 6 Ways Men are Set up for Failure in Marriage and its female counterpart - 7 Ways Women are Set up for Failure in Marriage. However, as a continuation to this series about marriage failure, here are 5 more ways men (even good ones) are set up for failure in marriage and relationships:
1) Men are not brought up with good emotional vocabulary:
How do I explain this? Well, think of what vocabulary is. The larger our vocabulary, the greater number of ways and the more specifically we can express ourselves.
Take a look at this emotional vocabulary wheel.
The emotions and feelings in the innermost circle is what we men know and relate to the most…but it doesn’t cut it when we are relating toour loved ones…especially our women.
There is a big difference between:
“You just make me angry!”
“I thought what you did was very disrespectful. I felt humiliated. What specifically frustrated me is that we have had this conversation multiple times and that frustration is really making me upset.
When you have a low emotional vocabulary as a man, you can’t communicate your feelings properly, therefore you are reactionary, you are brash, you speak with no filters, you are insensitive in your words and because you have not properly expressed exactly how you feel, you have not given your woman the tools (in terms of understanding your situation) she needs to actually help solve the problem!
YOU become your own worst enemy. YOU become the cause of your own frustration.
Men, you say you want a woman who understands you? Well, open your mouth and communicate. HELP her understand you. Understanding you does not happen by osmosis. - Tobi
2) Men are not quick to see the intellectual side of women:
How do I say this without sounding like I am just trying to score points with my wife? Hmm….
You know what, my life revolves around scoring those points so whatever.
For real, though. We men are set up for marriage frustration when we are not taught or shown the intellectual and smart side of women.
We end up going into marriage and not getting the most out of the partner God has given us. We end up spending more of our resources and our energy to solve problems alone when there is someone quite capable of sharing the load.
A woman is like a James Bond’s car. Packed will cool features and gadgets. Guns, missiles, multi-terrain capability, bullet-proof windows and so on. A man that does not see his wife’s intellectual capabilities to make it through life is like James Bond trying to escape the bad guy in his car but not knowing those features exist at all. It’s not the fancy look of the car that gets James out of trouble. Never. It’s always what’s hidden inside.
We make decisions on our own…we take risks on our own, we solve problems on our own and so on.
In fact: Men that don’t see the incredible intellectual capacity of their wives are like kids that get a toy gift but refuse to take the battery that will make it…GO. Put her intuition to use and you will thank me later.
A woman’s intuition sometimes works better than a million computers. (TWEET THAT)
Let me take a section from a previous article I wrote titled: “Husbands (Pt2) 10 Things To Do To Make Your Wife Go GOOGOOGAGA Over You (Without Spending Money)"
We men sometimes find it easier to share the OPERATIONAL burden of running the family but we don’t often share the VISION burden. We partner with our wives on stuff that has to be done but not on deciding what to do. We partner with our wives on picking up the kids, dropping off stuff at the post office, grocery shopping, car-sharing, scheduling, sex, more sex, and all these operational things that get us through the day. But when was the last time you sat your wife down and asked her for her thoughts and help on creating a vision for the family for the next year? When was the last time you got your bonus check or salary, and came home, sat your wife down and asked for her advice on how that money should be spent? When was the last time you asked for her advice on what to do about your career and the direction its going?”
We are set up for relationship frustration when we don’t realize that women…our wives are POWERFUL resources in solving our life’s and family’s biggest problems.
3) Men don’t hold men accountable for good family behavior.
For some reason or the other (some legitimate), men don’t challenge each other to be better husbands. We don’t call our friends out when they do foolish stuff that will hurt their home or their wives.
We don’t get together to get ideas of how to be better husbands…how to help our women understand us…how to understand our women. Most of us don’t have other men we look up to in that area.
In fact, some of us married men need to watch our tongue…trying to feel cool with the fellas and talking down about women…while your wife is at home playing superwoman….juggling the kids (and you’re Kid#1) and managing your life.
Now don’t get me wrong…this does not mean you cannot share what you are going through with those you trust if you are going through stuff, what I am saying is that we need to be careful not to use our own tongues to create the woman we don’t want.
The other part is that men are not emotionally there for other men: We don’t help each other solve emotional problems. So even for the ones among us who are legitimately going through a hard time at home and want to step up and try to solve those problems, we are not there for them as much.
4) The (VERY UNTRUE) notion that women are more emotional than men:
Who are we fooling? We men hide behind broad shoulders and deep voices but we are just as emotional as women. We may have different ways of dealing with emotions, we may have varying levels of intensity of these emotions, but I dare say that perhaps one of the most misleading, damaging, potentially combustive notions about men and women’s emotions is that men and women have different emotions. Sure, they may vary in intensity, in time, in triggers…but they are the same.
When we men go into marriages thinking that THEY (women) are the emotional ones, we are simply turning ourselves into pieces of wood when it comes to the emotional environment in the home.
It may shock your wife at first, but you must participate in the emotional space.
If you don’t do this, you will never know what it is like to be on the other side of the table when your wife is full of emotions and expressing it. You will never be able to connect with her pain because YOU never connected with yours. You never let yourself FEEL.
Again, taking a cue from Christ….we say that Christ is an advocate in Heaven for us. However, what makes him a great advocate is that he took time to FEEL what we feel so that he knows how to defend us and be there for us.
As a husband, if you don’t allow yourself to FEEL and connect with your emotions… you will never be able to be there for your wife when her emotions are getting the best of her.
5) The notion that saying “I am sorry…and meaning it” is weakness.
Think about it fellas, did you ever hear those words come out of your father’s mouths. To their wives, their children, the postman, the lady at the bank, their friends?
We grow up having this undertone that apologizing and saying “I am sorry” means we “lost” or that we are weaker…but nothing is further from the truth in the home.
More importantly, that machismo that we often feel we need in order to survive out there in life does not work well for the advancement of our homes.
Being able to say I’m sorry at home…and meaning it, actually builds the home. It builds the family. It builds a culture of accountability. In fact it provides a safe environment for everyone to make mistakes when they know they can apologize and be forgiven.
So leave the machismo at the door when you get married. You wife needs to be able to hear “you’re sorry” when you mess up.
There you have it. If you have made it to this point, one thing is certain you are interested in having a great marriage. I pray that God will honor that and give you great insights that will make that a reality.
The sad thing is that the frustration these points cause are not just felt by the man. They are felt by his wife and children. If any one of these applies to you, prayerfully work on it. BEING AWARE IS ALREADY HALF THE BATTLE.
Tobi Atte is a certified Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, motivational speaker and the writer behind IJustMetMe, a lifestyle website for young adults who need a good dose of daily inspiration to tackle tough life issues. Tobi is also the author of the new book How to Make Sure Your Values are Aligned: A Guide to Avoiding Relationship Frustration. For more on relationships, motivation, fresh perspectives on faith, personal improvement and more, read/learn more at www.ijustmetme.com, watch him on YouTube HERE and download his free e-book HERE.