Did you know that one of the biggest ways to get yourself into relationship trouble is to expect that you and your partner are the same?
For the last 40 or so years, as women have forged the right to work equally among men in the world, we’ve been trying to see each other as the same.
Having equality is essential, but “equality” is not the same as “sameness,” and this confusion does damage to how we relate to each other, especially in the relationship realm.
The truth is that biologically, we’re not the same. Men and women are hardwired differently. We have different motives and behaviors based on the way masculine and feminine modes of being play out in our life roles and interactions with one another.
Generally speaking, the Masculine Mode is single focused, time bound, and about producing for and protecting the people in their commitment circle.
Feminine Mode, on the other hand, focuses on many things simultaneously, is eternal, and works to support, nurture and enhance the lives of the people around her.
While both offer great contributions to each other, they misread each other most of the time and give advice based on their own perspective. This leads to frustration in relationships when the Masculine doesn’t do things the way the Feminine would do them, and vice versa.
It gets even worse when we are unable to see where our partner is coming from and make them wrong for being the way they are, then we get angry because they can’t be who we want them to be when we’re just trying to help.
Have you ever experienced that? I have.
I was working with a couple recently, and they weren’t seeing eye to eye about work. She is working on a huge time consuming project that she loves, is taking care of her aging mother, and works as a life coach. She spends a lot of time doing all kinds of things that she loves while her sweetheart has a job that he doesn’t particularly like.
He looks at her and sees her doing multiple things and wants to take care of her and help her to focus on one thing. So, he was saying things like, “Stop doing that,” or “Just focus on your project.” But to her, just focusing on her project would be like death. She cares for her mother, she loves her coaching AND she loves the project she’s working on.
She looks at him and sees him in a job that he hates. She hears him express his unhappiness about what he’s doing. She cares about him so she gives him the advice to do something that he loves, because that’s what she, as a woman, would put her attention on. It’s all about life enhancement for women. So she encourages him to do something that will enhance his life. However, her input gets brushed aside because what he’s doing provides for himself and his son. He can’t see himself leaving his job until his 15 year old son is grown.
On the surface it looked like they’re helping each other. But because they didn’t understand how the other one operated in the world, they were unintentionally hurting each other. If this type of conversation gets a foothold in your relationship, it can mean breakup or years of frustration.
When we worked together, he began to understand that his sweetheart loved what she was doing, and the best way to support her was to make sure she was getting some quality down time to nurture herself so she could do what she loved. She got that the best way to support him was to plant seeds for him that would help him leave his job and move onto something more fulfilling when his son was 18.
Understanding how your partner operates in the world not only averts relationship disaster, it creates the foundation for a life of relationship bliss.
If you want to learn more about the instinctual differences between men and women and how to avoid letting them run your relationship amok, I offer Relationship Breakthrough Sessions for Singles, Couples or Partners Flying Solo who are committed to creating Conscious Partnership.
Relationship Navigation Specialist
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