Guys like to fix things. It’s in our genes. Man the tool maker! Here in Saranagati Village, something is always breaking down; the water system, the road grader, rotor tillers, tractors, cars, you name it. If a car breaks down, every guy will at least open the hood and poke a few things before caving in and calling a tow truck.
There is one thing, however, that often freaks guys out and that’s the thought of working on their marriages.
Does this sound familiar? Your wife starts to tell a “problem” and you see the logical solution. Out of love you explain the solution but you begin to notice her eyebrows starting to furrow, she crosses her arms and either starts to cry, gets frustrated or maybe even gets angry. Warning sirens go off in the back of your brain, along with a recorded message that says “Retreat, retreat.” If you have been there, along with 99.9% of us, welcome to the brotherhood! E-high fives and e-hugs.
Hot Tool: Use this in the above mentioned situations. The tool below works better than a vegetarian Leatherman knife. Take a small pocket size card and write on it:
RESIST THE URGE TO FIND A SOLUTION (In capital letters and underlined in red.)
(A) When ________________________________happened, (repeat what she experienced in your own words) I’m guessing that you felt___________________ ( take a wild shot at it- try words like sad, frustrated, disturbed, alone, angry, depressed, unsupported ,etc.)
(B) If she says no,
(C) Ask her to tell you more
(D) Repeat step A until you can guess what she felt.
Note: If she sees the card, quickly swallow it.
Dudes, that’s it! It’s so simple. Just let her know you understand what she felt and she will be looking at you like a knight in shining armor and will feel connected and protected. Most of the time, all our wives want is a little hug and to be understood. That’s it. There was nothing to fix! It’s such a relief when you figure that one out.
Hey! There’s a lady readin’ this! Well, if you read this far, here is a tool for you too.
Hot (kitchen) Tool for Ladies: If you have experienced your husband withdrawing when you are looking for empathy, resist the urge to tell your husband, “We need to talk.” That’s likely to cause him to batten the hatches and submerge. Make a request like, “Can we have some time to connect?”
Guys are wired a lot differently than ladies and are more comfortable with the concept of connecting than talking, although connecting involves talking. We are a living paradox, sorry.
Men are less emotive than women and often men fear that working on their marriage or taking marital education will pressure them to give up their masculine nature and become like a woman. Men need to be accepted for what they are, just as you do.
Many marital problems have their roots in our need to feel loved and connected and in misunderstandings of each other’s nature as to how we approach connection. These misunderstandings can become like a wedge, which if tapped enough, can decrease the sense of connection and split a marriage in two.
Men tend to shy away from marital education due to a fear that they will have to “talk” about their problems. Good marital education empowers couples to focus on and nurture their heart to heart connection, gives them a vision to avoid common pitfalls, equips them with tools and skills to negotiate challenges and helps them appreciate and build on the good things they have in their marriage.
Seminars and retreats designed by the Grihastha Vision Team are designed so men and women can learn to understand and honor their differences in a way that will strengthen their heart to heart connection for the betterment of their marriage, family, and Prabhupada’s mission.
Guys, we don’t have to be afraid of working on our relationships. We just need some cool tools.
Reproduced with permission from vaisnavafamilyresources.org.