- Gender and Relationships
How Women Contribute to Problems in the Home and What You Can Do About It
Why is it that in our culture men are the focus of problems in the home? Why is it that men are supposed to be the source and the cure for problems in the home? Movies, such as "Fireproof", portray men as losers and women as innocent victims. My experience in counseling reveals something quite different. I have seen how women can equally be the source and the cure for problems in the home. In a day when men are portrayed on television, in the movies and in marriage and relationship books as hopeless losers and where women are innocent, I want to paint a different picture showing that both partners in a relationship can be equally guilty of causing problems in the relationship. I also want to show how the problems can be solved together.
Now, before I get too deep in to this I want to say that I am not bashing women, or trying to show women in a negative light. I am simply trying to balance the scales so that your relationship and marriage will have hope and so that you will get the full picture of how to address the problems you may be experiencing.
Too, I plan on writing another article on how men contribute uniquely to problems in the home. So, let's dive in together to this important issue.
Who's to Blame?
Before we get into how women can contribute to relationship problems, we need to talk about how to identify who may be causing the problem to begin with. The saying "it takes two to tango" is so true. Most of the time a relationship problem is caused by both people in the relationship. Maybe one person caused the initial problem. But, often the other responds in a negative way, which causes the cycle of insanity to begin to spin.
The main point I want to get at here is that instead of blaming each other, we need to address the problem and deal with the solution to the problem. Often, we get stuck in the relationship because we play the blame game instead of working to discover the source of the problem and the solution to restoring the relationship.
Though we should not play the blame game, we do need to look at how each partner can contribute in their own unique way to problems in the home. Here, we will look specifically at how women can create problems in a relationship, specifically in marriage.
How Women Can Create Problems in the Home
As I said before, our culture tends to create a picture that men are the cause of all problems in relationships. But, as we know women can be equally guilty for disrupting the relationship. How do women create problems in the home? Following are various ways that happens.
1. Critiquing the man
Women can be guilty of critiquing their man, thinking that they are helping him. My wife has often thought she was helping me, but it came across as a negative critique. The result was an argument. Men hear differently than women do. Your "support by helping" comes across to your man as a put down. Men like to figure things out themselves. They don't like reading the instructions, because they can figure it out. When they get into a jam, then they will be willing to ask for help. But women like to jump right in and do for the man, because they believe that they know better. Remember, women don't know better, they just know differently.
2. Over riding the man when he tries to discipline
Disciplining the children takes both parents. What can happen, though, is that a man will begin to take care of a negative situation with a child, but the woman will jump in and take over, thus making the man feel inferior and resentful. Men want to be involved. They want to be respected. When the woman takes over a situation that he is more than able to take care of, it makes him feel disrespected.
3. Showing a lack of respect
Men want respect from their woman. Just look around at different ways men communicate a need for respect. They do it at work. They become resentful towards a supervisor who puts them down. Gangs shoot each other over a lack of respect. Boys fight in school when another boy disrespects him. Men have affairs, because "she respects me". Later we will see how you can show respect to your man, but for now realize that a lack of respect will create a problem with him.
You can show a lack of respect by over riding him, not valuing his opinion, not listening to him, and even by your facial expressions that communicate that he is stupid. So, be careful with how you approach him
4. Not valuing his opinion
Men have a lot of wisdom to offer. Often, women can be guilty of blowing off their husband's opinion. They either cut him off when he is speaking or they just listen with an attitude. When this happens a problems occurs, with long term consequences. Too, by talking to other women about your husband in a negative way shows that you do not value him. This will create a wedge between you and him
4. Using sex as a weapon
Women can create a problem by using sex as a weapon. They will withhold sex in order to get their way. This creates resentment in the man. It tells the man that he is not worth it and that he cannot ever live up to his wife's expectations. So, he begins to walk on egg shells around his wife, which makes the relationship superficial. Your husband needs to know that you accept him no matter what.
5. Lack of affection
One way women can create a problem with their man is lack of affection. For some reason, we get settled into our marriages and stop being physical. He likes to hold you and be close to you. But, when you fail to do this he feels lonely and distant. He feels as if you don't care anymore. Too, giving a half-hearted kiss can create a problem. Be sure to put yourself into it.
6. Lack of appreciation
Men like to feel appreciated. Of course, he does things for you just because he loves you, but he also likes to know that you noticed what he did for you. Being unthankful will put a distance between you and him.
How Women Can Solve Problems in the Home
Just as women can cause problems in the home, so to they can be the solution to those problems. Here's how you as a woman can be the solution to problems that occur in a relationship.
1.Build up your man
Instead of critiquing your husband, use words that are positive and build him up. We all can use words that make us feel good. Use your words to communicate to him that he is worth it. Show him that he matters and that he makes you happy. Let him know that he is amazing. When he asks for your opinion or help, do it in a way that makes him better, but still feels respected.
2. Let him be the father
Sometimes, disciplining the children takes the father, sometimes the mother, and sometimes both. Use wisdom to know when you need to let it go and let him be the loving father. Now, I am not talking about an abusive situation. In that case, you should step in for the safety of the children. But, many men are loving and are just trying to be a good father. They are just trying to teach their kids how to be good people. You will avoid problems by letting go and letting him be the man.
3. Show him respect
As I said men want respect. You can do this by saying that you respect him. He should not have to be perfect for this to happen. He needs to know that you respect him, even though he is not perfect. Too, you can show respect by being happy for his achievements and applauding him. Be his cheerleader. Be his biggest fan. Let him know that you are proud of him.
4. Enjoy unconditional sex with him
Sex is important to a man for a healthy relationship. Even when he makes mistakes, make love with him. Let him know that he has all of you and that you are his. Show him that he matters and that you love being intimate with him. It makes him feel like more of a man. It makes him feel wanted and loved. Put your everything into it.
5. Be affectionate
Hold his hand. Hug him. Snuggle with him. Kiss him passionately. Run your fingers through his hair. Rub his back. Feel his muscles. Let him know that you like being physically close to him. This is what he has been dreaming of for years.
6. Show him appreciation
When he achieves something be excited for him. Be happy even of his smallest achievements. When he does the dishes, when he mows the lawn, when he picks up his clothes off the floor, when he does the little things, let him know how thankful you are. Be positive and happy that he is yours. Let him know that he is a gift that you appreciate.
I am able to write these things, because I have a wife who lives it. She admits when she creates a problem. But, more than that she lives the positive, beautiful things I mentioned. She makes me feel loved, respected and appreciated. You, as a woman, can do the same thing. It's not too late. Just try these things and watch your man warm up to you. It may be difficult at first, especially if you have been stuck in the negative, but you can do it. Your man is worth it.