Men today are often accused of not being able to communicate, not being affectionate enough or romantic enough. Men often feel misunderstood because of these accusations and it brings about a break-down in communication leading to fights and possibly a relationship breakdown.

Many men I see in the clinic are all complaining of the same thing. They feel their partners criticise and nag them. Men often feel overworked, unappreciated and unloved. These feelings can lead to them losing their self-esteem and brings them to a point where they just stop communicating with their partners altogether and give up on the relationship.

Many times, men get the blame for not communicating when it is the women who do not put their boundaries in place and ask for what they actually want. The men are confused and walking on eggshells so to speak, in an effort to please their partner. There is such a huge misunderstanding there that the respect needed for a healthy relationship disintegrates. The middle ground to interact seems to disappear.

Part of the reason for this is that some men may still have an outdated view on the roles in the relationship. Many think that their partner should take on the role of mum which means they should be looking after the house, feed them, do the washing, and look after the kids. Some men expect their partner to not only do all of this but to look like a million dollars when they come home after a hard day’s work. The moment you step into that “mum” role he will begin to think of you differently and act accordingly. Men and women interact best as equal partners in a communicative relationship.

The lack of appreciation happens on both sides when a relationship fails. Women need to realise that men also need time to wind down and relax. Just because he isn’t interested in your day at work and is irritated the second he walks in to screaming winging children and you being stressed, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care or love you and his children. He also has had a long day and has returned home with his own issues. Nothing to do with you. Perhaps he needs his time to also unwind and relax.

Keep in mind that men seem to be wired differently to women. When they are asked ‘can you do the washing’, they are thinking ‘yes, I can’ but you have not asked him to do it now! So whilst he can do the washing the question is really would he do the washing, now please? So perhaps a more direct communication is sometimes needed. This is all on a subconscious level of course. This different ‘wiring’ creates a difference in perception. So, by the time he has eaten and tiredness sets in and he has fallen asleep at the TV you feeling frustrated because the dishes are left does not help the relationship. For him it may not be a big deal after all the dishes are not going anywhere.

The important thing is when one partner in the relationship starts to feel less equal to the other, communication suffers, fights happen, words are exchanged which we often don’t mean but can’t take back. The whole relationship can be affected. There is always two sides to the argument and men perhaps need to know that some women need lots of affection, romance and need to talk more, Women also need to be aware that our man needs to know he is appreciated for the qualities he does have and that you value his input.

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