There will be always be a certain amount of stress in all of our relationships. No two people are ever going to agree on everything. And there are also other challenges that we face in communication and intention as well. But with that being said, there are also certain attitudes that we, as men, have that cause undue stress in our relationships. So I want to offer three ways to combat and minimize that stress:
1. Always Being Right
I think, as men, we believe we were endowed with the unalienable right to not only be right, but for our wives and women in our lives to validate they understand that we are indeed right. This notion will get us in a lot of trouble.
Women think differently than we do. They interpret things differently, they understand and see the world differently. I have learned that if I take the time to see her perspective instead of mine, not only is she correct, sometimes, but I wasn’t looking at the situation the right way from the beginning.
The bigger takeaway here is that it doesn’t matter if you are right or not, you need to do what is necessary for both of you to be happy. Sometimes, this means agreeing to disagree. Sometimes, this may look like sitting down and writing the pros and cons of a situation together to gain a mutual understanding.
Tip: Whatever the challenge is, it’s your job to find a way to minimize the stress level to get past this situation for both you and your wife. Being happy always trumps being right.
2. Being Mad and Staying Mad
Many of the couples I have worked with consider the idea idea of not going to bed mad. It’s a good premise, but I think it needs clarification. Not going to bed upset doesn’t necessarily mean the situation is resolved. Some things simply take days, weeks or months to resolve and there is no way around it.
But what we can do is sit down and talk through things to make sure that even if we aren’t in agreement, we are not upset with each other about not being in agreement.
If we go to bed mad or not speaking, then the next morning, we have the same feelings and we are holding the same animosity. We can have differences of opinion, but we always have to consider that we are on the same team. If you are waking up with animosity, this mindset is bringing stress to your relationship. Talk it out the day before.
Tip: Agree to disagree, but agree to let it go until another day and love each other regardless of ANY situation.
3. Being Insincere
Never antagonize and never patronize. If you are patronizing your wife to get her to stop talking, you may not sleep on the couch, but you might as well, because your side of the bed is going to be as cold and lonely as sleeping on the couch.
Patronizing doesn’t solve anything. It usually causes her more stress. Don’t do it. Antagonizing anyone is rarely ever a good idea and antagonizing someone who isn’t seeing your point is a horrible idea. Pushing her buttons is only going to keep the volatile conversation going. It might make you feel in the moment like at least you are being heard, but if you continue to push an issue just to push, it will add stress to the situation and end up being a detriment to the relationship.
Tip: Sincerity wins each and every time. Be compassionate and honest about what you want to say or share. Being sincere without patronizing is all she wants—your honesty.
If you have a stressful relationship and you can master these three simple tips, you will see the stress level decrease and the romance increase between you and your wife.