*In this article I refer to the masculine/feminine as male/female for simplicity; however, we all have both within us and you may relate differently.
Men can appear to have a more simple approach to life than women. They can focus singly on the task at hand, such as working on a project, making money, making their partner happy, or relaxing. This is very unlike their feminine counterpart who is acutely aware of everything surrounding her and wants to share it. This dissonance in focus can cause problems in communication, especially when it comes to what men want from their partner.
While the masculine energy wants to complete a task or goal in order to get to peaceful nothingness, the female energy wants to connect with all things, receiving and dancing with life. Her presence can deplete him or fill him up, depending on how conscious they are with each other. So when one partner wants to connect the dots to finish the puzzle, and the other is talking about what the individual dots look like, it’s no wonder that couples get tripped up in their communication.
More vs. Less
We can simplify this difference further to a less vs more mentality. The masculine wants nothing more than to feel at peace and have internal quiet. The woman, however, is acutely aware of her surroundings. This can cause tension, which makes her want to talk about it and plan with anyone she trusts. She wants to know more about what happens around her and to feel connected to all things.
The searching for more will feel like “drama” to the masculine, who is searching for less. If he is not strong in his masculinity and presence, he can be knocked down by her storm - and that is a skill he must learn. The feminine must also do her own part in strengthening the relationship, by being mindful of her partner’s needs. It is through learning to communicate with each other’s languages that we become unstuck and can move forward.
Happy Wife, Happy Life?
I often hear the saying, “happy wife, happy life,” and there is some truth to it; although the masculine seeks peace, he also wants to feel love from his partner. If he believes that nothing he does is good enough or that her attention is elsewhere (the kids, work, or anywhere but him), he will feel that he has lost her love. If she is not in a place of love, he cannot be at peace.
In her song What a Girl Wants, Christina Aguilera sings, “Whatever makes me happy sets you free. Whatever keeps me in your arms, I am thanking you for giving it to me.” Ladies, your happiness sets him free. He is tormented by not succeeding in the goal of your smile, and he will feel the loss of your love with hurt, withdrawal, and anger.
How To Be Mindful With The Masculine
1. Show love and appreciation for him. Yes, men want you to be happy, but they also need to know that they are loved and appreciated. Using words, acts of kindness and touch are just some ways to illustrate your affection.
If you aren’t sure what is working or what he needs, check out the 5 Love Languages Quiz by Dr. Gary Chapman, to see how you both best give and receive love.
2. Tell him how he can PROVIDE for you. When working with a woman, I will coach her to use language that speaks to the masculine. Since he wants to provide for you, tell him what will make you happy, feel loved, or for your world to be more peaceful.
Using specific language is much more motivating than giving demands or passive-aggressively poking at him until he “gets it.” Thinking that your partner should be a mind reader because they love you is a common trap that couples fall into.
3. Talk things out, but with mindfulness. Men have a tendency to shut down if women give them too much while talking. Communication is important, so try strategies that respect his need for peace while accomplishing what you need. Try to:
Set a time limit on the conversation.
Ask him to hold space for you, so you can get everything out. Wait for him to agree and be ready, so you aren’t hurt by his lack of presence.
Tell him specifically what you want him to remember out of all you said, how you would like to be supported, and if there is something he can provide.
4. Listen to him when he talks. When your husband approaches you to talk, it can be hard to listen when you have a million things going on in your head, but it is important. Women are great at putting their own needs aside for a better time, while men prefer to deal with things NOW. After all, this will find them peace faster!
He wants to be heard. And if he feels that you are choosing the dishes, work, the kids, or all of the other things over his needs, he will feel put aside and will shut down. Putting off his needs is a fast way to begin a dance of disconnection.
5. Get out of your head and into your body. When you are focused on all of the things that need to get done, aren’t getting done, and that you have done, you are bound to feel tension. Tension makes women reactive, and do things that aren’t always in alignment with who she truly is. So take time to get into your body; rest, dance, get a massage, exercise, or find something that gives your busy brain a break.
6. Set boundaries for yourself. Try to reduce further tension in your life, and find time for self-care by setting limits around your time and energy. Identify what you need help with and ask in a firm and loving manner for that help. If you are not taking care of yourself, you will not be showing up in your relationship - and if you are not showing up for your man, he will know it.
When you look at what men want from their partner or vice versa, it is that we all want to feel loved and appreciated. In order to achieve that, both partners must be willing to make an effort to understand their partner and make changes in their own behavior. While one person can’t change the whole relationship, they can change their half - which then can become the catalyst for bigger change.