Trying To Understand Your Boyfriend Or Husband Better? How Men Think And How It Affects Your Relationship
Updated March 19, 2020
We all know that communication is important to a relationship, but understanding how your partner communicates isn't always as easy as it sounds. For example, you may have a boyfriend or a husband who does communicate with you but does not do it in the same way that you communicate with them. This doesn't mean that you need to scrap your relationship with that person. You need to learn how to adapt to their communication style and put in the time to make sure that your dynamic makes it possible for you to communicate with your partner effectively.
Understanding how they speak with you begins with understanding how most men communicate with their partners. Are you trying to understand your boyfriend or your husband better? If so, here is an analysis of how most men think and how it affects your relationship.
Men Tend To Be More Practical Than Emotional
Men tend to be more solution-based than led by their emotions. This means that they will often communicate or interact with others in an attempt to get something done, not to understand the emotions behind the problem necessarily. Let's imagine, for example, that you are telling your partner about some of your recent sources of stress. Rather than listening with the intent to validate your feelings or share your experience, they may approach the conversation with the intent to solve your problem instead.
When you and your partner engage in this kind of conversation dynamic, and both sides have different goals, you may feel as though your partner isn't truly listening or that they may not care about your feelings (you may think you're complaining to them as well), and your partner may get defensive if you believe these things about them. You must help them understand you may not want a solution. You need to be listened to sometimes.
They Will Use Less Non-Verbal Communication
Women tend to use more body language and will pay attention to non-verbal communication cues to help them understand what the other person is thinking or feeling, especially if they are unsure about what the other person is saying. Men, on the other hand, tend to have more direct verbal communication and will use very little non-verbal body language to get the point across. When you feel like you can't read your man, it can be somewhat frustrating, especially if you tell him to change his communication style so that you can feel more comfortable.
The best way to approach this is to work on building trust in your relationship. You will not need to read your partner if you know that what they are saying is the truth, and you will adapt better to how you interact together as the relationship develops. If trust is an issue and you only have their word to rely on, it is up to you whether or not to continue the relationship.
Conversations With Your Significant Other Will Often Be Brief
As was stated above, men approach most conversations with the intent to find a solution. A conversation to them is something that is only used to address an issue and identify the right way to fix that issue. They may not be as interested in conversations that have no point to them. Therefore, many interactions that you may have with your husband or your boyfriend will be brief since they are speaking with the intent to solve a problem that you may have.
Women, on the other hand, may want to talk to their partner to learn more about them, to talk about their feelings, or to try to get their man to open up. These two conflicting qualities can make it feel as though one partner is difficult while the other partner doesn't seem to care enough, which is not usually true in committed relationships. You must talk about this with your partner to let them know that while you understand some conversations won't require an extensive back and forth, you still want to be able to talk on occasion. Compromise and openness about communication styles make it easier for both of you to get what you want out of your interactions with each other.
He May Respond To Negative Situations By Withdrawing
Because women are more emotional by nature, they expect their conversations with their partner to be explorative and empathetic as they work through their problems. When they encounter negative situations in their lives, they want to talk about it with others and express their feelings. This is why you may want to go to your man with your problems when they arise. It helps you feel understood and validated, and it provides you with a source of comfort and support when you are dealing with something undesirable. It can also demonstrate the intimacy of your relationship since you can be vulnerable and let your partner in with ease.
While we have shed many gender stereotypes that have negatively contributed to the way men have expressed themselves to others as well as themselves, many men still approach emotions by bottling them up or by dealing with it on their own. They may only need to spend some time alone to work past their negative feelings, or they may not feel like talking about it but can handle their emotions on their own. From a woman's perspective, this lack of communication may feel like their husband or boyfriend doesn't trust them or that they don't care enough about them to share these feelings and experiences.
It's important to know that this is a common coping mechanism for many men. They may not need to work through everything with you, and they may not believe that all experiences justify bringing these problems into the relationship. As long as this doesn't negatively impact their mental health or create issues in the relationship, this type of behavior shouldn't be too concerning, and you won't need to take it personally.
Men Respond Better When They Can Lead
No one likes being told what to do, and many men feel as though their partner is trying to control their actions if they are given commands regularly. Although some men may be passive with their partner, those who take a leadership role may feel insecure if they are unable to take the lead or feel that they have no control over the direction of things that happen in your relationship. They may feel incompetent if they feel like your reminders to do certain things are telling them that they aren't doing enough in the relationship or that they are doing a bad job with the things they are doing.
While you shouldn't have to treat your man like a child (and you can certainly talk about the issue of defensiveness if it becomes a consistent basis), you may want to treat certain things as a suggestion rather than as a command. For example, instead of trying to tell them to do something, make it seem like it is their idea instead or that they have multiple choices that they can pursue. This will allow them to feel like they are in charge of their actions. Of course, you should never deal with someone who doesn't listen to you or who has to be told to do things that they need to be doing already.
How To Communicate Better With Your Boyfriend Or Husband
It can be easy to think that communicating in a relationship is as simple as talking to your partner, but we each have our unique communication strategies that can make it difficult for us to understand what our partner needs and how to meet those needs while having our own needs met as well. The guide above will help you to understand better how your man communicates and what you need to do to adapt to this style so you can have a solid relationship with your partner.
That said, there are a couple of things to remember as you make these adjustments. The most important thing is that you and your partner do not take communication issues personally. More often than not, couples do not mean to hurt each other when they act a certain way. If you and your partner continually overreact to these minor issues, it is doubtful that you will be able to stay together. The second thing to remember is to make sure that you and your partner's needs are both met and that you respect how you each communicate. Some things need to be changed, and some things are part of someone's personality. Be respectful, make sure that you are both heard, and don't try to completely change your partner or have your partner to understand the emotions behind the problem necessarily you.
Learning how to communicate effectively with your partner can be a difficult process, and you may need help along the way. Are you and your significant other having issues learning how to communicate well with each other? If so, you should visit ReGain. ReGain is an online-counseling platform that will connect you with a certified therapist who can help you and your partner work through your communication issues. Just hop online when it suits you and get the help you need. Click on the link above to start today!