Trying To Understand Your Boyfriend Or Husband Better? How Men Think And How It Affects Your Relationship
By: Dylan Buckley
Updated October 29, 2021
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 husband who does communicate with you but does not do it the same way you communicate with them. This doesn't mean that you need to scrap your relationship. Instead, you might try 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 husband or boyfriend better? If so, here is an analysis of how many men think and how it can affect 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 to get something done, not necessarily to understand the emotions behind the problem. Let's imagine, for example, that you are telling your partner about some recent source 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 that your partner isn't truly listening or that they may not care about your feelings. 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. You can try saying something like, "I would appreciate moral support right now, not solutions."
They Will Use Less Non-Verbal Communication
Men tend to have more direct verbal communication and 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.
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 as the relationship develops. If trust is an issue and you only have their word to rely on, therapy can help.
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 with them is only used to address an issue and identify the right way to fix it. 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 to solve a problem that you may have.
On the other hand, others may want to talk to their partners to learn more about them, talk about their feelings, or get their men 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 talk occasionally. Compromise and openness about communication styles make it easier for you to get what you want out of your interactions with each other.
He May Respond To Negative Situations By Withdrawing
Women often expect their conversations with their partners to be explorative and empathetic as they work through their problems. When they encounter negative situations in their lives, they may want to talk about them with others and express their feelings. This is why you may want to speak to your significant other about your problems when they arise. It helps you feel understood and validated, and it provides you with a source of comfort and support when 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 and themselves, many men still approach emotions by bottling them up or dealing with them 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 independently. From a partner's perspective, this lack of communication may feel like their husband or boyfriend doesn't trust them or 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 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 partners, those who take a leadership role may feel insecure if they cannot take the lead or feel no control over the direction of things in their relationship. They may feel incompetent if they feel like your reminders to do certain things tell them that they aren't doing enough in the relationship or 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. That said, 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 Partner
It can be easy to think that communicating in a relationship is as simple as talking to your partner. Still, we each have unique communication strategies that make it difficult for us to understand how to meet our partner's needs while having our own needs met. The guide above will help you better understand 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 unlikely that you will be able to stay together. The second thing to remember is to ensure that both your and your partner's needs are 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 understand the emotions behind the problem, necessarily you.
Learning how to communicate effectively with your partner can be difficult, 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, ReGain can help. 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. Read below for some reviews of ReGain therapists from couples experiencing similar issues.
"Cris Roman saved my marriage. His approach to therapy taught my husband and me the skills we needed to change the way we communicated and the way we understood each other. He is very non-judgemental and helps each person make sense of the other's feelings and actions without taking sides or placing blame. His ability to make you feel heard while helping you to see and understand why your significant other is acting a certain way is phenomenal."
"With Cassandra's help, we've been able to bring our relationship to a new, healthier, and much happier level, working through painful situations, growing as individuals and as a couple, and with tools to stay on this path. She's very responsive, and it has been great to have her facilitate our messaging through the app all week. I highly recommend Cassandra. She's skilled, supportive, and down-to-earth. We feel comfortable with her."
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