Why Men “Don’t Listen”

Couples often struggle because of miscommunication between one another.  There are some very common needs of men and women for proper communication to take place in a relationship.  Making these simple changes in the way that you communicate with a man can make a big difference.

Men like to be quiet when they have trouble at work, intense feelings, or other stressful events.  They often spend  time alone or with friends to understand what they are feeling.

They need a woman to communicate by doing the following:

  • Give Space- When they go to think or watch the football game they need that time alone to think
  • Reaffirm and Praise- Let him know how much you appreciate him helping.  After you politely ask for his help, praise him as he changes the oil or helps in the yard
  • Validate- When he comes back from taking space he still needs to know how great he is (Men can be more self-conscious than woman without validation)
  • Don’t give unwanted advice- A man will come to you and ask for help when he really needs it

I met this woman who said this about her boyfriend: “When he vacuums or helps in the yard, I tell him “Good Job, and he smiles and finishes.  I know I can vacuum twice as fast as he can and it will be done better.”  First, she got over her compulsiveness to have these items be perfect.  Then, instead of nagging him to help, she praises what he does.

Men often take care of themselves first.  This can lead to communication struggles in relationships.  Try not to take it personally when he needs space.

When we learn how to love a man in this way, the communication becomes easier.  I know it seems like men are “inattentive, assholes,” but learn to love them for who they are, not what you wish they could be.  Often they will return the gesture.


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