The man in your life is immersed in something.
Let’s say it’s watching a football game. You are trying to mention something to him and he does not respond. It’s getting to be bath time for the kids and you’d like help. He’s on the couch and staring at the TV. He MUST know it’s bath time, and he MUST CERTAINLY be noticing the circus of activity around him.
You notice that the family room still has toys on the ground and since you cannot relax when your environment is screaming at you, you start to pick up the family room – while he’s still staring at the TV.
You’re tired. In fact, you’re exhausted. You’ve been busy all day, you’ve spent the day taking care of others, maybe the laundry, maybe you were at work for part of or most of the day. And look at him. He has no problem sitting there with his feet up, relaxed and immersed in this game and there’s still all this stuff that needs to be done to get the house in order and get the kids what they need, and he seems totally oblivious to it!
Hm – maybe he’s doing it on purpose because he wants to put the burden on me?! How selfish!!
So, now you/re walking past him, and in front of the TV 16 times back and forth attending to the needs of others (and not yours) and he has the nerve to cheer during a play. Now you’re hot.
So when you have to go start the bath water, or change a diaper, or answer the phone, or fold the throw blanket that someone carelessly “threw” onto the chair…now you’re not just walking past the TV – you are a 2 ton elephant and you STOMP across the floor.
And there he is. Still watching the game. It would almost be comical if it weren’t so hurtful. Now you feel ignored. So – he doesn’t want to help? Fine. You’ll do it myself – like you always do….you stomp away, leave him to his game (or you could also add the option of making a comment as you’re leaving the room about how oblivious he his).
When he’s done with the game and comes to find you to get ready for bed – or tell you the amazing score of the game – and – you’re hurt and closed off. He senses it or asks what’s wrong and you say “nothing” which is a lie. Or you say, “I’m exhausted” and don’t explain why – to which he figures that once again he’s done something wrong and closes off because he can’t figure out what he has or hasn’t done wrong and feels like he can’t please you….and it goes downhill from there.
Can anyone relate?
I could probably make this post pretty short and week by simply saying – whatever seems instinctive when it come to men….do the opposite. The end.
But, honestly, I want to spend a little more time with you on this subject – only because it’s just THAT important. So I’ll elaborate a bit.
It is kind of funny how completely different God made us in our ability to relate to one another.
Women with our diffuse awareness
Men with their single focus.
Women with their 13,000 words, and men with their 3 (laugh).
Actually I once heard that men and women use the same number of words – it just seems like women use twice as many because they have to REPEAT everything they say!
Women process information – OUT LOUD. We literally process WHILE we speak, which is where the term “venting” comes from.
As we are verbally processing information, we are also emotionally and mentally processing it. We are literally solving it as we go!
Men do the opposite. They process silently. They often times need to do this alone. As in, by themselves – quietly. They will mentally and emotionally process – and then WHEN THEY’RE READY they will come back with an answer or solution.
The funny thing about men and women is that because we think, speak and relate so differently, it opens up opportunity for a lot of misunderstanding. When we misunderstand what it is that we think we are seeing and hearing from men, we take it personally and tend to dive into our “instinctual” drives rather than our better senses.
What would happen if we did not see men as hairy misbehaving women? (That term comes from genius relationship expert Alison Armstrong)
What if men didn’t see us as emotionally indulgent men?
So, you see…the things we take personally, we shouldn’t. It literally has nothing to do with us. The things we don’t take personally – when we think the guy’s just behaving like a jerk, he may have actually been responding to us.
Now, of course there are exceptions, and extreme cases. but for the most part. This holds true.
So – how and why do we accidentally dive into that react mode when relating to a man and we’re triggered by something he does, (or does not) do?
I love how Alison Armstrong puts it – “an eclipse of human spirit.” Our divine spiritual being is there the whole time – that whole new nature in Christ, but it is being eclipsed, or overshadowed by a triggered response when there is a perception of a threat to one’s survival.
When we are feeling tension in relationship, it often means we are reacting from that eclipsed sort of instinctive place rather that from our spirit.
And this is important to remember because it is the baseline for how you will respond in relationship, and it will drive the direction of your interactions and determine the success of that relationship. This is important stuff!
To be continues…….