This one key activity can turn a woman’s “light” out and prevent her from sprinkling her magic in her marriage and the world. What is it?
In the absence of judgement…when a woman is free to be who she is, to feel how she feels and to want what she wants…her life force, vitality and energy are released to the benefit of her own well-being and all those around her.
What does judgement look like? It could be:
- “You want too much!”
- “Make up your mind!”
- “Why would you want to do that?”
- “That’s ridiculous!”
- “Calm down!”
The message behind each of these is you’re wrong, you’re broken, and you’re too much trouble.
If judgement is such a drain on the vitality of women, why do some men do it? There are a few reasons:
- Women are “fast”, and it can freak men out. Women move between mental “tracks” very quickly, and men (who are at their best when focusing on one or two things at a time) can find it hard to keep up. When men don’t know how to handle it, it’s almost a knee-jerk reaction to shut it down because it can be so uncomfortable. In our business, Donna is endlessly creative. She has so many great ideas. When she is excited, they flow out like water over a waterfall. I used to short-circuit, thinking, “How am I supposed to do all of that?” Now I understand that in this moment they are just ideas, and they don’t need to all happen right now. I don’t want to shut her down because her ideas are good for clients, good for business, and most importantly, let her express an important part of who she is. It’s good for her and, therefore, good for us.
- As suggested in the previous paragraph, men can also use judgement as a defense against a potential loss. As mentioned above, men don’t go naturally into losing situations. With that in mind, “Why would you want to do that?” could be cover for, “I don’t think I can deliver.” Men will naturally resist that which they doubt they can achieve.
- Also, if a man is not feeling good in the relationship, or if her request occurs to him as a demand, he is likely to back-up or become defensive. Men move towards what feels good, and they pull away from what feels bad. This pull back can take the form of judgement or criticism.
Of course, men don’t like to be judged either. Like almost everything else between men and women, however, men have a different relationship to judgement than women. Men take the comments of others less personally than women. They can “blow it off” with greater ease.
It’s important to keep the above in mind before jumping to the conclusion that his judgement means he doesn’t love you. I would love to be able to put in place all of Donna’s ideas, but it’s not always possible, or I don’t know how. That’s what was at the core of my reaction, not any contempt for Donna personally. Doubt is a man’s first step in production. Just let him know that you believe in him (“I know you can do it honey!”), or tell him what you’re doing (“I’m just dreaming,” or “It’s something I hope we keep in mind for the future,” or whatever it is for you).
The phrases above, or other similar sentiments, can eventually drain the energy and vitality that undoubtedly drew you to her in the first place.
This is how it could look. A group of women are together and Donna asks them what each of them want that evening. One of them answers, “Nothing,” after which her husband is heard to say, “That’s how I like it.”
In this sort of circumstance, a woman will likely be reluctant to ask her husband for anything because he would get mad or dismissive. Donna has found, in fact, that this is usually the case.
Men, you don’t need to do everything right now. You don’t need to do everything, period. Let her be herself. Don’t worry about keeping up. Just make a point of delivering what you can, when you can. The joy she gets from being “free-to-be” will overflow, and everyone will benefit. Why? Because that’s just another great aspect of who she is.
Do you and your relationship suffer from this sort of all-to-common road-block?
Discover how easily you can flip misunderstood feelings, reactions and communications by joining us for our next “Between Men and Women” Couples Relationship Retreat or by scheduling your private 1-on-1 “Between Men and Women” Intensive Program.
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