Ok guys, this one’s for you.
I get a lot of mail and comments from men who struggle in their marriages or have recently gotten divorced. These guys are looking for material, groups, and the like focusing on their needs during relational turmoil. I tell them I can’t really speak to all of that, because I’m not a guy. They express severe lack of resource, both online and in a general understanding within our population – I can’t disagree.
But I can agree that universal truths about relationship are essentially gender neutral. I can see their point, and I admire their hearts to want to know more.
So…Let’s unpack this and get real.
In my mere 46 years on this planet, I’ve witnessed a lot of water cooler talk and cocktail party talk where wives are described as crazy and controlling.
True confessions: I have been the crazy and controlling wife. It’s not a good look on me. I hated it so much, I began exploring the impetus of my actions and am prepared to share with you what I’ve found.
My theory is that behind every ‘crazy’ wife, there is a man who enabled it or made it necessary. I know this isn’t the case for everybody – there are always outliers, as some people only find their happiness in being unhappy.
AND – that being said, all of us (including you, including your wife) are responsible for our own actions, regardless of the circumstance. But understanding one another is a key to success in life. Understanding ourselves and each other is important for success in relationship.
This short post certainly cannot cover the myriad of reason your wife might be unhappy in your relationship. But it might shed just a sliver of light …
Here’s the #1 reason she’s mad all the time:
She's longing for connection.
The problem is, she might not even know it.
This gets complicated because many of us are unaware of our basic need to know and be known by those we love. We're hurt, our unresolved pain prevents us from connecting. But when we feel disconnected from you, we take it personally – and if we don’t have good tools in our emotional toolbox, or have a high enough EQ, we will take it out on you.
Maybe you both are incapable of real connection because of unresolved issues from your pasts.
A lot of us are like this I think.
So we go thru the motions, and we medicate, we compartmentalize – because that is easier than dealing and doing the work it takes to know ourselves and each other.
We get the best jobs, we live in the best houses, drive the nicest cars, send our kids to the best schools and center our entire world around the maintenance of all of this and call it #blessed.
We’re so happy! If somebody’s pissed off all the time, no – you’re not.
Don't get me wrong, there is nothing terrible with any of these things in and of themselves, but they cannot replace the true connection and desire for intimate relationship we crave (sometimes unknowingly) in our hearts.
The pressure of living this way results in one of two outcomes: It either busts straight out; in the form of general pissed-off-ness. Or it deadens our hearts. Meaning, we convince ourselves we don’t need or never wanted this type of connection in the first place. And, that we shouldn’t have wanted or needed it.
Now, I've read all the books guys and I’ve learned, for you, connection means sex. I can accept that. I like sex too.
But you'll have to admit, sex with no connection is usually not much better than meh. Sex with a partner who you’re in tune with is usually good. But sex with someone you love and are connected to deeply is almost indescribable. I think you see where I’m going with this whole connection thing.
So, how do you do this? Is it even possible?
Well, I’ve read about it in books, so I know it is possible. Here’s the first step:
Trust me, there is nothing sexier and more attractive than a man who can know and understand you fully. A man who can see you for you, flaws, and all, and has the strength love you anyway.
And there is nothing more frightening.
I remember this time in college – during a floor party, a boy from my dorm came into my room. I knew him, as we had several classes together. He sat on my bed and looked me straight in the eye.
So, tell me, who is Sara? What makes you, you?
I froze - shit, this is too much, I thought. So, I answered,
Where’s the keg?
I think I mumbled some sort of bullshit at him and took off running, right out of my own room.
There are many reasons I couldn’t answer that boy that night – many justifiable reasons, even. But the point was, he wanted to know me – the real me – and I was incapable of showing that to him.
Many of us are still stuck in our 18-year- old selves – unable to ask; unable to answer this very important question.
But our hearts are longing for it.
And, we need you - more than you know, more than we know.
No one wants to be mad all the time... that life is no fun.
So, guys, I hope this helped. Start here and next week, I’ll share three more things you can do to help find connection with your wife.