Wednesday, May 28, 2008

understanding your man - communicating and relating

Yesterday Michael and I had this really good conversation about women and the relationships they have with men. As I was listening to Michael's thoughts on a particular situation, I knew he had to write it down and I knew I had to blog (scroll down) it because I know many, many women don't have a clue (these days) on how to relate to men - mainly because they haven't taken time to understand them, think they have a mind like a womans or they relate to them out of their own (cultural) ideas or woundedness and self-protective stances.

As I've learned to listen to my husband, I realize he has much wisdom for me and for any woman that is desperate enough to hear what a good man has to say about the world of men. When I hear his heart (respectfully) I get clues and tool on how to love him, grow with him and understand this "world of men."

One of the things I've learned is that there are 1o Main Things they want their wives to know about them. I've also learned that I must make Michael my priority.

Here are the thoughts I asked Michael to write down:

Is the man clueless? Not exactly.

GOOD COMMUNICATING: listening well (feeding back some), getting understanding before being understood, speaking words that bring life.

GOOD RELATING: showing actions that bring life and communicate God’s ways.

Are men really clueless when it comes to communicating and relating? Since "clueless" is a derogatory term, a better way to say it could be, "They just really don’t understand."
Here ARE the facts when it comes to men communicating and relating:

The understanding of how to cultivate healthy relationships does not come naturally to a man. Attaining this understanding comes from either being taught - at home (very rare), or taking a class on interpersonal communication skills - how to communicate with your spouse (very rare as well), or this understanding is caught – by observation and contemplation (even more rare – whether it be in the home or elsewhere...not a whole lot of good examples out there today).

If not taught or caught, then the woman in realtionship with this man should assume that the man will not have this understanding, and therefore, will not know how to communicate or relate to a woman in an appropriate way.
If this is the case, then, for a woman (girlfriend, fiance or spouse) to not assume this would be, at best, setting herself up for great disappointment due to unrealistic expectations, and at worst, acting more clueless then the man.

Also, if this is the case (that the man hasn’t been taught this or hasn’t caught this understanding) it’s then good for the woman…

to accept - (delight-in-spite of many flaws) the man for who he is and where he’s really at (not where you want him to be). Since these skills don’t come naturally, work on refraining from taking personal hurts from his lack of skill, and from being than critical and demanding.

to show much grace - be patient (even if it’s for years) and gracious, respectful in your words to him as he communicates or relates poorly - whether he's willing or unwilling to learn. Being gracious has a way of diffusing arguments and bringing in peace to every situation.

If a man is willing to learn, he will, in time, indeed learn these skills. Acceptance and patience and lots of praise (when he does "get it") causes him to learn these skills much quicker, and he's also more inclined to admit it when when he fails. An atmosphere of grace, rather than shame, is one in which people grow well. A realistic expectation is to expect (in the beginning) lots of failures and some successes, and then gradually raise the level of expectation to more successes than failures as he grows in this area.

If a man is not willing to learn how to communicate and relate well, it's time to develop a strategy: for the girlfriend, it's time to start making your way out of the "dead end" relationship.

If you're married to this unwilling man and you're a godly wife, you must then develop a strategy (read 1 Peter 3:1-6) to learn how to show respect to a man who chooses to stay clueless.

[Note from Lylah: For more help on relationships visit my site - Woman to Woman (which can only be viewed on explorer). This so works for me.]

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