In this series (see Part 1 here) we are outlining what qualities women are NOT after in a man. The purpose is to shed some light on your quest to be the best version of yourself for your wife’s sake by showing you which qualities you would do best to emphasize in your interactions with her. When a woman marries, she chooses and hopes for certain qualities. The problem is, it’s not always intuitive to a man what particular qualities his woman married him for and which ones he would do better to keep for use at work, with friends, or in the garage.
There is a certain quality that most men find irresistible to display, but that most women don’t appreciate. Picture the scenario in which you’ve been confronted by her regarding something she believes you should have done differently. You find yourself justifying your behaviour and explaining the factors of the problem all the while realizing that she’s not agreeing with you. You back track and explain again. Still, she doesn’t change her point of view. You pull out a napkin and begin to illustrate. Still, nothing.
We’re sure you’re aware this yields some frustration on her part. If you’re a married man reading this, you know where this story usually goes. If you’re not familiar with this story… well, let’s just say it rarely has a happy ending. What’s with that? No man is really sure. But in falling into this trap something begins to become clear:
One quality she doesn’t want from you is defensiveness.
You might pride yourself in being able to dodge a bullet, deft at spinning an issue so as to highlight your superior reasoning abilities, and expert in your ability to justify your decisions. They might even pay you a lot for that at work. But you having the ability to provide multiple layers of reasons and explanations is not on her wish list.
Receptivity, however, is. She wants you simply to listen – to resist expounding the reasons that explain yourself – and hear things from her perspective. Not a patronizing acknowledgement, but to actually use the scenario to share in what she’s going through or how she sees the issue.
This is why communication that’s honest and open is so important to her world. She lives and breathes on the level of relational understanding, which requires receptivity to thrive. This goes beyond just hearing her out, or paying lip service to her suggestions (the proverbial, “Yes, dear”). It involves valuing her input and perspective – she needs to know you are hearing her and taking her seriously.
Of course, seeing an issue from her point of view is much more difficult than defending yourself. Truly hearing her requires taking care not to interrupt and justify as you preserve and protect your own pride. It’s about “the Golden Rule” in our conversation. In her world, it’s only after she knows you have considered her insight that she can be open to hearing your “superior reasonings.”
When it comes to your defenses, she actually already knows those – it’s her focus in life to make generous explanations about your behavior. What she doesn’t know is that you are ready to hear and empathize with her side, that you appreciate the lens she sees your world through enough to want to do something about it. Give her that quality.