Bismillah. Here is part 8 of my Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus series.
Our Different Emotional Needs
Men and women have different emotional needs. Both feel that they give and give in a relationship, but are never acknowledged or appreciated. They are in fact both loving their partner- just in the way that they would like to be loved, and not the way their partner would like 🙂 I do believe that “wish for your brother” is a naturally ingrained part of people (or the fitra, as we say in Islam).
Here is a list of the Primary love needs of men and women:
Not to say that men don’t need what’s listed for women and vice versa, just that they are the primary needs that need to be fulfilled before they are able to fully appreciate and receive other kinds of love.
Amazingly enough, these different kinds of love are reciprocal. That is, if a man expresses caring, a woman will feel loved and cared for. She naturally begins to trust him more. The opposite can happen as well. If a woman gives a man too much love and caring, he may feel as if she doesn’t trust him.
The author goes through many common mistakes we make, neglecting each of these primary needs. For example, when women try to change a man by “improving him” or even trying to control him, her man will feel unloved because she doesn’t accept him as he is.
The Knight in Shining Armor
Every man wants to be the knight in shining armor for his princess. Imaging a princess, terrified and alone, trapped in a tower, guarded by a fire breathing dragon. Along comes the knight one day – and lo! – he hears a cry from the tower. He rushes to her aid, sword at the ready to slay the mighty beast, when suddenly —–
The princess leans out the twoer and shouts a better mode of attack.
You can imagine how that would shake her savior’s confidence and turn him off 😀
For Men – How to Listen Without Getting Angry
Bsaically, men need to learn how to be good listeners to fulfill their favorite Venesian’s primary love needs. That means, realizing she is not blaming you and understanding her. Also, “listening” means undivided attention and it also entails responding occasionally to acknowledge your wife’s words.
Remember our story of that knight in shining armor? Well, step #1 to empowering a man would be to not try to change him! Any attempt to will take away the loving trust, acceptance, appreciation, admiration, approval and encouragement that are his primary needs.
Always remember to give trust, not advice. I have to say, as a woman, this is very difficult. Giving advice doesn’t mean you don’t trust the person – it just means you’re trying to help them out. InshaAllah following this as much as possible will help.
Men resist change because they believe they are not being loved enough, not because they aren’t willing to change. For a man to improve himself, he needs to feel loved in an accepting way. Otherwise, he’ll just defend himself and resist more.
How to Give up Trying to Change a Man
Going through this list, I imagined myself making each of these mistakes (because I do). Visualing it helped me try to see how I could fix the situation next time….easier thought than done! 😦
- Don’t ask him too many questions when he is upset. Show some initial concern just so he knows he can talk if he needs to.
- Give up trying to change him. You can honestly share your feelings without demanding change.
- Don’t offer unsolicited advice unless he asks for it!
- A man resisitng change feels unloved, as we mentioned beofre. Make sure he feels loved by letting him know he doesn’t have to be perfect.
- Don’t make sacrifices hoping he will do the same. You’re setting yourself up for disappoint. Instead, find ways to make yourself happy without being dependant on him.
- When you do share negative feelings, let him know you’re not asking him to change, just that you want him to take your feelings into consideration.
- Don’t tell him what to do or how to do it. Make his feeling more important than perfection.
Knowing your spouse’s primary love needs can help you love him in the way he wants to be loved, making your relationship easier and more fulfilling.