Women – Here’s What Your Husbands Are Saying About You In Counseling
Even though my counseling work specializes with women and helping them restore self-love and confidence I do have the privilege of running a weekly men’s group at another location. I love this hour because it brings diversity to my work, challenges me to grow as a person, wife and clinician, and evokes new ideas on how to help my private practice clients. This week during my group a lot of feedback came up about women in general. After sitting with this for a day or so it occurred to me that the presented problems were real issues that I can own and improve upon. I thought I’d share some suggestions I heard from some very intelligent and insightful men and see if this hits home for any of you ladies!
• Going to therapy to improve our marriages works better if both partners go. Husbands feel more motivated to work in therapy knowing their wives are just as committed.
• Wives can’t change husbands. Men become more resentful rather than excited to work toward change when they feel controlled.
• Nagging. Does. Not. Work. (I heard that several times with the periods after each word included. Perhaps we need to change our tone?!)
• Men are attracted to us when we have our own stuff going on! Making our lives about our spouses and our kids decreases romance and chemistry.
• We need to work on our self-esteem. Insecurity is annoying and more unnecessary than we think. Confidence in our skills, our interests and passions and our looks turns men on!
• Manipulation and ultimatums can kill a marriage. And we are pretty good at both. Yikes.
• Husbands need patience from us. We like things and relationships to change fast and we want what we want quickly. The pressure can be too much for our spouses and end poorly for us.
• Husbands are grateful for their wives. Despite marital challenges and barriers against vulnerability, men are thankful for us especially when we forgive and commit to work through difficulty.
Women, how did it feel to read this feedback? I believe there are innate as well as cultural factors that charge us into relationship roles and dynamics that may not be optimal. I want to be committed and open to learning how to better represent women and our roles as wives, moms, friends and professionals. Time for me to do more work in therapy – how about you?!