By Felicia Vance, BDO
(Ladies, share these tips with important men in your life or someone you think might not be sure of how they could be negatively impacting a relationship.)
Men, your relationship is the best it can possibly be, right? Well, maybe. But if you’re like lots of couples, you find it all too easy to put everything and everyone else first and take each other for granted.
Unless you become aware of your own hurtful attitudes or actions — so that you can correct them — your chances of staying in love ’til death do you part are close to zero. Not to worry, though — you can easily get back on track by watching out for these 5 common mistakes:
1. You spend money without consulting your partner
Making big purchases such as buying a car without first consulting your wife is a huge no-no. Why? Consciously or unconsciously, men frequently assign themselves the leadership role in the relationship. That, too, is a mistake. A couple’s relationship is a shared leadership position.
2. Can a selfish lover return the favor?
In the bedroom, men forget – or, worse, haven’t figured out – that their wives often need more than they do to get turned on. Affection, making her feel loved and needed — that’s basic for her to feel aroused. Turning a woman on begins well before the lights go down. Men perceive sex as a sufficient means of being close, of having a connection. But women want a connection prior to having sex.
3. You’re hearing but you’re not listening
Listening does not mean nodding along as your girl explains what is bothering her, all the while thinking up ways to fix the problem. What she most often wants is to talk things out, and she wants you to be actively engaged in the conversation, not by trying to be the hero and save the day, but by demonstrating an interest in what she is saying and caring about what she is experiencing emotionally.This is not passive. Listening to establish a connection is an active process.
4. Keeping those feelings on lockdown
Listening to your girl talk about her feelings is essential. So is talking about your own. Many men, however, think they need to hide their feelings or risk being seen as weak. That’s a mistake. Not sharing your emotions can be a real downer for your wife. The woman feels like she’s missing a close connection that she wants with her husband. When he’s withdrawn, she feels like he is leaving her. Growing up, a man learns that he can’t let others know when he’s scared. But opening up is taking a risk, and that takes courage.
5. Going on a power trip.
Being a man does not mean being in charge – many men don’t get that. For instance, you may try to get what you want by being dominant. But it’s not about making demands or trying to overpower her. Women will pull away from that. The “power position” that men often put themselves in essentially negates the relationship, which must be reciprocal, supportive, and caring.