Surprise! you are happiest when sharing issues making your husband unhappy!

According to a new research study conducted by the American Psychological Society, men and women have different criteria for feeling happy in a relationship.

Yeah, shocker, right? However, the criteria this particular study found is interesting, and could help you understand better what your partner needs from you during conflict.

Couples were brought in and videotaped having a discussion about a recent conflict in the relationship. What research found was that men are happiest when they can accurately tell that the woman is happy. However, women are happiest when they can accurately tell that the man is unhappy. In other words, we finally know the answer to the question of “what do women want?”

They want to know that their partners are open enough to share not just happiness, but the harder-to-express unhappiness. Think about how this could apply to your own relationship with your partner. Are you continually feeling dissatisfied with the way that conflict is handled? Do you think it could be because one or both of you is not expressing your true feelings accurately? Men, think about whether or not you’re “holding back” to “prevent” conflict – what if you’re causing more? Women, too, can be inadvertently causing the man to think he has to hide his feelings, depending on how you react to his criticism or negative emotions.

Another interesting facet of this is that when women are expressing unhappiness, some men are not as comfortable or satisfied with the relationship (perhaps because they worry that they, the men, are the cause of the unhappiness?) This also has to do with the fear some people have of being “empathetic” to another person. In some cultures or families, a man feeling empathy for a distraught woman is seen as “weakness” or “vulnerability.” However, this obviously creates dissatisfaction for the female partner, because the man a) doesn’t want to share negativity, and/or b) doesn’t want to hear it. This is unhealthy for both sides because it halts growth and impedes solutions. Now, of course, we are left with the ultimate question:

How do we help men to face negative issues and feelings without escaping, denying or twisting those issues? We know this part os necessary for growth, but….Please, could you share your experiences below? We want to hear from you!

(Read the entire article about the study here)


Dr. Nora

Dr. Nora

Dr. Nora is a well known coach, conflict solver and trainer, and CEO of Creative Conflict Resolutions, Inc. Sign up for free, here on her blog, to be connected to her innovative conflict solutions, positive suggestions and life-changing coaching sessions, along with blog updates, news, and more! We can begin by you having a complimentary consultation with Dr. Nora. Visit her coaching site today to talk with Dr. Nora and receive a plan for action to change your life. She’s ready to help!

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