Men and women have very different constructs of their psyche. The problems arise in translation. How a woman should try to understand her man are markedly different to how her man should try to understand her. When a man tries to understand his woman in a masculine way (as he would like to be understood by her), she is often let feeling misunderstood and alone. And vice versa.
Understanding your man:
Accept his short comings and be patient with them.
The first and most important way to be an understanding girlfriend is to accept his flaws and his short comings. This means she should not point them out or bring them up, as she simply does not consider them important.
This is a very hard thing to do as most of us feel like we are the absolute experts when it comes to knowing what our partners need to change about themselves.
Criticism is a feminine quality (and not a very good one at that). It is very easy for a woman to criticize and judge other people. This is one of our bad character traits. That is why if we can put our attention on being understanding partners to our other halves by deciding to no longer point out his short comings, we will be taking steps in the purification of our consciousness; in the removal of our bad character traits.
Men are not as prone to criticism. They just don’t think about it as much. Which is why they can find it pretty overwhelming and pretty psychotic when their wives always have a new bad personality trait in them to bring to light. They wonder “Where does she get the time to think all this stuff up? Can’t she just be happy?” That’s what he’s thinking, and probably even saying to you from time to time, but what he is feeling is completely unsupported.
(*Some men have developed a tendency for criticism, which women often look at find vulgar and cruel*)
Continue to believe and put energy into his positives character traits
The next thing you can do to make your man feel understood is to constantly look for his good qualities. Reaffirm them all the time. Believe in them. Even if he does something “bad”, instead of saying “UGH, I knew you would do that! I expected this from the very beginning. This is just typical of you”, you should say something like “I don’t understand what happened. It isn’t like you at all. You are not usually like this. Usually you are so _____”. If a woman can say this (and believe it), the man will grow into the good qualities that his woman points out to him. The magic is that you don’t have to tutor him or counsel him into how to develop these good qualities, he will develop them himself. He will learn all by himself. But only his woman has the power to give him the energy to do this, and only a woman can be the one to select the qualities that her husband will grow into. He can try to do it himself, but without his woman’s belief, he will not be able to make it far. At least not with her!
Understand his “manly needs”
The Mancave: His need for “space”
I once read somewhere that “Men need space, and women need time.” That sounds reasonable. There will be times when he needs to buy a ticket to the Mancave islands. Let him go. He will come back eventually (if he likes you). After a while he will feel replenished and ready. After a while he will notice what is missing from his mancave; cozyness, affection, warmth, your delightful (but first, please be a delightful person) company, and the delicious smell of the warm apple pie you are making for dessert. Then he will come stumbling out of his Mancave and probably into the kitchen and be like “Hmm, where is that smell coming from?”
Men usually need their Mancave time after he gets home from work. They usually need from about 15 minutes to 1 hour there. Not usually more and definitely not less than 15 minutes. So facilitate that for him. Make his first moments at home pleasurable. Don’t start talking his ear off, because this is not the time that he is ready to truly listen. You don’t even have to say “How was your day?” because he probably hasn’t even had much time to process his day yet and so you won’t get much more out of him other than a “fine”. All you have to say is “Welcome home!” and if it feels too cheesy to say something like that, then at least let your actions show that he is welcome home. Then let him go and have his 15 minutes.
When he is stressed it is best to let him go to the cave and attempt to do some trouble shooting and problem solving himself without your help.
When he is very tired, let him go into the cave. He might fall asleep there, but that’s ok. You can tip toe in, put a blanket on him, and leave. In the morning he will wake up and be thinking “Oh damn, I can’t believe I fell asleep in there!”
After he has done something nice for you and your family (for example, if he just took you all out for a day trip), when you get home let him go to the cave.
The need to have an opinion.
Men need to accept the woman’s changing emotions and feelings, and women need to accept the man’s need to have an opinion. The man’s opinion is a very interesting thing. There are some things he will not have a strong opinion for and yet you wish he would offer more guidance (example: Her: Hey babe, do you think we should get this dinner plate set in banana yellow or mustard yellow? Him: ?!?!?! Whichever!!! I’ll eat off anything). Although I should note that if he does attempt to make a choice the prevailing conversation usually follows as such:
Him: Uh, banana yellow?
Her:….Really? Banana yellow? I was thinking more mustard yellow, it has a more mature feel about it.
Him: Ok, mustard yellow. I like mustard.
Her: Thanks hun!
But then there are also certain things that men seem to have such a strong opinion on that you wish he could just be more flexible about. But that’s just how they are. Men like to take their time and formulate their opinion on something, and when they do, it sticks. It take’s a lot to change a man’s opinion on something when he truly cares about his thoughts on it, and has actually put some thought into formulating his opinion. We women are more changeable. Our opinions on things, people, relationships, circumstances changes very frequently. So we expect the same flexibility from a man at times, and we just won’t get it. Men have strong opinions on certain things (and couldn’t care less about lots of other things) and that is that. In order to understand your man, you have to accept that. You have to accept his right to have a strong opinion on something. I believe it is the man’s duty to be strong. If you want to date a “strong man” then he will have strong opinions. It is our duty as women to be more flexible, and try to find harmony within the relationship.
The need to have a goal and ambitions.
Men need to have goals and a purpose in life. If he does not have a plan for his life, his woman will automatically not respect him. The woman’s energy in a relationship is the fuel, and the man is the steering wheel. He needs to know where he is going. To understand a man you should understand his desire to have a goal in life, even if he doesn’t seem to have one. We must inspire them to have goals and make plans! That doesn’t mean we should make plans for them, but it means we should be their muse, we must give them a reason to want to get this ship moving. Help him create his ambitions and nurture his dreams.
The need to get out and be active every few hours
Weird things happen to a guy if he is stuck inside the house all day. It is not the same for women. Women have a much higher threshold for staying inside. Partly because women find more pleasure in relaxing, and also because the woman’s “real work” begins at home – because that is where she can create harmonious family relationships. But for men, they get restless, agitated, irritated, lethargic. They need to do something. You can argue and say “But there is so much to do in this house! We need to rearrange the furniture and maybe even reorganize our photo albums of our time together! fun fun!” but for a man these things won’t even make it close to his ‘to-do’ list. These things seem pointless to him because it is not where he finds his sense of purpose. He does not find his sense of purpose in organizing your family vacation photographs. He will become frustrated and overwhelmed with the whole process, whereas for women something like this can feel very reaffirming of your family life and also very relaxing and pleasurable. What he will enjoy is maybe seeing the album when it’s finished, and then he will appreciate having a girl who cares so much about their time together. But for him, what he really needs to do is to set mini goals and get out and achieve them. These things could be working in the yard, fixing the car, picking things up for the family, working, practicing his hobby, exercising, organizing his collections (whatever he is into), and interacting with the outside world. Simple things like that will make him feel better.
Understanding a woman:
Understand her changing emotions
Ancient Vedic teachings say that a woman’s brain is 6 times stronger, 6 times more sensitive than a man’s brain. We feel everything 6 times stronger, and react to everything 6 times stronger than a man does. Because of this, we can appear to be a little bit crazy, I guess 😉 Our emotions change constantly due to many factors; our innate sensitivity, our hormonal systems, and the planetary influences. We are constantly riding those waves. The first thing a man can understand about his woman is to accept that things will rarely be that simple with her. Her emotions will change frequently, fluctuating from up to down, manageable to overwhelming. We can become upset by something that he considers insignificant just as easily as we can become elated by something completely simple. And the thing is, because our partner will be the closest person to us, he is also probably going to be the one we feel we can share these emotions with. The most loving thing he can do is to simply accept the nature of our feelings and understand that they will come, and they will go, and then they will come again….
Understand her intentions, not her actions.
We should judge ourselves by our actions and not our intentions, but judge others by their intentions and not their actions. This means we should put importance on our actions, on how we actually act – and make sure they are in line with goodness. And this also means that we should look at peoples intentions and not at their actions. Because most people have good intentions that sometimes just get lost in translation. This is the compassionate way of giving someone the benefit of the doubt.
This is a very sweet thing for a man to do for his lady. Because it is very easy for a woman to have a best of intentions, but somehow have that goodness get lost in translation. Sometimes we can make a big mess of things because the woman’s strength lies in her mental and psychic power and not always in the execution. This means that a man can try to look for the woman’s intentions behind her actions. He can then encourage and nurture a woman’s good intentions, to believe and support in them, and slowly teach her the ways that she can live by them in a real way, and slowly she will gain the confidence to do them too.
For example, a woman decides to host a big family dinner party on saturday night. She has invited many people. Husband is looking forward to the evening and happy that the idea of this party makes his wife happy. But then she starts to get overwhelmed. She starts to complain about all the work it takes for her to cook for so many people.
She thinks: This is a lot of work for just one person to do! There is so much to organize and do before Saturday. How am I going to pull this off? I really enjoy party-planning, and I am really looking forward to having everyone there and taking care of them all, but I am worried about how I am going to get all of this done!
He thinks: What is her problem? She wanted a party, and now she is complaining about the party?! I don’t get it. Shouldn’t she be smarter about it? Shouldn’t she know her strengths and weaknesses by now? Why didn’t she plan a smaller party so that it is less overwhelming for her? Sure, having a party will be nice, but I would be just as happy just having a normal Saturday night.
She thinks: I know, I think I want to make personalized gifts for all the guests. That would be such a cute idea! Hmm but that’s making things more complicated, I know that, but I like to be creative and I would like to do that for my guests. Maybe I will ask hubby to go pick up the supplies.
He thinks: I think I have married a crazy woman. Personalized gifts for all the guests? First she was complaining that she couldn’t cook for everybody and now she wants to make personalized gifts for everybody? And on top of that she is asking me to go running to the shop to buy her supplies! Why can’t we just have 5 people over and order a big pizza for everyone?
She thinks: I don’t want to order pizza for everyone, I want to cook for everyone! I want to take care of my guests properly! I was looking forward to making _____ for everybody.
He thinks: But she said she just said she doesn’t want to cook for everyone.
She thinks: *quietly*….Maybe I am crazy?
Then, Friday comes along and:
She thinks: You know what, I think I need to book an appointment to get my hair done before the party. I want to feel good and presentable for the party. I know there is a lot of work to do, but I think this is also important to me.
He thinks: She looks fine.
She thinks: I don’t want to look just “fine”.
He thinks: Why would she book a hair appointment at this very last minute when there is already so much to do? And then complain that there is so much to do?
I think this example illustrates the problem very well. The husbands concerns are very reasonable and understandable. From his point of view, she seems like shes losing it. She doesn’t know how to communicate her intentions in a way that makes sense, and none of her actions are reflecting any of her true intentions. She makes specific complaints, and he gets irritated because he can’t fix the problems she created and continues to create for herself. It’s a very troubling situation!
It’s at times like this that a man can try to understand his woman by looking at her intentions and ignoring her complaints. Her complaints are her way of processing what she needs to do. Her intentions are: to cook a delicious meal and take care of her guests, to make her guests feel special and loved, to feel beautiful and good about herself, to enjoy the party and make sure everyone else also enjoys themselves. Her intentions are honorable. Her actions are confusing.
At a time like this, if the man makes an extra effort to look at her intentions and affirm and encourage them, she will slowly generate the psychic strength she needs to pull it off, somehow. Sure she might need his real physical help from time to time, but at this time, what is more important is his understanding and support of her intentions. If she feels that somehow, behind the wall of crazyness, her husband believes and sees what she desires in her heart, and also reassures the concerns of her heart, then she will have the strength to pull it off. And it will probably be the best party you’ve ever seen!
Understand the concerns of her heart, not her specific complaints.
We women have a really great ability to not say what we really mean. It’s hard! It’s even harder for a man to try to crack our codes, especially when they make very little sense. We can come up with many small, specific complaints about things, but the real issue is always much deeper and closer to our hearts. We just have a hard time to express the real issue in a real way. So we can complain about little things. For a man, these small, little, specific complaints can drive him crazy!
For example, a woman can want to get a drastic hair cut, and then she gets it done, and she’s happy with it for a while, and then she complains about it – it’s too short, the colours fading, it doesn’t match her face shape and what not. To respond to her specific complaints, her man can say “It isn’t too short, and besides – hair grows, the colour looks more natural now that it’s fading, and your face shape looks great – whatever that means.” But if he was to look deeper at the concerns of her heart, he would see that her real concern is a question of her beauty, of how beautiful she feels. Then his response, affirming that she looks very desirable to him – that will mean more to her than if he commented on her specific complaints. It is very hard for a man to follow his woman’s specific complaints, daily worries and concerns. What is important is the intentions and concerns of her heart. If he learns to understand that, then she will soften and blossom.
As always, thank you for reading.