What Does She Really Mean?

This blog post was written by Recovery Help Now’s, Amy Margolis, Registered MSW.

With Father’s Day around the corner, I asked my husband, “What kind of advice do men need about relationships?”  The first thing he said was, “Women need to be more direct.”  Hmm.  So if we translate that into relationship advice for men, maybe it would  be, “Men, women may not always be direct in their wants and needs, so you either have to learn to read between the lines a little better or come right out and ask your woman to  be direct!”

This reminds me of a story.  Seventeen years ago when my husband and I had been dating six weeks.  He was taking me from NYC, where we both lived, to meet his parents (for the first time) in Harrisburg, PA.  About two hours into the drive, I really had to go to the bathroom so I said, “It would be great if we could stop to pee if it’s convenient.”  He said, “Okay,”  and nothing happened.  Within an hour, we were approaching his parent’s house and I was exasperated.  I said, “Please can you take me somewhere to pee.”  He responded, “Just go in my house.  We are almost there.”  “NO!  I am not going to say ‘hi, nice to meet you’ with crossed legs and run for the toilet!”  “Okay, okay.  What are you so mad about?”  “I am mad because I asked you and hour ago, and you ignored me!”

The point is, I didn’t ask.  I made a statement that it would be nice to stop.  I did not say “I need to stop!”  Women are raised to nurture, please, not rock the boat and avoid confrontation.  Therefore, they tend to be indirect or even manipulative to get what they want instead of feeling entitled to come right out and ask.  So next time your hear, “Do I look fat in these jeans?”  Don’t get annoyed at her insecurities.  Maybe what she is really asking is, “Do you still find me attractive?”  Or when she says, “So were all the women flirting with you at the office party?” Don’t be offended that she doesn’t trust you.  Maybe what she really means is “Am I still your number one?”

If all this “translating” feels exhausting, men, never be afraid to come right out and say to your women, “What are you really asking me right now?”  Or “What do you need from me in this moment?”  This can help avoid many miscommunications and can be liberating for you both!

Elana Clark-Faler
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