THE #1 Relationship factor
So here’s the guts of it …
These are findings from 3000 couples who have been part of a long (40 year and still going), study through the Gottman Institute, some for as much as 20 years:
Research shows that men typically want less conflict and more s*x and women typically want more trustworthiness .. (plenty of ..emotional connection and being tuned in to eg. ‘he’s there for me, he understands me, listens to me, is who he says he is, does what he says he’ll do’) … not just .. he is sexually faithful to me.
Another finding from the same source which I want to leave you with today, could shock the guys. Ok men/ masculine energy holders, sit down…
It is YOU that is the biggest factor in whether your relationship succeeds or fails. That’s weighty huh? Yes, you.
That’s also an incredible power to have and exercise for the best, so long as you consciously know HOW to wield this, for the best. You can make it, or break it.
Specifically how you (men) handle your emotions, especially your anger – this is the determining factor.
Given many cultures don’t model and value men regulating their emotions and enable them to become comfortable with emotions; and on top of this that men are wired to flood with feelings faster than women (to keep safe from the Sabertooth tiger). No, she’s not a monster… Houston we have a problem.
But only if men and women don’t understand this and don’t develop the necessary presence and skills.*
Women, we still carry significant responsibility and impact too. So don’t shrug off your part and kick your shoes off just yet 🙂 Your anger makes a difference too, especially in terms of increasing flooding your partner – making it harder for him to be trustworthy for you.
Being able to regulate anger means not just stopping raising your voice, labeling, or name-calling. It includes all the passive or quieter ways of your anger leaking out e.g. stonewalling, withdrawing, cutting off, talking over, minimising.
It’s easy to see how anger decreases trustworthiness. Low trustworthiness… means as night follows day … you’re going to have more conflict as your partner feels less safe. And yes, less sex. Less oxytocin, and away you go into a disconnection spiral.
Anger is harsh, toxic, and caustic for any relationship. So as a woman if your reaction to not having that sense of ‘he’s here for me’, ‘he understands me, listens to me’, is to go at him, from frustration to anger that’s not going to help. Understandable as it is, that you’re not getting your all-important need for trustworthiness.
The solution seems easy right?
Guys: Focus on increasing the level of trustworthiness you bring, by learning how to listen deeply and regulate your emotions, including anger. You are powerful!
Gals: Stop triggering emotional flooding, by discovering how to speak from your heart free of blame and criticism. Know how to regulate your upset.
Of course it’s not that easy, big feelings and protective emotional patterns occur for a reason – a cognitive decision is important. It usually takes support to heal and repair oneself and your relationship*
See Here for private sessions and self-paced online learning with me.
Don’t wait for a better reason to discover new emotional skills – I can’t think of one, can you? 🙂
All the Love