couples

Five steps that are sure to drive a partner out of your relationship.

By: Sile Walsh for The Good Men Project.

Men are as fragile around being accepted and lovable as women are, but most of them hold and display it differently. It’s important to remember that his ego, his heart, and his soul are as tender as anyone else’s.

When you nag him, you are indirectly telling him he is not enough, he needs to be more. I know you can argue this point with me and say “but he doesn’t listen.” However take a moment and think about it, the last time someone nagged you did it bring love and awareness or resentment and disconnection?

how to communicate with your partner
Does this make you feel good? Image via iStock.

An alternative would be for you to review why you need him to do this, what it represents to you and then ASK him to do it, explaining the why and what it represents to you. Then let him choose. If he chooses to acknowledge and act on it great, and if he doesn’t you need to review your priorities; can you live with it or is it bigger than your relationship?

When you fight and you drive home your point again and again and he still isn’t getting it, you are no longer communicating. Its likely you have moved to berating him.

How do you feel when someone repeats their point again and again in an argument and doesn’t hear or see you? It’s likely you dis-connect. If you see a fight as an opportunity to win, then you drive him away from you. Every single time. When you fight, it is not an opportunity to bring up every issue you have ever had with him and it is not an opportunity to take him down or emasculate him.

Don't bring up every issue you ever had. Don't emasculate him. Image via iStock.
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An alternative approach, is to see it as an opportunity to get on the same side, hear each other’s points, manage your own reactions and stop blaming. So yes, you’re fighting because you disagree, but if you both break down what is happening like this it will help:

This action …

Triggered this response in me ….

I feel like …..

I would appreciate if you did ….

How do you feel about this?

Then you LISTEN.

In bed, if sex becomes an act and not a connection men feel this. They don’t always know how to describe it, but they know what it feels like when their partner respects them and cherishes them and desires them. When sex becomes an obligation or a birthday treat then they feel devalued by that. It boils down to seeing him and appreciating him.

sex after kids
Men can feel devalued by sex. Image via iStock.

The best practice for this is to bring up your own self-value, to treat yourself in a really loving way so this can overflow into the bedroom and you can bring all this goodness into your connection with him.

Sex toys can spice things up, but from working with people around their sex lives nothing improved their experience more than feeling really valued and desired by a partner who was empowered in that moment too.

If you constantly complain about your body, he starts noticing all the flaws that you notice and it sucks the life out of the attraction. If you boil down your value to some wobbly bits or cellulite then he starts to see a narrow version of you — one that is highlighted by flaws.

An alternative to this is to expand your appreciation of your body, see all that is good about you and instead of hiding your flaws, expand your good qualities. Focus on the things you love about your body, and the things he loves — give them some attention for a change. Reinforce that he has in fact got the cream of the crop, this brings you both closer.

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You put him and you last, when you put your man way down the list then he feels that. He knows he isn’t a priority and that creates small silent tears in the fiber of your relationship. I am not saying make him your only focus, but knowing where he is on your priority list will have a large impact on your level of commitment as a couple. (FYI, you need to notice where you are on his too!)

Best practice is discuss it with him, sometimes you will have time and others you won’t. Flow with it, but keep it open so when required you can both share what you need and what you want, without it having to be a problem.

Talk it out. Image via iStock.

These things happen a lot in relationships and sadly can really undermine even a deep respect and love for each other. The good news, it’s a change of approach rather than something wrong between you or with either of you.
It boils down to this — if you’re doing something that isn’t creating depth and isn’t working with your partner, then you need to change your approach. So ask yourself, is this working for me? Really?

Your partner is part of this equation too but in my experience as a coach you can only change your approach, that is where your power really lies. Dynamics are important in relationships and acknowledging how you are impacting the dynamic is very helpful.

You can’t force anyone to do anything they aren’t ready for, and when you do attempt to, you tear another fibre of the relationship and create more damage than connection. To be right or to connect, that is the question.

This post originally appeared on The Good Men Project.

Want more? Try these:

5 Ways Not to Betray Your Partner This Holiday Season

How to Recharge Your Relationship From the Inside Out

If You Want an Extraordinary Relationship, You Have to Do the Hard Work

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