• Nagging

    Q: My wife nags all the time…
    My husband ignores me…

    A: In spite of what feminists say, research has shown differences in the male and female brain. Woman’s right brain is more developed while man’s left brain is larger. This means that women are better with words and expressing themselves while men excel at logic and rational thought. Women like to discuss problems and men like to find solutions.

    This results in women being more likely to confront relationship problems and want to talk about them while men, if they do not have a solution to the problem, frequently respond with avoidance and withdrawal. The more the man pulls back, the angrier the wife gets and the more she pursues. I often refer to “the dance”. This is a perfect example of it. The wife feels that there is a problem—maybe she feels ignored. She tells her husband and he feels that she is finding fault with him. He has not got a quick answer and so he pulls back. He may be working a lot to provide a for his family and now he feels that he is being told that he is inadequate as a husband. His wife may feel that he is a great provider but that she wants him to say that he loves her and go out alone with her once in a while. When he pulls back, she feels further rejected and unloved. She responds by being cold to him and he becomes angry and withdraws further. The dance is happening.

    They start to believe that the other person has changed, that they never loved them in the first place, and that there is no hope to make things work. These are usually not true but rather, defensive thinking—the kind of thinking we do to protect ourselves from getting hurt. The solution? Start building bridges. Talk to your partner and try to really listen. Put yourself in his or her shoes. How do you think she or he is feeling? And if you are thinking of counselling, this is a time when sooner rather than later can make all the difference.

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