Happy couples can easily experience disharmony when unmet expectations result from miscommunication. Couples often approach and communicate an issue with the expectation that their partner will understand and respond similarly, but the opposite is typically true. Men and women have different communication styles and goals in communicating. This is evident starting in childhood with boys communicating for dominance, attention, and to give orders. Girls, on the other hand, express support, ask questions, and show attentiveness towards one another.
These differences persist in adulthood with men expressing issues with the goal of problem solving and women sharing to build closeness and intimacy. In short, men solve problems and women build relationships. Is there any wonder a seemingly simple issue can create distance between couples? A popular book summed up the miscommunication this way, “women want empathy and understanding, but men offer solutions”.
Society may play a role in creating these differences. Most men are discouraged from showing outward displays of expression like sharing their feelings or crying. Contrastly, women are encouraged to express emotions and feelings as a form of release. Most men do compensate for their lack of outward expressions by their actions. Men may not always say, “I love you”, but may express love by what he does for his partner. What women say with words, men say by their actions. I encourage couples to take time to understand the communication pattern of their partner and accept the difference. Doing so will maintain bliss and harmony in your relationship.