Failure to Communicate – Part 2

It’s easy to find fault with men in relationship difficulties but ‘it takes two to tango’. When women sometimes allow vulnerability to prompt emotive discussion rather than deal with matters at hand, then fear and suspicion can threaten good communication and even the very relational security that they might seek to preserve. Of course, men can be very emotional, too, and can express that emotion in volatile and even threatening ways, but any justification of less explosive outbursts by women can diminish the damage that will inevitably also cause harm to a relationship.

Being secure in a relationship is vital to avoiding the reactivity that comes when fear takes hold.  Fear of being misunderstood and ultimately of diminishing the relationship can encourage the wrong responses and detract from effective communication.  When a guy backs down to avoid conflict and a woman gets what might seem like the upper hand (though it’s not a contest!), it can disguise the fact that there is a problem.  For many guys, the pressure build-up is like a volcano waiting to explode and neither the pressure build-up nor the explosion are justifiable.

The key is to communicate  with a deliberate expression of feelings. The guy needs to say what he is frustrated about and the woman needs to articulate her own emotion in a non-defensive manner where she can be vulnerable and show a willingness to maybe even be led by her caring and responsive partner. To be unwilling may (even though there could be other factors at work) betray an unhealthy fear of vulnerability because relational trust is somehow under threat. Honesty is needed regarding motivation to enable healthy communication.

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