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Men and women’s needs

July 29, 2013

Here’s a great idea…

In their book, How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, Patricia Love and Steven Stosny say,

“It is important to avoid getting caught up in who is right or wrong. When a woman shames a man, she’s wrong even if she’s right. When a man stimulates a woman’s fear, he’s wrong even if he’s right” (p. 119).

In other words…

A woman’s fear is typically heightened when she feels disconnected, and a man’s shame is magnified when he feels that his contribution to the family is insufficient. Unfortunately, couples often unknowingly use the other’s vulnerabilities as ammunition in heated disagreements, so men withhold communication and affection while women withdraw respect. These reactions intensify conflict rather than resolve it. Being sensitive to the emotional needs of men and women can increase understanding and help resolve conflict.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…

Consider your partner’s gender-typical need for affection or respect. Soften your interaction with those needs in mind. For example, show your husband how much you value his contributions to the family. Make sure your wife knows how much you love and appreciate her. Notice if this makes discussions more productive and less offensive. Fine tune your interaction to be sensitive to your partner’s specific needs. Show your partner that your relationship matters more to you than being right.

To find out more…

about couple relationships, check out The Marriage Garden or the Getting Our Hearts Right program at, like us at or contact your local county Extension agent. You may also like to read How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It.

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