In continuing with our weekly articles that offer a bit of insight into the strange minds of the opposite gender today we will be delving into why a man always needs to be right. A common joke that women make is, “I married Mr. Right I just didn’t know his first name was Always!”And while humorous it does have truth to it.
To understand why most men develop this habit it is important to take a look at what they are brought up to believe a man should be. From a young age boys are told to “man up”. If they show weakness or cry they are seen as weak and unable to fend for themselves. They look up to superheros such as batman or to emergency workers like police men and firemen who don’t need to be rescued because they are capable of rescuing not only themselves but everyone else.
Now fast forward a dozen years when this boy has grown up and married the girl of his dreams who he now feels is his responsibility to protect and take care of. She is his damsel in distress that he will focus all his manly powers on in order to keep from harm. And then the unthinkable happens, she dares question his tactics!
While a simple suggestion such as, “Are you sure we are going the right way? Whey don’t we stop and ask someone for directions?” may seem as a helpful gesture on a woman’s part it is taken as a lack of trust in a mans ability from the male perspective. The larger the issue the more threatened they may feel. Instead of voicing this they get defensive and lash out which escalates or creates problems.
There is no true solution to this issue as it is not possible to change how something makes someone feel. It is also unrealistic to expect the other spouse to never give a suggestion or have input that may trump yours. There are two things that can be done to lessen the consequences.
1) The wife can word her suggestions in a way that is less of an attack on his skills and more about how she feels in the moment. So for example, in the situation above she could say “These streets are really confusing. I would feel much better if we stopped and asked a local”.
2) The husband can learn that his wife’s suggestions come from a place of love. She sees someone struggling and is trying to help. It’s the mother in her. So instead of getting defensive he can respond coolly and explain his view in the matter. A good response to the above example could be, “Honey, I know you are trying to be helpful but I would really appreciate it if you gave me a bit more time to figure it out on my own”.