When you and your love are pulling in different directions, you may find yourself wondering how you got there. Whose fault is it anyway?
It may not surprise you that in spite of all the androgynous press, men’s and women’s brains are wired very differently. And before you groan, stop and think about it—these differences are delightful, and something to be celebrated! Do you really want to be married to someone exactly like you? I’m betting your answer is a resounding “No!”
So what’s the difference in this brain wiring I’m talking about?
One of the differences in brain wiring is what psychologists call ‘the locus of control.’
Men tend to have an external locus of control, whereas women tend to have an internal locus of control. So what does this mean practically speaking?
When something goes wrong, men tend to look outside themselves to find out what the problem is. In a relationship, that can look like, “I don’t feel so hot, so it must be your fault!” When something goes wrong, women tend to look inside themselves and ask, “What did I do wrong?”
Whoaaa you say–that sounds pretty harsh! Sexist! Blatantly unfair! But wait…
Am I letting women off the hook? Not at all. For women, it feels more like, “Help! I’m out of control. If it is my fault, then I can do something about this! If it is not my fault, then that leaves me helpless, and I can’t stand that!!”
So why do people want to be in control anyway?
It’s because we learned at a very young age that life can hurt! And our subconscious brain tells us that if we can keep things under our control, then we will never be in this bad space again. We can protect ourselves and those we care about by being in control at all times.
Except that doesn’t work very well.
Men and women also tend to have different styles of wanting to be in control. Men may more frequently use their brawn to threaten their spouse if they don’t “do what I say.” Women may try to “strong-arm” their man verbally, spewing out a torrent of demeaning verbal trash. Neither style is nice. And neither style works for very long.
So . . . next time you find yourselves pulling in different directions, and wondering whose fault it is—take a look in the mirror! Check out your default thought patterns. If the shoe fits, figure out how you can take this little insight and make it work for you in your relationships!
What’s the bottom line—for you? For your spouse?
Giving each other the benefit of the doubt is one of the sweetest gifts you can give your partner. After all, no one of us is perfect! And ‘humble’ is a whole lot more attractive than ‘arrogant’ right?
Sending you blessings for you and your love!