There was one time in my relationship with Sean that I felt shut out of his ‘personal’ life. He booked an out-of-town trip for 5 days and 4 nights with his friends and informed me just the night before he’ll leave. I was hurt, disappointed and need I mention? Upset.
This is another addition to the inspiring chapters I have read in the book ‘Lost in Translation’ by Dr. Steve Stephens.
Women love to talk. I remember when I meet with my girl friends over dinner, we’d end around midnight and one of us will be scheduling the next meet-up as we were not yet done discussing her latest issues. We share our personal experiences on how we felt the same way when her partner did this and that. We give opinions on how-tos and what-thens thinking, she’ll know better how to respond when that thing she’s struggling with happens again. Yes, I know men, it’s mind boggling. But this is a fact. It’s how most girls unwind and release tension, it’s how we’re wired, and definitely it’s how we connect.
Men on the other hand, DO what they think solves the problem. They oftentimes, just do what they think is correct. Men see independent decision making as competence; a strength. If they see an issue, immediately they take care of it. As leaders of the relationship, they feel that it is their role to decide on issues. Many times, they think that their partner’s input may and does cause delay, so they just go ahead and do it.
As the book describes: Guys are track stars, girls are volleyball players. However, in life, there is such a thing called trolleyball.
Women feel loved, close and connected to their partners when they decide together. Issues, except for those that a spouse shows ‘no interest’ on, should be discussed. On the contrary, they feel it’s selfish and inconsiderate when men leave them out of the court.
Men need independence. They enjoy movement. Independent decision making allows them to move on with their next to-do things so they could relax and have their alone times. They view interdependent decisions as messy, could be emotional and unnecessary.
Obviously, trolleyball means that the track star still gets his independence and the volleyball player still enjoys her teamwork. He gets his space, she gets her discussions. I know this is easier said than done. But to make a relationship work, there has to be a balance:
Women understanding men as independent beings. It’s not their intention to leave you out of the game but to lead you in it. Men on the other hand, have to realize that discussions heighten closeness. It is not a question of trust or your capabilities but of mutual respect and working together.
As I continue to study this disparity between men and women, I saw that Sean came back from that trip sweeter and more refreshed at work. He was a track star, running his race and I welcomed him home with a trophy. Surrendering those feelings to God was more than worth-it.