If you feel like your man speaks a completely different language sometimes, you’re not alone. Here are common misunderstandings that happen between partners and how to avoid them. Other women You say: “Do you think she’s pretty?” He hears: “She’s prettier than me and I’m afraid you’re attracted to her.” The misunderstanding: You want validation and reassurance that your partner still loves and is attracted to you. But he is in a sticky situation. If he says no, you’ll know he is lying. And if he says, “yes, she’s nice”, you will think he is attracted to her. Unfortunately, you may not like any of the answers he gives you. Stop encouraging him to look at other women, and turn the focus back to you. Ask him what his favourite part of your body is, and you’ll know for sure that he is still attracted to you. Serious talk You say: “We need to talk.” He hears: “We have a problem.” The misunderstanding: There are conversations that will make a man want to run in the opposite direction. Saying “we need talk” sounds like you’ve had days, or even months, to think about this. It’s definitely a serious conversation. It’s what women say when they want to dump a man or give him an ultimatum. A smart man would want to avoid this drama completely or cut you short as soon as you start. Don’t make him nervous, just tell him what you want to say. Your weight You say: “Do I look big in this?” He hears: “You think I’m fat.” The misunderstanding: Psychologist Susan Albers explains that the answer to this kind of question needs to be more than just a yes or no. Things such as the way you look in an outfit, your weight, self-esteem, feelings and your need for reassurance have to be considered. Don’t be disappointed if your man struggles to answer this one. Maybe you can be more straightforward and tell him, “I think I need to lose weight, I don’t feel very comfortable anymore.” A loving partner will reassure you and give you the confidence you need to rock it, no matter your size. Insecurities You say: “Joy’s husband has a new job, I’m so happy for them.” He hears: “You need to work harder and find a better job.” The misunderstanding: Men have insecurities too, and money can be one of them. If your partner has been struggling to find a better job or earns less than his friends, chances are that he is already insecure about this. Not that you shouldn’t be happy for your friends, but you should consider your partner’s feelings when you share good news. Disagreeing You say: “You need to learn to communicate.” He hears: “You need to agree with me.” The misunderstanding: Maybe you want him to agree with you, but you can’t force him because that is not how communication works. Don’t go into a conversation thinking you can control your partner. Sometimes you have to agree to disagree, and other times you have to compromise. Taking control You say: “Oh don’t worry, I’ll do it myself!” He hears: “Nothing you do is ever good enough, so don’t worry, I’ll just take over from here.” The misunderstanding: You probably don’t want to do everything yourself, but your partner doesn’t get it. You feel over-stretched with work, running the household and the kids, and it’d be nice if your man took over a few of the duties. But when he does something, it’s not the way you think it should be done, so you think it’s just easier to do it yourself. But if you want your partner’s help, cut him some slack. If he knows you don’t trust him to do it right, then he is not going to bother. Men like to know that they are adequate, and that they are needed. Praise him when he makes an effort, even if the results aren’t perfect.
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