I have been the witness to many men’s battles in our struggling economy and challenging work environment. From men in my family to friends and male clients. This blog serves as a follow up to my blog: To men: It’s rough out there, but it doesn’t have to be https://www.bellavida.co.za/its-rough-out-there/.
A female’s default approach in 75% of relationships is to be the softer, more emotionally supportive ones. We like to talk things out, take care of our loved ones, and offer emotional support. Providing emotional support can be a great intention. But do you know how to do it for the man in your life? Men are our complementary opposites, and they approach challenges and problems in their own way. This means they don’t really like to talk about it with their wives (apparently to protect us, so we don’t worry). Men also go into their men- boxes to work out their solutions to their perceived challenges.
Suggestions for offering emotional support to the men in our lives, facing the rough- out-there:
1. Give him his space. Especially when he goes into his man-box. He is not doing it to exclude you or to escape you. He is doing what is natural for most men. Sunday nights are my husband’s man-box nights, and I go to bed early to prepare for my week ahead and leave him in his man-box.
2. Create a good atmosphere at home. Yes, it might sound old fashioned, but we are the estrogen-driven parts of our relationships. Estrogen makes us more caring and nurturing. It comes naturally to us. I make sure my husband eats nutritional meals fueling his body. I don’t prepare the meals, I organize the meals with my faithful housekeeper, Annie.
3. Turn to your girlfriends for your emotional support. Women get women; we understand each other. Use your man less for your emotional support if his tank is running empty. You will just be disappointed. I count my blessing for my handful of very close female friends.
4. Back him up in ways that are important to him. My son, Jacques, wants me to back him up with guidance, only when he asks for it. If I give unasked-for advice, it falls on deaf ears. My husband wants me to back him up by being in my own good space. Thank goodness for special friends. They help me to be in a good space most of the time because they listen and understand.
5. Show him you believe in him. You have chosen this man as your life partner because you believed in him. Please do not allow it to falter now that he’s fighting dragons. I send my husband WhatsApp messages showing my gratitude for him for all his hard work and dedication.
6. Look after yourself in ways that nurture you. I love to do exercises (it’s my natural Prozac), spend time on my own, and play with my granddaughter of 20 months. Make time for yourself. That fills your tank. Then you are more able to support.
7. Listen when he chooses to talk to you. LISTEN. And try to understand and give the message you hear him. Men and women feel so much lighter when we think someone we care for hears us and understands us. I love it when my husband talks to me about his challenges, for it makes me feel needed. Even though people think he has me on tap as his psychologist, it is precious to me when he asks for help, every now and then.
8. Take care by creating lighthearted moments. Be creative and fun. I watch lighthearted series on Netflix with my husband – ones I discovered. Laughing and humour go a long way.
The secret of a caring, supportive wife is she takes care of herself. Only when your cup is full, can you give out.
If you feel your cup is empty, invest in yourself and book a consultation with me so you and I can reset you.
Wondering what to give your husband for his birthday or Father’s Day? What about a personal leadership consultation or package with me?
“The man who asks for help moves ahead.” The woman next to this man, showing him the way, gets ahead.