This week, I’m supporting blokes for when she sees “puce” and you see brown. She sees “steel slate” and you see gray. We are in the middle of Audacious August with my attempt at stepping into the boots of the great Australian male in relationship with his sheila! Feel free to peruse my blog for the recent weeks articles on the myriad of challenges faced by men as noted in relationship counselling or you’ve emailed and commented on social media.
This topic represents a metaphor for male female relationships in that we really do see through different lenses in many instances. Realising this masculine versus feminine approach could be one major step forward to your more intimate relationship.
Thanks to Jason who commented on social media about his frustration on being questioned by his woman about interior decorating colour options. He noted, “We only see in primary colours”, and he’s quite right! Men do see multiple distinct colours only and females see multiple shades. It’s hard-wired.
As you could imagine, women become quite despondent and rejected when we receive little input to our dilemma of the mango tango curtains versus the coral ones. Thanks to Dr Caroline Leaf in her book, He Said She Said, who provides greater insight around the cause of this in the biology around our vision!
“The X-chromosome provides the cone-shaped cells that handle colour. Women have two X-chromosomes and men have one, so women have more cells that allow them to see subtle changes in shades of colour. Females also have more P-cells—special cells in the retina that help the brain interpret texture and colour. These P-cells allow women to be more detail-oriented than men. Males, on the other hand, have more M-cells, other specialized cells in the retina that help the brain analyze motion, action and direction. M-cells help men see how things move and work.”
This would explain why I’ve managed to reverse into my husband’s car in our driveway let’s just say more than once in broad daylight. It also makes sense why he couldn’t care less about what shade of red he went when he found out. Surely the fact that men see better than women in bright light and women see more details in short distances in the dark has something to do with it?
So fellas, email me your burning questions for support during Audacious August. Bewildered ladies, feel free to forward any contemplations you find unsettling for this series too! You can remain anonymous!
Joanne Wilson is a neuropsychotherapist, relationship specialist, radio co-host, workshop facilitator, guest speaker and weekly columnist for the Sunshine Coast Daily.
Contact Jo at www.theconfidantecounselling.com or via email. Listen in to her podcast discussing these articles and more, "Is This Love?"
With much excitement, I’ve renamed this month - Audacious August. What daring and courageous risks would this thrill-seeking columnist be taking now you ponder? You guessed it, I’m precariously peering life through the lens of the other side. I’m bravely entering the foreign world of being an Australian manly man! Furthermore, being a macho beefcake navigating love and relationships.
I feel it’s time to support you blokes in areas such as understanding every word we are NOT saying as well as a few expert tips on getting all the love you need. Yes, I do know what your version of love is! Wink.
As a woman and relationship therapist, I’ve heard all the snide jokes. Here’s one: “Menopause, menstrual cramps, mental illness, mental breakdowns…ever notice that all of your problems begin with men?”. What about, “While creating men, God promised women that a good and ideal man would be found in all corners of the world, then He made the earth round.” I’ll leave it at just the two but leave you with a few questions about men that are continually investigated in the counselling room: Why:
Whilst I agree we can’t stereotype the idiosyncrasies and mysteries of the Australian male, these are consistent themes I notice. Just to clarify, some fellas talk even more than their shy sheila and absolutely do some women have a higher libido than their stallion.
We already know that intimacy in relationships is fostered in deep sharing and empathic responding which makes sense where it all goes wrong. If you take nothing else from this series, what is for sure is that women feel more intimate when their partners display understanding, validation, and caring. What’s fascinating for me is that men thrive on protecting and achieving all these things however as for both sexes, don’t always get it right.
I can’t wait to delve into all these challenges of being an Aussie man in relationship for the well-being of all throughout Audacious August and beyond!
So fellas, email me your burning questions for support during Audacious August. Bewildered ladies, feel free to forward any contemplations you find unsettling for this series too! You will remain anonymous!
Joanne Wilson is a neuropsychotherapist, relationship specialist, radio co-host, workshop facilitator and guest speaker. Contact www.theconfidantecounselling.com or via email. Look out for my new podcast discussing these articles and more, "Is This Love?"
It would be true to say the meaning of “turning on” your partner is fairly clear. How to, and when to is a whole other article for a whole other time. As it turns out, "turning toward" your partner is a considerably important priority for connection. If you make a conscious effort to consistently turn towards your partner, it's likely you get to enjoy both!
Confused? Great, read on to find out what I’m talking about.
In any relationship we seek emotional connection from our partners. These take the form of a few distinct “bids”, as outlined by Clinician and Scholar Dr John Gottman.
These bids are related to attention, conversation, approval, sympathy, play, etc. Things like, “Can you help me find my socks.” “Look at this singing puppy on YouTube!”, “Have you seen Pink’s baby belly?”, “Do these pants suit me?”, “What did you get up to today?”. All of these present various attempts at making a connection.
Where does this whole “turn toward your partner” thing come in? Well, say you’re at home watching TV and your partner enters the room. They ask you to look at something they’ve made or are wearing or have found. This can be a bid for multiple things at once — attention, interest, emotional support.
How you respond to this bid can be summarised by one of three ‘turns’.
1. Turn against your partner: When you respond to one of these attempts at connection with hostility. We have, at one point or another, all been there (unfortunately!). You’re busy doing something and someone walks in, interrupting you. You snap at them and tell them you’re busy, or concentrating, or even just tell them to nick off. “Shhhh, Allan Border is talking on the tellie!”
2. Turn away from your partner: Basically ignoring or dismissing them! You pretend you haven’t heard or give some other dismissive gesture. If you’re watching a screen, you keep your eyes glued and don’t look up. Maybe you give a little shrug to drive your apathy home. This is also a common tactic easily deployed during or after conflict.
3. Turn toward your partner: Here it is! Turning toward your partner is when you actively engage with your partner’s bid for attention. You look at them, respond to them, ask questions to show interest and empathy. “Yes, the dress is lovely, you’d look great in a sack!” “Wow, that must have frustrated the heck out of you at work, what did you do then?” “I'm confused why you’d think that way but tell me more.”
All interactions between couples have a mixture of these responses. Turning away, or even against, your partner every now and then isn’t going to destroy a relationship, however couples who consistently turn toward each other fare a lot better.
Gottman’s research by analysing married couples over the space of six years found those still happily together at the six year mark “turned toward” each other 87% of the time. That’s really high, but there’s still a healthy amount of room for the occasional “Uh huh. Very nice.” These couples were called the “Masters”.
By contrast, the couples that had fallen apart — labelled, very bluntly, “Disasters”! — only managed to turn towards each other about 33% of the time. For every 10 bids of attention, only three would be met with a connection. Ouch.
So how can we strive to “turn toward” our partners more often than not? How can we make sure we’re giving our partners all the engagement and attention we’re capable of?
Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised.
Joanne will be your Confidante, enabling you to speak freely in complete confidence and serenity. An integrated approach tailored to your specific needs will be utilised. Approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focussed Therapy and Emotionally Focussed Therapy may be incorporated.
Relationship Specialist for Individuals and Couples online around the world and servicing areas for face to face sessions including Caloundra, Noosa, Noosaville, Buderim, Mountain Creek, Gympie.