7 Reasons Women Attack the Men They Love: How to Respond Without a Fight
Virtually every man who has been in a love relationship has experienced his partner coming at him with critical emotion. Often the “attack” feels completely unwarranted. Understanding these 7 reasons women attack the men they love and how you can respond without a fight is critical to healthy and happy relationship.
Are you ready to take off your protective gear and feel safe in the presence of your loved one? Read on for ways to avoid the fight. And yes, DO try these at home!
Why women attack:
Both men and women can go on the attack in love relationships. (I’ve written this post from the perspective of the more prevalent scenario.) About 80% of the time a pattern gets established where the woman uses a verbal attack to get the man she loves to emotionally engage with her. She will often apply exaggerated words like never or always to describe his unfeeling behavior. Her tone is often critical and the intensity of her emotion can sound too harsh or manipulative.
Often women attack the men they love and don’t realize how they sound, and how harmful and futile their attacks are. They do not know how much they are frightening the man they love. Intentions backfire. Rather than drawing their husband in closer, their man runs for safety.
When her emotional expression results in her partner’s shutting down or walking away, she assumes that she is being ignored and that he really doesn’t care about what she is feeling.
This sets off a primitive survival alarm called fight-or-flight. He takes flight in order to save his life. And she reacts by fighting to try to get to the bottom of his lack of compassion.
Our primary love relationships are critical for our emotional and physical health. We quickly begin to regress when we sense that they are in danger.
Sadly, this can be an everyday cycle for many couples. It’s frustrating, confusing and painful. And it’s a lose-lose scenario. It pulls the relationship apart, rather than strengthening the marital bond.
We can avoid this dangerous relationship cycle by understanding some triggers that often make women feel unloved and unsafe, causing them to react with harsh emotion and to attack the men they love.
Here are 7 Reasons Women Attack the Men They Love and How to Respond Without a Fight:
- An emotionally flat hello: Even though you are tired and stressed out, she wants to know that you look forward to seeing her. First acknowledge that it is great to be home with her… then unpack your emotion from the day.
- Leaving her alone at a social event: Whether an introvert or extrovert, women do want to be with their guy at a social event. There may be times when it makes sense to separate to get caught up with an old friend or to business network. If you check in before you separate and then circle back she will feel connected rather than rejected.
- Ignoring her or making fun of her when she is afraid: A lot of men like the adventure of cycling, hiking, kayaking or speeding. The more she trusts you the faster you can go without triggering her fear response. The more responsive you are the more you can enjoy the rush of adrenaline together.
- Being more animated – or fun – with friends than you are with her: This sends a signal that she is not as interesting to you as other people are. Bring her into fun conversations with others. Find creative ways to keep the fun alive between the two of you.
- Not standing up for her in front of the children: This makes her feel dis-empowered and can cause the kids to play favorites. Always stand with her in front of the children. Discuss disagreements behind closed doors. Apologize to the kids together when you are wrong.
- Drinking more than she feels safe with: You are not the best judge of whether you are drinking too much. If she feels embarrassed or unsafe by your drinking, it is too much even if it is only two drinks. Learn to listen to her and pull back when she says you are no longer pleasant.
- All forms of betrayal: Not telling the truth or becoming emotionally or physically involved with another person fractures the relationship. Trust is the foundation of all love relationships. This can cause her to have a deep wound of insecurity that causes her to be hyper-vigilant and question your every move. Humbly admit your betrayal, ask for forgiveness and compassionately respond to her need for reassurance. Eventually the relationship may be able to heal on its own. If not find a therapist that can help the two of you process this strong emotion.
All relationships require a great deal of tender loving care. Without, they can easily spiral into boredom, disconnection and betrayal.
It is loving compassion that holds the bond of marriage together. Without it, the relationship will feel like an empty business arrangement.
Your love relationship is your most important source of stability, self-esteem, and prosperity. If you put your relationship with your partner in first position you will profit in more ways than you can imagine.
Click here to learn about Emotionally Focused Therapy. To find a relationship therapist in your area, click here.