My phone rings. A woman’s voice asks if there are any spaces left in the Communication Intensive for Couples I will be teaching in a couple of weeks. Yes, I say. There is a pause. A moment later she says:
’ I would really love to come, and it would be great for our relationship but I don’t know if I can convince my husband. I’ve mentioned it to him a couple of times but he isn’t showing any interest’.
We chat for a while- she tells me that she longs to have a deeper connection with her partner, I give her an overview of the day of the workshop and how they’ll benefit and offer to have a conversation with her husband so that he gets a sense of how the skills learnt will support their relationship. She says she’ll get back to me if she can convince her husband to join.
I have had this kind of conversation so many times now that I have begun to wonder: Men, where are you? To find some answers I’ve started to ask the women callers why their partners resist coming to a day of learning how to make their relationship happier, stronger and more resilient. Here are some examples of the answers: He is too busy. He thinks we are fine. He wants to watch the soccer. He doesn’t believe that he needs to learn about communication skills, he already knows what there is to know. He doesn’t want to be nagged. He’d rather do a tantric sex workshop.
I suspect that at least for some men, the real reason has more to do with being worried: worried about being vulnerable, being emotional or being honest. Maybe it’s unfamiliar territory to be these things; maybe it’s scary to open oneself up a bit, maybe talking more and better creates unexpected (and therefore daunting) ripples in the relationship, maybe the effort doesn’t seem worth it.
All I can say is this: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you want deeper intimacy, a more alive and interesting relationship, more happiness, resilience and connection and yes, more satisfying sex, effective communication is the key. Be courageous and be daring. You may never otherwise know what you, as a couple, are made of.
Click HERE for more information about the Couples Communications Workshop.
Looking forward to hearing from you
PS. Couples Counselling is also available