They need to work harder to earn less; they have less visibility for their future. Most of them have lost a lot in this crisis. Many have needed to find another job. In summary, their career is not linear anymore. Their sense of security is deeply shaken.
In addition to the massive economic crisis we are going through, the internet is shaping our lives in such a way that many formerly high paid jobs have seen their income drop and their individual work load increase. Lawyers are a good example. The world’s competition comes to our homes through our computers.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it implies massive adjustments in people’s lives.
Men with family are breadwinners at heart and core. They feel a huge responsibility in giving the financial support their family needs, and that even if their wife works.
Most of their self-esteem is essentially based on their professional life. So if they go through a tough time professionally, all their energy will be spent to improve their situation. Little energy, close to none is left for the family. Needless to say, none is left for the couple.
In addition, men are expected nowadays to not only help out at home, but also to have an equal share in all the duties linked to parenting.
As a result men’s stress builds up and never in the past they had to deal with such a heavy load.
My understanding is that two things truly relax them:
- Lying down like a couch potato in front of TV with no one to talk to.
- Having sex.
Women perceive their partner’s stress immediately, and that triggers anxiety.
Anxiety in women has two consequences:
- They want to talk about what is wrong.
- Sex is the last thing they want to do.
The result is that they will either bug their partner to talk about what bothers them, which is the last thing they want to talk about, or they will let them be the couch potato until exhaustion and rebellion kicks in later in the evening. Eventually arguments ensue.
Most women would feel deeply offended if after being a couch potato for hours their partner came to them with the idea of having sex in bed.
This could quickly become a dead end road for the couple.
So what can be done?
Don’t let your male partner be at wits’ end.
Please, ladies, read John Gray’s last book: it is fun to read and even if science behind is sometimes questionable, you will learn a lot.
You will be more tolerant with your partner and you will learn to do what is stress relieving for you too.
Ask him as little as possible in the evening. He needs that time off to restore his balance. Get help so you don’t burn out quickly. Help can go from carpooling, to have some one who fixes dinner, or invest in a iRobot Roomba…
Be creative. You know what you need best. Make sure you don’t ask him though. Ask your friends, family to help you out so it is manageable for you.
If you don’t do that, in addition to seeing your relationship gradually deteriorate, you will soon have a man with aches and pains. And this is the last straw for your couple!
Multiply opportunities to talk with your girlfriends. Make sure that, daily, you get enough chitchat time so you don’t need to talk with him about your day.
Be proactive in taking some time out with him even if you feel he is unpleasant and boring. Most men highly stressed are self centered and little attractive. This is when true love comes into the picture. You know he is not his usual self; you know he is going through a very difficult time for him. Leave aside the fact that he makes your life dreadful; complain to your mom, your sister, your best friend if need be, but leave it aside. And make the ultimate act of love of treating him with care and respect on a private time together. As he relaxes, be as loving as you can be: he will open up with you. And you will both feel closer to each other.
Don’t try to help him. He already feels terribly guilty of dragging you into his difficulties. The more you will show your concern the worse it will get. So if you are stressed about money and don’t work yet, get a job, find an income. Psychologically you will feel more empowered. Between your job and your home duties you will have less time to focus on him. Be aware that your focus is perceived as pressure. So less focus on him is less pressure.
Encourage him on what you know are his best assets. Repeat as often as possible how you trust he will be doing fine no matter what he does… even if you don’t! Remind him that you love him for who he is, not for his position.
Trust your intuition on what you feel would be the right move for him, but never choose a time when he feels low to disclose it to him. Try to bring the subject in the most respectful manner: he will listen to you and when he is ready he will follow your advice.
Lowering your own stress level must be your top priority. Eat well and healthy, sleep more, exercise, schedule lunch with friends. Find a spa you go to with a friend to relax fully and make it a monthly habit or more if you can.
Last but not least, stay positive. With law of attraction in action, your overall situation should improve and he will be less likely to be negative.
Always remember that life is nothing but cycles. Difficult periods never last forever.