By: Sway/O.L Buckley
Sometimes my wife tells me she feels in the dark about where I am emotionally speaking.
That used to bother me.
I get her point, but it would just rub me the wrong way.
We've all heard that men deal with pressure silently while women are generally more vocal.
That holds some truth, although I know there are many exceptions.
I quickly realized that this is where how we were raised plays a huge role in how we handle pressure and irritation.
I've learned some difficult lessons about managing pressure and not allowing it to harm our marriage and business. It seems like stress is as common as breathing for so many husbands. That's not to say that wives don't feel the pressures and frustrations of marriage and entrepreneurship too.
I know much better than that.
I think what's so amazing is how differently we process pressure.
I've spent much time processing pressure through silence and poor communication. This has proven NOT to be so beneficial for our marriage or business. In many ways, it's only added to some of the pressure.
Here are two truths about us husbands I've personally worked through and shared with our clients today. We've seen how these practices have helped so many men to be more emotionally available, present in their relationships, and even less defensive when responding to questions.
One: Husbands need to know that their insight is valuable and desired.
Otherwise, he'll say whatever he needs to say to get through the conversation, as men when we learn how to endure in order to evade conflict early in life. Sway will often ask for my thoughts about a solution instead of just telling me hers. Ultimately, when she does this, I feel like a valued stakeholder in our life and not just the 'strong arm' who performs her wishes.
Two: Husbands think about things by NOT thinking about things.
I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but it's true. One of the ways most of us men handle pressure is to step away from the 'drama' to tap into that creative space for solutions and strategy. A daily 'step away' is like going into a mental war room for most men. What's crucial is that we, as husbands communicate that to our wife. Often, Sway will ask me something, and I'll be silent. She'll ask for my thoughts (again), and I'll say, "Okay, I'm thinking." Sometimes, I'll step away and, with time, come back with an idea I can be confident in. We can't rush this process.
These are just a few areas of awareness that have helped us along this journey of marriage and business building. Understanding how to process pressure healthily has been vital to growing in healthy communication. We hope these insights are equally helpful to you as they have been to us!
Note: O.L is a former banker turned real estate consultant and entrepreneur. Sway is a former CEO of a staffing firm that started on her dorm room floor to pay for college. Together they co-own Marriedpreneur Life Consultancy, where they equip married entrepreneur couples with high-level systems to scale without strain. In short, couples gain tools for marriage and business success. They're the co-hosts of The Marriedprenuer Life Podcast, which was noted as one of Wedding Wire Magazine's top relationship podcasts to listen to as a couple in business. Learn more at MarriedpreneurLife.com