The "battle of the sexes" would appear to be alive and thriving in our homes, businesses and communities. I use the term battle loosely as I believe there to be a big misconception about the function and purpose of conflict between men and women.
How Dare You...
Many of the men I coach express frustration at the endless testing they receive from their wives or girlfriends and even become insulted that the tests do not stop. Well, it's no wonder they are further aggravated to learn from me that the tests are not supposed to stop! Hmmm.
It's an important re-frame and perspective shift I give men and I feel it would be helpful to clue the ladies in on exactly why we welcome your tests.
Picture a wintry scene with the first snow fall covering the ground and a small pond frozen over at the end of the garden. Your small children excitedly run to try their best figure of eights, but you grab them by the scruff of the neck and urgently yell "Hold on there kids - not so fast!!"
As their paternal protector, you grab the largest stick you can find and hit the surface of the frozen pond to make sure the ice is solid enough to bare the weight of your precious kids. You test the surface several times before you feel confident that it's safe for them to play. Then, and only then, do you get to enjoy the squeals of joy as they skate their wintry days away.
But, as the advent of Spring draws closer, you sense it's time to check on that icy surface for fear the conditions may change. So, for the well being and protection of your family's safety, you look for that stick and continually re-assess the ice, knowing that one day, it may not be safe for them to skate on the pond.
Rite of Safe Passage
Let me ask you men, at any time in our wintry scene does the ice become insulted??
You see, the purpose for testing the ice was to ensure the ongoing safety of the kids.
In the very same way, a woman will continue to test her man to ensure the well being and safety of her relationship and to make sure she is on solid ground with him.
As men, we should be flattered and honored that she looks for us to be her rock, knowing that we are the ones who provide that safety in the relationship. No harm, no foul.
This is merely one of the many ways that conflict strengthens us and brings us closer together. But remember the following:
Ladies - make sure you know why you're testing him... There's no snow in summer!
Gents - make sure you pass her tests!
Why Women Test Men by Jamie Greene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.