What’s in his back pocket?

February 19, 2012 1 Comment

Here’s something about men you should know. File this one under “Communication.”

You and your man communicate beautifully. It’s a part of your relationship that you’re proud of. You’ve worked for it. He feels comfortable telling you how he really feels, even when it’s something you don’t want to hear.

However, even the most communicative men won’t share everything. There are always those few specific and important thoughts and observations that a man will file away in his back pocket (not literally in his back pocket, more like the back of his mind). And…he’s probably a lot different from you in this way.


These back pocket thoughts may never surface, you might never learn about them. Or, one day, several weeks or months later, something, perhaps something completely unrelated, might trigger these thoughts.

You’ll find yourself confronted with something you did or didn’t do those weeks or months ago, and you’ll learn for the first time why it upset him, why it rubbed him the wrong way.

Well, before you get paranoid, understand this…

The reason he didn’t address those back pocket thoughts in the first place is because although they were concerning to him, they did not, on their own, set off the red alert in his head/heart. So, rather than spark an unpleasant conversation or argument, he internalized his thoughts. He tried to be bigger, tough, strong, mature, or any combination of those things, and move past it (because this is his nature). And, many times, he probably succeeded in doing just that. Countless tiffs were avoided.

Hooray.

You see, he’s learned over the years in his dealings with women, that certain issues weren’t worth addressing. That certain comments or questions or statements, no matter how small or compartmentalized, can turn the female emotional pilot light into a boundless raging inferno.

So now that you’re in the know on this…what can YOU do to avoid fueling or triggering back pocket thoughts and the down the road confrontations they may create?

1. Show your man that you are capable of dealing with hostile subjects in a rational and controlled manner. This will give him the confidence necessary to avoid the shelving of these thoughts in the first place.

2. Employ the “Preemptive Double Back Pocket Power Play.” Put his hands in your back pockets and ask him if there’s anything he wants to share or talk about. It’s really ridiculous how effective this move is.

3. When he does share his repressed back pocket thoughts with you, realize that it’s not an ambush, and therefore, DO NOT act like you’re being ambushed. All that does is add another step in the process of sorting out your feelings.

Great communication is the foundation for a great relationship.

Do your part.

WIFEABLE is your alternative to COSMO

 

Relationships
One Comments to “What’s in his back pocket?”
  1. LAH says:

    Don’t you dare use my name :)

    To keep a back pocket strategy (for men or women) is to build a nuclear arms race with your significant other. Until there is an agreement to disarm…no one wins.

    If communication is key as you said, it is important that it is honest and complete always (not just when it is easy). Most people would prefer 100 “tiffs” to every “back-pocket thought” their partner keeps stored away. (And I say people because women are just as guilty as men of holding in their thoughts/feelings/emotions and then exploding them all out later.) However, this behavior is really just because people don’t want to have to face the music that there is something that needs to be discussed. Emotions are gray areas, not black and white, or right and wrong. People typically don’t have the patience to weed through them to get to the core of why they were perhaps worth keeping in that back pocket. So in order to save 1 tiff size un-pleasent conversation, people roll the dice and hope…just like vegas magic…it vanishes.

    But the reality is nothing vanishes, rather things snowball into an unrecognizable mess that causes more hurt to unravel then it was worth in the first place. And remember, everyone feels defensive when there are difficult things to hear…so delivery of those thoughts, whether in the moment or down the road, is key to finding the right resolution. And the one making that delivery is responsible for doing so with finesse. Just as the recipient is responsible for their actions and reactions.

    My lesson for this article isn’t that it is a women’s job to do her part in not overreacting, but rather the couple takes responsibility to both do their own part to communicate better at the time it matters. That “back-pocket thoughts” are a reality, yes…however they are not ok for men or women. And that a truly good relationship with solid communication will work to prevent them from occurring in the first place!

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