Women are empathetic creatures. We provide a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear. We experience other’s pain so deep that we even sob along when fictional characters lose loved ones (that scene in Grey’s Anatomy when Izzy loses Denny to heart disease is a killer). Men, on the other hand, chest bump and shrug the misery off. Their mate has a scowl because a friend said she needed to lose weight. Shrug. Their wife is upset that Courtney is still on The Bachelor. Pat on the back. It’s empathy at its manliest.
So, it would make sense that women want their boyfriends and/or husbands to feel their misery, right?
According to a study, that seems to be the case.
Diverse samples of couples were studied and it was discovered that men and women perceive empathy differently. Researchers used 156 heterosexual couples for the experiment. The study concluded that the more men and women try to be empathetic to their partner’s feelings, the happier the couple is in their relationship. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the partner has to be empathic. Faking it, this time, also works.
The belief that your husband and/or boyfriend is trying to understand your feelings seems to be enough. A woman want to see her man upset when she is upset, even if he doesn’t understand why she is upset. This is why so many women feel dissatisfied, rejected and confused when men withdraw emotionally, especially when there is conflict. Seeing a man upset when we are upset makes us feel that our partners are emotionally invested.
Bottomline, women want men to feel and express the misery they are feeling. Misery loves company, after all. So, gentlemen, take a seat on the couch, flick on Grey’s Anatomy and start the waterworks.