Psychology

What men need to understand about relationships


When there is a crisis or breakup between partners because of strong emotions, the primal, unconscious mechanisms often take over. Many times I’ve seen men use the same strategies that worked in relationships with their mothers many years ago. They apologize over and over, and they repeatedly try to get their partner’s attention, hoping that after long enough, they will be accepted again. They keep doing this, even though their partners react very poorly to these attempts.

The main difference between a partner and a mother is the fact that most mothers have an indissoluble bond with their children, and almost nothing can alter this relationship. Multiple apologizes can, at some point, cause a mother to forgive almost anything. Repeated attempts to make contact will eventually be successful.

Men can’t see that the bond with a romantic partner will not be as strong. Particularly if a man is in a dependent or controlling relationship (in which he treats the other person as a tool for fulfilling his needs) he often can’t understand that his partner may want to break this bond once and for all. It can be shocking to find out that this other person is no longer “his” and is almost stranger, reacting negatively to his attempts to impose control or dependency. Each successive attempt will only annoy the partner even more.

However, the most suprising thing is the loyalty that men tend to have to their relationship strategy even after many failures. This is how the priniciple of primacy in psyche works, until the man begins to understand the fundamental law of relationships: “your partner is not your mother.”

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