There is one important difference between the genders that can easily be blamed for most arguments:
Oxytocin, or as it’s often called ‘the love chemical’, or ‘the cuddle hormone’ is central in keeping a woman’s body, and mind balanced. Women release this hormone by giving care, and nurturance to others. Once spent, women (hopefully) replenish it by receiving nurturance, and care.
Men, on the other hand are ruled by the hormone Testosterone (often called ‘the macho hormone’).
Men release Testosterone by solving problems, and doing things that make them feel needed and competent (ever had a man try to solve your problem, when all you really wanted him to do was to listen?).
Once spent, men need to replenish the hormone by withdrawing, and resting (think ‘man cave’).
Now, imagine a couple seeing each other at the end of a long hard day. The woman has been giving to others all day, and needs to replenish her Oxytocin by being listened to, and cared for. The man’s Testosterone levels are low from being out in the world (as a competent man), and he needs to withdraw, and rest before he can help out in the house.
Do you see the problem?
So, how do we work WITH it rather than AGAINST it:
- Make a habit of calling someone at 4:00PM – a friend, your mom, or anyone that will make you feel supported.
- Give yourself breaks, and don’t try to fit too many things into a short period of time.
- Exercise, and nourish your body
- Create regular help for yourself. To learn how, take this free lesson, and read this article.
- Reveal the Core Beliefs that get triggered when your husband is unable to give you the care that you want, and remove them. Use the tools in this free lesson, and this article to find relief.
- Here is a list of things you can do to replenish your own Oxytocin (scroll down to the homework section)
Help your partner replenish his hormones so that he can be more attuned to your needs.
- Give him a break. He needs it. Give him 20 minutes to zone out (preferably away from you, and the kids).
- When he’s available (hormonally speaking) ask for help in a way that is Specific, Non-Blaming, and Current (about this particular thing, not what happened yesterday). Remember – he needs to feel competent for the hormone to replenish. Try “I’m not sure how to do this, and you’re so good at this stuff…” instead of “I’ve been asking you to help me with this for a week, you always take so long to do what I ask.”
- Be kind. It goes a long way.
Take care of our own hormonal depletion.
- Explain to your lovely and understanding partner (after giving her a nice massage) that your body needs 20 minutes to re-group after work, in order for you to be helpful around the house. Let her read this article for reference.
- Offer her something in return that will help replenish her own reserves – a bottle of wine, and a movie of her choice, or an afternoon with a girlfriend while you take care of the kids.
- Sit at the park for 20 minutes before heading home after work (make sure this is agreed upon with your partner before hand). Zoning out will be much easier for you to accomplish outside of the house than inside the house (with kids running around).
- When you are home and replenished, make sure that you are helpful and understanding.
- Use this free tool to reveal, and remove the emotional trigger (old hurt) that gets engaged when you feel misunderstood and un-appreciated.
Help your partner replenish her hormones so that she can be more attuned to your needs.
- Encourage your partner to talk with friends, or do any of the things on this list (bottom of page) to replenish her reserves before the end of the day.
- Help take things off her list (which is massive).
- Help her feel nurtured. The key words are: relaxed, safe, and cared for.
Do you have your own ways of protecting your relationship from low Oxytocin/Testosterone levels?