In the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians the mother of the protagonist is Eleanor Young played by Michelle Yeoh. She plays the part with icy precision. She tells her son Nick’s latest girlfriend Rachel that a woman does not follow her personal passion at the expense of her family duty. That comment encapsulates the conflict that women have to deal with. The task of prioritizing and investing energy and time in one aspect of their life at the expense of others. Specifically being looked at here are three aspects of our life: the adventure life, the professional life and the maternal life.
Now men have their paternal life that they have also to balance with the satisfaction of their professional and emotional lives. A man’s life can be rich, deep and layered (not that guys ever talk about it). However it seems that the internal management of these three lives does not incur the same degree of internal conflict as it does in a woman. That is not to say that men are better at personal life management because we all know that isn’t true. There are many a man out there who is lost inside himself and would be lost in his daily life if a woman (mother, girlfriend, sister, or his partner) did not keep him on track with a progression of simple life hacks.
It is not that hard to see how this difference between men and women can then lead to conflict between them. Men often can’t grasp how these same three categories of daily life instigate so much drama in a woman. For the man there is no conflict between these lives. They are to be prioritized and dealt with. Welcome to ‘Man Dealing’.
An expression of Man Dealing can be that he understands, in the moment, that his wife needs what she needs. Whether it be a massage, arrive home to a clean house or to jump in her car and see someone filled the car with gas so she doesn’t have to stand out there in the wind of a blowing cold, dark January morning for five minutes filling the thing up. The uncomplicated way of Man Dealing can be useful and efficient. Not to mention a huge relief so a woman doesn’t have to ask for things or explain why she wants them.
On the other hand the cold satisfaction of Man Dealing can be a massive frustration for women and has no doubt played a part in many an argument. This can involve him getting angry, fed up, frustrated from his lack of understanding of these three life currents. A woman feels these currents as three distinct tributaries flowing into a greater river. A man sees one river, feels one river and makes decisions based on that river. And that is why, at least inside the man, there is no conflict. So, according to him, there is nothing to talk about . Its pretty straightforward.
These life currents have different implications for a woman. Having children does not impact a man and woman in the same way: physically, psychologically and in terms of the Satisfaction and Fulfillment experience (see my article on Satisfaction and Fulfillment on The Wild Coach blog). With the hope/expectancy/preparation of having children means the Professional life of a woman will almost certainly be on hiatus, stop or change. Having a child or children quite possibly translates into less of an adventure life. Adventure can mean romance, travel, active social life, independence. Having a family is a nuclear reaction in a woman’s maternal life.
So for women it is a conflict that is not a problem. However many a problem has been born from the poor management of this reality by both men and women. There is no female deficiency or lack of feminine perception. Communication is a two way street.