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Women Are Happier When Men Feel Their Pain

Women Are Happier When Men Feel Their Pain

Confession: sometimes I have hard time letting a relationship quarrel go. I don’t hold a grudge, exactly…but I do sometimes prolong disagreements to make sure I’m being heard and understood. Of course, when I’m upset about something, sometimes this goes down less maturely than I’d like, and just when he thinks our argument is resolved, I jump in for round two. And three. (Do you understand why I’m upset? But do you get it?)

But before you criticize, I’ll have you know that science totally has my back on this one. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, empathy makes for a happy relationship…but men and women differ on what they want empathy on.

In addition to asking about overall relationship satisfaction, researchers had 156 heterosexual couples describe a recent incident with their partners that was frustrating, disappointing, or upsetting. The couples were asked to try to come to an understanding, in a 10-minute discussion together, of what had happened. The researchers recorded the discussion and then played it back for the couples, asking them to rate their negative and positive emotions throughout.

The results? Women wanted their partners to know when they were upset—in fact, the women reported happier when this happened (the men didn’t). The women were also happier when they correctly understood when their partners were upset, rather than happy. The authors behind the study suggest that these results may show that being empathetic to a partner’s negative emotions may feel threatening to the relationship for men, but not for women.

Do you see evidence of that in your own relationship? I’ll certainly ponder it next time I find myself asking “but do you really get why I’m upset? Are you sure?” when I’m having a disagreement with my (wonderful, patient) partner.

Read more: Dating, Love, Relationships,

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Diana Vilibert

Diana Vilibert is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. You can be blog-friends with her at dianavilibert.com, or tweet her at @dianavilibert.

72 comments

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9:22AM PST on Jan 4, 2013

Thanks.

3:54AM PST on Dec 3, 2012

thanks

8:21AM PST on Dec 2, 2012

thanks.

3:54PM PST on Dec 1, 2012

Duh!

1:14PM PST on Dec 1, 2012

noted

5:51PM PDT on Jul 11, 2012

Yes, women wants men to "feel her pain". Which doesn't mean she wants her man to be IN pain. Just that she wants him to understand her, when SHE is in pain. Emphasize with her. Show some sympathy. Letting her be, offer some words of console. Give a hug perhaps? Telling her not to worry. And maybe some advice of how to handle the problem. But mostly its not what really is needed. Shes not looking for you to handle her problem, to fix everything for her. She just wants to ventilate and for you to be there for her. Its simply called emotional support.
In the article it says that men doesn't want the same thing. That they feel threatened. I don't quite believe that. Would they not want emotional support? Or does that mean they are not man enough to handle it themselves? I don't know. I hope its not the case, since everyone needs emotional support at one time or the other. Could a man perhaps explain his point of view on this matter?

5:28AM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

interesting

2:25PM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

Question: If women happier when her men feel their pain, Would Men happier when women feel their (lifetime partner, GF, significant others) pain too? Women understand men pain?

12:17AM PDT on May 26, 2012

Thanks for the information!

8:03AM PDT on May 25, 2012

i love my finance very much.i like to give her too much happiness in her life and understand her feeling.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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people are talking

Good reminders, thanks.

Sometimes I wonder about the articles on this site, this is one of those articles...

Looks great !

I got an A+ in anatomy and physiology. I know not only my own parts, but where men differ from women…

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