Men find this statement upsetting because it sounds unmanly, but when he hears his partner say, “Honey, we have to talk,” what do you think a man feels?
Hook him up to a lie detector and watch the needle go off the page. Research tells us this isn’t speculation, it’s fact. Wifely criticism can kick a husband’s heart rate, blood pressure, and other physiological measures into the red zone in a single heartbeat! The unsuspected truth is that men are incredibly vulnerable to the disapproval of their wives.
Guess what happens to someone’s ability to think when his insides turn into a wasp’s nest? Remember what it was like taking tests under pressure? But, what about her? Will she get as upset as he does? Not according to studies of couples in conflict. Wives fail to react in the same catastrophic way husbands do. So, how do you think things will go?
Women are all too familiar with the irritatingly ineffectual defenses men resort to when under attack. They seldom realize, however, that underlying these inept defenses is a genuine internal distress that can be incapacitating. Wives, on the other hand, are usually far more at ease than husbands with marital conflict.
Compared to her husband, a woman experiences very little physiological distress until things become really nasty, and she is far more comfortable and skilled in being nasty than he! Women fight like “girls.” They employ all of the subtle psychological and hurtful tactics learned in early adolescent battles with other girls — an arsenal of weapons against which males have few defenses. Masculine advantages in size and physical strength are useless! Men aren’t allowed to fight like “boys.”
Engaging The Dragon provides the basic tools a man needs to successfully cope with what clearly appears to be a biological susceptibility to the disapproval of the woman he loves. For women, who usually carry the responsibility for making relationships work, this book should provide a huge relief. It clarifies why men behave so strangely when a woman “wants to talk.” It provides guidelines for a less provocative and more effective way of approaching what turns out to be a highly sensitive creature: the human male!