Counselling in the northern beaches, something that has come to my attention lately with my couples, is a wife expecting her husband to meet all her relationship needs/requirements.
Now to have a satisfying relationship with your husband, he does need to be your friend. Men and women can however have very different communication styles, with men tending to be more straightforward, to the point and wanting to be problem solvers or fixers.
How this plays out for women, is it leads to feeling unheard and invalidated and therefore not a very satisfying exchange.
Sadly, the woman just wants to vent, to blow off steam and can often work through or otherwise actually accept the circumstances. The man believes he is supporting her by trying to solve her problems.
This leads to both parties feeling misunderstood. They are both good people, neither has done anything wrong but the communication has been unsatisfactory.
I would say that there are times or certain topics, where it would be a good idea to rather speak with a girlfriend. Some examples that come to mind are:
A new mother sharing minute details about the baby’s toileting habits, exactly how and what the baby has eaten in the day etc. This is where being part of a mom’s group is invaluable. Share these details and compare notes with other new moms and save up the milestones and special moments for your partner. Send photos to him at work to keep him connected.
At times problems between girlfriends can also be something he may have a limited interest to hear about.
Our girlfriends can offer us that listening ear, validate our feelings but not need to solve our problems. The other thing I have noticed, is that men tend to be very sensitive to our problems and can sometimes believe we are not coping. The reality is often we are being realistic and although a situation may be difficult, we can cope but may just need to blow off steam while we regroup and either often solve our own problems or accept the situation and decide to keep on keeping on.