Today, Sex and Family Therapist Danielle Adinolfi, MFT shares why men and women have a hard time communicating and what to do to fix it. Visit PhiladelphiaMFT to learn more.

So often in couples therapy, I hear my clients complain that the other person doesn’t understand them. “He hears me ask him to do the same thing ten times, and then claims I never said it!” “She talks constantly about what she’s feeling and I can’t get a minute to breath!” Sound familiar? This dynamic is all too familiar for most couples, and does not seem to get better over time. In fact, the majority of my work as a couples therapist surrounds the topic of communication. My job as therapist becomes that of a translator, hearing and interpreting what each person says for their partner.

So, why are we so different? It seems that the answer to this question lies in both nature and nurture.

Our genetic differences set us on different paths before birth, with men having difficulty with attention, whereas women are able to efficiently multitask. Men are also born with less verbal fluency and emotional understanding then women. This is compounded over time when boys are socialized to be tough and girls learn to empathize with others. This stark difference in how we understand and experience emotions puts us on different playing fields, and this difference is quite obvious in relationships.

As adults, women feel their emotions on a multitude of levels; first acknowledging its presence, second trying to understand where it comes from, and third communicating it. Men typically don’t share this ability, instead having difficulty with their emotions, and burying them below the surface due to a lack of understanding.

In order to get start speaking the same language, women can try two this two-step technique that will help them communicate (i.e. speak menglish) with their partner. Start by remembering that men have a limited focus, and wait until you have their complete attention to speak. Next, give your partner some time to think about how he wants to answer you. Emotions are complex, and working through them can take time, especially for someone who is not as well-versed or high in emotional IQ.


Originally posted on PhiladelphiaMFT.

  • This is really interesting! I think although there are a lot of differences between men and women it’s about finding the right person for you and that’s when it’ll work. I don’t think it’s purely gender based, but I do agree that it has some influence!

    Lauren |

  • Annie Bean

    I’m so going to take this into consideration from now on, never really looked at it like that before.

  • This is a really interesting post, I do agree with you. It must be an interesting job though!

  • Great and interesting post, I have to agree with you xo

  • Very interesting post, have to agree and say it’s quite true

  • Kira L Curtis

    I am constantly telling my boyfriends things that he doesn’t seem to hear so this is definitely an interesting post, thank you 🙂

  • Interesting post and it’s so true. Men really don’t know how to communicate their feelings at times x

    • Thanks for commenting Stephanie!

  • Very interesting, I have heard from so many women that they’ll tell their husbands/ other halves things and they’ll just magically not hear it x

    • Haha I’ve heard the same thing.

  • everinmay

    such a good post, I don’t have a husband but my Mum and I often find it impossible to communicate with my Dad, I’ll be sharing this with her! xx

    • Oh awesome! Thanks for commenting!

  • Nazy Nazy

    Such a great post but in my case my husband is so good that sometimes I feel like i am the bad one lolzz.

    • LOL I can totally relate to that.

  • Jodie Whitham

    Something to consider. I think it’s also about thinking as if you were in the other person’s shoes x

  • Hayley

    What a great post, it really gave me something to think about!

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