Portland Marriage Counselor: How to Work Through Relationship Issues Caused By “Stupid Boy Syndrome”

January 11, 2012 by

Many of my female Portland marriage counselor clients complain of relationship issues because their male partners don’t listen to them and often seem clueless about how to deal with or even discuss their feelings. In recent years, this phenomenon has even gotten a name: “Stupid Boy Syndrome.” I prefer to call it “cluelessness”, and skip the negative judgments.

While it may seem like a stereotype to attribute this “Stupid Boy” quality to the men in our lives, this is one area where studies have actually shown that there’s at least some truth to the generalization. Northwestern University researchers a decade ago found evidence that women think more in terms of one-on-one relationships than men, and more recent biological date even seems to show that women are just better equipped neurocognitively than men to pay attention to and interpret others’ feelings. Essentially, women by nature are simply more in tune with the emotions of the people around them than men are.

Naturally, these differences are bound to cause relationship issues, but it doesn’t mean that you’re doomed! I’ve helped countless clients gain the tools they need to work through these kinds of issues so that they feel better connected – and it’s not limited to men; both partners have to work to meet in the middle.

“Cluelessness” Relationship Issues Require Men and Women to Meet in the Middle

Because men and women do have different ways of processing how they think and feel, asking one partner to change not only isn’t fair, it’s usually not feasible. When I work with my clients, I have each partner work on different skills.

For men, this usually means practicing recognizing and talking about their feelings, and learning how to listen carefully to their partner. Women, on the other hand, often need to learn that things that are “obvious” to them often aren’t to the men in their lives. When something bothers them, they can’t just assume that their spouses are going to pick up on it, they need to actually bring it up – and do so in such a way that focuses on how the situation makes them feel and why it’s important rather than unintentionally attacking their significant others.

If you’re having relationship issues related to “Cluelessness Syndrome” and can’t seem to get past them contact a Portland marriage counselor today.