Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Men's Health

Font Size

Men: Listen More to Improve Your Relationship

WebMD Magazine - Feature

Men want their relationships to succeed just as much as women do. But for some men, an inability to empathize with and open up to their partner hurts their efforts.

"There's a darker aspect of masculinity, a tendency to withdraw, to be impatient and short-fused," says Los Angeles-based psychologist Herb Goldberg, PhD. "A lot of it is unconscious, not done intentionally, and it is deeply rooted and difficult to change."

Recommended Related to Men

10 Health Benefits of Regular Exercise for Men

Terry Waters, a former college wrestler and baseball player, loved working out. He got real pleasure out of pushing himself hard at the gym, and he liked the feeling of tired but virtuous afterwards. He figured regular physical activity and its health benefits would always be a part of his life. Then came marriage, three kids, a demanding job as a software engineer in Boston — and a thousand and one excuses not to make it to the gym. “For a little while, you convince yourself you’re still in pretty...

Read the 10 Health Benefits of Regular Exercise for Men article > >

Difficult but not impossible, Goldberg adds. To develop meaningful and lasting relationships, you need to work at opening lines of communication with your spouse or partner, and then keep them open. Here's how to start.

Join a men's group. Build your skills by talking to other guys, Goldberg recommends. "You won't talk about business, the stock market, or ball games. Instead you'll focus on your relationships, your emotions, what's going in your life." To find a group, seek out a psychologist or therapist who specializes in men's issues, or check with local churches.

Decide to listen. "What allows a man to maintain a relationship with a woman is the ability to make her feel important, to make her feel heard," Goldberg says. That doesn't mean you simply nod along as she talks. You pay attention, you ask questions, and you follow up with genuine concern.

Share decisions. Relationships often start with the man in the driver's seat, literally and figuratively. In time, he may feel guilty for taking charge, and she may feel controlled and angry, Goldberg says.

"Raise the issue that you want to plan together, and work at doing that right from the beginning. When you take a leadership role like one you may have at work, you're setting the stage for real damage in the relationship."


Q: "I'm the father of two young boys. What can I do now to start to build the best possible relationships with them?"  -- Mark Peterson, 43, stay-at-home dad, Florence, MA.

A: "Be there and listen empathetically. Listen to what they say and to what they want to do. Of course, it's important to steer them in the right direction and offer suggestions, but be sure you're talking with them, not at them. Look at them, pay attention, and respond to them as if what they're saying is the most important thing. Let them know that by the questions you ask and the positive support you give. And do check your electronic equipment at the door." --William Pollack, PhD, assistant clinical professor of psychology, Harvard Medical School, and author of Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons From the Myths of Boyhood.

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of "WebMD Magazine." 

Reviewed on March 01, 2014

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Man taking blood pressure
doctor holding syringe
Condom Quiz
man running
older couple in bed