Her relationship gets shaky, uncomfortable, and in need of improvement. It calls for relationship maintenance. She can describe the problems, but she has no control. It depresses her, which makes everything worse. Frustrated, she finally turns to him.
Relationship maintenance is her domain, but it suggests management. Trying to get him involved generates more anguish than she already suffers.
Women think in terms of relationship maintenance. Men don’t. To a man, his relationship with her exists, period, whether lumpy, frumpy, or grumpy. Not to say he won’t want to help, just that he most likely will respond negatively or worse to the idea because blame attaches to him.
When women expect their man to help in such conditions, they are usually disappointed because men don’t do relationship maintenance. It’s unnecessary, as he sees it.
He also reads her as saying he’s at fault, inadequate, or insignificant. His outer assertiveness melts to reveal his defensive armor.
A better approach exists for her. Both maintenance and management suggests getting people to live up to what the boss expects. It can offend at home as well as on the job. The principles of both depersonalize people.
Leadership, on the other hand, inspires people to live up to what others admire. Best practice calls for a woman to focus on what she admires about her man and watch him live up to it. Then, expand her admiration to other things about him. It works like fertilizer to grow him into the Right Man.
She’s better off by keeping both her need and the concept of maintenance in the closet.