“Suck it up.”
“Real men don’t cry.”
Boys learn very early that it’s not okay to express fear, sadness, or hurt. They’re taught that showing vulnerability means showing weakness. Boys spend a lot of time snuffing out any tendency to show their “weakness.” When they get together they “crack” on each other and poke fun at each other’s sensitive spots and the result is seemingly insensitive men who cannot communicate their needs and feelings.
So where does that leave them when it’s time to be in a relationship?
A lot of women complain that their man doesn’t communicate, doesn’t tell what he’s really thinking. One of my sisters once dated a guy who only texted her; unless they were face to face, he never actually spoke to her. If they were having a disagreement, it was all worked out through text messaging.
It’s not easy being a man.
Men are taught to close themselves off from their emotions, then when they get into a relationship, we get mad at them for not being open with their emotions.
So what’s a woman to do?
- DON’T CRITICIZE HIS DIFFICULTY COMMUNICATING EMOTIONS. IT WILL ONLY PUT HIM ON THE DEFENSIVE.
Guys are already have to put their tough dude face when they go out into the world. Don’t make him do it at home too. Even if you don’t think you’re being abrasive or accusatory, your criticism might feel like an attack already because you’re telling him that he’s failing you in a certain area.
Instead, start the conversation off like this: “Do you feel like..…? Or “Can we talk about….” it will take time for him to open up…but he will eventually become more comfortable sharing his emotions.
- Do you feel too tired to deal with the kids when you get home?
- Do you feel offended when I tell you certain things?
- Do you feel uncomfortable when we have conversations about (Insert sensitive topic here), do you mind telling me why that is?
2. LET HIM KNOW YOU HAVE CONFIDENCE IN HIM BY AFFIRMING HIM EVERY CHANCE YOU GET.
Ladies, our men need to know that we think highly of them. They need compliments just as much as we do!
Acknowledge your man’s abilities and efforts. Let him know that it’s okay when he makes mistakes. He needs to know that it’s okay not to have everything all figured out. This will make your relationship a safe space where he knows it’s okay if he doesn’t “win” every time.
3. PRAY ON HIS BEHALF, NOT JUST ABOUT HIM.
This will help you be more compassionate and understandingand also strengthen you to be a problem solver alongside him.
He doesn’t have it all figured out, so knowing that he has a partner who’s fighting beside him will be a huge boost to your relationship.
4. GIVE HIM TIME AND SPACE TO DECOMPRESS INSTEAD OF BOMBARDING HIM WHEN HE GETS HOME.
I know this is hard, especially if you have kids. But our guys need their time too! Let him play his video games or basketball with his homies! He needs that space to just let everything out, and that way he can be more emotionally available for you!
Guys need our unconditional love and support. They need to feel like the relationship is a safe space, not a place where they have to constantly be on guard or attack mode. Remember, our men already have to wear a mask out there, so make sure that he can trust you to be his confidante and partner. Do everything you can to help him get comfortable with being vulnerable with fear of rejection or criticism.
What do you think ladies?
Try this out and let me know how it works out!
Till next time!
P.S. Download my FREE ebook Love Me This Way here. In it I spill all the tea on the lessons I learned about unconditional love during my first few years of marriage. I promise you won’t look at marriage the same after this!