Men tend to hide from their emotions
It is often said that women are more in touch with their emotions, and there is a lot of truth in this. Although on the surface men tend to appear confident and strong, this is often a way of hiding considerable inner turmoil and pain. They will generally be unaware of their emotional pain because they have become psychologically independent (read about why your partner might have become emotionally independent and distant from you in my book Understanding Men) . This independence happens subconsciously and has the effect of closing down their hearts and preventing them from feeling any negative emotions - but critically it also stops them feeling their positive emotions and it stops them from reading your emotions. If you are in a relationship with such a man you will feel that he doesn't love you, and that he doesn't receive your love. However...
It is a mistake to assume that your man is lacking in emotions ( or love)
I know from my experiences of counselling men and attending relationship workshops that once the tears start flowing, it is like opening the floodgates.
So why might your man be so reluctant to feel his
emotions in everyday life?
As a man I can answer this question in two ways. Part of the avoidance of emotions is cultural, a part of our upbringing. Men are taught from an early age to be strong and heroic in the face of danger or adversity. We are told that 'Big Boys Don't Cry' and to 'Man Up'. We begin to associate feelings and emotions with weakness and a lack of courage. We come to believe that we have failed if we become sentimental and were to open our hearts Many of us therefore try to be the hero who saves the people around us and always puts on a brave face.
It is easy to blame society's expectations on men, but the truth is that there is another much more fundamental reason we avoid our emotions:
Deep down many men are defending huge amounts of heartbreak, guilt and feelings of failure that originated in their childhood and adolescence
If you are in a relationship with a man who is reluctant to express his emotions or who has closed down his heart, here is how you can help him and your relationship.
Men love women who are tender, empathic, honest and open
- the truly feminine qualities
In other words, your partner loves you because you are in touch with your emotions - because your heart is more open than his. Deep down he will want to open his heart and experience more love, but he is afraid that this will also make him vulnerable to his pain.
So this is where you can help by first making it safe to feel and express his emotions, and show him that LOVE takes away his pain. Of course he will need to find some courage to do this. Interestingly the word courage is derived the French word Coeur, meaning heart. Real courage for a man is to allow himself to let go of his control and to open his heart. Let him know that
you find him attractive and brave when he does this – when he can show his emotions without attack or withdrawal. Appreciate him for the true open-hearted strength that you love in him.
Make it OK for him to cry and be supported by you if that is what he needs in order to release the pent-up emotions. Appreciate his openness and find the courage yourself to communicate about your own fears and insecurities. With time you will become more and more emotionally honest with each other and as your hearts open, your love for each other will grow or be re-kindled. This is a
real aphrodisiac, so the new-found honesty will greatly enhance your sex life.If you can do this you will become an expert in men, emotions and relationships!