There are many factors that explain why men have a hard time communicating. Not every man thinks the same way, and not every man will feel that what I say here fits him exactly. There are men who are great communicators, but by in large, the general complaint I hear from wives is: “We never talk!”
So, why is that? Well, there are several things that you may need to be aware of. Understanding the man’s mentality will help make things easier when you try to draw him out and get him to communicate.
MEN HAVE A HARD TIME COMMUNICATING EMOTION BECAUSE THEY GET CLOSE BY SHARED EXPERIENCES
Typically, men don’t feel close to someone by sharing their emotions. Emotions, to a man, are either a sign of weakness (which it is not) or something that gets in the way of action and accomplishment. Men would prefer to do something about the problem rather than talk about it. And if he doesn’t know what to do about a problem, he may pretend there is no problem, so convincing him there is a problem can be somewhat difficult.
But men feel closer by sharing experiences, not emotions and so have a hard time communicating what they feel. Get two men in some form of competition, and they’ll feel close. Work with a man, and he’ll feel closer to you. It is amazing how close men feel to those that he works with. And as a warning, this is why many workplace affairs happen for men–he got close to another woman because he worked with her and felt close to her.
EMOTIONS FOR MEN ARE EXPRESSED BY THEIR ACTIONS
Emotions, to a man, are an outlet for action. A man gets angry and that anger pushes them to some sort of action. He gets sad, and he just wants to be alone or pretend there is nothing wrong. A man gets depressed, and he seems to fall off the edge of the map because his depression stifles his action. Rarely does a man seek to talk about his feelings. He is looking for something to do about it, or if he can’t figure out what to do, he may do nothing at all and appear to be lethargic and lazy.
Study a man’s actions, and you’ll get a general sense of his emotions. He doesn’t necessarily talk about it, having a hard time communicating what he feels, but his emotions and feelings will dictate much of his actions. Women can talk about how they feel and feel better for it. This may actually be true for men as well, but such “action” is not seen to accomplish much so they tend to clam up and let those emotions dictate their actions.
MEN ALSO EXPRESS EMOTIONS MORE BY SYMBOLISM
A man may have a hard time saying, “I love you.” But his feelings of love may cause him to go out and get you some flowers. Again, his feelings cause an action. Study a man’s actions and you’ll get a sense of how he feels.
Symbols for a man represent his emotions. They are very powerful. This may sound strange, but I’ve met men who don’t understand why their wives wonder about their love. After all, he comes home every night after work, puts food on the table, and pays the bills. The act of coming home and taking care of his wife is, to him, an act of love. He isn’t out at a bar carousing or wasting all his money at the cascino. Since he is showing his love by taking care of her and being there for her, he struggles to understand why his wife is so frustrated with him.
A MAN’S SECURITY COMES FROM HIS ABILITY TO PERFORM
I’m not just referring to sex here either–though that does have some bearing. I’m talking about a man’s ability to provide for his family, to protect them, and to care for their needs.
Because of this, his understanding of a problem is often different than a woman’s so he has a hard time communicating in a way that makes sense to you. A woman may have an issue in the relationship that doesn’t affect his ability to care for her, so he’s fine while she struggles–and he doesn’t even realize there is a problem until she blows up at him. Even then, it doesn’t mean he will understand it.
But more than that, if there is a problem, it implies that he has somehow failed in his performance. He has somehow not provided, protected, and cared for his wife like he should. And since he doesn’t see a problem, he will just go on as if there is not one. This can be incredibly frustrating for a woman.
You want a depressed and stressed out man? Take away his job, make it so that he can’t provide and protect his family, and you’ll have more issues and problems than you’ll ever want to deal with.
So when it comes to communication, you and he will often talk at cross purposes since he may have a hard time communicating in a way you understand. What you are feeling is not what he is feeling. Talking about how you feel doesn’t solve the problem in his mind. He wants you to tell him what to do to fix the problem, not how you feel about the problem. This is also why most men don’t want to go and get help from a counselor. If he has to get help, then that implies that he is somehow failing in his ability to provide and protect. His ego and pride prevent him from acknowledging his need for help. He won’t even want to talk about it.
Understanding this may help you in finding ways to communicate with your husband that he will understand.
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