It’s always been so interesting for me to learn how and why men hide behind a façade, completely unknown to the women they’re most close to. Just as it’s not easy to be a woman, for an entirely different set of reasons, it’s tough business being a guy as well.
Here’s just a few things you might be interested in knowing about men, maybe your man, that I’ve learned over the years from talking one on one with him in counseling for almost 20 years.
Many men are under the impression that feelings are a sign of weakness. It’s not that they don’t have emotions, they have many, but they are under the often mistaken impression that women may perceive them as soft.
I try to explain to them that vulnerability is not synonymous with weakness.
Also, men don’t say what they feel because they’re afraid of appearing unmanly. If you let your man know that you care, and that anything he has to say is safe and acceptable with you, he may trust you with his feelings.
I could fill a stadium with women who don’t believe what I’m about to write, but nonetheless, I’m going to say it: men want to please you; they just don’t know how.
If you tell your significant other that you’d like for him to be more expressive, or to make more of an emotional connection with you, you might just as well be speaking to him in Japanese.
Men need concrete examples.
They’d rather not do something at all than do it wrong and look foolish to you. If you would like him to be more affectionate with you, be specific on how you’d like him to touch you and when. Lots of men don’t know what kitchen foreplay means. Once I explain it, they’re grateful.
By and large, men want to provide, protect and defend. They want to be your hero and your champion. I think it’s primal.
If he feels like he’s failed you, he feels inadequate. Worse, his discouragement may block him from showing up for you. It’s less painful for him to not try at all than it is to fail.
His relationship with you is more important than you might think.
As I often say in my office, Ward Cleaver is dead. If you don’t know what that means, look it up! But so many men are unclear as to what is expected from them and how they should behave.
If they open the door for a woman, is that offensive? If they don’t open the door for a woman, is that offensive? How can he flirt safely? What is the difference between teasing and inappropriate behavior? All of these things are subjects that come up, one-on-one with male clients.
They just want an instruction booklet so they can know what to do!
To be honest, most of my female clients aren’t really sure, either, about what is flirting and what is disrespect.
We have some work to do.
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