By Joe Mansfield
So many women have dismissed their husbands with the above epithet. Legions of emotionally unfulfilled ladies are filled! daily with resentment and sorrow over their man's seemingly stunted emotional growth. Endless complaints to female friends occasional "I'm fed up" outbursts, perhaps an occasional indiscreet confession of sorrow to a favored child, etc., etc, etc. Year in and year out,nothing really changes. It's enough to drive a woman nuts! No matter how socially approved her escapes into activities, for this woman the same inescapable question continually reappears.Is it too much to ask to have an emotional interaction with my husband?
"Late at night, a big old house gets lonely". So go the words of an old Eagles song. The loneliness, that deep bittersweet ache for a sharing companion goes unrequited. So it's Cub Scouts, Tupperware, Tidybowl, sherry, and oh God-The Refrigerator. It sits there waiting for you. Like a fantasy friend. It's so accessible. It never locks up on you. If only he could be there for you, just once in a while. Maybe food and the kitchen would be less important. But it's still go, go, busy, busy, plans, lists, activities, sleep and repeat.
You know, things can get better. That big aloof guy, whose apparent rigidity you once mistook for strength, isn't all that hopeless. For although the mythology that he could be all things to had long ago crumbled., you should have faith in your initial instincts. But you say, perhaps with a hint of martyrdom "But I've tried everything! He's just like his father! Well I don't believe it! I haven't met a wife yet that has tried everything.
Your best chance of improving your connection with your husband will occur with the following:
1. Understand the differences in your early training and role models. Your man was never encouraged to have, let alone understand. emotional stuff. Prior to meeting you, he was probably rewarded only for behaviors calling for self-restraint, discipline and competition.
2. Look at yourself. Putting aside any justification or blame - how have you changed over the years? In which ways have things evolved in your day-to-day self that get in the way?
3. Explore with a close friend, the subtleties of your interpersonal style. Are you, perhaps somewhat, confusing your husband's dilemma with an earlier painful relationship. How emotionally charged is the process of negotiating your very personal needs?
4. Begin in small ways to explore the least threatening areas that you share for hookup points. Leave plenty of space to be a good listener. A little humor will make it less heavy for him.
5. Be persistent. Don't quit, even though you've carried so much hurt in the past. You've shown so much understanding to others. Show that same loving patience to your guy as he slowly learns his new, though scary skill of sharing. Realize that he'll only take your couple process as seriously as you openly do. Unrelentingly show him your love, availability, and a gentle steady seriousness about enriching your couple. If you apply the proper kind of pressure, he should come around.
So stop blaming and condemning him. Make things better. Take the high road. Do it with grace and determination. Be hopeful!
Joe Mansfield's Help For Men
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