Rather than making him feel loved and comforted, it just reminds him of his failings. His muscles tense up. If he allowed himself to actually put a word to this sensation, he might describe this discomfort as feeling, “Stressed out.” And then, to reduce the growing tension he’ll shut down.
According to experts, this is all normal behavior, in fact, the vast majority of men don’t do feelings, and we should all just accept this and get over it. Now, here’s the problem with all of this: normal isn’t always good or desirable. Sometimes we really do need our men to talk.
Here are a few pointers for getting them to do just that:
• Discuss relationship issues when you are both calm. You’ll get nowhere if you try to solve a problem when you are already fighting. Do it while you are otherwise having a good time.
• It’s easier to get a Strong and Silent man to talk if he’s not also making eye contact. Talk about things while you are walking, furniture shopping, or sitting in the car or in front of the TV.
• Just solve the problem. Say what’s wrong and offer one or two possible solutions. You can say how YOU feel about the situation, but use non-blaming language such as, “I’m so exhausted” or “I’m really sad about this.” Don’t blame him for the problem. Yeah, it might be his fault, but telling him this will not move the conversation forward. Rather, as soon as you move into the blame game, he’s going to shut down. Stay focused on the solution.
Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, which tells the real life story of how she went from the brink of divorce to falling back in love. It's available for pre-order on amazon.com. Visit her blog at http://www.projecthappilyeverafter.com.