Getting Men To Stop "Fixing" Your Emotions

By

Getting Men To Stop "Fixing" Your Emotions
If your guy sees you in distress he wants to make you feel better, even when you just want to vent.

Question: My significant other does not know how to handle my emotion when I am depressed or sad. He said he wanted to fix things, but he does not know how, so now he tends to shy away. And his avoidance only makes me feel worse. Is there a way for us to arrive at a happy medium? —Rhonda

Answer: This is a great question, and one that has perplexed women and men for years: How does a man offer emotional support to his significant other, without giving into his natural inclination to try and "fix" things? 

In order to answer this question, we must first look at the differences between men and women. As a rule, men are naturally goal-oriented. As such, if we encounter a problem of any kind, we immediately try to figure out a way to solve it. It’s a practical approach that serves us well in school, sports, careers and recreational activities. It does not, however, work particularly well when dealing with the emotions of the women in our lives. In fact, more often than not, our earnest efforts to resolve your pain often exacerbate the situation and lead to even more pain, hurt feelings, misunderstandings and general frustration. The primary reason for this, as you know, is that when you share your feelings and emotions with us, you’re usually not looking for a solution or "quick-fix." You merely want to express what you’re feeling, and have us lend a sympathetic ear and perhaps a strong shoulder to cry on. And that’s it. The sadness or depression you feel will not go away as a result of our pro-active suggestions. You’ll simply stop feeling the way you do in your own time, and not before. That makes perfect sense to you, but leaves us completely baffled. For us, it makes absolutely no sense to feel bad for even one additional moment if there were some course of action you could immediately pursue that would resolve the underlying reason for your emotional pain.

To further complicate matters, women are naturally more comfortable with their emotions. They are happy to share their feelings unabashedly and with little or no reservations. Men, on the other hand, are exactly the opposite. From the time we’re little boys, we are strongly encouraged to keep our feelings and emotions to ourselves. In fact, being openly emotional is apt to cause us to be ridiculed or even ostracized from our peer group. For it is "unmanly" to show our emotions (except when it comes to athletic competition—our sole, legitimate "let your feelings run free" activity). Thus, after years of hiding how we feel, we are understandably ill-equipped to deal with any display of emotion, ours or anybody else’s. Keep Reading...

More Emotional Content From YourTango:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

David M. Matthews

Author

Besides being a relationship coach and author of the controversial book, "Every Man Sees You Naked: An Insider’s Guide to How Men Think," David M. Matthews is an Emmy-winning TV Writer/Producer who’s worked on some of television’s favorite shows.

For more information on David or to get a copy of his free report on "The 3 Things Men Are REALLY Looking For In A Relationship," go to www.EveryManSeesYouNaked.com.

Location: Porter Ranch, CA
Credentials: Other
Specialties: Communication Problems, Couples/Marital Issues, Dating/Being Single Support
Other Articles/News by David M. Matthews:

Change Of Heart: Now She Wants Him Back

By

Question: My ex and I broke up several months ago after five years. Right after the break-up (which was pretty much mutual) I became desperate and needy, begging for him back, which obviously only pushed him away. Now that we've gone almost two months with no contact, we've started texting a very little bit here and there. I'm looking to get back ... Read more

Should She Pursue Former Crush...20 Years Later?

By

Question: I have an unusual situation here...a guy I served with in the military back in my twenties (we are in our mid 40's now), found me on Facebook two years ago (I was married then).  He often sent me texts: jokes, political things, discussions about our kids (we both have teenaged boys, he's divorced).  We discovered that we had crushes ... Read more

Men’s Dirty Little Secrets – Part 2

By

As promised, here is the second installment in my exposé on men’s dirty little secrets. As I’m sure many of you know, men are visual beings.  We are motivated to action and stimulated most by our sense of sight.  As such, when we see something provocative it can have a profound effect on us.  And by profound effect, I mean, ... Read more

See More

PARTNER POSTS
Latest Expert Videos
Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Most Popular