For women it’s different. The traditional concept of the well is that women need to dig into their feelings in order to understand what’s going on inside. For many women, the challenge 20 years ago was around finding the time to talk about their feelings. They would bottle things up for a period of time until they could release them. The longer they held on to their feelings, the deeper into the metaphorical “well” they would go in order to let things out.
What’s changed for modern women is that, while they still have this need, there are competing factors that give them mixed messages about letting their feelings out. To begin, consider how most women spend their days… at the office, on their male side, solving problems and slaying dragons just like her husband.
As Tom Hanks said, “There’s no crying in baseball” and the same is true for the workplace. Being an emotional woman means she often gets overlooked for promotions and seen as a difficult employee. If she wants to be successful, those parts of her life are better left at the door before she walks in.
With women working long hours and overtime, this compartmentalizing of her life results in women stuffing, rejecting and hiding her feelings. There are only so many hours in the day, and if talking about her feelings doesn’t fit into the schedule, it simply doesn’t happen until it must. Unfortunately, when those times erupt, the depth of her confusion, despair and hopelessness are even deeper and darker than they would have been if she had allowed herself to be in touch with her feelings a little at a time.
Consequently, the concept of the “wave/well” for women is even more powerful today than it was 20 years ago, because today a part of her isn’t valued in the same way as it once was by modern society. That very act of denying her feelings can be harmful to her self-esteem. This is why therapists and coaches are hearing more than ever from women, “Why am I so successful at work but I can’t find a mate or make a relationship work?”
The pendulum has shifted too far in exclusively honoring how women are successful at work when they’re on their male sides without some equal value to her feminine side. And the place we see that playing out in marriages is, specifically, in the bedroom...