Updated: Nov 29, 2020
Relationships often become complex and stressful when communication is non-existent. When your partner emotionally withdraws, this could be the only way he knows how to resolve conflict. Ultimately, there are some reasons and tips to help determine how you can help a situation when your partner shuts you out.
1. HIS FEELINGS MATTER – Oftentimes, women, we all can find ourselves at one point or another speaking to a man with a certain sharp tone and, we can throw out insults without even realizing that it can be hurtful to the men that we love. Men, while they are strong, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have feelings. You don’t want to have a valid point, and then put it on the side of a missile and launch it directly at your spouse. It blows up your point, but not only that, it devalues him and blows him up internally. Feelings mean different things to different people, and although a man may not be as expressive as we may like, it doesn't mean that he doesn't get emotional. Most times men want to feel respected and loved more than anything, by those that they care for and are in relationships with. Keep this in mind. If he loves you, he will listen- but it is all in how you say it.
2. BE DIRECT- There is a great saying “we are all grown until it is time to communicate”. When you have a partner, it is important to discuss your needs and be direct about them as opposed to throwing out hints hoping that they will read in-between the lines. A man’s attention span for drama is a tolerable low. They will tune you out, if you aren’t getting to your point or if you are nagging away about an issue. They just want to know what they need to do, and a chance to show you that they can get it done. When you fail to articulate what you need from your partner and sign them up for your own private game of “THEY’RE GROWN, & THEY SHOULD JUST KNOW WHAT I WANT”, it will have everyone go home a loser. Be honest about what your needs are, and then asking him if can he meet those needs. Any other games will only shut him down, he will shut you out and at the end of the day, everyone ends up frustrated.
3. APPRECIATION- Learning your partner's love language and traumas are a great way to educate yourself on how to create safe spaces for you and him to talk. While he isn’t looking for appreciation, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want to feel appreciated. Even the strongest men, don't want to feel like they are waking up and providing for their family for nothing. There’s a lot of external barriers that men face outside of the home, so when it comes to the relationship- showing some compassion is important. Even when there are times that you may get to a point in your relationship where you think that he isn’t getting OR doing much right, acknowledging the small things, can help him feel motivated to be more open to trying to improve. Doing so establishes trust, and it gives him a sense of safety. If not, they can check out emotionally, as they will begin to think that nothing that they do is ever good enough, so should they keep trying. For example, if you tell your man that you need him to buy you flowers more often because he doesn’t do it anymore now that you all are 2 years in and living together, and he say’s “okay..”. If the next week he comes in the door with flowers, try not to reply with “finally, you bought them for me or it’s about time.. try a simple; thank you baby. I love you, this means a lot”.
4. ENCOURAGE AUTHENTICITY- We live in this social media era, where everyone acts as though they have to feel something that they don’t truly feel or be something that they truly are not, corresponding to whatever is trending by the majority. When it is just you and your man, in the comfort of your own space and time- it is important that you stay away from a judgmental tone. Supporting your partner, while he is trying to figure things out, opposed to being critical can change the way that he responds to you. A man may act impenetrable when it comes to his vulnerability, but they aren’t. Be sure that when he is wanting to share his dreams or share an idea that you don’t immediately shut him down with insults or sarcasm. Most of the time, a man wants to be 100% open with their spouse. He wants to be able to show and tell you everything. They cut off all access when they start unraveling layers of who they are, and you tear down their idea or act uninterested.
5. TIME- Observing your spouse and giving them time when they emotionally withdraw, can be the difference between the start of something beautiful or the beginning of something tragic. Learning to respect that everyone isn’t going to want to talk about an issue when they are upset, and they may need time to process their emotions, is essential. If you are one of those women who like to address things right as they happen, that is fine- but don’t expect your man to respond if he isn’t ready. A man may not be able to figure it all out, in the time frame that you expect him to. Being there for someone even in silence, listening without responding, and refrain from becoming defensive OR saying mean things just because they can't talk to you right at the peak of an emotional moment, can allow an opportunity for him to find the words and space to be open when he is ready. When you don’t try to force change on the person that you fell in love with, but you are supporting and encouraging them to find growth while adding value to them and the relationship, the partnership becomes stronger.
Be patient and in love- take into consideration the tips that I have shared.