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 shut you out.
1. HIS FEELINGS MATTER – Often times, we can speak to a man with a tone and or throw out insults that we may think are innocent or deserving when in conflict. Doing so, can be like putting a completely valid point, on the side of a missile, then launching it and aiming it directly at your spouse. It blows up your point, but not only that, it devalues him and blows him up as well. Feelings mean different things to different people, and although a man may not be as expressive- most of them want to feel respected and loved, by those that they care for and are in relationships with.
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. 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’LL FIGURE IT OUT”, will have everyone go home a loser. Be honest about what your needs are and then asking him can he meet those needs. Any other games, will only shut him down, shut you out and make everyone frustrated.
3. APPRECIATION- Learning your partners love language is a great way to get ahead of they respond, when they are unsure of how they feel. A man needs compliments and in general, they want to feel appreciated. Instead of feeling that everyone is taking from him all of the time or feeling that he isn’t good enough. Even when there are times that you may get to a point in your relationship where you think that he isn’t getting much right, acknowledging small things that he does, can help him feel motivated to be open, it establishes trust, and it gives him a sense of safety. If not- they check out emotionally, due to feeling that nothing that they do is ever good enough for you, so they choose to do nothing at all.
4. ENCOURAGE AUTHENTICITY- We live in this social media era, where everyone feels as though they have to feel something that they don’t truly feel or be something that they truly are not, all depending on the latest trends. 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, opposed to always 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 do something or share an idea you don’t immediately shut him down. Most of the time, a man wants to be able to 100% with their spouse and be able to show them everything. They cut off all access, when they start unraveling layers of who they are, and you are throwing them shades and side-eyes.
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 people just don’t want to talk when they are upset, and they need to process their emotions, is essential. A man may not be able to figure it all out, in the timeframe that you expect him too. When you slow down, and not get upset, because he is not speaking, it can help. Being there for someone when they don’t know how to process how they feel, in silence, or listening without responding, and not being eager to give advice or become defensive can allow an opportunity for him to be open. Give him the time that he needs to grow.
When you aren’t trying to change the person that you fell in love with, but you are supporting their growth and adding value to them and the relationship, it can be beautiful.
Keeping in mind that stonewalling, or the flat-out silent treatment in exchange for a punishment because you didn’t do something, is extremely toxic. If that is happening, you should work through addressing and correcting those things in a conversation or with a professional, who can help mediate. If that is not the case, be patient and in love- take into consideration the tips that I have shared.