Article inspired by Bob Grant, L.P.C., author of “The Woman Men Adore and Don’t Want to Leave“
Why Does a Man Hide His Feelings?
“You Never Know With Women” is the title of one of James Hadley Chase’s famous crime novels. Indeed, men are often heard to say that women are just too complicated and difficult to understand. However, for many women, the exact opposite is true. So why does a man hide his feelings and what’s a woman to do?
Most women would do anything to understand what makes a man “tick”. Even though they would love to know what their man is thinking, men are not often willing to reveal what is in their hearts.
Why Men Hide Their Feelings
Instead of focusing on the differences between the sexes, let’s address a few areas that women would easily understand.
1. Men don’t like conflict. To them, fighting is not simply about resolving a problem. To a man, conflict means that one party becomes the victor and the other is totally defeated. Men often prefer conflict where there is no emotion involved because it is less threatening to them.
As soon as conflicts become emotionally charged, men find it very difficult to contain their feelings. The way they most often cope is to become quiet. Your guy might give the impression that he is punishing you but he is most likely just trying not to lose control.
2. Men are more sensitive than women. While that might surprise you, the truth is that men are not able to overcome emotional trauma as effectively as women can. Because of this, they try to avoid becoming too upset. What goes through their minds is, “If I let my feelings loose, I might not be able to control them.”
3. Men do want to get married. Despite what many liberal cultures sermonize, the fact remains that the majority of the world’s men do get married. While living the single lifestyle has its advantages, its primary drawback is that it is a lonely one. This might not sound particularly romantic. However, finding a woman who he can trust is no less important to a man than finding one who is beautiful.
The “Feelingless Gender”
Daphne Rose Kingma, author of “The Men We Never Knew”, has said:
“We’ve dismissed men as the feelingless gender—we’ve given up on them. Because of the way boys are socialized, their ability to deal with emotions has been systematically undermined. Men are taught, point-by-point, not to feel, not to cry, and not to find words to express themselves.”
Just because men aren’t proficient at expressing their feelings, don’t think for a moment that they don’t feel. They do, deeply. They may express their feelings only in circumstances where they feel safe and where people would consider such expression acceptable.
In the excitement of a soccer match, for example, men would be quite comfortable giving each other hugs or friendly slaps during a game. But put them in a different context and you wouldn’t see the same degree of comfort and openness.
A Double-Bind Situation
There is one thing men are sure about, even though they might not always know what they’re feeling: they are aware that they’re in a major dilemma. Society says that men should express their feelings but when they do, their women are often terrified. Men may believe that their partners want them to express their feelings – but only certain feelings, and in small-enough doses.
Men who bypass the traditional masculine model by expressing their emotions and revealing their fears might be regarded as being poorly adjusted.
For some men, part of the problem may be a lack of preparation. They might have held back their feelings for so long that they haven’t developed ways of handling situations when they do occur. Such unexpected, unplanned emotion can be quite overwhelming.
Rob and Emily – a Case in Point
Take the case of Rob and Emily, a married couple: she wanted to get a dog, he thought it would be a bad idea and emphatically refused. They argued for several weeks about the dog issue. She thought her husband was being cold and heartless, he believed she was being unreasonable.
After much coaxing, Rob agreed to accompany his wife to the local animal shelter “just to have a look” at dogs. When he saw row upon row of dogs in cages, knowing that many of them were doomed to euthanasia, be broke down and cried. Emily had thought that he was devoid of feeling – but how wrong she was!
So no, men are not without feeling. Society lets us believe that it’s unmanly to display hurt, to cry or to express the countless other emotions we all experience in the human world.
If you liked these insights, you’ll find more in Bob Grant’s wonderful e-book called, “The Woman Men Adore… and Never Want to Leave.” Bob Grant, L.P.C., has taken his 17 years of private practice as a Licensed Professional Counselor and Coach and condensed only the best information into a mouth-watering, powerful handbook. It’s focused on what men find themselves powerless to resist in a woman. You can make all this information yours by clicking here.