In a couple of weeks I will be diving into a series on “Men and Openness” that’s based upon a survey that I’ve been conducting for several months now. But today I want to approach this sticky subject from my own feminine and often skewed (probably due to Estrogen) perspective. 😉
[Tweet “My husband and I have struggled with having a relaxing heart-to-heart for most of our marriage.”]
In fact, if you’re a man and you just read that sentence (which I would love for you to be so kind as to Tweet), you may feel like I’m speaking Chinese. According to your male brain, “relaxing” and “talking with your wife” do not belong in the same sentence! But from my perspective as a woman, the two concepts are synonymous!
I remember that this conflict of interest began with my husband even before we were married. I was all about getting him to open up and talk about his feelings ad nauseam. <insert male gagging sound>
Ironically, it was what made me feel closer to my guy—whenever we could get past his “gagging reflex” and on to that blissful moment where his defenses came tumbling down.
It happened, people!
It really did and does … every once.in.a.blue.moon! And when it happens, it’s as if the clouds part and I can hear the melodic notes of an angelic chorus resounding from heaven.
Here’s how I see the battle lines being drawn—at least between me and my man …
- He thinks of a “heart-to-heart” as a scary journey into the unknown—when the males get taken captive by the “She-Woman Conversational Giants.”
- I think of it as an opportunity to “swim” with my hubby in the ocean of emotions that I’m already immersed in daily.
- He looks at this encounter as “hard-work” that doesn’t always end productively—maybe even “drowning” on that “swim” with me!
- I look at this swim as a chance to “relax”—feeling comforted because I know that the “exercise” is always worth the effort and will help us to feel better … at least eventually.
- He’s tempted to feel intimidated by my emotional finesse or savvy.
- I’m tempted to assume he’s just being resistant as a way to punish or control me.
- He fears being soft and vulnerable because it might mean revoking his “man-card.”
- I fear that if we do not “open up” with each other regularly and deeply our “marriage card” may get revoked!
- He expects that “I will expect him” to know his feelings as well as I know my own.
- I don’t expect him to know his feelings, but do expect him to push himself out of his comfort zone by “learning” to identify them whenever we need to talk.
- He expects that if and when he knows what his feelings are, I won’t like or accept them.
- I know that neither one of us may like the “feelings” we discuss, but I still think it is worth learning how to “go there” gracefully with each other.
- He has experienced one too many times where I’ve tried to control or fix his emotions and/or reject his disclosures.
- I am … “Busted!” But also hopeful for another chance to get it right this time!
As many of you know, I’m leaving on vacation this Thursday and have two great guest bloggers, Aimee Imbeau and Mary Geisen hosting the next two consecutive Wedded Wednesday’s while I’m gone. But I will return to start up this series on Men and Openness by revealing week-by-week the responses men gave me to questions I’ve posed through my survey. As a bit of teaser—one thing I’ve noticed is that these men are saying the same things! So apparently, we, wives, have some serious work to do to correct this break-down!
[Tweet ” Where the battle lines between men and women are drawn when it comes to opening up!”]
What male and female points of perspective would you add to this list?
What is one question or concern you’d like to see addressed about sharing openly with your mate?
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