Emotions. You know those things that only women have and if you are a man and have them then you must be weak, girly, or to “touchy feely.” I know that this is what most men think about emotions. It is what society teaches men about emotions. The two memes above are perfect examples of how most men think about emotions.
It is also used as the “perfect” excuse for most men to avoid how they feel. Men usually think that there is only one way to feel loved, cared for and significant – sex. They also think that if they provide for their families financially, they get to opt out of being involved emotionally with the members of their family.
This leads to many problems for a man and for those who are close to him. When a man is not willing to be aware of his feelings, thoughtful about what is happening within his emotional life he is vulnerable to all the consequnces of not taking care of himself. He is at risk of addiction, anger, violence, loneliness, and resentment. This leads to the real life consequences of loss of relationships, job, and family.
His family, most particularly his significant other, is fearful, angry, lost, and resentful of the disconnection that is happening. A viscous cycle then begins in the relationship. Men, thinking that sex is the only way to feel valued and needed, wants and desires sex. His wife, needing and craving emotional intimacy, refuses him.
Men need to learn that emotional intimacy with themselves and with their significant other is vitally important. Our sexual intimacy is directly connected to our emotional intimacy. The more men share about their thoughts and feelings, the more connected their partners feel to them. The more connected emotionally a partner feels, the more physical connection there will be.
Men need to learn the language of an emotionally intimate life. Men need to learn that they can be vulnerable and someone will listen to them and value them. This is when men their significant others to listen and make them feel validated, if not, men will only continue to think that talking about feelings is an unproductive, hurtful activity with no benefits.
This is a process for most men. It takes time to become aware of feelings, learn how to name them and talk about them, and overcome the anxiety of sharing them with those they love the most and not fear rejection.