There are lots of reasons men have difficulty talking about their relationship. Here’s a few.
“I can’t talk to my wife” is a common refrain heard from a lot of married men all across the globe, but why? What I’ve learned over the years is that married men, and men in general, unfortunately have a lot of pride. Some married men don’t even want to acknowledge that they have problems in their marriage. So to keep the peace, they’d rather just go along to get along instead of being vulnerable and exposing the deficiencies in their marriage.
Instead of expressing their feelings, they keep their emotions bottled up inside until the opportune (or inopportune) time comes for the release of these emotions. This is the unfortunate result of how most of us men were taught by our fathers as boys and young men not to wear our emotions on our sleeve. This behavior ultimately carries over into our marriages and doesn’t bode well for the health and growth of our relationships. Most married men would rather stay in their comfort zones and talk about sports and other miscellaneous things in an effort not to draw attention to their marital problems.
When a man is finally ready to talk and be vulnerable, unfortunately their wives often don’t listen and sometimes go into what I would call ‘attack mode’. This perception of being under attack has an adverse effect on the man expressing himself and often leads him to shut down and protect himself from such attacks in the future. I fully expect some married women to read this statement and take offense, but that’s okay. I’m simply speaking from the perspective of the married men I’ve spoken with over many years.
In addition to being attacked, some married men just don’t know how to talk to their wives. By talk I mean to clearly and assertively communicate their innermost thoughts and feelings in a way that their wife may not necessarily agree with, but can receive well and respect. When a man is unable to communicate his feelings to his wife, it’s generally because of a lack of intimacy. The Webster dictionary defines intimacy as close familiarity or friendship; closeness. Unfortunately, many married couples don’t have this kind of closeness in their relationship. Husbands and wives should strive for a higher level of intimacy in their marriage to create a safe emotional space which could ultimately help the husband communicate more effectively. And even after a safe emotional space has been created, knowing how to effectively communicate is a continual work in progress, especially for a man.
Finally, I’ve also learned over the years that married men do talk! They just have to be given the proper forum to freely express themselves in a ‘no judgment’ zone.