Friday, February 04, 2005

Is your man quiet and withdrawn?

Is your man quiet and withdrawn?

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Friday, February 4, 2005 12:29 AM

First of 2 parts

What do you do when you are married or have a relationship with a man who is quiet and withdrawn? A man who keeps pretty much to himself and doesn’t like to expose his inner thoughts and feelings to you. A man who doesn’t respond very well to your proddings. Who often is a mystery to you.

Such a man has a way of driving a woman half-crazy trying to figure him out. He can deeply frustrate a woman who is desperate to communicate and get a dialogue going.

The question might be asked why these women got into a relationship with such men in the first place. Perhaps they thought that the wedding ceremony would cause them to open up. Maybe they interpreted their being withdrawn as a sign of confidence in themselves and were actually attracted to them because of it.

Mostly, though, the withdrawn man is usually hurting badly. There is something bothering him and he isn’t talking about it. Not some tiny little thing, but something serious enough to shake him up and drive him into himself. Men hate to talk about their weaknesses. They have great difficulty expressing their fears, their frustrations and their feelings of lost confidence.

They have been conditioned by our society to be strong, macho even, and such men are not supposed to be affected and kicked around by such feelings. They are expected to rise above it all and handle adversity by themselves.

We know that isn’t the case. We know that even the strongest, most mature and well-balanced men have their moments when fear, frustration and feelings of insecurity overtake them. Even the Christ, the man-God, was overcome by those feelings the night before He was crucified.

There is another side to the withdrawn man that can be very unpleasant. He will often lash out at his family when he no longer can control his feelings and his frustrations. When he cannot handle things anymore, he often makes his loved ones pay the price of his depression.

The withdrawn man who feels inferior and turns in on himself and refuses to share and seek help can and does strike out at his family. His wife and kids cannot understand what is eating him up and he isn’t saying. Meanwhile, his aloofness and coldness drive a wedge between him and his family. His refusal to open up is dragging his family down along with him. It is draining the level of their love for him. You can better handle the difficult man only if you understand something about what is eating him up.

The challenge, however, is to get him to talk, to open up his heart and mind to someone he trusts. And hopefully that someone is his beloved. If, however, he cannot be frank with her, he will need to talk to somebody and get help.

Asking for help about such matters isn’t the strong point of men who are expected to find their own way. Still, if a man is to find relief from the inner pain that is causing him so much harm, he will have to somehow open up.

More tomorrow


Post a Comment

<< Home