Many men are scared of their wives emotions.
It sends them into a panic. They scramble around, try to fix, or avoid, or even counter attack.
Why do men do this? Why are emotions so scary?
Since your parents were not skilled in dealing with their emotions, they sought to stop or control your behavior when it bothered them. In a way, this trained you how to act so that you didn’t upset them.
You grew up getting in trouble for making your parents mad. Simple. You learned to be vigilant and hypersensitive to someone else’s emotions.
You see intense emotions as a threat and it evokes a kind of survival response inside of you.
When a child like this grows up, he learns to work around the emotional state of another. For many men this pattern continues into his adult relationships. Happy wife happy life sounds good, but it doesn’t actually lead to a fulfilling life or marriage.
There are many men in relationships deadly scared of their partners emotions. A single upset look from a wife can have a husband’s heart pounding and mind racing about what he did wrong. A simple bit of body language or tone of voice can have a man scrambling for what he did and how he can fix it.
These men generally play it safe, they don’t rock the boat, and don’t risk asserting themselves, or pursuing their heart’s truth. Once in a while this man might withdrawal or blow up out of frustration and disempowerment….but soon he makes amends and finds his way back to being a good boy and tries to patch things up.
This man might try mixing things up in an attempt to address his own underlying feelings of disempowerment and frustration…trying a new diet, a new job, making some more money, a new exercise routine maybe. Maybe a gift for the wife (to see if he can find some more love there). On their own, these things are fine, but they are not substitutes for self worth, autonomy and confidence.
Men: the real work here is to reclaim your emotional center… to truly regulate and calmly carry yourself in the face of someone else’s strong emotions.
From this stable place, something else cool happens: you can start to see your partner for who she really is, and your partner WANTS to be seen for who she is. She doesn’t really want to be surrogate mother taking care of you and doling out approval and atta-boys. From a place of sovereignty… unencumbered by a need to please (or to not upset), the Presence, Love and Appreciation that you offer is authentic and sustaining. It is a no strings attached, pure and generous kind of love. It is not weak, it is strong and trustable.
It feels good for your partner to receive this love. If feels good to give this love. This feels damn good. For everyone.
* Caution: this will be hard. It may feel wobbly and a bit disorienting. You may feel wrong. And you may meet resistance. Your partner may believe at some level that she wants to hold on to that smaller version of you. At some level she may want to maintain the status quo. It might feel safe for her the way things are in the dynamic you have created together.
But I don’t think she really wants you to continue to caretake and people please. She doesn’t want you not pursuing your strength and your truth… She doesn’t want to continue not being attracted to you and not inspired by you. She wants all of you, your full mature expression.
I am working with more and more men (and couples) who find themselves in this situation and we are having lots of success. If you are interested in moving the needle in the right direction, schedule a call with me.
With Love and Respect,