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How To Talk To A Discouraged Husband Or Partner

by Ben Efe

posted in Relationships

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Have you not noticed that there are times you are getting along perfectly with your partner and, without notice, something changes? He's no longer attentive to your needs. He hasn't asked you how you are in days or he struggles to do so. There is a cold wind blowing through your bedroom.
Sometimes, it feels like your man has left the building and he forgot to tell you he was going or when he was coming back. Even worse, you're not sure if it's your fault that he has pulled away.
Men often pull away, like rubber bands, when they are stressed because they prefer to deal with their problems alone. Some women do this too, but it is far more often with the men in relationships.
Most women can understand a man's need to pull away but it still feels awful to be ignored, abandoned and neglected.
However, for a relationship to be truly fulfilling to a woman, she needs to learn how to deal with this strange and somewhat necessary behavior of men.
She also needs to learn to recognize what is legitimate "cave" behavior, and when he is simply trying to avoid conflict or responsibility.
When a man is upset or stressed, he will usually stop talking and go to his "cave." No one else is allowed in that cave, not even his friends.
This doesn't mean that there is a problem in the relationship. It simply means that he has a problem that he's trying to solve and he isn't ready to talk about it, or ask for help. In fact, asking for help is the last thing a man in his cave would do because he is in there trying to solve the problem on his own.
So much of male self-esteem is based in part on his ability to solve problems, and to accomplish the things necessary to be a good man, and partner. Once he has enough time to either come to a solution, or he realizes he needs assistance, he will usually come out.
If it feels like your partner has pulled away because of stress, the most helpful thing that you can do is to trust that he will return when he's ready and able.
On the other hand, if you feel that there's a bigger issue related to your relationship that he is avoiding, you need to communicate your feelings to him in a way that he is open to hearing.
Men and women have very different communication styles. Some women truly need to learn ways to encourage their husbands to talk about something they might be avoiding.
How many times have we offered a "helpful" comment to our partner only to have it blow up into a big misunderstanding?
Here are 3 tips to remember when you are trying to talk to a man who is in his "cave"...
1. Be Brief:
You may even practice what you want to say before talking to him. Yes, he is your husband, but he has his individuality.
2. Be Specific:
Make sure that you are clear on what you want to say.
3. Stay Positive:
If you find yourself wanting to get angry, blame him, or argue, then this is the wrong time to talk. That is exactly the time to talk to a friend or someone you trust to fully express your feelings.
About the Author: For more on ways to keep your marriage and love life alive, visit Marriage Alive Digest
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