Behind the Scenes with Men…What Causes Men to Disconnect From Their Significant Others.
I have sat with men in my office for many hours where they have shared their thoughts and feelings about their relationships with me. These men reported feeling “confused”, “beat-down”, “devastated”, “angry”, “clueless”, “defeated”, “used”, “manipulated”, “stupid”, “betrayed”, and “thoughtless” at times. Most not feeling they “can’t be honest” with the most important person in their life. – Becky Lennox
Thoughts from men that woman need to know…
You’ve let yourself go.
Men get the fact that women’s bodies will change over time. In fact, men don’t see, notice, or care about the things we hate and obsess about regarding our bodies. The specific areas we call to their attention that they have not even taken the time to notice. Hairy legs or pits that need a shave, jiggly butts, extra skin on our bellies from having their kid, a wrinkle on the forehead from the worry be induce ourselves…
What they do notice and don’t have the courage to say is that they notice when the woman they love doesn’t “take care of herself” and “let herself go”. This is more about a package deal…not the occasional hairy legs. This is about effort. Eating healthy, showering, fixing hair, applying make-up, getting out of the workout pants and into jeans, working out, being active, and investing in their appearance displays high self-worth and investment in the relationship. Come on women, I am not saying to look perfect daily. It’s called effort for the man you love. This translates to men to, “She cares about herself, so she cares about me”.
Okay, call it vain or controlling but men want the woman they are with to compliment them. Not be a floosy hot mama but to present as self-confident, proud, and confident. As women, we all know how we feel when we don’t feel good about ourselves. We are defensive, depressed, hateful, and standoffish. Woman’s sexual drive dissipates to close to nothing because they feel “fat” or “ugly” and when the sex decreases or ceases, men feel undesirable, rejected, or resentful.
This bleeds into the relationship and affects everyone involved. Men desire others to notice their loved one because they feel proud and fortunate to be with you! Men don’t want perfection, women do! Men want women to be invested in themselves and not allow themselves to turn into a beached whale. There is a huge difference in gaining some weight and not caring about how you present yourself. There is a direct correlation between how we present ourselves to the men we love and how important they feel in our lives.
You always say no.
Women; you are not his mama! Women tend to correct, guide, and direct with great intentions. Men generally follow…within reason. When women are constantly saying “no” or her actions are ear-piercing, men begin to place you in the mother category and will soon start treating you like his mother. The rebellion, isolating, sneaking, lying, and withholding information kick in and the roles of the relationship change. Men want to be trusted and may want to be “allowed” to have the freedom to state opinions and ideas, go hang out with the boys, discipline the kids, make suggestions and/or have a hobby. The more they are “allowed” or persuaded to think and act on their own, the more they actually want to be near and with you. Having a choice and not “being made to feel guilty” carries a lot of weight here with men.
When women turn into cold fish sexually, for some reason or another, men get tired of pursuing, asking, or suggesting any form of intimacy. When women allow their own feelings of self-worth or even punishment towards the man to proudly hold the “No” sign, men tend to internalize their feelings and withdraw from the relationship totally over time.
He’s more nagged than nurtured.
Sometimes women just need to shut up! That includes me so don’t send hate emails yet. Keep nagging your guy and get ready for the shutdown to manifest right before you very eyes! When women feel the innate need to call attention to every single screw-up, “I forgot”, “I didn’t hear you”, accident, or brain fart, they will find themselves being resented, disrespected and even worse…you won’t see effort, communication, engagement, or investment from your guy.
He feels disrespected.
Want to really flip a man’s hot switch? Humiliate him or talk condescending to him. Men can wear their self-esteem on their sleeves, believe it or not. They are fragile in the category of meeting their woman’s needs. They want to please, protect, and provide for her and for her to feel proud of him. Belittling, teasing, joking, or making fun of him in front of others is a definite deal breaker for men. There are plenty of women out there who will kiss a guy’s feet, tell him what he wants to hear and BAMB and he magically feels invincible, at least for a while.
You aren’t his financial partner.
If you two can’t get on the same page about money, it can cause a marriage meltdown fast. Woman can tend to be a little sneaky about the new stuff they purchase. Stopping by a dumpster on the way home to dispose of shoe boxes, cutting off tags and disposing them, snatching up the “really good deal” found while window shopping, or responding with, “Oh, I have had this for a long time” when asked if your outfit is new, will eventually catch up – one way or another. Power struggles and keeping secrets regarding money is one sure bet to end up in his bad list.
You never let him feel like he’s Superman.
Men stay in a marriage as long as they feel it’s possible to be their spouse’s hero some way or another. Women are inclined to forget to praise men. Women feel “well, I don’t get a thank you for unloading the dishwasher for the millionth time” and go on to say, “Why do I need to give him a gold star for bringing in the trash can from the street?” Women get over yourselves. We know how to praise a kid and rarely forget to do so. Women need to adapt the same principles to men. A simple “thank you” or “I love your choice in this restaurant” and “it feels great to know you took the time to think about me” goes a long way with men…remember, they thrive on being your Superman.
You disagree about how to raise your children.
A deal breaker on many levels. A difference in opinion regarding the children may begin with small things: Dad is a softie and baby Sophie has daddy wrapped around her little pretty finger. It is adorable to watch! At age 3 mom notices their precious little baby girl has mastered the fine art of outrageous temper tantrums and how this precious child runs to daddy when she doesn’t get her way. Now, mommy and daddy begin arguing and the issue shifts from a bratty undisciplined kid to an issue between parents. This problem grows in age just like Sophie. When Sophie is a teenager, she has been allowed create a concrete wedge between the two of you and you can’t stand the sight of one another.
Women, for the love of God, allow the father of your children to discipline your kids!!! Men are quick studies when it comes to the world of, “It’s just not worth it” translated to “I am disconnected, you handle it”. When women allow their “mama bear” to surface and intervein in the discipline, by protecting the child, it will soon slap you across the face. Kids need discipline (not abuse) and they need to feel sadness, hurt, fear, remorse, and disappointment. When parents intervein and try to shield them from any of these feelings, they are only setting the child up for failure. Kids need a strong arm and when a man feels they are defeated by a woman when they are trying to instill values, goals, consequences, and accountability, they will disengage, I promise you.
Kids see an opening between parents and create an even bigger great divide. They go for it…They carefully, brick by brick, build a wall where mom and dad are constantly pitted against one another and at the end of the day, you have two parents who are at battle over a kid – even when they want the exact same things for the child in the long run.
Inviting dad to interject his opinions, ideas, and input will allow him to feel he is invested and important in the child rearing process.
He feels neglected.
Shhhh…quiet. Guess what? Men are actually little boys. I don’t care how strong, powerful, successful, big, or macho they are, the “I need your attention” will always be there. The “I am important” seed is planted in their bodies upon conception and it doesn’t fade away with age or circumstances. It may be camouflaged by the rugged exterior or by society’s ideals, but men want to know that they are important and that they matter to a woman. Having babies can mess this ideal up. A couple gives birth to an amazing healthy precious well anticipated baby. Everyone is delighted and love is in the air. Women kick in to the maternal nurturing mode and consume themselves with the precious angel. Men feel “forgotten” but don’t have the guts to mention the feelings they are experiencing. They take the role of “back seat” and many times, stay in this role. Women need to remember this and take a second from the baby to give their other child some love…
Geeze…anyone who has been slammed into the role of being step-dad (or step-mom) knows how difficult this can be. It is complex to say the least. Women tend to quickly feel they come “second to his kids” even after they have promised “You need to make sure the kids continue to come first” at the beginning of the relationship.
When the crazy psycho ex, holidays, visitation, finances, activities, relatives, two homes, two sets of rules, more of the crazy ex, kids playing two ends against the middle, manipulation, homework, finances, child support, school, activities, carpools, driver’s license, cars, dating, boys, girls, tickets, sex, sneaking out, smoking, drugs or alcohol may come into play and it is extremely difficult for anyone to keep their fool mouth shut and only offer input when asked. Men feel loyalty and guilt regarding their kids especially when the child does not live with them. Understandably, they don’t generally want to hold their kids’ feet to the fire “because I don’t get to see them that much”. It is tough job for everyone involved.
Many times, women are fighting the ex or the mother of the kids, not the kids or the spouse. The problem is, the fight, rage, animosity, resentment, hatred, and ill feelings towards the mom are transferred on their spouse and kids. Step-moms have a difficult job. They are not the parent but are forced to be one on many occasions without the praise, admiration, appreciation, or acceptance. Woman must suck it up and believe that someday the child will grow up and recognize what role they played in the child’s life.
I commend step-parents. My advice? Keep your mouth shut until you are asked your opinion, work with and not against the biological parents, never allow the kids to hear a negative comment about their other parent leave your mouth, offer ideas and not revenge, share the issues that directly affect you as far as your own safety or the child’s safety, and own the fact that you made the choice to enter a blended family relationship…the kids didn’t have a choice.
Interested in more? I would love to meet to you! Email or call anytime to schedule a session. (817) 701-5438 | firstname.lastname@example.org
CRT, CCDC, CACC | Counselor & Life Coach
Empowering individuals, families and communities to grow and heal through advanced approaches in Creative Arts Therapy, setting the standard for treatment, practice and training within the field.