Behind Closed Mouths: 3 Reasons Why Men Struggle to Express Emotions in Relationships

Behind Closed Mouths: 3 Reasons Why Men Struggle to Express Emotions in Relationships

Ladies, have you ever felt a longing for your partner to truly express their deepest emotions? 

Maybe not even their deepest emotions but anything. 

He makes you laugh, and he is kind, but something is missing. 

It drives you slightly insane. 

It feels as if you’re solving an 8,000-piece puzzle.

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Where is that damn edge piece? 

So you put on your Nancy Drew pencil skirt and get to work.

After a 96-hour investigation and consultation from your fellow detectives (girlfriends), you finally find…

That edge piece. 

His emotions. 

You make every attempt to better understand his emotions. 

But he doesn’t share anything. 

Or….

maybe you once had all the pieces but now he’s cold and distant.

When partners can express their feelings and needs, it leads to the resolution of conflicts, the satisfaction of emotional desires, and the development of deeper bonds.

Failure to effectively communicate can result in emotional distance, misunderstandings, and growing resentment within the relationship.

In this blog post, we’ll explore three key reasons (Brandon’s opinion) why men find it difficult to open up and share their emotions. 


Three Reasons Men Struggle with Expressing Their Feelings:

1. Social Conditioning: 

It wasn’t until I was staring at my therapist in her office during my divorce that I truly recognized the significance of understanding my feelings. 

I’ll save those details for another day. 

Let me be clear on one point. 

Men have strong feelings just like you. 

It’s that most of us, men, have been conditioned to think…who cares what we feel? 

Does it change the reality as we see it? 

Based on my experiences, no. 

I can personally recall several occasions where I expressed how I felt and it was met with a door slam of “Who cares”. 

Many men have had the same experiences. 

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Traditional gender roles and societal expectations have long perpetuated the idea that men should be strong, and stoic, and keep their emotions in check. 

This conditioning often prevents men from opening up and expressing their emotional vulnerabilities. 

But Brandon, what are we supposed to do?

We want our damn puzzle piece. 

Well — you have to be patient and create a safe space

Encourage open dialogue and let your partner know that his feelings are valid and respected. 

Open the door for him. 

Don’t slam it. 

2. Lack of Emotional Vocabulary: 

Okay, so we now understand that men are not socially conditioned to share their emotions. 

The next reason is a byproduct of the first. 

Due to their lack of experience in expressing emotions, men often struggle with processing or articulating their feelings.

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For instance, let’s consider the experience of Sarah, a woman in a relationship with John. 

Sarah notices that John, her partner, is having a difficult time expressing his emotions. 

This may leave her feeling confused and frustrated, not knowing how to support him effectively.

In my experience, I can’t process my emotions in real-time so there always tends to be a delayed response (i.e. this situation is not fair to me, I don’t like that, etc.). 

Now in this situation, Sarah will have to be patient because John is not used to articulating his emotions. 

You have a couple of options. 

  1. Be patient and supportive
  2. Seek professional help
  3. Acknowledge and give grace to his shortcomings

Bottomline — men may feel overwhelmed by their feelings or find it challenging to accurately express themselves, leading to frustration and communication breakdowns.

3. Communication Styles: 

This one shouldn’t be a huge surprise. 

Men and women often have different communication styles. 

Men tend to be task-oriented and focused on problem-solving, making it challenging for them to understand and address their emotional needs effectively. 

They prefer efficient and practical discussions, while women emphasize relationships and emotional expression. 

These disparities can leave men feeling unsupported and misunderstood. 

As we learned earlier, societal expectations discourage men from opening up emotionally, leading to difficulties in articulating their feelings.

 To bridge this gap, it is crucial to promote understanding of diverse communication styles and provide safe spaces for men to express their emotions. 

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Teaching active listening and empathy can facilitate more supportive conversations. 

By acknowledging these differences and fostering open dialogue, we can create a healthier environment for men to address their emotional needs, fostering better communication dynamics in relationships and communities.

Closing:

The three reasons why men struggle to express their emotions are below.  

  1. Societal Expectations 
  2. Lack of Emotional Vocabulary 
  3. Different Communication Styles

Thank you so much for reading. I hope this helps you on your journey of connection. 

Please like, comment, and share! 

Happy reading, 

Brandon

 

 

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