Do you ever feel like you’re always or at least too much of the time scared to voice much of anything to your man?
For example when you start to feel tense for whatever reason, justified or not. Do you feel worried you’ll say the wrong thing and push him away?
Are you hyper-aware of each word that comes out of your mouth, and it inevitably feels to you like your man didn’t like what you said? By this time you are sure his has mood changed, so he pulled back. And then you kick yourself for being “so stupid”, for saying such dumb things?
A Story to Help You and Your Man
I’ve been working with a woman who has been doing some brilliant work in turning her relationship around. This was a woman who was “all over” her man, after him pretty much constantly, trying to get him to call more, text more, stay with her overnight more.
If she didn’t hear from him for a few hours she would feel panicky and then reach out to him, many times if he didn’t respond right away. And then she would feel sure he was avoiding her, pulling away, and maybe even worse, seeing another woman. The gremlin voices would scream at her, and the scenarios she created were truly creative.
But she has changed all of this and dramatically. She’s learned to sit on her hands if necessary when she gets the urge to lean forward, especially if it’s been awhile since he last texted her. And she has learned to call me when her anxiety seems like it’s getting the best of her.
But sometimes those gremlins can be very persistent.
She wrote me the other day telling me that she and her man had been connecting really well the day before. But then she didn’t hear from him with his mostly every day good morning text. Unable to stop herself and filled with anxiety, she sent him one around late morning.
Now her man is a bit unusual in that he does do very well with her initiating texting or calling, more so then most men, but here’s where she needs to exercise caution. Once in awhile is fine, great even, but constantly or mostly always initiating is not recommended, not even for her and her man.
Even when a couple has been together for some time and they are accustomed to some daily connection throughout the day, I don’t suggest doing much of the first contacting.
Now she has been working really hard to rein herself in, resisting the sometimes overwhelming urges to overfunction, taming her rowing the boat behavior.
And in this particular instance, it all worked out well, and she even thought he might have been waiting for her to initiate. (I could argue with this, but I will let it go this time.)
He reacted really well to her, and they ended up texting all day. He even started getting a little sexy with her too which she loves.
By the way and I think this is important, I DO NOT recommend texting/e-mailing all day or even a few times a day and even more so when you live together. In the very early stages of the relationship, maybe, but really it takes away a lot of the mystery of you, AND it takes away the missing each other element, two things I think are wonderful things to keep alive in a relationship. Plus you both have work to do. SO…
So my client’s day went well, and when she got home that night, they continued their talk via Facebook. Her man at that time had been a bit stressed about his work, so she invited him to talk about it which is a good move, and he wanted to talk. YAY her, for he felt safe enough to open up to her about some of the things which have been troubling him.
After awhile, when she thought he had finished, she changed the subject. He became what seemed to her as grumpy, and even though she apologized for interrupting him, his grumpiness continued. The conversation ended abruptly.
She quickly dissolved into a mess, beating herself up, filled with terrible anxiety, sure she had ruined everything. Poor thing didn’t sleep all night, fretting away as she was.
But the thing is she DIDN’T do anything wrong. And even if she had tripped all over his train of thought which she hadn’t, his mood shift still had NOTHING TO DO WITH HER.
He had immersed himself into his worries while they were talking, and he was still on that track even though there was nothing more to say about it. When men are having work difficulties, they can have a difficult time letting the thoughts or at least the mood go. They can feel all out of sorts about it, and they don’t want to readily let go of their grumpiness just yet. They may even go into their caves to hibernate for awhile.
And this is what happened here with her man. It had NOTHING to do with her, not with what she said or didn’t say.
The only thing she didn’t need to do is freak out. Though this reaction was perfectly understandable. There was a time when I would have done the same, gone into panic mode, blamed myself, scrambled to “fix” things. And even now if K falls into this kind of a mood as rare as it is and as mild as his grumpiness ever will be, I can tend to still want to go there, BUT I know better now. I know he needs some time to process, so I DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY anymore. Well maybe for a fleeting moment, but I can quickly work myself through this.
So I told my client to just leave him be for now. I asked her to please refrain from texting him. Not to apologize again, once was enough. Let him come to her. If he hadn’t texted by day’s end, I told her she could send him just one and only to check in with him. For example: “are you okay? you seemed upset yesterday. I feel concerned.
And if she was still feeling worried about this the next time she saw him, she could say something like this, “I felt as though the energy between us got weird last night/the other night. I feel badly about this. I don’t want to assume anything, so if there’s anything you want to say to me or tell me…”
Chances are he would have forgotten the whole incident, or he would have looked at her totally confused, as in what is she talking about?
You Don’t Have to Feel Responsible for Everything in Your Man’s Emotional Life
Now most of you know that you do not want to offer to help him. If you want to read more about this subject, I wrote about it in this article: Sexual Verbal Dynamics.
Now what happened with my client is that she had created a mostly safe place for him to go despite his work issues, so he came, and he shared, but sometimes these things get to be too much for men, and it’s likely that by unloading with her, something he doesn’t normally do, he felt overwhelmed with it all, so nowhere felt good, not with her and not with himself, and the grumpiness settled in.
I think too that he probably had some awareness of his inability to shake this at that moment mood and maybe didn’t want to subject her to it. He was likely also feeling a bit uncomfortable with the new way of talking with her on top of the original issue at hand.
This is common behavior in men. They mostly don’t understand that that you wouldn’t care that he got things off of his chest with you; in fact you might very well feel honored and relieved. As long as you know what’s going on, you know it’s NOT YOU. Many men would rather deal with it themselves, saying little if anything at all. But the longer you’ve been together though, the greater the chance he will share with you and more so if you’ve created a safe place for him to do so. AND he won’t go away to brood for however long.
So if anything like this happens to you, know that you will be okay. Your relationship will also be okay, but please leave your man alone to work things out in his own way and on his own timetable. If he talks to you, great, but if he doesn’t, it’s NOT a reflection on you in anyway whatsoever.
My client as many of us women do, became hyper-sensitive to every little thing. She became so afraid to say anything for fear of pushing him away or him going off into his cave for an extended period of time which had been a pattern with him.
In her case because she used to really be all over him energetically as well as physically, he really disappeared, for months sometimes. Now that she has shifted her energy and changed her ways of communicating with him, EVERYTHING has changed in their relationship. He doesn’t disappear. He initiates contact regularly. He stays with her nearly every free night he has. There intimacy levels have skyrocketed.
I was much like her for years though my all over himness was isolated in my energy, but that’s already too much. The more I pulled back my energy and put my focus on myself and my healing, the closer I got to a place where I just knew, no matter what, WE were okay. And no matter his mood, it had NOTHING to do with me.
What I want for you to take away from this scenario which most of you will relate to on some level is that as long as you are primarily taking care of yourself, loving yourself, you can’t ever really say the wrong thing. Maybe just maybe you could mess things up completely if you spouted a continuous stream of wrong things over a period, but if you’ve been reading my articles for any length of time, you’ve grown beyond this if you were ever there at all, And if you do err once in awhile, say your hormones get the better of you one evening, you know how to correct course before you drive yourself crazy and thus him away.
It takes a lot to scare a man off that easily, and if he does, he’s not the man for you anyway.
So this eggshell walking? STOP. Let it go. You don’t need to.
From Sarah: Dominique knows what it’s like to want to hang on to a guy, to cling because you care. She found her own way to move beyond such needs and she’s helps tons of women do the same. Learn more about her story and how she can help you and your man.