“Every time I try to express my emotions to my wife she shuts down. And I know it’ll be about 2 weeks before we’ll have sex again! What the hell is up with that?!”
Take a deep breath. Every time I explain how a man’s vulnerability can mess up his sex life someone ends up getting pissed off. He’ll say something like:
“Why can’t she accept me and my emotions like I’m supposed to accept hers? Why can’t she have a little compassion and show support for ME sometimes?”
This is such a common problem for married men you would think that no woman on earth can handle a man’s raw, vulnerable expression of his emotions.
I won’t say “no woman on earth”, but as Dr. Brene Brown’s work has revealed, many women get really uncomfortable when their man is showing excessive emotion or vulnerability. At a subconscious level, they can’t help but perceive it as “weakness”.
They can experience it as an immature, boyish energy.
And that can make them feel unsafe, nervous, angry or disgusted.
One man’s wife said, “You’re acting just like a little boy and I don’t want to have sex with a little boy!”. Yeah. Ouch.
But it points to a very real dynamic.
Your wife’s sense of emotional connection, relaxation and attraction to you is directly related to how you and your masculine energy show up.
The “polarity” required for attraction and arousal means her feminine energy needs to find something “other” in your masculine energy. That “other” is something more grounded, stable and predictable. That “other” is confidence and emotional resiliency.
And if you have a habit of frequently expressing unresolved and unchecked emotions to her, she may listen…but she may also feel like your mother – not your lover.
One man told Brene Brown at one of her book signings that he felt like his wife and daughters would rather see him die than fall off his white horse. He felt like there was never room for him to show emotion and receive a little empathy. He had to show emotional strength. Always. No matter what.
Have you ever felt this way?
How to Express Your Vulnerability Without Shutting Down Your Sex Life
If you’ve read my stuff for a while you already know what I’m going to say first.
“Take it to the men!”.
The reason I’ve created a community of strong, compassionate, initiated men is so I have a safe place to go with my real deep, vulnerable stuff. You’re invited too, of course.
But what if you don’t have any men in your life yet? And what if you really want to communicate with your wife and share some real deep, vulnerable stuff?
Quick tips for dealing with 3 common types of vulnerability.
The first one is “I’ve had a massively shitty day and I’m feeling sick!” vulnerability. Instead of emotionally vomiting on your wife think about saying instead:
“Hey sweetie. I’ve had a massively shitty day and I’m feeling sick. I’m going to help with dinner, send a few emails, help get the kids in bed, take 4 Advil and go to bed…in that order. Love you. [quick hug] Thanks.”
The second one is “I’m feeling really unmotivated, sad and depressed!” vulnerability. Instead of bending her ear for another hour with everything you’re thinking and feeling think about saying instead:
“Hey babe, I just want you to know I’ve been feeling really unmotivated, sad and depressed lately. It’s not your fault but it’s something I’m working on in case you notice my sorry ass moping around here for a bit. I’m reading some books, trying to eat and sleep better and I’m planning on talking to someone about it. Have a great day [quick hug]. I’ll see you tonight at 6:00 and I’ll bring something good home for dinner.”
The third one is “I’m feeling like you hate me and might divorce me!” vulnerability. Instead of trying to engage her in another marathon, all-night, deep level conversation about what you want from her and the marriage think about saying instead:
“Hey pumpkin, it’s been a rough ride for us lately. I’m feeling like you hate me and might divorce me if things don’t change. I’m keenly aware of your distance and need for space. I just want you to know I’m hurting too but I’m not checked out and I’m not going anywhere. I love you enough to back off the pressure and let you work on yourself [quick hug]. That’s what I’m going to do. In two weeks I’ve planned a weekend with the boys to help clear my head. I’ll cover for you if you need time away too.”
What’s the common theme here?
In each case he doesn’t place expectation, blame or pressure on her. He is clear and honest. He accepts his emotions as his own and he HAS A PLAN to deal with them. He doesn’t need her to make him okay and he’s clear that [quick hug] he’s still in the game.
Bottom Line: When you want to share your true, deep, raw and vulnerable emotions with your wife…own them. Be clear and honest. Have a plan for yourself. Don’t project blame and don’t require her “make you feel better”.
In this video I talk about the importance for a man to consciously own his response. We cannot control ANYTHING in life, love or marriage but how WE CHOOSE TO RESPOND.
And with that choice comes one of the most liberating mindsets you will ever achieve.
Things are only as awful or difficult as you decide they are.
If you don’t yet have the kind of men in your life who you can trust with ANYTHING…you’re invited to share MY men.
Seriously. We WANT you to be with us.
I know it might sound or feel a little weird, but I’m telling you that without a brotherhood of solid men in your court, it’s hard to process your feelings without splurging them all over your wife – I know, I’ve been there!
We want to help you rediscover the peace and calmness of knowing exactly how you want to respond to situations.
We want you to know that the frustration that you may feel too often right now doesn’t define you. It doesn’t define who you are or your future. You have more control than you think.
The Men’s Live Coaching Roundtable is a powerful collection of men from around the world working together to transform themselves and their relationships. Dan Dore and I lead this community with 5 other professional coaches. We have live coaching video calls twice per month. The camaraderie in this group is something missing from the lives of too many men in the world.
Our online course How to Defuse the Divorce Bomb is a deep and intense dive into handling yourself when you hear, “I love you but I’m not in love with you anymore.” Tim Wade and I host monthly live Q&A calls with all the students in this course which includes many other bonuses as well. Find out more here.
We love teaching men these tools – how to be better, how to know who you are, what you stand for, what you want and how to CREATE it in your life through our Masculine Confidence coaching programs.
What if this next year everything changed for you?
That’s what we want for you brother.
My new book Straight Talk Tools for the Desperate Husband will help you to lead yourself and your relationship back to good health. Understand why your partner acts the way she does toward you and learn how to lead your life in the direction you want it to go. You CAN have the relationship you want, fulfilling all your desires while maintaining love and respect.
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