When he can’t fix it
A man wants to tend to a woman’s problems. Fixing a problem is a heroic action. However, when he cannot fix the problem for some reason, he has one of two reactions. He will either attack her or ignore her.
A woman is crying because her dog died. The man says: “Stop crying!” And he goes and buys her another puppy. Or he ignores her, gets in his car and drives off and she thinks: “You heartless idiot.” And he returns with a puppy. In both cases the man can’t understand why she did not want the puppy? Men are very pragmatic. He fixed the problem by replacing the puppy.
Actually he would do anything to make her stop crying. Men are clueless about what to do when a woman cries, because they don’t know how to fix the problem. (Here is a tip guys: When she cries, just hold her. Don’t say anything. Just hold her. That’s it.) If women can only understand that his strange or boorish actions are due to his frustrations, because if he can’t fix her problem he is the anti-hero. And he hates being the anti-hero. So he walks away and ignores her, or worse, he yells at her. And women have to understand this about men. I did not say it is fair. It’s just the way it is.
A colleague of mine explained men are empathic on a cognitive level, as opposed to women who are empathic on an emotional level. Men need to separate themselves from the emotional content in order to make objective decisions to solve the problem.
On an intellectual level they understand the emotion, but they cannot allow themselves to be submerged in the emotion, for then they would not be able to take rational action. Men are action orientated, remember.
Sometimes he does try to hug her and just hold her and then she pushes him away. He is trying. Acknowledge it.
There are times however, guys, when women really need you to step up. When your wife calls you in tears because she just had a car accident, it is not the time to attack her, or ignore her. Bite your tongue.
If a woman criticises everything a man does and if she does everything herself, he feels useless and inadequate. It is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately it originates in childhood with mothers doing everything for their sons, and continuously criticising their boys. Fathers usually get upset when mothers do too much for the boys, for it is in a man’s nature TO BE ACTIVE and to figure it out for himself. Praising him for figuring it out will boost his self-esteem.
Doing it for him or criticising him conveys the message that he is incompetent. How would he be able to fix adult problems and fight dragons if he is not taught to figure it out for himself as a young boy. Denying him this natural growth opportunity and being over-protective is actually psychological castration.
At about the age of 6, boys need to identify with a father figure and get involved in male activities, without a mother hovering around trying to protect them from the father figure. (This was the age when young boys were taken away from their Spartan mothers and turned into warriors.)
I have encountered many grown men who have terrible adult relationships with their mothers, because they resent the mothers’ smothering them as children. As adult men they often punish their mothers in various ways, usually by avoiding them and cutting them out of their adult lives, in an attempt to get even for childhood wounds incurred.
This act in itself makes them feel as anti-heroes, which exacerbates the situation. They often also have exaggerated over-reactions when any woman engages in a nurturing action that reminds them of their mothers – even just packing them a lunch box or reminding them to take their vitamins.
Telling him to take his vitamins, is acting like his mother. Just leaving vitamins out for him to take, without verbally reminding him, is supportive and showing you care about his health.