There are some things that get under every man’s skin.
Regardless of creed, age, values, or any other variable that makes men who they are, the behavior we’ll discuss is universally despised.
If your relationship has been on the rocks for some time, it might be because of one of these behaviors.
Here’s what emasculation looks like:
Men need to feel unique, significant, and respected.
So when their partner is controlling, criticizing, and restricting, naturally they are going to feel animosity towards their partner.
That animosity will be expressed in one of two ways.
One way is that they shut down. They don’t confront, they close off communication and stop investing in the relationship. The second way is related to the first but sees them physically distance themself from you. They’ll spend more time at work, with friends, and may even cheat in order to gratify needs that aren’t being met at home.
In their mind they have given up feeling like the man around the house. So instead, he will look elsewhere to feel better about himself. One way or another he will ensure that his needs are being met and that he feels significant.
Maybe you’re unintentionally emasculating him because you want him to change in some way. But all this critique is having the opposite effect. Instead of being a catalyst for change, it’s a catalyst for rebellion.
So if critique isn’t working, try something new.
Instead of pushing him down, lift him up.
Make him feel significant by genuinely engaging with him in a loving and supportive fashion. Complement him, tell him how special and unique he is. Elevate him so as to elevate your relationship.
And look, I know that your critique may feel justified. I don’t doubt that he needs to change. The best way to help him change is to be his biggest cheerleader as opposed to his biggest critic. This may feel odd, considering how annoyed you are at him, but supporting him is the only way that he’ll change.
We are all victims of this.
As humans, we have the ability to empathize and put ourselves in another’s shoes, but far too often, we neglect to use this skill. Instead of exerting ourselves to understand how someone else is feeling, we remain ensconced in our own perspective.
This is because we have a need to feel right. We desire to have our world view validated. Changing our opinion of the world or those around us is difficult.
Let’s use an example to see how this narrow perspective might be damaging your relationship.
Imagine your husband comes home a little late from work. He says hi before immediately plopping down on the couch and zoning out with some mindless TV.
In this scenario it’s easy to let your negative thoughts get the best of you. It’s easy to think, wow, he doesn’t care, he barely acknowledges me, he doesn’t love me anymore.
But what is really going on?
Could it be that he’s logging long hours at work because he wants the best for your family and that he’s dead tired from a day of hard work?
It’s easy to jump to conclusions, especially when things aren’t going your way.
I urge you to have open conversations so you understand why he behaves the way he does.
I also encourage you to not rush to judgment. Take a step back and consider his perspective.
You may be thinking, well he never considers how I feel, why should I waste time trying to understand where he’s coming from.
First of all, it’s not a waste.
This is a mindful and loving attempt to reconnect with your husband. Secondly, if you want change you must lead by example. Show him how to have a healthier relationship and that you’re willing to put in the effort. Take the time to see his side of things.
Every human has good and bad days that translate to positive and negative emotions.
So it’s expected that once in a while, you’ll be tasked with dealing with the negative emotions they are demonstrating. There is a point, however, when these negative emotions snowball out of control. It’s this runaway ball of negative emotion that can steamroll a relationship.
When one half of a partnership is wrecked with negative emotions, inevitably, the other half is going to feel some of the effects.
Think of this negativity as a rain cloud that stalks you everywhere you go. Most of the time you’re with your partner, so naturally, he’s going to get a little wet.
I’m not suggesting repressing these negative emotions. That’s never the solution. What I am suggesting is not using your partner as an emotional crutch.
We tend to think our partner is our everything – but that’s unfair.
Our partner can’t be our best friend, lover, caretaker, shoulder to cry on, tennis partner, and therapist.
Deal with this negatively effectively and don’t wholly rely on your partner to always be there for you.
Bring other people into your life that will help you address aspects of your life that your husband isn’t as equipped to respond to.
That means speaking to a therapist if you need to but it extends beyond mental wellbeing. If your husband isn’t into dancing salsa don’t drag him to salsa practice. Find a friend or dance partner that can satisfy that desire.
Famed psychologist Abraham Maslow created his psychological hierarchy of needs in the 50s.
In the middle of these needs, you find love and belonging.
To live a rich and fulfilling life, every human needs to feel a sense of love and belonging. To go without it is to live an unfulfilled and, frankly, sad existence.
The thing is, every one of us requires different levels and types of love. If you feel as though your partner isn’t filling you up you may well feel rejected and inadequate. We all feel this way at some point in a relationship. The turning point is when these feelings consume us.
It’s when this fleeting feeling becomes chronic. When that happens, every little comment he makes stings. Even innocuous comments trigger even more thoughts of inadequacy.
It’s true that your husband can help mitigate these negative feelings. You can openly dialogue with him so that he better understands how you feel.
But don’t wholly rely on him to fix a deeper wound.
You’ll have to undergo an internal change to effectively shush these negative thoughts.
Realize that you are perfect just as you are.
Once you realize this, those around you will notice your positive change and flock to you.
But making such a drastic internal shift isn’t easy. Without a blueprint to help guide you, it’s easy to take the wrong path.
In my program, The Authentic Relationship System, I help women struggling in their marriage to turn around their romantic lives. We do this by understanding male psychology and healing from within to become the best version of yourself.
I’d love to learn more about you and explain how our program works via a 1-on-1 call.