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Getting Him To Open Up Emotionally

Getting Him To Open Up Emotionally

Written by Christian Carter |  16 Comments

Ever wonder how in the world you’re supposed to get closer to a man and connect with him, let alone have a real relationship, when he won’t even open up, listen, or share what’s going on inside?

Like when you seem to be drifting farther and farther apart, and actually talk and share less as time goes on…but the guy doesn’t seem to notice or care?

Where did all the conversation, connection, attraction and passion go to?

I mean, is it really a woman’s “job” to be the one who does all the work just to get a man to actually COMMUNICATE and connect?

The answer is NO….

However the reality is that lots of women have relationships with men that become stuck in a rut this way.

But guess what?

It DOESN’T HAVE TO WORK THIS WAY.

Keep reading and you’ll LEARN how men can go from “emotionally unavailable” and withdrawn with a woman to intimate and connected, WITHOUT youhaving to do all the work.

But first, let me ask you…

Have you ever felt like you just weren’t able to talk to a man about anything “serious” or important in your relationship? At least not without things turning ugly?

And forget about sharing your deeper feelings, questions, or doubts.

These would seriously FREAK HIM OUT and push his buttons, right?

What’s with men?

Are we completely immature and incapable, or do women share responsibility here too?

Good question.

If you’ve ever felt lonely, disconnected, or unappreciated because you didn’t have a “voice”inside your relationship with a man…

Or if a man didn’t ever “see” or “hear” you, even when you couldn’t have been more open,thoughtful and direct, then you won’t want to miss this email.

THE COMMON WAYS “EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE” MEN WITHDRAW…AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

One of the most common, frustrating and destructive things men do with women in relationships is pull away or completely withdraw emotionally.

If you’ve ever had this happen and it dragged on, even just for a few hours or days, then you know it can feel like a slow “emotional death.”

Your creativity, energy, and passion all start to wither away and you get drawn into some weird “funk.”

Give me a silent nod if you know what I’m talking about and you’ve experienced the negative effects of “emotional withdrawal” with a man before.

There’s something that lots of women don’t recognize about men, how they act emotionally, and COMMITMENT that I want to share with you…

It’s strange, kind of bizarre, and hard for lots of women to believe…but it’s something I’ve observed again and again about men.

It’s that when it comes to emotional withdrawal and distance in a relationship, most men DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND what it actually is, or what it means to a women when he “withdraws”.

For a man, this can be just a part of his own emotional “process”.

And therefore most men can’t notice it or see it as a problem to address when it comes up.

Ok, let me repeat that.

Some men just plain DON’T GET IT.

Got it?

Now, why am I telling you this?

Because lots of women get upset when a man withdraws and pays more attention to his favorite sports team, work, or whatever, and they take it personally…as though the man is consciously doing something to ruin the relationship or to REJECT her.

Wrong.

The truth is that lots of men have no idea how important sharing feelings, emotions, and experiences are to a relationship…and they honestly don’t have much practice at it either.

So when a great woman comes along that he could have an amazing time with and get close to…

And she starts noticing that he has some emotional shortcomings that he doesn’t have all the answers for, or experience with…

Instead of identifying these for what they are (part of his natural “masculine” tendency to pull away and focus in an emotionally uninvolved way) she feels rejected, unappreciated or deadened by it.

How many men do you know who get together with their friends to talk about their feelings and discuss the details and meaning of the relationships in their lives?

Exactly.

That’s why it’s FASCINATING to recognize that lots of men actually value NOT SHARING these things (feelings, emotions, meaning behind relationships).

Men who are this way often say or think things like:

“It’s better if we don’t talk about it…”

Or…”Why do you nag me about this stuff?!”

Sound familiar?

So what’s a woman to do with a man who thinks or talks this way?

Dump him and move on?

Ok, I can’t make that decision for you, but a man MUST BE willing to be part of the learning process that IS a relationship.

Translation – if he’s open to learning and growth in some way, then he’s not a lost cause.

So how open to learning and growth is your guy?

And how open to learning and growth are you?

Or is all this talk about learning to understand more about men feeling like too much “work?”

THE POWER TO UNDERSTAND IS THE POWER TO CHANGE AND GROW

Let me ask you an important question, since men aren’t going to magically change their biological make-up, personalities, or brain chemistry any time soon…

Have you ever thought about how a man’s “emotional withdrawal” actually works, and what brings it about?

I’m asking because I’ve noticed something crazy and fascinating…

Lots of women don’t take the time to think through HOW and WHY a man becomes distant.

(Just like lots of men don’t think through how or why a woman wants to emotionally connect.)

Instead, they jump to immediately feeling frustrated that it’s happening… AGAIN. (Which usually leads to things getting worse, not better.)

And hey… I get that this would be frustrating for a woman, who’s putting so much of herself into the relationship, to try and make things better for him and her.

But there’s a better way than becoming emotionally drained and resisting when a man acts like this…

So what can a woman do to avoid a man’s “withdrawal response” in the first place to save mthem both the trouble?

And how can a woman deal with this, unfortunately, common situation with men in a healthy way and get back to an open, loving place quickly?

I thought you’d never ask…

STEP ONE:

The first step for a woman is to identify how the man withdraws.

Why?

So she can understand what’s going on when it happens, and not be caught off guard or get carried away with the fear of not knowing what’s happening.

As strange as it might sound, just knowing more about how a man withdraws will keep you in a better emotional and mental state.

Below are a few of the ways men can withdraw and avoid emotional connection. See if you can identify with any of these:

-He doesn’t listen at all or dismisses what you’re saying because he’s distracted, focused on, or more interested in, something else.

-He gets defensive for no good reason, tries to argue and turns the table with anything you say, telling you that you give him too much “drama” and points out your faults.

-He plays dumb. (And maybe he’s not even playing!)

-He immediately responds with irritation and frustration when you mention the distance between you, and tells you that you’re overreacting.

-He’s so wrapped up or stressed by his work or projects in his life that when you do spend time together, he’s still not really there with you. And he seems even more irritated when you try to get him to relax and open up.

-He tries to appease you by acting like he “gets” what you’re talking about, but he doesn’t really listen or take what you have to say to heart. It’s back to the same old guy behavior a few days or weeks later.

-He has no idea what to do or how to start communicating with you on the subject, so he changes the subject or tunes out to avoid talking about it.

Ok. Now, any of these look familiar?

You might even recognize several.

You might even have one or two of these that seem to happen over and over.

I want you to realize that these are the withdrawal behaviors that take place, and I want you to become aware of how they work.

STEP TWO:

Now, there’s another reason for doing all this that relates just to YOU…

I want you to take out a piece of paper right now and write down the thoughts that came to mind as you read this.

First write down, in detail, what it is that the guy you are with, or your ex, did in the past to withdraw.

Then, once you’ve done this, describe how the distance or withdrawal made you FEEL inside.

I’ll give you a minute.

Ok, now that you’ve got your thoughts down, there’s a second step after identifying how withdrawal takes place…

Our minds have a tricky and destructive habit that leads us to make faulty and negative associations between what happens in the world around us and the personal meaning we give them inside.

Let me give you an example…

You probably know people who are convinced that they have terrible luck, so when anything happens they think, “Of course, I’m such an unlucky person…”

These kind of people have a very negative view of everything that happens to them because they see themselves as someone to whom only bad things happen.

I call this “Limiting Beliefs”, and we all have some version of this that fits our own fears and life experiences.

Right now you’re going to identify some of your own Limiting Beliefs around what it means about YOU when a man withdraws or acts distant.

That way, you can better understand and make good choices if it happens with a man again.

Following me?

Good.

So what is the feeling you had when you think back to when a man withdrew from you?

Picture it in your mind.

Now, take that negative feeling and find the “internal state” that it created inside you, which is the general emotional state that you felt.

Realize that the feelings you had, and the state you were in, were a result of YOUR OWN BELIEFS about what the man’s behavior meant.

But here’s the thing…

Our beliefs are NOT often the “reality” of the situations we’re in.

In other words, a man’s behavior DOES NOT have to equal a negative reaction or feeling inside YOU.

Read that line above again.

Good. Now…think about the negative belief inside your own head that created the negative feeling or reaction inside you.

What was that belief?

There might be more than one.

Take several minutes and write it down.

I’ll give you another minute…

So here’s the whole point. It SOUNDS simple, but it isn’t. It’s very powerful…

I want you to try and remain AWARE of the Limiting Belief that you have, that you have identified, so you can start to “un-link” the faulty judgments and reactions that these Limiting Beliefs will try and make for you subconsciously.

And once that happens you’ll start to have your mind “freed up” to make new, productive choices that will naturally bring a man closer to you and make him start connecting with you.

THE CRITICAL “NEXT STEP” TOWARDS IMPROVING YOUR LOVE LIFE…FOR GOOD

We just did a quick exercise that can bring a lot of real, positive change to you and any relationship you have…including a relationship with a man.

But that’s just the first step…the tip of the iceberg so to speak.

There’s a TON more where that came from, and that’s why I want you to take the next step.

KEEP LEARNING.

I’ll talk to you again soon, and best of luck in life and love.

Your Friend,
Christian Carter

Categories : Understanding Men

Christian Carter is a leading advisor to women on dating, relationships, connection and love. An expert in psychology, communication and behavior, Christian Carter has developed foundational concepts that help women understand men, dating and relationships. Visit Christian's official website, by clicking here.

16 Comments

  1. Veronica says:

    I really liked this exercise and I can’t wait til the next exercise! How do I find the next one?

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  2. kelly says:

    its hard and i just got married 4 days ago i would love to get more advise if at all possible i love my husband with all my heart and i want us to last forever. hes closed his heart to me and only lets me in from a distance i want him to share his all with me. please help thank you!!

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  3. rebecca says:

    Your insight is very helpful, keep inspiring us!much appreciated!

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  4. Counsellor says:

    I liked the part about limiting belief and would like to see more reading from peoples own experience in experiencing real power and change rather than most writers just focusing on the limiting “truths” about males.

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  5. Reenie says:

    What does it mean to connect with a man emotionally, I still don’t get it and I so want to for future reference.

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  6. Courtney says:

    It’s funny, it’s almost the exact opposite for me and my boyfriend. He’s very emotional, and curious, and always trying to get into my head, whereas I am much more emotionally aloof or possibly distant. This generalization works both ways, there are guys (like my boyfriend) who have no problem opening up everything to their significant other, and there are women (like myself) who have problems not only with getting in touch with their own emotions, but with sharing those emotions and thoughts with others.

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  7. Sara says:

    Hi Christian!!
    I just want to thank you for all your magnificent advices for us (women)….your amazing…in this days almost nobody worries about this kind of issues in their lifes and become more n more distant.this is all a question of comunication!
    People should feel more n think less!!!
    Im 17 years n im a very emottional person…day after day im feeling more n more emottional.
    I dated a boy during 1 year n a half.He dumpted.
    Hes my best friend also, i know him very weel n sometimes we´re together n talk a lot.we keep in touch a lot.I love him very much…its hard because he made me lot of promisses….we had plans for the future, n i dont see myself with anyone besides him….I remember everything,my heart is always heavy n my memory is charged.He left because we never made anything sexually n he couldnt wait anylonger.I just want to do that after marriage….but as time runs he said that left me because of some issues,because of my church (church of Jesus Christ of later day saint lds)…I want to know the real truth about our ending but sometimes i think that he doesnt know it either….i have lot of answers n confusion in my head.sometimes i feel that he still loves me….i would never leave someone i love because of this reasons.never….

    Christian one or two years ago,im not sure i saw you on Oprah Show.Your a bless for all women.your the man.
    keep it that way

    thanks n kissies***

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  8. Silka says:

    I have a long distance relationship from a man from a different city. We have good chemistry and intellecturally connected and very happy when we are together. The problem is that when we are away, he doesn’t talk much feeling or much anything on the phone expect busy group email everyday. Also from begiing, he want to go slow so we can really get to know each other; funny part is that he introduced me to his family at Thnaksgiving at 2nd date. Is he fooling around with me??

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  9. Amiga says:

    Silka,

    He probably isn’t playing with you. I have experienced the same situation. He just is afraid of commitment and communication. If he doesn’t or cannot reveal his feelings, then he won’t be hurt as badly. At least that is probably what he thinks.

    Once the trust is there and he knows you aren’t going anywhere, perhaps he will open his heart to you. Likely he has been hurt in the past… but boo-hoo haven’t we all!

    Give it a little more time. Maybe NO SEX. And if he cannot adapt to your need to communicate, move on… plenty of fish in the sea!

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  10. Chuck says:

    Alot said that is true about men. But these comments are slided to favor the woman. I can assure you if woman are attracting these men in their lives, why don’t they look at there own issues, that got them involved in the first place? You will find they lack the emotional availability themselves.

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  11. Alice says:

    Great article! Although such actions of men, sometimes make me only think that men are selfish and only live for what they believe in. I believe they choose to not be available about such things, rather than not wanting to. Because then, we , women have to adapt to this emotional life style.( not expressing our feelings too much, in fear of pushing them away, or be afraid to let them know how much we feel for them)
    growing up i never knew, what NOT sharing emotions is like. whatever emotion i may feel whether it’s sad or happy, i let myself feel it! why? because it’s best to deal with something right away, rather than having to come back to it over and over, untill your life ends, and yo finally realise, where has it gone to?And having to find out men feel this way, only pushes my feelings deep back inside of me, making me never want to trust another man.

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  12. Jack says:

    @Alice
    Now I’m a relatively open man about my emotions, and I can, with correct prodding, be as open as women.
    But did you perhaps consider that men are raised to express less than women? Let me tell you some of the things I was taught growing up to avoid feeling or so I would never show them:
    - My brother taught me a breathing exercise so I wouldn’t cry
    - My family always told me that men don’t cry
    - The “Emotions are for wusses” variant.
    In truth, happiness and anger are about the only 2 emotions men have full access to, sadness is considered weak and most others are taboo. Women are conditioned to express emotions and feel them, men are conditioned to suppress emotions and ignore them. Don’t speak from ignorance, ladies, men often can’t help it.

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  13. Chris says:

    @Alice

    I’m a man so allow me to speak from experiance, men don’t open up as much as women for 2 reasons 1st our brains are wired to react and process the world differently to women, 2nd men are conditioned from a young age to invert there feelings, to hold them in and supress them, that’s not to say men don’t feel off course we do, in many ways the pain we experiance through loss or a breakup is stronger than that of a woman as we don’t have the social means to express or vent it.

    However the main reason men have issues when opening up is simple… Women are prone to break up with guys for doing it, yes I know it sounds strange but it’s true. Ask any man out there about that girl he found the courage to open up and confess his feelings to only for her to lose interest and leave only weeks/days after him doing it.

    The fact is for most men opening up is the fast ticket to dumpsville (heck a women I wad with dumped me once becouse I didn’t tell her how o felt “correctly” so how’s that for having your feelings messed about)

    don’t be quick to judge ladies. Men are men we act like men and we feel like men and we comunicate like men, either learn to accept and work with the differences or don’t get involved.

    Chris

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  14. Amber says:

    Hmmm… Don’t get involved? Okay, how about don’t go into a RELATIONship and then tune out completely. Don’t fake it to hook your woman and then once she’s caught, use this crap above to justify it. If you don’t want to relate – this does not mean you have to be overly emotional, but it does mean you have to communicate to her clearly and consistently enough, showing that it’s a priority to you – don’t get into a relationship. Sounds simple enough to me.

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  16. dbj2j says:

    This was a true blessing, the excercise gave me such insight into myself and I wasn’t expecting that. I thought he needed the help and you helped me to realize the important role that I play in our diagreements an emotional disconnection. Thank You!

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