In our society men tend to be the receivers while women are expected to be the senders. Women have been wired by society to be caretakers and nurturers, thus senders, often receiving little emotional gratification in return. Women who don’t play that role are considered to be too masculine, pushy and aggressive. Of course, this concept is prevalent among older generations, BUT, seems to be true, in varying degrees, for all ages.
As receivers, men are socialized to avoid emotional issues. It’s sissy and emasculating. The message that males seem to be receiving from an early age on is that once they are on an equal footing with women as to feelings and opinions, they will be rendered powerless. If they admit to having deep sensitivities, that somehow takes them down a few notches. The underlying feeling is that if men communicate and give quality listening to a female, they then enter a level playing field. It becomes a healthy give and take. Some men have told me that when they attempt to have a dialogue with a woman and it becomes too intimate, they can’t breathe. YIKES! That’s scary.
I’m going to give you my perspective on the damage that kind of wiring extracts. Men can be reluctant to dig for reasons as to why they behave in certain ways even when their relationship is beginning to fall apart? They feel they don’t need to. One reason is that when men are emotionally unavailable, the women in their lives think they will be the one to change him and are willing to set their own needs aside. In this respect, they become the enableres. Sometimes I think they fear they won’t be loved or at worst, will be abondoned.
“Somehow these women always have an excuse for the guy’s shortcomings.” That quote is from Dating Advice Newsletter put out by Christian Carter. Also, from the same newsletter, “Women (and men) don’t base their choices of men on how nice or good someone is to them day-to-day. Women choose the men they do because they feel a powerful GUT LEVEL ATTRACTION for them. And guess what? Some women will continue to put up with a guy that doesn’t treat them very well. Sometimes for months or years…”
Men generally seem unwilling to work very hard to find out why a relationship, they might care deeply about, is disintegrating or has died. As one highly educated man I know stated when I described a play that went into the psyches of the characters, “That’s crap. It’s chick stuff.”
Yet, there are so many male writers of sad, yearning love songs, and male poets writing about lost loves, new love and hoping for love to materialize. Male writers sometimes dig deep into what makes a relationship tick. This demonstrates male awareness of the need for introspection. I believe men yearn for a great, nourishing relationship as much as any woman does. But from the time they were little boys until adulthood, they are told to repress tears, run away when there is an emotional crisis rather than face the multitude of feelings. The subliminal messages tell them that women are supposed to manage the emotional aspects of life while a man turns to work, ballgames or golf to escape.
I believe women outlive men because females tend to express their emotions—for the most part. Repressing feelings can manifest in the form of physical ailments. It is recognized that different chemicals are released in the body by anxiety and negativity as opposed to contentment. Not facing your emotions and dealing with them can produce a poor quality of life or possibly an early death. It wears down the body parts more quickly, and makes us more prone to illness.
Kristi Williams, assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University co-authored a study that was published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. “The findings indicate that abusive men don’t show signs of depression or other reactions to the stress they’re under. Instead, the feelings of stress build up and are released in bursts of violence.”
In my opinion it is the secure man who is far more masculine and developed emotionally if he shows his feelings and reveals his inner self. Only the most stable men with the strongest sense of self-esteem can buck the tradition and open themselves up.
So, it seems, we’re training our men to die before women by having them crush feelings. Of course, my mother always told me the reason women outlive men by seven or eight years is that God wanted to give them a rest.
MEN! OPEN UP YOUR HEARTS AND SOULS AND INCREASE YOUR LIFE SPAN! You don’t have to do it just to have a better relationship (God forbid). Do it for health reasons. I assure you that if women get a small overflow of the emotions you pour out, we’ll take it. Don’t die before your time.
The sexy grandmom