We Fear the Tears
Here’s a little secret ladies— men are afraid of your emotions, they don’t know how to deal with them, they don’t understand them and this is scary, especially if they think that the emotions are aimed at them or that they could be turned on them. A man wants to make things okay. He wants to fix or destroy whatever it is that is causing you grief— he just wants to be your hero— that’s the ultimate expression of love to a man. He wants to be your barbarian and his sword is sworn to your service.
But he fears the tears because if there is a chance that your emotion, your anger or sadness is a result of something he has done, well, then he is at a loss— that means he has to fix or destroy a part of himself.
This usually involves a lot of talking, crying or yelling, listening and I’m sorrys — things that just don’t mesh well with a man’s pride and self-respect. Men, that doesn’t let you off the hook— sometimes a part of you needs to be destroyed, sometimes you need to walk the narrow bridge over to the right side of your brain. Even if you don’t talk well from there, you need to at least listen.
Your woman doesn’t always need you to fix things, sometimes she just needs you to hear her.
I remember a few years ago; I was lying in bed with Donna, I had already kissed her good night and was ready to go to sleep when I heard the soft sounds of her crying. Then the battle began in my mind that went something like this:
“My wife seems to be crying, maybe she has a cold… no, she’s definitely crying. I should turn over and ask her what’s wrong,—no, she’s probably upset about something and it’ll get into a big discussion and I need to go to sleep. What if it’s something I did, oh my gosh—then I definitely don’t want to ask— I have to, if I put it off it’ll just get worse. I love her, I have to ask, here we go….”
What’s the matter dear? I’m worried about Lacy, (Lacy was a heifer, one of the few we had kept when we got out of the ranching business, she was more of a pet to Donna and the girls) Suddenly I was very confused and relieved at the same time; “Oh, thank you Jesus that it wasn’t me.” –followed by, “how could she possibly be so emotional about a heifer?” But, being the understanding and sensitive husband that I am I didn’t say any of that. I simply asked; “Why are you worried about Lacy?”
“When I was out earlier to feed she looked like she was getting bloated and I’m just afraid she might die in the night.” Immediately I thought; I can fix this! So I heroically asked— “What if I went out to check on her?” —“That would help” So I jumped up and got dressed, grabbed a flashlight and checked on Lacy. I found her bedded down in the barn chewing her cud just as contented, and un-bloated, as could be. So I went back and gave the good report and we all went to sleep.
All the ladies reading this are thinking, “that’s terrible, you would rather go out into the cold and the manure in the middle of the night than have a real conversation with your upset wife in a nice warm bed?” And the answer is— guys?- “Yes, yes I would.” It’s nothing personal, it’s just not the way men are wired. It’s not that we don’t love you, it’s just that we struggle with your emotions because we don’t live there like you do and it takes a real effort to get there and back again.
But, remember, I was willing to go there, I asked the scary question: “What the matter?” Believe me, there have been times when it has not been as easy as running out to the barn yard and I have gotten an ear full. What puzzles me is why she just didn’t go check on her or ask me to rather than just crying in bed? Women are different creatures…- Left brain, right brain.
“What’s the matter?” —Men; you need to understand how important that is to your wife, asking the question, it is how she feels love. And ladies; you need to understand how hard that is for a guy. He doesn’t thrive on emotion like you do, it wears him out.
It wears him out because when he does go there he goes all in and it’s hard to get out and it’s especially hard to tell you about it. But when he does, please listen. He will probably only tell you once and if you don’t hear it or you scoff at it, he will shut down and you’ll be lucky to ever see anything but Mr. Left brain again.
A man cannot tolerate being disrespected by the woman who holds his heart. A woman feels love by the words spoken, but a man feels love by the respect he receives when his words are spoken. The important thing is, you need to speak— both of you. Communication is not optional in a marriage.
in the hiding places on the mountainside,
show me your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,… Song of Solomon 2:14
An unspoken love is a hidden love. Unspoken love is a love that Is not perceived, is not received and is in reality doing harm. How many messed up adults do you know that say they never heard a parent say I love you? How many marriages have fallen apart because a spouse felt unloved?
My beloved spoke and said to me,
“Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, come with me. Song 2:10