Why do men withdraw emotionally? Here are 4 common reasons

Romantic relationships usually go through highly predictable phases, and from a psychological viewpoint, men and women in relationships exhibit predictable patterns of behavior.

Normally, relationships are characterized by a “honeymoon” or enchantment phase. And this is certainly the best and most thrilling phase. You may get excited and long to receive texts and calls from your partner, and stop spending time with friends so you can have more time for him/her. This is certainly great and feels like an emotional adventure. And the more you get to know your partner, the more you like them! This phase usually lasts a few months.

After the excitement cools off, the relationship enters a phase known as the “power struggle”. In this phase, you can expect the emergence of the male attach and withdraw pattern. Here, the true colors come to life and feelings of fear, love, security, jealousy, insecurity, anxiety, and anger manifest themselves in both the man and the woman. If you truly want to understand someone’s character, pay attention to how they handle stressful situations. Their natural reactions to heated emotions reveal plenty about their persona.  

When a man is overwhelmed by emotions (positive or negative), he will sometimes retreat to his mental man cave in order to evaluate himself and work through these feelings. Men struggle with developmental and psychological issues that are foreign to many women.

Let us look at some of the reasons why men withdraw emotionally from their relationships:

1. They don’t always know how to keep their wives happy

Men want to please their wives in every way they can. But this isn’t always easy when dopamine is running high. As soon as he says “I do” his brain reduces the production of this “new love” hormone. All that he learned about emotional communication while growing up resurfaces. If he learned to suppress his feelings in order to do the right thing he will continue doing that as the marriage advances.

Most women would rather be listened to than fixed. When he expresses his need to protect by fixing, instead of listening, she, in turn, will express a growing frustration. He will start feeling frustrated and sad because he does not understand how to make his wife as happy as he did in the earlier stages of the relationship. And when he doesn’t properly respond to her fears, hurts, and joys she will feel wounded and abandoned.

Although this may be obvious, a woman can help her man by softly reminding him that she needs his ear much more than his strong arms.

“I am not looking for a solution, I just need you to listen to me.” might be a constructive way to approach such a conversation.

2. External stress factors

Men react differently to stress than women. They will often retreat to figure things out if faced with issues related to finances, career, sexual issues or spiritual breakdowns. Some religious men may suffer due to sex-related guilt, while others may simply feel hopeless in their careers and retreated to make vital decisions. Give men space to work things out internally, they need it.

3. He longs for you but you’re doing something that’s causing him to withdraw

While this can mean a variety of things, he most likely feels pressured, or he feels that you’re rushing things. Pressuring a man and moving too fast happens due to emotional neediness; that means needing someone to respond to you in a specific way or else you won’t feel alright. When someone is too needy it usually means they’re emotionally dependant. She depends on him to feel good. This is not gender-specific, men also can be needy.

In a woman’s case, she becomes desperate for a man to commit and make her feel good enough to feel worthy of love.

This, of course, can be a problem, and a major turnoff for many men.

Hence, the needy mindset must be shed if you want to help improve the relationship. It will also strengthen your love overall.

It’s all about being secure in yourself and not become too reliant on someone else.

4. He was never truly interested

He may have found that you two aren’t really compatible, maybe he found another woman, maybe he realized that you’re not exactly what he’s looking for, or maybe he wasn’t that interested in you from the start.

We often project our own feelings onto another person. We adore him so much and assume that he feels the same. And then you’re left wondering why he went from being totally into you to not into you at all.

You ask yourself if you did something to cause his withdrawal.

And it’s certainly possible that you did, but if your guy suddenly starts withdrawing over minor things you did, the chance is high that he wasn’t all that into you from the beginning. He may have cared, he also may have been attracted to you, he may have liked spending time with you, however, he wasn’t interested enough to want to share his life with you.

We hope that this article will help you understand your man in a deeper way. Let us know how you feel about this topic in the comment section below.

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