This is a conundrum. For women and for men.
Men, above all, are not supposed to be weak. Vulnerability often feels weak, even though it is usually seen as courage from the outside. So showing vulnerability may feel perilously close to weakness, and therefore shame, and therefore to be avoided. And yet, the woman asks in varying ways for him to be emotionally vulnerable with her.
So guys, you're kind of stuck here. What does it even mean to be emotionally vulnerable? How does that idea tug against a need to be self-contained, or self-reliant?
Women, what would it mean for him to be vulnerable in any place in his life? How might that tug on your need for security or protection?
By the way, there is not an answer to these questions. There are many answers, and plenty of experimenting to be done.
If your goal is to be connected (and that is what is biologically wired into the brain), what do you want to try differently?
2020 has been a most challenging year with Covid. It's likely you've been in closer proximity than ever before (or for many years); you may be home schooling kids, juggling work, worried about the health and mental health of your (extended) family and friends. Everyone has had grief this year - whether it's due to the death of a loved one, the loss of opportunity or plans, not seeing loved ones who are far away and not in your social pod, etc.
It's critical to acknowledge those issues, yet not fall into complaining or a bleak view. Self-care (exercise, healthy eating, limiting alcohol as it's a depressant, getting a physical checkup, seeking emotional support from each other, etc.) is absolutely critical.
There's also an incredible opportunity to grow closer as a couple. Create structure around work so it doesn't spill over into your life. Set an alarm on your phone at 4:45 on weekdays. Finish up what you can in 15 minutes and emerge to be with your beloved. Do fun things together. Get outside. Use couples conversation starter books so you don't just talk about work, kids, stressors. Find a safe way to create dates in which you specifically don't talk about work or kids.
A tip: Listening carefully and letting each other know you heard what was said goes a long, long way (you don't even have to agree with what was said; just that you heard and received it).
If home is a haven, you're on track in secure, loving function together. If home feels like a prison, do something about it - NOW!
Happy New Year! Be safe.
Thanks for reading my posts. I truly appreciate you.
Cheers to a better year ahead (and yes, you have to work to make it so)!