this is an excerpt from a comment here on the blog. since it was asked publicly, i’ll answer it publicly. i also clicked on his blog and did some reading. i had thought to broaden the scope of my response to reflect what i found there, but frankly, it would be impossible to deal with all his issues in one post. one blog of his alone has sparked 3 more that i’m working on. ugh. i’m not going to direct you to the comment or his blog because i don’t want to inundate this guy if he doesn’t want that.
You say this is a blog for men, but I don’t know one guy who puts that much thought or effort into anything that doesn’t have wheels or knobs or buttons or lights.
…I’m going to tell you something and ask you what you think it says about me?
In the first year of our marriage my wife left me a note in an envelope on my dresser. Inside she listed things we should talk about. It scared me. I didn’t want to talk. I put the note back in the envelope and pretended that I didn’t see it, until finally it disappeared and she never even brought it up, and guess what? everything worked out fine.
dear cowardly lyin’ to yourself,
i’ve read a whole bunch of your blog and if the “everything worked out fine” is only according to your definition of that phrase, everything is so not fine. your wife worked up the courage to communicate with you about things she felt were important and you blew her off. you were afraid and didn’t want to talk. not well played. how long was it before she felt like she could talk to you about anything more significant than dinner reservations? based on your own words from your blog, i’m guessing she holds out until she’s so fed up, she has no choice but to say something.
i’m going to let you in on a secret that has apparently been kept from you. you are not alone in your marriage. take a minute to let the shock sink it. if she has something to say, you need to listen. not just stay quiet until she’s finished, nod your head and wait for her to give up. really listen to her. otherwise you are putting far too much stock in your own opinion and fears and not even in the ball park of enough respect for hers.
your fears, your lack of feeling, your shoulder shrugging response to the world at large has no place in a marriage where you have vowed to love, honor and cherish. disregarding her feelings, ignoring her warnings that something is wrong and withholding emotion will eventually diminish any feelings she has for you. if it hasn’t already. it’s going to take a whole other blog to deal with what that will do to your children.
you think everything is fine because you want it to be and because you choose to feel so little that “fine” to you, is seriously busted to just about everyone else. that doesn’t make you cool or special, it’s just really sad.
i really hope you realize the value of someone else’s thoughts, feelings and value before you realize you’re alone.
oh so sincerely,
for the rest of you…
fear of emotion, fear of conflict, fear of rejection…all these things lead to withholding of understanding, lack of open communication and hurt feelings. all of it is avoidable. take time to listen. open yourself up to being wrong. be aware that the person you’ve committed yourself to is on shaky ground too. shore each other up. build a foundation of communication that compresses into bed rock over time as confidence in each other compresses and solidifies what could otherwise be sinking sand.
okay, enough geological analogies.
what are some things that you fear or hold back from in relationships?