How a man can head off an impending storm

Posted on October 14, 2011 by

If a man knows what to look for, it is not difficult to see a storm brewing.  Often men go about their lives calmly with their own purpose and objectives.  Men are less emotionally driven, so why should emotions affect a man’s day to day life anyway?  This attitude works quite well for him until a woman enters his life.  But then he often makes the mistake of going about his life as before, not paying attention to her changing moods, and will not notice the brewing storm.

He likely has no comprehension that her moods change from day to day, with her hormones or just by her environment, or if he does, he doesn’t really know what to do about it so he ignores it, hoping it will go away on its own.  It can be something small that causes a change in her emotional weather- it may be the children, her female friends, or even something he did or failed to do.  This is certainly not to say that taking care of her emotions is all on him, but that if he is adept as noticing the little things, it takes little to keep those little things from growing – plus, a bunch of little things can add up. This is what “doing little things” means to a lot of women.  Not everything will always be sunny but storm clouds can become ominous when men are totally oblivious.

Her funks generally stem from fears of safety.  She is insecure and this happens from time to time in all women.  Is he present to her?  Does she feel loved?  Is she afraid he has an outside interest?  Is she worried about finances or in-laws, or school or any number of things?

Women often do not have the ability to break this internal cycle and her emotions are usually caused by external factors beyond her control.  A man can learn to perceive these things within her to sense an impending storm.  A few words from him, a touch, his listening to her rant may be all it takes.  A man’s natural inclination is to offer solutions, but much of the time what she wants is to know that he is listening (not just to her literal words but feeling her heart) and that he cares, after which she can come up with her own solution.

He has many options to help her feel safe and secure and appeasement is not going to get the job done.  She draws on his strength when she is insecure and he must be strong enough that she is comforted by his strength.  Yet he must also have compassion for her emotions and her insecurity.

Here is the basic premise and action plan for men:

  1. If a woman is distraught and says she does not want to talk about it, she does want to talk about it but doesn’t know how.  Just sit with her, be present and start talking; it will come out if you do not pry.
  2. By your presence and body language (i.e. “open” body language, turned toward her, holding her hand, etc.), let her know she is lovable no matter what.  Feel her emotions and even guess what is going on if you have to, or tell her that you just want to sit with her while she cries.  Wipe the tears from her face and taste her tears (yes really!).  Touch her a bit on her face or arm.  Stroke her hair.  Let her cry on your shoulder.
  3. Often she will be afraid to reveal what is upsetting her because she has not figured it out and may be blocking out the very reason.  She may not want to think about it or be reminded because she thinks she is unlovable unless she is perfect or has other fears she does not want to face.
  4. Do not react to her emotions but feel them with her.  Meet her emotions and just be present. Ask her sincere questions to keep her talking.
  5. Do not try and fix her.  She will likely come up with her own solution and offer suggestions on what she can do differently.  At this point a man can offer some guidance to her.
  6. Affirm her.  Tell her that you love her and desire her.  Tell her that her feelings were OK and you are glad to have been able to work through this with her.

A bit later a man should be firm and even sometimes a bit harsh, depending on the woman’s individual temperament (this is where calibration comes in).  This seems counter-intuitive, but is very useful in re-establishing the dynamics of a strong man.  After all this mushy emotional stuff it is a good way to put it behind you and to help her put it behind her.  She does not want a wussy sensitive guy all the time and she needs to know that her man is strong and looking outward toward the world most of the time, rather than focused on her emotionality.

To summarize: Feel her emotions, let her emote and talk, she will find her own solution, then offer guidance, be present, affirm her.  Afterward be firm with her even to the point of being a bit harsh.  She will be comforted by the boundary you impose by your masculine strength.  (Good things happen next… wink!)

No relationship is static.  There are ups and downs.  It is the man that has the influence and strength to minimize the depth and duration of the lows.  He must learn to feel and surf her emotions rather than letting them build into a tidal wave and getting sucked under.

How bad can the storm get?  That is hard to predict.  Maybe it is just a squall which can blow over in a day.  But if it is a hurricane, it may rage for a couple of days and the devastation can be immense.  Some of these storms can even threaten the foundations.  Once the fury of the storm hits, it is too late to batten the hatches and sometimes there is not much that can be done except ride it out and protect your head from hail damage.  The cleanup afterwards can take a huge amount of effort and often it is difficult to know where to start.

If men only learned the skills to head off an impending storm, life would be better for all.

Posted in: Relationships