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Let’s face it men process their feelings completely differently than women. That’s why men need space.
Yes, men are often seen as ‘the rock,” an unemotional being, unflinchingly marching ahead no matter the pain and suffering that life throws at them. Though those characteristics make for a gutsy action hero, they are far from the truth.
The myth that men do not feel a high level of anxiety or experience unrelenting stress each day is false. Let’s nip that myth in the bud real quick.
Men are under a lot of stress. And part of a man’s natural process of dealing with stress is having a lot of space. They need a good amount of time alone to help them process and work through their real problems. This is the main reason why men need space. Men’s mental health matters, and if your man needs some emotional space, remember it has little to do with you. Do not take it personally.
Men are given far too much credit for their ability to manage stress, and women far too little. As women, we are incredible at managing multiple projects and roles at one time and all the stress associated with those challenges. One day our society may put away the stereotypes and realize that regardless of our gender, we are all under difficult life pressures. The difference between women and men is in how we manage our stress.
Any honest man will tell you that, yes, he feels stressed. His brain sometimes feels like it is always running like a mouse chasing through a maze after a piece of cheese. Men will tell you that the pressure to “do it all” is incredibly intense. Men feel a constant pressure to provide and protect, love and cherish, and “make” their partners and children happy, even as we wonder if they are even happy in their own life. Men struggle to juggle the roles of father, husband, brother, son, employee, boss, and many more. Let’s give the Men in our lives a break!
Men do want to understand what is bothering them, they do recognize the issues, but they just as quickly set them aside. It’s not that men don’t care about their health, but because stress comes and goes and affects men differently as individuals, men may not have stress issues identified on their radar as clearly as other issues.
Men have a hard time seeing stress issues. Men put off seeking a solution because another demand takes precedence. Men are wired to solve ‘immediate’ problems first.
Rushing to put out the next “fire,” men hear the voice of their spouses and friends say, “Let’s get that checked out,” but are too caught up in what they feel is the most immediate threat. This all leads to men pushing forward with their heads buzzing incessantly and their bodies shouting warnings to slow down.
Ways Stress Can Materialize As Health Issues In Men:
- Muscle aches
- Back and neck pain headaches
- Sexual impotence
- Weight gain or loss
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Obesity and diabetes.
Interestingly, when stress issues finally get in their face, clearly identified as an immediate issue, the nature of stress then asks them to use a tool usually not found in their toolbox. The device multiple studies have shown to be most effective is meditation. Know that men don’t outright swear off meditation. Men know that meditation is the practice of creating a deeper awareness of our thoughts and emotions, it’s not about controlling or forcing thoughts, but it’s not about letting them control you. For men, the concept is sound. Men get that meditation may work, but unlike a jacked-up truck or the latest power tool, it isn’t sexy. The thought of meditation may wrinkle the brow, but at the end of the day, a man’s need to be focused on solving problems is, let’s “gett’er done,” stress is a serious problem and will be dealt with.
This propensity to push past their feelings and put a partner’s needs before their own can be damaging, just as it is for women!
There is a reason why we are told to put on our oxygen masks before helping others. Men may need their own space for handling stress, while women crave intimacy and emotional connection to process heavy emotions, which is the exact opposite! And our differences are a wonderful thing. We both deal with stress in our own way and in our own time.
But it is the lack of communication that may cause issues. Choose to pay attention. If you notice your partner is stressed and needs space, encourage them to take time! A little bit of space can make all the difference. And men, if your lady is stressed, be a good partner and listen. Take off your problem-solving hat and listen. An important thing to remember is that she does want you to solve all her problems. She wants you to listen and spend a little time with her while she vents.
Guys, looking on from the outside, you may recognize that stress may be an issue. Meditation can be an excellent solution to managing your stress. But please understand this doesn’t mean you need to be burning incense, beating a drum, and chanting ‘ohm’ while wearing a pair of stretchy pants. Meditation may look a bit different for men. The only thing to remember is to find an outlet for that stressful job or hard job changes that work for you.
Here are simple ways for men to take their first step toward practicing “meditation.“
- Working on your vehicle
- Camping for a couple of days
- A Long Walk
- Horseback Riding
- Video Games
- Time with your best friend, who may not be your spouse, is a good thing.
- Quality time outdoors
- A long run
- A visit to the gym
The thing to remember is that meditation is a process, not an event. It’s not ‘only’ for people that can’t handle life. Meditation is supposed to be individualized and applied to fit our needs, not the other way around. Mediation is about listening, connecting with, and being comfortable with our feelings and thoughts. Not being concerned about what other folks think is how we should do things. Being honest, being true, being real, and doing our best, meditation is the place to “be,” and men… and women are on board with that.
It’s time we women take a step back and encourage our men to take time to analyze their emotional needs. These rough and tough guys need space to work it out on their own. Good relationships and marriages are based on understanding the needs of the other. Although we women crave constant contact and a lot of time with our spouse when we are stressed. That is not the case for men. The worst thing you can do is get mad at them when a man pulls away from you. If you are in a committed relationship, trust that their need for space has nothing to do with you. The good news is they just need some guy space.
So ladies, give your man time and space to think things out and encourage him to find a quiet hobby that allows him the opportunity to relax, reflect and reconnect. Be supportive and help facilitate your man’s need for space.