What’s more scary than being with a man who suddenly disappears when you are hurting badly over something in your life?

This lady named Sarah left this question on the blog in the comments section:

“Renee, I love your articles they always make so much sense! I have a problem with my boyfriend. Ive known him for three years, and he is a very rough around the edges, ‘tough love’ kind of guy. He seems to be caring and loving and calling a lot mostly when things are good.

But as soon as I am going through a very difficult time and need him the most to be my rock, he pulls away and disappears? WTF? He knows this upsets me because I’ve expressed it, but there’s always some excuse.

Right now I am going through a very difficult time because something happened with a family member, and right on cue, he pulls away. For the last 3-4 days he hasn’t called to check up or see how I am doing, He just texts me one word “morning”, and that’s it.

This time I am not even going to ask him why. I am over feeling this way, I want a man who is emotionally mature to be there for his woman, especially when he claims he loves her soooooooooooooo much, like he says he does. Your articles are true for the most part, and we need to have compassion for men, but sometimes they really are just selfish douchebags…and we need to be strong enough and trust our intuition when we know something really isn’t right, and stop making excuses for them…especially if you’ve noticed a pattern.”

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> MY ANSWER

Hi Sarah…

Thanks for your wonderful comment.

I know that feeling when your stomach churns and sinks inside when you feel the most vulnerable, and the man who claims to love you is just not there. I’ve been there many times in my past relationship before I got married.

(Click here to take the quiz “Am I Dating a Commitment Friendly Man?”)

There’s two parts to this problem you find yourself facing.

1) You feel you shouldn’t stay with him because you’ve noticed a pattern – a pattern of perceived abandonment.

2) The fact that he pulls away when you need him, which I have a very good explanation for, but also another message.

I am not a man. However, there’s a small message I have for you, and it’s a message of hope and a possible reason behind your man pulling away.

A lot of men feel the pull to isolate themselves during a crisis in their own life. I know you’ve noticed this on some level, behind your fear about your situation. This tendency that masculine men have is not like women, who have a tendency to want to group together with a trusted female friend or several female friends, to connect deeper in order to get through tough times. Many women (unless they are perhaps more masculine in their hormonal make up), THRIVE on this connection to get through.

This actually helps them. Very much. We tend to enjoy and feel a drive to seek out social support during tough times. Whether we actually do reach out for the support or not, we have an overall tendency to do that.

Just because we have a tendency to do this, doesn’t mean that we always do this, sometimes we want to isolate ourselves. But usually this is because of some sort of fear – I’ve seen many women actually take this isolation approach also, but it is to avoid letting people judge you in bad times.

Again, I am not a man, but I have a vague idea that for a man, this kind of connection that females thrive on during relational crises or problems, actually TAKES value from him in his attempt to get through the tough times. In other words, feeling empty of connection with others is a helpful thing for males. That’s the way their masculinity is served.

(Click here to take the quiz on “How Feminine Am I Actually?)

It’s an approach that is not so healing for females. Though it seems to be more common these days because we live in a world where so many of us have got the idea that in order to be loved we have to ‘be someone’ in this world. And so we develop many patterns that separate us from others, even being women!

So if you have a close friend to go to or a very trustworthy and supportive group of friends to go to, all the better, and how wonderful! But not every woman has this pattern of behaving.

So, while females may not go to other people for connection and support and a chin wag during tough relationship issues with family because of FEAR – men don’t go to others in relationship crisis simply because it doesn’t serve their masculinity.

But WHY can’t he be there for YOU?

Do you wonder why though, that he can’t still be there for you even if he wouldn’t want extra communication and relational support from you during a familial crisis?

(Read my article about Why He Pulls Away When You Spend Time Together)

Here’s the basic answer….

We Human beings in general, not just men alone, do a thing called ‘projected empathy’ – a habit we all make when we are too far up our own butts. It is the habit of assuming that you ‘get’ the other person and you ‘get’ what they are feeling. Men and women do it a lot to each other, with deathly consequences – like unnecessary break ups and loss of respect from each other.

This tends to lead us humans to GIVE what we THINK is value to that other person based on our own subjective unconfirmed idea of what the OTHER person is going through.

Your man appears to possibly be doing this. He may not be. But he also may be.

But because he is a rough around the edges male, there is a very high likelihood that he is doing this.

I remember once my husband (whom loves his father very much) was concerned about his father’s well-being and hadn’t heard from him for days. Right on cue, he went silent for many hours, and I was like ‘WTF!’, exactly like YOU. It hurt, but I was able to get through by attempting to just BE with his pain, his emptiness.

Sometimes, men do the weirdest things. They go silent when you’re the most in pain. It’s quite the conundrum.

But Life is no Straight Line

Now, life is no straight line…of course, I believe there are many women who go silent in crisis. Just like there are many men who do. But I am giving you my answer based on my own observations and what I believe I have learned of the male species.

It just appears to be the case that females have a TENDENCY to want MORE connection, talk and communion during a family crisis or work problem, or an other relational upset, whereas men do a Houdini or it seems like the cat got their tongue.

At the end of the day though, your choice to stay with him or not would be only yours.

If it turns out that overall, that you believe you wouldn’t be breaking up with him for the SOLE reason of running away from your fears – and you don’t serve the others by being together, then you can comfortably break up with him and open yourself to another man.

If you identify his ‘pattern’, and yet, you know inside, that you would be leaving him or threatening him to leave him out of your own tense fear, anger and frustration, then you could be throwing away a beautiful future with a strong, capable man who has good intent with you.

It’s up to you. Most people’s relationships don’t work out, and that’s because we make too many decisions from fear, constantly. I talk more about this in my article Is it Wise to Pick a Man Who Loves You More than You Love Him?

He could also feel afraid of the way you are Expressing your Need for Him to be there

Sometimes, though, men just don’t feel compelled to be there. I know you’ve expressed to him your need for him, but as women of this day and age, we usually do this in a way that repels men. Without even meaning to.

In your case, he might pull away on cue because he doesn’t feel like a man with the way you’re asking for him to be there, so what’s the point in being there? Men usually only commit deeper when they feel more like a man for doing so – otherwise, relationship only takes value from them.

So the key is to understand how to ask a man indirectly to be there for you in a way that inspires him to feel more like a man. David and I help you to do that in the members Area of our program Understanding Men.

(Click here to go find out more about this program)

How much do you REALLY care about each other?

Sometimes men are completely and utterly all about themselves and they simply only want you for the physical intimacy and random excitement and fun. But that doesn’t mean you’ve been taken advantage of, it just means you were hoping for more commitment from the wrong man for you.

Or it means that you were too scared to do more to attract him deeper in to a relationship with you.

And regardless of how you see it, he’s not the asshole, because for him to want to only take value from you and not commit to you, you also had a pattern that encouraged that behaviour in him.

In the end, to truly care about each other takes time, and it takes both of you developing more and more courage – it is not easy being in a man/woman relationship. They aren’t fair, and they never will be fair.

Click here to know how to stay high value when when he pulls away

If you like the idea of fair, then you can contemplate the idea of having an intimate relationship with another woman. Some people do this, because it’s easier to relate to another female than it is to relate to a male..it’s less scary, perhaps!

So, if you really love this man and you really have to courage to go deeper and care just a little bit beyond your own edge, do so. You won’t lose. Because the more open you are to pain and uncertainty, you’ll only become more for your next man, and the next man will go deeper with you because you’ve developed that depth through mastering a thing called Emotional Courage. 🙂 I hope that helped!

Thanks for reading. Write me a letter back sharing your feelings about this. I’d love to hear from you.

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  • N.

    Hello, I dont know where to post this, but Renee, do you have any posts that talk about being in a long distance relationship? Ever since he moved, my bf doesnt give me as much attention as he used to, and im terribly frightened for the future of our relationship….thank you! (lovely site, btw)

  • N

    Hello, I dont know where to post this, but Renee, do you have any posts that talk about being in a long distance relationship? Ever since he moved, my bf doesnt give me as much attention as he used to, and im terribly frightened for the future of our relationship….thank you! (lovely site, btw)

  • Amal Elzargi

    Wonderful, and just on time for me to read this post !!!
    I have been go through the same experience myself.

  • kira

    Oh my gosh, I just had an epiphany. When a man and woman are having a tough time in a relationship. Like maybe they’re having financial difficulty. A mans natural reaction will be to distance himself but a woman on the otherhand will want company. By going to him she’s taking value from him because he needs to isolate himself. So when both of them are hurting it can be hard because of this difference. I suppose this is why women need friends. It’s not that the man is purposely trying to ignore you he’s just trying to heal himself and it’s much harder for him while comforting you. So then the question is how can we meet both parties needs in situations like this occur?

    • Joan

      I believe you are absolutely right about this kira. It really makes the relationship tough going. It was only up till a few months ago from reading this site that I learned that my man’s inability to open up was not him trying to take a power trip or whatever. I was doing what I felt was reasonable in my own mind and he took it as me challenging him and actually emasculating him and our fights were terrible.

      I believe for a lot of women what we have to do really is understand this. Now my last husband needed to be treated like he was feminine so I did that. Me being a naturally feminine woman myself well, it was crazy.

      Now I’m treating my new man with what he calls disrespect was very confusing for me. Now, I grew up on the cusp of feminism which was no help. I tried to knock my new man down and try to teach him a lesson. If I hadn’t found this site I’d have been packing my bags thinking he was an asshole.

      Ok, so, lol, sorry got carried away. I think and this is my take on it only. I think we need to understand the man better cause as we as women it is our job to do so. Men don’t worry about this relationship stuff as much as we do, nor are they meant to. At least we know that the very masculine man is isolating himself because he needs to, his job is to fix the problem (regarding the money problem). In his head this is his top priority and our feelings as women would be little concern to him. Not that he doesn’t care, but he is designed this way. Its a good thing.

      Once we understand this it goes a long way in helping us as women feel better.

      How do we get our needs met in such a situation? I have no idea :0

    • Anna C

      Hey Kira,

      I had to respond because I’ve dealt with this situation firsthand… yes I believe you are basically right. The way I handled it was a combination of understanding why he feels that way (he feels inadequate) and therefore seeing how his responses stem from that (him being cold, snappy, maybe resentful, taking things out on you), giving him some space, and when you feel there is too much space & its hurting the relationship, pulling him in by using high value vulnerability (Renee talks about it in her programs). It’s hard, I know. I still deal with this whenever there are certain triggers in life that make him feel this way. The trick is to make him feel like he is enough on a regular basis so that it is engrained in his neurological structure and when these triggers occur, the neurological pathways are less deep that make him feel inadequate, and more deep that make him feel like your unconditional love makes him enough.

  • Joan

    In my experience, men open up once they realize they are understood and accepted. There is so much to be learned here on this site. I have been trying them and so far so good.

    Understand him where he is at right now with you. One positive thing, he sends a good morning message every morning. This is not exactly reaching out, but to me it is a sign of deep love.

    That rough around the edges demeanor is usually from his upbringing, I think. He may be uncomfortable around feelings.

    I’m sorry if the problem you are talking about is a death in the family and he is not around for you with that. That he might be escaping it. And only around for the good times. In that case it would be unkind of him.

    In either case, I like the message he sends to you each morning. He is not forgetting about you.

  • kira

    My man used to do this. Edge away when the going got tough. Until he realized I actually wanted him there when something went wrong. I don’t know but I switched my focus away from him and what I thought he should be doing in certain situation to simply focusing on my own hurts and letting him react in whatever matter he wanted. Now when I’m hurt about something and he knows about it, he’s there.

    • Anna

      Kira, I think this is perfect & I do it too.

  • Larissa

    I am not sure may be something is wrong with me but I never expected an emotional support from men. Actually I wasn’t looking for it and never got it of course, because i dont need… i feel that it is my territory and I should deal with it myself. I am happy to have physical help from men in tough times, they seem to enjoy giving it , especially if there is no emotional burden goes within. That’s what I really appreciate – help and support in real world, action that only men can do in certain circumstances , when I feel completely powerless .

    • kira

      I think we get too caught up with what should and shouldn’t be that we forget why it even bothered us in the first place. And instead of simply expressing that, we play the blame game with everyone for not meeting our standards. I used to have this list of things that I used to judge whether some one was or wasn’t a good friend/partner and whether or not they cared. Of course that wasn’t fair to them because everyone is different. Now, I base it off how I feel and make decisions accordingly.

  • Sarah

    Hey Renee,

    I just read this blog post and realized that this was my question that I posted a few months back lol. I want to thank you for taking the time to give me and others in a similar situation some insight about this topic. I have to say that I agree with you on some aspects of this post and would like to update you on what happened.
    I am the type of person who is always there for the people I love especially my man. He has gone through difficult times and I’ve been there for him, so when the tables were turned and I needed his presence and support but he disappeared, it really hurt me.
    I would always give him the benefit of the doubt, but realized a pattern: that everytime something “difficult” would happen he would pull away even though he loves me. When things were fun and light hes around, as soon as it got tough he would pull away. So finally the last time this happened (when I posted this question on your blog) I decided that enough was enough. I didn’t want to make excuses for him anymore because I knew it wasn’t because of work, or that he was busy, etc. I showed him through my actions that it was not ok with me that he would disappear when I need him. You know what happened next? He changed his behaviour, and tells me that he has a lot of respect for me for standing my ground. I found out that he is used to women letting him give them the “bare minimum” in relationships while they jump through hoops for him and do all the “work”. And he realized that as a high value woman, I won’t accept this kind of behaviour. And for that he respects and adores me more. In the past women seem to have trained him that he could be a complete jerk and they would still be there and chase after him. Now when I’m going through tough times, I can see that he puts a lot of effort to be my rock without me even having to ask. So while I do agree with you that it’s important for us women to be compassionate and understand where a man is coming from because sometimes a man really just is busy or has a lot of work/responsibilities, I also have to say that it’s also just as important to trust your intuition and stand your ground if something does not feel right in a relationship. Sometimes it’s ok to show him through your words or actions that “hey, you’re my man, and right now I NEED YOU to be a man and be here for me because I’m hurting.” Had I not done that, our situation would probably still be stuck where it was, instead of progressing. He is not perfect, and neither am I, but I feel grateful and happy that he understands me better, and is actually trying 🙂

    • Sarah

      sorry for the double post…my computer froze as I was trying to submit my comment

      • Mishy

        Hi Sarah,
        Can I just ask what u did in your actions to show him that enough is enough?
        I’m in a similar situation where my man is shutting me out and it’s a cycle that happens so often. I love Rennees article it helps me to understand where my man Is coming from and to not get so angry at him, but I also want to know how to show him that I’m not gonna be waiting for him forever

    • Missi

      Hi!
      I have just recently joined this blog. I came across it on my search to finding positive info on dating and relationships. Like so many of us I spent 25 years in failed relationships and marriage. Never understanding why the people I loved seemed to treat me the worst. Of course there are alawys dozens of answers to that question. Most of which I have answered or should I say learned to answer. I have been in relationships that were unloving, obsessive,controlling,empty,and even physically abusive. I always get strong when I cant take anymore and leave. Sometimes after years later than I should. One of my questions was why do I attract such worthless people in my life? Hence the quest to change my path. I spent a year not dating. Actually avoiding it like the plague. To the extreme of not even looking at men in the eye to avoid creating attraction of any kind. Ok, yes I know, thats way over the top. Dont worry,lol, I have since rejoined the dating world. I put myself out there again via online dating sites. I have NEVER dated. I have met somone and within seriously a matter of weeks they move in. Until sometime later things get so bad I literally have to throw them out. Again I know, not healthy. I am very strong. Independent and financially take care of myself. I work extremely hard and dedicate myself to my career and my family. So I am an easy target for free loading smooth talkers. Im rambling…. Heres my dilema… I started dating a wonderful man a year ago. He is kind,generous,patient and financialy secure. We both work alot and only get to see each other once a week. Early on I caught myself falling into old habits of over communicating. Texting to say Hi or obsessing about why he wasnt/hadnt called yet. Waiting for him to call. I read evething I could on dating. Realized the error of my ways and let things be as they may. He always calls. Lol I have learned to trust that he is busy working. He puts alot of energy into me when we are together so I have come to understand and see things from his side. We have only had one conversation as to “us”. We had a good but brief conversation about dating other people and being intimate with other people. I asked him if he was still on the dating sites. He honestly answered me that yes he was but was not dating anyone else. I told him that i was not dating or being intimate with anyone else. Nor did I want to. The next day I closed my onlines profiles and let things play out as they may. Finally, here is where the newest blog is relavent. My best friend told me that she saw “John” on okcupid.com. At first I laughed since I knew he had been on that site. He had told me. Then she told me that he was active on the site. He had checked out her profile. She had used a fake name to spy on her guy. Over the last 2 months I would say he is marginally less attentive. But he has been extremely busy as I have also. I work 3 jobs and raise a 4yr old daughter. She lives with me half the week. Marginally distant is not break up worthy. Or worth approaching? Right? You said in your post “that thru your actions you showed him your high value” What actions? My guy and I have never defined the relationship. I never felt like I needed to. Taking things slowly is exactly what I want. But my hackles get raised the minute I think about him “shopping” for other woman while being involved with me. He is definatly an alfa male and a man I want to keep in my life. How do I as a high value woman approach this subject without losing my temper and coming across as low value? I believe that my man will do the turn around if I use the right words. Emotional courage is what Renee mentioned. Its all so confusing to me right now! Ive learned so much already from this site. I am definatly stuck on this one. I do not want to discuss it from a place of fear or uncertainty so I have not brought it up. I know isnt helping, Im sure he is feeling the slight change in me. He hasnt asked yet. If he did I would be more than happy to talk about it. Any thoughts?? Thank you for reading my lenthy post 🙂
      Missi

    • Hi Sarah,

      Congrats, it sounds like he really is there for you a lot more.

      And see? Men often do really care, but it’s in the way we communicate our needs to them in the past.

      So in what way did you encourage this deeper commitment from him? You mentioned you showed him through your actions. Can you share with us what you did?

      Because I mentioned in my article above that if he wasn’t there for you…it could be in the way you were asking for it in the past?

      Perhaps he didn’t understand what you needed exactly. So it’s AMAZINGGG that he is there for you now.

      What did you do differently?

      Thank You very much for coming back and sharing how your story continues!

      – Renee.

      • Sarah

        Well after he pulled away this time , I felt hurt and like renee said a bit abandoned. Rather than chase after him and nag him about why hes not being supportive, I leaned back… way way back. I didnt move closer to him. I just let that space between us be there and focused on other things. Even though i felt like i wanted to reach out to him, i stopped myself. naturally, he became curious as to why im not chasing after him and wanting to know what Ive been up to and whats wrong. So when he started to ask me all these questions thats when I told him what I needed (In a non attacking way). I was able to just be completely open and be vulnerable (without blame) about how I felt, and for once, it seemed to have clicked in his head. In the past ive told him what I needed but for some reason it would last a day or two and then things would go back to how they used to be. I didn’t guilt him or manipulate him in any way. There’s just something about the way that I was vulnerable that let him see that I was hurting. He quickly apologized for being such a “jerk” and inattentive (his words). Which was kind of shocking because he rarely apologizes and always thinks hes right. He was really sorry and kept telling me that i am amazing and have such a good heart, and i deserve the best treatment. He’s like sorry for what I’ve put you through you never deserve that. But I told him that actions speak louder than words.
        The thing is that all his life, women have thrown themselves at him and taught him that he never has to show he cares or put any effort into the relationship. So obviously hes been doing the bare minimum and still got what he wants. Hes quite a few years older than me, but he tells me that I’m the first girl hes actually loved and cares about because I’m very different. So I have learned to be very patient with him because this is all new to him.
        And Like renee said, men deal with stress a lot differently. He just recently lost his dad very unexpectedly n he withdrew from me completely in order to cope. But he still had my love and support..and when he was ready to open up he came to me, I didnt pressure him. But our relationship now is a lot stronger because we are both putting in the effort to try to understand one another. I hope this can help anyone who’s in a similar situation

  • Sarah

    Hey Renee,

    I just read this blog post and realized that this was my question that I posted a few months back lol. I want to thank you for taking the time to give me and others in a similar situation some insight about this topic. I have to say that I agree with you on some aspects of this post and would like to update you on what happened.
    I am the type of person who is always there for the people I love especially my man. He has gone through difficult times and I’ve been there for him, so when the tables were turned and I needed his presence and support but he disappeared, it really hurt me.
    I would always give him the benefit of the doubt, but realized a pattern: that everytime something “difficult” would happen he would pull away even though he loves me. When things were fun and light hes around, as soon as it got tough he would pull away. So finally the last time this happened (when I posted this question on your blog) I decided that enough was enough. I didn’t want to make excuses for him anymore because I knew it wasn’t because of work, or that he was busy, etc. I showed him through my actions that it was not ok with me that he would disappear when I need him. You know what happened next? He changed his behaviour, and tells me that he has a lot of respect for me for standing my ground. I found out that he is used to women letting him give them the “bare minimum” in relationships while they jump through hoops for him and do all the “work”. And he realized that as a high value woman, I won’t accept this kind of behaviour. And for that he respects and adores me more. In the past women seem to have trained him that he could be a complete jerk and they would still be there and chase after him. Now when I’m going through tough times, I can see that he puts a lot of effort to be my rock without me even having to ask. So while I do agree with you that it’s important for us women to be compassionate and understand where a man is coming from because sometimes a man really just is busy or has a lot of work/responsibilities, I also have to say that it’s also just as important to trust your intuition and stand your ground if something does not feel right in a relationship. Sometimes it’s ok to show him through your words or actions that “hey, you’re my man, and right now I NEED YOU to be a man and be here for me because I’m hurting.” Had I not done that, our situation would probably still be stuck where it was, instead of progressing. He is not perfect, and neither am I, but I feel grateful and happy that he understands me better, and is actually trying. 🙂

  • Marie

    This article is amazing for me right now. Not because I’m going through a hard time but because the man I am dating is going through a rough time not being able to see his son. I find it so weird that he cuts me off whenever he has these problems in his life. I feel like I’m the only person he cuts off, and it really hurts me because sometimes it will be a few weeks before he gets back to me. He still spends time with his male friends, and as you said he needs to feel like a man again. Thanks for the example of what your husband did when he was concerned about his dad.It’s good to know that it’s normal for a man to deal with his problems this way. I’m feeling guilty now because out of fear I texted him in an angry way because he wasn’t giving me attention. It just gets frustrating because this pattern happens often with him.but he is a good man with a good heart and I am trying to understand him more so that he will learn to open up to me more rather than shutting me out whenever something is wrong in his life. Thanks so much Renee!

  • LC

    A REAL man doesn’t abandon a woman when she needs him. I broke my neck, jaw, tailbone, and tore my ribcage from my spine on a parachute jump in the Army. My husband at the time decided to make my life a living hell by ignoring me, belittling me, not helping me at all, no affection, constant put downs, pulling away, and being a real asshole. I am so glad that I got rid of him! Do not put up with this bullshit behavior from men! I cannot believe we’re even contemplating how they’re feeling and how hard it is on them, and that’s why they leave. They leave because they’re spineless, selfish JERKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And they will keep doing it as long as you let them do it. Stop taking crumbs from men and rewarding them for their horrendous behavior.

    • Anna

      Hey LC. That is such a frustrating story! You are a strong woman to endure that. I don’t think Renee is talking about, and me for that matter in any of my posts here, blindly considering any guy’s needs. I think he has to earn it first by showing he cares. You’re right, some guys do jerky things and they don’t care. It is then you have to show your high value & do what’s best for you.

    • Thorough Beauti

      Thats why I started dating women lmao! But the tomboyish ones arent any good when they cant provide anymore & feminine ones are normally hoes ctfu!

  • Cate

    thank you Renee Ive been struggling with just this problem. Actually, I was incerdibly hurt that a man pulled away when i needed him. I felt abandned, left. But like anna also said, i realise, its also about him and how he’s feeling. Im trying to learn and watch him and see what i can learn too. Thank you for such an impotrant topic

  • Davy

    I agree with lots of views about this article,but it is still hard especially when you are going through something very rough and need your man next to you.I lost my grandma last year,unexpectedly,at the tender age of 59 y.o,from a heart attack in her sleep.Nobody was prepared for it,it shocked the whole family.And that a*** of my ex had the nerve,in a heat of an argument,to tell me that it wasn’t his business,that I was being moody,temperemental,etc bs nonsense.He had a hot temper and never apologized for whatever bad things he was saying or doing.He just withdrew on me,then came back few days later like nothing happened.He killed the relationship at the very beginning.But still,I stayed with him for few months,and karma being the bitch we know,he lost his father,and became verbally and physically abusive.I left him at a moment he really needed me,then told him,this is exactly how I felt last year,so know you understand,I’m just giving you a taste of your own medecine.But contrary to him,his ass got dumped for good! Mind him,I’ve buried 5people last year,all unexpected deaths,but after his attitude for the 1st loss,I didn’t mind to put him in the picture,I knew he wouldn’t be there for me.It hurts,and sometimes,I think that being a women,especially in a relationship sucks,I find men too selfish.I don’t mind a man who withdraw,life is hard on all of us,but a little bit of an effort wouldn’t kill!!

  • Kate

    Ok I wouldn’t expect most people, male or female to understand alot of the truama and loss that I have suffered in my life, which includes the brutal murder of my beloved brother.

    But my future life partner who claimed to love me, told me he is the luckiest man in the world to be with me, who constandly texted loving words, was affectionate and left me no doubt he adored me and gave me no reason to doubt him would need to demonstrate some, even a little bit of compassion when a unforseeable disaster happens in my life. Mine did not. And for that it left me wondering do I really want to be with a man that is not beside me for the long haul, even a little?

    My dog who was a member of my family for 11 years, developed a terminal illness and not long to live. My man who I had been seeing for a year, at the time was supportive, compassionate and so very caring of me. He even dug the grave before euthansia as he unfortunatley had to go overseas for work during the time the dreaded event was to happen so I had one less thing to worry about. I loved him for his committment to me not only by his words but his actions.

    But on his return after my terrible ordeal, he never spoke of it. Never held me and said he was sorry for my loss, never.acknowledged.my grief. Even when I gently asked him if he could hold me while I cried, he wouldnt. In fact he became withdrawn and angry and complained of the lack of sex. I was a train wreck. It was the start of adjusting to the downhill slide of our relationship. But the real ending was when I found out he had cheated on me overseas at the time i was putting my dog to sleep and I only found out due to an error on his part. Go figure that.

    I grew up with four older brothers. All different. I know a fair bit about men but there is always always room for more education. So when do you know that the one you are with is not the wolf in sheeps clothing? I never saw this coming.

  • bri

    I cant help but to feel alittle walked on and disregarded by the men in my life. I am really trying to be the understanding, considerate feminine woman that he needs me to be. However I feel there is a big lack in men being taught how to deal with women. Long ago men accepted that women where the weaker sex and they new that being emotional was apart of being a woman. So even if they just went thru the motions they did it. These days men are vdery self absorbed and there arent alot of websites telling them how to love a woman or cherish a woman and it seems like they are getting increasingly more self absorbed. This website comes from a good place and it very valuable information. But I feel in this new millenium in order for things to feel atleaset alittle balanced, someone needs to nudge the men ad wake them up to become the men they use to be.

    • lm

      ” These days men are vdery self absorbed and there arent alot of websites telling them how to love a woman or cherish a woman and it seems like they are getting increasingly more self absorbed. This website comes from a good place and it very valuable information. But I feel in this new millenium in order for things to feel atleaset alittle balanced, someone needs to nudge the men ad wake them up to become the men they use to be.”

      This is pretty much the exact same point I was making.

      • Gracie Decker

        Renee made a blog post about why you cant expect a man to put more effort into the relationship than you do and I think that would benefit you to read it! At least get some insight from Renee’s point of view 🙂

    • Melanie

      I have to say I agree with this view. Unless they’ve been raised to be conscious of a woman’s needs and taught how to put themselves second, they are self-absorbed and emotionally unavailable. But I will say this…most people, especially men, despise drama of any kind. And there are lots of sensitive and compassionate men who end up with whiny, selfish women. So maybe all the good men are with rotten women, and all the good women are with rotten men.

  • Anna

    Renee,
    What you said about knowing a man’s patterns is a good insight. My man has a pattern of pulling away… sometimes when I need him most. I’ve learned that, when he does pull away, he’s got feeling that great about himself, and he tends to not answer emails and communication as readily, and not volunteer contact on his own. Sometimes, that coincides with the times I need him. So it helps to assess the situation: Is it a coincidence that he is pulling away when you need him most because he himself is not feeling at the top of his game? That could be one answer to this… coincidence. The other answer might be the different male response. You’re right, many women do need a lot of attention and contact when things go down. YES, I think projected empathy is key here. We expect people to act like we would. If we are in crisis, our man should be there to comfort us, give us gifts, take us out, listen to us all night, etc. But that’s not really fair to expect, is it? What if his idea of comfort is you leaving him alone? What if he thinks he’s comforting you?
    The commenter Sarah has already figured out his patterns. The next step is to love them. I think that is where she gets tripped up. She wants to give up. But giving up means she only got to the surface. On paper: He pulls away when I have need him most. I can’t take it. But ok, flip it around. You pull away when he gets angry. You are scared. You don’t feel comfortable. You don’t feel loved. Do you want to be expected to act any other way? Men will always get angry. And women might always be scared of it. Would you want the man you love to leave you because you are scared of his anger, or would you want him to love you just the way you are, and understand why you pull away when he’s angry.
    Yes, the key is to understand his patterns, but I think the next step is to love him for it. Don’t make the patterns wrong. You teach this a lot. And I think it’s a very difficult thing to grasp and remember.
    Thank you for this article. I was happy to read it.

    Renee, what you

    • Hey Anna!!! 🙂

      Thanks for helping Sarah so generously. I hope that if Sarah comes back and reads your comment, that she finds value in it.

      You’ve gone through this a lot with your man and you have incredible courage as a woman.

      XxX

      • Anna

        Thanks Renee. It’s true, I have gone through this a lot. And it hurt so much for so long. But now I see his patterns objectively. And I don’t see them wrong at all. Now, when he pulls away, even when I need him, I do what I need myself to feel better (I’m responsible for my feelings, not him), then I invite him over for dinner. Then I find out what’s really going on, what he’s really thinking. That’s when I think the commitment happens. When he feels he can come home and just be himself and be loved for it. It took a lot of time to learn that. But once you do, all the murkiness becomes clear.

        thanks Renee for helping me see that.

  • Christina

    Hi Renee,

    Thanks for writing this. I do have to say I feel inclined to disagree re: this part though:

    “And regardless of how you see it, he’s not the asshole, because for him to want to only take value from you and not commit to you, you also had a pattern that encouraged that behaviour in him.”

    Yes, I understand that we attract people like one puzzle piece to another, based on the energy and behavioral qualities we exhibit, but that aside — and perhaps this is judgmental of me to say — but I feel that anyone (man or woman) for that matter — who wants to just “take value” from a person, and not give anything in return — is basically very selfish and therefore…well, basically an asshole.

    I am genuinely interested in your response. Thank you

    Sincerely,
    Christina

    • It’s not judgemental Christina.

      If you’re anything like me – it’s possibly just a reflection of your frustration at not having stood up for yourself to others who wanted to take from you in the past.

      We know in our gut when others are doing things to hurt us. It just takes a little more gumption to do something to discourage that in other people, including men.

      I’ve been hurt a lot in the past from others wanting to take value…and yet, I let them. It’s both our patterns.

      And that’s ok, because I was looking for their approval. So I was taking value in that way.

      Thank You for your comment Christina! xox

      • Holly

        This makes so much sense Renee

        :-/, this is the only way I lived my life, of allowing others hurt me.

        I guess that I took the only path I knew how and it was a path of passivity, and it hurt so much, over and over again.

        Even passive behavior is a person trying to have their needs met so I can see why it would be taking value from others.

        The truth is I only have the best of intentions at heart and I’d never mean any harm to others, but by being passive it harms everyone.

        I am a’lot more assertive these days, but still underneath are the behavior patterns of a people pleaser.

        Theirs a book I brought off Amazon recently, it’s called Nice girl syndrome, and theres another one I shall be ordering, it’s called a pleaser no longer. I think it’s about breaking the patterns.

  • lm

    About the third woman weighing in here with a story of a man pulling away during a crisis – mine also includes his not being willing to congratulate me for pulling through it, and it *also* includes his literally pestering me (for example, calling me five times in a row on a night when I’d specifically said I had to get up early the next morning for a meeting) – but something tells me I’m going to be far from the last. Men are getting really emotionally lazy.

    I was willing to entertain your hypothesis that they treat us like they would want to be treated in a similar situation – except that I communicated explicitly, and multiple times, the kind of support I was looking for. I didn’t leave him to guess.

    “Sometimes, though, men just don’t feel compelled to be there.”

    And yet, they expect – they DEMAND – that WE be there for THEM.

    Basically, I’m struggling with your “you have to either accept men behaving badly or have a relationship with a woman” thesis. I am having a lot of trouble understanding why “Men taking responsibility to behave better towards the woman they take everything from and claim to care for / love” is not an option on the menu.

    Renee, you said

    “They aren’t fair. They will never be fair.”
    “You won’t lose.”

    Yeah, I’m having trouble reconciling those two.

    • Hi lm, thanks for your questions. It’s hard.

      Life isn’t fair altogether. Let alone a man/woman relationship.

      And if what you are saying is that you would rather not lose, then keep doing that, and go in to your relationships with that way of thinking – that’s ok.

      • lm

        Hi, Renee –

        Thanks for taking the time to respond to me personally.

        I’mm well aware that life in general isn’t fair. If it were, I’m not sure you’d have the thriving business you have here, LOL.

        “And if what you are saying is that you would rather not lose, then keep doing that, and go in to your relationships with that way of thinking – that’s ok.”

        Thanks for trying to paraphrase, but that’s *not* what I’m saying, exactly.

        What I’m saying goes a little more like this:

        The dialogue about relationships – not just here on your site, but pretty much everywhere in the culture – is usually about ‘what women can do’ … whenever men are behaving horribly.

        The excuses for the dialogue being about women’s behavior, when the actual problem is usually with men’s behavior, usually goes something like

        1) it’s women who only pay attention to the advice (which … I mean, come on, that’s not even logically sound. It doesn’t follow from that that just because only WOMEN DO, that MEN DON’T *NEED* TO)

        or

        2) if you (women) change your behavior, the relationship you are in (with your man) will change as well — which is merely a statement that sounds definite, with very little actual behavioral evidence to back it up … judging specifically by the fact that women take the advice — communicate softly, communicate directly, communicate clearly, clean up behind him while you’re also spending as many hours as he does in the workforce without bothering him about the part of the housework he’ directly responsible for generating, do more of this, do less of that — and yet?

        Nothing changes.

        So men are behaving badly.

        And women are changing their behavior in response to try to improve the relationship.

        And men are *still* behaving badly, *in spite of* the changes the woman makes.

        And NO “dating & relationship guru” or “expert” is offering up MEN TAKING RESPONSIBILITY TO CHANGE THEIR *OWN* BEHAVIOR as a response.

        So you didn’t really answer the question, which is

        how are this

        “They aren’t fair. They will never be fair.”

        and this

        “You won’t lose.”

        supposed to be reconciled, exactly?

        • 🙂

          It’s frustrating isn’t it?

          • lm

            What’s *really* frustrating is feeling like the question I asked is being dodged, because the topic is something that no “dating & relationship expert/guru” is willing to address.

            I do think, though, that combination of questions & (non?)responses certainly speaks for itself — both in terms of glaring personal relationship imbalances that leave men with all the tangible and emotional fruits of those relationships and women deprived, exhausted, and sometimes permanently damaged … and also in terms of business motivations and market creations.

            Thanks again for getting back to me.

            • It’s not your question we are not willing to address, it’s the fear we don’t want to get caught up in.

              It’s a bad quality question – based on fear patterns. I don’t want to foster that here. It adds no value.

              You could ask a better quality question, from your heart, not your head.

              Thanks for commenting.

              • lm

                That’s … one way to look at it, certainly.

                🙂

                • Dora

                  Hey Im.

                  I agree. It sometimes feels like it’s the men who are sick but it’s the women taking the medicine.

                  Im, maybe you are looking at this too scientifically while you should perhaps consider using realism. With relationships, men and women are so different that only many many years of experience and genuine objective observation can yield wisdom on what the cure is. Not only are men so different from women, but they are also not all the same. Therefore to look at relationships scientifically would not really work because you cannot understand a man fully because even if you were able to be fully objective, you are still a woman. And therefore you are at a terrible disadvantage when it comes to understanding men.

                  So first, I think your judgement of men is skewed. Calling them “Lazy” may not be accurate. You may have scientific methods of basing your accusation of laziness but you are a woman and that makes you unqualified for objectivity. Give this thought a chance. Perhaps “You do not understand men fully or at all.”

                  Secondly, in spite of science, experience teaches us that when a woman realizes her value and blossoms into a high value, high status being- a beautiful and confident and strong-willed woman- she attracts and retains men who are also high value and high status.This woman,this goddess will not allow herself to bear/tolerate behavior that she finds unacceptable. This woman will not entertain bad treatment and she will not even need to verbally communicate their intolerance. She will communicate what behavior is acceptable and what behavior isn’t without giving off a masculine air.
                  So, if a woman were to change herself, allow herself to grow and mature and blossom, she will also cure the quality of relationships that she has.

                  Thirdly, and finally, If anyone, man or woman, were to embody their true selves, they will attract many wonderful people. There is nothing as attractive as someone who has fully blossomed into who they should be. If you want a good relationship without bad behavior and mis-treatment, work on yourself. Focus on becoming a mature woman, self-confident and strong with a full understanding of who you are and what you want. Then, and only then, your relationships will become as sweet as you imagine. It may not make scientific sense, but there is no substitute for what experience can teach.

                  Trust me. This is what experience shows.

                • Wini

                  Hi,

                  I just really wanted to comment on this thread. Im – I think that you are missing the message that Renee has so eloquently put out. Regarding the “They aren’t fair. They will never be fair.” and “You won’t lose” and how they coincide with each other. If you let go of past frustrations and trauma and be your authentic feminine self you won’t lose. Because if you can communicate your vulnerability as a women, your man will step up as a man. If he truly cares about you he will, if he doesn’t then you have done yourself a favour by seeing him for what he is worth and then you can decide when to move on. See you will always win regardless if he is fair or not. From your other statement is seems that you are looking for a how-to manual to change a man to your liking. There is no real 1-2-3 steps on how to get your man to change, the change starts with you and what you will or will not tolerate.(Sorry if I interpreted that wrong). Also is looks like you are keeping a mental score card in your head on how much more you bring to the table then your man did and then resenting him for it, almost coming from a place of entitlement. It’s not about who is right or who is wrong or who did what and who didn’t do what…it’s about being happy, in the moment, being yourself.

                  P.S. Renee – Wonderful website! You are just amazing how you articulate feelings. Keep up the great work

              • Holly

                This makes a’lot of sense :-).

                I’m enjoying reading through peoples comments and the feminine woman’s comments as I feel it’s a good help and guidance on how to reach a place of safety and peice of mind.

                This is about one of the only places I can come and find real truth as I find it hard to connect to most people.

                I feel safe here.

  • Holly

    Oh gosh Renee, just reading this activated a tense feeling in the whole of my midriff section. It was hard to acknowledge because sometimes in life, it’s hard to open up to a perceived threat.

    I know this event isn’t actually happening to me, but on a subconscious level it still left a feeling of discomfort.

    Personally if I was this lady then I wouldn’t be able to cope with the situation, simply put, I don’t have the developed recourses just yet.

    This is very helpful insight and I value your opinion for guiding me to a safer place. It’s just made me realize how I’m NOT, under no circumstances whatsoever, ready for a relationship and neither can I see it anytime in the short or long term future.

    Even if I chose to open up to men at this point it would be a nightmare :-D, lol, but that’s ok because we all grow and develop at different rates.

    This has given me a’lot to think about, I actually was feeling a little bit lost before I read this, so I said please to I don’t what, please life, I need the answers, I’m lost and confused on the right actions to take.

    When I read some of the content on hear, I feel that some insight has been provided, such as the emotional projection and we give others what we think we need; it was along those lines.

    Oh yeh :-D, that amused me, the part of men women relationship are going to be hard/are hard. Your right and at this point in my life I could never be attracted to that due to the emotional voids in my internal world.

    It made me think also how important connection is! Your right…..disconnecting feels the most awful form of self abuse, but then how the hell a man/woman relationship works I have no idea.

    I guess that’s something I find the answers to in time.

    The best thing I got from this is pays to feel pain in life, only if to feel alive.

    • Hi Holly!

      In my prejudice, I feel that Nobody is ready.

      “Not being ready” is a decision made from fear. And it leads only to loneliness.

      Maybe you should try defining “work” – how would a man/woman relationship “work”?

      In my prejudice, they don’t work. Work is a dead end. Fights and pain and problems are natural. And we either gain the courage to love through the uncertainty and pain or we don’t, and we find loneliness.

      Some people want a grey area, I understand. But a grey area in a relationship is usually what they call ‘compromise’, – another way to try to be safe and destroy the passion in a relationship.

      You will never be ready. Do you have a child? Were you ready for those first few months? 🙂

      Thanks for commenting as always.

      – Renee.

      • Holly

        Thankyou for your helpful thoughts of wisdom :-), you have given me a’lot to think about as I’m so confused, lost and scared on a deep unconscious level, almost nothing about life feels safe that my primitive responses are telling me on a conscious level that life is unbearable to live.

        I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the films, final destination were the woman locks herself away in a mental hospital, she lives in a padded cell as life isn’t worth living in her mind as she knows that she escaped death and she then got put on the karma list.

        Well I just had that image spring to mind so I think it’s a message from the unconscious mind.

        Basically I don’t feel that I’ve developed the survival skills to cope with life, in fact I know nothing of value in the western world, such as I barely know my maths and English, I’m now 28 and thinking to myself, omg, why don’t I have basic survival skills.

        Probably because I spent all my life shutting off from life as it was too painful from a hypersensitive persons point of veiw.

        I think that I genetically have mental health issues as I so many disorderly thoughts. I actually thought their was an Egyptian psychologist trying to subconsciously brain wash me at one point, I thought he put mind traps of cancer and that he’d set my mind up to self destruct. And while I know that genuinely he was trying to hurt me, it was nothing like I imagined in my mind, it was delusional.

        What I mean is that on the service, I try to have everything put together as I think thats what life expects of me, such as people are positive towards my positive side but when I’m lost, upset and confused I feel that I’m being wrong!

        It’s so hard to say what I’m trying to say as I don’t know the answers myself.

        It feels the same as having a 5 year Oldsmobile knowledge on how to survive in life, in a 28 year woman.

        In fact I spent my whole life people pleasing and accommodating to everyone else that I barely have any personal skills. So I think that’s were the lost and confused feeling is coming from.

        I think that I need to go to the doctors as I’m in a trapped place of I don’t know what to do.

        I’m trying to teach myself maths and English from practically scratch, I’m trying to build confidence, assertiveness and too many other things for a precieved feeling of safety, I made it, I’m a good enough person for a relationship now…..

        I’m just confused if anything and in some ways I still struggle to think for myself, were I listen to everyone and then feel torn.

        So this is why I say that a man woman relationship must be hard in a way that I don’t feel ready as I know that I’m an unhealthy person, with delusional thoughts and I cut myself off from life as a safety mechanism, which has led to loneliness.

        Yes, that makes so much sense! Some people want grey and compromise, I must have been in that way of
        thinking. But it’s not natural because in coming from a place of neutral I can only guess.

      • Holly

        So I think that means that people have to embrace life and feel the pains of forever live in that place of neutral.

        Thanks for your insight, it’s given me something to work on.

        Yes, I have a daughter who is now 4, and it took a while to adapt, so your so right

        I.shall refelect on this 🙂 x X x X x

  • Darli

    That’s sort of like what in ging through right now, but I’m not really in a relationship right now. We’re “friends but we’re not.” Those are his words, by the way. Anyway, stuff has been going on in my life and I told him how scared I was of the future because everything with my family has been crazy and I’m really pressured. He texted back with “I’m sorry.” That was a week ago. He’s disappeared before but always come back as if nothing is or was wrong. He recently lost his job and I think that may be a big part of it, though. I feel so sad because I know he feels down. He’s expressed how he’s been sad but he’s not open about his feelings so I’m kind of always left wondering and worrying. I want to be there for him; I feel very sad because he’s going through a rough time. I want to say something and I want to be here for him, but I don’t want to seem mom-like or pushy. I care so much about him and I I know he cares about me. “I’m sorry.” Just seems so cold. It makes me feel cold inside and the fact that he hasn’t called and I don’t know if he’s okay or not…it’s just so messed up.

    • LE

      Darli – if you’re friends, act like a friend!
      Do something spontaneous and fun together and try to forget your respective troubles. You can usually find something free or cheap to do that won’t create money stress.
      Laugh, joke, tease each other. It may help to cope with everything else that both of you have to face in your own lives.
      Let go the issues of whether you’re in a relationship or not. Trust me, i’ve screwed up years of my relationship worrying about whether it was one or not and when i got on with the job of enjoying him, we became better friends 🙂

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