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.





  • Thorough Beauti

    This doesnt make sense blah blah blah blah blahhh! Excuse after weak ass excuse! I read through the bull save it!

  • Tasha

    I agree with LC – I had a very similar situation. I believe someone that really loves you will find a way to be there for you. Maybe not in the cookie cutter, cliche’ way but in there own way.. If your connection is truly deep, you will know they are giving affection they way they know how. To go completely MIA is unacceptable to me, especially when you have done nothing but be there for them at their lowest points. Yes, men think differently and handle things differently, but it doesn’t exempt them from the ability to be a good person or bad. Being a man, with predisposed traits and ways of handling situations, doesn’t give them an excuse to have no integrity and abandon someone they claim to love with every bone in their body. Its Especially when they are always there for you. It’s about right and wrong here, and we all know the difference – I’m so tired of making excuses for the inadequate behavior of people… maybe they are just jerks and we have either accept that, or communicate and try to correct that ,or walk away.

  • Paula

    Dear Renee, I am sorry to say it but I should be honest: You talk but you’re not going anywhere.
    So basically you’re telling we women are wrong expecting our partners to be supportive in times we need? Women are most emotionally needed than men and if we’re not satisfied with this reality we should go for a relationship with other woman? What’s gonna happen if, for each woman who’s passing trough this case, we simply give them the only alternative to have homosexual relationship due to the fact men has a certain kind of nature which can’t be changed? We really should accept it? I would say no, and more!
    First of all Renee, we are talking about character. Even men and women having their differences, when facing a situation like that, woman and man, should act according to their character. With no justifications!
    There are many men in this world who goes totally against on what you said. My dad for example, even not being the most romantic one, he does his best for my mom in their 48 years of marriage and even now, she being diagnosed with Alzheimer, he’s always there to take care of her.
    Now, you can say we are in other time, that this kind of men and relationship are over. Well, I believe they do exist and that I am close to find him.
    I am just trying to say that instead of justificate, accept and go to the easy way, sometimes and in some cases, the best we do is face it. Maybe in this case that lady need a man who fits better in hers expectations, someone mature enough to treat her better and who knows that relationship means to be there on bad and happy days.
    Also, you should consider that between a homosexual couple has love not convenience. Even in homosexual relationship, the couple can face this kind of problems too! And what they are suppose to do?
    In the end of the day, I just think we should be more human (men, gay, lesbian or woman). Stop justificating bad behavior as characteristic and start being mature enough to change what should be changed.

    Here’s what I am talking about: Ceck it out Renee


    That’s all. With all my respect.

    • Hi Paula, ^ here is what I’m talking about (above). You should check it out.

  • MissingRegretsy

    Because he is a douchebag. The line about a guy not being an asshole because he only wanted to use you for fun is a real treasure. Pure drivel.

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  • Mike

    I’m a guy, so you can probably guess that kt’s my femzld partner who’s isolating herself. We’vw been together for 8 months and about a week ago she just got.. standoffish. I’ve constantly told her I’d be there for her and that if she needs to talk I’d listen, but all she says is sure and okay. I was at a ckmplete loss as to what to do but after reading this article your pojnts about emotional courage really resonated with me amd I think that’s what’s happening with her. Her last boyfriend was never the understanding type, and was just with her for the hype (probably just to brag about being with her), which I believe to be a contributing factor or the main reason why she’s having difficulty opening up to me on a deeper level.
    This is my first time on the site because i only googled “my partner isn’t reaching out to me” as a last resort because i really do love her as I know she does me, and I don’t want to lose her. Your article has given me the courage explain to her what I think is happening, and that I really am going to be there, and not be a repeat of her last boyfriend. So thank you

    • Angela

      Hmm or maybe she’s just not that into you

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