Since childhood most us have been brought up with a belief system that boys are strong, men don’t cry and so on. Contrary to these belief systems or the values ingrained in the boys, Men are humans too. They also have pain which is physical, they also experience both kinds of emotions like happiness, sadness, fear, anxiety, joy etc. So how can the men be different in their emotional needs and emotional support system from women?
Do men need emotional support?
Let us fast forward to a stage in life where the person is married, has a career and is leading a normal life with regular challenges of modern life. These challenges could be work and career related, financial and money related, health related, relationship / family related or combinations thereof. While specific set of circumstances can vary but they can broadly be put under these heads.
To response to these pressures and adverse situations by each person can be different. Some men may prefer to stay aloof or secretive about their problem and solve it by themselves, while some men may go weak in their knees and consider just surrendering as the best option. Well these are two extremes and we can find men behaving in between these two extremes.
Does your husband need emotional support too?
Even if your man claims or pretends that he is the self-sufficient type, strong, and indestructible, during the adverse situation even he needs someone to talk to him, be with him, assure him that everything will be alright soon. This is a form of emotional support, which a wife is one of the best persons in a man’s life made to give.
Husbands often hesitate to acknowledge their need from someone else.
The response of husbands to these pressures and adverse situations by each person can be different. Some men may prefer to stay aloof or secretive about their problem and solve it by themselves, while some men may go weak in their knees and consider just surrendering as the best option.
The point here is that yes of course, husbands do need emotional support when the going is tough for too long or something unpleasant has happened suddenly and unexpectedly. Also see: How to Support your Spouse Emotionally.
The next point in the sequence is:
When does your husband need your emotional support?
As a wife you know the best. If you know him well and love and care for him, you would know even before he realizes that he needs your emotional support. You may also respond, “Of course he needs me. He always needs a lot of help!” But that is different. To find the car keys or iron his white shirt is not emotional support.
It is your presence and standing by him during those special circumstances in life which he needs the most though he may not verbalize it or admit it or keep it totally secret.
Let us look at some of such situations in our daily lives.
1. Threat to the Career
Men love their cars and careers as much as they love their wives. Suppose your husband recently left a stable and sage job and joined a new company at a huge salary and promise of a great career. But within a few days he has been able to make out that it was not a write move. He’s might be afraid to share it with family and is taking all the blame on himself. He is feeling guilty for putting the family to a big potential risk.
Being a wife and his life partner bring it up, so that two of you can figure out a solution together. Secondly, this would help him come out of his shell and the feeling of guilt.
2. When the Doctor rings a bell
Nobody wants to invite trouble, least of all with his or her body. During the recent visit to the Doctor, he was detected to have hypertension making him prone to the risk of high blood pressure or his tests have shown that he is in early stages of arthritics. While these are life style and age related problems but are sure that your husband has accepted it easily? Did it not smash his dreams of the CEO position and future planning? Did this news not throw him into frenzy? He wanted to touch those dizzy heights and now the doctor has put him on regular medication and told him to work for lesser hours?
Holding his hand and staying with him is probably the best thing you can do rather than giving him the lecture that why did he overkill himself? Help him redesign his strategy without compromising on his goals. After all you and family are part of his dreams.
Of course, there can be minor and less emotionally painful things like a few visits to the Dentist where he has to go through unbearable physical discomfort and pain at times. Take an off from your office (if you are working) and be with him. That is the best emotional support.
3. Lack of clarity about the future
It could be a case of mid life crisis or change of technology making your man’s skills redundant for employ ability. Naturally it is a big shock to learn that you are no more wanted, especially when he has been a star performer in the past. To understand the ground reality, accept the situation and acquire fresh skills and re – enter the job market is not an overnight process. It is a slow process which requires time, money, learning, making the right decisions and above all lots of patience.
You have to fill the gap wherever you think he is faltering or lacking. This is the time to stop complaining or nagging him about other issues and standing beside him – rock steady.
4. Loss of a close relative or friend
Death of close friend or a relative, especially unexpected or untimely can affect people in odd ways. It may create emotional vacuum or just hit in some other way. Of course, time is a big healer and eventually the man shall come out of it, but it is that moment when you have to help him how to deal with the trauma and support him to come out of it at the earliest, lest if affects his productivity, mood and positive thinking.
To sum up
As a wife it’s probably no surprise to you that your husband always needs you and needs you more when there are happy moments as well as challenging moments. So be with him always – during the highs and lows.
Also it is not one way transaction. You also need him as much! Is it not true?
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