The number one complaint many women have against men is that they are “closed” to women and act defensively in their company. How, then, does a woman get her partner to be less defensive and more able to express his emotions? An answer has been provided by Kara Oh, in her book Men Made Easy: Guide to Greater Love (Avambre Press, 1999), and is explained below.
Accepting a Man as He Is
The first piece of advice given to a woman is that she needs to accept her partner as he is. If a man doesn’t feel that a woman understands him, he becomes frustrated; he feels like she isn’t even interested in learning to understand him. Instead, she wants to judge him and, worse, change him. He then becomes guarded and, therefore, not open to love. In effect, he shuts down emotionally.
Kara Oh suggests that when a man shuts down emotionally in a marriage, “his heart hardens and the love he felt in the beginning of his marriage dries up.” Often, his wife will wonder what has happened and blames him for being less attentive and emotionally unavailable. If the man is single, he leaves the relationship fast and risks being accused of being afraid of commitment.
The truth of the matter is that when a man decides to marry the woman he is in love with, he doesn’t want a single thing about her to change. Nevertheless, he knows it will and this is what makes most men cautious about making a commitment to her.
Helping a Man Lower His Defences
In most cultures, men are taught to be brave and strong. However, to ensure that a man responds in a more caring, admiring and loving way, first, understand that what men value most is “their strength, sexual power, courage, success in their chosen profession, being a protector and being a good father.” Then, focus on what is good in him. In so doing, a woman will also become aware of his insecurities, longings and the need to love and be loved.
When a woman begins to focus on things like how hard a man words, how protective he is, how he enjoys her cooking, how sweet and endearing he looks when holding a child and how he looks at her, things will begin to change. No doubt, a man will begin to see that she is focusing on his good aspects and start to behave less defensively towards her.
One of the best ways to make a man feel he’s special is to show appreciation for what he does. For instance, if he shows kindness to a child, then tell him that it is wonderful to see him so tender. Once he realises that a particular woman sees him as special, he’ll seek her out, begin to open up and share his feelings with her.
A Man Lowers His Defences
Here is a common story that many women tell when they’ve succeeded in lowering their partner’s defences: when the couple was first married, a decision was made that the wife would stay at home and the husband would become the sole bread-winner. When the children arrived, the husband needed to work longer hours to bring in more money. As time passed, the wife began to complain that she saw less and less of her husband. He, in turn, stayed away from home to avoid his wife’s continuous nagging.
One day, she decided to stop complaining and appreciate what her husband was doing for their family. She began to tell him how thankful she was to be able to stay home with the children and focused on what she admired about him. In time, not only did she begin to feel good about showing her husband her appreciation, she found that, slowly, he warmed up to her and let his guard down. Soon, they were more in love with each other than they had ever been.
Ultimately, when a woman focuses on a man’s good qualities and makes him understand the depth of appreciation he deserves for the things he values most will make he becomes grateful and seeks her out. In time, his defences are lowered and he begins to love and cherish this woman far beyond what she ever expected.