Last month we discussed If you’ve always wanted to write a book. This month we will discuss one of the articles that were published in Canadian magazines.
What does she want
wife hardly talks to me any more. She’s mad at me because I won’t talk about
what’s `inside’ me – that I keep too much to myself and don’t share my feelings
with her. She tells me that she wants more intimacy, but I don’t understand
exactly what she wants from me?”
Intimacy involves having
complete trust in another person. You obtain intimacy by “letting it all hang out” and allowing others to know
what’s happening inside you. This involves revealing how you really feel
about what the other person does and considers the other person’s feelings when
communicating with them. This involves a considerable amount of empathy. By
revealing your true self, the other person can almost know how you’ll react to
situations and will try to stay clear of those that will upset you. They’ll
automatically protect you from situations that might unnerve or upset you and
find ways around difficult situations, so you won’t feel hurt.
When we look at relationships
that survive, the couple are good friends and treat each other with respect. They
have shared values and trust one another. Trust is the foundation of the
relationship and without it they don’t feel safe. If they don’t feel safe, they
can’t be vulnerable. If they’re not vulnerable, they can’t be intimate.
The ability of allowing people
to see the “real you” may
be overshadowed by the fear that others may use this weapon against you in the
future. Unless you establish this trust, true intimacy will not occur.
If you observe people getting to
know each other (of the same or mixed genders) there are several steps they
likely take to get to the stage where they reach intimacy.
One person reveals trusting
information. The second person accepts that trust and reveals similar
information. As the trust grows between these people, they enlarge their trust
and reveal more and more. This could be almost instantaneous, or could take
months to occur, depending on the comfort zone of the participants.
This feeling of intimacy could
end suddenly should one person do something that the other sees as a betrayal
of their trust. The ultimate betrayal between couples is infidelity.
In marriage, women use talk to
create intimacy, where they openly express their feelings and thoughts. Men use
touch to create intimacy (use non-verbal communication) and use talk to
maintain independence. They’re on guard to protect themselves from put‑downs or
others who might want to push them around. If they give others (even their
wives) the weaponry (talk about their weaknesses) it could be used against them
in the future – so they clam up and resist verbal intimacy.
Most women are comfortable
admitting negative feelings, but society has almost forbidden men to admit to
these perceived weaknesses. Therefore, this limits their options for expressing
their feelings. Society says they’re allowed to show happiness and anger but
are not allowed to show any feelings between those two emotions. Therefore,
when men feel anxious, disappointed, jealous, sad, hurt, rejected, stupid,
intimidated, insecure, ashamed, or ignored, their outward appearance can show
misleading verbal and non-verbal signs of anger. This ambiguous behaviour
confuses women and adds to the male/female communication gap. On the other
hand, when some women get angry, they end up in tears. This gives men the
impression that she’s feeling hurt, which adds to men’s confusion.
Many women complain that the men
in their lives don’t share their thoughts and feelings with them. They feel
that their men don’t trust them, so shut them out from learning what their
feelings are. This male vulnerability keeps many men and women from sharing
Some men take the chance and
confide their innermost feelings to their wives. Unfortunately, their wives
don’t keep that information to themselves, so they don’t trust their wives with
intimate information. Women should be very careful not to reveal to others,
their husband’s confidential admissions about their feelings.
When men feel upset about
something, most need time and privacy to mull over the situation. They see
their wives’ insistence on sharing the problem as interference to this process.
If their wives persist, they feel she’s nagging, and pull further into
themselves and can lead to even more frustration. The wife should back off,
letting him know that she’s there when he’s ready to talk about his problem.
Instead of giving into his initial desire to push her away from him, he should
try to understand that she needs to “make
He’d have to examine what he was
really feeling at the time and put those feelings into words. For this
process to work, men require enormous trust in their partners before feeling
free to reveal their vulnerable inner selves.
Roberta Cava is a best-selling author of non-fiction books.
She has written over 60 books that can all be ordered via Amazon Books
worldwide. She lives on the Gold Coast of Queensland in Australia.
To order her books: Go to ‘amazon.com’ then click
‘Books’ and under ‘search’ put ‘Roberta Cava’ (which will bring up all of her