jump to last post 1-6 of 6 discussions (9 posts)

Dear Husbands, Please translate: "I can't tell you my feelings."

  1. Billie Kelpin profile image87
    Billie Kelpinposted 3 years ago

    Dear Husbands, Please translate: "I can't tell you my feelings."

    Please explore in depth what exactly that statement means. Could that feeling have originated in childhood? Is it a learned reaction? If so, who is the first person (before your wife) who made you feel that way? Is your wife the only person you feel you can't tell how you feel? What is so fearful abt expressing what you feel? Does this have to do with reigning in anger? Inquiring minds want to know!

  2. tsmog profile image81
    tsmogposted 3 years ago

    I am not a husband, although have intimate relationships. I saw a relationship video presentation sharing men's minds are full of boxes. Each box has a purpose. The humor of the presentation was there is a 'nothing box' while saying men like that box and go their often. Further it shared women's minds are like a bundle of wires and full of countless connections full of energy like electrical currents jumping from one connection to another as fast as lightning while they know all of those connections easily.

    From that I can only wonder if husbands being usually a man has a box for feelings. Being a man I am trying to look into my 'box of feelings' now regarding this post. For me while I am sure for each individual it may be different my feeling box looks like a big blob sorta' inside it.

    All my feelings are floating around in that blob separately, yet each amazingly touches another and all at once too. When I reach into that box with my mind it squishes this way and that way and all will not stay in one place. One feeling rapidly becomes another sometimes faster than I experience it or can comprehend.

    I cannot focus on that one thought for too long as it soon is many and I simply am amazed producing a smile or aghast and plum outright scared. I like it most when they are very, very comfortable. So I reach in with my heart instead of my mind. Then those feelings like a blob melt becoming an ocean of currents swaying with the moon's tides. Undulating waves tossed about at times while others are soft gentle curling waves easing upon a warm sandy shore. 

    So, in a way if I was asked "Are you feeling happy?" I could focus and say 'yes' or 'no'. I could see that feeling like a schooner sailing on a quiet sea. If asked am I feeling angry I would see a ship being tossed and thrust about like in a raging storm. But, to ask me my "feelings" (plural) I would not be able to answer. That would for me be like asking to explain an ocean or a sea.

    Of, course as the opening paragraph points out I may share my feelings easily by doing nothing and fishing on a row boat in a sea of Love.

    Q2: Originating in childhood means a learned behavior to me. Maybe depending on environment and questioning family.
    Q3: I don't feel it is reactive at all. Maybe much closer to honesty
    Q4: If not a reaction then it is an action. It is initiated.
    Q5: Confusion. Fear. Communicating clearly.
    Q6: Not really. The blob is just simply squishy.

  3. dashingscorpio profile image88
    dashingscorpioposted 3 years ago

    If anyone says: "I can't tell (you) my feelings" it's important not to gloss over the word (you). If a person feels their mate is judgmental or non-empathetic or will somehow think less of them/see them as being weak it's only natural for them to avoid to confide in them.
    It's unlikely that someone has a "fear" of expressing them self. Odds are they're tired of having people disappoint them so they've decided no to bother with it.
    Another type of man is "solution oriented". In other words if (you) don't have "the answer" he sees it as a waste time to discuss the issue with (you). He only wants to deal with those who can help.
    Men are expected to "handle their business" or "solve their problems". Just as parents often don't want to worry their children some men take it to the extreme of not wanting to worry their wives.  There have been reported incidences where a man has lost his job but continued to get up and dress for work and leave the house without revealing it to his wife. His hope is he'll find a new job. Generally speaking men aren't into having "pity parties" with their friends or talking about problems just for the sake of talking.
    They want to come off as strong confident resourceful leaders in their home. Lastly how their spouse has reacted in the past or knowing her expectations of a "real man" can cause them reluctance to discuss their "uncertainties" about how to deal with a crisis they're facing.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image87
      Billie Kelpinposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      lots of interesting thoughts here from various perspectives and possibilites

  4. Kylyssa profile image95
    Kylyssaposted 3 years ago

    I don't think this phenomenon has a gender or is unique to spousal relationships. I think it comes up in all sorts of close love relationships.

    Sometimes, it might be about not really being able to identify and explain one's feelings coherently. I sometimes have that problem, but I'm odd. However, I think it's more common for it to be about not believing that sharing one's feelings will not have negative repercussions. People frequently judge us by our feelings and may even take actions we find extremely unpleasant if we disclose them. I think that's a part of our culture it would be nice to shed.

    I learned in childhood that sharing my feelings could bring all sorts of negative repercussions including dismissal of my feelings, shaming, ridicule, shunning, rude treatment, and sometimes even punishment. It's probably much worse for boys.

    I don't know if others can, but I can't choose what I feel, only what I do. Sharing something I have no control over puts me in the position of having to trust someone to neither hurt me with it nor be hurt by it.

    Maybe your husband fears he'll hurt your feelings or think less of him? What you think and feel are surely very important to him.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image87
      Billie Kelpinposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I agree that the responses we receive in childhood on expressing our feelings might have a great impact on how well we are able to express them in adulthood. Interesting point fear of hurting feelings might reflect how important those feelings are

  5. M. T. Dremer profile image95
    M. T. Dremerposted 3 years ago

    Well, I'm a writer, so I'm probably better at explaining my feelings than other husbands. But, I do often find myself saying "I don't know" to a lot of questions or responding with "nothing" when she asks me what I'm thinking about. I don't think it is a fear of sharing ones feelings, nor do I think it has anything to do with anger. If anything, I would say it's a personality trait that is likely enhanced by gender. So, for example, someone who worries a lot, might think about things that need to get done first and how they feel about it second. Only when they start to get tired and stressed do they start to wonder what might have caused it. Anyone can be that way, but it's possible that it's more common in men.

    It might have something to do with the way we prioritize thoughts. To someone who is very empathetic, they care very much about how someone is feeling. Where as someone who isn't very empathetic just cares that stuff gets done, not it's impact on their feelings. I'm not a psychologist, but what I'm trying to say is that a husband saying "I can't tell you my feelings" isn't bad or even abnormal. He has feelings, but he might not want to take the time to dissect and describe them. In his mind, that's a waste of time. For example, rather than telling his wife how much he loves her, he instead shows it by doing things for her, like getting her car fixed, washing her clothes, or picking up feminine hygiene products. To him, those actions say everything for him.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image87
      Billie Kelpinposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      M.T. Dremer, I like your approach to this subject. It makes that statement feel less of a crisis or an indictment of the recipient of the comment and more of a condition of thought process and style of the person saying the comment!

  6. arksys profile image91
    arksysposted 3 years ago

    boys (specifically in the UK region) ... do not talk about feelings. I went to boarding school there and noticed the trend that those who talked about their feelings were seen as gay and were avoided. there was a specific unspoken code which took a few months to grasp. always show you're strong and hard to break and you get respected for it. this could be a factor. he knows exactly what he is feeling but has never put it in words before. because they have kept it in them all their lives it is very hard to break out of this shell.

    a second possibility is he's an introvert and probably does not feel comfortable expressing his feelings.

    a third would be he doesn't want to say what he really feels because he knows it could cause a lot of damage to the current situation which he enjoys being in. feelings will change with time but if he says what he currently feels, things could really get messed up.

    Nothing to do with anger in my opinion, unless continuously provoked to express their feelings, which they don't want to do because of one of the reasons above.