In recent studies, men have been shown to suffer more than women when a relationship comes to an end. And while some people would not have been surprised to hear this, for others, it was unexpected and even dismissed.
Even though men have emotions just like women, this doesn’t always appear to be the case and they are often portrayed as having an inability to show emotions by women and the media. Men are often stoic and the emotions that they do express are often limited to a few emotions, such as: anger and frustration.
So what these studies have done is created awareness around the fact that although men don’t always show their emotions, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have them. And the reasons they don’t show them is partly due to the pressures that men face and what it generally means to be a man.
Times are changing and while a man has been seen as the provider for so long, this is a role that they are not always expected to play in today’s world. For when they played this role, they had to be seen as strong and unbreakable; as being immune to pain and to give of the impression that nothing ever affected them.
And as a man was expected to be this way, a woman had to play the role of being passive and weak. But, women have gradually been realising their power and the need for a provider is no longer as important as it used to be; simply because the chances are often there for women to provide for themselves.
But while changes have been taking place, in regards to what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman, the pressure to conform to the old roles is still there for people. For if ones identity is based on playing a certain role and this causes them to feel empowered for instance, there is naturally going to be resistance when it comes to change.
Even if these roles are dysfunctional and unhealthy, it doesn’t mean that one is simply going to let them go; especially if what they will have to let go of is seen being less than what they will end up with.
And if a man was to show his emotions and not just the ones that are seen as acceptable, but their full range of emotions, there is going to be the chance that he will be labelled. This label is unlikely to be one that causes him to feel empowered.
What it could do is cause him to feel emasculated and that he will no longer be accepted or respected by others. And this will be seen as something that that could isolate him from other men and women.
So it could be said that until men are seen as having emotions and that it’s acceptable for them to have them, there are going to be a lot of men who will continue suffer in silence. Just as there are women who feel the pressure to be passive and that they have to deny their personal power.
What is acceptable is for women to show their emotions and for men to repress them. This is generally what is classed as normal and yet just because something is normal, it doesn’t mean it is healthy.
And as a result of this, it is only natural that some women will handle breaks up differently to how some men do. Women can feel as though it’s okay for them to embrace their emotions, whereas men can come to the conclusion that they have to deny them and to pretend they don’t exist.
So when one person feels comfortable with something, they are going to behave differently to someone who doesn’t feel the same. Women, through feeling comfortable with their emotions, usually have friends and family who they can open up to. Through them embracing their emotions, it can lead to their feelings being released instead of trapped in their body.
And as they can do this, they don’t have the same need to deny how they feel and to channel their feelings into something destructive. To see a woman upset is generally not going to have the same affect on people as it would if a man was upset.
As men don’t always feel comfortable with having emotions, there is less chance that they will have friends who they can open up to and they might not even reveal how they feel to their family. And as a man doesn’t embrace them, they can end up being trapped in their body.
So when they are not faced and the support is not there, their emotions can end up being repressed and channelled into things that are destructive. These could lead them to taking drugs, drinking alcohol or fighting, as a way to numb their pain.
Emotional Build Up
And if a woman has always felt comfortable with expressing her emotions, then she is unlikely to have an emotional build up. So when a relationships ends, there won’t be any emotional pain from the past to increase her present pain.
However, when it comes to a man who has repressed his emotions for most of his life; their present pain could end up being intensified through having repressed emotions triggered. Emotional pain from the break up and from many years of repression, could end up being overwhelming.
To say that all women are comfortable with their emotions and all men are not would be inaccurate. And yet women are expected to be in touch with how they feel and men are not.
Men not only have the right to express how they feel, they also need to. If a man wants to be emotionally healthy, then it is imperative that they change how they view their emotions and how they deal with them.
This is why the assistance of a therapist, healer a coach can be so important. Through another’s assistance, one can gradually form a different relationship with their emotions. If a man is suffering emotionally, reaching out for support is the healthiest thing to do.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.