I think men tend to avoid emotional intimacy in order to avoid feeling hurt. I know from experience that sharing my “true” feelings with my partner eventually came back to haunt me. If a man is going to discuss his feelings and express those feelings he needs to feel “safe”. I think that in immature relationships, “first loves” that there is a certain innocence that allows the male to freely share what he is “feeling” with his “love”.
I am assuming that the following represents what women see as emotional intimacy:
Deep emotional connection
Sharing your heart
Effective listening on an emotional level
Ability to cry easily and together at emotional moments
A sensitivity to know immediately when feelings are hurt
Understanding each other’s dreams and goals
Closeness of the heart and soul
As the participants in these relationships mature and start to look at relationships in a different light, that being a give and take situation where the persons think, “What is in this for me”? …the rules of engagement change. If I was in “la-la” land and everything is good I would be happy to share every single detail of my thought (and heart) with one close to me. History has shown me that “la-la” love is just infatuation. As much as I would like to follow the advice, “Love like you have never loved before” (which I feel encompasses the points in the list above) I remember what the outcome can be, and I am not ignorant enough to think that history won’t repeat itself. I love the feeling of emotional vulnerability, the feeling that you are “one”, that what you share together as being intimate will in fact stay that way. The emotional intimacy that a couple shares is what “makes” them a couple rather than just glorified roommates…is it not?
So today I am more like this when it comes to emotional intimacy:
I find it difficult to trust another enough to discuss my true feelings.
I am determined to avoid my feelings.
It is more difficult OR I try to hide expressions of love, sorrow, or pain.
I am unable or unwilling to cry especially in front of another person.
I am determined to make all emotional situations into a joke.
I am determined to lighten the mood or change the topic when emotional issues are discussed.
I can come across as being insensitive to the emotions of those around me.
I read once that women are good at capitalizing on the fact that men react in a certain way to sexual favors. Men can be manipulated into doing certain things, tasks etc by way of the proverbial “dangling carrot”. If men are so simple and can be so easily led in this regard (and I agree that they are) can you imagine how much “damage” a woman could do to him if she knew his inner feelings? Why would a woman manipulate a man on one level and not another. In my experience, the more information that she has, the more likely she will use it against him, when she deems necessary. She deems any situation that infringes on her security to be a necessary reason to use whatever information she possesses to ensure that she holds her power over him.
I don’t think that when a couple gets involved in a relationship, marriage for instance, that they are looking at the potential “end” of said relationship with any great detail. If we went into relationships feeling that they were finite I am sure the participant’s reactions would be different. We tend to go into relationships thinking that “this is it”, this relationship has no foreseeable end to it. This is a good thing…but statistically there will be an end and that end is typically where the man’s emotional intimacy with his partner really gets used against him.
When I left my first wife she pulled out all the stops to ensure that I would “pay” for destroying her security. She didn’t think so much about that when she was having an affair. When I found out and decided to end our marriage, not once did she take any responsibility for her actions. She just went on the attack and used every intimate detail she “had on me” against me. She is an expert at “emotional blackmail”.
When my next relationship fell apart, the same situation occurred when it came to intimacy. The “truth” that was shared with a trusted other was in turn used against me in much the same manner.
I on the other hand had no interest in using the same “information” or “emotional knowledge” against either of them and for the most part it wouldn’t have any significant effect anyways.
If she cries during a “situation”, it is
b)caused by the fact that HE did something to make her cry…selfish bastard!!
If he cries during a “situation”, it is
a)because he is a wimp. She would be better off without this wimp anyways.
b)NEVER possible that she could have done something to cause him to feel that way
c)worse for him, because as soon as she sees what she perceives as the slightest bit of weakness on his behalf will immediately go from “sorrow” to exploiting this for her benefit.
I am not saying that this is the norm in all cases but I do know that I tend to avoid being emotionally intimate as an adult because I don’t “trust” women (not even my wife) to keep what we share intimate. If needed it will be used against me.
In a nutshell, I don’t share my “truth” with someone that has the ability to use that “truth” against me. Any woman that I have had a relationship with, when in “battle” mode WILL use that information in an inappropriate manner. The only time I feel like sharing my “truth” is with someone that I share an intimate connection with yet don’t share a roof over our heads, in other words I will likely be have a greater emotional intimacy with a lover as in an affair…but less likely with my wife. What does that say?