Emotional isolation and marriage don’t go together

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This week I received several calls, one from such a distance place as Australia, all coming from women in their 50-60s that were asking a similar question...What happened to my life, that I ended up with so much emotional isolation from my husband? What's up with men?

Is this a generational phenomena?  Is this new male wave been raised with a defect on the empathy genes? or is the parent's responsibility having raised this kind of men who can't feel empathy and love? why do we have this generation of men locked out from their own emotional connections?

Or, perhaps, are we modern women expecting too much? we don't have lots of records telling us of sensitive and empathetic men alive in the XX century...so it is a modern situation this one in which we demand parity in emotional commitment too.

In short, as far as I can see the whole picture, it looks like this: when women gained the right to work outside the home, it was finally exhilarating to find us competing in a new world with new experiences...because we could now choose between the full time housewife role and the working girl.

As we need to begin in one artificially selected historical point, let's say that this revolution that took women out of their homes, changed the way we raise children. And this change meant that we now can find ourselves forming the generation that spends less time with their own children in history, seriously affecting the quality of childhood attachment...(that I have explained a lot around this blog.)

Not being near our children enough to offer them a strong, nurturing attachment,  is a way to raise children insecure of themselves, and of their own worth, and finally unable to feel empathy for others.

Children growing up with a sense of partial abandonment develop an emotional shield against the pain. They "understand" the fact that mother is not there, only in a superficial way. Anger, frustration and sadness produced by their feeling of being abandoned can't be expressed because mother is helping raise the kids with her salary...so, no anger is allowed.  Here the shield develops...And it becomes his way of dealing with all the inevitable frictions of adult relationship we need to solve in order to learn and mature in life.

What about marriage, you ask? Here is the real consequence of keeping the protection of the shield for too long after he has left his childhood home: can you recognize the emotional shield in action?

Is a general way of not engaging with others, like:

  • He refuses to change, adapt to his present situation of married man and grow;
  • He is so scared of change that can let the whole relationship fail and self-destroy before considering pulling their 50% responsibility for making the marriage work.
  • He prefers to isolate himself in his work, or his beer, before sharing with me what is going on...Why does he has to keep silent about almost everything? What is the risk of talking to me, his wife?
  • He never answers my questions no matter what the context. He ALWAYS responds back with the same question back to me!

Finally, the painful realization that she is now emotionally alone develops:

I don’t know why I still want to stay with him but, I am starting to feel that I will have regrets & feel hopeless as I get older. I have lost my identity as a person & realize now that I have put too much blind faith & trust into my husband, to my own detriment.
I am an intelligent & strong woman. I am & have been available to my family & friends if they ever need any help or support but, why am I unable help myself in the same way?

Am I exonerating men of their shared responsibility of making the marriage work? Not at all. Only focusing on generational trends, and looking for reasons to answer the question of too many men resorting to isolate themselves from the connection and the vulnerability of marriage. Perhaps this is a transition moment in which we don't see clearly how to revert the past or create a new more connected future.

As in search for solutions, my quest took me to ask: "Is there something you can use legally that would push men to trust more and reject less the attachment with their wives"?

Funny that you ask, a friend of mine (yes, a scientist) answered: Have you read about the hormone oxytocin and its effects on emotional boundaries...Really, not. I did not know about this hormone, but I'm ready to try, if it has the slightest promise to make my readers' husbands more sensitive and open...What do you think?

 

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