6 Steps to Gently Get Your Man to Meet Your Emotional Needs

Six Steps to Gently Get Your Man to Meet Your Emotional Needs

He’s a hunk, fun, nice, and treats you like a queen. As long as things between you are light and easy-going, life is good. When you need intimacy, he finds other places to be and things to do. Sound familiar?

The problem is classic: he’s emotionally unavailable for you when you need him the most. Fortunately, we know the cause of the problem and how to fix it. Many men are emotionally unavailable to women because they have been trained to be that way. At age two, the human brain starts developing its emotional centers. Thus, the “terrible twos” are all about experiencing raw emotions of all kinds.

However, culture throws a huge mud pie into the process. That mud pie is called emotional invalidation. Instead of allowing a little boy to experience and master his emotions, he is told "You're OK," “Don’t cry,” “Don’t be a baby “Don’t be a sissy,” and so on. Each of these statements is hurtful and devastating to the little boy. He is being told to deny what he feels. This programming continues in school as little boys find plenty of reasons to bully, tease, and coerce each other into compliance with the unwritten culture rule: Show no pain.

By the time you meet your hunk he has no clue how to be in touch with his own emotions. Your job is to re-program him - that might sound like a negative thing, but it's not. If you succeed, the relationship will flourish. If you don’t succeed or don’t try, the relationship could experience issues when it comes to emotional connection. Here’s how to do it effectively.

Step 1:

Don’t Expect to Get Your Needs Met Until You Meet His: Of the two of you, you are more in touch with your emotions than he is. As desperately as you want emotional connection, you have to nurture his emotional life, that will help him see how it's done. Not to say that it's "all about him," but in this very specific situation, consider trying this.

Step 2:

Stop Emotionally Invalidating Him: If you attack, criticize, or judge him because he is not always there for you, you simply reinforce all of the training he has experienced since he was a little boy. You now know more about why he finds it hard to be there for you emotionally than he does. Criticizing or attacking won't help him or you, so treat him how you want to be treated. Just like the Golden Rule.

Step 3:

Listen to His Emotions: When he is angry, frustrated, or upset, pay attention. I call it “reading the emotional data field.” What is he experiencing right now in the moment and why? Guess at it if you have to because it will be OK if you are wrong.

Step 4:

Reflect Back His Emotions to Him: All you say is “You’re angry and frustrated.” Don’t ask what he is feeling and don’t ever use an “I” statement (e.g., “What I hear you saying is that you are angry and frustrated.”). Brain studies show that the only thing that works is the direct “You” statement. Continue reflecting until you get a head nod and a verbal response like, "Yeah, yeah.”

Step 5:

Teach Him to Do the Same for You: After a couple of weeks or months of reflecting his emotions (called “affect labeling”), he will be ready to learn how to do the same for you. Ask him if he would be willing to try a simple experiment. Tell him you will pretend to have an emotion. Ask him to guess at it and reflect it back to you. Let him practice this and encourage him. Most important, it’s OK if he guesses wrong. Improvement will come rapidly. Just be patient and kind with him.

Step 6:

Finally, Ask Him to Listen to Your Emotions: When you next have need for him to be emotionally present for you, ask him to listen and reflect your emotions. “I don’t need to be fixed right now. Could you please just listen and reflect my emotions.” If he does this, he will be amazed at the change in you, which will reinforce the practice. If he says “No” or withdraws, go back to Step 3.

This is not to say that you coddle or cater to his emotions for an infinite amount of time. You are doing this to help him learn how to do this for you. Show him how it's done and then then let him know what you need.

This is an extraordinary, life-changing skill. If you take the time to master it and teach it to your boyfriend or husband, you will experience the connection you yearn for. But then again, this is just one man's opinion. What do you think?

2/18/2018 8:00:00 AM
Doug Noll
Written by
Douglas E. Noll, JD, MA is an award-winning author, speaker, and trainer. After a successful two-decade career as a trial lawyer, he devoted himself to understanding the root causes of human conflict. Today, he shares his knowledge with those interested in transforming their lives and relationships from drama and chaos t...
View Full Profile Website: http://www.dougnoll.com/

I truly think that women do need to love their mate, as spoken. Women are caretakers and want to fix things, it is a matter of the approach. A soft way and loving way, relationships will flourish and stay together. Women want it all and sometimes it doesn't work that way. I appreciated the advice and it has great merit and good suggestions. Thank you~
Posted by Maureen
Bah humbug, Doug Noll --- three marriages & a 5-year relationship w/ another broken-winged bird (eaten alive), I'm OUT OF THE EFFING MOMMY BUSINESS !! Finally enjoying some peace & freedom to be.... about time, too, while there's still some life in me to live.
Posted by Sophie
It's really hard to believe how much you , through your advices, want to help HIM .... not us women!

We , women, need to understand, shut up, be nice for ALL THE TIME.

AND WHAT ABOUT US???? Who is going to UNDERSTAND US???
It's always ABOUT HIM!!!

And what about us??? Yes, they can offend us ( poor "babies" brought up in a bad way by their mothers. It's not their fault to call us names, to show easily their disappointment and frustration .... and WE must always understand THEM!!)
Go to hell with these kind of advices......you do not know what you are taking about!! Me as a women I feel personally offended - I heard so many stories told by my women friends. And you think it's all OUR FAULT ... because we are mothers too .. not only wifes... Right??....
In which century are you living??? Come'on !....Awake you guy!!!
Posted by Hanna
You can change people it only gets worse if you try. This can lead to abuse in a relationship.
Awful article.
Posted by Maggie
Biologically real men are not meant to have an array of emotions. The only two that are needed as a male are anger and happiness. The others are a waste of time. You think a bunch of women who are over emotional bad. You should see how weak a group of metrosexual look and actually are weak. Men have logic, women have emotions. All you have to do is find a balance. And, no, sex does not have to have any emotional value. Been married 8 years and were still going strong.
Posted by Andrew
I'm so sick of hearing aww take care of him first . Whatever it's called being human you love someone act like it. Noone needs to hold your little mans hand to get him to love you or want to show any kind of emotion. Shouldn't have to train someone to love.
Posted by Jessica Wallace
The woman will always be first teacher in this world!a lot of this planets culture has been tampered with so it's kind of a gender war no balance everybody want to be boss try becoming one force conquering your dreams together build a heaven together stop treating eachother like crap competing with each other creating hell in the home you suppose to be creating a heaven together in!i respect this takes guts to be yourself now days.its true men have been programmed to see the woman as below him
Posted by PatronNegus
Being an attorney & trainer do not make this man an expert in the topics he is addressing -- he is expressing his opinions. It appears that he took a few idea from here & there, put them together and now espouses 'techniques' without sound science.
Posted by Judy
This the the problem with most but not all women. Men are not your girlfriends. We try to please you but you only complain. Like most narcissist. You need to look at yourself before you look at someone else. He's only giving you what you mirror him.
Posted by Carlos Smith
Put aside the facts that the author believes a man's problems have to become a woman's responsibility to fix, and adult men are apparently incapable of personal growth, the steps outlined don't even make sense. The conclusions drawn in this article seem silly and offensive to both men and women, IMO.
Posted by Susan
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