Relationships: Why Do Some Breakups Hurt Men More Than Women?

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.

Roles

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.

Change

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.

Labelled

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.

Socially Acceptable

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.

Acceptable

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.

Consequences

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.

Alternatively

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.

Generalisations

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.

Awareness

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.

Relationships: How Can Someone Know When A Relationship Is Over?

One could be in a relationship that is going extremely well and out of nowhere, it could end up being on the rocks; leaving one in a place of uncertainty as to whether it will last or not. It could also be a relationship that is not going to well either.

However, just because something seems to be going well, based on one’s perspective, it doesn’t mean that this perspective is shared by the other person. To them, certain areas of the relationship could be creating conflict and be a sign that it is not working or they could have distanced themselves completely.

So physically they are there and yet emotionally they may have checked out. In their mind it has been over for many weeks, months and this could even be for many years, in extreme cases. And as there are two people in a relationship and not one and each of them have their own reality that includes different needs and wants, it is to be expected that there will be different outlooks.

Communication

This is why communication plays such an important role in what does or doesn’t happen in a relationship. It is often said that human beings are not mind readers and that another needs to tell them what is on their mind or what it is they need or want for instance.

And while some people are good at reading people and have a good intuition or sense, it is still important for each person to talk. If one has been with someone for a while, their ability to read them could be good, but this doesn’t mean they will always be right

Without each person talking about what is going on, information will have to be gained through other means and what is attained through these ways could end up being far from accurate.

Understanding

On one side there is the chance that one can gain an accurate understanding of what is going on for the other person and therefore how this is affecting the relationship. And yet there is also the chance that one could end up being way off and end up creating further problems.

So if there is no communication taking place in a relationship, one could start to form assumptions, talk to friends who have their own projections and create even more confusion or read magazines or books that don’t reflect what is going on.

These are just examples, but what they show is that it is very easy to form conclusions that have very little to do with the reality of a situation.

The Mind

Once the mind has started to form associations around what is going on in the relationship, it won’t matter if they are true or not. As the mind will project these associations onto the other person and can end up blocking out what goes against them.

So what this means is that one can end up seeing things that don’t really exist and believing what has no basis in reality. This is why gaining more information, no matter where or who it is from, can end up creating more problems.

Listening

While one may have friends who want to give their opinions on the matter and even tell one what they should be doing, based on what they think is happening, this can often make matters worse.

This is because they could have their own issues to do with the opposite or same sex or with the person that one is with and instead of seeing ones partner for who they are, they end up projecting their issues onto them.

Hearing from someone who is not emotionally connected and can therefore speak from a more subjective place can make a big difference though. And having someone who can just listen and allow one to get everything of their chest can also enable one to integrate everything.

Through this, clarity can appear and one can know what their next step is; without needing another person to express their own views.

Common Signs

So while other people’s views can create more confusion when it comes to whether ones relationship is over or not, there are common signs that can shed some light on what is happening. The most important thing is that one doesn’t just accept these and thinks about whether they are true or not, to avoid seeing things that don’t exist.

If communication has broken down, this could show that the other person has withdrawn and doesn’t want to continue. Just because one is with another adult, it doesn’t mean that they are emotionally an adult.

And so instead of them opening up about how they feel, they might end up retracting and using silence as a way to communicate that it’s over. If they were more comfortable with their emotions, this might not happen.

When communication does break down it is likely to cause one’s mind to fill in the gaps. So one can construct reasons as to why the other person is not getting in touch and what will soon happen.

Fantasy

And while some of these ideas could be accurate and have a lot to do with what is happening for the other person, they could also end up being completely false. If one feels as though their relationship is coming to an end and this is someone they appreciate or love, then it is only natural that they are going to experience emotional pain.

So as a way to avoid feeling this pain, the mind can come up with all kinds of scenarios. Here, one might imagine that they will get back together and everything will be fine, for example. These could cause one to feel better, but they might have nothing to do with reality.

Clarity

To be in a highly emotional state is not going to allow one to see clearly and so they may need to seek some kind of assistance in order to settle down. For if one feels settled, it is going to be easier to know what to do next.

And it can also make it easier for one to let go and to give the other person space. When strong emotions appear, one can become overly attached and this can end up pushing the other person away. As through one behaving in this way, the other person ends up feeling overwhelmed and is given another reason to end the relationship.

Awareness

Ultimately, the only person who can truly know if it’s over or not is oneself. No other can know what it was like before and what it is like now. And if one puts their fantasies to one side and gives up their wishful thinking, the answers will gradually appear.

When a relationship does end, it can be incredible painful and this is why letting go is not always easy. Emotions that match the current experience can arise, as can emotions from ones childhood.

This is why the assistance of a therapist, healer or a coach can be beneficial. Asking for help does not mean that one is weak; it is a sign of strength and the healthy thing to do.