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Why do men stonewall? Maybe it’s just the Man Cave. September 4, 2013

Posted by occhristiancounseling in attachment, development, Dr. Debi Smith, marriage, recommended reading, research, stonewalling, understanding men.
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man on beachAn understanding of men necessarily includes a healthy respect for the Man Cave. But as women we typically have a really hard time with it. We have nothing to compare it to, so it simply doesn’t make sense to us.

But it makes a lot of sense to men.

When we’re worried about something, we usually want someone to walk and to talk though it with us. For the most part, our American culture has trained us to do just that.

However, the same culture has taught him to do the opposite! Remember the story of what typically happens to the toddler boy on the playground? Those early experiences were the beginning of his education in The Boy Code. He learned that a man has to appear tough – a Sturdy Oak – in order to be loved and respected. And he learned that a man must figure out his own problems and deal with all his vulnerable emotions – anger, sadness, fear, hurt, grief, shame, guilt, and doubt – on his own.

So that’s what he does, and he does it in the Man Cave.

Looking at it from our side of the wall, the Man Cave feels like stonewalling at best and abandonment at worst. Simply knowing that her man is struggling is not enough, because that only serves to trigger a woman’s natural desire to reach out and encourage him … to get him to talk to her … to try to convince him that she is his Safe Haven.

But a lifetime of experience has taught him otherwise. Her efforts to connect will feel like an invasion to him. And this invasion typically results in immediate defense – usually by strengthening his wall. And being shut out makes her more anxious … worried about him … and about herself. It feels like the Beginning of the End to her, and she often doesn’t understand why. So she tries to fix it. But first she has to get through the wall. Drastic times call for drastic measures … so she hauls out the Wrecking Ball.

You can see where this is going, right?

Nowhere. Absolutely Nowhere.

“So what do I do? I suppose you expect me to sit down on the curb outside the Man Cave and just wait for him to come out?” you ask in your frustration. “If I do that,” you reason, “he’ll never come out!”

Nope. There’s so much more you can do to help him!

Stay tuned or find out more now in Dance With Me: A Hopeful Romantic Interprets Ephesians 5