Why Won’t He Talk to Me?

why men stonewall

A lifetime of experience impacts the way a man communicates. But we women often don’t understand a man’s silence. So the Man Cave feels like stonewalling at best – and abandonment at worst. But the Man Cave isn’t stonewalling at all. Unless a woman tries to force her way though. Then she’s got Double Trouble.

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/or add to his sense of guilt and shame that he hasn’t got a solution. Both of which will result in an immediate increase in his defensiveness – 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.

Do you know why men stonewall?

Believe it or not, the initial purpose of the stonewall has nothing to do with hurting you. That’s not the purpose of the Man Cave either. Most women find it helpful to know the difference. Because it helps them know what to do – and find a better way to pray.

I’ll post more on this topic tomorrow. But as a first step toward better understanding, I invite you – if you haven’t already done so – to enroll in my free 15-day e-course now. Learn more here.

To answer before listening—
    that is folly and shame. (Proverbs 18:13)

Made for Each Other

made for each other

Eve was created for Adam. He didn’t even know he needed anything. But God did. And she was exactly what he needed. Likewise, Adam was exactly what Eve needed. He was her Joy and Bliss. Man and Woman are made for each other. We get to enjoy this Truth as we follow the Holy Spirit.

Why on earth would we want to listen to the enemy? Clearly Adam and Eve were made in the likeness of God … and made for each other. The enemy hated their Image (identity) and their Romance (relationship).

  • He lied to Eve.
  • Wounded Adam.
  • Messed up Romance.

If your life has been anything like mine, the enemy has messed with your Image and your Romance on more than one occasion. So you may find it difficult to embrace the Truth that man and woman are made for each other. But we are! By God Himself, and …

If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31b)

The Beauty of a Woman

A woman is creatively designed to follow, and her man’s love and understanding are essential if she is to follow well. Her skill at following him is incredibly important because …

  • Without her, he’s got no hope for becoming all that he could be.
  • And you can’t be a leader if no one is willing to follow you.

She has so much in common with a man. She’s very much like him, yet so very different. She’s soft and curvy. Smells sweet. Emotionally sensitive. Expressive. She sees things differently than he does. Which makes him wonder how she comes up with stuff.

But that’s how she’s got his back.
As well as how he’s got hers!

Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

The Wonder of a Man

A Man is creatively designed to lead, and his woman’s trust and respect are essential for him to be able to lead well.

  • He’s bigger and stronger.
  • He excels in her affirmation.
  • He stands taller in her admiration.
  • And he adores her more than words can say.

But He’s actually more sensitive than she is … and to different things than she is. His sensitivity is primary when it comes to her. Which motivates him to protect her. To provide for her. To be willing to die for her.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 25-33)

Made for Each Other

So many people – both pastors and psychology-types – totally miss this! I’m still amazed at how. I guess the enemy’s deceitful tactics have to be more subtle when he’s trying to undermine these educated professionals’ attempts to renew or repair Image and Romance, eh? After all, if he’s too obvious, we’d all throw him out.

But it’s right there in the Bible!
And it’s our everyday life.

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

I find the Possibilities exciting!
Very exciting indeed!
Don’t you?

3 Things We’re Missing in Marriage Counseling

marriage counseling

Marriage counseling often fails – simply because it is founded upon the wrong principles. In other words, the real problem is how we see the problem. Because how you see the problem determines how you believe you should solve the problem.

I love psychology. Dedicated a lot of my life to its study. Time. Money. Energy. And I’ve been counseling couples and individuals for more than 18 years. Despite my extensive training, I eventually began to notice that something Important was missing.

Prepare-Enrich: A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach

Prepare-EnrichAs a Seminar Director for Prepare-Enrich, I’ve helped launch marriage programs with a lot of other therapists, pastors, and lay counselors.

If you’ve never heard of Prepare-Enrich, you should check it out. The company that developed this excellent couples inventory (of strengths and growth areas) and skill-building program celebrated their 35th Anniversary in 2015.

The beauty of it: You don’t need a psychology degree! Completing a one-day workshop is the only requirement to become a Certified Facilitator – for life. And you can search their online database to find a Facilitator (or a Training Workshop to become a Facilitator) near wherever you live. Pretty cool, eh?

Emotionally-Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT)

hold_me_tightIf you have complicated issues or just want to go deeper and achieve more lasting change, check out EFT.

My graduate training at Biola University included an introduction to this approach. And after becoming a Licensed Psychologist, I went on to complete a 4-day externship in Houston, Texas, on this amazing approach to building a lasting connection between husband and wife. And I’ve incorporated this training to help couples connect for more than 8 years.

If you’d like to learn more about EFT, order a copy of Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson.

[callout]Both Prepare-Enrich (cognitive-behavioral) and EFT (emotionally-focused) are good approaches to marriage counseling.[/callout]

So what is missing?

1. The first thing I noticed was the absence of a clear understanding of the Psychology of Men and their relationships with women. I’m talking about Traditional Men. As therapists, we were taught to treat everyone as if they had the same needs and desires.

Kinda crazy since there is so much research on gender differences, ya?

I guess we were all giving into “political correctness.” But I suspect that feminism has had a larger role – and for a longer time – in trying to make men and women “gender-less.”

2. The second thing I noticed – and given my faith, it could have been the first – was the absence of an understanding of the Ephesians 5 model for Christian Marriage. Yes, there is such a thing as Healthy Submission in the 21st Century. And it’s really fun. Like dancing. I go into great detail in my book Ephesians 5 Romance: the Truth about Love. (You can get a pink-spoon taste in this FREE SAMPLE.)

3. But the Most Important Thing I noticed was the absence of Heaven’s viewpoint. Relationships are – first and foremost – spiritual endeavors. So – especially as Christians – shouldn’t we be giving more than a nod to God’s approach? Instead we focus marriage counseling on what we can do in the flesh.

If that’s all you’ve got, then go for it! You may achieve a measure of success.
And if it doesn’t work out, you always can say “I did everything I could.”
(NOTE: Even when you do everything, the other person has a choice.)

So if you’re seeking Abundant Life in your Marriage …

… you’ll want to consider these oft-quoted Bible verses:

  • I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
  • For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. (Romans 6:5-7)
  • The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

A New Way of Addressing the Issues in Marriage Counseling

We’re not going to throw the baby (psychology) out with the bathwater. We can learn a lot from the psychology of relationships. Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are very informative.

However, as we look at the problems of marriage in future posts, we’re also going to consider the possibilities.

To do that, we’ll take a look at the psychological perspective, then the spiritual perspective so that we can make informed choices about how we address the issues at hand. (ALWAYS REMEMBER: Even when you do everything you can, the other person still has a choice! You cannot make someone love you. And you shouldn’t even try.)

QUESTION: What problem are you facing now that you would like help viewing from multiple angles?