Whether they are sharing with friends, opening up to family, or simply talking about their feelings; for most women, opening up comes effortlessly. However, getting your partner to share his feelings, fears, and concerns requires a lot of trust and faith on his part. Whether you are dating or have been in a relationship for a long time, these tips will help your partner open up to you on an emotional level.
Don’t force it
Forcing your partner to talk on an issue when he’s not ready, can make him feel powerless and resentful. Instead, let him know that you are here for him whenever he feels ready to share. Not only will this help build emotional trust in your relationship, it will give him the immediate sense of relief that will put him at great ease. When the time comes for your partner to open up, he will be able to express his emotions without fear of judgement or retaliation.
Watch your reaction
Most women want their partner to emotionally open up; however, when their partner finally expresses their concerns or fears, they are met with hostility, anger, or criticism. Pay attention to your own reaction when your partner is sharing his thoughts and feeling. Do you get defensive, go on the attack, or cry at the mention of something negative? Make sure that your response is one that invites him to open up again. Instead of yelling or get overly critical; listen to what he has to say and take a few minutes to come up with your response. This is not to say that you cannot react to what he shares; instead, it will allow you to think through your thoughts, giving him the encouragement he needs to share.
Make him feel understood and accepted
For a man to open up emotionally there has to be a level of faith and trust in the relationship. Trust that his concerns will be listened to and faith that judgement will not follow. Approach your partner with honest curiosity and a desire to understand the situation or his feelings on a particular subject, regardless of your expectations. Not only will this give your partner that confidence and security he needs to open up, but it will remove any assumptions that you might have stored away.
Give the argument a name
Once your partner has revealed his thoughts and fears to you, don’t throw them back in his face during an argument. You are entitled to express your frustration, anger, and concerns; however, do so in a non-argumentative way as this will allow your partner to actively listen to your concerns without being defensive or claiming up. This will help create an emotional connection between you two and will allow him to further open up as the fear of backlash will subside.
Let go of the past
Instead of looking at all the things that he did wrong, look at the times that he’s made a conscious effort to do right. If your partner feels that his past actions will be used against him whenever you talk, it will make it impossible for him to open up. Effective communication between you and your partner can ease any tension that might be lingering while creating the perfect atmosphere for you both to clear the air. This does not negate any of his past transgression, it just allows him to feel safe that you won’t reject and humiliate him once he opens up.
For some men to open up emotionally there may have to be a level of faith and trust in the relationship.