I’m first going to outline seven reasons for men having difficulty in getting and keeping closeness in marriage. These reasons emerge from the general coping patterns I talked about earlier.
1. A man may proclaim: “It’s not me. It’s your fault.”
A man may deflect responsibility for the distance in your relationship and turn it back on you.
“If only you were, or did this or that, then I would move closer to you.”
For him, the responsibility for intimacy rests upon your shoulders.
Such a man cannot grasp the concept of personal responsibility.
2. It may be apparent that “other things are more important.”
Those words are not usually uttered by the man, but actions speak louder of a man who places priorities, other than creating intimacy, first. Although he would probably deny the fact if confronted about it.
You never really “know” this man. He seems to hide. You often wonder what he is thinking or what’s moving between his ears.
He may seem emotionally distant and removed, lost in his world that is vitally more important to him.
3. Your man may be an “alpha” male with that “You’re lucky to have me, baby!” mentality. And he thinks that should be enough.
This man exudes confidence, maybe charm and achievement.
He is self-absorbed and full of himself. You are his trophy.
He may think the two of you already have closeness in marriage, especially if you cater to his whims, while you feel a nagging distance and emptiness.
You express concern, and he is either mystified or dismisses you.
4. Buddies reign for this man.
Rather than developing closeness in marriage, his social life comes first.
He may be the life of the party, and even flirts with others in front of you.
For him, it’s no big deal.
He may take you to a party and ignore you.
He believes he has friends, but they are pseudo friends.
5. The irritable man.
His undercurrent of frustration and whining make it difficult for you to get close to him.
Teasing may be his way of expressing closeness in marriage.
He may manipulate you away from your needs.
You say black, he says white.
6. The incompetent man.
This man, at a profound level, believes he cannot perform and therefore cannot move close.
He lacks faith in himself and his desirability.
You may find it necessary to take the lead and to encourage.
Or he may shrink away, avoiding contact with you.
7. The uptight man.
This serious man leaves little room for frivolity or intimacy.
He has a difficult time “letting loose” and enjoying himself, you or others.
If you become direct in your need for intimacy, he may erupt and push you away.
He often seems to seethe.
I’ve quickly gone over seven distinct patterns that men have learned from a long time ago, and bring with them into their adult relationships. These are broad strokes of struggles that men have in moving close and opening themselves to intimacy. You might want to take a minute or two, go over the seven reasons, reflect on your relationship and determine which, if any, of the reasons prevent you from developing closeness in marriage in your own relationship.