Last night I was getting my weekly fix of the new Australian drama ‘Wonderland‘ on Channel Ten. Usually I can watch this show, sip my tea and let my brain take a little break from its overactive nature … however last night it got me thinking.
You see, one of the female characters cheated on her husband and then confessed her dirty deed to him.
After the confession, she immediately told a friend and lent on her for support. Her husband, on the other hand, didn’t tell a soul and tried to deal with his feelings alone.
Why don’t men talk about their feelings? Why do they suffer in silence?
I understand that men often react differently to stressful situations than women and I realise they need to go into their ‘man caves’ to figure stuff out. However, I don’t see how this is an effective strategy and I believe that it would be better if they could find a way to share their worries and burdens rather than keeping them bottled up.
There are certain notions in our society about how men are supposed to behave: They are supposed to be successful, in control at all times and keep their feelings in check. However ideas such as these can be extremely detrimental to the male psyche and may lead to depression, then, if the depression is left unchecked, it can be fatal. In fact, “In Australia, men account for 80 per cent of deaths by suicide” (Better Health Channel).
I try to allow my husband space to sort things out in his own mind before probing him too much about his emotions. However, sometimes it is hard to understand what is going on with him if he doesn’t share this information with me.
I also try to allow my son room to express his feelings and am conscious of not invalidating his comments about his emotions. However, I do worry that as he gets older he will learn that, as a male, he is supposed to ‘toughen up’, not be a ‘wuss’ and just ‘get over it’.
As I am neither a male nor a psychologist, I don’t have all the answers here; but maybe some of you out there have some ideas?
Why do men suffer in silence?
Do you think this is changing and the men of today are getting better at talking about their emotions?
How do we teach our sons to talk about their feelings and not be too proud to ask for help?