“We broke up”. Why do men feel differently than we do?


Controlling emotions

Many men, brought up in the “boys don’t cry” tradition still ingrained in society, try their best to hide their feelings. From conversations with clients, psychologists know that they are going through a breakup, sometimes it is difficult to cope with loneliness. But it’s hard for them to discuss it.

“Some men prefer to emotionally“ lock in ”the situation, – says coach Chris Armstrong, – because to speak openly with a partner for them means losing control over their feelings, discovering weakness.

Women, as a rule, do not allow their ego to get in the way of manifesting emotions, it is easier for them to be sincere. And although a man also suffers from what is happening, we often assess him through the eyes of his ex-wife. And she sees the absence of feelings and regret on his part. “

He lived it long ago

He might think about a breakdown in your relationship while you were together, but not tell you about it.

“Men often do not voice their thoughts because they recklessly believe that only actions matter,” says Chris Armstrong. – Therefore, in a relationship, a woman sometimes does not feel emotional support from a partner, because he is sure that only actions help.

It is the same in a breakup situation: a man can start a discussion only if he thinks that something else can be corrected. Deciding that this is impossible, he will simply leave. And when you once again return in your thoughts to the gap that happened, he has already come this way. Only alone, and you did not know about it. “

Separation of feelings and decisions

After parting, many women are able to reflect for a long time about what happened, while men seem to be turned to the future and are more interested in the question – what’s next?

This is in part because they are better able to rationalize what is happening by separating the sphere of decisions and emotions. They let the experience go for a certain time and move on.

“Women suffer more from emptiness in relationships”

“The traditional search for differences in the reactions of men and women always rests on the same question: are they innate, that is, biological, or acquired, sociocultural? – comments Svetlana Aulkina, clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst. – Evolutionary psychologists attribute the differences in emotional responses to echoes of different coping strategies that our ancestors developed.

Thus, a caring woman would be more likely to protect her offspring, while a brave man would be assured of reproductive success. In this sense, a woman should demonstrate flexible, empathic behavior based on attachment and a subtle understanding of feelings. A man, on the other hand, is emotionally independent and free.

The psyche of a woman is mostly process-oriented. Raising children, maintaining order requires daily patient work with a delayed result. And the psyche of a man can withstand great stress in the short term and is aimed at analyzing the situation and achieving a quick result. Perhaps these evolutionary features explain the difference in strategies for building relationships and experiencing a breakup in a couple.

But it is also important to take into account the changed attitude towards the marriage union in the 20th century. Patriarchal marriage for the previous six centuries was an exclusively legal institution for the birth of children, the transmission of traditions and the preservation of material values. This union, clearly based on the distribution of roles, was not focused on mutual love.

In the middle of the last century, marriages first began to be created primarily on the basis of sincere feelings. Accordingly, the demand for mental comfort in relationships has increased dramatically. This made the marriage, on the one hand, psychologically satisfying, on the other, more fragile, and the partners emotionally vulnerable.

Now in a relationship, both man and woman want to be recognized, respected and supported in difficult situations. Sexual harmony has become important. These increased expectations inevitably require new skills from us: the ability to discuss differences, deal with conflicts, understand our feelings and talk about them.

A large number of divorces is a sign of a lack of these skills and traditions, a willingness to overcome a crisis in a couple. This is equally true for both men and women.

In this case, women become the initiators of divorce. That is, due to their characteristics, they suffer more from emptiness in relationships, betrayal, lack of respect. It can be assumed that, despite the difficulties of the separation experience, for them emotional comfort in the union becomes more important than for men. “

Svetlana Aulkina

About the expert

Svetlana Aulkina – Clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst, certified specialist of the European Association for the Development of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (EARPP).

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