Monday, March 24, 2008

Men are like castles

"Men tend to be like the medieval castles of old. They erect high walls and water-filled moats to protect themselves. Limiting their emotional expression gives them a sense of being in control. They decide who can enter their lives and when that person can do so. The drawbridge remains closed and the man feels safe and secure from attack. But staying behind the walls too long makes the man a prisoner of his own making and he slowly begins to die.

Every person needs love. But the castle-dweller soon becomes a prisoner without love, as one by one people give up attempting to penetrate the fortress. Erected walls have a way of growing higher and higher until we can no longer look over them to see who it is we might be keeping out.

The walls you see men carrying about are defenses. They're there to protect and help him keep his distance. These walls hide hurts, insecurities, frustrations, joys, sorrows and even love. To build walls men use bricks of laughter, silence, intellectualization and withdrawal...

There can be no real intimacy in a relationship without the expression of feelings. Intimacy involves a special relationship, an emotional closeness, and involves understanding and being understood by another significant person. Intimacy also involves a bond of affection based upon mutual caring, responsibility, trust, open communication of feelings and sensations as well as sharing significant emotional responses...

The sad news is that many men do not share their feelings. The good news is that most of them can learn to become complete. They need the presence of Jesus Christ in their lives to give them a basis for a new identity and security. But they also need you to help them in the process of opening up. A man needs to see your requests for sharing as a participation in his life, not an intrusion. He needs to see that you don't want to know his feelings so you can use them against him, but rather to become more intimately involved with him. He needs to see that your desire is not to control him but to share with him. He needs to know about the extent of your caring and that you will no longer continue to exist without experiencing his emotional side. You want him to experience the fullness of life which includes risks and threats, but also the delights and blessings that are available."

(Understanding the Man in Your Life, Excerpts from Chapter 6 - "Feelings -- The Great Male Struggle", pgs. 82-102)

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