How To Support Your Man When He Withdraws & Won’t Talk

By Team  BLAM

Women have a lot to learn about men before their relationships can be really fulfilling. They need to learn that when a man is upset or stressed he will automatically stop talking and go to his “cave” to work things out. They need to learn that no one is allowed in that cave, not even the man’s best friends. Women should not become scared that they have done something terribly wrong. They just need to learn that if you just let men go into their caves, after a while they will come out and everything will be fine.

This lesson is difficult for women because one of the golden rules for women is never to abandon a friend when she is going through. She loves him–and therefore–tries to support him in the way that she would want to be supported. So, she asks him lots of questions about how he is feeling and tries to be a good listener thinking then he will feel better. But, it doesn’t. In fact, it can do the exact opposite. Constantly trying to get him to talk makes him shut down more and when she gets upset and is offended because he won’t talk to her—well now the problem is even more complicated. He has to think about what’s bothering him and now add to that–why you’re now upset. It’s even harder for a man to begin talking when he’s ready if he feels his partner disapproves of the time he took to himself.

When a man withdraws he is generally wounded or stressed and is trying to solve his problem alone. To give him the support that a woman would want is counterproductive. There are basically six ways to support him when he goes into his cave. And, ladies here’s a quick tip: Giving him this support will also shorten the time he needs to spend alone.

How To Support Your Man When He Withdraws

1. Don’t disapprove of his need for withdrawing in the first place.

2. Don’t try to help him solve his problem by offering solutions.

3. Don’t try to nurture him by asking questions about his feelings.

4. Don’t sit around looking all pathetic while you wait for him to open up to you.

5. Don’t worry about him or feel sorry for him.

6. Do something that will distract you and make you happy.

15 replies
  1. wunder scam
    wunder scam says:

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  2. @laura_lalapsy23
    @laura_lalapsy23 says:

    I know someone who is going through grief. I he is being very quiet but I'm not pressing him on how he,s feeling. I said a silly cliché , because I didn't know how to comfort him. I am just going to stay quiet until he is ready to talk to me , he is carrying on like normal but he has told me he is going through a difficult time and I respect that. I use my faith as well.

  3. Jai KolFngr
    Jai KolFngr says:

    Not a bad commentary. I had one of these episodes a few weeks ago. My woman told me I was depressed and needed to take Rx like her. She supported my need to get away, which I felt I needed to do vs. go off on her. I was upset over her needlessly delaying something that caused our credit score to drop faster than my GPA during spring break. I went out for half a day to do some work while I cooled down.

    I had an acquaintance who stated I could always look her up if "needed someone to talk to." I left that option alone as I usually do. What upset me was my wife's indifference to my initial complaint. I'm not sure if she's capable of comprehending what she did, even though I'd been warning her for weeks. What a man does during his cave time, I believe is known by the wife before she was a wife. So mine was not really worried about me being with some other woman. What bugs me is that she doesn't seem to learn from her mistakes, or that they are mistakes, unless it affects HER personal issues.

    I don't do tarot readings, but I think I see more caves in my future.

  4. Brien
    Brien says:

    I have been married for 13 years. I have been recently laid-off from full-time job. Things are going my way far as my wife being supportive. Women need to know when men are frustrated and trying to resolve things. We need women to go along with the plans of the man or come up with an idea that is appealing to the way we look at things. Overall, that's the correct way to view situations with men.

  5. Nia
    Nia says:

    I’m glad to know this is not just my husband that does this. I’ll be honest that I don’t have a ton of patience for pouting. There are times when I step back and decide to let him take the time to figure things out. I just think as a team couples should be on the same page. We’re all adults if there’s an issue at least tell us what it is and that you need the time to figure it out. Leaving us to assume the problem makes it worse in my opinion. It’s incredibly frustrating and I’ve found that the couples who hash things out together and don’t leave it in survive.

  6. Chrissy
    Chrissy says:

    I like this post because i relate to it, for the past year and a half my husband lost his job and went into a depression. He closed me out and stopped communicating with me. I did exactly what you suggested stepped back and allowed him to deal with it on his own level. but it only backfired he seeked comfort else where. When I approached him he pushed me away. No matter what I did it didnt make a difference now we're heading towards separation. I guess it also depends on the individual.

  7. Shawntay Highlyfavored Rivers
    Shawntay Highlyfavored Rivers says:

    I really like this post, it gives a different perspective for this situation. For some reason though, my hubby seems to respond better when I try and cox the problem out of him, when I leave him alone to figure it out for himself he walks around mumbling and is visibly just not happy, but after I let him talk it out and I just sit and listen he is a changed person lol…. You really have to know your man and know what will work for him…And you also need to know that what may have worked for one situation may not work for the next, try new things when the old things just don't seem to be working 🙂

  8. Vicky Ponds
    Vicky Ponds says:

    I tried these tactics and either I didn't do them right or my soon to be ex is just emotionally repressed or incapable of "taking a step towards me." Either way, I'm done!! Let him pout by himself, I don't have to worry anymore.

  9. Jay Nicole
    Jay Nicole says:

    I think the word "learn" is indicative of a process. One that may require actual RESEARCH. No one became him or herself at birth so learning another person isn't an instant process. We tend to see our men through the eyes of society and media sound bytes. Really giving support requires that we get to know the individual over time to see how they respond to different situations and different stimuli. First rule for those of us not living together or married is to take time to learn these things before committing to someone. If you're serious about a lasting relationship, you'd even do research on how to listen (it's more complicated that most think) and you might find that there's more than one language that people speak and relate through. This business of getting together and making babies has to be way more intentional than boy meets girl and "it's in his kiss". Great article!

  10. Freya Morani
    Freya Morani says:

    good advice. What if it's the woman that does the withdrawing. Do you think the same advice applies for the man?

    • C Cole
      C Cole says:

      I am a woman that needs space when I'm frustrated or stressed. I need to be alone to think everything through and process what to or what not to say/do. My husband is the opposite, or atleast he doesn't admit that he needs space. This causes quite the conflict between us as he most often is hurt or feels abandonned even if I tell him I just don't want to talk right now. I seriously don't know what to do because I'm made out to be the cruel bad guy who just wants to punish her husband like a child when that's not the case. Even if I'm mad with him I'm not trying to punish him. I just need space to vent and think privately through things… UGH!!

  11. Nezzy
    Nezzy says:

    Point Blank: Leave him alone. When he is ready to talk he will. Simple.

  12. Tinaya
    Tinaya says:

    As a woman who has dealt with this with both female friends and male partners, I will say that it is about being in tune with how a person works and functions to a point. However, there is a line where stonewalling, disrespect, and disregard also come into play. Each relationship has to define that line for themselves.

  13. Rocco
    Rocco says:

    "To give him support that a woman would want is counterproductive". That statement is all about being "in tune" with your man. Your URGENT desire to know whats going on with me in my process is not a NEED TO KNOW what's going with me in my process. If you just back up some then maybe I will step toward you. Great post. Women need to get this.

  14. Lync
    Lync says:

    Wow now here is a very interesting topic. MY comment on this is "It depends on how mentally mature the women is" to even understand what this is all about.

    Here's a hint – Courtship, Friendship- Foundation- God – Wisdom and true Understanding- in times of great need. If we are not any of these things. I owe you NOTHING!

    However I want say to much. I am waiting to hear the women side of this.


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