Since each man’s situation is different, the following scenarios are a composite of the men I see.
Daniel’s A Deep Thinker
Daniel is an accomplished man. He’s good at what he does. He’s smart and respected.
It’s not obvious that his deepest desire is to be cherished by his woman. He’s actively fighting to re-connect with her, his life and with himself.
It’s been hard to crack the code to get what he wants in his relationship.
He struggles to trust her.
He’s completely absorbed with his efforts and his patience is wearing out. He gets minimal results. Less results mean more anger.
If he does get results, they’re short-lived.
He’s trying to get her to recognize the situation so he can fix it. He wants a dependable, confident relationship. He’s had heavy, serious conversations about the intensity of his relationship and how it’s lacking and failing.
Daniel can’t stop thinking about his partner’s behavior and it makes it hard for him to focus on other areas of his life.
He recognizes he’s the energy source of the relationship and he’s the one who confronts the issues. When he does, she deflects it to him and he ends up taking all the blame.
He’s also worried about how he feels towards having sex with her. He’s anxious before it and he’s anxious after. “I feel more anxious than satisfied.”
After a conflict, he always collects positive proof about his relationship and uses it to support his efforts to connect and prevent her from leaving. It also helps him feel better about himself.
Mostly, he broods on his relationship issues.
In every case, he’s the one who usually attempts to get the message across. Or he gives her ultimatums. He may have actually taken drastic measures to impact her mind about the seriousness of the relationship.
If she reacts to his actions, it doesn’t seem sincere. He wants to believe it but he struggles since this is a pattern with her. “I’m caught in endless ineffective arguments.”
Still, Daniel is willing to do whatever he needs to stay in the relationship. He’s done a lot.
He always takes the blame and feels like it’s his fault for the situation because he doesn’t want her feeling guilty since that would push her further away.
His friends talk critically about their wives. Not Daniel. He’s married to the love of his life and he adores her. Maybe to an extreme.
But, Daniel’s woman is disconnected. She prefers to focus more intently on others than him. She doesn’t take initiative and she’s inconsistent. It’s easy for Daniel to blame himself and that’s how he keeps a positive view of her.
He’s after an ideal lover, one who will never leave him, a companion who’s always there. He wants that woman to be the one he’s with now.
He would easily give himself up to keep his woman. He has difficulty calming himself. Inside, he feels abandoned and it feels like the whole planet is abandoned.
Those feelings are set off by his woman disengaging, when she focuses on someone other than him. She has no energy and takes no initiative and what she says is not what she feels.
Daniel is at the point where he needs to do something different. He’s ready now.
James The Independent Examiner
James is stuck and does’t see any use in continuing his relationship. He’s isolated and guarded. He’s waiting for his relationship to let him go on with his life.
He wants to be himself.
He needs, no craves, validation from her but he can’t express that to her. “I don’t like feeling so needy.”
After sex, he feels an anger and irritability that he can’t understand.
He’s skilled at camouflaging and guarding himself.
He’s good at escaping punishment from his woman for not being available.
James wishes his spouse would realize he feels trapped with no one to help him.
“I’m not not a demanding man. I have minimal needs. I’m submitted to the relationship but angry about waiting for my freedom. My spouse has the key.”
After an argument, he collects negative proof about his relationship to use it to escape when cornered. He tends to downplay the importance of his partner because if he made her more important, his self-esteem would suffer and, “I’m not going there.”
At home, he walks softer, talks quieter and smiles to gain assurance from his wife. Or, he’s poker-faced because he doesn’t want to communicate. This is how he stays invisible.
James also does other parts of his life in private. He’s highly committed to his job and he may use that as a way to get alone time.
He may say “I love you” but he doesn’t feel it. “That’s how I’m used to living my life—without emotion.”
“I’d rather sooth my partner than to argue. I can be doing other more productive things than that.”
When he feels like he’s reaching a deeper connection and satisfaction with his relationship, he stops pursuing, doubts what he’s experiencing and destroys it.
He senses his power when the “inescapable” desertion happens. If he feels too disconnected, he may become the chaser in the relationship. He keeps a distinct amount of closeness/distance using both tactics.
He does things quickly at home so he can go back to a calmer state and self-soothing.
When he’s around others, he’s half there and half hiding. “I’m stuck in an equal mix of giving up and holding on. I take very few chances and I hold on to whatever I have.”
He’s also having an affair.
He’s tired of always balancing without the ability to stay on one side or the other.
That’s why he came to see me.