That Makes no Sense!

July 21, 2014

in Uncategorized

Recently I ran across an image of a couple with these words over it:

Sometimes, I push you away because I need you to pull me closer.

I hit Google with the phrase and found it, and minor variations, on thousands of sites. Apparently, plenty of women feel this way, at least on occasion.

Being a guy, I found this a confusing message. How do I know when pushing away means pull me closer, and when it means go away? If I get it wrong either way it ends badly for me; I cannot win.

Opposite ends of the couch © Ambro | freedigitalphotos.net

Men feel this way often in their dealings with the woman they love. Unless we are lying, we say what we mean. It seems some women have a third mode where they say something to get a reaction the opposite of what they ask for. It is not lying; it is giving the other person a chance to come to their rescue.

Another version of this is arguing a compliment. He says “You look great” and she tells him all the reasons she looks horrible today. He is supposed to then reassure and affirm her. Other women are likely to enter into this, men not so much. Most men just make a mental note to avoid giving her compliments so as not to start an argument.

The hard-core versions of these things are most common in teenage girls, but vestiges remain in women well past their teens. Think about it a bit, do you do this to your husband? Maybe you did it in the past and he has changed his behaviour because of it. Thing, pray, and confess/discuss as necessary.

~ Paul – I’m XY and this all hurts my brain.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosemary July 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm

“Unless we are lying, we say what we mean.” Um, not necessarily. There are plenty of men who (for any number of reasons) are afraid to say what they mean, and so they say something else (or nothing at all). Some men are passive-aggressive, some are inarticulate, some are simply confused. I once knew a guy who would say things that were the opposite of what he actually meant, just to see what kind of reaction he would get from other people.

– Rosemary -I’m XX and I know that every man (and woman) is an individual work of art.
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Paul Byerly July 21, 2014 at 5:34 pm

You are right, I spoke far to broadly! Would it be fair to say we say something other than the truth for different reasons?
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IntimacySeeker July 22, 2014 at 7:04 am

I’ll share a story about being complimented on my appearance. Two stories in fact.

When I was in the midst of therapy and feeling like I was a big open wound, my husband told me he loved me just as I was. My response had nothing to do with pushing him away so he’d pull me closer. At least not in a frivolous way. He saw my deep pain around this issue as I physically pushed him away, cowered in a corner and sobbed “that can’t be!” Some of us truly believe we are not physically attractive to our mates. I later apologized for my outburst and shared that this conflict had been churning inside me for years.

A few weeks later we were watching one of our favorite TV series, Doc Martin. In the episode, the main character tells the woman he’s fallen for that she is so beautiful he can’t stop thinking about her. My husband said, “I know you don’t believe me, but that’s how I feel about you.” Such treasured and precious words for me.

Do I believe him now? Yes I do. God is good! All the time!

Not sure why I felt compelled to share this. Perhaps it will help another reader.

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Dan July 25, 2014 at 2:47 pm

I just now saw this comment IS. That is so fantastic. I have link back to this comment on my site to share it with our community too.
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Dan July 25, 2014 at 3:16 pm

“He is supposed to then reassure and affirm her…Most men just make a mental note to avoid giving her compliments so as not to start an argument.”

This is such a frustrating situation in which to find yourself, especially if your spouse incessantly argues for their limitations because of a lack of self-confidence, self-worth and self-respect. It isn’t always so much about starting an argument sometimes as it is the disappointment of hearing you partner constantly denigrate themselves and exhibit a lack of confidence. You may be able to have compassion for them, but it is difficult to maintain sympathy and respect when they refuse to respect themselves.
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