Show a woman a range of colours and she will likely have a word for each. Show a man the same range, and he will group them into red, blue, yellow, and green. To men robin’s egg blue, azure, cerulean, and cyan are all blue – just blue!
In much the same way, most men use fewer words for feelings. Odds are you could quickly fill a page (or a dozen pages) with words for various feelings. Your husband would likely be hard pressed to come up with a half a page of words for emotions, and even less able to explain how some of them differ from others. He feels happy, sad, or mad. Everything else is a shade of those.
This can lead to confusion and hurt. Going back to colours, if you tell him to grab the robin’s egg blue package, he knows to look for a blue package. If you tell him to get the azure package, he has no idea what you are saying. Maybe he asks, maybe he tries to bluff his way though. Maybe he thinks it means green and grabs the green package.
Now translate that to emotions. If you tell him you’re feeling melancholy, does he know what you mean? Maybe he asks, maybe he bluffs, and maybe he thinks he knows what it means but is wrong. Now you’re set up for hurt feelings all around.
Good communication requires a common language, and common definitions for words. Don’t assume he understands all the words you and your girlfriends use.
~ Paul, I’m XY, and I’m pretty sure melancholy is not a breed of dog. (Say it aloud.)