Confronting to Connect

“Sometimes I push you away because I need you to pull me closer.”  ~ found on the Internet

I saw this recently. When I did a search I found many examples, usually with those or similar words pasted over an image of a sad women, a couple in conflict, or a couple hugging. The sentiment obviously resonates with many women, but most men do not get it. When we push someone away, it is because we want them to go away! If you push your husband away, he thinks you want him to go away. If he goes away, he is respecting your desires, not telling you he does not care for you.

Confrontation © Kamil Macniak |

In the Love and Respect Live Marriage Conference DVDs, Emerson shared this idea by saying, “She confronts to connect.” And I thought “Why would anyone do that?”

Men do not confront to connect; we confront to battle a problem. We confront because we think someone is wrong. We want to set them straight, not get to know them better.

Herein is part of why men withdraw from their wives. Confrontation is about fighting and winning. Confrontation is neither gentle nor loving, and often it ends with one person feeling beat up. If a husband who does not want to beat up his wife verbally, withdrawing seems like a good option.

Of course, women see such withdrawing as saying, “I do not want to connect with you”. So, his natural reaction hurts her.

If you can get your mind around this gender difference, you can avoid all manner of problems. Learn to seek connection in ways he does not see as aggressive, and understand what his withdrawal really means.

~ Paul – I’m XY and this one baffles me.

In This Series:

What Makes Him Feel Respected? 
Unconditional Respect 
Confronting to Connect ◄ This page
The Respect Note 

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Image Credit: © Kamil Macniak |

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