My Boyfriend Represses His Emotions, But We're Working Through It Together

I'm A Hypersensitive Woman In A Relationship With A Man Who Represses His Emotions, But I Still Love Him

The difficulties of loving someone who was raised to detach from their emotions.

I'm A Hypersensitive Woman In A Relationship With A Man Who Represses His Emotions, But I Still Love Him

For as long as I can remember, I've been hypersensitive.

Emotions pour out of me in a way I've never had control over. An embarrassing moment, a happy ending to a movie, or a heartfelt compliment from a friend could all easily have me bawling in a matter of moments. I've always been very in tune with my emotions. I accept all of them, happiness, love, pain, and anger. All of these exaggerated feelings have allowed me to understand myself and my limits in a way I am so grateful for, even if crying a lot can feel a bit silly.

After being with my boyfriend for a few months, I began noticing he would have a hard time explaining his emotions.

If his moods were off, I'd ask him what was wrong. He would always reply with "I don't know" or "nothing." Or if he was able to say he was sad or stressed, he always said he "didn't know why" or that "it was nothing". At first, this got on my nerves. As an emotional person, I couldn't understand how he couldn't recount every little detail of every bad moment of the day. How can you have a feeling so obviously affecting your mood, yet not talk about it? It felt as though he was pushing me away.

The more I got to know him, and his family, I realized that this is how he grew up.

His family is set up in a way that his father is the head of the house. This dynamic is new to me, having been raised by a single mother. His family is lovely and kind, and so is his father. I know for a fact that his father adores him, and has nothing but good intentions. However, his father is an advocate for stoicism and masculinity. Of course, it's not at the fault of the parents, because this has been happening for generations upon generations.

My boyfriend is the oldest son of 4, so I'm sure these stoic ideals are pushed even more heavily onto him.

He grew up being teased for what he wore and teased for the choices he made. "Skinny jeans are for girls" or "It's too feminine to get your ears pierced." On the other hand, he would be told to "toughen up" or "man up" if he was sad or stressed.

Sadly, this is how a large number of men grow up. They have their feelings invalidated or pushed under the rug just because they were born with a Y chromosome. They are ashamed if they want to express themselves through fashion and sensitivity rather than bottle up with brawn and repressed emotions.

This is my first time experiencing it first hand, and it isn't easy. My boyfriend is so desensitized to emotions at this point that he doesn't even know what he's feeling. Sometimes I'm sure he's convinced himself he isn't feeling anything at all.

I have to hold his hand and walk him through what his emotion is, why he's feeling it, and why it's OK.

"Do you think you're upset because of your semester deadlines coming up? Could you be stressed? Did you know that most other students are also stressed right now? And no, you're not acting like a wimp, you're acting like a human."

And on the day we can't get to the bottom of his feelings, I'll be there for him. I'll let him feel them. I'll let him mope around or sleep in.

I'll even let him cry it out, because I know he spent so many years choking back his tears, in fear of being rejected as a man for being human.

Almost two years into our relationship and there's a lot of noticeable progress. He will tell me about his day without me having to ask. He will let me know when he's stressing over something, and how I can help. We can talk through anger rather than him shutting down. Lastly, he isn't afraid to cry. And I'm always there, telling him there's no reason to apologize for feeling, it's what we were made to do.

Follow Swoon on Instagram.

Report this Content

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Things You Need To Know About Our NEW Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams

Could THIS be the most dramatic season in "Bachelorette" history?

Bombshell news coming from Bachelor Nation today, Tayshia Adams is replacing Clare Crawley as the bachelorette!

Rumor has it that Clare found her person early on in the process and did not want to continue with the process of leading other men on throughout the season.

Keep Reading... Show less

The NBA is back, and for basketball fans, like myself, it has been the BEST news we have heard since COVID-19 shutdown play indefinitely. I mean, come on, we need to see if James Harden can once again perform so well he has back-to-back 50 point games, Kawhi can lead another team to the championship title, and whether Giannis is going to be back-to-back MVP... among like 500 other things running through our heads!

In the midst of all of the amazing statistics and records that these players are breaking, though, we also just love the NBA because well, there are some pretty good looking guys out there. Here are the 19 hottest NBA players (in no particular order) you would totally let slam dunk on you now that the NBA has returned.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Everything You Need To Know About Macronutrients, Because A Diet Should Be More Than Calories

Pay attention to what you're eating, not just how much you're eating.

Plenty of people are familiar with the "calories in, calories out" (CICO) method of dieting which can be used for losing, gaining, or maintaining weight. This method relies on calculating a person's total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) to ensure that they are not overeating or undereating to achieve their desired weight. TDEE considers a person's height, weight, age, gender, and level of activity to determine what their caloric intake should be — some calculators can factor in body fat percentage as well. When I used a TDEE calculator online, it said that my TDEE would be 1,990 calories if I was trying to maintain my weight, but are all calories created equal? I'd argue that they're not.

It might seem obvious to some of you that 1,990 calories of macaroni and cheese are not healthy at all compared to 1,990 calories of varied foods (fruit, veggies, meat, bread, etc.).

Keep Reading... Show less

Just Because You're Asked To Be In A Wedding, Doesn't Always Mean You Should Say Yes

If you can't invest time, money, and YOURSELF, maybe say no to the offer for the bride's sake!

Being in a wedding is a really big commitment. I personally think if you've never been in one before, you don't understand the time, money, and energy that goes into being a part of it.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Though as a little girl, I had the silkiest, softest hair that would get compliments everywhere I went, since I turned about thirteen I've since had coarse, dry hair no amount of deep conditioning masks or sulfate-free shampoo could fix.

- I started using the Raincry's Condition Boar Bristle Brush several months ago, and while I noticed that my hair had been softer, silkier, and shinier than it had ever been, I didn't make the connection because I never thought a simple hairbrush could make any difference in my hair texture.

- I will be the first to admit that I thought it was ridiculous to spend nearly a hundred dollars on a hairbrush, but this one eliminates the need for me to use any heat tools or styling products on it.

- I put some oil or a serum in my hair when it's wet, brush my hair with the boar bristle brush once it's dry, and end up with the lowest maintenance, shiniest hair I've had since I was 8 years old.


Keep Reading... Show less

Bingeing a romantic comedy is always a good idea, and during this pandemic, these movies bring us one of the only elements of romance we can get. Through all the break-ups, obstacles, and struggles in our love lives, romantic comedies have always been there to make us laugh and keep us company while we cry.

While we love these movies for the beyond gorgeous male love interests, the female protagonists are still the ones we always remember. Although rom-coms are far from reality, it is always fun to imagine what our life would be like if a cinematic studio was behind our love life. So what does your favorite romantic comedies say about your dream guy?

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether you're in an unhealthy relationship currently, you know someone who is, or you just want to have these numbers saved just in case it could one day save someone's life (if not your own), this article is for you. Here are three numbers to save in your contacts ASAP so you can always be safe, both physically and mentally, in every relationship.

Keep Reading... Show less

As any poor college student, a little kick of caffeine for less than a dollar has always sounded great to me. So, naturally, AriZona Iced Tea has been a go-to for as long as I can remember.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Dear Closeted Latina,

You were never alone.

Remember how the Latin world got rocked when Ricky Martin came out?

Keep Reading... Show less

If you're anything like me, you're probably anxious about going back to college. The uncertainty of nearly everything is stressful and makes it difficult to prepare for going back to campus. Take it one step at a time and remain calm! If nothing else, take a look at this list of six essentials for living on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic! You got this!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments