Are you an “I Love Lucy” fan? If so, you probably remember the episode where Ricky’s friends come all the way from Cuba to see him. Of course, he’s not home when they arrive. Lucy tries to make them feel at home, only to discover they “don’ a speeka” English. So she talks s-l-o-w-e-r and LOUDER. But it’s still English.
If you’re having trouble getting a response from the man you love, you may be like Lucy. Saying the same thing, over and over, louder and louder. This strategy never works for two reasons.
First, guys shut down pretty quickly when they’re overwhelmed. It may look to you like he doesn’t care, but he’s really just trying to stay afloat in a sea of emotions.
Second, once he’s shut down, he doesn’t hear your actual words, only your anger. To him, it’s criticism – an attack on him as a man – that he has no verbal power to defend against. So he just hangs on until the storm is over.
He’s quiet, not because he doesn’t care about you, but because he’s overwhelmed by it all and doesn’t know what else to do.