It’s a self-perpetuating cycle: a nagging, angry wife matches up with a husband distant cold and quiet.
Husbands want to know why their wives are always angry with them and wives want to know why their husbands ignore them. Both want to know what happened to the romance.
There’s an easy answer to that. Over time, marriages and couples can develop a rigid polarization. For example, the more she nags the more he blames her for whatever the issue might be. The more he blames her for the problem, the more she nags, criticizes and harasses.
Eventually, the cycling of emotional energy between these two opposing poles can become so intense and persistent that the couple is unable to break the momentum. Intimacy with one’s partner is lost and love seems abandoned.
Ironically, these two poles fit each other. They go hand in hand and feed off the energy of the other side. Because this fit is so good (aside from whether this is a fun or healthy relationship dynamic), it is difficult to break and change. It is not easy to ignore the behavior of the other spouse. If the wife is angry and nagging, is it not the self-protective thing to withdraw? Many husbands think so.
At the same time, if a husband is not emotionally available and engaged with you, the wife, she feels lonely and abandoned, maybe even rejected. Does it not make sense to try to get some kind of a response by telling him how angry and scared she is? Many wives think so.
The “Blame Game” parallelizes relationships. Each partner believes, “It’s all your fault, so you are the bad one who needs to change!” Both people become equally stubborn, insisting they are right and ill treated by their spouse or partner. Gridlock makes the couple suffer.
All of the above, that is, describing the problem, is the easy part. What to do about it is another matter. Both men and women fail to understand how emotionally sensitive a man can truly be. As rule, the American man has not been given the skills or the practice of managing himself in intense emotional waters, like in a marriage. Therefore, it does not take much emotional intensity for a husband to feel emotionally vulnerable. For self-protection, he withdraws into silence and emotional distancing.
While women were growing up they were learning emotional relationship skills. Guys on the other hand, were out exploring nature, doing muscular activities, and solving practical problems in physical reality. Few men understand things they can’t see or touch, like emotion and feelings. Truly, it can seem as though men and women grow up on different planets.