Women eat stress for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But that’s how women are – they live for stress and life for them must be that way because they are SUPERS. Women stomp on it and cough it out in one blast. Men, on the other hand, are not accustomed to stress which is why an increasing number of them realize they could benefit from psychiatric help. How can they be? It’s always the women who carry the heavy load at home and outside the sanctuary – cook, clean, laundry, kids and work. Men are the breadwinners, yes, but they are not domesticated. And let’s face it, household and family issues are the stressful type of issues in life, do you agree?
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus
This only goes to show that men and women are “planets” apart. The way both sexes handle stress or stressful situations are also very much unlike. So, ladies, don’t judge your men for being like that – they are built differently and they respond in another way as well. He will not be helpful, sympathetic or sensitive. Woman, that’s you – not the MEN. Don’t ever expect the same thing from him.
Tip: Give your partner a hug. According to Scott Bea, PsyD, “A hug is a supportive behavior that we naturally do to comfort one another.”
When Men get Stressed
It will be a clash of hormones when men are faced with stressful situations. They are natural fixers and they want to “repair” everything. When they are stressed, there is an imbalance. They go into a “fight or flight” mode because their oxytocin (love hormone) is produced in a very low amount when they are strained.
Usually, they become very confrontational. They will be belligerent and will want to win a certain fight – either with you or with other people. Men won’t back down easily. They will be very critical as well to the point of becoming disrespectful and tactless. Men will not be sympathetic or soothing. In fact, it’s like they’ve shut down and will turn into a different person.
There are also those who isolate themselves and want to be separate from everyone. At some point, a stressed husband will even sleep in a different room just to get away from his wife – that is if the trigger is his marital relationship. They will also overlook their stress which will build up to full-blown chronic tension until a wall is created and nobody can press in.
There are many situations wherein men experience stress and some of the major instances are –
- When they are busy completing something and time is running out, men become tense.
- Men are body-abusers and they tend to over drink or smoke. Unhealthy living can be a cause of their problem.
- They are macho men and they want to get everything done while their bodies and minds suffer the consequences of overworking.
- Change is difficult for them to grasp and it can raise their pressure levels from 1 to 100.
- Issues at home and in the office are the top stressors in a man’s life. They need to reach that quota at work or they must please their wives to avoid fights. It’s a very common issue.
How can I help my stressed-out man?
His oxytocin levels must increase and it cannot be done unless you settle with your pride and help your man. The most natural way to increase oxytocin levels is through TOUCH. Touch his hand. Squeeze his arm lovingly. Pat his back. Finger-brush his hair. Your touch will release the love hormone and lower his stress levels.
Let your partner know that it is okay to take it slow and to feel the stress. According to Christina G. Hibbert, PsyD, “Sometimes the best approach is to stop fighting and feel the anxiety.”
Another way to decrease his tensed mood is to pump up his testosterone levels. How can you do that? You can talk to him about his accomplishments and victories. A physical activity, like walking or jogging, can also do the trick. Work out together like boxing, yoga or strength training. Push him to spend time with his friends, too. And the best way to relieve his stress is to make love to him.
Talking helps a lot which is why you can also suggest an anonymous chat session with a counselor or therapist to your man. The two of you can do it together if he wants too. Anyway, the whole session will be discreet and the therapist won’t have to see your faces. It can be very helpful, as well. “Barriers to good communication are always present,” said Aaron Karmin, MA, LCPC. However, it does not mean that there is nothing that you can do about it.