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How To Turn Your Relationship Around When He is Withdrawing

Mar 18, 2008
At one point or another, most women find themselves in a relationship where he is withdrawing and they are the ones doing everything. Calling all the time, planning everything, driving, even initiating the affection or intimacy? It's a pretty bad feeling when you are the one doing all the work.

Soon enough, your fun relationship turns into a lot of work, and you might start to get hostile or needy. You are not getting what you need, and you are overcompensating for that. "Overfunctioning" is the term Rori Raye has coined for this problem, and I think it fits.

What overfunctioning means is that you are doing the work of two people - you are functoning both as the man, and as the woman in the relationship. What you don't know, though, is that you don't like it - but neither does HE! Men want to be MEN, not emasculated by being babied and taken care of.

This usually starts out with the opposite intentions - you want to prove that you are NOT needy - you are strong and capable and do NOT need a man to take care of you. So you start taking charge. You start correcting him. And it goes on from there.

Doing this, we take over the masculine roll in the relationship, which kills the attraction completely. The attraction dies because he wants YOU to be the woman, and you want HIM to be the man, but by trying to prove how strong and independent you are - you have taken that roll from him, and doused the fire.

Don't get me wrong - your man, more than likely, does not want you to be a weak and witless wimp. Men, largely, DO like strong women. BUT he does NOT want YOU to be the man. If you are the man - then you are relegating yourself to the "friend zone" - because your relationship with him just became man to man. For the heterosexual male, this means friends.

Fortunately, you can change your behavior. This means that first of all, you must become self-aware. Most of this behavior happens unconciously - you do it and you never even realize it. Start being self-aware, and when you start behaving like the man, step back and relinquish the reigns to the one who wants them.

Next - try to start seeing when you begin to feel negative emotion, about yourself or others. Why is this important? If you are feeling negative emotion about others, you may lash out. If you are feeling that way about yourself, you will more than likely try to soothe yourself afterwards, and that can come off as needy or clingy to a man.

This way you can begin to predict when you are going to act in ways that will hurt the masculine portion of the relationship. Start controlling this behavior and you will immediately begin turning your floundering relationship around.

You can also begin taking your cues from his actions. If you do or say something and he reacts in a positive way, by giving you affection or telling you he loves you, you know you are on the right track. If he reacts by withdrawing, getting quiet, breaking eye contact or any other sign of stress, you know that you are taking away from him.

Once you've become aware of the true dynamics within your relationship, you will be able to manage it much more effectively and end up having the relationship that YOU want.
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