Your stressed man withdraws during difficult times without giving you any explanation… You sense his need for space and it makes you scared that you’re going to lose him.
But here’s the thing. Men often deal with stressful situations by pulling away, as instead of coping and talking about the issue at hand, they feel the need to withdraw.
When he experiences too much stress, a man may suppress his feelings. To you, it looks like he’s become distant and emotionally unavailable, which can upset you and make you afraid that you’re going to lose him.
When your stressed man withdraws, you probably feel the need to talk to him and get him to open up. He, on the other hand, doesn’t want to talk about his feelings and just seems cold and faraway.
How can you get him to talk to you about what’s bothering him?
You simply want to know what’s going on with him and why he’s being so quiet. This reaction is normal but you have to show him understanding and give him some room to breathe.
Dealing with stress is a part of every relationship, even a long-lasting one, so don’t be worried if his way of dealing with it is to retreat and get some alone time.
You need to let him be and respect his need for space. Forcing him to open up may push him away even further, because let’s face it, if he wanted to talk about it, he would.
Still want to know why your stressed man withdraws because you just want to help him? Keep reading because you’ll learn why he’s acting this way and how you can deal with it.
4 reasons your stressed man withdraws
1. He has a lot on his plate
Stress significantly influences how we deal with everyday situations. When your stressed man withdraws, he’ll handle things differently from normal.
He probably has a lot on his plate and just needs some me-time to clear his head. Maybe he’s been having a tough time at work or perhaps he’s been having problems with his family, which has made him anxious.
Either way, when a stressed man withdraws, it doesn’t have to have anything to do with his love life.
Some other aspects of your man’s life may be demanding a lot of his effort and attention and they’re leaving him too stressed out to focus on your relationship.
In addition, as a man, he doesn’t process his emotions the way we do. He bottles up his feelings and just needs some time and space to let go of them.
When a stressed man withdraws, you shouldn’t automatically assume that your relationship is in trouble. Let him be and he’ll gather his thoughts and come back to you as the same man he was before this happened.
2. He feels like he has no room to breathe
When a stressed man withdraws, there’s a chance that he feels suffocated in the relationship.
I guess we’ve all been guilty of not leaving a man any room to breathe at some point. Since we do this when we’re deeply in love, we don’t see anything wrong with it!
Men are often scared of commitment, though, and when things move too fast, they have a need to run away. They don’t want to let the relationship consume them – or their entire life for that matter.
In addition, having some distance in a relationship is healthy. Just because the two of you are in love, it doesn’t mean that you must spend every waking hour together.
You probably just wanted him to at least text you on a daily basis and there’s nothing wrong with that. In his mind, though, it might have made him feel like he was losing himself in the relationship.
Perhaps you suggested that you move things forward and he got scared. Maybe you instead acted a little needy and clingy.
Don’t worry because he’s probably not going to leave you because of that. If he loves you, he’ll come back as soon as he clears his mind.
Give him his space and try to do your own thing. Once he sees that you have a life outside of the relationship too, he’ll be eager to come back.
3. Emotionally, he’s still a boy
Emotionally immature men are like boys; they don’t know how to behave around women.
Instead of giving you the love you deserve, he toys with your heart and then gets bored with it. Once he sees he can’t have it anymore, he wants it again.
When things get serious, he runs away like the scared boy he is. If your stressed man withdraws because he’s emotionally immature, you have to leave him alone.
What if he does this on a regular basis whenever things get real? Well, you may want to reconsider being with someone who can’t act their age.
If the two of you are in a relationship, he will have to man up and give you the love you need. Otherwise, he can have all the space he needs but he won’t get to play with you.
4. He’s scared that he’ll lose his freedom
There’s nothing more important than freedom, especially if you ask a man. They find it priceless and the thought of losing it scares them like nothing else.
Most single men who are afraid of commitment are actually afraid of losing the freedom they have.
If you even mention marriage to a guy like this, he’ll shut down or run away. To him, it’ll sound like agreeing to a life without freedom.
When a stressed man withdraws because of this fear, it’s usually once things get serious. You should let him have some space but you can also help him understand that he’ll keep his freedom.
Encourage him to have some time to himself and spend time with friends. Instead of being mad at him because you’d like him to spend all his time with you, let him have as much time as he needs.
Be chill about it and he’ll start to realize that you’re not the kind of woman who wants to ‘trap’ him.
7 things you can do when your stressed man withdraws
1. Realize that you can’t force him to talk to you
“What’s wrong?” “Why don’t you want to tell me what’s bothering you?”
The truth is, men hate questions like these. If he wants to talk to you about something, he will, and you can’t force him to if he doesn’t want to.
He either needs to be ready for that conversation with you or to not talk about it at all.
We women like to talk about everything and analyze things. Men, on the other hand, like to keep things to themselves.
Your man can’t open up to you whenever you want him to and you shouldn’t pressure him to. Respect his decision to process his feelings the way he knows how, without talking about them.
If you try to interrogate him, he won’t feel relaxed or comfortable, nor safe for that matter. He will instead feel attacked and analyzed, which will just cause him to withdraw further.
Respect his need for space and accept that he deals with things differently. Have some patience and you’ll see that he’ll manage stress the way he knows how and come back to you.
When a stressed man withdraws, he may just be dealing with his feelings in silence. If he clearly doesn’t want to talk to you about it, let him be and give him some space.
2. Let him know that you’re there to help him, not start a fight
As I already mentioned, you don’t want to make your man feel attacked. Instead, you need to make him feel comfortable and safe, to be able to talk to you about his feelings.
Show him that you’re not trying to start a fight and you don’t want to argue with him… You just want to know what he’s going through and help him deal with it, so let him know that.
Put him in a safe environment by going on a picnic with him or to a restaurant he likes. If he’s somewhere he feels comfortable, it’ll be easier for him to open up to you.
Maybe you already think that you know what’s actually bothering him, so don’t hesitate to be straightforward and mention it!
Say something like, “I have a feeling that things aren’t going so well for you at work,” and he’ll open up to you if you’re right. Once he sees that you already know about the problem, it’ll be easier for him to talk to you about it.
In a soothing atmosphere, listening to your warm tone of voice, he’ll be relieved that you’ve noticed. He’ll tell you everything that’s been bottled up inside him.
If he’s still reluctant to discuss the issue with you, let him be, and don’t push it. For now, he just needs to know that you’re here for him and ready to listen when he’s ready to talk.
3. Be aware that it may not have anything to do with you
When a stressed man withdraws, don’t automatically assume that it’s because of something you did or said. It most likely has nothing to do with you to begin with.
Unless you have a valid reason to think that it was something you said or did, assume it’s not about that. If he’s stressed out because of some other aspect of his life, don’t add stress to his love life as well.
A woman often makes the mistake of attacking a man and making it all about her. We assume it’s about us and it doesn’t even cross our mind that there’s something else going on.
Don’t force him to justify his behavior to you if he’s going through something. If he wants to go through it on his own, you must let him.
Don’t make him feel even worse just because you’d like him to be his old self as soon as possible. He probably needs some time to calm his mind so that he can be himself again.
Keep in mind that men often don’t like talking about feelings or sharing things about their private life. Maybe he’s dealing with something he doesn’t want to discuss with you and he has the right to keep it to himself.
Give him some room to breathe and be patient. Either things will eventually go back to the way they were before or he’ll let you in on what’s bothering him.
4. Let your loved ones help you with your issues while he deals with his
When your man isn’t in the mood for sharing things that bother him with you, turn to your loved ones. Let them help you with what’s bothering you until he deals with his own problems.
Your loved ones can be there for you to give you the support you need for now.
You don’t want to burden him with your issues while he’s dealing with his own. His behavior affects you but it probably isn’t caused by you and you can’t help him if he doesn’t want you to.
You should feel comfortable enough in a relationship to discuss your problems openly with each other… but you should also know when taking a step back is a much better choice.
Shift your focus to your family and friends and spend some time with them instead. Give your man some space, both physically and emotionally.
He’ll know that you’ll be there for him if he needs you, even though he doesn’t want your help right now.
This is the perfect solution for both you and your stressed man. You’ll be among people you can talk to, while he’ll be able to find peace of mind.
You need to know him well enough to know how to tell when he needs you to let him be. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll stop supporting him because he knows where to find you if he needs help.
5. Don’t talk to other people about his problems
If your man is hesitant about sharing his problems with you, his girlfriend, he surely doesn’t want others to know about them. You need to respect your man’s privacy and resist the temptation to talk about him to others.
Even if your best friend is super curious to find out, keep it to yourself. Even you don’t know exactly what’s going on with him, so his problems shouldn’t be shared with others.
How would you feel if he told all of his friends about your private issues? It certainly wouldn’t feel nice and you’d probably even feel betrayed.
You’d feel vulnerable, exposed, and like you don’t even have privacy anymore. Don’t let him feel that way and keep his secrets.
I know that you feel the need to discuss this with someone but please don’t. Until he lets you in on what’s going on in his mind and says that it’s not a secret, consider it to be one.
Keep your lips sealed because it may save your relationship. It’ll show him that he can confide in you and trust you to keep his private life private.
He’ll love you even more because of it and he’ll know he has committed to the right girl. Just keep his problems to yourself and you’ll be a great girlfriend.
6. Don’t try to trick him with seduction methods
You may think that you can flirt your way back to his smile but it’s not that simple. Don’t force intimacy while he needs space and distance.
He needs you to be there for him right now – but emotionally instead of physically. There’s always time for hugs and kisses once he has dealt with his issues.
For now, he needs you to understand him and give him space and enough time to get himself together. By tricking him into staying around by using seduction methods, you may even make things worse.
He’s a man, not a boy, and cuddles won’t fix his problems. When he needs space, he’s not interested in displays of physical affection.
We often think that men are slaves to their physical needs but that’s not true. He has emotional needs and the need for alone time, so don’t focus on physical things at the moment.
When he pulls away, you should do the same. Let him have his time and space and he’ll return to you.
7. Confront him about it if nothing else worked
It’s true that you should leave him alone when he pulls away but you can’t wait forever. If he’s still cold, distant, or even angry after you give him space, you should take action.
Some guys simply can’t process their feelings, no matter how much time you give them to do it on their own. However, you can’t keep waiting, so after a certain amount of time, an ultimatum is your only choice.
If he doesn’t change his behavior after you’ve been nothing but full of understanding, you can’t keep waiting.
Confront him about this and let him know that you’ve been patient and that you’ve given him all the space he needed but that things still haven’t changed and you have needs as well.
If he still wants to keep you around, he’ll need to step up and think about your needs, not just his. You can’t tolerate being ignored for a long time and you definitely shouldn’t.
More importantly, you can’t walk on eggshells around him forever and hope that he’ll eventually open up. You’ll have to confront him and let him know that you can’t wait anymore.
He needs to know that he must change his behavior if he wants to keep you as his girlfriend and hopefully, he’ll come to his senses and you’ll get back on track.
There’s a reason why guys pull away before they commit, so this may be the push he needs. Otherwise, you have to stop making him a priority and you should focus on yourself instead.
If you show him nothing but goodwill and understanding and he can’t appreciate it, so be it. Yes, you should stand by your man when he’s having a hard time but not at any cost.
If nothing you try works and he just pulls further and further away from you, wave him goodbye. Either he will discuss things with you and change this bad pattern or you’ll give up on him.
Ultimatums are most often a bad thing but sometimes, they’re exactly what you need. When you’ve been patient with him but nothing has changed, you can’t keep hoping that it will.
If he shows no signs that he’ll come to his senses, don’t keep wasting your time.
Maybe he just can’t process his feelings but that’s not your problem. You can’t stay in a relationship where the two of you can’t openly discuss your issues… and you can’t hide from them until the end of time.
It’s either time for him to open up to you or for you to leave. You don’t need that kind of stress in your life just because he can’t handle the stress he’s facing.
Of course, you should give him a chance to work through it and open up but if you already have, there’s not much else you can do. After leaving him alone for long enough, leave him alone for good if he doesn’t come back.
Don’t forget that you can’t help someone who doesn’t want you to help them. You can try opening his eyes but unless he’s willing to see what’s happening to your relationship, it’ll just get worse.
Maybe he can’t confide in you but if he can’t solve his problems on his own either, you can’t do it for him. Stay strong and don’t waste your time if you’ve already given him plenty of it and he’s done nothing.