Breakup Ahead? Getting Him to Fess Up

Would someone please tell me why men have such difficulty saying they are no longer interested in a woman? -- kttnpurrs99

Question:
ABOUT THE EXPERT

Sherry Amatenstein

Sherry is the author of The Q&A Dating Book and Love Lessons from Bad Breakups. She has taught dating seminars, appeared as an expert... Read more

Dear kttnpurrs99:

I can't speak for the entire species, but I'm happy to espouse in generalities. For example, most men like to believe they are good, caring beings who, while capable of shooting a deer at point-blank range, cannot take aim at a woman's heart while looking in her eyes. Thus, to her face they will say everything is all right even when it isn't, hoping she will intuit the truth and just fade to black.

Their greatest fear, of course, is that if they say sayonara, the dumpee will instantly be overcome with pain so staggeringly, well, painful that she will flood her lover's shirt with tears. Which is just another way of saying that most men hate to see a woman cry.

How can you overcome those evasive inclinations? Try saying something like, "Look, Joe (Harry, Tom, Bill, etc.), lately it seems as though you're not happy in this relationship. If that's the case, please tell me. Either we can fix the problem or we can agree to go our separate ways. But I'd rather know what's going on with you. I can take whatever you have to say. It's the NOT knowing I find upsetting."

If he has a heart, he'll 'fess up to his feelings. If he doesn't, well, do you really want to be with a man who'd rather watch you writhe in pain than put you out of your misery by delivering a dollop of truth? After all, you don't have to wait for him to leave; you can walk out whenever you choose.

Answer:
Need Advice?
Get answers from iVillage experts and other moms just like you!
ASK YOUR QUESTION
Question Details
Subject
  1. Pick a subject:
Connect with 1,039,394 members just like you
Share your knowledge, ask questions.