One of the most oft-discussed, yet misunderstood topics in the manosphere is why women appear to be so emotional. I say misunderstood not because I understand it at all — I am equally confused. I say “misunderstood” because in spite of all the conversation and theories, nobody has any real answers that satisfy, so the conversation continues on and on.
And, that women are so emotional does not negate the very real fact that there are emotional men, and also women who can behave more stoic and rational. However, the perception and experience of many, many men (and women) is that emotional energy is a major driving force of the feminine. I once had a female client share with me that she has been feeling so emotional lately, that when her son asked her “Mommy, have you seen my shoes”, she responded with “I feel that they are under the couch”.
This disparity between men and women has brought with it much consternation. For the most part, men have a steep learning curve figuring out how best to relate to and support their female counterparts, both at home and at work. Conversely, that men just “cannot relate” and “don’t understand” causes great frustration in women, who are trying their best to open up to and connect with the men in their lives.
But as we move further across the spectrum, something ugly occurs. On the far ends, the differences become pathologized in both directions. Women publicly accuse men of being too masculine, too disconnected and too aggressive. Perhaps they are forgetting that the very world they live in, from the shoes that they wear to the home they live in, to the very freedom they have to express their opinions was created and is protected by the masculine. And men accuse women of being too emotional, irrational, and illogical — too difficult to live with. Perhaps they are too out of touch with the warm motherly embrace and understanding smile they needed as children to grow up into the strong men they are today. Perhaps they do not recognize that it is these very qualities which ensure the emotional and mental health of the next generation of good people.
Jewish mysticism explains that masculinity is a reflection of the creative, independent and impulsive aspects of the divine. Femininity reflects the nurturing, guarded, and connecting aspect of the divine. Quickly after the world was created, Gd recognized that it was not good for man to be alone, so woman was created. There are hundreds of interpretations of this teaching, but there is one that everybody agrees on. Men and women are a team — we compliment and need each other, and cannot live without each other.
I’m a man, trying to build a home and raise a family. I need my wife, my partner to build it with me. Yes, it may be difficult to sit and listen for hours to your partner about how hurt she is that a friend didn’t invite her to a party, or how her boss didn’t recognize her efforts, or how I (on rare occasion) don’t attend to her needs, and the list goes on and on. This can be difficult, uncomfortable, unfamiliar and frustrating. But it’s a price I’m happy to pay to have her by my side. Gd has gifted me this wondrous, warm, emotional flower blooming inside my life, bringing depth and understanding to my mundane experiences. She blesses our family with an intuitive understanding of the heart, so elusive to me, and so important to my children. This firecracker of love, concern, connection and care is the glue that keeps us all together, that binds us as a unit, and transforms these four walls into a home.
From this lens, it becomes my privilege to share with her my strengths, when she is being overcome by her own. While I’m at work selling my wares, she may have had an entire day putting out emotional fires for others — and now she needs a chance to share and absorb my fortitude and security. And it goes both ways — when my masculine energy is beyond what I can handle, nothing soothes me like her unending emotional support.
I can and have read many works on the differences between men and women. I have joined many online conversations about understanding gender. I have a masters-degree in Marriage & Family Therapy. I have studied Jewish mysticism regarding the Divine Feminine and Masculine. And yet, I can confidently say that I will never really understand what makes her tick. And, at the same time, I’m so thankful that we are different, and that Gd has blessed my life, home and family with a very emotional woman.