Reason #1 Why Men Pull Away: They’re Stressed
If he’s stressed, he may pull away.
It can be easy to assume that whatever’s causing him to distance himself from you has to do with you.
Did I annoy him with my stupid jokes?
Did he hate that I don’t flush the toilet after nightpees?
Does he hate my friends?
Is he seeing someone else?
Not to worry, Sexy Confident Lady. You are not necessarily the cause of what’s eating him.
In fact, it would do you well to remember that you aren’t the center of his world. Nor do you want to be.
A common reason why men pull away or say they need space is that they’re really stressed out. There’s something stressful in their lives like their family, or maybe it’s something with work.
Consider what’s going on in his world. Has he been working 70 hours a week? Is a family member ailing? Does he have baby mama drama?
Any of these is enough to wreak havoc on anyone’s life. And he may be dealing with his stress by pulling back from you.
Research from University of Vienna psychologist Claus Lamm and his team discovered that men and women deal with stress quite differently.
Men go into a “fight or flight” mode, and to conserve their energy, may ignore the needs of others (including you). In other words, men who are stressed out become more self-centered, and want to get back into their own space and deal with it on their own.
Women have a very different reaction to stress. They use a “tend and befriend” approach to try to get to the bottom of why they are stressed. Women want to feel closer to the people in their lives when they’re feeling stressed out.
So you might not understand why men pull away when they’re stressed because you yourself would have a very different reaction to the same situation.
Chalk it up to the whole Mars/Venus thing.
What You Can Do
Realize that he doesn’t need you to solve the problem of whatever is stressing him out. You can’t cut down on his work hours. You can’t heal his dying grandfather. What you can do is be a good partner. Understand that he needs space right now, and don’t take it personally.
When he asks for space, I recommend you give him a gap week. If you start feeling him pulling away or trying to create space for himself, give him a week to figure it out on his own.
Of course, when you talk to him or text him, let him know that you’re there for him but don’t push him to see you or do anything for you.
After a week, you can say something like this:
Over the past week, I’ve been noticing that you’ve been a little distant. I thought we both should have some space, so I backed off. But I wanted to just make sure everything is all right. I really care about you and just want you to be happy.
This shows him that you’re not trying to make this about you and that you are there for him, however, he needs you.
If after a week he’s still distant and the problem continues to persist, it’s time to have a real conversation about what’s going on. If the stress in his life hasn’t evaporated or resolved, ask what he needs from you right now.
It may be a hug or someone to talk to.
It may be more space. Are you okay with that?
Do your best to give him what he needs during this difficult time. If a man needs space, it is not up to you to fill it. Give him that gap week so he has time to figure out how to handle his stress, and trust that he will come back once he’s worked through it.