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Avoid emotional arguments

Dr. Noelle Nelson is a relationship expert and an internationally respected psychologist, author and seminar leader. She has given life-changing guidance to couples for more than 20 years.

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Why he's tone deaf to your tears

Is this scene familiar? You’re upset. He’s done something hurtful -- left you adrift at his office party while he’s flirting with some wanna-be Snooki, or disrespected your mother, or come home drunk -- you name it, he did it. You’re bawling your eyes out: “How could you do this to me?” Loud wail. He’s “Oh for Crissakes,” throws up his hands: “I can’t deal with this” and he’s out the door with a slam.

HE can't deal with this? That's nerve. You're hurt, he's responsible, and HE can't deal with it?! Now you're into full-scale wailing. You cannot believe that he walked away from you when you're in such an obvious emotional state that HE caused, the jerk.

Why he's tone deaf to your tears

You're right. He should be able to deal with it -- with you, actually. But the problem is, he can't hear you past your tears. He is tone deaf, if you will, rendered deaf to your words by your emotional tone.

Emotional arguments

Most men are scared witless by our emotional outbursts. The only emotion they relate to easily is anger. They've been drilled since they donned pull-ups not to cry, to "be a man," and to "suck it up." Because tears represent loss of control, and our society frowns on men losing control.

The answer is not to bottle up your tears and strait-jacket yourself out of all emotion. Your emotions are precious and valuable! Just because your guy can't handle them doesn't mean you shouldn't have that cleansing cry. The crying isn't the problem, it's attempting to communicate with your mate while crying that's the problem. Have your cry, just don't try to talk to him at the same time.

What to do:

Once you've dried your eyes and settled yourself down, approach your guy and ask him if he's willing to discuss whatever it was with you now. Calmly. Without tears. Chances are good that he will.

More on communication

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