One man said it like this:
"Every day, I have this choice to make. Every single day, and it doesn't ever go away. Every day, I must choose to view my life and my accomplishments either one of two ways:
- I have basically and summarily failed to live up to my own dreams and expectations. I have not become wealthy (as I imagined I might). I have not spent as much time with my children as I would have liked. I have not spent as much time with my wife as I would have liked, nor as she would have liked. I don't even own my own home, though I am well into my fifties. What have I done with my time, and what is this elusive dream of success that I relentlessly cling to, as though it promises to bring me fulfillment and satisfaction? I am no better than the dreaming prospector, slaving away each day in hopes of finally striking the fictional mother lode which I am sure is just around the corner. Meanwhile the lives of those I love, and of whom I should rightly protect and provide for, go unaddressed because I am simply too distracted to pay them the attention I ought.
- I have remained faithful to my original charter, though imperfectly. My provision has never been abundant, though we have enjoyed brief periods of plenty. I have remained faithful to my wife and children, especially in my own intention to do so, though the external evidence might not be visible to some. I have always done my best. I have worked hard, even as I am now doing. When many others have found themselves out of work and unemployed, I have remained diligent in my work, always conscious of the need to find the right balance between spending time in pursuit of provision, and spending time with my family. I have been able to provide vacations and times of leisure for us, and I have maintained an open heart to my wife and children. I have not shut them out, nor have I set them aside."
Both are true, of course. But every day he must choose which perspective to hold, while not denying the truth of both, for the acknowledgment of the truth in No. 1 acts as a hedge against the overemphasis of No. 2 and the inappropriate sense of self-aggrandizement that would result. No. 1 keeps him humble, but No. 2 leads him out of depression, and helps him to keep going and not to give up entirely.
Is this struggle common amongst men today? I honestly do not know. Perhaps he and I are the only ones who struggle with this, but I find it hard to believe we are alone in this.
Of course the astute therapist will quickly ask, "Sir, whose validation do you seek? Clearly, you are seeking validation, being unable to find it within yourself, else it would not be a struggle for you."
It seems to me that women don't know that any of this thinking ever enters a man's mind. It seems that feminists—men and women alike—are so set on their mission of righting wrongs and equalizing things that they have entirely lost sight of the fact that things aren't equal for men either.
I think that a real man carries daily a load of responsibility that has gone largely unappreciated. But a real man doesn't complain about it. In fact, a real man needs it, for he derives the core of his own sense of self-worth from his own successful accomplishment and faithful execution of his own responsibilities. This is the essence of manhood.
A real man wants to be manly, not unmanly. Therefore he will simply choose not to engage in fruitless argumentation… so when a feminist pipes up about what a raw deal has been dealt to women, and how downtrodden they feel because there are fewer female top-level executives (or some similar statistic), is he likely to enter that fray? Will he offer a response like, "Well, it's not so easy for men either, you know. He has to make sure the bills are paid, next month's rent is ready, food is on the table, and everybody's warm, clothed, and happy—all while addressing and enduring his wife's complaints about what's not getting done around the house, like mowing lawns, cleaning gutters, hanging christmas lights, repairing appliances, etc." ?
The answer is no, the real man will generally avoid the whole argument, simply because airing your own complaints in comparative response to someone else's complaints is not manly behavior. It's too much like this:
She said, "You're being mean to me just because you're bigger than me, and you can!"
"No, you're being mean to me, because it's not so easy for me, either, you know!" he replied.
"Well, I think it's hard for me, and you have it easy," she responded.
[grasping for words] he lamely replied, "Well, I think it's harder for me than you think it is..."
See how this just seems to go nowhere? See the fruitlessness here? See how the discussion only drives the two parties further and further apart? Add to that the fact that the real man wants to be closer to his woman, not farther from her, and it should become pretty clear whence comes the common complaint that "you never talk to me anymore."
Why does the man stop talking to his wife? Answer: because his wife has inadvertently and unwittingly challenged his manhood and his integrity simply by echoing modern society's feminist sentiment: that men need to change, to get in touch with their feminine side, to be considerate of others (as though they aren't already), to put themselves down in order to elevate women.
That's why men stop talking to their wives.
Caveat: There are exceptions to this generality. It's possible that the husband does not talk to his wife simply because he is a daft prig who cares nothing for her soul or her welfare, being selfishly concerned only for his own sense of well being and personal needs. I truly feel deep sorrow for the woman who finds herself married to this man. He is not a real man; he is a selfish child who never grew up. These types of men are out there, though they are far more rare than the feminists would have us believe.