Men are notorious for bottling things up, not being nearly as talkative as women and not expressing their emotions often. The strong, silent stereotype comes from somewhere. When you're in a relationship with a quiet partner, you can find it difficult to get him to share his feelings or open up to you. It can complicate the relationship, because without a lot of communication, it can lead to distance or even arguments between you. Neither one of you are mind-readers, which is why you'd like him to share his feelings with you. Maybe you just want to get to know him better, hear more about his past, or his family. How can you get him to open up without hurting the relationship?
- Be patient. You're asking him to make a change, or want him to make a change. No one likes being changed. Relationships are based on compromise, so if you want him to do something for you you'll have to be willing to do the same for him. Don't expect he'll tell you his life-story overnight. If he's not used to talking about himself, it could make him uncomfortable. Let him set the pace, the time and the amount of information.
- Find a good atmosphere for him to talk in. The more comfortable he feels, the more willing he'll be able to share. Which means that loud, noisy places are out. The perfect place for talking can be by going for a walk. It's relaxing, it gives him a chance to speak when he wants and it takes away the pressure of face to face intensity. Or quiet time, in the afternoon.
- Don't push him. If you keep nagging him, or trying to force him to talk, he'll probably dig his heels in and finally refuse. It could put a very real strain on your relationship if you don't allow him some time to think he'll start resenting you. He won't open up, he'll close up. It's up to him and how he wants to do it. He might have a reason for not wanting to share with you- maybe a bad experience in the past with trust. You should talk it over with him, and let him know why you want him to open up.
- Listen to him. Even if he tells you something that reminds you of you, the focus should be on him. If he's reluctant to share his feelings, don't interrupt him when he finally does start opening up. Show him that he can trust you, and pay attention to what he has to say. You want him to open up- show him the benefits, and how it helps the relationship. How it also brings the two of you closer.
It's not an impossible task getting your man to share his feelings with you. But it will take time, patience and understanding on your part- and in the end, you'll both be happier for it.