For Men Who Hang in There During Conflict

art by Lucian Gaddis

art by Lucian Gaddis

Sometimes men will “hang in there” during a fight to hear their woman out. But “hanging in there” won’t cut it for either party. Hanging in there is what we do when we are beyond our threshold. Hanging in there is what we don’t have tools, can’t truly listen, or would rather be doing something else. Hanging in there is a sign of self-betrayal and weak boundaries.

What needs to be done when you are in a fight and you’ve reached your limit? Set a boundary. Setting a boundary brings you out of overwhelm. It brings your unconscious need for space forward and asks that you come in direct contact with your needs. Boundaries are a way you honor yourself and her. A boundary lets you take a break, collect yourself, so you can come back resourced and ready to really listen. If you truly value the relationship, you’ll learn to demonstrate self-love/respect by learning how to set a boundary. You’ll demonstrate love for her when you come back available and committed to understanding her experience. While she might get upset in the moment because you are explicitly not available, she’ll appreciate you later because you are no longer pretending to be available when you aren’t available. Now that you’ve listened to yourself and honored your needs, you can go back in and try again to understand her.

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