Can an emotionally unavailable man change?

• What are the best ways to make an emotionally unavailable man open up, and what factors can make it difficult?

Linda Bloom, L.C.S.W.:

When a woman is demanding or impatient, she is working against her own best interests. When she can be patient with a man who is reluctant to open up, she’s more apt to get when she is longing for, and to have him come close to her. Men have a handicap that women don’t have. They have been conditioned by our culture to cover up their feelings. A woman needs to factor this dynamic in to give the man time to trust that he won’t be shamed if he gets vulnerable with her by admitting to his fears, disappointment, insecurities, and hurt. A wise woman will commit herself to being a shining example of giving what she wants to receive, exposing her vulnerability to model for him speaking from her heart. By reinforcing his efforts to open up, and telling him how much she appreciates his efforts to share his feelings, things are likely to change for the better.

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