I Was Taught Not to Show Emotion. It’s Pushing My Girlfriend Away

My mother left before I was old enough to know her, and so I was raised by my dad. He was a single father. I remember growing up having to be tough all of the time. I was not encouraged to show emotion but instead to tighten up and deal with most things, no matter how much it warranted an actual emotional display. I never saw my father cry, and he made it very clear that he never wanted to see me shed a tear.

On my 15th birthday, I was having a tough time missing my mother. I was in my room, and tears just started streaming down my face. Even though I was alone, I hurried up and dried them off. Just as I did, my father walked into my room and asked me if I had been crying. I adamantly denied that I had, and we moved on from the subject. His response was that people die every day, and even though she was my mother, I had to move on from it. So I did.

I Was Taught Not to Show Emotion. My Girlfriend Thinks I am Too Rough
Stock image on man on couch. (Photo: Pexels.com)

Now, as a grown man, I am finding it hard to connect with women on an emotional level. I have been so hardened by my father that women find me to be a harsh brute. I am the epitome of everything masculine, and my energy is almost palpable when I walk into a room. I’ve been dating a special woman now for two months, and I am scared I am going to run her off. She says that I’m mean to her and that I don’t know how to show compassion and display my softer side.

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Apparently, I talk to her without a filter, but in my mind, it’s nothing out of the ordinary, and it’s a cruel, tough world we live in.

I want to be honest with her and share details about my life growing up, but I don’t want to sound like I’m whining. How do I communicate when I was never taught how to? I’m a man. I know how to work and support a woman, but I don’t know how to talk to one.

How do I avoid losing this woman that has come into my life?

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