Great Health Guide



- Leanne Allen

Do you know how to stand by your man?

When it comes to emotional support, women have an unfair advantage. We tend to talk to each other from a very young age. We talk to our mothers or our girlfriend­s and we read girly magazines that have lots of emotional pearls of wisdom.

What do guys get? Magazines about sport or fitness, business or porn. And when they are children and feel vulnerable, they are taught that ‘boys don’t cry’ or to ‘toughen up’. What this does is to shut down a man and teach him that his emotions are wrong, and he shouldn’t have them. Is it any wonder that many men have no idea how to emotionall­y connect to their partners?


Emotion support for you man is vital to his wellbeing. There is evidence that the rate of suicide in men is unacceptab­ly high, especially for young men. Divorce rates are on the increase and real connection seems to be disappeari­ng.

I want to clarify that ‘your man’ can include your partner, father, son, brother or friend, even a male colleague. As women we all play a part in the emotional developmen­t of the men in our world. There is no point complainin­g about men being shut down if we are not willing to change things to allow them to open up.

I hear women say over and over again that, ‘I do not want to be my partner’s mother. I need an equal, not a child’. This is a big problem for women to understand when men’s childish or immature emotions come out in anger, in an inability to consider your needs, being lazy or simply shutting down. Shutting down can be in the form of not responding, the silent treatment, gambling or drinking too much.

All of this can be worked on, but it takes a lot of patience, from you and your man!


If you want your man to be emotionall­y available then you also need to be emotionall­y available, it is not just about how you feel! It is also important for women to realise that men often complain that the women in their life cannot handle it, if they cry or display any vulnerabil­ity and therefore, they shut down. You must be strong and understand that men do cry and are very vulnerable just as women are.

Thus, if you want your man to support you, you need to be able to hold him up emotionall­y too.

To support your man, you need to hold him up emotionall­y.


• He needs to know that if he is emotional you will not freak out.

• He needs to know that if he cries you will just sit there and be with him and not try and fix everything for him with a few kind words.

• He needs to trust you and know you will not tell all your girlfriend­s or family that he cried.

• He needs to feel safe with you, so if you rage at him, that will never work.

• He needs to feel that you are listening to him.

Many women might be reading this and rolling their eyes, thinking ‘yeah right’, ‘My man would never open up, doesn’t matter what I do’. But if the foundation of emotional security has never been built and by that, I mean from childhood, then this is a difficult road, but not impossible. You can provide emotional support for your man.


It takes real courage and commitment to open up to someone, not just for men but for women too. It can take a long time, sometimes a huge emotional upheaval to create enough momentum to get men to talk openly. But it is worth the effort in the long run. For now, perhaps the only thing you need to ask yourself is, ‘Am I able to emotionall­y support my man?’ If the answer is no, or I don’t know, then start by working on yourself. It is that simple!

Leanne Allen (BA Psych), Is the principle psychologi­st at Reconnect Wellness Centre on the outskirts of Sydney. Leanne also does online session. She has trained in many modalities including NLP and CBT and completed training as a life coach. Her approach is to look forward whilst releasing limiting beliefs created in childhood. Connect to Leanne and her team of psychologi­sts on Facebook.

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