Ep. 9: Who Do Men Talk To When They Have a Problem?
We’ve most likely all experienced times where we felt upset, lonely, or had a problem and wanted someone to talk to. Women tend to have a plethora of friends or family that they rely on for such times, but who do men talk to?
As a woman, I’ve always thought that men either talk to their wives, close female friends if they have them, or to their male friends. However, what I found in my interviewing is that most men don’t talk to anyone.
I do think most women believe that their boyfriends or husbands talk to them when they have a problem, but I found the opposite to be true.
So I asked the question:
“When you have a problem or something is bothering you, who do you talk to?”
“I generally don’t talk to anyone. I try to figure out the problem on my own and that’s best done through my being alone. I will go for a hike or just spend some time alone and think through the issue. I usually don’t share it with my wife because there is the risk of repercussions and I’d rather just figure it out for myself.”- A 38-year-old married Attorney from Minnesota.
A 46-year-old married Teacher from the Midwest explained: “I think a lot of men, especially middle aged types, don’t talk to anyone. The people around a man tend to be his wife’s people, her whole milieu, and we husbands tag along. It seems like women need their friends around more than men do. We can talk to our colleagues but there’s usually self-censorship there. I used to talk to my Dad but he’s gone now and if I talk to my wife, there is usually self-censorship there too because she can easily be involved in what’s bothering me. There’s always a therapist but they get expensive and men feel weak if they think they’re dependent upon one. I guess we just suck it up and move on.”
“I guess I just end up talking to the guys I work with. Men tend to talk to whoever they are around the most. It’s not the best option but it’s better than nothing.”-A 55-year-old single Chef from Philadelphia, PA.
It seems that men prefer to work through their problems on their own.
A 38-year-old married Teacher and Author from Japan shared: “I don’t usually talk to anyone, but my wife can tell when something’s bothering me and she will usually acknowledge it and just leave me alone. She understands that I don’t want to talk about what’s upsetting me and I’m grateful for that.”
“That’s a tough one because right now I’m going through something and I’m not really talking to anyone about it. Sometimes I talk to a close ex-girlfriend but generally I keep it to myself and try to figure it out on my own.”- A 45-year-old single Venture Capitalist from California.
Perhaps it’s just women that think men would be better off if they would talk to us, or anyone for that matter.
A 53-year-old married Truck Driver from Arkansas said: “Before 2013 I didn’t talk to anyone, but now I have a few online friends that I’ve made and I find it easier to talk to them.”
“Generally no one, but if I absolutely have to talk to someone, then I usually call one of my old high school friends and talk to them.” A 50-year-old married Physician from Pennsylvania.
It seems that even if men knew there was someone they could talk to, most would still opt for dealing with the problem on their own. Their process of thinking things through and working out the problem in their head appears to work better for them.
However, I suspect that if men knew for sure that they could talk to someone without any backlash, judgment or explanation needed on their end, they might be a bit more inclined to share some of their problems or struggles