For a year, I don't get excited, I don't get angry, I don't get sad--nothing. Literally nothing; not from me or from him. My experiment failed, it didn't make him more emotional by me being less emotional. Why?
The roles people are assigned:
I have written a number of blogs about why the church is not good for women. The church is also not good for men. The church has assigned women the role of being nurturers. The women are assigned the role of loving and caring for the family and society. They are given permission to be emotional; they are allowed to love, to care, to be sad, happy, to cry. I can play with my children, hold them, cuddle with them. I can laugh with the husband, hug him, and love him with my whole being.
The husband has been assigned the role of provider. He is allowed to work, provide shelter and be an authority figure. By being assigned this role and denied the role of caretaker, he is not allowed to love or show emotion. Why? This would be beneath him. He is not allowed to partake in this role as a man.
This is how it is in a patriarchal hierarchy. God/church is above man. Man is above women. Man is to preside over women just as God/church presides over man. Man is to preside and lead and provide. Women are to submit and nurture. If men nurture, they are not fulfilling their role, as that role has been assigned to women. It is beneath them. Men are just as much devalued in this system as women are.
Men are not given permission to emotionally attach to women. They are not given permission to emotionally attach to their children. They are not allowed to love, to cry, to care, to show compassion.
When the marriage was in utter chaos, I insisted he see a counselor. He chose a mormon counselor. After the first session with him, the counselor asked to meet with me. He said, "You women send your men to me to fix them. What is it you want me to fix?" I told him right then that the marriage would end in divorce. He didn't get it because he was raised in the very system that messed up the husband. The husband was doing exactly what he was assigned to do, after all; he was providing and presiding. What more did I expect out of him?
I expected him to love me, to care for me, at have an emotional connection with me. The counselor didn't get this because that was not his role to do those things. I was unhappy not being loved and cared for. I needed these in the marriage.
Men are repressed. They, too can break out of the mold.