Emotional Constipation

I must warn you that this blog is likely not worth the read, but i am writing it in any case as doing so seems to be what i need do now, meaning that i am writing this for me, rather than in the expectation that it will offer any new insight to anyone, just that writing this down makes it rather theraputic.
I spoke with my brother last night on the phone for perhaps an hour, and shortly after came here to chat. The usual greetings, but this time when a person i greating enjoy chatting with asked how i was doing, rather than the usual fine, and how are you, i said, something like, "i feel fine, but odd, i just had a strange conversation with my brother". I went on to say that that my brother is ill, and that while talking to him, i had with some difficulty told him that i loved him. The conversation turned to illness, etc., which i can understand, but the thing i meant to address was not his being ill; basically everyone on an over fifties chat line has dealt with illness of their own or that of a family member, what i could not say properly then or now is that i felt odd due to a deficit many or most have men in comfortably saying I love You to other men, Dads and brothers maybe most especially. I know that i have no difficulty saying it to my wife or daughter, or even to people in chat that i feel close too, but saying it to my brother was strange new territory, and left you both of us a bit embarressed, i think.
When my wife talks with her sister, she says it all the time, and no baggage is involved. So why is it that i have such a hard time saying the same to my brother; i am quite sure that i love my brother quite as much as my wife loves her sister, yet for me, at any rate, saying so to my brother felt like i was an ancient mariner, going to places not mapped, and labled, Here Be Monsters.
So why did it seem so odd, it was good for us both, talking of things that happened many years ago, pleasant memories that we had never bothered telling each other were pleasant, even while never having any problem expressing anger at something, or each other, sort of like it is more socially exeptable for guys to argue with each other, rather than to agree. I know that there is nothing new in this topic, just i am sort of indulging myself by writing it down publicly, blushing as much now as i did when on the phone.
I guess another purpose in writing this is to try to explain why i sounded weird even to myself in chat, to say sorry to any in chat that i might have disturbed by being emotional, if i sounded like a stranger, it was because i sounded like a stranger to myself. Anyway, all i can think to do is to employ the phase more often when talking to either of my brothers, and perhaps get over this viseral feeling that mentioning love to a brother is somehow a bad thing.
Any having gotten this far in this bit is to congradulated for their perseverance, btw, and thanks, writing this is self indulgent, but also quite helpful to me.------------------------------rick also, pls forgive the usual typos and such, if i double check this thing i will likely not post it

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Published in Senior Chatters


  1. cooldreams

    Rick, thank you for sharing your emoitional feels it must have been very hard
    that’s what makes what you wrote all the more special to you and maybe other
    men. I hope writing it helped you in understanding your feelings.

  2. davidrv

    Sorry that your brother is ill, rick. I have 2 brothers. I never did say I love you to them. If I had to say it to them it would probably happen once only. I believe those words are more powerful, the less you use them. For me actions speak louder than words. Time spent making a birthday card means more to me than a nice card bought at the store. Spending time with your loved ones, being there when they need you, confiding in them because you trust them, sharing your worries, those are some of the ways I show love.
    Just a small anecdote. There is a young co worker that said he had difficulty with keeping girlfriends. He once said that when she would say I love you to him, he’d reply, I don’t hate you.

  3. beth57

    Hi Rick,
    I’m not sure why it is difficult to say those words….women have that problem with some people as well. Sometimes I think it makes us feel vulnerable….sometimes we say that you save the words, only for important moments. When are those moments?

    When I think of my life without my brother, someone I adore, I can sit here welling up with tears. I love him very much. Do I say I love you to him enough? Thinking about it, no.

    When I think about how it feels to be told by someone that they love me…whether that is a sibling, my child, a friend, or a lover….the words never lose their power to make me feel warm, special, valued, needed.

    I don’t know if they lose that power if they are repeated often….I don’t know if they would mean as much if the person was not kind and was simply throwing them in for good measure….

    I do know that those I love…I want them to know it. Not just to hope that I love them.

    Sending you a cyber hug Rick.

  4. tania

    There is no harm in telling your brother that you love him Rick.I am sorry he is ill…I think as we age we do unleash more of our feelings.

    Take care Rick

  5. bettyk

    I appreciate you blog. You have raised a lot of questions. Does it stem from our childhood? Does it stem from being a man who is suppose to be ‘macho’ ? Saying such things from one man to another seems to be a social taboo even within families??
    It sure has made me wonder.

  6. sunflower2

    It’s sad that men are taught not to express their feelings. I think they say “I love you” by joking, pushing each other around, sharing stories, sharing a beer, sharing life. It’s great that you told your brother you love him and now it makes it easier for him to say the same to you.

  7. jojo

    I agree with sunflower – men are taught not to express their feelings from birth. If a little boy cries, he’s scolded and told to “be a man” from which he learns to hide his feelings and emotions.

    I’m sorry your brother is sick, but I’m glad you found the courage to tell him you love him. Although he too wouldn’t have expressed it, I’m sure he loved hearing it from you.

    It’s ironic to me that the human race was created to need love, yet so often find it hard to express it.

    A long time ago, I said “I love you” to an Englishman with whom I was involved at that time and his response was “Of for pity’s sake Jo, stop being soppy.” I never said those words to him again. That happened a long time ago, but I have never forgotten it.

    Why is it “okay” to express anger, rage, annoyance, irritation and all the negative emotions in life, yet not acceptable to say “I love you?”

    Rick, you are a dear friend as as such, I love you.

  8. foreveryoung2

    I’m so proud of you Rick for telling your brother that you love him. I imagine that took a great deal of courage. It is sad that boys are taught to be “tough” and that being soft is a no go. Be proud of yourself and continue to say I love you to your brother. Writing down your feelings, and especially making them public, is very freeing for the soul. It also takes a lot of courage and maketh the “man”. 🙂

  9. nitajoy

    Great posting Rick !!!

    First I would like to say, what a nice posting you shared with us all. I am sure it was almost as hard to write as it was to say “I love you” to your brother. Being a lot older, I will tell you one thing that I have learned…. each time you say it, it will get easier. I tell everyone “I love you” that has made a difference in my life. The ones that I am afraid might be uncomfortable, I say it casually, like ” I love you, Rick, because you brought up a subject that we all need to discuss and work on.” 🙂

    Just remember, better to be a little embarrassed now, than to have to regret later that you didn’t say it… in my opinion, of course.. 🙂

    Love you, Rick!! 🙂

  10. skippy

    Every bit worth the read rick, a wonderful courageous blog, am so glad you told your sick brother you loved him. It makes my heart fly to read of men taking a risk into unknown territory, I just feel so proud of you. I am married to a strapping 6foot former footie player. He cried when his father died I held him and he sobbed and talked for hours about his dad, i felt so much for him and the dad he dearly loved, and also what a man. His mate my uncle said bad luck about your dad and then they watched footie. If my uncle could have just given him a man hug and listened mate to mate for a few minutes it would have meant the world to my hubby as I believe you telling your brother you loved him would mean to him. Wonderful rick well done.