Like Superman Has His Kryptonite...
Every man, even the strongest, can be broken. As men, we tend to place the weight of the world, and more, upon our shoulders. The vast majority of us learn from our fathers that it is our duty to be strong, silent, bear every burden, and not complain while doing so. We are to be the providers, the protectors, the ones who hold everything together when it all seems to be coming apart at the seams.
But where does that leave us?
What are we to do when we need a shoulder to lean on? When the stresses of life threaten to break us? When we've borne all the weight we can?
Most of the time the answer to the question is simply alone to suffer in silence.
We'll push ourselves past our breaking point if asked to by those we love. We'll dig down deep to scrape that last bit of 'oomph' from the depths of our soul in order to keep those we love happy.
Eventually, though, there won't be anymore.
We'll have operated past the red-line for so long, we'll simply burn out. When that happens is when depression can kick in, when we withdraw from others, when our tempers get shorter, and sometimes, sadly, some of us take our own lives.
What your man needs, but can't tell you...
For many men, even 'evolved' men, admitting they need your help is difficult, if not impossible. Admitting weakness is not something us men do easily. Yet it's something we all need to do more frequently. Admitting we need help or some understanding or a little patience can go a long way towards salvaging our mental and physical health.
...but that's only if those we love are willing to hear us.
There's going to be times where your man is carrying so much on his shoulders... work stresses, personal/family issues, struggling with life changes... that asking him for even more can do substantial damage to your relationship. You see, when your man reaches a point like this and the demands on him keep piling up he can and typically does begin to feel unappreciated.
If this goes on for too long, you'll lose him. Eventually he'll give up because he comes to believe that there's nothing he can do that'll keep you happy for long.
When your man reaches this point it's important to take a step back and evaluate how you can help take some of the burden off his shoulders instead of piling more on.
Be patient and understand he is doing his best. Let him know you appreciate all he's doing...even if you wish he would do more.
Odds are he's running on empty and has been for quite some time. Allow him some time to rest, to decompress. He needs time to recharge mentally, physically, and emotionally. He's no good to anyone if he's exhausted.
Strong, but not unbreakable
Your man will walk through fire, go to hell and back, and take on the entire world for you. He'll do it without complaint, even when he is near collapse.
He may even continue to do so for most of your relationship... without giving a single indication that anything is wrong.
But if you continue to push him, to continually demand more without expressing appreciation for all he's given... don't be surprised if one day he just walks away.
Even the strongest men say 'fuck it' and quit.
Even the strongest men have their limit.
Even the strongest men break.