"Wala, I need to see you – my marriage is heading in the wrong direction, and I can't seem to pull it back. If I don't do something, I could lose everything that means everything to me."
"I’d like to organise to see you 1 on 1, I was recently seeing someone and made and absolute mess of it all through my own stubbornness."
The more men I connect with through my profession, the more my heart genuinely aches as I hear the disappointment of men and the sound of depletion as they hopelessly seek transformation. They so desperately want to be the husband, the father and person that illuminates their partner's heart and soul.
In truth, men are NOT the stronger gender when it comes to emotions – they feel EVERYTHING a woman does; they just might express it differently, it doesn't mean they don't feel it!
In his book The Mask of Masculinity: How men can embrace vulnerability, create strong relationships, and live their fullest lives, Lewis Howes writes, “Men wear the stoic mask so they can look tough, but actually, compared to women, men are much more likely to commit suicide. Also, women generally live longer than men.”
Facilitating many women's events over the years, I've asked the female audience, “How many of you catch up with your friends and family every week to talk about how you feel?” Almost every woman put up her hand - it's common.
But when the male audience is asked, “How many of you catch up with your family and friends to talk about how you feel once a week?” Not many men put up their hand and most said they have 'one' male friend they trust but they admit they still put on a brave face. It's more of check-in and it's kept short and brief.
Then I asked the female audience again, “Can you imagine never sharing your emotions and feelings with friends and family?” Some women said, “No, I can't imagine that it would probably eventually cause suicidal thoughts.”
And I said, “Do you know most men hardly ever share their feelings and emotions? They want to look tough and strong. That is the invincible mask.”
Our mainstream culture doesn’t encourage men to be vulnerable and show fear. That’s why men have a tendency to hide their feelings. Sadly, that’s exactly how a lot of ‘tough guys’ lock people out by keeping their true, authentic self hidden.
If a man can drop the invincible mask, he will be able to create deeper relationships and enjoy a healthier lifespan.
Yesterday, two beautiful and amazing men at the event held in Gawler and as usual an abundance of women attended. Their participation and perspective as men were so valuable to the entire group.
My heart swelled as one of the men raised his hand and asked, "Do you do gift cards? I want my son and his new partner to come to something like this because what I am learning is so valuable". Then to have the other man say "I wonder how different my marriage would have been if we had learned this together". I love watching men's hearts open; it just increases their sex appeal 1000%.
Moral of the story is, I fucking love men and what they bring to our lives. And, when given the space to relax and talk, most will tell you how much they've suffered by feeling trapped, stuck or exhausted from trying to be everything for everyone - but suffering silently or emasculated for their need to connect.
Over the years, I've heard:
I love my wife, but it's obvious she's not happy, but I don't know why or what to do;
My partner doesn't show any affections or love towards me;
My touch repulses her, and she used to love it but not anymore;
My partner won't touch me, hug me, and we haven't passionately kissed in years - I doubt she even cares;
My wife is so gorgeous, and she's a great mother, I'm in awe of her, but she thinks it's just sex and makes me feel selfish for wanting her and I get pushed away;
She won't tell me what she wants - but then gets mad and tells me I don't make an effort, it confuses me;
I'm too afraid to tell her how unhappy I am;
I truly appreciate the men who have asked me for help and advice regarding their intimate relationships. It takes a lot of courage to do that, so I'd like to commend them for their authenticity, honesty and humanity. I genuinely hope to see more amazing men at events and workshops in the future, and your contribution helps everyone.