|Posted on October 4, 2009 at 2:13 AM|
What happens to men when their partners move into their journey of discovery and spiritual growth and start to react differently within the relationship?
Below is a short overview of some of the things that men are presented with when things change in their relationships and what goes through their heads.
"If I ignore this, it will go away?" - Denial is something that we have all been well trained in. It is often the first line of defense and usually works quite well, coupled with a 'power-over technique' fuelled by anger, in helping us to avoid the things that hurt.
"Where did my wife go?" "I don't know this person anymore." - Confusion sets in about what is actually happening and why. Fear levels start to rise about what the future might bring.
"I don't understand the language that she talks anymore." - Communication changes and what used to work for him to have his needs met is no longer effective.
"Talk about my feelings!! I don't know how to do that and why would I want to?" - Intimacy starts to become more important to the woman. Men have been socialized to hide emotions in order to 'be a man'. Talking about them is impossible if they are not even able to identify what they are feeling.
"Why did she have to change?" "Everything was just fine the way it was." - Loss of what was familiar, loss of identity, loss of role, loss of security, loss of power, all come into play as he grapples with the changes that are occurring around him.
"She's not satisfied with me anymore." "She must want something I can't give her." - Self Esteem plummets as he questions his partner's motives and why she is no longer happy with the 'status quo'.
"I can't change who I am." "She either loves me as I am or not at all." - Defensiveness is often used in order to preserve his masculinity, status and sense of safety. Threats are an attempt to regain power and hide the fear of loss that is lurking beneath the surface.
"This isn't going away." "How can I make it stop?" - Desperation can be experienced when there seems to be no apparent solution. Many men have an innate desire to 'fix' things in as short a time a possible with the least amount of fuss.
At this point it is clear that something needs to change.
This is, traditionally, much harder for men as they have been conditioned to think that it is an indictment on their masculinity to admit that there's something wrong and to seek help.
Often the woman wants to take them on the journey with them but the woman's journey is not necessarily the right one for the man.
He has to find his own path - one that fits with his concept of masculinity and one that speaks to him as an individual.
This often requires the assistance of a guide or mentor.
Stepping onto this journey of discovery can lead to some outstanding opportunities in our lives and open up a whole new way of understanding ourselves, our partners, our children and our world.
As one who has done this, I have continued on my quest to grow and understand myself, and in so doing, have become a positive role model to my children and the men that come behind me.
I am proud of the elder I am growing into and thank all those people and opportunities - whether they were easy or hard - each one was for a special reason.
If you would like more information on this subject I am only too willing to do group discussions or work one-on-one with you.
I have walked the road you are about to walk and have found the garden to play in. I hope you can too.
Graeme (Curly) Harris