“Truth be told, a short time ago I was vastly unaware of any concept related to manhood above wage earning, loyalty, and being strong/hard, until an ex-partner of mine quite viciously informed me that I was not a man. “What does that even mean?” I asked myself earnestly, biting back the pain of those icy bullets. In the wake of what obviously became a dismantled marriage, the question still burns in my heart, but it’s lighter, tender, and more fertile than before. Most significantly, I’ve learned that the answers emerge most effectively through self-compassion and care.” Read more here!
This applies to all human beings as we journey along into evolution rather than revolution. More men contacted me (over the years) for relationship coaching than women, because they were literally losing themselves in their relationships. The focus was all about attention gained because of how much they spent on her and the reward of her affection for doing so. Women, in general, contacted me to find out “if he would commit.” I realized something was inherently false about how we match up.
Since those days I have researched men in their fathering roles and discovered most of the last century examined mothers relationships to their babies and children and did not include men. Considering the lack of social conditioning as children and the lack of attention by the research community, there are many awesome fathers who have gone unrecognized.
In general I began to suspect our American definition was not working for men any more than it was working for women. Case in point the midlife crisis. A fellow researcher discovered that men may seek a younger woman because of her child bearing years. They worked and became successful during their children’s growing up years and the mid life crisis may actually be triggered by empty nest syndrome. It was postulated that they maybe having an intense reaction to the loss of their relationship with their children. Being successful and workaholic patterns do not support healthy parent-child relationships over the short or long term. Many men who enter into mid-life relationships end up fathering again and do so quite differently the second time around.
I see the new trend of masculine questioning as a step forward for men, women and families. Awesome article! Enjoy!
Dr. Mary Kay Keller
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