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New Content Added: To update the content we have added Fathers and Parenting information found at the end of the Table of Contents.
Men Suffer Similarly
Since men aren’t defined primarily through their personal relationships, we tend to overlook the complexity of feeling and hence the potential for tragedy inherent in a man’s relationship with the women and children in his life. Would you agree that the result may be the potential for an endless array of emotionally wounding experiences for men? I find that men may not comprehend women’s needs, and women, missing men’s rudimentary attempts to communicate, may very likely overlook the magnitude of the pain men are in.
In my practice, I find that if a woman views a man in truth instead of prejudice, women tend to find that men too are suffering. Jay, age 29, was, in fact, struggling to keep from exposing the wounds that his struggle for love had inflicted. In faithfully enacting what it is to be a man, Jay held back his emotions while his wife, Sarah, mistook Jay’s silence for contentment. Think of your male client. Could his silence actually be evidence of his suffering?
Men Long For Intimacy
I found that it was difficult for Sarah to believe that Jay longed for intimacy as much as she did. Sarah stated, "In the love marketplace, men have unlimited choices. Since there are so many single, available women and since women all seem to be so eager to be in relationships, it’s as though men don’t have a problem in finding the perfect relationship. They can just turn around on a dime and find the mate of their dreams."
How might you have responded to Sarah? I stated, "There’s far more to a happy pairing than just the availability of a member of the opposite sex. Just because there are more single women than men doesn’t mean that any of the available women would be the right woman for Jay. You can’t generate the perfect relationship out of statistical probabilities. Intimacy in relationships is as rare for men as it is for women."
Do your male clients complain that they can’t seem to find a woman who really touches and delights them?
"They want security, you know, someone to pay the electric bill. They don’t care about you as a person. I never would have believed how hard it was going to be to find women to date after college. The bar scene; the single’s life. AIDS. It’s a jungle out there. Women have no idea. They think it’s a party for a man. Sometimes I feel as if my chance to get married has already passed me by. It’s devastating thinking that." Stan clearly viewed his desire for intimacy as painful. I shared the ‘Take the Opposite Track’ technique with him to help him develop obstinacy toward the pain of what he felt was a lack of intimacy.
Technique: Take the Opposite Track
On this track we have discussed how typical women view male intimacy. We found that men suffer similarly and that men also long for intimacy. We also discussed the ‘Take the Opposite Track’ technique.
On the next track we will discuss Avoiding Taboo-Loaded Communication. For the purposes of this track, Avoiding Taboo-Loaded Communication will consist of six steps. The six steps are be specific, be straight, be direct, be clear, create a climate for honesty, and tell the truth.
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