Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Role of Men in Relationships: A Lost Art

Over the years men have lost their concept of what it means to be a man in a relationship, whether we are talking about those with a partner, or those with a family. What used to be common sense, has been lost. The art of being a man must be brought back into play if we are expecting families to flourish in the future, or face demise as they seem to be doing right now.

In my relationship coaching sessions, as well as the men's groups I have led, I have seen first hand how men have lost their way in regards to what it means to be a leader in love, and a leader in the family structure. The causes of this are truly irrelevant to me. I'm not here to point fingers as to why this has occurred, or who to blame. In my opinion that gets everyone nowhere.

Men were born to lead, to make decisions, to be the foundation of family. They were meant to lead by example. The role of a man in a relationship is to speak less, lead more, and allow his partner to feel safe as well as free. Free to have an outlet for her fears. Free to express her feelings without the need for the man to fix them. You see, a leader does not have to have all the answers for his company, troop or family. His main role is to listen, support, ask questions, and then if and when needed, delegate duties or chores that suit the strengths of his partner and/or children. Then, pick up the rest of the responsibilities himself.

Somewhere along the lines, men were taught to not express their feelings, when expression in the family unit is a sign of strength. As I have counseled couples for the past 20 years, I have yet to have a woman tell me that her husband was too emotional. I often have heard women say that their man rarely shares any of his feelings, any of his fears. In these cases, each woman has said she felt left out of that part of his life. Real men not only eat quiche, but they also open themselves up to their partner in a way that makes the woman feel special, a part of his inner circle , which is what she should be.

Men need to lead by example, in all areas of life. Alcohol, so accepted by society as a way men connect with other men, and oftentimes women as well, has lead millions of men astray. Men need to be role models. The use of alcohol, drugs, food or smoking as coping mechanisms, or the chase for the almighty dollar shows how weak many men are.

They need to be able to listen, direct questions, and allow their kids to have a say in how to figure life out by themselves in many cases, after they've reached the age of 12 and above. For some, even sooner.

Men need to be able to lead by faith. Faith, a strong belief in the "yet unseen", is a powerful gift to offer their partners and children. Men who lead by faith have an aura about them that allows their families and partners to trust them. Regardless of the struggles one might face, men of faith know that there is always a way out, over or around life's challenges.

I have seen over the last several years a true desire by both men and women to see the resurrection of men in relationships. To see them become the leaders they were meant to be.

Slow down, and become the man you are destined to be in love, in life. Once you begin the process of taking responsibility for your actions, for your life, this world will begin to shift in ways we've always hoped we'd see. Once you take that first step, the leader in you will naturally rise to the surface and life will take on a whole new look.

I see in my congregation, my workshops and my coaching sessions the beginning of a new era. Let's keep it going strong.

Love, peace, David

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