Archive for the ‘men’ Category

Ladies, Is There a Misogynistic Man in Your Life? If So, Beware!

Friday, August 30th, 2013

First off, do you know what a misogynist is? Basically it is a man who dislikes women. He is not gay. He just doesn’t like women.  Often they are hard to detect because that deep feeling is cosmetically covered or deeply rooted in his subconscious.  In either case the negative behavior that emanates from this dislike is hurtful and destructive in relationships – especially in a marriage.

The roots of misogynism grow deep and have been reflected in policy and behavior over the course of history.  Even St. Paul has been charged with being a misogynist, particularly in his Epistle writings in 1 Timothy and I Corinthians. In these Epistles he spoke of how women were created second, sinned first, and should keep silence. Google St. Paul if you are further interested in understanding why he has been characterized as such by some writers.

Religious, political, and business practices have often reflected misogynistic leanings.  Examples would be that women cannot be Catholic priests; women were not allowed to vote; women were held back from responsible business positions.

At a more personal level, in my practice I frequently come across misogynistic men.  One of my first encounters was meeting with a mean spirited, yet superficially charming, misogynist many years ago.  My first clue was that he called his mother by her first name when he talked with me about her. This distancing away from the title “Mom” or “Mother” was indicative of the hostility he had for her.  Part of the reason for this was that she and her husband sent him off to boarding school at a young age. (I do not believe that kids should go to boarding schools.  The academic and discipline gains are usually developed at the expense of emotional growth and capacity for intimacy in relationships.  There are exceptions to this rule, rare to be sure.)

This man married twice, divorced twice. He married “pleaser” type women who were beguiled by his charm and take charge manner.  Once the dust had settled on the marriage papers he turned into a mean, angry, and controlling husband.  I told him that if he didn’t do the necessary therapy to get rid of this misogynistic core he was going to end up as a lonely old man. He didn’t like that message and “shot the messenger”.

A woman perhaps could do a better job of due diligence to see if there are any misogynistic leanings in a man she aspires to marry – or perhaps is married to.  What was, and is, his relationship with his mother? How does he speak to and about her. That relationship has been very instrumental in forming his attitude toward and defense from women who get too close to him emotionally.

(P.S. For those who wonder what a woman who dislikes men is called.  The answer is misandrist. I don’t think I want to be in the same room when a misogynist and misandrist lock horns!)

“The unexamined life is not worth living”    Socrates

A Man Needs to Pursue and Love Well the Woman Who Touches His Heart

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Zac Brown continues to help me out.  I am always looking and listening for something to trigger an idea for an article that I hope would be of interest and benefit to you, Respected Reader. After hearing Zac’s , “AS SHE’S WALKIN’ AWAY”, I had an “aha” thought.  Here are some of the lyrics:

Now I’m falling in love as she’s walking away;  and my heart won’t tell my mind to tell my mouth what it should say. … Now I’m fallin’ in love as she’s walkin’ away.

Two themes come to mind in regard to a man inviting, and keeping, a woman into his heart and life.

  1. Men, don’t be afraid to approach a woman that attracts you. Get past the fear of rejection. Don’t miss the opportunity and do it with class. She may be the one who will be a special partner for you. Let your heart attraction thrust you forward to connect.
  2. Men, love your lady to the best of your ability so that she does not push her “I’m gone” button. Some men take their lady for granted. They don’t say or do what it takes to have her feel special – deeply loved and appreciated. She is not his number one priority. Business, sports, money, even the kids, perhaps the dog rank ahead of the neglected “invisible” lady.

What I often see is that the woman wants, and deserves, more.  If such love is not forthcoming she finally decides, hopefully after giving a Counseling invitation that may be rejected, that she no longer wants to stay in the relationship. At first the man gets mad, tries to bully her back into the relationship. This rarely works, with the exception of the woman that is weak, needy and co-dependent.  If the bully attempt doesn’t work, then the man’s defense mechanism of anger gives way to the hurt that exists for this loss. He misses her.

Oft times a man doesn’t realize or show his love until she’s “walkin’ away”. Even then he struggles in his attempt to get her back.  His “heart won’t tell his mind to tell his mouth what it should say”.

Bottom line here, men be attuned to the woman you want to be a part of your life.  Do what it takes to pursue and treasure what may well be the greatest source of love and happiness that you may ever have.

If you need further clarification or advice, call Zac.  If he’s not available I know a happily married man who is available, a Marriage and Family Therapist, who continually is “fallin’ in love” with his wondrous wife!

 

“The unexamined life is not worth living”     Socrates

Ladies, the Reasons Why Men Go Silent

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

          Does the man you share your life with often or occasionally become uncharacteristically close mouthed? Perhaps you are so detached that you haven’t noticed.  If so you have deeper issues than the tape-over-mouth man you are co-existing with.

     Sometimes men are saying something without speaking. Ky Henderson, writing in that “scholarly journal”, Cosmopolitan, quotes three Ph.D. relationship experts, William July, Warren Farrell, and Alon Gratch who comment on men’s silence. Let’s look at four scenarios representing typical situations and rationales.

     “He thinks you can’t handle the truth”: Sometimes a man makes a judgment that by opening his mouth he would lose more points than he would gain. An example given by Henderson is the situation where a woman had a disagreement with a co-worker and tells her man about it. The man agrees with the co-worker but won’t say that because of previous experience.  He knows the woman is looking for emotional support, not rational input.

     “He’s afraid of being emotional”: Along the way men have been taught that “big boys don’t cry”. As men get older often they let go of that message and become more emotional, but they are not comfortable with showing it.  They feel they will appear weak or that the woman will respond with emotion and they will not know how to be comforting. Usually men don’t like to cry or have their lady  cry. Men avoid such fearful expressions.

     “He’s too ashamed”: Stereotypically men are not as comfortable in sharing their mistakes as women are. “Guys worry that if they don’t succeed they’ll be seen as a failure”, says Farrell. A man doesn’t want his partner to lose faith in him or lose respect for him. A man wants to be a “hero” to his lady. A chink in the armor is not for display!

     “He’s pondering some other problem”: Men tend to be linear thinkers with intense focusing.  They don’t multitask nearly as well as women. They stay stuck on one problem until it is solved. Not that his brain is always stuck on a problem, it may be that he is fixated on something like how many wins will UGA have next season! Also, a man does not hear very well with a remote in his hand!

     The author comments on how important it is for a man to feel cared about, decompressed, and comfortable if a woman is to get a man to share what he is thinking and feeling below his surface presentation. A wise woman knows the right time and method to get a man to share what is going on inside his head. A wise man knows when to open up and when “silence is golden”!

     “The unexamined life is not worth living”    Socrates

Men Cuss. Women Giggle: Stereotype Perspectives Presented

Friday, August 19th, 2011

     Men and women are different.  How’s that for insight?!  But how and why are men and women different in various behavioral manifestations?  Some differences are more obvious and understandable, others are more mysterious.  I present one stereotypical stylistic oddity to give food for thought. 

     I’ve been involved in various sports all my life.  I have enjoyed participating, coaching and being a spectator.  Typically boys/men and girls/women approach sports with significant differences in style and mannerisms. The emphasis here is how each sex responds to his or her own mistake or error while playing the sport.

     I remember well watching the girls on my daughter Brittany’s softball team.  If one of the girls missed a ball or threw to the wrong base, she would immediately giggle and say “sorry!”  Not the same reality when observing my son Kris’ baseball team!  If one of them made an error he usually would growl and cuss. Often, this would be followed by some attempt to blame someone else for his error.

     So, too, does this style often persist into adulthood.  I see the same behaviors in most men and women not only in sports but also in various other challenging situations. This stereotype does not hold for all men and women. Usually the male ballet dancer or alto singer is not cussing, nor does the woman college basketball player or professional boxer giggle.

     Stereotypes do exist.  To what extent are gender differences genetically or culturally based? Were boys taught to cuss and blame? Were girls taught to giggle and apologize?  It is a challenge to try and understand why people behave the way they do.  To what extent do genetics and environment effect the outcome?  To what extent does choice exist?

     Too many people are ignorant of the complexity of these issues and stay stuck in stereotypical prototypes learned early in life.  The reason for this article is to ask you to look at each individual as a unique person who has a certain genetic input and orientation, acculturated by the environment in which s/he lives.  May all of us see and enjoy the uniqueness of each person and not be too quick to lock someone into a stereotype, especially one that is negative. 

     One of the privileges of my profession has been the opportunity to see the person beneath the obvious presentation. Sometimes we may have to dig a little deeper to find the goodness and positive qualities that each person possesses.  May you be open minded and scratch below the surface to connect with people that you may not be inclined to want to know.

     Such openness will allow our community to get beyond separating differences and bond with our common strengths.

Why Men Don’t Get It Until — They Might Lose. Their Wake Up Call!

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

                                                        JOHN J. STATHAS, Ph.D., LMFT

     Most men are pretty stubborn.  I don’t think I’ll get much disagreement on that statement from the majority of women. Why does such a phenomenon exist?

     Men typically come from a competitive posture, where win-lose is the name of the game.  Most men with testy testosterone, can’t stand to be the loser.  Another related factor is that men do not like to be vulnerable in any sense of the word.  Included in this profile is that most men like to be in control, sitting in the power seat.

     This article began with the word “most” for a reason.  There are other stereotypical varieties of men that have a different modus operandi.  I am profiling a particular type of man who is probably in the majority and who present some of the more significant obstacles to women. These are the men who have the strongest defenses and go through the ugliest divorces if they don’t “get it”.

     These men generally are successful professionally. The above characteristics lead to positions of leadership and responsibility where the big bucks beckon.  There is a lot of emotional payoff in such recognition. It often is hard for these men to realize that what works in the boardroom strikes out eventually in the bedroom.

     Oftentimes a woman early on accepts this type of partner because:

a) he is bringing in the big bucks, therefore, a comfy life style.

b) she is a  “pleaser” who does not like confrontation.

c) she has young kids who consume her time and energies.

d) she is not in touch with her feelings.

e) she is not aware that she deserves, and can have, a better relationship.

     Once a woman deals with the above pertinent factors she is more ready to challenge this type of man to create a different type of relationship.  She may start by withdrawing, withholding sex, spending more time with girl friends, joining organizations, watching more Oprah and Dr. Phil – and reading more articles like this one. She will ask for what she needs. Then, hopefully, with this knowledge and behavior she will be able to assist her man to “get it” and, thus help him to be more appreciative, thoughtful, and romantic.

     If the above doesn’t get the desired change then relationship counseling is called for.  Getting a good fit with a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist is important.  Some therapists and pastors can offer quality advice and cosmetic corrections, but only a trained professional in marriage and family issues can be of real help here.  Understanding emotional wiring is critical in this process. Too often when a woman suggests counseling the man balks.  If such a situation arises, I encourage the woman to see me for I usually can find a way to get the man to come in to try counseling. 

     The very last resort is to see an attorney to help the blind bloke see that he must change or he may lose his wife, accessability to his kids, half his net worth, and his home.  Too often these type of men don’t realize what they will lose until it is too late and the judge has issued the final decree. (There is a popular country song that features a man saying “ who’s that man living in my house?  Who’s that man raising my kids…?”)

     The song DESPERADO speaks to this type of man who hides behind the defenses of power and control, so as to not be vulnerable and let a partner in.

                 Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?

                 Come down from your fences, open the gate. …

                 You better let somebody love you, before its too late.

     Thirty three years ago that song, sung by Banks & Shane at the Steak and Ale in Tucker, hit me between the eyes and helped me let in the one I was with that night. I never let her go and we are still together – happily.  Had some “fences” that needed to come down.  How about you?