The 1 Reason Your Relationship Is Failing

Men are currently socialised in 2, outdated, versions of masculinity that doesn’t properly prepare them to face the complexity of intimate relationship, or life.

The following statistics are a snapshot of the current state of men’s ill-health:

  • Men’s life expectancy is 5 years less than women’s (79 and 84 respectively).
  • Men die of all of the 15 leading causes of death more frequently than women (including heart disease, cancer and strokes).
  • There are almost 7 suicides per day in Australia, 5 of which are by men.
  • 1 in 8 Australian men are expected to experience a mood disorder in their lifetime.
  • 66% of divorces are initiated by women.
  • Men are the perpetrators of domestic violence in the majority of case.
  • Men are the victims of domestic violence in one third of all cases.
  • Men are 4 times more likely to be the victim of violent crime.
  • 7% of people sleep rough each night are men.
  • Men make up 93% of the prison population.

*(I have highlighted the statistics that relate directly to relationships).

Are these statistics symptomatic of the incomplete versions of masculinity that boys / men are currently socialised in?

What are the incomplete versions of masculinity that men are socialised in?

Conventional

Conventional Masculinity: A man whose centre of gravity is based on this version of masculinity will typically be socialised in the following traits:

  • Stoicism
  • Courage
  • Emotionally controlled / explosive
  • Self-reliance
  • Self and / or family focused.
  • Risk taking
  • Primacy of work
  • Dominating
  • Tough
  • Sexist and / or racist
  • Violent
  • “It’s my way or the highway”.

Let’s use the caricature of The Chauvinistic Jerk for this version of masculinity. This version of masculinity, which has been available to us for approximately 10,000 years, has helped to shape our world and secure our survival for millennia, and continues to do so. It has helped us to step into the role of “provider and protector” but is often too rigid to help men explore their softer, more sensitive side, and is woefully inadequate to meet the demands of intimate relationship.

Post Modern

Post Modern Masculinity: A man whose centre of gravity is based on this version of masculinity will typically be socialised in the following traits:

  • Gentle
  • Kind-hearted
  • Emotional
  • Submissive
  • Community / World focused
  • Receptive
  • Nurturing
  • Affectionate
  • “Happy wife, Happy life”.

Let’s use the caricature of the Metro-Sexual Wimp to describe this form of masculinity. This version of masculinity has been available to us for approximately 150 years and has helped men get in touch with their softer, more sensitive side. It has helped men step into the role of “nurturer and connector”, explore their feelings, and become more self-aware. Men whose centre of gravity lies at this stage of masculinity become more emotionally available to their partner, family, and friends, but they can lose their ability to get their own needs met, set firm boundaries, and take potent action in the world. Like the Chauvinistic Jerk, The Metro-Sexual Wimp doesn’t possess the skill to navigate the complexity of intimate relationship.

Here’s one of my favourite quotes on the topic of masculinity that sums up these 2 versions of masculinity.

“Power without love is reckless and abusive and love without power is sentimental and anemic”

How are you going to experience success in your relationship?

There is a newly emergent version of masculinity that is being called forth by these unique challenges of our time. It draws upon the best qualities of the previous, but partial, versions of masculinity. A version that has essentially transcended and included what has come before it. A new, more robust, and complete version of the masculine.

Integral Masculinity

The Integral Masculine is an upgraded, highly evolved version of masculinity that can thrive in the complexity of intimate relationship. A type of man that is fully integrated.  A man who can blend, and consciously deploy, all of the healthy traits from both The Chauvinistic Jerk and The Metro-sexual Wimp. A man with a heart and a spine. A man who doesn’t lose his balls when he becomes more emotionally open. A man who can stay centred in the midst of a crisis. A man who is able to take care of his own needs and the worlds. A man who is as comfortable with his grief as he is with his anger. A man who uses his anger to create positive change in the world. A man who is self-assured and confident. In short, he provides and protects, and nurtures and connects.

I refer to this version of the masculine as The Mindful Warrior.

For more information on cracking the relationship code, and embodying the traits and characteristics of The Mindful Warrior, contact James at Man Up for more details of our services.

Man Up specialises in men’s relational health and well-being and has created different services designed to address these challenges.

We are dedicated to assisting men on their journey towards a more complete and integrated version of masculinity by improving their physical, mental / emotional, relational, and systems health.

Add comment

Comments

Comments are closed.