I was very encouraged to come across a new post last night called “What If He Cries?” by Diane A. (D.A.) Sears, United States Coordinator for International Men’s Day (coming this November 19). In her post, Diane advocates for women to make safe spaces for men to be emotionally genuine during times of grief, sorrow, and loss. She says:
Negativity is common for those of us who have had a difficult life or even a series of recent bad experiences. Even if you aren’t predisposed to negative thinking it is difficult to resist negativity under the forces of hardship or social pressure.
The other weekend I was out in Newport, RI with my wife celebrating my birthday. It is one of my favorite places to go, near my favorite beach to surf, and it has one of my favorite restaurants, The Red Parrot. They have the best Surf 'n Turf, this amazing lobster filled steak with garlic sauce. I can never resist it.
Anyway, as we were walking back to our bed and breakfast there were some guys sitting on a bench, obviously a little drunk. They started complimenting me that I was with a woman, "Good for you, man." It was clear that the compliment did not come from a place of feeling good about themselves, but was more self-pity. It seemed from their tone of voice they were saying "What's wrong with me that I can't get a woman to go home with me?"
When nice guys maintain their typical nice guy pattern in a relationship they have often been putting their own needs second or may not have been expressing their needs at all. This often builds to resentment in the nice guy, especially when he has been silently expecting reciprocity from his partner or starts to perceive a lack of reciprocation. Resent accumulates to anger and it really has more to do with the nice guy than his partner. What I mean by this is that the nice guy has not expressed his needs, has not communicated his feelings if something does not feel right, or set boundaries for himself to make it clear what is OK and what is not OK for him.
Last week I went over how giving too much of a shit can lead to chronic rejection, pain, and lack of success dating (click here). Today I am addressing how the aspect of caring too much that nice guys have a tendency to do can hurt your relationship. I want to share a personal example to point out how nice guys can appropriately assert their needs without having to do the complete opposite and be a total asshole.
Next Tele-Seminar Today, Monday 12/30 at 12pm
Just a quick reminder about tomorrow's Tele-Seminar on Handling Imbalance in Your Relationship: Monday 12/30 at 12pm ET. I am very excited to announce that Steve Schloss will be my official guest. His book, The Man's Secret to a Happy and Sexy Marriage delves deeply into this topic, and has a lot of practical advice about what men can do when their relationship has become unhappy to help turn the tide. We will go over signs to look for that indicate when men may be unhappy in their relationship, the impact this has on men, and what you can do if this is happening to you.
Some of the feedback I received from my posts on the use of the word "Creep" last month gave me pause, pause to explore both the male and female perspective on this word. I had an interesting discussion with a female colleague of mine who specializes in gender issues. She gave me more insight into the context and function of the word "Creep" for women, and it did start to make more sense to me. This did not settle my concern around some responses from mental health professionals as well as other comments in past discussions. Some comments were overtly diagnostic based from this concept of a creepy feeling from a man.