Maybe, it was my parents coaxing me into therapy or drug treatment in my teens, but I at least had somewhat of a positive experience with receiving emotional help from someone else.
It seemed like I was “all good” in my early 20's and I even remember convincing one of my girlfriends to go get some relational counseling....without me. That seems laughable today as I could have used therapy or coaching just as much as her and it's no wonder it didn't work out.
Now, being on the other side of the room much of the time (and still in the client seat at least once per month), I'm perplexed at how resistant men are to getting help.
Of course, not all men. Sometimes, they are the ones that call us first. However, most men are happy to invest $100's or $1000's on their hobbies, yet a whopping $0 on their relationship. Many men balk at the idea of ever getting emotional support at any point in their life.
This excerpt from the American Psychological Association explains a lot. It reads:
The first hurdle some men face is that they may be so out of touch with their emotions that they do not even realize that they are, for example, depressed. American Psychological Association President and Nova Southeastern University psychologist Ronald F. Levant, EdD, has coined the term "normative male alexithymia"--literally "without words for emotions"
The first thing you’re going to have to do, before we get started, is to leave your ego at the door. That’s right. If it wants to come back in, you need to kindly ask it to leave. If it still won’t leave, you need to forcibly remove it off the doorstep and kick it’s @ss to the curb. Does that sound like something you can do? If so, read on.
The second thing you’re going to need to do is to play along. I say play because this is supposed to be fun, easy, and light-hearted. If you’re going into this with a poor attitude or a chip on your shoulder, your wife is going to see right through you. She’s probably pretty good at that.
The third thing you must do is to stick to the game plan and follow a few simple rules. It’s totally possible that you could get 1 minute into this and completely lose your composure. That’s why we need to set some ground rules.
🚫 DO NOT 🚫
Try to fix
Make it about you
Just don’t do any of these things for 5 minutes fellas! I believe in you!
The last thing you have to do if you want your wife to fall in love with you in 5 minutes is…pay attention to her. I mean really pay attention to her. Pay attention to her as if it’s the last time you may ever get the chance to hear her speak. Pay attention to her as if she is the most important and most interesting person in the world. If that’s too difficult to understand then pay attention to here like you used to when you were both in love.
Do you remember when you couldn’t wait for the next time you got to see her?
Do you remember what it was like when you couldn’t get enough of her weird dreams, her work stories, or her friend’s drama because you just enjoyed being in her presence?
Pay attention like that.
Guys, she wants your attention.
She struggles when she doesn’t get it.
She does want to give you attention, too.
She needs your attention in order for her to feel safe.
And, she may have to leave you if you’re not willing to try.
It’s time to step up your game like I know you can…