Regardless our gender, whether we like it or not, we all share something in common, we are built for connection. The earliest example each of us gets is our family of origin. As a man, connection is a tricky space to navigate. Connect, but not too much. Share, but don’t over share. Be firm, but be understanding. Be tough, but not too aggressive. And no matter what, never let ‘em see you cry. The list could go on and on of what we are to do as men, to be a man. Add in work, marriage, and children and it complicates things all the more. All this can lead to stress and anxiety.
With your spouse, perhaps it feels hot or cold. “It (she) is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key,” to apply the quote from Winston Churchill. If only you had a clue maybe you could get to the root of it and fix it. After all, as men that’s what we like to do…fix things! Even when you gently ask her what you can do for her, it doesn’t work. So you try something else and it doesn’t seem to work. After a while your response is to give up and turn on the TV. You may feel like you are beating your head against a wall. How is it that things seemed so much simpler before. Where did things go wrong? Are you ready to find the key and figure out what it unlocks?
With your children, the relationship is a challenge at times, or often. I bet you are wishing you had a nickel for every time your child ignored a direction from you, “How many times do I have to repeat myself?!” Or for every time they looked at you as if you were an alien with three heads - as if you had just cancelled Christmas - forever, or you asked them to walk to school 100 miles uphill, both ways, through the snow, while eating all their vegetables. Their resistance immediately generates the thought, “I only wish I had it as easy as you do now, when I was a kid.” You simply want things to be normal, to go back to the way they are supposed to be for you and your child(ren) – talented (sports, music, dance), good friends, solid grades, no drugs, and most importantly you want respect. However, somewhere along the way your family's story veered off and you are trying to figure out what caused all these struggles.
In counseling, it is no different. The process starts with establishing connection. As a man talking to a man, there is a natural fraternity or brotherhood in talking to someone who gets it, who is like me. Conversation is aimed at opening up communication and nurturing the broken relationships. All intended to generate movement and get you and your family back to experiencing joy. Joy grounded in mutual love and respect.
We can help you start on a bold new voyage to a rewarding marriage and family life. Working alongside you to discover or rediscover your sweet spot.