From a game of Footy to Relationship Counselling
We kicked off this series by using the analogy of a game, what the rules are and how to play. We also saw that relationship counselling aims to create winners: period! You can click here to read last week’s blog.
Imagine for a moment playing a game and not being sure of the rules. That is going to cause some confusion for everyone. This is where the dumb looks and the finger pointing come in. And it’s where yelling and screaming starts and communication stops.
But I digress! Now this may be a huge generalisation but if us men don’t know the rules then we are unlikely to play the game well and in some cases, in fact, in a lot of cases, we just take the shutdown option. It is considered a male phenomenon, it is found frequently in male/female relationships and it’s called stonewalling! More on this later. You could say we have a Guy code. What it means to be a man. A real male in a male’s world. Well the only problem with that is we actually don’t know, who wrote those rules and who, if anyone enforces them.
So, to avoid any confusion and avoid the vulnerability bug, rather than look to our relationship to determine how we should act and behave we look to other males. And of course, there are men out there who do the man thing very well and then there are those who don’t. Unfortunately, we often put ourselves in the ‘those who don’t’ basket and this is really a comparison that is unhelpful and unnecessary. As boys, we are often told ‘what NOT to do’ rather than what to do. Don’t be a sissy, don’t cry etc. Boys rarely ever hear things like: “Explore your emotions”, “Get in touch with your softer side” and “Just allow yourself to be vulnerable”
But to have a really fulfilling relationship that is where we must go. To be more specific men need to allow themselves to be vulnerable. You see, men cannot, and I am generalising here again, allow themselves to become vulnerable because this looks like weakness. So, in many cases it is not that he is unwilling or uncaring, it’s just that he is unsure. The couples counselling environment, where you talk to a third person like myself is wrought with the potential to experience vulnerability and that is what he is avoiding.
Next week we will look at ways to help him see that relationship counselling is actually a good thing for you both and that there is ample opportunities to find his voice. Until then…