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Don’t Leave the Relationship – Leave the Model – Part 1

Couples at square dance, McIntosh County, Oklahoma  (LOC)While living in Phoenix many years ago, I sat on my couch one evening with Pam, the woman I was dating. I was trying to answer her request to feel my emotions and explain my thoughts. Pam kept saying patiently, “I don’t feel you.” After a few minutes, sharing my thoughts on the subject, I finally heard what she wanted: she wanted me to express my feelings.

Finally I realized that my thoughts – as brilliant as I thought them to be – weren’t my emotions. I got it. It didn’t mean I could immediately shift, of course. But it did mean that I realized I didn’t need to leave the relationship; I just needed to leave that masculine model I bought into of a relationship. It also meant I needed to go out and learn what was never taught to me. I knew I needed to learn how to man up emotionally.

Communication Challenges

Most relationships end because of communication issues. If this is to change, we need to create a new model of Masculine Emotional Intelligence. We also need a way for men to learn it that is fun.

When fathers left the farm for the factory 200 years ago, we lost our men. They were at work, while women were home raising the kids, teaching them how to express emotions – or not express them. Generations of feminine training skewed the emotional intelligence scale towards the feminine for men.

When a man attempts to communicate solely from a feminine perspective, both he and his partner become frustrated. It’s as if he’s walking around in an emotional dress. No one is happy.

In our men’s groups, we continue to see men step out of the model they were trained in to learn a more masculine model. These men learn their native emotional language. They learn how to open up, feel, and communicate their feelings in a way that doesn’t emasculate them.

Every week a man learns more, not by some didactic lecture, but by practicing in the moment with his fellow group members. He learns how to win emotionally, and he learns the five MQ (Masculine Quotient) skills. In the process, joy and hope replace the anger and despair.

Next week we explore a few simple actions a man can take to win emotionally.

Owen Marcus, MA, Rolfer, men’s trainer (www.freetowin.CO) and founder of the Sandpoint Men’s Group – call if you have questions: 265.8440.

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