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Being a Man Is Not a Pathology

the old man and the seaHow often have you heard a joke about how dumb men are? For many men, Emotional Intelligence is an oxymoron. Missing the subtle nuances of emotions and relationships is the expected emotional default for men.

We don’t ask why men are behind on the Emotional Intelligence curve, or why they struggle in relationships. It’s easy to blame the man—“he’s the one who’s not getting it.” Unfortunately, blaming a man for not performing a behavior he has never seen a man perform won’t change him. It may immediately produce a different behavior, but it won’t bring the man into the relationship.

After years of women raising the boys because men were out working, we’ve lost the male role models and teachers of Masculine Emotional Intelligence (MEI). Women stepped up to be virtual single parents to raise and train both the girls and boys. This tradition continues with a man looking for emotional expertise from his girlfriend or wife. Unfortunately, as well meaning as that support is, it doesn’t give men what we need to connect to others and develop a successful relationship.

Women teach us a lot. But they can’t teach that last bit we need to connect to others as a man; only men can teach that. We teach it through brotherhood, something else that is missing for men. The last time most men had brotherhood was in school or the military. Without brotherhood, men are going it alone. Sure, many men have a loving wife, but they don’t have close male friends.

Developing MEI occurs in our free men’s groups. In ten years of the Sandpoint Men’s Group, we have had more than 200 men through the groups, a documentary film made about the group, a book written outlining the principles, and formed a nonprofit to teach other men how to start and run a men’s group. These ten years showed us that men aren’t dumb, broken or bad. Being a man is not a pathology. No man can excel at connecting and creating amazing relationships without having a new model and training in it. These free groups become the weekly team workout for men. Rather than running from emotions, men look forward to being real with other men.

On October 24, I will be giving a TEDx talk in Spokane on this subject. November 7 & 8 we are offering training in MEI here in Sandpoint (

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. This article and many more health and wellness articles are at the blog:

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