Please Note: This post wasn’t published to generate controversies or appear one-sided. It’s dedicated to all the men struggling to find a voice as they go through so much emotional hurt, frustrations, anxiety etc. after a broken relationship, divorce, job loss, bankruptcy……
Women face similar challenges and some argue a lot more and I promise it would also be addressed on this blog.
It’s a common practice for men to hide their feelings because we are ‘macho’; but after listening to James O’Brien’s Show today(LBC 97.3), prompted by an article in the papers: ‘Divorced men given shelter in pioneering Swiss project’(Daily Mail), I felt it was important to address the issue ‘Men Have Feelings Too.’
Although there are men who are just vulgar and possibly brutal in their actions/behaviour, it’s important to note: not all men are cheats, wife-beaters, irresponsible, liars, stereotypes etc.
The focus today is on men who are fighting to save their homes, marriage, children, jobs, minds…….
As a man I hid my feelings and worries that engulfed me, because the general rule is, expressing how we feel or betraying our emotions CONSTRUCTIVELY, isn’t a sign of masculinity.
Some home truths about men:
- We get hurt and sometimes upset
- Get Abused or Victimised.
- We have a heart
- Get Ridiculed
- Have our children taken away.
- Have our wives, girlfriends or partners walk out of our lives.
- Face job losses
- At times are sexually inactive
- Run up debts and sometimes file for bankruptcy.
- Lose sleep.
- Men fall ill too!!!
- Above all ‘Have Feelings Too.’
Am I suggesting that people don’t realise this? Yes!!! because it’s often overlooked.
Although men take an awful lot of bashing(some are justified), if you were to list the qualities or roles of men objectively you would discover they are:
- Responsible fathers.
- Risk Takers.
- Loving husbands, partners, boyfriends…
- Good Bosses or work colleagues.
- Great comforters.
- Have physical, mental, emotional and spiritual strength.
How Can Men Deal With The Struggles Of Life?
Based on my experience and studies, here are a few suggestions:
- Accept you have feelings and sometimes they may take you down a rocky road. The strength of man is evident in handling emotional conflicts.
- Swallow your pride. We all experience disappointments, failures in various phases of our lives. There’s absolutely no point hiding or running away from them. Don’t be so macho to a point of hopelessness.
- Be honest with everyone around you. It’s also important you are honest with yourself because there’s nothing to be gained from self denial. It’s not bravery hiding from reality guys.
- Accept and stand up to the responsibilities that come with the struggles of life. It’s no longer cool to shirk responsibilities, become a player, procrastinate…
- Think carefully and constructively. This ensures you don’t make hasty decisions which could create future difficulties. Occasionally put logic in the corner of your mind(I know it’s difficult) and think with your heart.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Guys don’t beat yourselves up because you’ve failed, relationships have gone sour, lost money……. You are simply inflicting punishments which have no rewards.
- Surround yourself with friends and family. You really need them during this period. Stop thinking your friends won’t help out or you’ve lost all self respect because you shared your experience.
- Avoid getting drunk or taking drugs with a view to forgetting or avoiding the difficulties. You might experience temporary relief but you are endangering your life and opening doors to further depression, frustrations.
- If you’ve never prayed before, now is the time to give it a try. It does no harm at all.
- Don’t engage in any form of self harm please. Well done to Greg (a caller to the show). I salute your courage, determination and honesty.
- Allow time heal the wounds and scars from the past.
- Exercise a bit of patience. Control the adrenalin pumping through your body.
- If things get out of hand and you can’t cope, speak to a professional therapist or counsellor.
- Get up and do something about the situation. That’s why you are a MAN. You fight, face challenges and stays strong.
To any lady/woman reading this please celebrate or appreciate the men in your life. It could be your friend, colleague, brother, partner, boyfriend father, husband………and remember they have feelings too.
To all the men going through the struggles of life and fighting to stay on top, I SALUTE YOU.
I look forward to your comments and suggestions.
N.B. Please share this article everywhere(twitter, facebook, emails…). Let’s all encourage the men out there doing a good work.