This piece is dedicated to the men I have known throughout my life who have broken hearts.
My motivation comes from feeling very sad and, frankly, overwhelmed by male friends’ woundedness. For years, I have been privy to their stories of partners’ betrayal, addiction, abuse, neglect, suicidality, depression, mania, debting, sexing, and the like. Relationships died. Promises were broken. Dating and all communication abruptly stopped. As a result, the men swore off women (or men), couldn’t get enough of them and had repeat fails as a result, developed trust issues, became hardened, cynical, and lifeless, and/or became abusive or self-effacing. The fallout ran the gamut.
Do women react in kind? I believe so, but I am concluding not to the extremes that men do. Women also have heart woundedness. They exhibit many of the same behaviors and thought post-traumatic processes. What I have witnessed is that women seem to bounce back easier and have more hope. Is this nature or nurture? Are we instinctively wired to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps, or are we taught this by caregivers and other influencers? I conclude it is natural for us to rebound from pain. We learn how to cope at an early age when we begin menstruating. We cannot avoid this and must adapt to our monthly cycle. I also believe in our being nurtured, or socialized to bond with females and express our feelings. Our bodies offer us the opportunity to cope and society supports this, as well.
Men are socialized from an early age to be tough, mince words, and stuff feelings. Despite the revolution of men going to therapy, doing yoga, and crying at spiritual retreats, they continue to receive strong messages to control their innate ability to feel and express themselves openly.
Enter: The Partner. Whether they be male or female, when a relationship goes south, oftentimes the Mack truck that hit the man does not leave. It remains at the scene and wreaks havoc. What the wounded male does not realize is that he can dismantle any previous teachings that did not serve him and rewrite a happier and healthier next chapter. Bring in a tow truck. Assess the damage. Cry. Clean up the accident. Ask for roadside assistance from trusted ones who can handle the post-trauma. Rest. Share. Feel. Write about it. Make a meeting. Accept and forgive.
There is no difference between a man and a woman’s pain. Pain is pain. The man socialized for centuries to be the Knight, Olympian, Viking, Soldier, Cowboy, Captain Kirk, etc. can change his persona to a softer version of Alpha Male. One can be a strong man and feel and heal.
Yes, this is so.
Men’s groups abound regarding this topic. This is the time for the Divine Masculine to heal. Eons of subjugation of the Male Spirit must surface for release. You might respond, “But men subjugated others.” I am referring to Men diminishing self by not getting in touch with a part of them that has always existed yet was pushed down and away.
When men stop self-pity, when they stop setting themselves aside from others, when they grow to realize they have the innate ability to heal heart woundedness, they will find Joy, balance, peace, and new Love.
I ask all men to do some deep soul searching. You are no different from I. We are the halves of the Oneness. How we perceive our realities might be different, but we both have all the tools and the Divine Assistance to help us through heart pain.
Get rid of your cynicism and soften. Heal. We are rooting for you.