Working Together - Moving Forwards
Men are not doing well today when it comes to relationships and intimacy!
Jourard writes: "Men are difficult to love. If a man is reluctant to make himself known to another person, even to his spouse, because it is not 'manly' to be psychologically naked. Then it follows that men will be difficult to love". And so, the man, blocked by pride, dare not disclose his despair or need. The fear of intimacy has held men in terrible isolation and loneliness.
Men often struggle to share their emotions, their psychological problems and what’s going on for them deep down. They keep their true feelings buried and secret, adding to their feelings of shame, isolation and fear.
It’s one of the reasons why the suicide rate in the western world is so high amongst Men. Not just younger Men, but Men of every age.
Suicide is the biggest single cause of death in under 50-year-old Males. The last 10 years has seen a 70% increase in suicides and 78% of all suicides are Men. That means that more men die from suicide in the UK than heart disease, cancer, heart attack or road traffic accidents.
Suicide is a very permanent solution to a temporary situation.
For each death, the impact of that death will be felt by at least 20 other people.
Thinking about relationship breakdowns, men are 3 times more likely to commit suicide after a divorce than women.
Men cannot handle marital stress and conflict as well as a woman, (which is why men will often stonewall their partner).
90% of convicted acts of violence are carried out by men.
In school, 90% of children with behavioural problems are boys.
Men make up 95% of inmates in jails.
Men live on average 6 years less than women.
Men routinely fail at relationships (70% of divorces are initiated by women).
Men are 3x more likely to be dependent on alcohol than women and men are more likely to commit drug offences.
6 million men drink more than the recommended limit for alcohol compared to 1 million for women.
Men typically come at problems using only the right side of the brain whereas women will use both the right and the left.
70% of homeless people are male.
These are strong and compelling reasons for a Man to seek professional help with a psychotherapist or counsellor.
We know of course that mental health problems can affect anyone, both Men and Women, but we also know that certain mental illnesses affect Men and Women differently.
On average, more women are diagnosed with common mental health problems than Men and yet the rate of male suicide is, as we have already seen, significantly higher (78%).
I believe that the reason for this is because although Men are clearly suffering from depression and psychological pain, they are far more reluctant to seek help for it, perhaps due to the expectations either real or imagined placed on men by society or perhaps because of their upbringing. Then, of course, there's also Man’s tendency to want to ‘fix things' for themselves.
I believe part of ‘fixing things’ though, is seeking help. We all need help at different times of our lives, if our car was broken down and we weren’t mechanically minded, we wouldn’t hesitate to contact a mechanic.
Men have exactly the same emotional and psychological needs as a woman does, even if they are expressed differently. Men feel anger and shame and rejection and betrayal and guilt and fear and anxiety and depression and all the other emotions, but traditionally it was frowned on for Men to talk about such things and so it would be Women who would typically seek the help of a therapist.
Thankfully, this trend is changing and according to a recent study, there has been a 62% rise in Men coming for counselling.
So, if you are a Man and you are reading this, then this service is just for you! This is the Man-2-Man Counselling Service and this part of the counselling service is aimed squarely at Men.
In case you hadn’t noticed, Men are different from Women, we are from different planets, Don’t believe me?
Consider how you would arrange to meet your mate over the phone. A quick phone call, get the relevant details, arrange a time and a place and boom, it’s done.
A woman on the other hand will make that very same phone call to her friend and get the relevant details, arrange a time and a place and...
2 hours later, they hang up the phone only to go out and meet that very same friend sometime later, on that very same day.
Also, have you noticed how Women tend to talk face to face whereas Men tend to talk side on or whilst engaging in something else like washing the car, playing a video game or sitting on a barstool facing the bar rather than each other.
Don't fall for the lie that says, to ask for help is a sign of weakness, actually, to ask for help is a sign of strength, and furthermore, it is a necessary step towards your journey of freedom.
So, Men; don’t be shy, pick up the phone, or send an email and let’s get some dates sorted out to commence your therapy, that's it, that's all it takes, and then...
Boom, you've done it, well done, you’ve now taken that first all-important step.
“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.” Shannon L. Alder