We hear, “You’re such a guy” or “Men! You’re all alike!” How many times has this line been used against you since we are “all alike”? I’m sure it has been numerous. Most psycho-analytical-astrophysic… bull crap, states that it’s the role we are given and meant to play… Or is it?
I’ve worked with many men of all ages and find one thing in common. Most have the desire to change or improve or at least the willingness not to be normal. For most young men, it’s the drive to get the approval of a father figure. That is if they have one. Then there are others who tend to go in the opposite direction. They head towards rebellion or see what their father figure is and want to move away from it.
While this is great for younger men, the middle-aged to mid-life men see the situation totally different. They typically fall into one of three categories: Mama, Wife, Loner.
IF YOU ARE SUCH A GUY, WHICH TYPE?
The desire to please mama has been set within middle-aged men since they were young. Such a guy is coddled and nurtured, especially if their father was abusive or absent. As they grow older, everything they do is designed to get approval from their mothers. They require a good job to take care of mama or the willingness to drop everything so they can attend to the smallest thing that she could have possibly done herself.
That’s not to say we don’t need to respect or honor our mothers, but the cost must be weighed as to the extent we go to “help” our mothers. A man must determine if helping is healthy or if he is just trying to please her, so she doesn’t become angry with him.
The similarities between Mama and Wife are striking. Such a guy desires the relationship so much that they will drop everything because she “needs” our help. The public view of a good husband drives us to the lengths we go to please our wives.
A perfect example is changing a light bulb in the closet. She may ask us to change the light bulb because it may be out of her reach. After all, you are taller and don’t need a ladder to bring light to the situation. However, if she waited a week for you to change it and it is still dark in the closet, is that beneficial to both of you in the relationship? Part of it is on you for waiting a week, and the other part is on her for waiting the same week and not grabbing a ladder or step stool. And bugs… well, that’s a totally different ballgame.
Because of their parental history, these men fly solo. They do what they want, when they want, and wherever they want. While this may sound like an outstanding category to be in, it isn’t. Mainly because it can be broken into two subcategories: Success Driven and Frat Boy. I know as that sank in, it stung a little to some.
The Success Driven man is money-focused. Such a guy wants the house, cars, watches, suits, and women. It is about the conquest of what objects can be obtained in their lifetime. Note the list and the word objects. There is no relationship building but the desire to have something that looks good within the eye’s view. And yes, that includes women. The objects that are meant to impress or look great to others are just material goods to them. The term “eye candy” comes into play. James Bond is the typical role model for these men. But inside, he is a hollow, lonely man who suppresses the feelings to not disappoint or display them to others.
Frat Boy, however, is probably the easiest to spot and label. Again, I use the word typical. Such a guy is frequently drunk, stoned, and/or an adrenaline junkie. They stay this way constantly instead of occasionally. The main goal every week is to get drunk and party on the weekend. Relationships are with his buddies and whatever woman he tries to sleep with for the evening. Again, a life of conquest.
CHANGE FROM BEING “SUCH A GUY.”
I mentioned earlier the desire in men to change. And to be blunt, you cannot do it on your own. We are to set in our ways to make the shift alone, or we don’t know-how. We need mentors, “real men,” and accountability partners. I use the term “real men” loosely because they have been through the fire and have learned, but they are far from perfect.
I look at my change from a Success Driven, Mama’s Boy to being the husband and father I needed to be. The road has been long, and I’m still learning, but it is because I surrounded myself with good men. Men would call me out on my bullcrap and show me that I needed to listen to the sounds around me.
Sometimes the sounds would be my wife needing to talk or show me how I needed to respond in a situation. Did she need a shoulder to cry on or someone to take charge? To be a father to my children meant giving of myself and sometimes not being able to do the things I wanted to do. Playing “tea party” does not take that much time out of your busy schedule, and it will change the way your daughters see you.
The hardest part for a father is to be a father to a son truly. You know the man you are and what society sees as perfect. But leading your son to be a good man and a contributing member of society takes equal discipline, finesse, and most of all, love. The last word is the one that is hardest to use in a man’s vocabulary.
I’m sure what has been stated has stung some of you. And I’m sure some didn’t read this far. Ladies, please understand this article was not meant to exclude you, but some things need to be said directly to men. To you, I say, please don’t give up on them.
You may be sitting and saying, “It’s no use, so why bother?” And while I hear those words, I’ve said them as well. Let me tell you that it is not an easy choice to make. It is not an easy path to walk. But some men will help you be both husband and father. Your wife will visibly change the way she looks at you. And your children will look up to you more than you will ever know. They will see that a man is not just a man during and after this change but a warrior who was always inside and only needed to fight to get out—a true man of honor.
Bill is not a certified analyst or doctor. These are his opinions and based on real-life experiences during his 30+ years of taking men from broken homes, working with them, and helping to shape them into husbands, fathers, and… Warriors.
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