Mastering Masculinity, Together.
I am a good man. I was, and still am, a good provider, good listener, romantic, funny, attentive, and patient. We had a good life, it wasn’t perfect, but there was nothing that couldn’t be healed if we turned toward each other and stuck together. Yet, here we are, she still wants out of the marriage. I don’t understand. Why do we as men have to try so damn hard with our women? I mean it really shouldn’t be that difficult, should it?
This question comes from a conversation I was having with another man. It was in reference to Tool #1 in the book “Hold On To Your N.U.T.S.” by Wayne Levine. In the book he talks about “silencing the little boy” that lives inside of us. It is the inner child that causes us to react versus respond. The purely emotional voice that has a quick temper, gets angry, and whines for the love and attention that is missing in his life. It is the child that demands the world around him to give him what he wants.
My husband and I are going to marriage counseling and it has been going well. Although at times I do get frustrated for how painfully slow he catches on to things. Our relationship is better than it has been, but we are coming up towards a busy season at work for him and I am worried we will go back to our usual dynamic. I will find myself stuck at home alone with the kids feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and under-appreciated. I tried to tell him about what I am worried about. He just gave suggestions as to how it will not be like that and I shouldn’t worry. He tried to fix it. What do I do to make him understand me?
I drove by my old house the other day. There was a truck in the driveway. It was there the next morning too. I know this because I went back again to see if it was still there. This is tearing me up. My mind is racing with questions. I can’t focus on anything but wondering what she is doing, who she is with, and what the hell happened to my life. I feel lost, distracted, and sick to my stomach most of the time. When do I get a break from this torture? How do I make this stop?
My girlfriend told me she wanted space and that we need to take a break. This is not something I want. She said she is stressed, overwhelmed and feeling like she can’t trust me. I read online somewhere that I should do “no contact” and that it will make her miss me and attract her back. Should I follow this advice? Does it work?
I haven’t seen my wife since New Year’s Eve. That was a shit-show of a night to say the least. I was angry, she drove off fit to be tied, and now our long separation continues. We haven’t spoken more than two times since all hell broke loose that night. Now, she wants to meet somewhere and exchange some mail I got at the house. I want this nightmare to be over. I want things to change. I still love her! What do I say to her when I see her again?
You talk about the importance of holding my wife in “high regard”. How do I let go of resentment and keep my wife in high regard while separating, moving out and seeing my kids twice a week? It all feels devastating. How do you bravely face the destruction of all you hold dear? What if being a family man is what you want and having that taken away is your worst fear?
After months of working on myself I have been feeling more clear and confident than I have in a long time. It feels as if the old me is back but with a ton more wisdom. The problem came when I saw my soon to be ex-wife in person today. It has been weeks since we talked to each other face to face. After we chatted for a bit about the kids and some minor tasks around the house, she said she could see a difference in me. She says she has seen a positive change in the way I act and how I am being. I told her I found help, guidance from brothers, and was feeling better each day. She suddenly got very angry with me and started saying “Why didn’t you do this sooner?” In a sarcastic tone she stated, “Aren’t you just perfect now?” Frankly, she started attacking me personally.
It feels like I can’t do anything right! She left me because I was not enough for her. Now, I am too much!?! Where do I go from here? I am feeling confused, shaken, and attacked. Do you have any insights for me?
I got home from a long day at work and just as I walk in the door, I can tell she’s already pissed! I get that look from her and I know that something is wrong and I am the one who is about to catch hell. It’s like I can’t seem to do anything right. What am I supposed to do when there is no room for error? Do I ever get to relax?
This weekend I’ve realized my wife doesn’t trust me at all. I’ve been inconsistent and combative with her for the last few years and we fight about stupid things all the time. I feel devastated knowing I’ve eroded her trust by my incessant defensiveness and need to be right. I want to change this before it’s too late but I don’t even know where to start! She’s already starting to check out of the marriage. We have a vacation coming up in 4 weeks and I want advice on how to make the trip a new beginning for us. What are some things I can do here?
I have some work at the shop to do before a fast-approaching deadline. It will require me to work late the night before. I asked my ex-wife to take the kids the night before the deadline day instead of the next morning so I can get to my job before 10 am and complete the tasks needed to get the project done
My wife and I are separated with kids. She had been the one to stay at home with them while I was doing my best to provide for all of us. I have our three boys for the first weekend alone without their mother around. I am a good father, but honestly, I am a little nervous about doing this alone. Do you have any advice on what we should do together?