Are You Wondering Why Your Husband, Boyfriend, or Fiancé is Speaking or Working With Mentoring Men?
Understand what’s going on with your partner and how it may impact you
If you’re reading this page, there’s a good chance you got here after hearing your husband, boyfriend, or fiancé mention “Men’s work,” “Mentoring,” or “Mentoring Men.”
Or, perhaps you discovered our name on a credit card statement or email.
Regardless of how you got here, we’re delighted you did!
We’re happy for you to know who we are, what we do, and why your partner is building a relationship with us. The partners of the men we work with are most often our biggest fans in the long run and for good reasons.
We love the work we do, the men we do it for, and its’ positive impact on their person, relationships, and family.
It’s extremely gratifying and rewarding most of the time, and we take great satisfaction in knowing we’re among a tiny minority of men helping men the unique way I do.
We’ve made this page with one thing in mind – you.
We’ve written the words here with the same delicate care, compassion, and love we have for your partner when we speak with him.
Though he may be our client (or considering being so), it’s not lost on us that what happens with him doesn’t happen in a vacuum but impacts you and the rest of your family too.
As husbands and fathers, we can easily imagine what our wives would feel in your shoes, what they’d be curious about, what fears and anxieties they’d have, and what would keep them up at night.
We don’t have to work that hard to imagine these because it wasn’t that many years ago that each of the mentors on Mentoring Men had hired some form of a relationship coach, and our wives wondered what impact that would have on her, us, and each of our families.
With that in mind, allow us to imagine the questions, curiosities, anxieties, fears, and concerns you might have and address them here.
“Why is my partner talking to you?”
Your partner is talking with us because he’s frustrated, unhappy, and discontent. You probably already know that, though, don’t you?
Like you probably did too, he entered adulthood and a long-term relationship with a story in his mind about how his life would go, what the people in his life would be like, where it would lead, and how it would feel.
The problem is that life hasn’t gone how he imagined or worked out how he’d hoped.
In his search to answer the question, “why is life not going the way I wanted?” he found his way to us and felt a connection in relating to men who have journeyed through similar experiences with those same questions and challenges.
Most likely, he’s also chosen to speak or work with us because we’re among the very rare few who promote finding answers to those questions within ourselves instead of blaming unhappiness on people and circumstances outside of us – like our partners.
Men like your partner often find this intriguing and hopeful.
We hope you will, too, because the natural outcome of his searching within himself results in finding answers also sourced within himself. Solutions that we’ll steadfastly encourage him to stop trying to thrust upon others to make a reality.
If your partner clearly understands our message, this should reduce the expectations and pressure you be feeling from him.
“How did he find you?”
Most men find us by referrals. Others find us by a Google search, or they stumble upon posts or comments we make on social media
At some point, he may have worked up the courage to reach out to us for a call where we got to know each other, or may just have joined our private men’s community.
“What does he talk about with you?”
The first thing we talk about with a man is how he came to be sitting in front of us.
He tells us his story and how he thought life would go, and how it’s not going the way they wanted.
We spend most of our time asking him hard questions.
Questions like “if it’s your wife’s role to make you happy, how and where do you suppose she’s supposed to go to find her happiness?” and “do you think that might be a bit unfair to make her responsible for making you feel full all the time?”.
To be clear, we aren’t blaming a man for his circumstances, nor are we “taking the wife’s side.” Instead, we begin with helping each man see that, as an adult human, maturity includes learning to stop making others responsible for what he wants, needs, and desires.
This focus on ownership, personal agency, and responsibility prevents many men from ever entering our community and work. If he’s working with us, he’s at least open to these ideas.
He talks to us about the stories he’s learned to understand life and which ones haven’t been very reliable in producing the life he wanted. Most of those center on the stories he’s relied upon for developing a sense of self-worth, self-esteem, value, and significance.
When most men first arrive, they tell how they feel victimized and powerless in their life and where they’re fearful, anxious, insecure, and ashamed.
We then talk about why those are there and how they can stop undermining him and robbing him of the life he wants.
We spend most of our time talking about him because we’re men’s mentors, not marriage counselors.
To be clear, we care more about him than his relationships.
We also care about relationships deeply because our work is based on love and a desire to see men experience wholeness and families experience fullness.
Our experience shows that when a man feels whole, his relationships dramatically improve and become the best path to fullness in his relationships.
That’s another reason he might be talking to us because most men who work with us don’t see their relationships end in destruction or loss but recover and flourish instead, and all without making demands or ultimatums on spouses.
“Does he talk about me to you?”
Yes, he does – a little bit. But not in the ways you’re likely worried he does.
We are clear with him that he’s hired us for us to help him address issues in his life, not yours.
We have zero interest and, therefore, tolerance in supporting accusations a man levels against a partner we’ve never met and who is not present in our meetings.
We consider speaking about the shortcomings of absent third parties a low-integrity, unethical, and woefully unprofessional. We’ve also seen many marriages destroyed by professionals offering diagnoses for non-present persons they’ve never met.
Though we will always empathize with how each man has experienced his life and what he thinks is going on, our persistent focus is always on him owning his experience, thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
We never invite or encourage him to remain in a mindset of blaming his partner or anyone else and work to help him bring his focus back to himself.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, I probably deserve it sometimes”?
We don’t know, and frankly, don’t ultimately care because whether you are an utterly horrible person or a saint, he still must choose to be his best if he is to live his best life.
We teach men to end the gridlock of determining how and when they’ll experience their greatness based on other people’s actions and behaviors. We do this by helping him to stop the unhealthy behavior of determining his behavior by yours.
We believe he has no path forward if he does not take responsibility for himself.
“Does he tell you things about me that portray me in a poor light?”
Let me be blunt…
If your husband, fiance, or boyfriend is focused on how you need to change, he’s not a man that will likely feel eager or welcome to continue being our client.
He’ll rapidly realize that our mentoring focuses on his personal responsibility, agency, and need to be his best self.
When we first meet a man, many are convinced they have a partner problem. Some are certain they married the wrong woman. Such men begin pouring out complaints.
With these kinds of men, from the first call forward, we deliberately and persistently challenge them to stop blaming others.
They generally leave our community if they can’t, as it would be incredibly uncomfortable otherwise. They’re also not invited to continue forward with our deeper mentoring work,
Because we don’t believe you’re likely “the problem.” In fact, experience with hundreds of men tells us you’re not.
Any talk about you in poor light results in a challenge to him. We challenge him to own how he experiences you, choose how he wishes to be in the world, and stop focusing on you.
We also teach him about personal boundaries so that should his partners’ behavior be toxic or abusive, he understands what actions his boundaries demand of him.
We hope this gives your heart and mind relief.
Our values are to believe the best about people, and your man, if he’s working with us, will be ecnouraged to do the same.
Though we don’t know you, we choose to believe the best about you as we do all humans.
We believe you’re doing the best you can, and the help and guidance we give to your partner is centered on that belief.
“How does he describe me to you?”
Most women would be absolutely shocked by how their partners describe them to us.
Men come to us during the most challenging stages of their relationships. Stages where there has been a lot of anger, hostility, resentment, and contempt building.
We work with high-character, virtuous men who endeavor to live epic and remarkable lives. We don’t work with the “Al Bundy” and “Homer Simpson,” men of the world.
Despite the challenging emotions they’re experiencing, these high-character men we work with tend to speak very highly of their partners.
It’s astonishing, actually, given their emotional state. It’s warmed our hearts over the years to see many virtuous men hang on to a high view of their partners during difficult times.
If he’s working with us, know that he does thinks highly of you and speaks as such, though, to be clear – he has his frustrations.
He’s doing his best to live in a way that reflects a view of you that, quite honestly, may even be even higher than you think of yourself.
“Is the picture he is painting of me unfair?”
When a man first speaks to us, about half the time, he paints and unfair portrait of you!
And we let him know that!
Then we start immediately start working on getting a more mature and empowering story to live in where you’re not the villain, and he’s not the Victim.
We know his true source of pain is the powerlessness that comes from making other people responsible for parts of his well-being. That always results in resenting those he makes responsible and seeing them as villains.
As he learns to see himself as responsible and feels less victimized, he’ll slowly see you less as a villain.
Hopefully, you’ll notice this before long.
You should witness him being increasingly less defensive, irritable, pouty, argumentative, and needing to be right all the time.
You will also likely see him become more mature, clear about what he wants, decisive, confident, calmer, open, accepting, and warm.
If you’re not, tell him he needs to double down on his work with us :)?
“Is he considering leaving me?”
This might sound scary…
When he first gets in touch with us, he might be entertaining such thoughts.
99% of the men we work with would only be fantasizing about it because, deep down, they know they don’t really want that and just feel stuck.
They feel stuck because they see the solutions to their problems as outside of themselves.
They want their relationship to work and flourish, but they’re exasperated and running out of hope.
When we start working with such a man, we encourage him to set those ideas aside for a while.
We then encourage and show them how to be a better captain before concluding they’ve got a lousy boat. Too many men scuttle a perfectly good boat for not knowing how to sail it.
We show men how to “sail their boat” with confidence, competence, and delight before making any hasty assumptions about their boat (relationship).
As most men do this, they realize they never had a boat problem; they just didn’t know how to sail very well and have been avoiding the rough seas that would make them more skilled.
“Are you going to encourage or support him in leaving, separating, or divorcing me?”
99% of the time, No.
We’re not focused on your partners’ marital status. We’re focused on his sense of well-being.
We encourage the men we work with not ever to end a relationship from any place other than a deep love for themselves and their partner. Leaving a relationship in pain doesn’t end pain; it just follows him to the next relationship.
Ending a relationship without a solid sense of wellbeing, which many do, accomplishes nothing. It’s built on the belief that the other person is the problem, and we generally don’t support that view.
Until a man no longer feels victimized by the woman in his life, we don’t believe making such a consequential decision is advisable.
Despite this, some men still make this decision. We don’t encourage them or help them to do so.
We do encourage men to start seeing and treating themselves with appreciation, kindness, and self-respect, and a man may conclude the best expression of that is to create distance from his partner.
Suppose a client is being assaulted by his partner. In that case, we should note that we will advise him to do what is necessary to remove himself and seek safety and seek the appropriate professional and legal counsel required to navigate that scenario.
However, women assaulting their male partners are not typically looking at this sort of web page.
“Do you tell him that he’s better off with someone else?”
We don’t believe a man that can’t be the source of his own happiness and well-being where he is at present, experiences much long-term benefit by changing partners.
All relationships experience stages of conflict. Our experience is that these can bring tremendous growth, intimacy, and connection to a man and his relationships and that to seek to avoid them is to seek to avoid the very process that brings about maturity and growth.
Take heart… men looking for the easy and comfortable path generally don’t have any interest in working with us!
“Will you end up turning him into something awful, paternalistic, or misogynistic?”
We realize that some partners may confuse us quoting from diverse perspectives and cultures and sources as being wholesale approval and adoption of those perspectives.
Others frequently confuse our promotion of male leadership in relationship with paternalism.
When we speak to your partner about leadership and leading the relationship, We’re not at all suggesting he is “in charge” or makes the all decisions and controls everything.
We’re clear with him that leadership in the relationship means taking ownership and responsibility for setting the tone and temperature for it.
We explain that if he wants warmth, to be warm; if he desires connection, to be connecting.
We explain that leading means to stop waiting for others to be and do what he imagines they should be and do and for him to be and do what he wants in life!
Is there mutual contempt? Leadership means going first to let go of his contempt, whether his partner does or not.
Is there mutual resentment? Leadership means going first to let go of resentment, whether his partner does or not.
Have you asked for space? Leadership means doing what is within his power to make that space.
Leadership in a relationship is about going first in the hard things and taking responsibility for the hard stuff that he’d much rather continue waiting for and looking for his partner to do. This makes for unhappy men and unhappy women.
Our experience with men and women is that most women generally find that very agreeable and desirable, even if it challenges their political ideology.
Our experience also tells us that if a female partner has to go first in all these ways, she’ll generally end up irritated or resentful that he didn’t, conclude she married a petulant child, and want more for herself.
In fact, we find this motivation behind what leads many females to become involved in emotional and physical affairs.
We hold men and women in equal esteem, value, and worth. We don’t believe one is superior to the other.
However, we do believe that someone needs to go first, and since we are men, and work with men, that’s who we encourage to do so.
“What if I’m having an affair?”
If you’re having an affair, we’re sorry that your relationship has produced a context where having an affair felt like the best option for experiencing the life you’ve wanted for yourself.
We don’t judge you but have empathy for you.
We know the pain and emptiness, and longing that leads to affairs.
We also encourage you to end it immediately.
Because we know men!
If you’re married and in an affair with a man, we can assure you that man is hurting, immature, insecure, and has poor boundaries that will eventually cause you significant pain and anguish.
Instead, we invite you to take the path to well-being for everyone involved, most of all yourself.
Come clean with your partner. It will suck a bit, but you’ll also give your relationship and partner a great gift.
There’s a good chance he already knows – albeit he’s probably really struggling because of not having proof.
That’s a miserable way to live for a man, and knowing the truth would bring some relief.
It will also relieve you of hiding and walking in darkness.
“Can I privately contact/talk/get in touch with someone at Mentoring Men?”
Yes, you may. Just use the contact page to get in touch with me and let us know what you need.