Does Being A Man Mean Dying In Silence? – Family And Relationships
The expectations of society on men has made it impossible for them to share some of their burdens with their partners. This is a fact coming from a patriarchal society. In my society, men are told that they aren’t supposed to cry, talk too much or share deep emotional truths with others and so most of them suffer in silence even when they are blessed with a loving and supportive spouse.
What I hear women complain most times as a life coach is that the men won’t talk, the men won’t agree to share. I hardly find men associations and support groups like the women have and it seems to me that to be a man in a society like mine is a curse and a burden that can only be eradicated with a change of mindset. To be honest, the menfolk go through a lot of pressure silently in the midst of women who would have given them a shoulder to lean on.
I recently had a conversation with a man who lost his job for a few months but couldn’t share with his wife and so dresses every morning and pretends to leave for work. His excuse was that he didn’t want to disappoint his family and he bore that pain alone for months before he finally opened up to his wife. Who would blame him when society makes you feel less of a man when you can’t provide for the family.
I’m not saying it’s OK to not provide for the family but I believe it should be in partnership with your spouse. After all, God created them male and female and blessed them and called them man Genesis 5:2. That tells me that both sexes were blessed with the capacity to handle anything including fending for the home. So a partnership in marriage guarantees that one partner should uphold the other when he/she is weak in his/her responsibilities.
I perfectly understand that for humans to understand their existence and how to live with each other, they labeled things and roles were shared according to gender so that everyone has their place in the scheme of things. Women have always been seen as the weaker sex in terms of the physical structure and so required to do less where a show of strength is needed. Now the question to genuinely ask ourselves in the light of the 21st century is, has the labeling and role play paid us? Has it brought more good and understanding to humanity?
My answer would be that it hasn’t, hinging my response to the fact that statistically, men are more depressed and suicidal than women. Society allows the women their expressions which is seen as their second nature forgetting that every individual has both male and female sides. The men who are in touch with their femininity are seen as weak and branded women by their male folk. Chores and activities are separated for boys and girls as children and young adults; even jobs as well. The man is seen to be tough and must always show strength in every situation.
Now, these men carry the show of strength over to their marriages and refuse to share their pains with their spouses thinking that would make them appear weak. They suffer in silence in the name of being a man and raise children who continue in their footsteps. At what point do we then say enough is enough and how do we help our men realize that it’s OK not to be OK? I believe the answer lies with all of us, men and women. The conversation should be that it’s okay for anyone male or female to express their feelings, ask for help, talk to someone without fear of judgment.
Our men should be free to speak up and share their deep emotions without fear of being branded weak or a woman. Women are far from weak and that narrative doesn’t do them justice as they are by far the most dangerous species on planet earth. Parents should raise their sons to cry and show emotions as well as their daughters. When we all see ourselves as humans who have the ability to be strong or weak as situations permit, life would be easier for everyone.
What’s your take?
Authored By BeeCee Ugboh For Smartcouples.net