Mention the word intimacy with a man today, you will get a strange look, and a feeling that you should move on and talk about another subject. The word intimacy, for most men today, has become a 21st-Century Pandora’s Box.
Metaphorically, the fear of the unknown keeps us from drawing near to the box and opening it up. Fundamentally, we hide ourselves from our wives and partners, therefore they tend to love what we do, not who we are.
As a husband or partner, you do not have to be a 10, you just have to be yourself. Often it is said that a woman doesn’t want a strong man, but a man who leads, and is sure of himself. Often, today, you hear of men who are not sure of themselves, this can often bring isolation, anxiety, and ultimately depression. It is well known, that the biggest killer of men between the ages of 18 and 34 in the UK, is death by their own hands.
Society tells us that we have to suck it up, grow a pair or man up. Furthermore, in the same breath, show tenderness, compassion and love. With dire posing messages such as this, no wonder most men feel confused and often end up with unhelpful behaviours, as a way of helping them deal with modern day living, such as drug addiction, alcohol problems, and extramarital/relational affairs, not to mention, problem gambling.
There are many outside influences telling men how they should be. Some these influences can be cultural, or media based. Often men put their identity in their jobs, but when their job is gone or lost, they struggle, never really knowing who they are.
There is a popular concept that most men have a midlife crisis, whether this is true or not is entirely up to your own opinion. But it is at these times when men try to find themselves, possibly after a loss or a loss of connection with themselves or, even worse, finding out that they were never truly connected to themselves, let alone their partner.
The incidences of depression in men in the UK are rising; as with all sectors of the population mental health is now being looked at by healthcare professionals and politicians, as a real issue. Often, men would like to talk to men about their problems, finding it difficult to relate to a woman, when they talk about intimacy, and what this means to them.
The word intimacy for most men means being exposed, this can be frightening, and talking to a professional, such as a psychotherapist / counsellor can often help men find their own meaning for the word intimacy.
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