Gun Shy

In my previous article I discussed that men have difficulty finding a balanced place of being. A place that encompasses their strength and does not distinguish it. A place that allows for vulnerability with out exploitation. So, what does it look like for men to live in this place? I have recently been exposed to the phrase “gun shy” in regards to men speaking truthfully. I took this to mean that for men, being honest in their strength as men, has at times been squashed or condemned or lashed back upon. As a woman, we long our husbands to be strong for us—to provide stability, support and love. Yet, how many of us women can handle the truth in strength of our men? I can admit this has been a difficulty for myself. My heart grieves the idea that my husband has to withhold his true emotions or his true frustrations, aggravations, struggles and doubts—yet I find that I have difficulty “holding” the intensity of his honest emotions at times.

No wonder some men become passive and with hold. No wonder some men feel that being honest with the world, with their brothers, or the women in their lives is dangerous. And no wonder some men are explosive and fall to physical domination to find control in what feels so confining, with no outlet. Once again, this pressure pushes men to remain internal, to somehow handle the stress and struggle all on their own.

Though this society has fought to bring awareness to empowering women over time, it seems it has also swung to the opposite extreme in a way where men have been reduced to being seen as limited and weak. In this triumphant push back, I believe that we, as a society of women, have somewhat trampled the hearts of men. We just want to be seen, recognized, validated—right? Yet somehow this has turned into return-domination. I write with encouragement that we as women can begin to very consciously enter into the difficult conversations with the men in our lives—whether they are our spouse, brother, father, son or friend. That we can begin to debunk their fear of being “gun shy”, that we can listen with mercy and grace as a man works out the tensions and complexities of his heart with out us feeling threatened, overwhelmed and with out allowing self-condemnation to set in. I want to hear the hearts of men; I want to hear the honesty, the struggle, the insecurity and also the thirst for adventure, justice and honor. Deep waters run through the heart of a man and we would be robbed with out the privilege of knowing them.

"The most important marriage skill is listening to your partner in a way that they can't possibly doubt that you love them. --"  Diane Sollee

" When unconditional love is put into action, it truly is the 'cure' to creating peace in the home. It simply takes learning how to put it into action. Traditional parenting techniques are fraught with fear, disguised as love. Shifting your perspective to allow the light of love to overcome the darkness of fear is the only way.--" Heather Forbes

Brighton Family Counseling LLC

55 South 4th Avenue,

Brighton, CO 80601

Phone. 720-373-5731