There’s an old saying that we teach what we want to learn. I’ve been a marriage and family counselor since 1968. I was twenty-five years old then, had just received my master’s degree in Social Welfare, and my wife and I had been married exactly two years. We didn’t have children but were planning to have two. I was making a good living helping troubled men and women make their marriages work.
Ten years later, my wife and I had two wonderful children and a marriage that was in shambles. We also had two divorce lawyers that were trying to get the best settlement for each of us and their hourly rate was quickly eating up what assets we had accumulated.
I felt stressed, depressed, and angry at the world. I was mad at my wife for not living up to my dreams of wedded bliss and a list of grievances (all which I thought were totally justified at the time). I was mad at all her women friends who believed the lies I imagined she was telling them. I was mad at all my men friends who…the truth is I really didn’t have many men friends. I was too busy making a living and too busy trying to be a good father with very little understanding how to be one. My own father had left when I was five years old and I was raised by a single mom. I also found that after the divorce, “our friends” seemed to really be “her friends.”
What I had learned growing up was that a good man gets educated so he can get a good job, make a good living, find a good wife, have two good children, and live happily ever after. Mostly I was mad at myself because I f**ked it all up somehow and had no idea how or why, or what to do to fix it.
The first thing I did was take a break from being a marriage and family counselor. I felt like a fraud giving advice to others about how to have a good relationship when I didn’t know myself. I dropped out completely. Well, not completely, I still had to make a living. I got a job at Howard Johnson’s restaurant, worked the 6 AM to 2 PM shift and made enough in tips to cover my expenses. I tried to cover the shame of failure by pretending I was on vacation from life, but really I needed to do some soul searching.
In my spare time I evaluated my life, from the beginning to the present. I also read everything I was too busy to read about life and love. Eventually things began to come together. I met Carlin, fell in love, and learned to be honest from the beginning. Things have worked out well and we’ve been together for 42 years now.
The little I thought I knew about relationships told me that once I had the “right partner” everything would be easy. Carlin and I soon learned that there’s a big difference between getting into a relationship and having a relationship that lasts and gets better through the years. We wrote a book about what we’d learned, The Enlightened Marriage: The 5 Transformative Stages of Relationships and Why the Best is Still to Come.
In addition to reading, I talked to colleagues in the field who I knew and respected and learned from. A more recent colleague I’ve been learning from is Shana James. I first connected with her after watching her powerful TED talk, “What a Thousand Male Tears Reveals About the Crisis Between Men and Women.” Her first words, hooked me immediately,
“I’ve had more than a thousand men cry and be vulnerable with me.”
I was mesmerized by her talk and realized what a rare gift she offers men.
We all need to be seen, heard, respected, and cared for. Shana is a brilliant coach and offers midlife men the one thing we desperately need, particularly following a break up—the belief in our inherent goodness as men. Most of us have been wounded by life and often in our relationships with women. It takes a rare woman to be able to touch the soul of men and to guide us to a better future.
Shana is offering a wonderful and life-changing class, “3 Ways to Be Rejection Proof After a Divorce or Breakup: How to Have Relationships in Mid-Life with Renewed Self-Respect and Sexual Confidence.” It’s a class I wish I had attended when I went through my own breakup and crash.
Here are some of the things you’ll learn:
- How to create healthy, exciting dates and relationships when you’re starting over.
- What shifts you from being seen as a Nice Guy or “friend” women won’t sleep with, to a Desired Man.
- Conversation starters that help women trust and respect you AND lead to better sex and connection.
- The 8 invisible factors of attraction that take the effort out of turning a woman on (sometimes before you even speak).
- How to increase your mojo, even as testosterone fades, so you can do away with rules, lines and games.
It’s not easy to start anew, but Shana’s care, support, and guidance, can give us the courage that we need to succeed.
“People will always say No to our requests at times,”
“but how we receive their No is what makes rejection either feel devastating or we take it in stride and see there will be a better match for us out there.”
You can learn more about this free class here. Please check it out. You’ll be glad you did.
Oh, and one more thing. Be sure and ask her about her new book (I’m reading it now). It’s called, Honest Sex, and you don’t want to miss it.
This class will benefit people of any age, but it will be particularly valuable to men at midlife. Once I began dealing with my own mid-life struggles, I realized that millions of men were going through a similar process. I knew I still had a lot to learn so I began doing research that resulted in two books, Male Menopause and Surviving Male Menopause: A Guide for Women and Men. The books became international best-sellers and have been translated into 14 foreign languages.
Here are some of the important things I learned:
Male menopause (also called Andropause) begins with hormonal, physiological, and chemical changes that occur in all men generally between the ages of forty and fifty-five, though it can occur as early as thirty-five or as late as sixty-five. These changes affect all aspects of a man’s life. Male menopause is, thus, a physical condition with psychological, interpersonal, social, sexual, and spiritual dimensions.
The purpose of male menopause is to signal the end of the first part of a man’s life and prepare him for the second half. Male menopause is not the beginning of the end, as many fear, but the end of the beginning. It is the passage to the most passionate, powerful, productive, and purposeful time of a man’s life.
At whatever age and stage you are at, if these ideas resonate with you, I hope you’ll check out Shana James’ class, “3 Ways to Be Rejection Proof After a Divorce or Breakup.”
If you’d like to read other articles and check out my own work, please visit me at MenAlive.com
The post The One Thing Mid-Life Men Need Following a Divorce or Breakup appeared first on MenAlive.