1. Listening to this now and am amazed at how much what happened to your relationship sounds like what happened to my marriage. Emotions are very similar as well as thoughts re bigger picture. Must be your academic background compared with mine very intellectual. I was so much smarter than he is. I was and still am and he just had to point that out to me in a recent email that forced him to admit that, once again.

    1. So glad you can relate to my story although I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Have you discovered Heal Your Heartbreak podcast yet? It’s been saving me ❤️‍🩹 Thank you for listening, there’s more to come!

  2. I find there’s still too much platitudinous lip-service towards proactive mental illness prevention for males, as well as treatment. Various media will state the obvious, that society must open up its collective minds and common dialogue when it comes to far more progressively addressing the challenge of more fruitfully treating and preventing such illness in general; however, they will typically fail to address the problem of ill men, or even boys, refusing to open up and/or ask for help due to their fear of being perceived by peers, etcetera, as weak/non-masculine.

    The social ramifications exist all around us; indeed, it is endured, however silently, by males of/with whom we are aware/familiar or to whom so many of us are closely related. The (August 11, 2014) suicide of actor and comedian Robin Williams comes to my mind.

    Even today, there remains a mentality, albeit perhaps a subconscious one: Men can take care of themselves, and boys often are basically little men. It’s the same mentality that might explain why the book Childhood Disrupted was only able to include one man among its six interviewed adult subjects, there being such a small pool of ACE-traumatized men willing to formally tell his own story of childhood abuse.

    It could be evidence of a continuing subtle societal take-it-like-a-man mindset; one in which so many men, even with anonymity, prefer not to ‘complain’ to some stranger/author about his torturous childhood, as that is what ‘real men’ do. [I tried multiple times contacting the book’s author via internet websites in regards to this non-addressed florescent elephant in the room, but I received no response.] …

    According to the author of The Highly Sensitive Man (2019, Tom Falkenstein, Ch.1): “At the same time, academics are telling us that ‘we know far less about the psychological and physical health of men than of women.’ Why is this? Michael Addis, a professor of psychology and a leading researcher into male identity and psychological health, has highlighted a deficit in our knowledge about men suffering from depression and argues that this has cultural, social, and historical roots.

    If we look at whether gender affects how people experience depression, how they express it, and how it’s treated, it quickly becomes clear that gender has for a long time referred to women and not to men. According to Addis, this is because, socially and historically, men have been seen as the dominant group and thus representative of normal psychological health. Women have thus been understood as the nondominant group, which deviated from the norm, and they have been examined and understood from this perspective. One of the countless problems of this approach is that the experiences and specific challenges of the ‘dominant group,’ in this case men, have remained hidden. …”

    While it is true that a higher percentage of women than men will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or a depressive episode, the suicide rate among men is much higher. In the United States, the suicide rate is notably higher in men than in women. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men account for 77 percent of the forty-five thousand people who kill themselves every year in the United States. In fact, men commit suicide more than women everywhere in the world. Men are more likely to suffer from addiction, and when men discuss depressive symptoms with their doctor, they are less likely than women to be diagnosed with depression and consequently don’t receive adequate therapeutic and pharmacological treatment. …

    This is backed up by numerous psychological studies over the last forty years that tell us that, despite huge social change, the stereotypical image of the ‘strong man’ is still firmly with us at all ages, in all ethnic groups, and among all socio-economic backgrounds. In the face of problems, men tend not to seek out emotional or professional help from other people. They use, more often than women, alcohol or drugs to numb unpleasant feelings and, in crises, tend to try to deal with things on their own, instead of searching out closeness or help from others.”

    1. Thank you for sharing all of this. This is all so heartbreaking and true, I agree. As a woman, I’ve recently been wondering, “ok how do I offer support to men and still get my needs met, and still continue to try to feel understood and respected as well? Because women are still being abused by men daily, and not all men, but some. So, how is the best way for me to support the men in my life who aren’t abusing me but who struggle with this?” I’m leaning towards something along the lines of compassion because that really heals everything. But this greater wound between the sexes I don’t believe will be healed in my lifetime. Although wouldn’t that be nice?

      1. Yes, perhaps compassion and gentleness are not traits that result from testosterone, or at least high levels of the hormone. It’s a shame. …

        I don’t know if I’ve already stated something similar to this elsewhere on your blog, but I sometimes wonder whether male aggression or ‘toxic masculinity’ in general could be related to the same constraining societal idealization of the ‘real man’ (albeit perhaps more subtly than in the past)? I’d presume he’d be stiff-upper-lip physically and emotionally strong, financially successful, confidently fights and wins, assertively solves problems, and exemplifies sexual prowess. (Maybe society should be careful about what it collectively wishes for.)

        Shortly after Donald Trump was sworn-in as president, a 2016 survey of American women conducted not long after his abundant misogyny was exposed to the world revealed that a majority of respondents nonetheless found him appealing, presumably due to his alpha-male great financial success and confidence. …

        Perhaps relevant to this is a June 24, 2020 Toronto Now article I read headlined “Keep Cats Out of Your Dating Profile, Ridiculous Study Suggests” that was self-explanatorily sub-headlined “Men were deemed less masculine and less attractive when they held up cats in their dating pics, according to researchers”.

        As a cat-fan, that article made me think. … Even today, there are many out there who will still (albeit non-verbally) question the normality or masculinity of a guy who really likes cats — something that’s implied by first-season Seinfeld’s George Costanza, though he’s hardly a scientifically accurate example. In a doubtful tone of voice while shaking his head, George says to Elaine Benes in regards to her new boyfriend’s affection for his two cats: “Guys with cats … I don’t know.”

      2. Yes I agree with all of this. Men need to be accepted for themselves as a whole person. Just the way women are demanded we be accepted. A man should be able to have muscles or not have muscles, like cats, and just be himself, do his thing, without trying to be the way he’s being told to be. And he should be wholly accepted for himself as he is. Just the way a woman should. We all have long ways to go 😬💕 Not gonna lie, that Seinfeld quote made me laugh. But mostly because Seinfeld is hysterical and they’re all just a bunch of assholes 😬

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