Marriage Counseling for Men

The truth is that sometimes we feel more comfortable with one person than another. And when it comes to counseling, many men would rather talk about their issues with another man. The problem is that too much of what passes for counseling among men is really more like support, bonding, or guy talk. If you need help with your golf swing, your buds or the guys in the club house will be fun to talk to. They may be supportive and understanding. But what you need is a first rate swing coach.

So when it comes to counseling, it's easy to find a sympathetic ear or support. But what you need is counseling that is more like coaching. In other words, someone who know what they are talking about, can give you some really good tips and send you on your way so you can start practicing doing the right thing the right way.

So let's say that you recognize that you need some help--with relationship issues, home/work balance, anger management, or whatever. What you are hoping for is a really good coach or mentor. Someone who has been there, done that. Someone who is like a senior manager who can mentor you, offer some practical common sense advice, and then be there occasionally, if you need a little more feedback.

Perhaps most importantly, you want to hear it from an authority you can respect. Like a father, grandfather or successful senior mentor. You also don't want them to undermine your authority. It would also be nice if you could work one on one with the person--someone who wants to help you instead of seeing you as the problem. You would also like it to be one on one, not two or three against one.

 Perhaps you decide to turn to the clergy--a minister or a chaplain. This is good because the pastor or chaplain will hopefully see you as a person, a person with mind, body and soul--and treat you as a whole person.


Someone once said that being nice means being weak. We like nice people. Nice people are easy to be around. Nice people make you feel comfortable.


So there is a natural tendency to think that when things are going wrong with our relationships (with our partner, our kids, or at work) that learning to be nice is the answer.

I have to say, and I say this with love because I am a pastor myself, too much of what passes for pastoral counseling or Christian counseling or what we hear in church is about being "nice."

 I know too many men who are nice--they go to work every day, they are home every evening, they are a nice guy--and their family walks all over them. Mom is in charge, and she resents him for his weakness. There has to be an answer. And there is. It's like avoiding the extremes, but not quite. It's more like firm but fair. It means loving justice and what is right, and standing for what is right, but with a twinkle in your eye. A man needs patience, kindness, tender heartedness, long suffering, and gentleness. But he also needs to STAND FOR SOMETHING.


Therefore, if you have always been Mr. Nice guy and have found that it doesn't work, but you don't want to be Mr. Meany either--Then you need a little basic training about how to stand for what is right without anger. And about why virtue gets respect. I have been advising and counseling people for over 20 years. I have to say that most people I have helped have been women. Women are more keen to detect something going in in a relationship, for example. Men tend to not sense something is wrong until it gets really critical and she demands a divorce or something.

I think women suffer more. They are more aware in relationships than men are. I'm focusing on relationships because they are so important. What makes our personal failings so painful is that they always involve others. As dad and father, you are supposed to be the Moses, the George Washington of your family. They look to you for guidance, strength, kindness and understanding.
When you are wimpy, you fail them. When you are angry, you fail them. When you are not there for them, you fail them.

I have a lot of insight in this area. I can help you because even though I am a man, I have some insight into what your wife or kids are likely feeling. They may not be able to tell you--but I can. Okay, it may be tough love. But remember, for your golf swing, you want a good swing coach. In a counselor, you need someone honest and insightful, who is solution based and has a problem solving orientation. Need to talk to a professional? Need some help with a relationship issue? Do you want some help coping with stress, family/work balance issues, overcoming negative emotions, or learning to forgive?

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