Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Normal Male by Dr. Rod - The Saturday Two-Step

A lot of very wise couples counselors have said that those couple who know how to fight are the ones who have the best chance at long-term happiness. Sound like a contradiction? The reality is that if we cannot express our disappointments and frustrations in a fair and honest manner, then they seep out in passive-aggressive behaviors that undermine trust and intimacy. And likewise, if we cannot be open to when our partner is frustrated or angry with us, and really hear what needs to be said, then we damage openness and sharing in the relationship.

In this cool post, Dr. Rod calls on men to be mature in our relationships - to open ourselves to the perspectives of those we love, and those with whom we sometimes quarrel.

The Saturday Two-Step


The exploration of manhood often takes us over vast topography and under deep, dark skeletons and secrets and can leave one feeling like a dog trying to navigate the waters. Communicating with your loved one during an argument provides Normal Males the perfect stage to display our revolutionary approach to ending “grunt” stereotypes.

Easier said then done. Right? I know for me it is a constant struggle to remember how so many women have experienced men and how those experiences impact current circumstances. Many women have experienced men who were bad listeners, verbally abusive, insensitive, childish, and sometimes down-right mean. These are the stereotypes that fill our airwaves, television sets, and movie screens…not to mention those in our homes and surrounding communities.

Arguments or disagreements
, if you will, between a man and woman can look like a great standoff like the Bay of Pigs…sound like a classic country song…and even resemble an episode of Cops (though that doesn’t help anyone).

And the “beauty” is that each combination of man and woman argue and disagree in their own unique way. Substitute another for your spouse and a different sequence ensues. Add money, kids, cat litter, bills, and bloating and you can have a grand ole’ tango that leaves both parties without any “hand”, as Costanza would say, or power.

We are each presented with opportunities to squelch the argument…apologize…and make-up the way they do in movies…even though the implication is that sex will cure a relationship more than communicating-a post for another day ;)

But too often we drop our personal opportunity like an advertiser drops Tiger Woods and we take the bait of the other like a silly mouse who thinks they can outsmart the cheese trap. I try…you try…we need to keep trying. Communication in the form of an interested and thoughtful adult trumps posturing any day.

“Normal Males of the universe”….hear the trumpeting in the background :) ….”I call on you to think twice during an argument…exercise caution…employ poise…and think of the issue at hand from ALL sides. Your spouse will appreciate you…your kids will understand that you are more complex than a set of socket wrenches…and we all win.”

Alright, now where did I put that remote control?

Have a great weekend everyone and take advantage of the precious time we all have with those you support and love us the most.

Dr. Rod

Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male

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