JUNE 10, 2013 BY CANDICE HOLDORF
Being more stable and open with our feelings contributes to a better relationship. And a better self.
I recently experienced what some would call an emotional breakdown. The hippie, new-age Cali girl in me would prefer to think of it as an emotional breakthrough. But yeah, I had a breakdown.
Anger, unspoken desires, resentment, exhaustion, hunger—all of these conspired to create the perfect storm of matrimonial turbulence.
Until he finally held my shoulders, looked into my eyes and said, “You get to have your feelings.” Finally, the knot I had been gripping with all my arrogance melted. He had touched the sore place where love does not easily flow.
The welling tears spilled forth, and my shaking body, caught in the grip of deep climax, collapsed onto his chest.I could trust this man because I know that in our relationship, he gets to have his feelings too.♦◊♦Men seem to be perpetually caught in a paradoxical mind-fuck which dictates that they must be the impenetrable ‘rock’ in the relationship. He can’t have any feelings or those feelings must take a backseat to his partner’s. This belief, while chivalrous in its roots, cripples intimacy.
The stoic and mysterious Don Draper may certainly be appealing for a night of sensual debauchery, but his relationship track record is pretty wretched.
To me, being a rock doesn’t mean that a man is bulletproof or fixed. A rock is a porous being. It absorbs the water just as much as it meets and holds it.
The rock is meant to symbolize constant presence. What that means is a man stays connected no matter what is swirling within himself or his partner. He remains open and permeable, mirroring his partner with equal amounts of honesty
Vulnerability is the real strength. Someone willing to say what he feels while holding the space for his partner’s experience requires the utmost courage and willingness to stay firmly rooted in the moment.
When a man is permeable, he is truly feeling his partner and not simply dealing with him/her. The former breeds compassion and trust. The latter usually plays out one of two ways.
In the first, the man may completely detach from the experience. He essentially waits for his partner to ‘get it over with’ before he returns to the present.
In the second, the man may settle into the old game of ‘son saves mommy’, leaving both parties completely disempowered as neither will take responsibility for his own experience. The focus becomes on finding someone to ‘fix’ and not on sharing experience authentically.
As woman, I want a partner, not a caretaker. A playmate, not a parent. Someone who is already whole, not depending on me to make him whole. When a man is in alignment and approval of his own inherent femininity, it opens the door for total, embodied masculinity (which is pretty damn irresistible).
So men, release the ‘handle-the-problem’ mindset and allow yourself to be penetrated. Your willingness to have your feelings allows me the freedom to share mine.