Women will say they want a man who stands confidently in his power, is decisive, takes charge and makes things happen. Women say they miss it and even resent it when men appear passive or weak or confused. They feel left, alone, unsafe and “turned off” to their male partners.
What is happening here? And what can we do to shift things around?
Highly simplified, with the advent of the feminist movement, women came to positions of power, and this shift in power impacted personal relationships. Women were no longer willing to be subservient to men. They stood up for what they wanted.
The last thing a good loving man wanted to be called was a male chauvinist pig. So he damped down his masculinity. He became soft and sensitive and caring. He became more feminine.
There was a shift in roles.
While this shift towards power and gender equality has been personally, culturally, and economically beneficial on many levels, it has also resulted in confusion at home.
Women these days spend a good deal of time in the masculine. They stand confidently in their power, make decisions, take charge and make things happen, often both at home AND work.
This is confusing to men. How can he take charge if his partner is taking charge? How can he make decisions when his wife tears his decisions apart with her desires? How can he step in his powerful masculine when she is already fulfilling that role?
For most men, it is hard to answer these questions. It is challenging for him to know what his woman wants. In the face of his confusion, many men back off from taking decisive action rather than risk rejection from the woman they love most.
Unfortunately, this breeds contempt in women who want a powerful masculine man. Her resulting criticism only fuels his confusion and retreat further. Both are left feeling unfulfilled.
What is the way out?
Consciously play with shifting roles. Create more fluidity and balance between both the masculine and feminine in both genders. Lesbian and gay relationships can likewise benefit from conscious attention to who is stepping into which role when. When women can pay attention to granting space to their partners to take the lead, and men can play with risking stepping forward into their powerful masculine, we can awaken new possibilities in our relationships.
Paige spoke to this so beautifully in her latest post on our Facebook Mastery Page after our Gift of Conflict course (and actually inspired this article!):
“I’m loving allowing my husband to step into being powerful and decisive. Wow! Just watching and experiencing the transformation is almost unbelievable. Just booked our vacation for October. Fiji – where HE wanted to go, at the resort HE found, the time of year HE chose and I AM truly excited. Had to get over my initial knee-jerk reaction of “Well….maybe there’s someplace better, or we already did two tropical vacations, let’s do something different, or it’s too expensive”, etc. I just KEPT MY MOUTH SHUT and watched him transform.
The confidence he is getting from not feeling “criticized” or disagreed with is what I have been wanting so badly and it is being created thanks to this work we are doing in the Mastery Program. Oh and just so you know; now, I couldn’t even think of going anywhere else on our vacation. I just wish we could go tomorrow!!! Thanks to Sonika and Christian and all of you in the Mastery Program for supporting us in this work. Love you all so very much!”
And for some extra fun with the men-women conversation, check our Brian Scott McFadden youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbJOLq5wXwk