Home Concepts Adult Development THE VULNERABILITY OF MEN: SWIMMING UPSTREAM TOWARD INTIMACY

THE VULNERABILITY OF MEN: SWIMMING UPSTREAM TOWARD INTIMACY

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How do men cope with their conflicting roles and constant confusion and feelings of not being a good enough man/father/husband? All the while, they are inhibited from expressing “feelings” of frustration as a result of this double bind created by their values and culture. What results are often negative coping mechanisms to handle the feelings and frustrations associated with fatherhood, marriage, and masculinity. Positive coping skills such as seeking therapy or talking to someone about their feelings cannot be utilized, as this would involve another infraction of the “rules of masculinity.” Also, many men may not even know how to cope positively and utilize positive coping skills because they have lived the majority of their lives withholding their emotional pain and putting on a strong, stoic, and “in control” façade. This leaves men to cope with misplaced expressions of anger (e.g., verbal and/or physical), alcohol or drug use, misuse or overuse of prescription medication, engaging in high-risk activities to “regain” some sense of perceived lost “manhood,” among other negative coping mechanisms and outlets for their emotions.

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