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#443214 - 08/04/13 11:03 AM What makes a man? For survivors and spouses
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 359
I have thought a lot about goldstone's post. So as not to hijack it, I am starting a new one.

What makes a man a real man?...What makes a man manly/masculine?

In my opinion:

A real man shares his feelings....hiding your feelings is chicken. It takes courage to be honest about them.

A real man is vulnerable

A real man shares his fears and doesn't deny them or try to numb them

A real man puts his family above all others

A real man is grateful for what he has

A real man accepts imperfection from himself and others

A real man knows how to ask for help and/or what he needs

A real man is affectionate

A real man doesn't blame others for his problems

A real man accepts and appreciates where he is today!

A real man knows all about sports (ok, that is a joke)

Anyone else have any input??????????

Please add your opinions...

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#443243 - 08/04/13 03:13 PM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
Tyler845 Offline


Registered: 11/04/10
Posts: 276
Loc: U.S.A.
A real Man Follows courage From a Benevolent Heart.

He doesn't let mis-guided opinions of himself, from him or others, stop him from his overall goal. His overall goal, to be a rock of strength for those dear to him. A real man doesn't accept false niceties, or take short cuts to accomplish his goals. He doesn't fold under pressure. His mind as strong as his back, he is a goal every man should reach for.

He's A Protector.

He is Fiercely Just.

He Is Self-Less.

He's Honest. Most Abruptly, With Himself.
_________________________
Most Often, The Child Inside Has Better Access To Execute The Flawless Potential Of Self.

Over-Ride Emotional Conflict With Rational Truths

You Are Freer Than You Think - Paul Berteaux

Come unto Me, all ye that Labor, and are Heavy-ladened. I will give you Rest -Jesus Christ

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#443372 - 08/05/13 01:07 PM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
HD001 Offline


Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 255
Loc: us
-He knows when to take the lead and when to let others lead.

-He is always striving to be better and encourages others to do the same

-He isn't afraid to stand up for what he believes in


Edited by HD001 (08/05/13 01:09 PM)
_________________________
Everything comes from within

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#443727 - 08/08/13 09:21 AM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
Other than a human with a y chromosome, i really can't think of an answer, since frankly I hate being male. My lack of any relationship or the ability to start one (god women are lucky that they don't have to make the first move), my s/x drive, the way I'm treated if not avoided, the way people think I'm weerd just for being myself and not contsantly drinking alcohol and loving sports, the way I can't have feelings, heck, i wouldn't have been abused if I haven't been male because guess what, girls gang raping a boy is funny, where as anyone messes with a girl people step in (believe me I saw this happen).

The only positive thing I can think of about being male is that I'm a tenor not a soprano, because tenors are much more in demand, ---- other than that, well frankly i wish I was female.

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#444238 - 08/13/13 08:02 PM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Honestly, I am still trying to figure out how to reconcile being raped, and being a man. I had a perfectly fine sense of masculinity before almost 4 years ago when the rape happened and it's called almost every aspect of my identity into question.

To the OP: My wife is always telling me that "real men" talk about their feelings and it's OK. I know she is trying to be affirming and supportive, and I can appreciate her efforts, but to me it does not compute when it comes from her. What would you say if your husband (or any man) told you what being a "real woman" entails? How would that make you feel?

With the exception of some folks here and some therapists, the vast majority of the people who have told me that it's OK to cry, it's OK to have feelings, to go to therapy, and to hurt....are women.
_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#444253 - 08/13/13 10:35 PM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 359
I don't guess I would like any man telling me what a real woman is unless it was something I struggled with. This is something my husband feels very insecure about ie being vulnerable, having feelings, sharing those feelings and not being able to accept himself. This is my way of saying that having these traits do not make you a p^&&y in my eyes, just the opposite. (the "p" word is him using it not me)

I suppose if I was CONSTANTLY beating myself up because I was not a real woman (in shallow terms like having huge boobs or such) and my husband told me real women have smaller boobs too, it wouldn't bother me. ;0

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#444254 - 08/13/13 10:35 PM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 359
I would think he was being kind and supportive.......

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#444267 - 08/14/13 02:30 AM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1963
Loc: durham, north england
Myself I don't see being told "what a man" does as helping much. Myself I relaly don't care about being a man, it does not define me. I don't like sports or toilet humour, I can converse and I have feelings, so what?

Heck I even enjoy wearing specific clothes, wearing kologne and actually being clean, indeed at the point I had a very long pony tale I was quite careful with my hair just because it was very long and thick and caused trouble if I wasn't. then again I do lift weights and run and have enjoyed cross country skeeing and cycling in the past, albeit I don't have a competitive bone in my body and enjoy these for experience, plus am hugely self crytical.

'm male, so what? it's rather the same way I will tell people "I'm not a blind person I'm a person who happens to be blind" (or at least mostly so).

My problem is that society won't simply treat me as I am. in initiating relationships I'm expected to do all the work, and nobody comes forward, ---- which I have to believe is society rather than just me. I also dislike the way so many people missunderstand that a man could be genophobic, or expect me to find toilet humour funny. iN fairness a friend of mine is exactly the same way, she's got a huge range of masculine characteristics, being very blunt, physicallly active, even physically quite aggressive since she does mixed martial arts and is proud of her strength, she also cares nothing for her apperence and finds herself getitng very pissed off when all women around her want to discuss is diets and fashion.

The problem I tend to find is that where society accepts her as a lovable eccentric, I don't get the same, people still assume I am one way only. This is why I tend to believe that sexism at men is not recognized as it should be, and in fairness also why I hate being male, much less "A man" indeed, if I try to apply the term man to myself it just doesn't sseem to fit, I'm just me, that is that.

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#444269 - 08/14/13 03:17 AM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: lucylives
I don't guess I would like any man telling me what a real woman is unless it was something I struggled with. This is something my husband feels very insecure about ie being vulnerable, having feelings, sharing those feelings and not being able to accept himself. This is my way of saying that having these traits do not make you a p^&&y in my eyes, just the opposite. (the "p" word is him using it not me)

I suppose if I was CONSTANTLY beating myself up because I was not a real woman (in shallow terms like having huge boobs or such) and my husband told me real women have smaller boobs too, it wouldn't bother me. ;0


I've known several female abuse survivors (and I'm married to one) too...

In general, it seems like a lot of male abuse survivors report feeling like they are less of a man... But I don't hear of too many woman survivors saying they feel like less of a woman. I could be wrong, but that is just what I've read and heard.

Growing up, I had decent parents. They weren't the best, but they weren't the worst, and they did the best they could. I think my father taught me to be a man, but my mom taught me how to be human, if that makes any sense. There were other male role models in my life that were instrumental, and affirmed me in having what it takes to be a man. I'd say that the women I grew up around weren't any less important (and in some ways they were more important) but I didn't look to them the way I looked to men. It wasn't perfect, but I got through with a sense of self, a feeling of security in who I was as a man. I wasn't "macho" or badass but I knew what I was capable of.

I can't tell exactly when my "man card" was ripped off of me but I think it was the moment that he made me cry and I realized it was exactly where he wanted me. It became clear it was his goal to break me and reduce me to tears and that is exactly what happened. I think that is the moment when I lost my sense of manliness. Not the rape itself, but the moment I realized that he was in control of my body and he could do whatever he wanted.

What has really helped me to regain a sense of masculinity is telling other men and receiving affirmation that I am still a man. I told my best friend about a year ago, and while we haven't talked about it since, his continued presence in my life and faithful friendship have been restorative. I cried in front of my parish priest a few months ago, who said "I've cried before, too. We've all done it. No one's judging you." And that helped.

I don't say this to undermine the support you're trying to be to your husband. It sounds like you really care about him a lot, and that has to mean a lot to him. I know personally my wife has been an amazing support to me and I'd be lost without her. sexual assault is a dehumanizing thing, and she is helping me to recognize and reclaim my humanity in all of this. But when it comes to masculinity, I think this is an area where your husband might benefit a LOT from talking about it with other men.


Edited by CruxFidelis (08/14/13 03:20 AM)
_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#444297 - 08/14/13 01:37 PM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
SoccerStar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 915
Loc: New York
Quote:
I can't tell exactly when my "man card" was ripped off of me but I think it was the moment that he made me cry and I realized it was exactly where he wanted me. It became clear it was his goal to break me and reduce me to tears and that is exactly what happened. I think that is the moment when I lost my sense of manliness. Not the rape itself, but the moment I realized that he was in control of my body and he could do whatever he wanted.


(((((CF))))) That was heartbreaking to read and so emotionally true. I only hope that your ability to articulate it developed along with putting it in context of a fuller, better life.

Though I was not attacked as an adult, I only gained full recall and emotional impact of the childhood abuse as an adult. So while I know nothing of the sense of being overpowered and victimized as a man per se.... I daresay I do know what it's like to know yourself as Your Self, as the man you've grown to be, one week.... and the next week have that self, that man, utterly demolished, alien, dragged screaming across a human event horizon and the despair of it sinking in that you will never be able to get it back. Re-evaluating an adult life in such shock and agony takes a long, long time and lots of support.

My wife is overall more supportive than not. She's gotten much better in the last few months. But when I tried to raise that exact point to her - of being broken, of being reduced to nothing, of feeling someone else rewire the body into their own strange new horribly revolting plaything - she gave me a blank stare. We tried going over it for DAYS (and I've always hated talking about it with her and always will) and there was no real progress. "What do you mean 'broken'? This happened so long ago - did his dick hurt THAT much?" Eventually I gave up. In a way I'm glad it is beyond her capacity to imagine - for her own sake.

But, yes, men getting permission to cry from women is tricky, because there is no circumstance in which it feels natural for a guy to be in a victim role around a woman with whom he is in a relationship and had previously been very clearly the strong one, the protector. I'm sure anyone (male or female) who had to deal with sudden amputation or paralysis would just as much be horribly self-conscious at being seen as fallen, as less, by their loved ones.

That's why therapists exist - because spouses have been around long enough for people to realize they can't do that job.

Acknowledgment from other men is vital. It's a cliche that has the advantage of being true. I'm in a male survivor support group and it has definitely made an impact (while being frightening in it own way).


Matt
_________________________
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

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